On our first Sunday here, Mia had the memory verse to learn, the three words being "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thes 5:17) - what was funny was when Mia first repeated it to us on the way home, she said 'Pray without sitting' which we kind of like the idea of as well! It speaks of active prayer, prayer walking even. And the prayer theme has been with me all day and I knew I was to mention it here tonight.
You see prayer is CENTRAL to church planting. Without it, the jobs impossible. It's vital to set quality time aside to pray, listen, read and just enjoy God. It's great to thank him for what he is doing. We've made it a point of covering this whole process in prayer - and we've been deliberate in asking hundreds of others to as well. That's because we've learned the importance, and absolute necessity of prayer in our own life and the life of the church.
Here now we try and start our day with prayer. When we went to Russia we set aside Tuesday lunchtime to pray and fast, and our original Russia Facebook group was born out of that as we'd send out prayer pointers every Tuesday for people to pray with us about. Here we've set Monday morning aside, as well as giving Monday evening (the start of the evening once the girls are in bed) to praying for each other, and for this city and all things related to the church plant - and this is something we only want to grow. We've never been shy about the connection with prayers prayed all around the world and what has happened on the ground in our lives, back in Russia, and now here in Tallinn. It's sometimes a tangible connection. Therefore, a church planting tip - pray without ceasing, and if you can do it without sitting, well, in my book that's even more fun!
Picking up on some things that came up this last week, and today we submitted the questionnaire for the US TV show House Hunters International - we still need to record a 3 minute video for them, which is proving a little more tricky, but we'll figure something out. I also got the call that the laptop had been returned, so I've picked that up - but with our furniture yet to arrive, we still don't have a desk to put it on....I'll work something out tomorrow, I hope.
As has been usual this week, I went out with Anya this morning to the play ground, and this time spoke with three parents - and stop press, today there was a dad there! His name is Mart, and he's Estonian, though we spoke in English (he was rather rusty). He owns his own business, an antiques shop, and works just 12 - 6pm, which is why he was able to be at the park with his two youngest this morning. His 5 year old son was talking lots with Anya in Estonian - I don't know what she made of it! We talked all about church and what we were here to do, he even asked about what language we'd meet in.
Anya continues to be a great help and intro - she's really my mission partner in the playground. Without her I'm potentially some strange man speaking to mainly (but not all, now, thanks to Mart this morning!) women in the park!
Anya was attracting the attention of a younger Russian girl who wanted to hold her hand, though this time Anya was not having much of it. I did speak with two Estonian mums briefly, one that Anya had been playing with, and the other, as we were leaving, being a mum I've seen already there this week so it creates opportunity for conversation in future - and better still, we plan that Rachel will go with Anya and Mia to the park on Friday morning, so as long as the mums still recognise Anya, they'll soon work out that the strange man really does have a wife named Rachel!
Speaking of Rachel she is out again tonight - God really has been doing something since we arrived here. It's 14th March, so we've been here 14 days. In that time, Rachel has had two evening events and I've had one. These have all come since being here. She's at a meal with Shani now, the Israeli lady we met on our first day here. So we'll see what comes from this.
Thanks for following this all with us and for all your texts, comments and 'likes' on facebook - it's really encouraging! And for Iva, sweet dreams!
Tomorrow we'll bring you up to date with the Team situation, as well as, of course, all that happens during the day! Blessings all!