Welcome! It's wonderful to see you here!

I'm a passionate writer - and therefore spend most of my time writing thriller novels. But I also live an interesting life in the nations. This blog is here for that aspect of my life - our life - I live with my wonderful wife and two daughters.

I believe in encouragement. I live for obedience. I believe in learning from our experiences, and this blog exists for both of those, and more.

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I was part of the leadership team in St Petersburg, Russia - which planted Hope Church in 2009.(www.hopechurchstpetersburg.com).
In March 2012 Hope Church sent my family to plant into Tallinn, the Capital of Estonia. I therefore lead this small but growing church plant team. Here is the website for Hope Tallinn (www.hopetallinn.ee)

For details on our journey here, read the series called Adventures of Faith which is linked for you on the right hand column, just below. That details our original journey to Russia and then onto Tallinn 4 years later.

Author for fiction novels - Cherry Picking (2012), The Last Prophet (2015), The Tablet (2015) and The Shadow Man (2016) are available on all major bookselling sites. Please visit: www.timheathbooks.com

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tallinn Summertime update - Part 1

I'm going to do this in parts so that it makes me write briefer entries, but more frequently!

 We have the keys!  Following on from the last blog entry, we've made great progress with the flat, so much so that we've signed everything at the bank and notary (more on that in a moment), as well as being given the keys last week.  We've now been able to measure up for curtains and start to buy things like a washing machine, which arrived today!  As the kitchen is still to be installed (new flats here come fully finished, minus the kitchen and most light fittings - unlike new flats in Russia, where not even the walls have plaster board on, so it could have been worse for us!).  The kitchen is due to be ready for installation on 23rd July.  As all our items are mainly still in boxes here in the rental flat, we will be moving everything over on Saturday 14th July, that being when we can get some help from some guys at Elava Vee, the local church we've made most contact with so far.  We can then unpack these boxes finally (Rachel still does not have her summer shoes as they are packed somewhere so she only has what she came with, which is a pair of winter boots!)  Therefore, depending on when the kitchen is finished being installed, we will be moving into our permanent (owned!) apartment on the 26th or 27th July!

Anya (pictured on the right) managed to give us a scare on the day we signed at the notary.  Not only did she get a raisin stuck up her nose while we were having the documents translated to us (Rachel managed to sort this out with tweezers and a torch back at the flat) but then, later on that same day, she managed to lock herself in our room using a key, and then couldn't get herself out!  Thankfully, after speaking with her (she was just crying and couldn't have done anything!) I remembered there was another key on our side, and pushing her key out managed to open the door with no damage done (to either the door nor our adventuring two year old!)  

Mia is also doing really well - and very excited about getting the new flat.  Her walk with God has really been strengthened through these last few months, as she's been praying real prayers for difficult situations and then having the joy of seeing things turn out exactly the way she was praying for!  
Last weekend we told Mia we were going to do church at home and she went to bed planning for what she was going to do for children's work with Anya!  She also made a microphone so that she could lead worship, saying to me how I needed to prepare a preach!  It was amazing how involved she was, and true enough, on Sunday she led worship (with Chris Tomlin helping with his CD playing!) and prayed out during this jumping about time before taking Anya out for her lesson on how God loves her!

We've continued to build relationships here - and I'll mention more about this in my next update.  We've also been really encouraged by more people feeling God speaking to them about Tallinn - one family from the UK, one girl we know, and also from a family that are just moving to Tallinn - so watch this space for more news as we hear it.

We've also 'bumped' into yet more people who we've had contact with.  This time an American family who I've been in contact with on Facebook for months, but haven't met before.  Rachel met his wife the other week.  In a shop last week we just happened to bump into them - what is extra nice is that I found out that he plays tennis, so now I have someone to play with when things settle down here and we can work out where to play.  They have only been in Tallinn for about 8 months, having moved also from St Petersburg where they had been living for about 3 years.

We've also had lots of visitors - which we'll mention next time I think - from random bikers doing crazy tours around Europe, to Rob & Sarah Walters.  Rob  leads our UK base church in Stockport, England.

We are so thankful for what God has done.  What we have seen so far has been amazing, and a pattern that we hope continues into the life of the church plant - the God of miracles doing miracles!  We've also been reminded recently by how quickly things can change.  The other week, while sitting at the desk working, I heard the crash of metal and noise of a tram colliding with a car, the impact so hard that the tram mounted the pavement.  There was only one driver in the red car, and though taken straight to hospital, had (rather quickly!) jumped out of the car just after the crash.  Praise God nobody was on the pavement at the time!
And just a few metres from this point, at another junction we cross every day, last week an elderly woman was knocked down by a bus and killed.  
So we are thankful that we have a God who is watching over us and keeping us safe while we outwork his plan for us in Tallinn.

And finally, Rachel celebrated her (23rd?) birthday yesterday, which was a wonderful day and lots of fun.  And (shameless plug I know!) it seemed fitting for this to be the day that my novel, Cherry Picking, was published.

This novel is really just another of the amazing sub-plots to have come out of our last four years since we first headed off from England on this amazing, ongoing adventure.
All the information about this book is available here, including how to buy the book, which is now on sale through Amazon in paperback and for the Kindle.  I highly recommend it to you!  (To clarify this, it is not a christian novel - the only christian bit about it is the author!)

We'll put more on here soon, but thanks so much for your encouragements and prayers over these last few months.  We really feel so many of you standing with us, praying with us and backing us - we know we are not alone.

We love Tallinn.  God loves Tallinn.  We're excited to be at the beginning of what is going to be an amazing church plant - and more on that real soon!