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