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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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tallinn Summertime Update - Part 4

 Well it's been quite a time since the last update.  Nearly a week has passed now since we finished filming the Tallinn episode of House Hunters International, which is the most popular program on the American  Home & Garden network.  We can't say any more about this until after the show has aired in the US this Autumn - after that, I will do a special update talking about all things television!  Here the crew (all from the UK) are shown setting up in one of the three properties we visited.  It was a fun, tiring but worthwhile experience - we look forward to seeing what gets produced in the episode that will be shown to millions of Americans.
If it's not too embarrassing (it does have that potential!) then we might share the link to you all at some point - if you ask nicely...

Church Plant: What has been really exciting over these last two weeks, which could have got lost in all the excitement of filming and our car arriving (more on that below) was the first get together of the three families that are part of what will soon be the church plant!  We had a BBQ together and as well as there being 6 adults, there were another 6 children (five of which are girls!)  Already we are an international bunch - There's English, then there is a Dutch family who've moved to join the core team (Arnoud, pictured below on the left) and there's an American family who've just arrived for two years in Tallinn (Nathan, below right).  Elisabeth (Arnoud's wife and pictured at the table with their youngest, the one little boy at the moment in the church plant) and Laura (nearest camera) make up the rest.  And that's before a Russian girl moves to join us and before an Estonian girl (as yet praying about whether she'll be in Tallinn) might join us.

 The girls had a great time playing together - it wasn't quiet but it was fun!

We're starting to meet on Sunday afternoon's now we are all together and it's August already.  It's very relational during the summer - making the most of the outdoors and the sunny sandy beach!
Last Sunday (actually just two families) we went onto the beach, and wanting to play volleyball, I got myself and Arnoud invited into a game where four young people were already playing - church planting can be so much fun at times!  It was great!  Being outdoors generally is just great for meeting people - we said how we met lots of people in the first few weeks, and now, in our new area, we are starting to see that again.  Last night, I 'had the idea' to go out to the field in front of our flat and play football together.  Very soon, a three year old Estonian boy came running over and was kicking the ball with us, his mother chasing after him.  Thirty minutes later, we'd properly met one of our neighbours.  Numbers were exchanged and Rachel and this lady will meet to practice Russian and English together.  This lady's parents also live in the building next to us.  And we know Arnoud & Elisabeth have also been meeting people just like this - it's always exciting to see how God does it, and we pray for much more of it.  It's got to be God that reaches the people of Tallinn - as the Capital city of the most secular nation in Europe, it's not an easy job for man - but it's nothing for God!

And after four years - we have a car!  A real praise point to finish.  
We said how Love Russia had contacted us some months ago about whether we wanted a car.  Not only had we been looking at that very issue ourselves already, we'd been praying for a 7 seater car so as to be able to fit visitors in etc.  Well, the car they generously gave us was indeed a 7 seater Hyundai and here it is!  Not only did they do this, they met us for dinner on the Thursday night before they flew back to the UK, having cleaned the car, done all the major repairs on it and even left a full tank of diesel!!  They have been amazing!  And we are so thankful to God for their hearts and support and generosity in this.  Having got used to travelling by bus, and with free travel for an adult when travelling with Anya (as she's under three) we are certainly not just going to drive from now on.  But with shopping, and crossing the city and longer journeys, it's a real blessing!  I've now been able to register it (an afternoon's coming and going but got there in the end!) as well as getting it insured under it's new Estonian plates!
We also signed up at a local doctors yesterday, which as well as being needed for the girls, and especially for Mia to get her pre-school health check (like in Russia, it's required here for all children), having a local doctor was also needed for Rachel and myself in order to obtain our Estonian driving licence, which we can do next month.  Yesterday we underwent the medical checkup and got our certificate to drive.
It's often this paperwork that can make moving to a new country so confusing - especially when you don't know the main language!  We press on anyway.

Settling in doesn't come easily but we are slowly getting there.  We are exploring the country a bit these next 5 days as we take a 'stay at home' vacation and catch up with ourselves, as well as having some focused family time before Autumn kicks in.  It should be great!  Later this month we have some more visitors - including Kevin Jones coming across for the day from Helsinki, where his family have been 'checking out' the place this month in view of moving there next year to church plant.  Dave & Hannah Henson will also be over in Tallinn for a weekend, no small event following Dave's serious back issues earlier this year.  Our time with them will be great and we are looking forward to showing them more of Tallinn and praying together at the start of this next phase for the church plant.

Hot of the press - As I was writing this during the morning, Rachel was again meeting another local neighbour while out with the girls at the play ground.  This lady apparently approached Elisabeth and Rachel and asked if it was a kindergarten! (Yes there were 5 children playing, but still, not sure it would have really counted as a kindergarten!).  They've swapped numbers, connected on Facebook already so please pray that a good relationship will grow and she'll be interested in what we are all in Tallinn for.  This is, after all, what we are here for!

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