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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Monday, September 17, 2012

Tallinn Update - Gathering a little momentum

Having taken the last three posts to share a bit about church planting in my new series where I have been interviewing others planting new churches, I wanted to come back and share a catch up with life in Tallinn these last two weeks.

Yesterday summed up a lot really in terms of the wonderful connection with 'random' encounters and God working in his own way through and around us during 'normal' life in Tallinn.  For our gathering event we were going bowling, hiring two lanes at 4pm on the Sunday.  (From the windows down one side, you can see the sea - not your usual bowling alley!).  It just so happened that walking into the place the team recognised another Estonian man and his family, from another local church we'd all been at a few times over the last few months.  Warm greetings followed.  It just so happened they'd booked the same time and were in the next lanes to us.  When we were leaving, the guy mentioned a volleyball match that was happening later on in Tallinn between Estonia and The Netherlands.  Arnoud, being Dutch, was quite up for going, as was I, growing more keen on volleyball since moving to Tallinn. 
Arriving for the volleyball match (which was being shown live on ETV2, one of the main national channels) we just so happened to park immediately behind the car of this same guy we'd met earlier (as we were to find out later, walking back to the cars and realising the coincidence).  Buying the tickets, he came and found us and we took our seats, just after the national anthems were played - and then, sitting just behind the service line, we just so happened to be on Estonian TV all night, the camera's kept picking us out, much to the sheer excitement of Mia and Anya (pictured above right). Rachel took a picture of us on the T.V (right).

And that sums up life in Tallinn - always open to the unexpected.  Never really knowing what the day might entail....and ending up on TV (and not for the first time this year, with our House Hunters International show to be aired this Autumn too!).

So what has been happening when we are not appearing on TV, you might ask....well, this is what;

Taste the Nations in Tallinn - a really successful event that we first launched in the international groups we were overseeing in Russia, was a meal concept called Taste the Nations.  And as part of our gathering strategy here in Tallinn, we are putting on this event twice a month in two venues, with the first event the previous weekend at ours.  
 It was a really fun time, and as well as people represented from Estonia, Russia, Holland, America and the UK, we had food from Italy, Mexico, England, Estonia and Russia!

This coming Sunday is the next meal, this time at the home of Arnoud & Elisabeth, and though that is only about 5 minutes down the road, it represents another gathering area as well as another circle of friends ready to come along and get involved.

I personally will not be in Tallinn for this meal this time, as I make my first trip back to St Petersburg since moving here in March.  So please pray for my trip - part of the vision of being in Tallinn was always to keep contact with Hope Church, our sending church in Russia.  God has not finished with us and Russia.  Having moved on more than six months ago, with so much no doubt changed in Hope Church, it promises to be an exciting, yet emotional, return.  Pray therefore that as I go back and share, faith would be stirred.  That all the new people who have joined in the last six months who I do not know, and of course who do not know me, will feel very much part of what we are doing in Tallinn.  Pray also for Rachel and the girls - it's not my first trip away but at five days, and with Mia now at school and the church plant meeting on the weekends, it will be a busy time on the home front.

These last two weeks have also seen the launching of two children's events.  One is an art group that Laura is running at her home, and the other, which started last week at ours, is an English Conversational toddler group. (Rachel and Elisabeth had met several Mum's who wanted to practice their English and felt this would be a fun way to do it).  As well as the three ladies from the church plant, there were two other mums visiting and joining in - with one helping to do some Estonian nursery rhymes!  Both groups will be happening every week, with the latter alternating between ours and Around & Elisabeth's.  I am so impressed by the missional endeavour that God has put around us!

It's really wonderful to see all that God is starting to do in Tallinn.  We are far from understanding culture here.  We have just started pressing in with regular Estonian language learning, and the early stages are very encouraging!  We do have a long way to go!

Knowing our time is the most valuable thing we have, we are being prayerful about how to use it best, getting that balance between being able to live here and investing in the church plant (which at this stage is such a wide range of things!)  We are still awaiting for our finances to really settle down, having taken quite a hit over these last six months with the moves and everything, but it does seem that we might be several hundred euros a month down from our necessary level of support, factoring in the gift of this car and Mia now starting school, both of these having an impact on our monthly out goings.  So this is something that we are also praying about, and ask that you pray for us as well.  Please pray that we hear God's wisdom for us regarding the correct balance between our own provision (and any extra work I need to do from this end - bearing in mind the time cost involved in this) and the provision we receive from outside, the value of this being the time it provides us to get on with the basic mission here - to plant a city reaching church that replants itself many times through the decades.

One long term hope is that my writing can provide the necessary income to not only provide for our own needs, but also fund many church plants.  And with a small number of film directors and producers starting to follow my books twitter feed, maybe that's not as far off as first thought.....Cherry Picking continues to get great reviews - why not see what all the fuss is about yourself, and in buying the book (which I trust you will enjoy reading) you are also helping us to church plant.  And by recommending this book to your unique circle of friends, you are helping the book to reach a global audience.  You can read some of the 5***** reviews here, and get your own copy too!

Head aega! Ja tänu lugemiseks (Goodbye!  And thanks for reading)

Contact Details;
Address: Helme 16/2, 39, Tallinn, 10614, Estonia
Email: timinrussia@gmail.com
Facebook Group: God Loves Tallinn
For regular or one off gifts please contact our 
UK base church who are administering this for us: 

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