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Estonia Mission

posted Oct 5, 2019, 6:41 AM by Bowmansville UMC   [ updated Oct 5, 2019, 6:41 AM ]
Greetings From Estonia!
Seven year-old Kalev about to run a 5K.
Greetings from Estonia! 

This morning, our eleven year old son Karl, currently busy with church, dance, and a fairly new school year, commented that time flies fast. How true these words are especially when you are busy. It has been a little over four months since our last newsletter, however, it seems like just yesterday due to all that has taken place since that time. 

Below are listed a few of the ways we have hastily been at work advancing God's kingdom in Estonia. 

Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary 25th Anniversary Celebration

On May 24th, Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary celebrated it's 25th anniversary. For a quarter century BMTS has offered undergraduate education to students of the former Soviet Union in Estonian, Russian, and English.

Over 150 people attended to celebrate. The celebration included a trip to the Apteegi street building where the seminary first gathered, official congratulations from the other Christian schools (including the Lutheran and Baptist seminaries), a renewal of a memorium of understanding with Asbury Theological Seminary, a dinner with awards ceremony, and worship.

The school was also blessed with the presence of the founder of the school, Wes Griffin and his wife Joy (pictured above).
On May 24th the graduation seminary was held at Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary. We greatly enjoyed being a part of their three (plus) year educational journey. We consider them not only former students but friends. May God bless them in their present and future ministries!
August 1-4 the Estonian Methodist Church held their annual summer conference. There were over 200 in attendance. Doug presented on John Wesley's works of mercy and works of piety. it was the fourth year in a row that Doug was asked to present (as well as the fourth year in a row that Kull was asked to translate for him 😊). We are grateful that God uses us in this important ministry and that the Estonian UMC values our continuing contribution.
The English-speaking ministry picked up again on August 25 after taking part of the summer off. We had eleven adults and four children at the first meeting representing five countries and four continents. The group is modeled after Acts 2:42 where scripture relates, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Each meeting we follow this model and study scripture, fellowship, share food, and pray. We are personally blessed by this fellowship and feel that continues to be a blessing to those who gather from far and near. 
Students, faculty, and staff pose for a photograph. 

New Students and School Year
There were many applicants this fall. 14 new students were admitted to Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary with a very diverse group: 
Study language: 7 Russian, 4 Estonian, 3 English; 
Gender: 7 male and 7 female 
Country: 5 from Estonia, 3 from Russia, 2 from Ukraine, 2 from Finland, 1 from Belarus, 1 from USA

Opening session was buzzing with excitement. Many talented and interesting people all sensing a call to ministry, many are already active in churches. We look forward to an amazing year.

This semester, Doug is teaching three courses: Church history (Enlightenment to Today), theology of worship, and practice of worship. He is also coordinating the student chapels and prayer times.

Kulli is only teaching systematic theology II because she has had many duties added related to being rector of the school.
Thank You!
Thank you for continuing to support us through your prayers and financial assistance. It helps us in our work to know that there are people like you who support us in our ministry. May God bless you and your church!

Doug and Kulli 
If you would like to support Kulli, Doug, or the Seminary, please go to the following links.

Kulli Toniste

Advance #3022133

Douglas Robb Childress

Advance #3022134

Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary Scholarships

Advance #15021b