First Moth Jam
The Moth youth kohvik is a coffee shop with a unique mission: to create an environment that nurtures the spirit of local community in Rapla by promoting social entrepreneurship among youth.
Our vision for The Moth emerged over the last few years as a possible answer to a range of perennial problems that we face in our efforts to disciple Rapla youth. As with many small towns, many young people growing up in Rapla leave us after High School to pursue education or a career in bigger cities. If they return to Rapla at all, it is not until they have established themselves financially and built a family. Missing this age group (20-30) means that our outreach to Rapla’s many unchurched youth is limited to a very small number of adult volunteers. On that basis, we can’t reach very far.
This has motivated us to find a sustainable youth ministry solution that is able to fund and staff itself apart from the ministry of the church while staying closely associated with our efforts at intentional ministry networking.
The Moth answers this challenge by creating a business-based, community oriented ministry platform – an environment in which connections are made and collaborations nurtured every day. The Moth provides a natural space in which faith can be demonstrated and articulated for youth who might not otherwise encounter the Gospel. To this end, The Moth is developing active partnerships with ministries and social enterprises in Rapla as well as working closely with local schools to invite youth to learn basic business skills through shadowing and shared development of the shop.
We are grateful to the Presbytery of the Inland Northwest for a ministry grant of 5,000 USD to help us get The Moth up and running! We are also looking forward to welcoming short-term youth missionaries in the summer of 2019 to help us leverage our new space. We hope to open the shop by January 1st, 2019.
When we moved to Rapla we had in mind not only a home for our kids to grow up in but also a space for hospitality. After 8 years of ministry here and a steady stream of visitors, ministry teams, guest speakers, and summer interns, there is no doubt that a space like this could regularly be put to good use well into the future. Additionally, the refugee crisis years ago and the fallout from pandemic this year has called to mind the time-honored practice of extending hospitality to the stranger, a vision that we find compelling even in its practical complexity.
In light of these things, we began sketching out the possibilities of replacing our shed/sauna into a guesthouse which would include all the elements of the present structure but reorganized and upgraded for the purpose of offering a peaceful place for guests and teams to stay during their time in Rapla. In addition to a garage and storage space, the guesthouse is divided into a self-contained studio apartment on the ground floor, sleeping spaces on the second floor and a separate sauna and washroom accessible to residents of either space.
Hiring such a project out is prohibitive based on our own resources, but we know that our ministry network includes many builders motivated to contribute time and energy to mission. You can help us work toward this goal by contributing toward the project financially or helping us in person when we start construction, hopefully beginning in the summer of 2019.
Update! – January 16th, 2021
Given that our old structure was beginning to crumble in dangerous places and after consulting supporters in January of 2020 we decided to take down the old structure in the summer of 2020 and begin construction of the new structure in the Spring. We had a line up of volunteer builders ready to fly over to help us with the project and arranged a loan that would cover the cost of permitting general construction materials.
And then, Corona-19 hit and took with it all of our helpers. Nothing to do but bite-down and crank it out!
We’ve been slowly building since the summer and have the structure weather-proofed now. 2021 will afford a fresh opportunity to welcome helpers from outside of Estonia so if you would like to contribute financially or with your own energy, please let me know and I’ll begin to block out the Spring and Summer accordingly!