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.
In March 2018 we opened a consignment store in Rapla together with the company Sõbralt Sõbrale (Friend to Friend). Sõbralt Sõbrale now has 17 stores around Estonia and uses revenues from their sales to promote a number of good will campaigns for children, the disabled and needy throughout Estonia. When the opportunity to open the store came up in discussion in 2017, it was clearly an answer to a longstanding prayer for new ways to minister to the Rapla area.
The store in Rapla has been designed from the start with the idea that, in addition to demonstrating the love of Christ in a business environment, it could also become a space for welcoming, befriending, connecting, encouraging and discipling our customers. The showroom sits behind 18 meters of floor to ceiling picture windows overlooking one of the central squares in Rapla. Our vision is to equip an adjoining kiosk included in our rent as a coffee shop and juice bar. The coffee shop will use a selection of the furniture for sale in the shop for limited seating. After store hours, the shop can be converted into a cosy cafe with an open-mic stage for evening soirees and outreach.
Each June, the town of Rapla celebrates the community by holding a street festival. Each year, the Rapla church hosts a one-day parking lot restaurant as a run-up to our anniversary celebration. This is a whole-church event with opportunities for everyone to contribute something special. Over the years we have developed a now famous hamburger recipe, offered live music and a mini fair in the church yard.
In pursuit of equipping our congregation to serve together in extending the Gospel into the places where it is most needed, we have engaged the help of a team from Presbyterian Reformed Ministries International (PRMI). This team has come to us now twice every year for three years to give biblical and practical instruction on participating in the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Throughout my life, I have encountered a number of similar resources. But in my experience, I typically have to choose between solid teaching and effective ministry. The doers can’t (or don’t) do the hard work of solid exegesis and the teachers can’t do (or avoid doing) what they are teaching. Not so with the Dunamis team!
In addition to thorough and solid biblical teaching and effective ministry, the Dunamis team has demonstrated patience, humility and sincerity in all that they have done with us. I highly recommend the services of the Dunamis Project!
You can read more about the Dunamis Project at the PRMI website. Dunamis Project topics include:
- Gateways to Empowered Ministry
- In the Spirit’s Power
- The Power of Prayer
- Healing Ministry of Jesus
- Equipping for Spiritual Warfare
- Listening Evangelism
In partnership with a team of youth from Woodmen Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs and the Estonian organization KOMA, our youth hosted our first ever summer English Camp this year in the small town of Kaiu. The camp was a great success for our first foray. Not only did we see campers with little to no faith exposure make significant steps forward in their walk with Christ, we also made deep inroads into the local youth population setting us up for significant future outreach.