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
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!
We learned the home-based marriage mentoring system from Paddy and Carole Ducklow during our time studying at Regent College in Vancouver, BC. The system has been developed as a holistic approach to marriage preparation. The Ducklows have developed a curriculum that covers 10 topic that play a central role in the health of a marriage. Couples preparing for marriage work through the questions individually and then share, compare and discuss their written answers under the care of a trained mentor couple. Mentoring takes place in the mentor couple’s home which not only provides a comfortable environment but also provides the marrying couple with an “inside peak” into the daily dynamics of a working marriage.
Since returning to Estonia, we have used the marriage mentoring system in every community we have served and have trained mentor couples in a handful of churches around Estonia. The Ducklows joined us for one of these training sessions in 2010 and even extended their visit when Eyjafjallajökull erupted in Iceland and cut off their escape!
Over the years, marriage mentoring has been one of the few ways Lea and I can minister as a team and always brings us a lot of joy. We have had the privilege of personally mentoring many couples from various backgrounds and situations and the mentoring process has resulted in long standing friendships.