As a part of our assignment here in Estonia, we recently had the privilege of traveling to the far northeastern portion of the country. Yes, this could be referred to as the Russian border. Our destination for the day was the city of Narva, where there is a small group of Russian-speaking believers (most are dual citizens) that we were to meet with.
Narva is the third largest city in Estonia and is filled with history! Of course, pretty much all of Estonia and the Baltic States cities are filled with history. Our little over three hour drive was wonderful in and of itself. The highway went through beautiful countryside, as well as occasional glimpses of the Baltic Sea. It was another reminder of the beauty of this country. We also took a slight detour to visit the city of Sillamae. I was able to visit there one cold night during our previous term in Estonia, so seeing the city on a warm sunny day was certainly more enjoyable!
The historical highlight of the day was a brief visit to Narva Castle. The main tower of the castle, “Tall Hermann” serves as the iconic symbol of the city. The beauty and majesty of the grounds were a little overwhelmed by the weekend activities. It seemed that this particular Friday, Saturday and Sunday, that Narva was playing host to a Motorcycle Rally. Yes, so the castle grounds were filled with tents, loud music, motorcycles of all sorts and sizes, and of course…bikers! Nevertheless, we did get the chance to peruse the grounds and catch a glimpse of the Ivangorod Fortress of Russia, just across the river.
We quickly left the castle grounds to make our way to an apartment building in the heart of the city. Our destination was the ninth floor of the building, which meant that we would need to take the elevator. Now, for you Americans, please note that European elevators are not similar to the ones we are used to. Oh, the nameplate said, “OTIS”, but it was one of their miniature versions. And just in case you are not aware…Nannette does not like elevators, in fact they may be next to the least liked thing on her list, perhaps only exceeded by her
hatred dislike of cats.
Upon realizing we had arrived, our wonderful “I-only-speak-Russian” host and her friend, quickly made their way down to the entry door to let us in and greet us…in Russian! They then ushered us to that little elevator, and the four of us squeezed into the three person capacity elevator. Their Russian chatter, combined with a surprisingly fast elevator, helped my bride to endure the ride.
Our service that evening was wonderful. This group of Holy Ghost filled Russians may have been small in number, but they certainly knew how to worship and pray! And we did a lot of that. Following the conclusion of my message, we moved into a time of focused prayer. We began praying for individual needs, as well as general needs. We wrapped up with praying as those in attendance shared their burden and passion to see a mighty move of the Holy Ghost happen in their city! They have a hunger for genuine REVIVAL!
As we concluded the service, our hosts would not allow us to make our journey back without sharing their supper with us. They brought out a wide variety of ethnic dishes and we enjoyed a time of food and fellowship. It gave us all an opportunity to share information about each other’s lives.
These dear people will forever hold a special place in our hearts. I am thankful for missionaries who are sacrificing their time and resources to journey to this city on the Russian border on a regular basis to help these people grow in their relationship with Christ, as well as teaching and empowering them to reach their city for the Kingdom.
Thank you all who partner with us for allowing us to be just a small part of this group. We look forward to sharing more with you in the days ahead!