The flight was alright. I was flying somewhere above Poland and drawing something into my notebook. Soon the northern coast of Estonia became visible from the window of the plane. We landed in Tallinn and got on a bus to Rakvere. I found it rather funny how we spent the same time on both the bus and the plane and yet the difference in the distance overcame was great. The land in Estonia is flat. View from the bus usually consisted of pine trees, fields and every once in a while a single house. Rakvere was neither small or large. With it’s castle towering over it, it made an impression of an ideal town to live in - for me at least. We split up into two minivans as we journeyed on towards a little village of Karitsa. It didn’t look unlike many villages in Czech Republic but for the largest house we were to be staying at.
The mansion was large and old with many rooms. The air inside was cold and humid. Most of the rooms on the first floor were in state that clearly gave testimony about the years when house was abandoned, some were but for a place to go through filled with material for the reconstruction, others were furnished with an aged tables, chairs and cabinets. There was an old wardrobe and couple of paintings in the dinning room - neither of them depicted a scene from Estonia, as far as I could guess. One of the larges room - The Blue hall - was a space with a cross and a modest white pulpit - where we gathered, prepared for the outreach, prayed and worshiped the Lord. We stayed in rooms on the second floor. These were livable and the ones in the back of the house almost cozy as they were furnished and decorated and full of books.
After arrival we went for a short walk before the dinner. We had saturday for the final preparations. On sunday we went to Tapa for the first time to meet the people from metodist and babtist church with whom we would later collaborate. The church building was white plank structure with neo-gothic features and friendly looking interior. After service we had some time at the house of the Kivisilds - pastor’s family with ten kids - all of them incredibly friendly people speaking fluent english. After the first day with them and the rest of the youth I was certain that we would understand each other well. After dinner we were so kindly served at Kivisild’s we wen’t to a lake twenty minutes drive away. It turned out however that I have left my swim trunks at Karitsa so I went swimming with my chinos. Monday through thursday we had our street outreach in Tapa. It was wonderful. What suprised me the most was how large was the russian population in Tapa. I regretted not knowing at least the very basics of russian. The evenings at Tapa were a blast. Great opportunities to share the gospel in many different ways, to talk to people and share our stories. The estonian youth were all incredibly helpful taking participation in both the outreach and support during the evenings. I feel the need to mention Mihkel as he turned out to be a great translator to estonian and Aleksandr who kept translating to russian. These couple of evenings were finished with a screening of a movie. About thirty poeple decided to give their lives to Christ. Saying good bye to the Estonians at the last day was hard for during the few days we managed to develop suprisingly strong friendships.
It was over. We had a couple more days in Estonia for our we-time or debriefing. We went to see the Rakvere castle, where Mihkel, Aleksandr and Andreas gladly gave us the tour and we were able to try out all kinds of weapons and other stuff.
Next morning we set out for the coast of Estonia. After an hour or so we reached the beatiful village of Käsmu. The little museum of seamanship was very different than anything I imagined. Rather all kinds of things collected together in a genuine way. We spent some time at the shore with all its stones and boulders and swam in the Baltic sea [It was COLD]. We stopped in Rakvere for a coffee on the way back.
Our very last day was a trip to Tallinn. Funnily enough we missed our first bus and had to buy another tickets. Tallinn was nice, but it was a down-pour most of the time so I only managed to take one picture. Also I bought a faber-castell marker.
And that was it. We packed our luggage and were on our way to the airport. It seemed to short - the journey. Not being used to this kind of travel I find myself in Prague still processing all the things that I was so blessed to experience.