The Back Story:
Estonia and Latvia suffered for fifty years (1940–1991) under the bootheel of the Soviet Union; from Stalin's iron rule to the supposed "softening" of Nikita Khrushchev to the agressive anti-Christian campaigns of Yuri Adropov, Christian pastors were persecuted, arrested, and sent to the gulag; churches were shut down repeatedly; seminaries throughout the Soviet Union were forced to close. While the Russian Orthodox church has bounced back quickly, Protestant churches have taken longer to recover since they were seen as more dangerous than Russian Orthodoxy. Because of this, theological education was seriously curtailed. This is where we come in.
Our purpose is to support already established ministers in Tallinn, Tartu, and Riga by providing good theological books and reference materials that they can add to their library, allowing them to further their theological education. Every worker has the necessary tools of his trade, and a pastor without the necessary theological tools (his books) is in dire straits, as is his church.
Here's how the funds will be used:
As you can see, the majority of the funds will be covering my travel costs (40%) and my hotel stay (30%) while we're in Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia. The rest will cover my contribution to the books we're taking with us (Paddy is covering the vast majority of this expense), and miscellaneous expenses that will be incurred due to the trip (travel expenses, food costs, etc.). Finally, some of these funds will go towards the cost of my research for a presentation we are scheduling for me to deliver while we're there. In God's providence, if I should exceed the goal I've set, the extra funds will go towards funding a larger book purchase for the pastors we're travelling to Estonia and Latvia to support.
Ideally I would like to have all of the funds collected before we leave for our trip, but I absolutely must have them by the time we return so that Rev. Cook isn't overextended.
I would be incredibly grateful if you would prayerfully consider donating to this mission. You will be helping me help established pastors as they seek to proclaim the gospel. And we are in a position to help by providing them with the tools they need to be better pastor-theologians.
If you'd like to see how your money is being put to work, you can follow my blog for regular updates while I'm in Estonia and Latvia.
Tricia and I appreciate every donation received, so thank you for your willingness to help!
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