Estonia Update #4

Today we were able to go on a bog hike with a large group of students from Finland, Israel, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and of course Estonia. I was trying to be strategic about which van I was going to ride in, but ended up not being able to go where I first intended because a large group of students wanted to sit together. Great news was, God had better plans in store.

I ended up seated next to a woman named Andrea. During our ride together, I was able to learn more about her time at university, where she studied molecular biology. We bonded over our shared love of board games and discussing our various cultural experiences. During the hike, the leaders of Agape at different points engaged in some fun conversational games and were asking questions to the group to allow them to engage on a deeper level, hoping to make space for more spiritual conversations to naturally develop.

During this time, our leader Herman asked one of our team members, Rick, if he could share 3 significant events of his life. After hearing this, Andrea brought up this idea of significant events. After contemplating for a bit, I was able to share a small part of my story of when someone had asked me “What do you hold onto most when all other things have failed you?” and how this made me look at the world differently. At the time, I put my identity into my relationship with my mom, my family, my appearances, and how successful I was, which are all perishable things.

In a wonderful display of teamwork, Karin asked me “So, what has changed?” What a great pitch of a question, straight down the middle. I was able to share how I had not grown up in the church, but I started to question my worldview on that around the same time and really learned what Christianity was. How Jesus lived, died, and rose again so I could have a relationship with Him. That there was nothing I could do to earn that love, and that this was what I put my faith in now.

Andrea responded with interest to this, mentioning that she liked when experiences like that inside or outside of religion helped us to grow and improve ourselves and with some significant events which had impacted her life. We were able to have some more great conversations during the bonfire and the ride home, and were able to exchange contact information. She is hoping to come to a board game event on Friday, so we would greatly appreciate any prayers that God would again bring an opportunity to get in deeper conversation and that God would continue to bring Andrea closer to Him.

- Jordan