News from Ron and Judy Warpole April 2003
74001 Harju Maakond
Viimsi Vald, Priimula 3
Dear Loved Ones,
Our prayer is that the Lord is blessing and keeping you ... and that you and we might "abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that we may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God!"
Our last email newsletter told you all about the wonderful Camp Reunion that our young people prepared, inviting all the campers from last year's camp. Then these same young people immediately and prayerfully prepared...
THE 2ND ANNUAL YOUTH RALLY ... which was held Friday evening and all day Saturday, March 14 and 15. More than 65 young people came to enjoy wonderful Christian fellowship. Eric and Kim Cimuchowski, missionaries in Tartu, brought a group of 17. Abe Langston and Clint Hale brought 3 precious Estonian girls from the newly formed Estonian language congregation here in Tallinn. And, of course, the rest of the number were our own from the church that meets at Asunduse 2.
Last year at the "1st Annual" Youth Rally the young people were shy and even quiet at times, especially the first evening. Not this year! After getting acquainted last year ... then being at camp together in June ... and visiting back and forth during the year, this year's Rally was a grand reunion. Greetings were accompanied with hugs and shouts! Good-byes were a little sad, but hopeful ... hopeful because camp is coming again this June! It was thrilling to us (Ron & Judy) to look at so many gathered and remember "when they were so young in the faith." And, look at them now! Leaders! Planners! Servants in so many wonderful ways! Following Jesus with joy!
Incorporated into this newsletter is something new for us. We have prepared a photo album at www.webshots.com and hope that you can open and view the photo story there. You will see 17 pictures from the Youth Rally.
SVETA, NINA, AND LUBA ... have been added to His church by our gracious Lord. These 3 precious women who have been attending, studying, worshipping and serving with us for the past few years were joyfully welcomed into the fellowship of our growing congregation. God, the builder of everything has placed 3 Living Stones in His Temple! Each of these women have a "story" of faith to tell ... and tell it they do! They each bring visitors and encourage many to think carefully about the wonderful gift of eternal life that our Heavenly Father offers. Attached is a photo taken of the 3 of them together. Like most in our congregation, they were not friends before seeking the Lord ... but now they are more than friends, they are sisters for eternity! We asked Luba (whose name means "love" in Russian) why she decided to serve the Lord with us. She said, "I visited all over this city looking for the church that the Apostles built. When I found it! I stayed!" We have learned to love each one of these women and thank God they are with us!
SVETA, NINA, AND LUBA
MISSING THE BANKS FAMILY ... Our co-workers Mike & Debbie Banks plus 7 of their children who are still at home (2 are at Harding) left for 2.5 months visiting churches and family in the States. They left early in March and we miss them very much. Please join your prayers with ours that they will be safe and healthy as they travel ... that all will go well with them as they look for funds to replace some they have lost ... and that they will come home to Tallinn as they have planned.
STEFANY TIBBLES ... is our Mission Intern until the Fall of this year. She is such a blessing and we appreciate her so very much. Her home is in The Colony, Texas. We sincerely thank those who have made it possible for her to be here with us. She is helping so much to keep the older children's classes going while Debbie and Jaime Banks are in the States. And, she has a wonderful group of "Let's Start Talking" students who are studying English and getting to know more about the Bible in the process. (See attached photo of Stefany)
KATE GRIDNEVA ... (the very first member of our congregation) is teaching the Sunday morning children's class now ... and from the sounds of happy voices coming from the children's room we know the children love her. In 1994 Kate who is Assistant Director of a Russian-English private elementary school saw an ad in the Tallinn newspaper for free English Conversation Classes. She contacted Royce Sartain to see if he would come to the school and visit with the children. Royce studied with Kate and she was baptized in October 1994. One of her students was Anna Vasjutina (see her photo in the Youth Rally album) who has now become one of the leaders among our young people. And, of course, Anna is the one who kept after her parents - Nikolai and Olga - to "come to church". Now, Nikolai is preaching every-other Sunday and studying diligently in God's Word. It is difficult to believe that next year the church in Tallinn will be 10 years old. We thank God for Kate. (See attached photo of Kate)
The weather is ... well, it's not spring yet! Over the weekend we had at least 18 inches of snow -- the biggest snowfall in the almost 7 years that we've been here. It was beautiful and still is. The sun is shining today and our road has been plowed, but it's still below freezing. Kate said that in her 34 years she'd never seen such a snowfall. Nikolai said he'd never seen it snow like this in Estonia, and never in April! We are warm and well. Enjoyed looking out the windows, saying, "Wow, will you look at this!"
We love you in the Lord and thank God for your encouragement and prayers! May His blessings surround you every step of your way!
Yours in Him ... in Tallinn!
Ron & Judy