Update On Ukrainian Refugee Relief In EstoniaMarch 21, 2023
2023 Gathering – Sept. 28-30August 21, 2023
The Mt Bethel Team is on a plane on our way home from Estonia back to Atlanta. Our hearts are full, and there are stories to be told of God’s greatness that we are so honored to share. We witnessed God do some amazing things on this trip and met some true leaders of the Christian faith. It became evident to us what God is doing in Estonia, but more than that, what Mt. Bethel’s involvement is.
Fifty years after World War II, Estonia was entirely occupied by the Soviet Union. The communist regime prohibited any theological or pastoral training. Dr Jody Ray, our senior minister at Mt Bethel had the opportunity to talk to a true giant of the Christian faith, Olav Parnaments. He led the Methodist Church in Estonia while it was a part of the Soviet Union. Jody’s comments, “It is incredible to be in the presence of Olav because he is a true testament to standing up for the Gospel and the church, even though it was not accepted then. Olav had a true vision to birth the Baltic Methodist Seminary.”
Mt. Bethel was one of the first churches to support he seminary from the U.S. Not only that, we helped sponsor Mt Bethel missionaries, Wes and Joy Griffin as one of the founders of the BMTS and on their endeavors to fend for the Christian faith in Estonia. Estonia needed churches and ministers to help spread the love of Jesus in a place that had been repressed for so long. It excites us to see our church’s impact on Estonia and the creation of so many churches because of it.
In the future, we hope to continue developing further partnerships with Estonia, especially as all of the Estonia Methodist Churches have disaffiliating from the UMC. We must strengthen them as they continually work to share the Gospel within a secularized society. We have some special time planned in September here at Mt. Bethel to host The Friends of Estonia Gathering. Please make plans to attend. The Gathering will be September 28-30th in Marietta, GA. Addition information to follow on Friends of Estonia Website.