The "Faith Guy"
Dave Patty | February 2018
The church should have closed.
With just two old ladies attending, there was not much hope for the future. The Baptist denominational leaders in Estonia decided to make it easy for them and recommended that this tiny congregation call it quits. At least that would save the $60 monthly dues required to stay a part of the denomination.
What they didn’t know was that something unusual had begun to happen in the town of Marjamaa. Members of our JV Estonia team had started visiting this small village of just 3,000 people and building relationships with the youth there. They would drive in from the capital city of Tallinn, 40 miles away, walk the streets to gather young people, and then spend the afternoon playing soccer with them on the village field.
The small Baptist church doubled as housing for the JV team in the evening, so it was natural to invite the young people in and tell stories about God. Since there was nothing else to do in Marjamaa, the young people flocked to these athletic young men who were playing soccer with them and telling them about Jesus.
Indrek’s white van was always spotted as soon as it entered town and word would quickly spread that the “faith guy” had shown up. He needed that faith when news came of the decision from the Baptist central office. Believing that this fellowship still had a future, he pressed them to keep it open, arguing that the church was not just caring for two old ladies, but also reaching over 40 young people.
They asked him to help with a worship service, and now Indrek drives to Marjamaa every weekend, not only to lead the soccer ministry, but also to preach and lead a growing congregation. Fifteen of the young people have made professions of faith in Christ, and the Sunday morning service now looks like a youth meeting.
The two old ladies are thrilled.
Thanks for helping us share Jesus and love his bride in Central and Eastern Europe.