Estonia is located in northern Europe, bordered by Latvia and Russia. In 1991, Estonia formally declared independence from the Soviet Union, and the last Russian troops left in 1994. Estonians are a people who are in need of the Good News. In a recent survey, Estonians were determined to be the most nonreligious people in the then 25-member European Union.
Since 1989, Asbury has been involved in Estonia, and has been sending VIM teams since 1994. Through the ministries of Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary, Camp Gideon, Agape Church, The Lighthouse Center and Generation 2 Youth Center, Asbury seeks to train ministry workers, serve at-risk children, provide Bible education and bring the kingdom of God to the people of Estonia.
Two of our pastoral friends in Estonia are enrolled in the International Beeson program at Asbury Seminary in Kentucky to attain a doctor of ministry degree. We also have a sister congregation, Agape Church in Parnu, the second largest city in Estonia. This church, established in 1921, is one of the five “survival” churches called Tuletorn Congregations.
Tuletorn is from the Estonian word for “lighthouse” because the lights were never turned out, even on the darkest night during the Soviet occupation. Both Agape and Asbury have been blessed by this partnership.