The day that our Estonian Football (soccer) camp ended, we moved our lodgings from the classroom floor to a bed and breakfast in Tallinn and we got the afternoon off. We were D-U-N, done and went to bed early.
The next day was our big day for camp afterparties. Since our camp was a combination camp of 2 different football teams, we had 2 different after parties in the towns where the teams normally practice. Both afterparties consisted of a football game, everyone getting a chance to do penalty kicks against Casey (he killed it as a goalie at the tournament during camp week so everyone wanted to get another try), and a gathering with the footballers and the church members from the church the team is linked to.
The first was in Märjamaa. We arrived at the football pitch early so our team had a bit of fun in the playground next to the field. It was a gymnast’s paradise. Good thing our interns are all about gymnastics and death-defying feats (not pictured here…the death-defying part).
When everyone arrived, the football began (present were kids from camp and members that normally attend practices and games in Märjamaa, but were not able to go to camp).
Then the penalty kick competition…
Like father, like sons…
A few years ago at a Christian conference that Indrek (our Estonian friend that organized and led our football camp) and his wife Regina were attending, they were asked to start helping a church in Märjamaa that was struggling to survive. That was this church. They meet in an apartment in a residential apartment building in Märjamaa and have a total of 3 members attending on Sundays. Because of the football club supported by this church and coached by Indrek, on Saturdays, they have a weekly attendance of 30 young people. Praise God!
These three church members, with the help of some others, made open-faced sandwiches, cakes and brought some other snacks to welcome us and the footballers from camp. When it was time to leave, one of the church members used the few English words that she knew, “God bless you! I love you!” and hugged each of us individually. What great words to learn in a foreign tongue!
Please join us in praying for the Märjamaa church, the footballers that came to camp, and the regulars that were not able to got to camp to get plugged into and grow in this very small church community.