More photos from the Marjamaa/Turi camp in Estonia

I (Kristin) am a beginner photographer but I think that I learned a lot this week. Lesson number one: People with soccer balls not only do not stay still, when they move, they move really fast. I think that I took over 700 pictures and only a handful are great. I have always loved documenting memories but I love to be able to serve our team in this way. What a blessing from God to find a way to serve that I love!

Some of these pictures are at camp (we slept on the floor of a school in classrooms, ate food made by the “lunch lady”, used gym showers, and used the school field…we loved it) and some are at a nearby school where Kuldar (JV Edge Sports Estonia leader) arranged for 4 teams to compete in a tournament and I had the pleasure of photographing that event.

How do you sleep with no window coverings and the sun does not go down until after 10:30?

Light outside at 10:30pm

We all ate dinner at the school where the football tournament was held. Just imagine the stench of 4 soccer teams’ shoes in one small space after several matches. No. Actually you can’t. There are no words.

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JV Edge football camp with young men from Märjamaa and Türi, Estonia

We had the fortunate circumstance that our soccer camp started on Sunday afternoon so we were able to go to our friend Indrek’s church in Tallinn (the local church that has adopted the Märjamaa football team) and they prayed for us! An evangelistic camp focused on reaching local footballers is a great thing to pray for!

Once church concluded, we ate lunch and headed out-of-town to the school (approx. an hour outside of Tallinn) where we would spend the next 4 nights training footballers about football and teaching them about Jesus!

Casey, below, starting the Sunday afternoon training.


Not including our Interns and the Estonian leaders, 13 young men showed up ready to go. What you see above is pretty much what every morning and afternoon looked like but with more blisters, bruises, swollen everything, and strawberries as the week progressed.

Most JV camps just have one talk in the evening that introduce the idea of a relationship with Jesus Christ, and progress during the week and not only get deeper, they tend to ask the question…what about you? Now that you know these things, what will YOU do?

Since a football camp is bound to be full of a bunch of move-ish young men that have ADHD or similar symptoms, the JV Estonia team decided to cut the talks into two parts. There was one talk each day right after breakfast (followed by small group time to discuss what they learned and thought) and one right after dinner (also followed by a small group discussion). Something that I thought was pretty creative was that instead of calling the talks “meeting”, on the schedule there were 2 “coach’s room” times a day. How appropriate.

At the first “Coach’s room”, Indrek introduced the interns and had them help him to distribute football jerseys.IMG_0920IMG_0921There were two different teams from the JV football league that came to our camp (Marjamaa and Turi). The Märjamaa team had blue jerseys and the Türi team had black jerseys.IMG_0927Below: the Märjamaa team (plus all of our interns and their coach)….and not all of the team came to camp so their team does not really have only 4 members.IMG_0997Below: The Türi teamIMG_0994Everyone together.IMG_1000In a separate blog post, I will include some of my favorite pictures from the week.

Below: Nick sharing during Coach’s roomIMG_1736Chris sharingIMG_1489Casey sharingIMG_0958Logan (tank top) sharing after a tournament that our camp had with another football camp in Estonia. Ranno is translating. I have written about Ranno in a few previous posts about Estonia.Adel sharing (she came to be the camp medic, help Casey with logistics, and help me with the boys and Haley while Casey was out training the guys all day…I am so thankful for her help). She has a very interesting and miraculous testimony. A lot of the guys resonated with what she had to say. She is Czech (also a very atheistic country) and went to Christian camps and events for many years before choosing to follow Christ.IMG_1475The last night and morning, we did praise and worship (in English to my surprise).IMG_1752Something very interesting about very atheistic countries like Czech and Estonia is that more people have open minds and can hear the good news without contempt, mockery, and heavy disbelief, like so many other people do. However, once a person decides that they believe what Jesus did, choosing to admit that they are sinners and asking Christ to lead their lives, and be their savior, is a much more gradual process.

This week, many of the young men at camp admitted that they do believe that Jesus died on the cross for their sins, to reconcile them to God, but they are reluctant and fearful of having a relationship with Jesus and devoting their lives to him. One boy did say that he used to the follow the Lord, fell away, and through the discussions and teaching at camp, he has decided to turn around and walk towards the Lord again. Praise God!

Please join us in praying for these precious young men. Please pray for the Lord to soften their hearts and speak to them in a personal way. Please ask the Lord to take away their fear so that they can walk towards Him with courage and hope, not fear of the unknown. Please also pray that they would not forget what they have learned as they go back to their daily lives. Hoping and praying….

The lovely thing about Edge Sports is that this is not it. These guys will be meeting together in the future for many practices, trainings, and tournaments. Our Estonian missionaries and churches already have programs and events in place to continue these relationships. So much to praise God for!


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While Casey and the interns were at training in Tallinn…

My boys do not do sitting still very well. As a result, on all of our ministry travels with our boys, we are “forced” to be outside and take long walks to discover our surroundings while Dad goes to meetings. Fortunately, those surroundings this time were Tallinn, Estonia. 

When I am told that Tallinn is the best preserved Medieval city in Northern Europe, I have no problem believing it.

Since the weather was pretty cold and windy/sprinkly/rainy, we had our dog, and the kids did not want to go far, we did not go to the town center. Hopefully we will get a chance before leaving Estonia and I can post some pictures then.


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Training for Estonian football camp

There are 2 types of missionaries that serve at Josiah Venture’s summer camps. There are interns (individuals that form a team once they are in country and stay all summer or even longer, in some cases) and short-term teams (usually a team from a North American or British church that helps lead at a week-long camp). 

We are a bit unique in that our intern team is serving all summer but we are not serving in just one country. As a result, we went to short-term team training for teams serving at Estonian camps.Above: A meeting for the leaders of Estonian football camps (including missionaries leading). The man holding the computer below is our JV Estonia leader for Edge Sports (Kuldar).Below is JV Estonia’s country leader, Vahur, teaching all the teams. Some of the topics covered were Estonian culture, how to share one’s testimony, and understanding where a person is at spiritually. And although those stacked chairs look like just an obstruction to my view, he was actually using them as a podium as there was none. Creative!The map above shows where all of the Estonian camps will be this summer. Below is a better view.Above is a picture of all of the full time Josiah Venture missionaries in Estonia. Below you can see all of the teams that are serving in Estonia to run English, Fusion (rock choir), and   Edge camps.Our guys said that their favorite part was the presentation on culture. Such interesting people, these Estonians!!!

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The drive to Estonia

On Wednesday, we picked the kids up early from school and hit the road. 

It was about a 16 hour journey through Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia to get to Estonia.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us. Besides the massive storm yhat pretty much followed us all the way through Poland (super hard rain, puddles in the roads, lightning and thunder), we had a nicely uneventful trip.

The sunrise that started at 4:15am in Lithuania was magical.

While on the road, Casey got interviewed over the phone by our Estonian friend Indrek on an Estonian radio station about our trip to Estonia to run an evangelistic Estonian soccer camp.

And then, of course, we needed to make a stop in Latvia when the road we were traveling on was only about 200 yards from the sea (below).

And then Casey had to catch a fish with his hand…

Above: Everyone looking at Casey’s catch. 

Well, with his beard, Casey was told he resembled Chuck Norris!

Aside: No small fish were killed in the writting of this blog post.

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A few weeks “off”

While our interns (Logan, Chris, and Nick) had a few weeks to kill while Casey was away for his UEFA B1 course in N. Ireland and the following week before heading to Estonia, our interns were kept pretty busy…

They helped Landen with Warrior Training in our garage several nights. They also went to local highschools and promoted both the JV English camp that our local church will be running this summer as well as Summer Warrior Training.

When Casey returned, he started training our guys for what would be ahead at camp in Estonia. Drills, drills, drills.

Below, our guys helped our local youth group put on a mini amazing race at a local park.

Jenny (Landen’s wife) leading the scripture memorizing challenge.Nick (tank top) running the fitness challenge (Yes, those are squats).The guys taking a break (Casey, Nick, and Beni in tank tops).The food challenge that Logan ran (blue and red jersey)Chocolate covered banana, onion, egg, and pickle. Not the tastiest but I can imagine much worse things to eat.

Chris ran the Sudoku challenge but I managed to not photograph that one.

They also helped us fill a dumpster with loads of stuff we have been wanting to get rid of for a while. Our backyard had a washing machine, an old boiler, and mattress box springs in it. Total redneck status. Those things and a bunch of other stuff…gone, gone, gone!

They also helped with yardwork.

So, that’s what their two weeks “off” consisted of. Let’s just say that they slept well at night.

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Kids’ Day

Every year in June, Czech celebrates kids’ day and they have a bunch of rides, candy, and kid fun prepared for the littles in the Český Těšín town square. This year, we managed to miss it and the boys were bummed.

Much to my surprise, Chotebuz does their own version a few weeks later and we got our own special invitation to the free event from our bitty village town hall. The invitation even came complete with 2 free tickets for our kids to present on the day of the event to redeem for a gift.

Too bad it was cold and raining the entire time!

Indoor entertainment with games and dancing with a big tall dude dressed as some kind of undersea creature. It always amuses me what music they will play for kids at events like this. One of their songs was about being sexy (2 year olds to about 10 year olds, guys!). Usually it’s because the song sounds nice but the person that chose the song does not understand the lyrics and at other times, despite the lyrics, the song is used. I live in a different world :).Free gift for each child present (large flavored water and loads of sweet treats inside)Beni (olive green rain coat) cruising with friends on a merry go round.My boys went straight to this ride when we arrived and rode it 4 times in a row in the rain! The whole event was free and few people were waiting to get on so why not? Later, when Beni’s friends arrived, he would hop from seat to seat between rides so he could sit next to each friend! Mr. Social in heaven.

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