During the holidays this year, we traveled to Yamal (Salekhard, Russia) to participate in a children’s camp. We traveled with a team of friends from Tallinn and Finland. Our team kicked off the trip by hosting a New Year’s eve party at the church we were serving with. The following week, we were able to host a fun camp for about 40 children. Part of our team also lived in the tundra for the week, serving there and delivering Christmas gifts to children. To complete the trip, we helped the church to host a Christmas party (on Orthodox Christmas day) for the children who participated in camp and their parents. This was an exhilarating and adventurous trip. The children were awesome and quick to open their hearts. Dima can’t wait to go again! Elissa will follow her husband where he leads, but she prefers a warmer climate (; as Estonian winters are extreme enough for her Texas-self!
Many changes have taken place in the last few months since 2020 rang in. First, we will start with our work. For two years, Elissa worked as the Head English teacher for Macte Language School. This school was owned by a local Estonian woman. This year, she decided to focus only on her Estonian language courses and sold the English school to… US! So, we started acting as Director and Head Teacher of Macte English School in January, and it has been going very well. Dima is keeping busy with the finances and accounting, and parent emails, while Elissa is continuing as Head Teacher.
On this note, we ARE seeking to hire a teacher (Native English Speaker) for next year, if y’all know of someone who would be interested in teaching abroad, please have them contact us at [email protected] Elissa will be making changes to her availability in the classroom next year and we really need a second person. Which brings us to our next bit of news…
Our FAMILY is going through some changes as well, as we are expecting our first little one at the end of the summer!!! Baby Bahtin is due in late August! We don’t know yet if we’re having a boy or a girl, but keep an eye on our Facebook accounts over the next few weeks and we will post when we know! That being said, we unfortunately will not be able to travel to Ukraine for the summer conference… we are SO SO SO sad about this. Elissa’s travel will be restricted by then, and Dima doesn’t want to risk missing the action if Baby Bahtin decides to arrive early!
We WILL be visiting Texas from 20 May – 17 June for any of you in the states! *Cough Cough, Larry*! (: We’d love to spend the summer seeing as many of you as possible. Truly sad to be missing the conference, but thankful that our ministry brings so many of us together throughout the summer.
Speaking of Camp Gideon… some awesome blessings going on there, as well! Director and Pastor Artur Pold has asked us to continue as his Camp Coordinators. So anyone who CAN, please come visit us this summer at Christian Camp Gideon. We will be there mid June until the end of August or whenever Baby makes it’s debut. There will be a full summer of activities for various ages.
- 1 Rescue Camp (hosted by the Estonian fire and rescue dept.) June 15-19
- English Camp (hosted by St. James Church Georgia & Price Ave. School) June 22-26 *PLEASE join us in praying over this team. The school has talked of restricting international travel due to concerns over the corona virus. We pray that they will quickly resolve this, and allow the team to travel to Estonia as planned- and that God’s hand will be on the team. No illness in Jesus’ name!*
- G2 Youth Camp (hosted by Tallinn Methodist Church) June 28- July 4
- G2 Middle School Camp (hosted by Tallinn Methodist Church) July 5-11
- G2 Children’s Camp (hosted by Tallinn Methodist Church) July 12-18
- 2nd Annual Christian Sports Camp (hosted by Camp Gideon team!) July 20-24. *PLEASE also be praying about this camp week. God did some awesome miracles bringing this team together to serve. We will have a team consisting of Floor Ball coaches from Ukraine, some of their youth/team players, a group of about 8 adults from Mt. Bethel Church in Georgia, USA who will be doing crafts and story time, and a group of 20+ youth from Brazil who will be covering the sports stations. We are so excited about this!*
- Estonian Methodist Church Conference: August 3-9
- Construction crew from Tennessee: August 10-21
Thank you for taking time to read our lengthy update. We are amazed by the amount of news and changes in our lives since just the new year! Please be praying for us and if anyone plans to be in Estonia in the spring, let us know!