Hi Stoneworks friends and family,
We are home to Estonia after enjoying the holiday season in America. ~ Camp Gideon’s season came to a close at the end of August. Elissa agreed to teaching again in September, so the search for a substitute teacher for the holidays began. She found a wonderful replacement so that we could take 2 months to be in America over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.
While stateside, we were able to visit many churches and friends who are partners in ministry with us, some who partner with Stoneworks and others who partner with Camp Gideon. We regularly visited a Russian speaking church in Dallas, Texas called River of Life. We’ve become friends with this congregation over the last five years and we are always welcomed in with love and encouragement.
We were able multiple times to visit a home-church in Houston, Texas. We raised a lot of interest in our upcoming Christian Sports Camp at Gideon. In December, we visited Mt. Bethel church in Marietta and visited with dear friends, and were blessed to be able to take in Godly wisdom and share with them about plans for Camp Gideon’s future.
Later, we spent a weekend with St. James church in Athens, Georgia where we were welcomed like family. We saw many friends of our and of Camp Gideon’s, and shared with many friends (old and new!) about God’s works that we are entrusted to do in Estonia. For Dima, these works include many responsibilities in our church (Jõhvi Methodist Church) and in Camp Gideon. For Elissa, these works include Camp Gideon, but also her budding ministry of working in schools with over 100 children in our town. It’s truly a labor of love.
Being home in Estonia has been busy since the landing gears went down! Elissa’s classes were so excited to have her home. This was definitely a humbling realization, and solidified the fact that this is a sweet place of ministry that God has placed her in and equipped her for. She will continue lessons through the end of May.
We will then begin preparing the grounds at Camp Gideon (just as soon as this snow melts…) and Dima will be serving next to our Pastor, Artur Põld.
In the meantime, please pray over the ministries within our church. Many changes have and are taking place. It is an exciting time, but also a challenging one. We pray that we, along with our friends who are also serving, will remain in God’s will and serve under His good grace. We ask your prayers for our church and for Camp Gideon.
Also, August will be our two-year wedding anniversary, so we are truly still newlyweds! As always, we pray and seek prayers for our marriage. We see the beautiful gift God has given us, and pray His blessings, protection and growth over it. May He use our marriage towards His good and perfect plans.
We love you all and we hope to see many of you with the coming of summer.
Blessings to each of you!
~Dmitri & Elissa Bahtin