I grew up in a family where, for my parents, Christianity was part of culture. We had an icon in the corner of my father's childhood home in Setomaa. The baptism of children and confirmation were expected.

I saw the life of a believer in my hard-working, generous and sometimes strict grandmother who lived in the countryside. She went to the prayer house on Sundays, read Christian literature and, in the evenings, knelt for prayer in her room. She didn't tell her grandchildren about faith, but she probably prayed for us. Once, while staying with her, she offered each of us, her grandchildren, a chance to earn one rouble for memorizing a poem. The bargain seemed fair, for one rouble we could buy a few ice creams. I still know that "poem"; it was the Lord’s Prayer.

At the beginning of the 1990’s, evangelists appeared on the streets of Tallinn Old Town and I was intrigued that they were young and full of excitement. As a young adult, I had many questions about life and religion and tried to "put a picture together" based on the information that I could gather. I wanted to know, for example, what draws people to God and what Christians have that others don’t.

My understanding of the role of the Creator in each person’s life, and indeed in my own life, has developed over the years. It has been influenced by personal life experiences and by other people, but most of all, by God and His loving calling for every human being. I don't know exactly when that curiosity and seeking became faith in God. It is an ongoing process of growing close to God.

When I began my studies at the BMTS, several people immediately asked me who I wanted to be. I didn't have a good answer to that question, because I had no plans to "become someone". The main reason I came was the desire to study the Bible systematically guided by good teachers and to move on as a Christian taking bigger steps. But I am also aware that there are so many ministry needs to which to respond. My husband Herki is taking the same courses and we have the special privilege of going together through the joys and challenges of learning. We live with our two children in Tallinn and belong to the UMC Estonian Tallinn Congregation.

I have a degree in social work and have taken many further education courses while being involved in the quality development of social services. The last eight years I have been working in the area of mental health services. I would like to create a better understanding and practical connections between social services and church ministry.

I do not have time for hobbies at the moment, but I do like gardening, art and visiting cultural events. I have a pet cat. I admire people's special giftings, especially crafts and when possible, I like to do something with my own hands, be it a knitted vest, homemade jam, or a flowerbed in our summer house


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