My parents weren't Christians but my father had an interest in church architecture and organ music. Due to this interest, when I was 3 years old, we went to Tartu St. Peter's Church.

A baptismal service was going on. It was a powerful experience, I felt the almighty presence of God. When I was 4 years old, I remember playing in a sandbox in our backyard and wondering, "What will happen to me when I die", "Will I live on as an earthworm in the ground?”

When I was a teenager, I experienced that although I had a family and everything I needed, there was no peace. Then, I remembered my experience in St. Peter's Church. I wrote to the local Lutheran pastor. The pastor replied that unfortunately the church had nothing to offer me, they had only 4-5 old people attending. That didn't stop me. I started going to church. Unfortunately, after the service, no one came to ask me if I wanted to give my life to God, if I understood what was said, or if I had any prayer requests. Two months later, while listening to the sermon in that church, I suddenly understood the altarpiece in the church, who is there on the cross and why.

At that moment I opened my heart to this message and experienced salvation. I knew my sins were forgiven. There is power in God's word! Romans 1:16 says it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes! It was such a sense of lightness and joy. I had found what my soul had been longing for.

A couple of weeks later, I was offered to teach Sunday School for about ten children. I felt that this was a call came from heaven. I didn't have a Bible, and I didn't even know anything yet, but I was given a blue book that had Bible stories for children, and so I began to learn and grow with the children. When Estonia regained its independence, more young people came to the church, children's ministry took off, and in 1991 we had 300 children in Sunday School. I led three children's classes every Friday, one with 40 children at a time. Those were wonderful times.

Once, when visiting Tartu, I went to see my childhood home and St. Peter’s Church. My aunt told me that when my deeply religious Ingerian great-grandmother Eva, was about to be deported to Siberia, she and her 5 children were miraculously able to get off the train and stay in Estonia. Her home church had been Tartu St. Peter’s Church. She had been very sad that none of her children believed. My great-grandmother died a few years before I was born. I believe in the power of intercession and I know it was no coincidence that it was in this church that I first experienced God's power and greatness. I still thank God that He called and saved me and that I could dedicate my life to Him and that I can love Him!


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