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TARTU ACADEMY OF THEOLOGY

Fundraising Banquet in Estonia--Great Success

Siimon Haamer, dean of TAT

Fundraising banquet in Estonia May 11th, 2018. EEMN video greeting is presented on the screen.

Last fall I began making plans for a fundraising banquet in Estonia. It seemed to us that Estonians were ready to accept the same kind of fundraising format that is very popular in the US. Although many people were very suspicious about this plan, I was willing to take the risk.

I shared this vision with our American friends and they were willing to offer matching funds for this event. In the end, there were $17,150 USD for matching. It was a very good challenge for Estonians and very important to make this event successful.

I understood it is important to give a very clear and specific purpose for these donations. Because of that, we decided to raise the funds specifically for our pastoral care specialty activities.

On May 11th we had a great banquet evening in one of the medieval buildings in the old town of Tallinn. From the attached pictures you can hopefully get some feeling of the atmosphere there. We had 90 guests and really enjoyable 3 hours with good food, motivated people, wonderful piano music and great speakers. As this evening was concentrated on pastoral care work, my brother Naatan was a keynote speaker. I may say that he is a grand old man of pastoral care work in Estonia. We also presented an EEMN video greeting on the screen.

There were actually many more people who contacted me prior to the banquet and expressed their regret that their time was already booked. They still wanted to make a donation.

We raised a total of $25,600 USD. This means we exceeded the challenge and covered all match funds. The total income of the banquet was $42,750 USD!

I have received so much very, very positive feedback from the people who participated. They said it was professionally organized and conducted and they are waiting for the next banquet. 20 participants marked, on their feedback cards, that they are willing to call their friends and invite them to the next banquet. Soon I will set a date for the 2019 banquet. We will need to get a much bigger room.

Praise to the Lord this event was an absolute success. It may become an attitude breaking event in Estonia. Information on this type of fund raising will spread. The majority of the participants were business people, also politicians and representatives of various other professions. Many of them are not members of any church. This is very encouraging that people do care about our work and are willing to give support.

We will hold the next fundraising banquet in April or May of 2019 and we would be very thankful if we could again get match funds for this event.

We are very thankful to all donors of matching fund:

Bob & Patti Nordvall

Gen Olson

Gloria Erickson

Agu & Tiina Kaia Ets

Bethel Lutheran Church, Holdrege, NE

Ken Birst

Bill & Carolyn Quehl

Ken & Connie Geiger

 

Lord bless you for your love toward Estonia!

Siimon Haamer

Current Financial Situation

 

Income through the first five months of the year has been very encouraging. After a long period of time our running budget is balanced even though we now have our ambitious facility campaign. One main reason is the succesful fundraising banquet that we had in Estonia on May 11th. The money we raised will be distributed throughout the year and that’s why the full amount will not be presented in the accounting of our first five months. As of May 31st we had a $120 USD surplus.

Our sincere appeal is not for you to substitute current giving with funding for the facility project because our most important task is to continue our everyday work so that the new building can be put to good use in the future.

Thank you for your continued kind support, encouragement, and faithful prayers. May all of you be rewarded by God according to His mercy.

Quick financial update of TAT

Total budget for 2018.................................................$ 245,882

Income during Jan. 1st – May 31st 2018.................$   92,087

Budget for Jan. 1st – May 31st 2018.......................$   91,967

Balance on May 31st of 2018.................................$        120

The construction site as it is currently.

In front--a lot where the building which includes TAT rooms will be built, on the back next door--a building that looks like our future building.

Current Status of Facility Fundraising Campaign

 

On April 28th we launched the TAT Facility Capital Campaign at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Excelsior, MN. There was a great group of very dedicated people gathered. We experienced God’s provision during this event and we have been blessed by God’s guidance continually during the last month.

In two weeks we raised $77,708 USD. That was very encouraging and we decided to go on with this project because such an excellent start for a campaign was again proof of God’s provision.

Another proof is the of the owner of that development. When we started planning in March he offered to make architectural drawings of our rooms without any cost. After we announced to him May 15th that we will purchase this facility we have been in very active communication in considering all details of the project. Already today, construction details are being made according to our room plans, even though we have not signed any contract with the developer and we have not paid one cent down. He is just trusting our word. As far as we know, this is unusual in the business world. We have been honest with the owner in explaining to him that we do not have all of the money yet. Because of all these good signs, we are convinced that we will have the necessary amount when it’s needed. Now we have to prove that Christians really are reliable and they won’t back off from the given promises.

As of June 5th, we have raised $84,929 USD and we are still short $54,781 USD of the down payment that needs to be made by June 15th. We need your help in this most difficult phase of our campaign! The final result is still far away and seems like a dream but we hope that you are as convinced as we are that this is God’s plan and is meant to become reality. We just need God’s ambassadors to show up.

We are very thankful to all donors so far. This is a pretty big group of people and congregations. You may find them on our website www.tat.news/facility.html#donors.

You are welcome to find more information about our facility plans and capital campaign from our website

www.tat.news/facility.html.

 

If you are planning to donate or you have any questions, contact with Siimon Haamer siimon.haamer@teoloogia.ee, please.

 

You can make your tax deductible donation toward the purchase of our facility through

Charity Lutheran Church (Tax deductible)

120 Aspen Ave.

Bismarck, ND 58503

It is very important to mark the donation designation “TAT Facility” in the memo portion.

Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Bishop Joel Luhamets About Facility Project

 

The site, where Tartu Academy is planning to purchase rooms, is a remarkable development. In addition to the extraordinary architecture this will bring many new people into an area where there are different acitivities, restaurants, hostels, etc. An important landmark just across the street is St. Paul Lutheran Church which is newly renovated and has an active congregation. It would be hard to find a better place for a theological school that  incorporates different ministries to proclaim the Word of God. Ministries that will be situated in this well-developing area will become very visible to the public.

Planting new congregations is important but expanding a training center where pastors, workers for various church ministries, and lay leaders will be trained is even more future-focused action. In addition, this work is in harmony with Jesus’ Word: The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field (Luke 10:2).

Tartu Academy in this new development will be like a town built on a hill that cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14).

I pray God's blessing into this endeavor.

Facility plans for the Academy–Home of Hope

We pray revival for Estonia and we know God has His time. We hope that all the damage caused by Soviet occupation throughout 50 years will be cleared up one day. Sometimes people lose their hope and they need encouragement. They need to see God's work among us today. With a TAT facility we want to form an environment where people can see how God is working in so many different ways among us. Home of Hope would not be just a study facility but a collection of activities and organizations exploding the message of Jesus Christ to the people in Estonia and beyond.

 

We tell you our story. Our first attempt to get a home for the Academy started in 1994. We were planning to renovate one old building in the city centrum as we had some hope to receive funds for this. We even put a plaque on the house wall July 4th, 1995 with the words, Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain (Psalm 127:1). Hope was alive through several years, but we didn't get funds and we lost that perspective. The plaque stayed there for 17 years and people derided our trust in God, as the building decayed. During that same time, we investigated some other facility projects but they also didn't work out for us. 6 years ago, we gave up making any more plans and left our facility dreams to be guided only by God. The plaque with God's word was taken down from the building, by the realtor, as the house was renovated into a commercial apartment building. Now this plaque is in our office and is awaiting a new place where we can hang it because we know that God is building that house at the right time and in a mysterious way. And when the time is right He will guide us on that path. This is what we feel now: God is leading us and we just have to follow His guidance and take action.

The plaque on the wall with a text: Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Psalm 127:1. Consecration of the reconstruction of a study building of Tartu Academy of Theology, July 4th, 1995.

Current Financial Situation

 

First quarter of 2018 has not been bringing us out from a shortfall yet. As of April 10th we had a deficit of $12,000 USD. As we are starting now with a very serious task hoping to get funds for our facility project, we still hope very much that our regular income to cover our daily activities wont be decreasing. Our sincere appeal is not for you to substitute current giving with funding for the facility project because at the same time we have to continue our everyday work that building would be in a good use in the future.

 

Thank you for your continued kind support, encouragement, and faithful prayers. May all of you be rewarded by God according to His mercy.

Quick financial update of TAT

Total budget for 2018.................................................$ 245,882

Income during Jan. 1st – March 31st 2018..............$   54,474

Budget for Jan. 1st – March 31st 2018....................$   66,474

Balance on March 31st of 2018..............................$  -12,000

Why do we need a facility?

  • We often have more students attending lessons than our rooms can hold and we have to rent additional classrooms around the city.
  • The South region of Estonia needs a place that is a center for Christians and activities carried out by Christians, from different denominations.
  • Many pastors of churches, in about a 50-mile radius around Tartu, are living in Tartu and often ask whether they could use our rooms for meetings and some work related activities. This is because many of their church members are living or working also in Tartu. Our possibilities are currently limited, but with a facility that offers greater flexibility we could really be a place where people meet. This would be good soil for new ideas and real actions.
  • Currently our rooms are small and we do not have any ventilation. We also cannot open the windows because they would fall apart (see video of our current rooms https://youtu.be/S5FVfOvnyv4).
  • Rats die frequently somewhere inside of the walls and make some rooms unusable, for at least a month, because of the intolerable odor.
  • We do not have the funds to rent better and bigger rooms.
  • Having our own facility would give us better financial independence and sustainability.
  • At the moment we spend $16,000 USD annually for rooms but with the new facility we would earn $25,000 USD profit per year. The difference is $41,000 USD annually that we could use for our mission work!

We are not planning to build our own campus, because that is too expensive, but we are looking to buy the ground floor of a new commercial apartment building (see picture with a future view of the development). Construction is planned to begin this summer.

Video of our current rooms.

Following God's guidance we are presenting a vision for a TAT facility–Home of Hope

We have always been convinced that it’s not reasonable to buy something only with a purpose to have an office and classrooms. Because our studies are carried out in sessions and we only have classes approximately one week per month, we should also have other Christian organizations gathered into that facility that could serve, at the same time, as internship bases for our students. The vision is for us to have diverse, co-op usage of our rooms and also to have regular sources of income from the rooms we rent out.

Why Home of Hope?

  • We have hope that God will bring revival to Estonia.
  • We will be sharing hope through all of our activities in the facility.
  • We have had hope throughout 25 years to have our own home.
  • We had hoped for a different future during 50 years of Soviet occupation and so we know how to keep hope alive.
  • The Lord is our only hope in all circumstances and we proclaim that.

Organizations and activities planned for the TAT facility

  • Studio of Christian radio station Family Radio (www.europeanchristianradio.org), that is broadcasting all over Estonia and also thousands of miles into Russia in the Russian language. The radio station will lose their current rented rooms in about a year and they are in need for new rooms. They have worked already since 1994.
  • The home of the Estonian Church editorial office of the weekly newspaper. (The biggest Christian newspaper in Estonia and run by the Lutheran Church).
  • Pastoral care and counseling center (open for the public and run by our students, alumni, and professors).
  • Pop-up workplaces for pastors, professors, students, lay leaders etc.
  • A small Chapel.
  • A unique, modern and flexible training center in Tartu that gives us the opportunity to rent out our rooms and earn money for the Academy.

What we would get?

  • A 4811 sq ft facility on the ground floor of a condominium designed according to our room requirements.
  • 9 parking spaces in the underground parking lot.
  • Storage rooms in the basement.
  • Excellent location:
  • across the street from St. Paul Church (http://tartupauluse.ee/en) which is one of the biggest churches in Estonia
  • smaller parking lot next to the building and a big, free-of-charge city parking lot within 0,25 miles
  • central train and bus station 0,6 miles
  • city centrum 0,4 miles
  • two hostels 0,2 miles.
  • Unique environment with about 1500 people living in surrounding houses http://riiakvartal.ee/tutvustus

How much would it cost?

Entire ground floor - 4811 sq ft - including 9 parking spaces in the underground parking lot and storage rooms in the basement would cost $1,397,099 USD. It means $290 USD per 1 sq ft. Furnishing of rooms and modern technical equipment for classrooms costs approx. $150,000 USD.

 

Total price of the Home of Hope is

$1,547,099 USD

 

How do we plan to finance this facility project?

We have to be honest that we have only $100 USD that dean Siimon Haamer personally donated as seed money for this project. But we have hope and the conviction that now is the time God has planned and we believe that God will provide. We have seen many signs fitting together as puzzle pieces.

 

We have not entered into any contract with the builder yet. Developer has been kind and made initial design of our rooms without asking any money. A decision needs to be made by May 15th, 2018. After the decision is made to go ahead with the purchase, we would need to pay 10% in earnest money $139,710 USD by June 15, 2018. The remainder of the cost is required upon completion of the building May 31st, 2019.

 

To determine whether we are able to go ahead with this plan we are calling together a meeting on April 28th, 2018 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at a church near Minneapolis, Mount Calvary Lutheran Church (301 County Road 19, Excelsior MN). I’ll present our vision and a detailed plan for the facility. Everyone willing to join with us and help with this project is welcome to attend. Please let Siimon Haamer know, no later than April 25, if you plan to participate.

 

If you are not able to participate in this meeting you can still be part of the Home of Hope project in different ways:

  • Pray God’s blessing for our project.
  • Share information about our project and needs with your friends, congregation, and neighbor congregations.
  • Donate to the Home of Hope.

 

If you are planning to donate please contact TAT dean Siimon Haamer and let him know. Also, you are welcome to contact him with any questions and ideas:

email: siimon.haamer@teoloogia.ee

cell & FaceTime: +372 5159127

skype: siimon7

 

Our sincere appeal is not for you to substitute current giving with funding for the facility project. We are only able to commit to this new facility with special, additional funding that God makes available to us through you.

Site where building will be built.

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church tower is seen in the back.

The construction site as it is currently.

In front--a lot where the TAT facility will be built, on the back next door--a building that looks like our future building.

How will donors be remembered in the Home of Hope?

  • Any amount given up to $9,999 USD will be celebrated with your name on the wall of our facility’s main hall.
  • If our Home of Hope will be built, the plaque with God’s promise, that is central in our building story, will get an honorable place there and we will add another plaque below with those names of God’s ambassadors who want to give strong testimony that God’s Word is trustworthy, by donating to our facility purchase at least $10,000 USD.
  • By giving $50,000 USD you will receive additional recognition with your name on one of TAT’s three offices, the Family Radio office, the Pastoral Care and Counselling Center office or newspaper office.
  • By giving $60,000 USD you will receive additional recognition with your name listed as donor on our seminary-meeting room.
  • By giving $70,000 USD you will receive additional recognition with your name listed as donor for our smaller classroom.
  • By giving $80,000 USD you will receive additional recognition with your name listed as donor on our chapel.
  • By giving $150,000 USD you will receive additional recognition with your name listed as donor for our big classroom.
  • By giving $200,000 USD you will receive additional recognition with your name listed as donor for our main hall with reading room.
  • By giving at least $1,000,000 USD we will name our facility according to the donor name.

 

If you want to donate toward the purchase of our facility you can do this either through

 

East European Missions Network (Tax deductible)

8210 Louisiana Blvd., NE - Suite B

Albuquerque, NM 87113, USA

+1 (505) 994-3278

office(at)eemn.org

or

Charity Lutheran Church (Tax deductible)

120 Aspen Ave.

Bismarck, ND 58503

 

It is very important to mark the donation designation “TAT Facility” in the memo portion.

How will we run the Home of Hope in the future?

  • All Christian organizations in the building will pay rent to the Academy for their rooms and, additionally, proportionately for general rooms usage (kitchen, toilets, hall, chapel, seminary-meeting room). We will charge those organizations 50-70% of the market price.
  • Additionally, it’s realistic, at least one week per month, to rent out our classrooms for training and different activities.
  • According to this conservative business plan we are able to cover all regular costs and to earn $25,000 USD profit per year. Currently we spend $16,000 USD annually for our rooms. That means $41,000 USD profit per year compared to our current situation. This is all money that would be used for our mission work. That makes a very big difference!
  • To manage the whole building all owners will form a housing association to manage the building and deal with everyday tasks. Therefore, we don’t need to spend our time and energy answering daily management questions.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

JOIN WITH US AND HELP MAKE OUR FACILITY DREAM COME TRUE!

Following is additional information on our income resources and expenditures.

During the last years there has been a decreased proportion of US gifts in our budget and we hope and are attempting to keep that process moving.

Matching

 

We are very thankful for all of the TAT Match Fund donors who helped us to meet our financial needs during the last 3 years. The Match Fund commitments ended with the year 2017 and we could not have met our financial obligations without your assistance. You raised through the Match Fund approx. $40,000 in a year.

 

May 11th, 2018 will take place the first TAT and Seminary fundraising banquet in Estonia. Our goal is to raise at least $10,000 USD. We are looking for matching partners for this event to make it more successful and to encourage Estonian people to give. During the fall LCMC conference, Mount Calvary Lutheran hosted the first annual Friends of Estonia Summit, and many indicated enthusiasm for our upcoming event with several pledging support already.

 

If you would like to partner with us, please send your donation through the East European Missions Network or Charity Lutheran Church before April 15th, with the designation on the memo line  "TAT Fundraising Match".

Pastor Bob Nordvall

TAT representative in U.S.

National Field Coordinator of

East European Missions Network

 

cell: +1 701-391-0182

Skype: pastorbobnordvall

email: pastorbob(at)eemn.org

Pastor Siimon Haamer

Dean of Tartu Academy of Theology

 

 

cell: +372 515-9127

Skype: siimon7

email: siimon.haamer(at)teoloogia.ee