Submitting Form...

ERROR

Form received

TARTU ACADEMY OF THEOLOGY

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, 2015 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, 2015.

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".

2017 annual budget of TAT $ 219,294 USD

$ 163,225 USD

pledged

$ 56,069 USD to go

TAT financial update on November 30th, 2017

GIVE

Are We Confessing Our Membership in God’s Kingdom?

Pastor Siimon Haamer, dean

I forgot to report on our fall admissions in the September newsletter. We are again thankful to God. This year, 28 new students started their studies: 18 Bachelor, 7 Master and 3 Church Musician students.

 

In the beginning of October I again had a chance to visit the US for two special reasons: on the evening of October 9th we had the first Friends of Estonia Summit at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Excelsior MN, and the next day I was one of the keynote panel speakers at the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) Annual Gathering in Minneapolis.

 

Since the Gathering was celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, presentation topics concerned Lutheran theology. My panel discussion was on Two Kingdoms. It was a great privilege to share with the audience my thoughts and personal experience about the topic based on the Estonian context. During the 2nd half of the 20th century we had Soviet occupation. The authorities tried to do everything to wipe out Christianity from Estonia, but Christians just couldn’t be loyal to their civil leaders. To keep our faith and to be loyal to God’s Kingdom we were

Panel speakers at the LCMC Annual Gathering, October 10th of 2017.

From left: Ken Jones, Siimon Haamer, John Kline, Peri Rasolondraibe.

forced to be in opposition. Pastors were permitted to preach only inside of church buildings. Public media and all other channels were blocked for them. Because of the persecution people were afraid to go to the churches. Basically, this means two generations have been without the Word of God. Today we experience the results of that. The Estonian Lutheran Church membership, which was around 90% of our population in 1937, is only 2,2% today. I hope that churches in the US and other Western countries value their privilege of sharing freely the Word of God and representing Christian values in public. Sometimes it may seem easier not to be dealing with all the hassle that public communication brings, and we need to consider if we aren’t voluntarily doing the same thing Estonian Christians were forced to accept and do during Soviet occupation.

 

The Friends of Estonia Summit was a success. We had about 60 participants and hopefully it was some kind of energizer for all of us. We are most thankful for our hosts from Mount Calvary Lutheran Church and their great gift of hospitality in preparing a room and meal for everyone. The Summit was recorded and this video is available on Youtube at the following link https://youtu.be/FA331GbHkP8. This is an excellent resource for getting to know us better.

 

Our plan is to organize a second Friends of Estonia Summit in Des Moines (US, Iowa) on October 8th or 9th, 2018. The date will be finalised after the program of the LCMC Gathering in 2018 is made available.

 

God is good all the time!

Finances

 

This Autumn we have a great deficit again. We need $56,039 USD to meet our annual budget needs for 2017. At the same time, we are of course very happy and grateful for God's blessing. We have so many good friends who share in the importance of our mission.

 

If you are able, please consider sending an extra gift of support to Tartu Academy of Theology before December 31, 2017. There are several options for making a donation. To find them go to To Donate subpage. Different project funding options are available on Projects subpage.

 

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

Volli Nugis with his family.

Student Voices: Volli

 

 

I have been involved with church since 1992 when I was baptized after catechesis and I became a member of the church. For a long time, I was the coordinator of the ALPHA course and a board member in my church. Due to changes in my life I became a member of Nõmme Rahu Congregation of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tallinn, the capital city. It was there that I decided to study theology as I saw my calling to serve the Lutheran church in becoming a clergyman.

 

Today I have acquired a Bachelor degree from the Lutheran Church Seminary and I continue my studies in the Master’s program as it is a precondition to becoming a pastor. During my studies I intend to focus on exploring faith as a concept and passing this knowledge on to the members of my congregation as well as fellow students and, if possible, even beyond. In my opinion Christian faith cannot be a theoretical affirmation of uncertainty, it has to be the appreciation of something that exceeds the ordinary. I have touched upon this topic in my

Bachelor’s thesis: “Faith above faith. The concept of faith in the texts of Søren Kierkegaard and Paul Tillich”, and I am deeply interested in continuing my work on this matter. Relationship between a man and a God is dependent on faith, the importance which is impossible to overestimate.

 

I believe that in our society, which is constantly drifting away from its roots, it is extremely important to study, understand and explain the essence of Christianity. Faith is, after all, one of the main foundations of being Christian and therefore I intend to study, understand and pass on the basic knowledge of theology.

 

My dream is to be a pastor in some small church in South-Estonia or if things go differently – part-time vicar in a bigger church in the city. More than a few of my friends have assured me that one day I will make a very good clergyman and even my lecturer stated that my spiritual talent should be used for the benefit of ecclesiastical work because: “the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few“ Lk 10:2.

The Friends of Estonia Summit in Excelsior, MN, October 9, 2017.

Summit–Result of a Good Partnership

Linda Saveraid

Member of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church Foundation board

 

Over the past several years Mount Calvary Lutheran Church Foundation from Excelsior, Minnesota, has presented grants to the Tartu Academy of Theology in Estonia.  We are excited about the work the Academy is doing and the progress it has made since our first hearing of it.

 

Siimon Haamer visited Minneapolis last May and stopped by for a brief visit to update us on what is happening. Financial struggles continue to plague the mission and after a conversation we discussed having a first ever Summit of churches in the United States who lend support to Estonia. We agreed to provide the space in Minneapolis at our church and to arrange for a meal for participants. About 60 people attended and a second summit is planned for next year.

Mount Calvary is a church community devoted to proclaiming the power of the Spirit and reveling in the love of Christ. Our mission is to make, build up and send faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. We welcome with open arms all those who seek to realize the eternal truths of God’s story. As a foundation board we know how important the work is in Estonia and we’re happy to support such a worthy project. Participants from several states were present to hear about the work being done. In the past we have provided monies for scholarships and a special children’s book project. Both were very successful.

 

Our church was delighted to host this summit. Expanding the network of people who want to support and help TAT is important work. We look forward to next year.

Christmas Greetings

Pastor Eenok Haamer, president

 

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:18

 

My heart rejoices about all good things that God has done and will do for us every day. Especially before Christmas we want to notice and recognize all the good that He has done.

 

Our treasure is Jesus Christ. Without Him we can’t understand all of God’s mercies. Jesus is teaching us to see other people around us. He is opening our eyes to see outwards beyond of our home and loved ones. Today I’m reminding you of what you have done. You are looking beyond the border of your country and are noticing one small country and nation, Estonia.

 

I pray that God’s rich blessing would fill your hearts every day in your life and especially during the coming Christmas time.

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