Thursday, March 27, 2008

Confessions of a pastor

This Sunday we will start a new series in Risttee church called "Confessions of a pastor". Throughout 4 weeks I will be talking about the areas in my life where I am struggeling the most. There are of course more than 4 confessions that i could make but after choosing among them here are the ones that we will talk about:
- I can't stand of lot of Christians
- I have to fight hard to keep sexually pure
- I am a slave to time
- I worry all the time

On one hand i really look forward to these weeks cause i know that God wants to use these weeks to deal with a lot of stuff in our church. On the other hand i feel scared, cause being open like that wont be easy for me. I have never been good at showing my emotions, specially communicating them.

You can pray for me that God would give me the right words and courage to be open. And that the horizontal confessions (between me and the people) would turn into vertical confessions between God and everyone.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Fried brain

I don't know if you have ever felt that your brain is so full of information, that it can not take any more. ALl the places that we have visited and things that i have heard have pushed me into this limit and now things are starting to mix up in my head.
Today was a great day that we spent around the Sea of Galilea - the center of Jesus' ministry on earth. While I am still processing everything in my head, i will share with you a picture of my friend from South Africa. Watching him dancing and singing makes me feel sad that i dont have any black peoples blood in me!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


In Jerusalem you can see almost on every step the conflicts between Christianity jewish and muslim religions. That has been going on for centuries. One visible element of that is the fate of different building through centuries when they have switched sides. It is not uncommon for a church to become a mosque and then a church and then a mosque.

Golden gate is in the middle of the wall. Around and below that you can see the cemetary
One specially sneaky thing that the arabs have done is visible if you look from the Mountain of olives to the temple mount. There is a big sealed gate leading to the old city. It is called the Golden Gate. According to the jewish tradition (based on some bible texts) that is the gate from which Messiah will enter the city of Jerusalem. To prevent that from happening the muslims have sealed the gate and created a muslim graveyard in front of that gate. And of course no jew will step into the muslim cemetary. You can call that preventive strategy. Or cheap play.

Looking for my master to return as the King of Kings,

Life-changing contrast

It hit me yesterday, looking up to the huge and massive archways of the Holy Sepulture church - the huge power of religion.
What has been done in the name of it. How many lives have been impacted for better or worse through out thousands of years. Were they jewish, muslim or christian. Intimidating and saddening.

The power of religion from one hand - and the Message and Way of Christ on the other hand. I wonder what would Jesus feel and do if he would come to nowadays Jerusalem. What would he feel and do if he would come to our church. If he would come to me?

Yeah, i cant forget the contrast between religion and the person and work of Jesus...

Holy Sepulture church - possible location where Jesus died (catholic and orthodox tradion)

Jews celebrating bar-mitzvahs by the western wall

Group of israeli soldiers (they are so young) in a bible-study group in the old city

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Israeli driving

I guess driving can be tricky even in the Holy Land.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


The western wall. The golden dome is moslem temple called The Rock, locted in the Holy of holies of the jewish temple.

Travelling in the beduine way

Surnumere mudamees

Discipleship in action

THis is where David was running from king Saul

Beduine hospitality

In the wilderness

Why was the Son of God, Jesus, led to the wilderness by the Holy Spirit right after he was baptized? I dont know. But we returned from the Judean desert where Jesus was tempted.
80% of the world's deserts are not sandy but rocky. And Judean desert is one of the rocky ones. Kilometres after kilometres hilly slopes and only yellow-white-brown stones everywhere. If you are not careful you can fall and cut yourself pretty bad.

I have to say that the Israel that we have seen so far is not like a well kept, nice and neat western country. It is strange to think that countries and nations have been fighting over this small and barren (50% is desert) land for thousands of years. I guess that is what can happen when God chooses a piece of land and declares it His own.

Conference is starting in half an hour so i'll get going. I will update the pictures in the evening.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Palestinians in the sauna

And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

I am sitting in a nearby cafe shop with wireless internt to write the last couple of words before heading to bed.
Today people are still just flying in and so it was a free day to do whatever you wanted. We spent couple of hours in the center of the city, wandering around without any purpose and direction.
On thing that is really confusing for me is to figure out what religion or nationality are the native people that i meet on the streets - arabs, jews, orthodox greek or armenian. The only easy target to spot is american church tourist. And there are a lot of them.

I have a new head cover

Are thes jewish or palestinian guys - im not sure.

I just had one of the most memorable sauna experiences. After delicious dinner i decided to test out the spa in the hotel. I met 4 palestinian guys in the turkish sauna. They were middle aged and very hairy. They didnt speak a lot of english and i spoke none of the arab. But we had fun communicatin. After explaing me all their names (Suz means horse in hebrew and rabbit in arab for example) they rubbed eachother with sope and started massaging each other. After that we headed to the hot tub. It was a small hot tub and there were 5 of us. I also understood that you can not be a true arab if you dont have 12 kids. And then they talked about their different lives, but i could not figure out what they meant by that.
Tomorrow we have to get up at 6am. So time to walk through the warm and dark night back to the hotel.


After a smooth day of travelling we made it to our hotel at 4:20am. We were the first ones to arrive from the whole 200 people that will be here for the GYI summit the next 11 days. It was great to finally get some sleep in nice beds. We had a great time in the plane with Märt (director of Going UP and my brother) and Mihkel (director of Freedom youth movement) talking for hours about ministry in Estonia.
In Schiphol airport: Mihkel meditating in the meditation room (while the arabs were praying towards meka in the background)

View from my window
I have to say that although outside the hotel looks very fancy, inside it is in a typical mediterranian style, where everything is not in very tidy and fixed up. But thats the south.

The conference will start this evening and before that we had couple of hours to swing by the center of Jerusalem. It is hot and sunny - just like the middle of summer in Estonia (sometimes). Quite a differece from the snowy Estonia :)

I am really looking forward to the next days, as we will be following Jesus' footsteps in this holy land and city. Jesus on location - that is the theme for the days. My prayer is that the person and work of Jesus would become more real to me.

PS In the hotel internet access is so costly (230EEK per day) that i have to figure out some other ways to be connected every once in a while.