Want to Know Why the BGEA is in Estonia?
May 28, 2009 - You may have seen a few other articles and wondered why the BGEA and Franklin Graham are visiting Estonia this week. Learn more after watching this video.
by Janet Chismar
"I am here for one purpose and that is to preach and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ," Franklin told regional reporters this morning.
Each evening from May 29-31, he will share a special message at Arena Saku Suurhall in the nation’s capital, the ancient city of Tallinn.
View photos from Tallinn »
"This is not my message," Franklin said at the press conference. "This is God's message for all people. ... It is not my father's Gospel. It is God's Gospel."
He went on to share his hope for the youth of Estonia: "I want them to know they can find meaning in God, that they can have a new life in Christ."
The need for the Gospel is great. Two sisters who are volunteering in the Festival office say that suicide, depression, and drug abuse are far too common among their peers. It's not only the long, gloomy winters that drag their hearts down, but lack of hope for a brighter future.
"In my generation," says 31-year-old Meiri Moltsaar, "materialism has replaced Communism, but there still is an emptiness. Only God can bring light to the darkness of Estonia."
As a counselor for this weekend's Lootuse Festival, Meiri prays she can share the hope of Jesus with someone who needs Him. Her own brother committed suicide two years ago while in prison. She is drawing on that heartbreak to change the lives of others.
Mart Oksa is another young man from Estonia who has a burden to reach people for Christ. In this video, he explains that it is every Christian's responsibility to make sure people have the opportunity to go to heaven and to invite others to the Festival.
Viktor Hamm, the Festival Director, says that although Christianity in Estonia dates back to the days of the Reformation, and the Bible was translated into Estonian in 1739, decades of Soviet atheism have worked to almost erase the God-consciousness of the nation.
Listen to a radio interview with Viktor Hamm »
"A new generation has come up that knows very little about God, very little about the Gospel, and very little about Christ," Hamm says. "And that certainly presents a tremendous challenge. Church attendance is less than one percent in this country, and with secularism being on the rise, this is the right time to hold the Festival of Hope."