Historic Moment for Estonian Churches
A new era of looking outward
May 29, 2009 - “The main story of this Festival is the unity of the Church,” says Viktor Hamm. “Before we came, the Church was theoretically together, but they never worked together on projects. So this has been an exception."
by Janet Chismar
As Festival Director, Hamm has seen “a new wave of interest” in evangelism. Church attendance currently is low and “enthusiasm in the area of evangelism”also was low.
“We decided we’ll pray to the Lord,” says Hamm, “to help us somehow involve at least 10 percent of all Christians attending churches throughout the country in the Christian Life & Witness Courses, in mobilization, in prayer, and in Operation Andrew.”
Hamm says that the Lord has honored those efforts and the prayers. “We have reached goals way beyond that. In fact, a number of pastors, unsolicited, have told me that the preparations have worked so well that even if the Festival would not take place, all has been worth it.”
According to Hamm, the sense of anticipation is obvious in the churches. “In fact, what we have done is to mobilize the entire country. In the city of Tallinn, in the entire city of Tallinn, there are 40 Christian churches – that’s all: 28 Estonian, 12 Russian speaking.”
In the entire country of Estonia, there are 348 churches that are involved in the Festival. “That’s all there is,” says Hamm. “An average church in Estonia attendance-wise is 34 people. So an effort has been made to involve all the churches in the country in the Festival.”
“We have about 15,000 people who have booked seats already for the upcoming Festival," he adds. "This is history.
"In terms of the United States or other large countries, you know, these numbers might not be too big, but for this country, this is history.”