Estonia is one of the 3 “Baltic States” along with Latvia & Lithuania. Sitting in the northeast of Europe, alongside Russia and below Finland, Estonia has just over 1.3 million people. About 70% of the population is urban, and we will be in the capital and largest city--Tallinn. Tallinn contains two of the largest universities, totaling around 19,000 students, with students from Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, India, Kazakhstan, and more. Estonia received independence from the Soviet Union less than 30yrs ago (in 1991) and, despite past years of widespread oppression and national trauma, now has one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union--and one of the most digitally advanced countries in the world.
Religiously, Estonia was practicing paganism into the 1200s, then experienced Christianity in the harsh form of crusades, and then spent many years under the atheism of communism in the 1900s. Currently, Estonia is one of the least religious nations in the world, with only a small percentage believing that religion is relevant to everyday life. Despite these past influences, Agape (Cru’s European name) staff in Tartu Estonia are seeing interest in the Christian faith from current university students--both native Estonians and visiting international students--an interest in faith and a desire to connect with purpose-filled community. They are curious and want to explore spirituality. The Agape team is seeing so much interest that they have requested overseas campus groups to come to Estonia and connect with the interested students.
We plan to take a team of 8 students over to Estonia for 4 weeks this spring (May 19-June 12). We will spend a week learning from the Estonian Agape/Cru team in Tartu, and then travel to Tallinn for three weeks where we will be staying right at the heart of the university. There is currently no Agape student group at the universities in Tallinn, so we will be helping to pioneer and see if there are students who would want to launch a local Agape campus group.
Come join us, build your heart for the world, and be equipped to grow in your walk with God and your ability to share & live the gospel with another culture. Estonian university students often see religion as archaic (like the “Old Town” city buildings), so your stories of faith and how Jesus changed your life will be new & significant.
Come spend the summer in a city with rich Scandinavian influence on design & food, a country where access to wi-fi is declared a human right, and where you can walk amongst some of the most well-preserved medieval buildings along a beautiful sea coast. It will be a summer to remember!
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