Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can't use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone. 

/ Maya Angelou

And thus ends this month.


Tuesday's Tune

Today I want to share Ruthie Foster's song with you - it's called Love In The Middle. It's a simple song, and yet a song full of good advice. My favourite line & advice she gives is 'keep love in the middle of everything you do'. The more I learn to know life and people, the more I understand how very important it is to have love in the centre of your life. You can easily spot people who follow this advice. And well, you can just as easily spot people who don't...

I guess that's the end of the Black History Month for this year. Time to get ready for Movember now! :)


As soon as I watch through the camera lense, it's the tiniest details that fascinate me the most. Big things are static and, well, big. But little things become alive as soon as I try to capture them. And they have a soul. So I walk on campus and try to catch those little things, things that for me carry the essence of this beautiful place called Newbold.

View from Moor Close window.

The lamp that often used to be a guest prop at the Experience.


Moor Close curtain.

Flowers that waited for me on my arrival two weeks ago.

A glimpse of the garden.

Moor Close wall.


I went to The Experience last night and fell into the deep pit of melancholy. I sat there in the middle of people I don't know anything about and who know nothing about me, and a part of me felt a need to shout out and to let them know that The Experience used to be my baby, that it was my ministry and my cross to carry and one of the brightest Newbold memories that is still very dear to my heart. And it's not only about me, there was someone else there yesterday who used to lead The Experience even longer than I did. How come these people don't know anything about it, was my initial thought. How come? Is there anything left of what we used to be and do? Or is it really all gone?

I went out and sat on a bench after the program had ended and looked up to the skies and asked these question all over again. I didn't get a revelation or anything, no burning letters across the starry sky, but there was still this quiet voice somewhere inside that told me, No, none of what you did, none of your passion and time you gave, none of it is gone. It may not be visible any longer, and the people whom you used to meet and who kept coming to The Experience week after week may be far away, but none of it is lost. And I was reminded again that in the heart of Jesus' Kingdom movement is something mystical, something that may seem as tiny as a mustard seed or as invisible as yeast, something that is very easy to miss and overlook, but something that at the same time is real and powerful and lasting, something that Jesus never ever ovelooks.

So it's fine. I don't need these kids to know what we used to do a year or two years ago, I just need to know there's someone who takes The Experience to be their burden and cross now, and who keeps kneading the dough with the Kingdom yeast as passionately as I did, as passionately as my friends did. And who may come visit Newbold in three years time when nobody knows them, sit at the back of the Student Centre, see new people leading The Experience, and have peace in their heart and smile on their face. Yes.


Tuesday's Tune

I went to John Mayer's concert the other day. I'm still well under its spell (although my sense of hearing has somewhat recovered). I had never seen anything like this, had never been to a proper pop concert. I mean, I've seen 100 000 people singing at the song festival in Estonia but I had never seen such a crowd indoors. 18 000 people, they said. Madness. There were things about it that I liked and some that I really didn't. But in any case it was an experience worth having.

But one thing I realised - you only see things from your own personal perspective. I kept wondering throughout the concert what it would feel like to stand in front of such a crowd. I want to know. Not that I plan to turn into a pop star but I plan to turn into a preacher. Yeah!


But Tuesday's Tune then - it's Erykah Badu's and Stephen Marley's In Love With You. One of my favourite love songs. It has such a cool vibe to it. And that's the way it has to be for both Erykah and Stephen are utterly cool.


Newbold is like the Wonderland for me. And yes, I've become Alice. There are many things that are most natural and self-evident here which in any other context or any other world would be somewhat remarkable or extraordinary. You know, just like in Alice's Wonderland.

A small episode from last week reminded me of that. I went to hear the yearly Beach Lecture on Tuesday evening. I fought with my little jetlag, I admit, because usually back home I don't go listen to serious theological lectures at 10pm. But I was brave and the lecture on reconsiliation was really good. Canon David Porter who gave the lecture is the Archbishop of Canterbury's Director of Reconciliation. Can you imagine, what a cool profession!

And then on Wednesday morning I went to caf for a cup of tea before another long morning in the classroom, and it was Mr Porter himself who was having breakfast there. And I think Newbold is the only place where this coulnd't even make me rise my eyebrows, as if there's nothing more natural in this world than to see people like him having breakfast in our caf. So I sat down at his table and we had a short and nice conversation about reconsiliation and Northern Ireland (where he's from) and Estonia and about how the principles of his lecture do or do not apply to Estonian context. And then we wished each other blessings and I took my cup and walked to my class. Nah, nothing special.

The Archbishop of Canterbury's Director of Reconciliation he is.

This is Wonderland, I tell you!


I was really upset last week when I realised that my work schedule wouldn't let me go visit my parents on any other day but Wednesday. The thing was that my mum had yet another chemo shot on Wednesday morning. And I knew a tough scene would wait for me at home, and that I couldn't do anything else but to sit on her bed side and see her suffer. And so it was. For one rebellious moment when my daugther's instinct kicked in I thought I'd just show the world my middle finger, leave all other obligations in my church and in Newbold, turn off my phone, and not leave her side until she has recovered.

But I had to leave home anyway. This time it was only dad who could walk me to the bus station and wave me goodbye...

But I came to Newbold a few days later. MJ greeted me in the airport with a massive bouquet of flowers and took me to our favourite Asian restaurant in Reading. And I've seen my brothers Q. and B. again, my dear friend A-K. is here from Norway, the sweetest girl L. is helping me in every way she can, and there are other beautiful people who seem to have so much love for me, love that I've never really deserved. Plus I can go and sit in every single office in Murdoch Hall and talk to any of my lecturers, and they all speak life and encouragement into my heart and are truly concerned about my well-being and ministry.

And all the time there are some words of Jesus that just keep coming back to me these days, 'I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property.' And it's all coming true, for there's absolutely no other reason I have left my family behind than the Good News and Jesus. But He's fulfilling His promise right in front of my eyes - He has truly given me another family here in Newbold. I'v received a hundredfold for everything I've had to leave behind. It doesn't take away the heartache but it sure balances it with joy and love and grace. And thus I have all the reasons in the world to be thankful.


Tuesday's Tune

Macy Graaaaay! This week's tune is Macy Gray's amazing I Try. I especially like this acoustic version, it brings out the uniqueness of her voice even more than the commercial version. It looks like October is turning into Black Ladies Month. And I'm not even sorry for it. :)


So I touched down in Newbold last night. I fell asleep with a massive smile on my face. Some pleaces simply make you happy, and Newbold is the place that makes me happy.


Two days ago I sat around a table and had a breakfast with a whole bunch of Tartu's pastors from different denominations. Adventists, Baptists, Lutherans, representatives of different charismatic churches, etc. Eight men and me, to be precise: suit, suit, sweater, suit, suit, suit, alb, and uhmm, a polka dot blouse. The initial and natural instinct was to ask the ground to swallow me - especially when they started the meeting with a collective staring contest. You know, all these minority issues suddenly seemed to come alive and line up to be on the agenda. All that stuff I've already had to deal with while studying theology (even to the point of talking about it to the Lady in a counseling room). But then I was like, no, I have absolutely no reason to feel awkward, and neither do I have any reason to make all these fine gentlemen and colleagues feel awkward. I introduced myself shortly, two sentences about my family history, four about my education (approving humming on the background, some jaws dropping), and one about how glad I was to share my calling with them. And then I experienced a warm and heart-felt welcome from Tartu's pastors. No more staring, no awkwardness.

And after the meeting I thought, this is all God's doing. He has created me, and He has called me. It's quite simple really. And there is no need for me to unnaturally create an issue where there is none. And neither is there any need for me to feel 'oppressed'. I am who God wanted me to be. Have I experienced misunderstanding or unequal treatment? Heck, yeah. But why should I let this get on the way of my calling or my relationships? Why should I let it poison my life? Or why should I make men feel awkward simply because they've been created to be men and ministers of God? No reason, I tell you, no reason. For God's doing can't be abolished by man's opinion.

Sometimes (not always though) these minority issues really aren't as tragic as we think they are.

Next meeting with my fellow ministers in the end of November - I think I'll wear pink. :)


Tuesday's Tune

Black History Month, week 2. Today it has to be Lizz Wright and her song When I Fall. I won't even try to describe the song or the emotion, there would be too many superlatives in that sentence.

If I look down now
Tell me, will I fall?
And what if the water's cold
When I fall


Six days until Newbold, and counting.



Fields of gold

My favourite park



Autumn at its best
I had a free Sabbath afternoon yesterday. Which is a rare thing around here. So I spent my time in the best way I could imagine - I took my camera and headed to park. Enjoy the colours!


I think I had a revelation the other evening. Sort of. I was skyping with MJ and we were talking about our lives and everything. And she asked me about what I'm going to preach about this coming Sabbath. And I told her - I'll speak about Jacob's fight with God and what it does to you when you suddenly meet God in your darkest hour and when you've got enough courage to put up a fight and ask for a blessing. And how you walk away limping but being a new man with a new name. For you have fought God Himself and have been touched by Him.

And then we talked about other things more personal and she's suddenly like, well, why don't you fight God to get this specific blessing in your life. And it was as if suddenly all the dots in my sermon were connected to my own life. And instantly that story became more personal and more relevant to me than ever before. It started speaking to me in a way I never thought this old story could speak. And I seem not be able to get it out of my head now.

So I've decided to put up a fight. I feel like anyone should feel in such situation - I'm a tiny speck of dust in front of God Almighty. I've never felt so small in my life. And I know I'm no worthy opponent to Him. And I don't have much strength so part of my prayer is - please, let the morning dawn soon. But I'm fighting. I don't want to let go before He has granted me this special blessing. It's beautiful and scary all at the same time because I know that if He answers and if He lets me see the dawn, I'll be limping my hip for the rest of my life, so to speak. And so be it, I'm ready to pay that price for I also know that this blessing would renew me and give me a new purpose and new strength. So I've decided to tell Him every day, "I won't let you go unless you bless me."

And I won't let go.

Until He blesses me.


Oh, guys, I really need to share this with you! I've started yet another project with a few friends - a monthly video message project for our church's young people. I got the idea from SEC's Monday Morning Messages and my wish was that something similar happened also here in Estonia. When I came back home in May and started sharing this idea, it turned out that some other people had thought of a similar thing, too. So once again I found out what I already knew and had experienced - you only need one Spirit, a handful of friends, and a good idea to get a project started. And so we did.

So here's our September's message. It's called Rabbis and Disciples. I don't have time to translate the whole thing and add subtitles (sorry!) but the central message is about education. I tell there how the school system worked back in Jesus' times and how the most brilliant young men got the privilege to become a rabbi's disciples. And the fact that Jesus found his disciples in a fishing boats means that these young guys didn't make the cut and had already been sent home for they were not brilliant enough. And how Jesus came and made them His kingdom's heroes, despite the fact that they were losers in the eyes of the society. And how Jesus keeps doing the same thing also today.

The place where we shot the video is also significant. You see there a huge statue which is kind of a symbol of education for us, Estonians. It has been built for a brilliant guy - Kristjan Jaak Peterson - who lived in the 19th century, who's regarded as a founder of modern Estonian poetry, who was all about education, and who died at the age of 21. So he's a bit mystical and romantic national symbol for us. It felt appropriate to speak about education at his feet haha.

Here are also a few pictures from our video shooting.