Update from Estonia

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Corps officers relate life in Narva.

Salvationists march with The Salvation Army flag.

Captains Daniel and Anya Henderson are corps officers from the Western Territory serving in Narva, Estonia. Following are excerpts from their recent newsletter home.

In many ways, last November was a month to see dreams become reality and prayers answered. Our first year in Narva, we wanted to start women’s ministries. Now through the outreach of the Baby Song program, a solid group of women has formed and meets for Bible study every week. Two of these women started attending the corps.

Recently, we had been searching for a permanent location for our corps and praying for God to raise up local leaders. One of our soldiers has been accepted as a candidate for officer training, and in mid-November, The Salvation Army purchased property for a future Narva Corps. In the process the Army will shut down a bar, thereby ridding the community of a business that preys on the weaknesses of alcoholics.

In recognition of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, we wanted to put together a meaningful event to help change public perception of people living with HIV/AIDS. In Narva, this was a challenge, as it was necessary to find common ground with many non-Christian groups who are part of the HIV support network in Estonia. The key themes were grace, understanding, and a desire to see lives changed for the better. A historical event occurred as the Army led the way in a march down the center of the main street of Narva in freezing weather, followed by many people carrying candles of remembrance.

This year we held a number of different Christmas activities a step forward for the corps. Many new faces appeared at the Christmas celebration that featured our junior soldiers in the play, The Difficulties of Christmas. The group also presented the play at a local rehabilitation center and nursing home.

Following up their visit to Narva in May 2007, the Norwich (UK) Corps songsters invited us to participate in their Candlelight Carol Concert. Daniel attended and shared information on the Army’s camp programs in Estonia—almost $8,700 was raised for the camps.

In the upcoming months, please be in prayer for our corps. As we work with a local architect to settle on a concept design for the new corps building, we must cultivate city support for the project and find a general contractor to move the project into a detailed planning stage. Pray for the new women, Svieta and Lena, to overcome the challenges they face. Pray for the officer candidate and his fiancée as they wed in March. Pray for families within our corps that are struggling with relationships and finances. Pray for the Narva Corps as it nears its 5-year anniversary.

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