For the last few days (more like 10 days) I have tried to pick up my computer and put into words what I have experienced over the last six weeks, but I couldn’t. I didn’t know where to begin, which key to hit first. So here is my attempt…
Today, I sit and ponder about the last six weeks of my life, and I cannot help but think about the faces I met, the hearts I connected with and the lives I had the pleasure of living up close to. It was such a quick trip, but my heart adjusted quick to letting Tallinn feel like home to me. It was a quick turnaround of emotions and sleep deprivation (I am still coming off of).
I left a piece of my heart in Tallinn, Estonia.
I couldn’t have imagined the way this place would change my heart and my mind. I couldn’t have imagined the way this place would change my perspective on people, my relationship with Jesus and what my life mission is. I can’t help but express a new found love for a place that needs an extra dose of hope and grace. A place where Jesus is not a household name and church attendance is not normal. My mind cannot comprehend that hearts do not know Him, but my eyes have seen a world so empty of love and abundant life. My love for people has grown in a deeper way and my mission of life has come alive once again.
My level of grace for people has grown and a deeper sense of urgency has taken over my heart. I have found that life as a missionary is an everyday, normal life of waking and eating and shopping and caring for children and working and sleeping; yet there is one underlying unspoken:
You live your life ON MISSION.
As a missionary, your job is to meet new people, to live your life up close to people who are far from faith, to invest in hearts and lives of people because you believe in who they are and the potential their lives hold. It is a selfless life that will do anything short of sin to see others turn towards Jesus and take one step closer to the cross, and it is ALWAYS expecting God to do greater things – because He can and He will! It is a life of trusting God to help you feel at home so you can help others understand the grace that abounds and the hope that brings joy.
Tallinn and it’s beautiful people have changed me! I have left a piece of my heart there and have taken with me a new perspective on the necessity of hope and grace in everyone’s life no matter where they are on the journey of finding the One who created them.
Erin Olander served with the Tallinn Team for six weeks in Estonia as a short-term missionary.