Estonian Adventists Mark 115
Years of Service
The Estonian Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church celebrated its 115th anniversary in southern Estonia’s largest concert hall at the end of April. The event brought together Adventists and friends from different parts of Estonia and other countries.
“The 115th anniversary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Estonia will be remembered as a historical, special event,” said David Nõmmik, president of the Estonian Conference. “Our main theme was ‘In the Light of the Beginning,’ and the sermons and activities were focused on church growth and mission in the past, and on the hope that we have in Jesus Christ for the future,” Nõmmik explained. “We needed such an event in order to look back and see the progress of our Adventist Church in Estonia and maintain focus on church mission and unity. It was great to have guests from Finland, Scotland, England, Latvia, and Lithuania among us, and feel their support and encouragement,” Nõmmik said.
During the past 115 years Estonia has experienced many hardships. After World War I Estonia had 20 years of freedom, followed by World War II and 50 years of Soviet occupation. But as Eduard Vari, a longtime church member of the Tartu Seventh-day Adventist Church, put it, the Soviet era couldn’t ruin the spiritual health of the church. Churches were still growing, and despite harsh limitations to mission work, Adventists were active, using all means possible.
“Estonia is not occupied politically anymore, but the spiritual occupation—greed, manipulation, selfishness, pride, etc., threatens us all,” said Bertil Wiklander, president of the Trans-European Division, who was the main speaker at this event. At the same time Wiklander encouraged people to share the light, not focus on cursing the darkness.
—Lauri Beekmann in Tartu, Estonia