First Team Email
On Sept 20th 2002 we arrived in Helsinki after 30 hours of travel, tired but grateful. The weather was crisp and beautiful. The team (minus Stephanie) took a day tour of the city and visited the marketplace. After having dinner with her son, Jason, in England, Stephanie arrived and the journey began.
Sunday we visited two churches, one Orthodox and one Lutheran. Everyone had a free day before we boarded the ship for Stockholm. We sailed into the sunset on the Silja Cruise Line. Our hearts were troubled because of the storm heading your way, but after praying for all of your safety and the remaining team s ability to join us & peace was experienced by all.
Monday we arrived in Stockholm to sunshine and a nip in the air. Three groups were quickly formed & the cultured, the sightseers, and shoppers, everyone is sworn to secrecy as to which group you fell into. But it will become apparent who won the shopping medal, when Barbara sports her new treasures! We had a wonderful day completed by the reading of the first Gospel Decree at the Palace Court. Church on the Rock asked Treasures to join them with their Project 237. Their goal is to read this proclamation in 237 countries by the end of 2005. Treasures will read the Gospel in 4 countries. The merry travelers boarded the ship from all parts of the city.
Tuesday we returned to Helsinki, boarded our three vans and traveled to Parliament Square where we performed our second Proclamation. We traveled to the port where we boarded our ferry for Tallinn, Estonia. The sea was choppy, about 3 to 4 feet, which made for a difficult 2 hours for some. The team was grateful for the shores of Tallinn! The weather was not the best, cold and rainy. Our cab driver did not give us much hope for a change in the weather for the next few days.
Thankfully, God does not listen to cab drivers! The next morning was beautiful! Blue sky and sun greeted us as we started our day. This time we divided into culture and sightseeing. Tallinn is a gorgeous city making the most of their independence. We can see the great strides since our last visit in 2000. We came together in the middle of Old Town to read the third Proclamation.
Thursday was spent with free time for everyone to revisit a location they did not get their fill of the day before. Treasures located an orphanage which we hope to contact for our next visit. We will spend the remainder of the day resting and waiting to catch the overnight train to St. Petersburg, Russia.
Our hearts have been saddened with the news of the loss of the father of our dear friend, Vitaly. He suffered an aneurism in his stomach and passed away after 6 hours in the ER. Please, pray for his family with this sudden loss. His funeral was today and Vitaly is to meet us in St. Petersburg tomorrow to begin the mission.
We are in prayer for the families at home, Ken Gregory and the loss of his mother, Jerome s son, Michael, died in a car wreck, and Richard Stewart s wife, Judy lost her battle with leukemia. As we grieve for the loss of our loved ones, we also rejoice of the home-going of our family, as they enter the presence of the Lord we proclaim.
Friday we visited the St. Petersburg School for the Blind. Gail Showalter is a US consultant for the blind. Gail was well received and identified many needs for the blind and visually impaired children.
That afternoon and the next day were spent sightseeing or shopping for the mission. Then Saturday night we boarded another overnight train bound for Moscow.
Stephanie, Donna, and Howard