EBWU Conference – Tallinn, Estonia
October 6-9th 2011
Approximately 55 women, mainly from the Baltic countries, but including others from our member countries, gathered in the Olumpia Hotel, Tallinn for this event. The Estonian women worked very hard beforehand to ensure that we had a good venue and that everything required was in place.
The theme for the Conference was ‘Spiritual Balance’, the key Scripture taken from Habakkuk 3:19 ‘The Sovereign Lord is my strength’, reminding us that occasionally we can become unbalanced in various areas of our lives, but when we focus on the Lord, He is our strength and enables us to have everything in perspective, even when trials and difficulties enter our lives.
The Estonian women welcomed everyone to Tallinn and to the Conference, then Meego Remmel, Estonian Baptist Union President brought a word of encouragement. Spiritual Balance is something we learn over and over. He used the Hebrew word ‘Shalom’ which means so much more than just ‘peace’; when we are in balance we are healthy.
The keynote speakers were Mari Vahermagi and Janice Viinalass who spoke on ‘Spiritual Balance’ and ‘the Church in Balance’ respectively. Both had challenging things to say and for us to take note of. There were also a choice of four seminars relating to our theme – Communication Skills (Aniko Ujvari, Hungary and Margun Warem, Norway); Depression (Elisabeth Vekas, Romania and Inese Dreska, Latvia); Healthy Balance of Work & Family (Mari Vahermagi, Estonia); treating Trials on Track (Wies Dijkstra, Netherlands and Margaret Brown, Scotland). These seminars were conducted twice giving the participants the opportunity to attend two seminars. Also included in the Conference were times of sharing of the women’s work in various European countries. There were times of worship, prayer, meditation and testimony.
The Estonians arranged for us to have a guided tour of the old city of Tallinn which was very informative and interesting. We attended, for a short time, the Women’s International ‘Autumn Day’ in Oleviste Church in the old city. We were also treated to an evening of Estonian culture of music and dance. A mother and daughter came dressed in their national costume, very bright and colourful. They explained that music, song and dance are all part of Estonian life. The daughter played the flute. Another two girls entertained us with a variety of musical instruments and song. It was very relaxing for us. Later they encouraged us to join them in dancing which we did and had great fun.
Sunday morning was a very special time. We joined in a prayer walk in the conference room. It was a time of silent prayer, using the prayer requests which had been written down; these were shared among us and at the end of the time were laid down at the foot of the cross which was laid on the floor. Each woman then picked up a small wooden cross (made by a Swedish pastor) to keep for herself. We then celebrated the Lord’s Supper together. Toivo & Einike Pilli and Helle Liht gave short devotional messages from Scripture and then Toivo led us in Communion. There was a real sense of the Lord’s presence among us throughout the Conference, and we praise His name for being at work in our lives, moving us on in our walk with Him.