The Baltic Project
Phase 1— Estonia
In 2005, the Estonian Baptist Union Churches (Russian-speaking) invited Serhiy Bilokin [shown above, leading the choir], a recent graduate of the Christian Music Academy (Kyiv, Ukraine), to hold a series of seminars for the music ministers in this small Baltic nation. This is a direct result of the work that MIWC started in Ukraine in 1997.
The Estonia Project is the first phase of a three-part plan to build bridges between the church and local culture in the Baltic countries, which also include Latvia and Lithuania. The strategic focus is on youth culture, which is the main area of growth in the Baltic Russian-speaking churches.
Serhiy, who is also a student of the Ukrainian National Conservatory, led a number of small workshops for musicians and directors in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia (see map below). The workshops were so well received that the EBU invited Serhiy to return for a longer term. Members of Ukrainian Baptist Churches churches in Kyiv, at their own expense, traveled to Estonia in August 2006 to help support Serhiy's work and to assist the EBU churches with outreach. In October 2006, Serhiy returned for extended teaching in Tallinn and Narva (northeast corner). There are currently 24 students in Tallinn and 36 students in Narva, all between the ages of 16 and 35.
MIWC works with both the Russian-speaking and Estonian-speaking churches in Estonia. The associations are separate, based on historical and cultural differences, but do work together for large events. To date, MIWC has supported the work of the CMA in Estonia, provided several educational seminars throughout the country, and facilitated ministry partnership events. Future plans include developing children’s music camps, developing the instrumental music program in the churches, and increasing financial support for the CMA in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the program.
In addition to supporting the work of our associates in Eastern Europe, MIWC would like to send additional teachers and musicians to provide educational and cultural support for the local church leaders. Please contact us if you are interested in partnering with this project.
Estonia was part of the Soviet Union until 1991. There are still many territorial and other legal disputes between Russian and Estonia. Approximately 25% of the Estonian population is ethnically and linguistically Russian.
Estonia Ministry Contact information:
Sergii Bilokin, Director of MIWC Europe
+372 555 209 16
To make donations to MIWC Europe, including camping ministries in the Baltics or Scandinavia, bank transfers may be made to:
Name of Bank: SEB Bank