(Photo Courtesy of MIS)
"For the first several years, we were traveling there for two-four weeks at a time, volunteering directly with orphanages and kids, and bringing aid for whatever they needed," said Miki Chastain. "It's really changed from being direct involvement with kids, because we see that Russians and Eastern Europeans, they're better at it. They don't have to deal with the Visa issues [or] with the language issues."
Now the Chastains are involved with local pastors and Christian workers. Charlie is developing a creative arts ministry, and Miki has a heart for prayer ministry. "Our ultimate vision is to actually develop a prayer retreat center, a spiritual center for people. We feel like God is leading us to do that in Estonia."
This center would be a place for those working in Christian ministry to attend and receive rest, renewal, healing, and reconciliation with God. "These people have experienced abandonment, loss, and things that honestly a lot of us in our own culture here in the States can't really comprehend it. Even Charlie and I, having lived there, still can never really comprehend the level of the darkness that a lot of this culture in Eastern Europe has seen."
As plans for the retreat center get underway, Miki said, they must keep the culture in their minds at all times. "We cannot just transplant what we do here in the States...into Eastern Europe and say, 'Oh this is what will work in Eastern Europe."
If you would like to get involved financially, "that of course is very helpful," said Miki. However, "the biggest hurdle is spiritual and finding people who will pray."
Pray for the Chastains as they minister to local pastors and Christian leaders. Pray that the Retreat Center will be a place where guests will seek the face of God.