Urgent prayer request
My fiancée's father is pastor of a Russian-speaking congregation in Kohtla-Järve, Estonia. Recently, they found out that on June 15th, they will be evicted from their church building, for no other reason than those in charge want more money. This sounds unjust, and it is. Unfortunately, the law does not move as swiftly there to protect non-profit organizations.
The situation is basically as follows. The church rents a floor of a former dormitory and has services there. The congregation had put much time and effort into renovating their section of the building. When it came time for renewal/renegotiation of the rental contract, it was appraised and decided that because of the improvements/renovations, the property would now be worth more in rent. This makes absolutely no sense, because it was not the landlords that had anything to do with the renovations, which were handled by the church.
They've checked with the legality of all this, and apparently these people are within their legal rights. I believe there is a law on the books there that says a non-profit organization cannot be charged above a certain amount. It does not say however, that you can't evict said party in order to charge more rent from a new tenant. In June, there will be someone new in charge of handling landlord duties, and this person has told her mom & dad that they have until then to move the church elsewhere.
The congregation at Mt. Bethel UMC near Atlanta, GA sponsors her family's church, and is looking into possible alternative locations, and/or renegotiations with this company. Since it is an old school dormitory, her dad has appealed to the area UMC District Superintendent, and he is in dialogue with the Minister of Education in the capitol of Estonia, Tallinn. They seem sympathetic, but have done nothing as of yet to remedy the situation.
This may be due to the backlash against those of Russian descent, because the Estonian people see their presence as a remnant of the old form of USSR social control. This situation does not favor this congregation, as not only are they being evicted, but they will be given little sympathy from a society that now largely considers any remaining Russians unwelcome.
So, I ask all of you prayer warriors out there for your support. Please be in prayer for this congregation, as it is seemingly under spiritual attack. I really feel that the enemy is trying to thwart the ministry that they are involved in, that of helping needy children and unemployed people recover from the fall of communism. Even though it's been a decade, things are very much in need of economic improvement. Please ask God to move in this country, and use this congregation to bring about a work of revival and renewal.