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Prayer center opening in Estonia


Charlie and Miki Chastain have served with The Mission Society in Eastern Europe since 2009. The Chastains and their children first moved to St. Petersburg, Russia and worked with disabled orphans. They now reside in Estonia and are starting a prayer retreat center in Tallinn.

Here, we talk with Miki about her vision for the retreat center and how God led them to this ministry.

I remember that we had only been living in Russia about two months the first time someone told me they were struggling against the enemy’s attacks. We were visiting with an American friend who had been living in Russia almost 20 years. He said something that I couldn’t believe.

“When I command the enemy to flee in Jesus’ name, he doesn’t leave,” our friend said. “How can that be? The scriptures say that he’s supposed to leave when I tell him to.”

I had never heard anyone else say anything like that. So, in my ignorance, I assumed that this man was just missing something, or not praying correctly, or just wasn’t able to discern the presence of different spirits.

But it was only a few months later that I was saying almost exactly the same thing to Charlie. “Why won’t the enemy leave?” I remember asking. “I feel like a sitting duck. I can’t get him to leave!”

Since that time, especially since I have become involved in prayer ministry in this region, I can’t count the number of times I have heard pastors and other Christian workers say those same words to me.  

Since moving to Russia, Charlie and I have been able to experience firsthand how heavy and oppressive is the spiritual warfare Christian workers in this region experience.

To try to explain, Charlie and I believe that there is no way of “casually” starting a ministry in this part of the world. The forces working against the ministry of Jesus Christ here are so prevalent and have such a wide span of influence that the decision to follow and serve Christ will always demand that individuals give everything.

We are already actively involved in prayer ministry with various individuals from both Russia and Estonia. Several pastors from various locations in Russia – including St. Petersburg, Pskov, and Kaliningrad – have expressed a desire to come and to bring members of their congregations with them to us for prayer ministry.  

After having lived here for a few years, I still cannot grasp the depth of the scars that exist in this region of the world. So much of the recent and not-so-recent history of this place has left such wounds, fears, and pain that sometimes it can feel almost difficult to breath under the weight of it.

I became more intentional about praying for healing and the establishment of a healing ministry here shortly after my time in the Russian hospital, when our son was born three years ago. I remember how strongly I could feel the residue of spiritual oppression that seemed to hang in that hospital. That particular hospital is more than 100 years old, and has seen atrocities I cannot even imagine. It existed during such events as the Russian Revolution of 1917, the German siege of St. Petersburg during the Second World War, and through the years of Stalin’s bloody Soviet Union.

Our vision for the prayer retreat center is that it would be a place for Christian workers in Eastern Europe to come for quiet prayer retreat with the Lord. In addition, we hope they would receive healing prayer ministry and training.

Charlie and I have decided to work with Scripture Union Estonia on this project. We plan to develop the prayer center on property they own just outside of Tallinn. There are many details regarding partnership and building plans to work out, but after many weeks of meeting and praying together, we have agreed that we have been given a similar vision for providing a place for prayer ministry and retreat in Eastern Europe. We are excited to move forward on this project together.  

Our journey to this point these past few years has been at times very difficult, exhausting, and even painful. But it has been rich – full of the works of God in and around our lives. We believe that, through this journey, God has been preparing us for this time and place. We are very excited about this opportunity!