Christy Tiede is a Campus Crusade for Christ staff member who lives in Estonia. She is one of the coordinators for the week long, nationwide outreach in July in Estonia’s capitol city, Tallinn, called Heartbeat Tallinn, where Andre will be performing.
Coincidentally(?), Christy was best friends with Andre’s step daughter in their youth, and as a result, a good friend of Andre and his wife Kathy. Last week she sent us this story which we found to be rather amazing.
Five years ago. We had recently moved to our suburb. The local school is 2 miles from our house. One day I noticed a young hitchhiker and I stopped to give him a ride. I was surprised to see a child flagging a car. The boy’s name was Timo. Timo was 12 years old at the time. Timo spoke amazing English. Timo happened to live on my same street – just the other end. I invited Timo to an Easter Egg Hunt at our home. I realized he was a little old for this but he might find it interesting. Timo could not come due to soccer practice, but Timo said to invite his mom, Inga, and his 2 little sisters.
Inga, her husband and the 2 little girls came to our Easter Egg Hunt. Inga was very friendly and seemed like she would be a fun person to get to know better. I asked Inga if we could get together and hang out. We made plans but something always came up. A sick child. My travels with work. Etc. And we never got together. Time passed by.
I no longer had any random meetings with Timo either. Two years or more passed by.
A Few Years Later
One day a teenage boy was hitchhiking in our neighborhood. He was smoking, and obviously late for school. We stopped. I did not recognize this teenage boy. He got in the car and we talked for a minute and we realized that this was Timo. I asked how his mom was doing. Timo told me that his mother just died 1 month ago from cancer.
Inside I felt terrible. I never found the time to get together with Timo’s mom, Inga. I never talked with her about God. When she came to the Easter Egg hunt she did hear the Easter story from the Bible. She took home a Children’s Bible and Josh McDowell’s More Than A Carpenter book. But I had never talked with her one on one.
I asked Timo many questions. How was he doing? How is his dad? etc. Timo shared in a normal teenage boy way that it is hard but it is life. Timo said that his dad works in Finland (2 hours by ferry from Tallinn). I asked if his dad was moving home? And he said no, becaues his job was in Finland. One of Timo’s aunts was taking care of the little girls and staying at their house.
I shared that we would be praying for Timo and his family.
During the year, anytime we would see Timo walking, we would give him a ride. It seemed that almost every day Timo was late for school or skipping school. Everytime I gave Timo a ride I would tell him that I am praying for him and ask how he was doing. Timo shared that his dad found a new girlfriend and that his dad moved to Tallinn and lives in her apartment and he took the 2 little girls with him. This meant that Timo was living in a house on our street all alone. Timo was 15 years old and completely on his own! In Estonia, this is considered quite young to be on your own, but not as shocking as it would be in America. At 16 years old, it is not common but not unusual to live on your own in order to attend a better high school in a bigger city.
My husband and I told Timo that whenever he needs a ride, he should knock on our door. Over the next year, as much as we could, we gave Timo rides. We tried to talk to Timo. I gave Timo a booklet that had the testimony of Josh McDowell.
The past year, Timo’s father and the 2 girls moved back home and now live with Timo.
Today, Kai (my son) and his friend were playing outside and the ice cream truck came into our neighborhood. The boys heard the music and they went to wait outside our house. For some reason, the truck never came down our street. Obviously the boys were disappointed and moping. I decided that I could drive them to our local store and they could go pick out an ice cream.
As I was driving, there was Timo flagging my car. Not knowing when I would see Timo next, I wanted to share with Timo about Heartbeat Tallinn. I decided that Andre Kole’s Show might be the “coolest” event to invite him to.
I told Timo that I have a very good friend, my childhood best friend’s father, who was an illusionist is performing in Estonia in July. I said this man creates many tricks that David Copperfield performs. This man’s name is Andre Kole. Timo almost flew out of his seat. Timo said, YOU KNOW ANDRE KOLE?! I said, Yes, very well. But I told him that I was surprised that he had ever heard of Andre Kole. Timo said that he was always interested in magic and illusions, and that he has a habit of compulsively researching things that he is very fond of – and that for this reason he knows much about Andre Kole.
Timo asked if I could get him 1 ticket to Andre’s show. I told Timo, “I will get you 10 free tickets and I want you to bring your friends.”
Please pray for Timo’s heart to be touched by Andre’s Gospel presentation.
Timo is one of many lives we are praying God will touch through our programs in Tallinn. Please join us in lifting this time of outreach to Him for His glory?