Translated from a text by Anitta Lepomaa
By tradition, the festival of the Kylväjä Mission Society in Finland takes place one week before St. John the Baptist Day. This year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the festival was held online.
On Friday, June 12, 2020, there was a webinar on outreach to refugees in Southern Europe. In 2015, the wave of refugees reached the Nordic countries. This made mission outreach possible even within Scandinavia as people who had once served as missionaries in the Middle East or Central Asia could speak to the newcomers in their native languages.
On Saturday, June 13, the participants could watch an online tour of Savonlinna where the festival was planned to be held originally. The walks around town and a concert by the cantors from the local Lutheran congregation in the historical Olavinlinna Castle gave a chance to admire Finnish natural landscapes and enjoy the views of the Lake Saimaa shore.
The Kylväjä Mission Society specializes in training new missionaries. This year, if God will, six people will go to do mission in different countries. Those persons were introduced during the webinar. Also, this was the first time the society showed two TV programs for children called The Little Sower.
The Bishop of The Church of Ingria, Ivan Laptev, was the only foreign guest at the festival. His report on how The Church of Ingria supports members of ethnic minorities and his biblical homily on gratitude to God amid trials evoked a warm response in the viewer audience.
P. S. The Church of Ingria Information Department would like to thank Anitta Lepomaa for her translation of Bishop Ivan Laptev’s speaking into Finnish. A video with Finnish subtitles is available at the Kylväjä website (Bishop Ivan Laptev speaks starting from 28:56).