Märt Vähi – Chairman of the Board and CO-Founder
Märt and Alta Vähi were wedded in 1970. They have three children, and by now as many as eight sweet grandchildren.
Originally, they come from and started a family in Canada, but in the 1970s they served as missionaries in Europe for seven years. After that they returned to Canada, and Märt founded the Smythe Street Church in Fredericton, the Province of New Brunswick. For fourteen years he served there as a pastor and a dean, and in the province government as a state chaplain.
In 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed, Märt and Alta heard God’s calling and moved with their family to Estonia, which had been Märt’s childhood home before WW II. In 1945 his parents had fled to Sweden as refugees, later the family moved to Canada.
Having settled down in Estonia, Märt Vähi participated actively in establishing the Estonian Christian Pentecostal Church (ECPC) and starting new congregations, in founding Bible schools, building up actual teaching processes and routines, and in building up prison service in Estonia. In 2005 Märt Vähi was consecrated as Bishop of the Estonian Christian Pentecostal Church. He is doing all this work even today.
At the initiative of and led by Rev Märt Vähi the NGO The Village of Hope was established in November 2000, and shortly after that they started building up the physical Village of Hope and working with alcohol and drug addicts in practice. As Chairman of the Board of the NGO The Village of Hope, Rev Märt Vähi runs the activity and development of the rehabilitation centre; as Bishop Emeritus of the ECPC – the Congregation of the Village of Hope of the ECPC; he is also a co-founder of the NGO The Village of Hope Fire Department.
The extensive and generous work done by Rev Märt Vähi has frequently been recognized and commended in the field of social work. In February 2014, President of the Republic of Estonia awarded Bishop Emeritus Märt Vähi with the Order of the Estonian Red Cross, Third Class.
In 2006, Märt and his son Andrew Vähi began building up and developing the Village of Hope in Canada. By now the first houses have been set up and the first men are about to finish the program.
Alta has been her husband’s faithful life companion throughout their shared life. In the Village of Hope she is always there for us: serving, caring, loving. In her meek way Alta always contributes to hosting guests, arranging accommodation and catering, organising services and events and teaching young people. The doors of the Vähis’ home are always open to guests.