As I think back over the past couple of months, I have been constantly reminded of the Lord’s kindness. When I think about how to define kindness I think of consideration, generosity, warm/heartedness. The Lord is thoughtful and continues to pour out love, provision, support – meeting my needs beyond measure. Here are snapshots of some of the significant moments from these past months…just to wet your appetite until I can share with you in person!
India was incredible, overwhelming, intense and enjoyable. The first few days I met my father’s family for the first time. Saw where they live, work and have raised their families. Relationships have begun as I got to spend time with six out of thirteen first cousins. From there I flew east and met up with the Jeff & Angie, a church planting couple that were involved with some of my training before I left the states. I love partnering with others to see No Place Left in the world to hear and receive the gospel. Working with Angie, we got to a training for 38 women, many illiterate, empowering them to make the gospel known and discipling the villages that surrounded them. Next stop was engaging another NGO that has mobilized holistic approaches to community development and church multiplication. It was an incredible 2 weeks and I look forward to returning!
My mother was able to visit me over the Easter school break. This was a great gift to have family here getting to see a glimpse into this world and to share it. She not only got to experience my current surroundings, we also went up north so she could enjoy more snow. Walking around Luleå, my mom got to meet and see some of the significant people and spots from where my Swedish journey began.
Steps of obedience in the local work. The Lord continues to bring affirmation and encouragement in the small beginnings. In some ways, we always want to see the fruit of the efforts yesterday and to know that we are doing everything possible to move the vision forward. Since moving here last June, we have had over two dozen people stay in our home and engage the vision of taking the gospel to the unreached. We have a strong community of new friends from a variety of countries that we get to meet, learn Swedish and pray for the needs of their families. The recent good weather has also allowed for conversations while handing out coffee as we seek ways to be a good neighbor.
So as you can see, the Lord has been so kind to me in so many areas. I will be in the states from the end of June to early August. My hope is to see as many people face to face as possible. Can you believe it was 10 years ago this summer that I took a step of faith to work in ministry full time?!?!?!?! And it has been an incredible ten years THANKS TO YOU!!!! It will be a blast getting to reflect on what God has done these past ten years and consider what is coming in the next 10….until He returns!
Getting to share all that is happening is beyond overdue. Thankful for your prayers and support as it the most crucial need.
I moved five months ago. We have been able to host 10 different sets of people coming from different parts of the world to Stockholm for different reasons. Thankful in the space the Lord has provided and the opportunity to pretend that I get to run a bed and breakfast!
These past few months have been full of excitement, trial & error activities, and continual seeking the Lord’s face on the smallest of details. We have three teams that have come alongside us to help push us forward. Thankful for the workers God sends to encourage, help and engage the community.
Part of our vision is to provide an on the ground training of cross-cultural work and equipping in starting church. Angel is our 2nd go around in learning how to:
- provide a vision trip for someone to seek how God is leading them forward
- include a new person on the team to get a first hand look at team development, strategy planning, and implementing our ideas to move the objectives forward
- formulate a job description that would potentially mimic what he/she would do when they made the move to a long-term team
- provide cross-cultural training in a muslim neighborhood
Please continue to pray!
- Monday nights we have gotten to hang out with people from Morocco, Pakistan, Somalia and Iran…but all at different times. Asking the Lord how to form a group studying the Scriptures and not just individuals.
- B, a 16-year-old refugee boy, to get to start school. Paperwork is a slow process. We get to teach him Swedish when he hangs out here and use google translate to fill in the gaps. Pray his heart would open to Jesus.
- Team formation. We are a group of four learning each other and how to work together.
- Opportunities at the teaching job. Thankful for a work and the opportunity to connect with many people. We will host a Thanksgiving dinner with the hope to take relationships deeper.
- H & L our upstairs neighbors have been over for dinner and will come to Thanksgiving.
- Chelsea and Aidan are new workers that moved here 2 weeks ago. They will work with Korskyrkan (our national leaders) while learning language and finding their footing.
Well this is long enough! I won’t wait so long next time! Blessings! Thankful you make this possible!
After reading the birth of Jesus from Luke for the first time, a young muslim man confessed that this was a more powerful history than any other history book he has read from Islam. B has made the decision to leave Islam and takes steps to discover who this Jesus is and what does it mean to follow Him. Please pray for B as it is a decision that would separate him from his family and people.
Two weeks ago, the Iowa team arrived entering Europe for their first time. Dante, Lindsey and Leah have been laboring well, soaking it all in, and eager to meet new people. As we cultivate God’s presence in this neighborhood, we are engaging people in a worldview survey to learn more about their perspective and values. We are looking for prepared hearts to hear the gospel. We have talked with people from AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ, MOROCCO, SYRIA, SOUTH KOREA, UGANDA, CONGO, SOMALIA and more. All of them have already had chances to share their story and God’s story of hope. Please pray for them: Dante as he returned to the states today; and Lindsey and Leah will stay through August 4th.
The Lord has provided an amazing place to make home. Please join me in praising Him for His provision. This is where the new plant has begun. The teaching job has paused for the next 6 weeks. I am thankful to engage the ministry full time and take more steps in seeing Him establish His bride in this neighborhood.
Please pray for :
- New people with open hearts to come to church and meet Jesus
- Communication with local churches that we would support one another and labor in unity for the Kingdom expansion in this area
- For B’s safety as he takes steps to follow Jesus
- For Lindsey and Leah as they labor here
- Riverbend will send a team July 28th-August 7th
- I will take vacation mid-July
Thank you for laboring with me in prayer and support. This work exists because of your generosity and encouragement!
These past weeks have been full of excitement as the vision moves forward step by step. Isaac, Lynne, and Devin spent about 10 days here prayer walking and engaging people. As we are still in a phase zero, it is an incredible gift to have people come and labor in prayer as we cultivate God’s presence in this neighborhood. The more people we have out and about, the more people we get to meet.
CHURCH PLANT BEGINS. We continue to partner with Richard Hultmar and the EFK denomination of Sweden. Thankful to have incredible national partners to learn from and work together for a city reaching church planting vision. Last Sunday, the church elders sent Caroline Hultmar and myself officially launching our church plant in Tensta.
Team is still in formation. Praying that another local church sends out Kirsi and Besam to join us full time in the work this summer. Thankful for a multi-cultural team forming. This past month in our different gatherings, we have had a Somalian man seeking Jesus, a Bengali man who just moved here, an orthodox woman and daughter from Syria, and conversations with a Kurdish teenager. Looking forward to seeing how God can use this work to reach the nations!
HOUSING UPDATE. It has been an incredible blessing to have lived with Angelique this past year. I have gotten to learn about the Burundi people and of course their food! As the work moves forward, there has been the prayer for God to open a new place to rent so that Caroline and I would get to live together and create space for a new church and ministry. The Lord has answered beyond measure! On May 31st, I will sign papers closing on an apartment. Yes, you read correctly, that I will actually get to own. This 4 bedroom apartment has incredible space for teams, interns and community building. I am blessed beyond measure in how God moved many mountains to make it happen. If you want the full story, just call as it is amazing. It also means there is room for you to come and visit and stay with us!!! Join us in prayer walking and engaging the nations for Christ’s glory!
COMING UP…Besides moving in two weeks, I am wrapping up the teaching job. Excited to have gotten through a first year teaching of lesson plans, learning the Swedish system as well as grading papers. Certainly looking forward to a summer of full time ministry! I have a few interns that will be with us from June 11th-August 4th and then a team from Riverbend coming at the beginning of August. I am very excited for the workers God is providing to help us labor.
Thank you for your constant support and prayers in making this work possible! May God bless you and your families!