Sunday, March 07, 2021

I met Jesus... online!

How are Danish churches reaching out during these COVID-times? Many are looking online. And one fellowship, Byens Valgmenighed in Copenhagen, has just started a new session of a successful seeker-friendly online forum – Alpha Online.  


On one social media platform, a church member asks,


“Are you sitting alone in front a screen, too much? And want to meet other people? Interested in talking about some of life’s questions? What do I believe? Who is God? Where is he, during these times? So maybe Online Alpha is something for you.”


It’s in Danish, of course, and aimed at Danish speakers. But the church is also sponsoring an “International Alpha” for newcomers and others… in English. 


Either way, the online approach is a great way to introduce those who are curious… to Jesus!


PRAY for the Alpha course leaders at Byens Valgmenighed, that they would be filled with God’s Spirit as they talk to unbelievers and seekers. Course leaders need courage and wisdom. 


PRAY that many would hear and come to know the truth of the gospel.


PRAY that many Danish (and non-Danish!) hearts will turn to the Lord during this time.


PRAY that those who come to follow Christ – no matter where they are in Denmark – will find fellowship, encouragement, and a way to grow as believers. 


Sunday, January 10, 2021

Guess who is praying for Denmark?

With few exceptions, Denmark is closed until at least January 17. Businesses are shuttered, as are restaurants and nearly everything else in this small country, and group gatherings are severely curtailed. So it’s surprising that churches are even allowed to meet, but only for 30 minutes on Sunday, and no corporate singing allowed.


No praise songs. No prayer meetings. No youth gatherings. And with dark, cold weather across the land, it’s difficult to stay optimistic and upbeat—except perhaps when we’re reminded of other Christians whose situations are much worse than our own. 


Believers in North Korea, for example, are routinely subject to imprisonment, brutal torture, and execution. Following Jesus in that land could mean a death sentence. But the Dansk Europamission, which ministers to oppressed Christians worldwide, recently received a note of thanks and encouragement from a North Korean church leader, promising to remember Danish Christians. 


“We would like to pray for you and for our brothers and sisters in Denmark,” wrote the Korean. “We pray that God, in his fatherly love, will protect you from the corona virus, and ensure your health and safety.”


It’s profoundly humbling to think that persecuted believers are praying for Denmark, isn’t it? 


We can do no less. 


PRAY for the protection of faithful Christians in Denmark, meeting under less-than-ideal situations during short services. 


PRAY that Danish Christians would continue to connect with each other online and by using other means.


PRAY that Christians would be encouraged in the knowledge that they are not alone, and that—even during this time—Jesus is near. 


And please join our North Korean brothers and sisters as they… 


PRAY for the health and safety of Danish believers.





Monday, November 23, 2020

Faith in a time of Covid

What’s it like to be a dedicated Christian believer in Denmark? There’s of course no one answer. It varies from city to town, in different parts of the country. Many strong, Bible-believing fellowships have sprung up in recent years, existing churches have grown, and God’s Spirit is moving. But make no mistake: Many churches in Denmark are still small, and believers often feel isolated in a secular society.  Here’s how one Christian, “Thomas,” recently described his own experience, on a social media site. 

“We as Christians should be happy to live in Denmark. There are still some places where we hear the truth of Scripture, thanks to the churches and fellowships that still dare. (But) we who hold fast to God’s Word face opposition. Also here in Denmark, there are pastors who openly don’t believe in, for example, the virgin birth, or that Jesus died on the cross, and rose again on the third day.”

Thomas contrasted his freedom in Denmark to the harsh conditions believers sometimes face in other countries—places where Christians are persecuted or tortured. 


“But we know Jesus, wherever we find ourselves in the world,” he wrote. “We know we are on the winning team, though many must suffer for the truth—Jesus.”


PRAY for Danish believers in the time of Covid-19, that they would grow in their faith, despite discouragement or even opposition at work, or in their families, or in the community. 


PRAY for Danish churches of all sizes to grow, and for believers to stand on the truth of Scripture. 


PRAY that isolated believers in small fellowships would be encouraged, and that they would know they are being prayed for. 


PRAY for revival to sweep through Denmark as never before.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

A bit of Israel... on a Danish island

Pray for 25 young people participating in the amazing discipleship training program at "Det Danske Hus" (The Danish House) this fall. 


Normally young Danish Christians travel to the Danish House by the Sea of Galilee (in Israel) to experience a multi-week program in Bible training and discipleship, on location. Coronavirus-related travel restrictions prevented that from happening this fall, however, so the entire program was transplanted to a Christian camp on the Danish island of Bornholm. 

That's different than expected, but it's 2020, after all. And though the program was planned to end after 5 to 6 weeks, it's just been extended until November 14. These students are all in!


So they'll continue to enjoy Bible studies and lectures, as well as fun activities, hikes and bonfires on the island's beautiful beaches, bike trips, worship times, local service projects, and more. 

It's not in Israel, this fall, but the spiritual growth is real. Pray for these kids!

PRAY for the disciples this fall at Det Danske Hus, for their spiritual growth. Pray that they will emerge from the experience in November as strong Christian leaders who will make a difference for the Kingdon. 

PRAY for the teachers and leaders, that they will be inspired to pass along the truth of God's Word in a loving and clear way. 

PRAY for the impact of this program, that it will continue to grow both in Denmark and in Israel. 

PRAY that students will soon be able to return to the original Det Danske Hus by the Sea of Galilee. 

PRAY that revival in Denmark will grow out of this discipleship program, and through these disciples.


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Never mind corona: We're getting baptized!

“Do you believe in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior?” She used a handheld megaphone so the group assembled on the beach could hear. The young man standing in the waist-deep waves next to the two church leaders was first of eight. He cupped his hands around his mouth and answered loudly enough for everyone to hear. 

“Ja!” he cried.


"Upon your confession, we baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."

 


And with that he was dunked in the cold, salty Baltic Sea off the southern coast of the Danish island of Bornholm. The crowd assembled on the sandy beach cheered as the rest of the new believers in that lineup waited their turn. 

They didn’t mind the cool waters. As the church’s social media post explains, “it’s the year’s most wonderful day yet at Rønne Vineyard.”

 

Of course! Group baptisms like this don’t happen every day in Denmark. Christian believers are still in a small minority. And not all churches are faithful. As one Danish Christian recently wrote on Facebook, “here in Denmark, there are pastors who don’t believe, for example, that Jesus died on the cross and rose again on the third day. Instead, they’re holding yoga classes.”

 

But not on this day in July, and not on this beach. Here, eight more faithful believers confessed their faith in the risen Lord. Eight new Christians testified to the power of the gospel. And they are not alone.

 

PRAY for boldness in the faithful church of Jesus Christ in Denmark, that many more would come forward to testify of their faith and be baptized. Pray that God would move their hearts to obey the command to be baptized.  

 

PRAY for churches across the country, both from the Lutheran tradition and from others, that they would faithfully proclaim the gospel, and that more might come to know Jesus as their Lord and savior.

 

PRAY for more, many more baptism services of all kinds in Denmark, on beaches, in lakes, and in church buildings. Pray that this would be a summer filled with baptisms, even unanticipated ones.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Not your usual summer camp!

One of Denmark’s largest Christian family camps is happening this week – only not quite as usual. For reasons that need no explaining, SommerOase (Summer Oasis) is moving ahead in an online format this year.

Usually, hundreds of families gather this week under tents to enjoy speakers, singing, kids’ activities, fun, and spiritual renewal. Danes of all ages are challenged in their walk with the Lord, families are strengthened, and lives are changed. It’s a highlight of the summer, if not the year. Many families return for the event, year after year.

This year, July 12 through 15, the speakers are similar. The music is similar. The kids’ fun activities sound similar.

But surely it is not the same. Live feeds invite listeners to tune in for evening meetings and concerts. Seminar speakers bring messages from the Scriptures about world missions, or how to grow as believers in a changing world. Kids tune in to social media-based activities they can do with their families at home.

The overall theme is “What is God’s Spirit Saying?”

“We’re experiencing an exceptional time of crisis in our land,” said Ruben Dalsgaard, general secretary for DanskOase, the event’s organizer. “But when the ground is shaking beneath our feet, there is one who stands fast, and His kingdom is near in a special way for the powerless and vulnerable. Where is God’s Spirit taking us? (This week) we want to stop together, reflect, pray, and ask God: What is your Spirit saying to us?”

It’s an excellent question.

PRAY for the impact of SommerOase this year, that God may touch even more lives this year. After all, who knows how many can now join the event, online?

PRAY for open hearts all over Denmark to hear God’s Spirit, and respond.

PRAY for the speakers and activity leaders, for God’s anointing and wisdom as they share their hearts.

PRAY for the youth leaders, that God would give them enthusiasm and joy as they lead activities online.

PRAY that the impact of this summer event would continue long past July 15, and that many would come to know Christ through the online event.

PRAY for revival in Denmark through these unusual times.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

The Bible students are back!

After 10 and a half weeks, students are returning to Børkop Højskole, a Bible training college in southest Jylland.  (See more about the school in Pray for Denmark, February 2017.) And for the young students there, this return from the COVID-19 lockdown couldn’t come a day too soon.

“The everyday isn’t completely the same,” reads an email from the school. “There’s more hand sanitizer, more distancing, and more cleaning. But overall we have the opportunity to resume Bible training, fellowship, and everything else that makes Bible college special.”

Even so, instructors at the Bible college will be challenged to adapt their classes and activities, keeping things safe while inspiring young Bible students to grow in their faith and reach out during a time of recovery in Denmark.

So it’s a challenging time, but also an exciting, fresh opportunity for God to work in young hearts at a wonderful school.

PRAY for the students at Børkop, that they will see God’s hand in their lives, that they will take a closer look at their faith, and that they would follow Jesus as never before.

PRAY that God would draw many undecided students to attend the school, as well.

PRAY for the professors at Børkop, that they would find new and creative ways to pass along Biblical truth in the midst of a changed world.

PRAY for revival at Børkop Højskole, that this community would be a shining light for Christ, and that they would bring this faith home with them wherever they go.