Sunday, May 05, 2019

3 said yes

Tradition still means something in Denmark. So when three young teens announced together that they wanted to get baptized, people noticed.

After all, in their church, most children are sprinkled as babies. Like church attendance on Christmas and Easter, for some families it’s simply part of the culture, and has been for generations. But for whatever reason, the parents of Andrea, Tinke, and Nicoline had not arranged for their children to be baptized as infants.

Even so, the girls all agreed that was okay.

“I’m glad that I could decide this for myself,” said Nicoline Dabbagh, 14. “Because if I’d wanted to, I could have said no.”

Her friend Andrea Hansen also wasn’t disappointed at the way things turned out.

“I think it’s fine that I got to choose, myself,” she said. “Because if I didn’t believe, I would not have chosen to be baptized.”

So the three were baptized at Ansgars Church in Odense last February, part of a growing trend toward later baptism in the state Lutheran church. Until recently, this kind of thing was unheard of. In 2018, however, a record number of Danish teens — more than 3,000 — said yes to baptism. That’s an 18 percent rise over the same time five years ago.

Is something starting to happen among Denmark’s 10- to 19-year-olds? Let’s keep watching.

PRAY for young Danes like Andrea, Tinke, and Nicoline — that they would come to know the Savior they’ve confessed in baptism, and that they would grow in their new faith.

PRAY that more and more young people would respond to the gospel, in and out of the state Lutheran church.

PRAY for revival among Danish teens, that the Holy Spirit would move in Lutheran churches, free churches, camps, and neighborhoods.

PRAY for spiritual awakening among Danish teens this summer, and that many would be saved!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

An open door (and a meal)

A couple of years ago we prayed for believers in the Amagerbro Frikirke (free church), a growing fellowship in Copenhagen that’s relentlessly focused on reaching out to their community in the name of Jesus.

Now it’s time to pray again, as they gear up for an important five-week outreach every Tuesday evening in April, called “Something About the Christian Faith.”

With open discussions, presentations, and good food, the Amagerbro believers hope to attract local seekers in a gentle, non-threatening environment. It’s for the curious and the undecided. For people who doubt. And perhaps for those looking for an evening snack.

The event builds on the success of last year’s outreach, and it’s a typical approach for this fellowship. In addition to regular Sunday morning services, they hold once-a-month services specifically for seekers—an easier, less formal entry point to the church. They also organize informal Tuesday evening drop-in services, called “Open Church,” to attract those who might otherwise avoid a Sunday gathering.

In a country where nominal, cultural, twice-a-year Christianity has been a part of their heritage for generations, this opportunity to take a fresh look at true faith is critical.

PRAY for those organizing and leading the five-week special outreach, for their leadership, wisdom, and health.

PRAY that God would prepare the hearts of everyone who should attend, that they would hear of the outreach, and that God would draw them to come.

PRAY that new relationships would flourish each evening. And most of all…

PRAY that those who attend with questions will meet and come to follow Jesus as a result.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Shout-out for revival!

Danish believers are praying for revival in their land! Take a look at what Lars Heiberg writes in the Facebook page called “Christian Testimony in Denmark.” 

You’ll recognize a clear spiritual hunger in his message:

“Shout-out for national prayer!

Because I’m experiencing an attack on the Danish church, I believe it could be a very good idea to get our prayer life going.

A nationwide prayer, covering our land 24/7.

The thought would be that our focus would turn to God, to intervene in Denmark’s situation.

1.     Ask that God’s church would be cleansed, so we will become useful for God’s service and filling.
2.     Pray that Danes would recognize sin in their lives, so there would be a turning from that sin.
3.     Pray that we would follow the Holy Spirit’s leading for our land, just like the Israelites did in the wilderness.
4.     Pray that the right decisions would be made in positions of leadership.
5.     Pray that people would experience a hunger to know and follow Jesus.

Let us storm Heaven, so that God would hear our tenacious prayers, according to the promise of the widow and the unjust judge. See Luke 18:1-8.

Perhaps someone could set up a schedule, where a person can sign up for days, and eventually for (prayer) hours, and set up a prayer schedule in Denmark.

Let’s unite in the shared goal of answered prayer for Denmark!

Please share.

So we will share! And now the replies to Lars Heiberg’s post show what Danish believers are thinking:

“I’ve had the same thing on my heart!”
“Let’s pray for a spiritual breakthrough in our land.”

Please join in these fervent prayers with our Danish brothers and sisters.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

A new church in Outskirts Denmark

Last November, we prayed for outreach on the island of Bornholm.  As it turns out, this movement may represent some of the most unique church planting in Denmark today.

What’s different about it?

As one Danish pastor points out, the movement tackles two issues, head-on: economic stress on urban Christian families, and “Udkantsdanmark.”

Believers in Rønne reach out to the community during a family event.
Translated, that long word means “Outskirts Denmark,” and it refers to 16 less strategically situated communities that have found themselves in the economic wake of better-known, more fortunate areas in the rest of Denmark.

Though civic pride and polite conversation veils much of the disparity, there’s a growing realization that the playing field may not be as level as once assumed. Forward-thinking believers have taken that as an open door, however, through an organized exodus from the pressures of city life in Copenhagen to the open doors and church-planting opportunities in the town of Rønne on the remote island of Bornholm.

“We’ve experimented during the past year,” says Vineyard Pastor Helle Samuelsen. “Four families with children from the Copenhagen Vineyard experienced a clear call to pull up roots and plant ourselves on the island of Bornholm. Here, the houses are inexpensive, which gave most of us the time to invest in church planting and in the people we meet.”

These missionary families meet weekly to encourage each other and compare outreach strategies, something Samuelsen calls “very exciting and a very different way of doing church.”

Leaving behind their hurried, stressed lives in the capital, says Samuelsen, “we’re able to do things that give our lives meaning as Christians. We have the opportunity and the time to enter into the lives of people. And we’re experiencing that we’re right where we can make a difference.

“We don’t have fancy worship services and we probably won’t ever become a megachurch. But out here in the outskirts, local church planting has been able to become the hope of Outskirts Denmark.”

PRAY for these four families in the coming year as they invest their lives in church planting and lifestyle evangelism.

PRAY that God would bring them into contact with just the right people, and that many would come to know and follow Jesus as a result.

PRAY that God would equip even more Christian families from the growing economic centers to step out into the smaller “Outskirts” communities of Denmark. Pray that they would catch the vision!

PRAY that God would grow churches and bring revival to Outskirts Denmark through this new movement of believers.