Sunday, August 20, 2006

Tønder Festival, August 24-27

Tønder is a small city located close to the Danish-German border in southern Jutland. For more than 30 years, the town has played host to the gala Tønder Festival that presents a wide variety of traditional and modern folk music from all over Europe and elsewhere. The Festival has an international flavor. Besides Denmark, participating musical groups will be coming from Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden and the United States. There are paid, ticketed concerts on the official program, but also a lot of music to be heard in the streets for free.

Tønder (pronounced TUN-ner) Frikirke is well located in the very center of the city's downtown area. This weekend there will be countless numbers of passersby milling about the streets and thus providing a marvelous opportunity for evangelism. Though the church events are not listed as part of the official program, Pastor Rene Nielsen and the church's members are concerned to have a vibrant and welcoming Christian presence during the Festival by keeping the church doors open at crucial times and by providing good Christian music and coffee hours. On Friday, August 25 the church building will be open for music and coffee from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m., featuring Danish noted gospel singer Signe Walsøe. On Saturday, August 26 the church will be open from 3:30 to 11:00 p.m. and will feature a concert by a 30-voice Room4Joy gospel kor (gospel choir). The coffee times provide an opportunity to talk with people one on one and to make vailable informational booklets and tracts about the gospel and church's ministries. Faithful Pastor Rene and his wife Mette are warm and loving people. I met them and had delightful fellowship with them while on my trip to Denmark last spring. I got to see the church's facilities and admire its very attractive and inviting worship center (see an image of the church's exterior at Pastor Rene and I walked the streets around the church building itself that this weekend will be crowded with many hundreds of Festival-goers. I feel a great burden for Tønder Frikirke and for Pastor Nielsen and his family. They will greatly value our prayers on their behalf.

PRAY that the Holy Spirit will give Pastor Nielsen and the congregation of Tønder Frikirke direction and enormous wisdom for an attractive and winsome witness for Christ and the gospel during the Festival.

PRAY for many opportunities to meet and talk with Festival-goers and for wisdom and "holy boldness" in opening fruitful conversations on spiritual matters.

PRAY that the Spirit-anointed music and testimony of Signe Walsøe on Friday evening, and the Room4Joy gospelkor on Saturday evening, will attract overflow crowds of those readily able to discern when music is used to lift up and magnify the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

PRAY that during the Festival there will be young people and young married couples from the Tønder/Møgeltønder area itself who will be attracted to the gospel and align themselves with the fellowship and ministry of Tønder Frikirke.

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