Friday, December 21, 2007

Glædelig Jul og Godt Nytår

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all who share with us in the prayer ministry of Pray for

Denmark desperately needs a visitation of the Holy Spirit that would lead to renewal and a nationwide evangelistic thrust. Please continue to PRAY for a great spiritual revival to come to Denmark. The land is dotted with churches, but so many Danes lack a vital personal relationship with the Christ of Christmas and Calvary. PRAY urgently that in 2008, this wonderful little country will experience a return to the truths of the Bible, the Word of God, and that many through radical repentance and faith will realize in their own lives the true message of Christmas: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11, NIV).
Bill (Olsen) Hunter and Brad Haugaard

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Prayer Alert: Spiritual Effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder

There is an immediate and urgent need for prayer that affects all of Denmark (and other Scandinavian countries for that matter) and its churches, one I never so much as dreamed would appear on this website. The request comes from alert and concerned Danish prayer warriors and concerns a deep mood of depression and heaviness of heart and soul that becomes apparent in many people during winter months in Scandinavia. It is a mood altering condition that mental health professionals refer to as seasonal affective disorder. The days are very short at this time of the year because it gets dark around three o’clock in the afternoon and daylight doesn’t reappear until after eight o’clock in the morning. Many people suffer from depression because of the lack of daylight, so psychiatrists actually prescribe lamps and light boxes to provide artificial daylight. Satan uses this situation to cause even some in the churches to consider or even attempt suicide, all a result of this heaviness and depressive mood that we are seeing in so many people at this time of the year.”

My correspondent, a pastor from Denmark reports, “We sense a certain battle fatigue and heaviness about people and even feel sort of weary ourselves from it. When I was praying the other day, the Lord led me to ask for the weak knees to be strong and for tired arms to be lifted. Again today he showed us that a lot of people are under this ‘cloud’ of soul heaviness or weariness, as it were. It’s as though they are sleepwalking, groping around like zombies, and lacking spiritual direction. We felt led to ask the Lord to speak to them as He spoke to Lazarus, to ‘Come out!’ So we prayed that the hand of the Lord would move and awaken, and I sensed a stirring, a moving in the heavenlies.”

At a recent leadership meeting in Copenhagen, Pastor Flemming Mølhede exhorted those present to press on and not to expect harvest without sacrifice—a serious message but by God’s grace one that was offset by intimate worship during which the worship leader prayed, “How can we even worship you Lord as anything we sing or say is so inadequate.” But, the Lord spoke to our hearts with an encouraging, spirits-lifting word assuring us that ‘Your very lives are an act of worship.’ How encouraging when we are all feeling a little battle weary and see so many needs that in ourselves we do not have the resources to meet.”

PRAY that God would shake life and alertness into those in Denmark and other Scandinavian countries who are depressed and going through daily life as though “weary and heavy-laden,” heavy of heart and soul from the lack of daylight.

PRAY for church planting teams that are seeing symptoms of the “down mood” of seasonal affective disorder, in some instances affecting both team members as well as those they are trying to reach for Christ. They sacrifice so much for the kingdom and need strength and endurance with splashes of joy in their serving.

PRAY that many believers in Denmark and committed intercessors worldwide would “grab the horns of the altar” and shake the heavens by teaming up and pressing on in prayer that God would by His Spirit and power lift spirits and bring “daylight” to the depressed and oppressed.

PRAY that the “sleepwalkers” will discover the reality of the hope-giving, soul-saving Gospel of Christ.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Influence of Denmark's Frikirker

At least in name, according to the statistics from 2005, 83 percent of Danes are counted as adherents of the Lutheran State Church (Den Folkekirken), with slippage noted from 1990 when the percentage was 89.3 percent. The Folkekirke comprises 2200 parishes, 2400 churches, 2400 pastors, 2200 parish councils with 18,000 council members, and 12 bishops. The Queen is the titular head of the church, with the Danish Parliament (Folketinget) and the government’s Church Ministry (Kirkeministeriet) occupied with its overall administration and support. In Denmark, the term “free churches” (frikirker) refers to those churches and denominations that are not a part of the Folkekirke. The Frikirker are few in number in comparison to the monolithic state-supported Folkekirke.

The FrikirkeNet (the network of Denmark’s free churches), recently reported that there are 335 free churches in Denmark, with ten new self-standing churches added since the last semi-annual count. Of the 98 Danish communes, there are still 19 that are without an organized free church. Counted among the 335 free churches are many international churches that have come into being as a result of immigration. There are also a number of international ethnic fellowships that operate as a part of an existing free church. Most of the Danish free churches appear to be strongly evangelical with many even so needing a special touch of revival.

Without being overly judgmental, the larger share of the churches and parishes comprised within the Folkekirke appear to lack evangelical zeal and evangelistic fervor. This is reflected in the extremely low percentage of Danes (estiumated at five percent) who attend church services regularly and for whom the church has little relevance for daily life and walk. Thankfully, there are notable exceptions and especially those churches and parishes related in some way to one or another of the revival organizations within the Folkekirke, including Indre Mission, Luthersk Mission, Evangelisk Luthersk Mission, Oase, and Nyt Liv.

The free churches in Denmark have kept alive a spirit of evangelism and many of these churches practice believers (adult) baptism exclusively. The influence of the free churches has undoubtedly been quietly more effective than many Danes realize. The influence of the influx of ethnic believers through immigration, the coming of many interdenominational seminars from overseas, the zeal of the charismatic churches, and the introduction of praise and worship music are but a few of the factors which I see as having had some influence on Folkekirke pastors and parishes. I believe that a key element in reaching the Danish population with the Gospel of Christ is new evangelical churches strategically planted that will help keep alive the flame of evangelism in the country. Evangelism and revival go hand in hand and evangelism is a strong need in every generation for, as has been said, God has no grandchildren.

Pray for has from its inception three and a half years ago called believers throughout the world to pray for the spiritual needs of Denmark. Our website statistics indicate that there are those who are doing so and Brad and I praise God for them. I believe sincerely that intercessory prayer is the key to renewal/revival, evangelism, and new church planting.

As a longtime committed evangelical, I have not given up on the Folkekirke. God’s arm is not shortened that it cannot save. Because of the strong cultural and familial pull of the Folkekirke on the Danish people, I tend to believe that if revival and renewal are to come to Denmark it must come to the pastors and parishes of the Folkekirke. But I also believe that God has raised up the free churches to be a part and promulgators of the revival that Brad and I pray and believe will come. Denmark is ripe for revival. “Repent . . .and turn to God . . . that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:19-20).

PRAY for the cities of Hovedstaden region that to our knowledge do not as yet have a free church, including Albertslund, Brøndby, Dragør, Frederikssund, Furesø, Gladsaxe, Hørsholm, Ishøj, Tårnby, and Vallensbæk.

PRAY for Sjælland region where a free church does not exist in the cities of Odsherred and Stevns.

PRAY for Syddanmark region and the planting of a free church in Fanø and Æro.

PRAY for Midtjylland region and the planting of a free church in Samsø, Skanderborg, Struer, and Syddjurs.

PRAY for Nordjylland region where a new church plant is needed in Læsø.

PRAY for all those with responsibilities for the day-to-day work of the Folkekirke, including governmental authorities, the twelve bishops, and all of its 2400 congregations and pastors.

PRAY for a genuine revival of committed Christian faith, a 21st century Reformation, to sweep over Denmark and in turn spread throughout Europe.

PRAY that Denmark’s free churches will regain a sense of aggressive evangelism that knows and understands Danish culture and with the Holy Spirit’s power and direction winsomely calls men and women to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

PRAY that God will raise up a new generation of church planters with a compelling vision for planting new churches in Denmark’s unreached communes.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Brethren Assemblies in Denmark

So-called Christian Brethren or Plymouth Brethren assemblies are found throughout the world and Denmark is no exception. Though not as well known in Denmark as they ought to be, the Christian Brethren are unquestionably in the mainstream of evangelicalism. Their church organization is simple and they gather in independent assemblies without an overarching denominational structure. They have been an important force in world-wide evangelism since the early part of the 19th century. Many great Bible teachers and missionaries have come from the assemblies, including such men as J. N. Darby, Robert Chapman, H. A. Ironside, H. L. Ellison, F. F. Bruce, my beloved friend Bill Deans of Nyankunde, Congo, and others far too numerous to mention.

The term Christian Brethren is not an official name amongst them as they consider themselves to be simply Christians gathered to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a laymen’s movement based on New Testament church principles. Their local assemblies do not have an ordained ministry as such but function under the leadership of elders who must fulfill elder qualifications as specified in the New Testament epistles. Itinerant missionaries and teachers often travel in ministry from assembly to assembly, but most of the teaching and preaching is done by men from the local assemblies themselves. A feature of Brethren worship is the weekly gathering at the Lord’s Table known as “The Breaking of Bread.” The Brethren are notable for their intense study of the Word of God and they are by and large amongst the most Biblically literate of evangelicals. They practice believers baptism by immersion.

Over the years I have known many believers and leaders from among the Christian Brethren in the United States, in Kenya, in the Congo, and in Denmark. It was my good fortune in 1957 to have been in Copenhagen where I attended a Sunday evening gathering at that city’s Brethren assembly. I have mentioned before in these postings the Faroese physician, Dr. Rodmundur I Liða. That evening in Copenhagen I heard Rodmundur give a memorable, intensely emotional testimony of his faith in Christ that has left an indelible impression on me ever since. He was at the time attending medical school at the University of Copenhagen. I learned that more than ten percent of the Faroe Islands population is associated with the Christian Brethren assemblies. Rodmundur long practiced as a highly respected physician and surgeon in Tørshavn, capitol city of the Faroe Islands. Though now retired, he continues to teach and preach in the assemblies. He has on occasion visited and spoken at Christian Brethren assemblies in Denmark.

The Copenhagen assembly with which I had become acquainted in 1957 later relocated to Bronshoj where the believers gathered for 30 years as Brønshøj Kristne Forsamling and more recently has relocated to new facilities in Skovlunde. In its various locations, this assembly has been in existence for more than 100 years and is now known as Skovlunde Frikirke ( Other Danish-speaking assemblies are located at Glostrup (, Copenhagen ( and Odense (

Ten percent or more of the population of the Faroe Islands is said to be associated with Christian Brethren assemblies. There are assemblies related to the Faroe Island Brethren located in the metropolitan Copenhagen area (known as Kristnastova, and other cities. I was pleased to discover that there is an assembly in Hirtshals known as Malta (

Christian Brethren, wherever located throughout the world, have always been motivated toward world-wide evangelism. For example, Skovlunde Frikirke supports missionaries Ole and Wilsy Ottosen in Papua New Guinea, and René and Heide Bryld in Uummannaq, Greenland. Most of the Danish and Faroe Island assemblies appear to support missionaries of the New Tribes Mission International.

PRAY for the believers who meet in independent Christian Brethren assemblies throughout Denmark, for their spiritual growth, for sound Bible teaching and for their evangelistic outreach in the areas in which they are located.

PRAY for wisdom in the exercise of spiritual leadership given to the elders of Sjæland’s Skovlunde Frikirke, including Charles Dalton, Flemming Windfeld, Preben Madsen, Steen Asmussen, Jørgen Andersen, Bent Ottosen, and Dan Fuglø.

PRAY for Kristnastova and the Faroese Christian Brethren assemblies of Denmark, not only for their ability to reach Faroese people residing in Denmark but also for their fellowship and cooperation with Danish-speaking assemblies.

PRAY for Ole and Wilsy Ottosen working with New Tribes Mission in Papua, New Guinea, and René and Heide Bryld who have worked in Uummannaq, Greenland.

PRAY that the Lord will raise up workers from amongst the Danish assemblies to plant new work in other areas of Denmark.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bethel Baptistkirken in Aalborg

In the summer of 1948, following completion of my junior year at Northwestern College (St. Paul) and just after I had married, I had the opportunity to be the summer assistant at Bethel Baptist Church in Harlan, Iowa. It was a thrill for me to work with the pastor, Rev. Arlen Halvorsen, in a good-size church affiliated with the Danish Baptist Conference. During my time in Harlan I had contact with several older believers who had come to the United States from Aalborg, in north Jutland, Denmark. I remember those conversations in which there were tearful stories of the hardships Baptists had had in Denmark before the turn of the century. The Folkekirke (State Church) was none too kind to free churches in that time, especially when some of its adherents left to join the Baptist churches in Aalborg and elsewhere. I don’t recall all the details, but these dear old saints endured ostracism and persecution, severe enough for them to feel the necessity of leaving their native land to make a new home in the United States where they could freely practice their faith without interference from government. Fortunately, the conditions which had forced those old saints in Harlan, Iowa to leave Denmark no longer apply.

Imagine the thrill it was for me last year when I had the opportunity to visit Denmark and to have contact with Bethel Baptistkirken in Aalborg, the very church from which those older people in Harlan had come. That church has had an illustrious history since its founding on October 1, 1840, when P. C. Mønster from Copenhagen baptized six people and with them planted the first Baptist church in Jutland. Though now in existence for 167 years, Bethel Baptistkirken remains today a testimony to the faith and vision of its founders. Many churches as old in Denmark and elsewhere have become lifeless monuments of a once vibrant faith. Not so Aalborg’s Bethel Baptistkirken which continues to have a strong Bible-believing, evangelistically focused ministry under the leadership of its Senior Pastor Chresten Eskildsen. The church’s website contains information about the church’s history and current church life. View it at

Bethel’s International Pastor is Lee Hanson who has an extensive ministry with Danish and international students from the University of Aalborg. I have seen him at work and he is a very busy pastor who makes friends easily and has had a godly influence in the lives of many young people. Bethelkirken has a well established International Christian Fellowship. Internationals from many countries have long been part of the church family. Sunday services at Bethelkirken offer simultaneous translation in English. Every second and fourth Sunday evening of the month, there is a service conducted entirely in English. Internationals are encouraged to become part of one of the small groups meeting during the week for prayer, study of the Scriptures and fellowship. There are many spontaneous opportunities for newcomers to enjoy the hospitality of church members. Every Wednesday, when the University is in session, Lee makes himself available in the cafeteria to meet and chat with students over the lunch hour, always striving to gain a hearing for the message of the gospel of Christ.

PRAISE God that Aalborg’s Bethelkirken is not so enamored with its 167-year history as to lose sight of faithfulness to Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and God’s mandate for evangelism.

PRAY for Senior Pastor Chresten Eskildsen and his family, that God would bless his ministry of teaching and preaching of the Word of God, counseling, and guiding the church in obedience to the Great Commission.

PRAY that Pastor Lee Hanson will have many opportunities this year to develop friendships with international students and the Spirit’s leading to present to them the claims of the gospel of Christ.

PRAY that Aalborg’s Bethel Baptistkirken will find ways to aggressively reach this important northern Jutland city with a dynamic witness for Jesus Christ.

PRAISE God that for the spirit of cooperation that exists in several areas between Bethel Baptistkirke and other free churches, including Aalborg Apostolsk Kirke, Frikirken Aalborg Øst, and Aalborg Pinsekirken.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Blessing at Roskilde Vineyard

Start-up of a new church plant in Denmark is a God-sized major undertaking not for the faint-hearted. Church planting is fraught with difficulties, so much so that it has been said that two out of three church plants in Denmark do not make it.

One that has seen God’s blessing and has thrived and grown is the Vineyard church plant in Roskilde. This new work has been under the leadership of co-pastors David and Solvej Allen. It has not been easy, but the Allens say, “We are thankful now and we chalk it all up to grace and endurance, mostly God’s endurance with us!”

Just last November, this several-years-old plant had a release party from the supervision by Copenhagen Vineyard leadership. Roskilde is no longer considered to be a church in the planting stage but now in its own right is a fully independent Vineyard church. The church is still a small but growing congregation of 50 that meets in Roskilde’s Kulturhuset (Culture House). Most of the members are young people, with a good number of them having only recently come to faith in Christ. A month ago or so David and Solvej had a wonderful celebration service at which two of the young men who have recently come to Christ were baptized in the Roskilde Fjord. One of them is now a house group (small group) leader and the other a worship leader, so as David and Solvej put it, “They are already getting ‘milked for all they’re worth’ in the Lord’s service.”

Church planters make some tremendous sacrifices. David and Solvej minister as a team with David as Senior Pastor (see photo above of recent worship and group leaders retreat with Solvej third person in the front row and David standing behind her). David has had full-time secular employment but will finally begin to get a day off every week starting in September. That will release him for more time in evangelism. Solvej has been on one-third salary from the church for the past year, so the church’s giving has also increased. She still has to work half-time as a secretary to help make ends meet. The Allens state that the church has a good sense of community, even though it took a long time to get to that point. Now people “hang out” and do fun things together all the time during the week. Four house groups also contribute to that end.

An exciting new development is that Roskilde Vineyard has been invited to have some of its services at the local Music Hall, a place where youth tend to gather. The Allens consider it to be a “God-thing” that this door has opened. Plans are to have three services in that venue this Fall with the hope of attracting a different crowd by meeting in this even more public place.

Pastor David had his 45th birthday recently and Solvej wanted to celebrate the event by taking him out for dinner after church, probably to have some time together just as a couple. However, five other people also wanted to come along with them and the Allens in true pastoral fashion thought, “Oh well, the more the merrier!” There was lots of fun and laughter. Solvej had felt bad that they had not been able to celebrate Pastor David’s birthday with more of a party because Sunday is a pastor’s “work day,” filled with preparing for the service, leading the service, and debriefing after the service. But when they got back home, they realized that eating with those great friends was so much fun. But not only that, they also realized with praise to God that out of the five who had joined them for dinner four had come to faith in Christ through the ministry of Roskilde Vineyard. It is likely they are all people that would have had a hard time adjusting to any other type of church setting. That thought made the Allens so thankful and, as David said, “What better birthday gift could anyone want!”

For more information, browse around in the church’s attractive website at

PRAISE the Lord for what He has been and is accomplishing in Roskilde through the power of God’s Holy Spirit wooing and winning people to Christ and to trust in His finished work of redemption.

PRAISE God for dedicated church planters David and Solvej Allen who have stayed committed to the task through thick and thin and have seen His working in many lives as an evidence of faithful, Spirit-empowered ministry.

PRAY that the young Vineyard church in Roskilde will maintain a strong, vibrant and grace-filled evangelistic outreach that will attract many Danes who would likely never become a part of any other type of church.

PRAY that the Lord will knit the members of Roskilde Vineyard together in unity and community to create a worshjpping congregation intent on discovering and using their spiritual gifts to build up and nurture the Body of Christ.

PRAY for God’s presence and blessing in the opportunities that will present themselves this fall to reach an entirely different crowd of young people in the occasional services that will be held at the new Music Hall venue in Roskilde. (The Allens report that the first service at the Music Hall on Sunday, August 19 went very well with an excellent turnout and many seekers! Praise the Lord!)

PRAY for continued passion and wisdom on the part of the church’s leadership, for effective grounding and discipling of new believers, and for new and fresh, Spirit-led ideas for fruitful evangelism.

PRAY that in the Lord’s timing the church’s increase in numbers and giving will allow Senior Pastor David and co-pastor Solvej to leave secular employment in order to engage full-time in ministry.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Tønder Festival 2007, August 23-26

Once again, Jutland’s southern border city of Tønder (pronounced TON-er) will be hosting its internationally known summer music festival, August 23-26. As it does every year, Tønder Festival 2007 will showcase many secular music groups, both traditional and folk.

Each year during the Festival the Tønder Frikirke, the small city’s only evangelical free church, makes a major effort to offer a vibrant and attractive musical witness. This year popular Christian singer-songwriter Hans Jørn Østerby, known as West Jutland’s Troubador, will be the Friday evening, August 24 headliner musician. On Saturday, August 25 the featured musicians will be the Danish southern gospel group, ABC Gospel Quartet. These fine Christian brothers, whose repertoire is in the style of the Gaither Vocal Band and The Imperials, will add to the variety of music that will be heard in secular venues during the Festival. The members of ABC Gospel Quartet are tenors Jan Stern Johansen and Ejvind Lohse; baritone Jens Bracher; bass Paul Sander Hansen; with pianist Øvind Lillemæhlum.

Tønder Frikirke is ideally situated in the central business area of the city with hundreds of excited Festivalgoers of many nationalities milling about. Sounds of music will be heard everywhere in the city whether through ticketed concerts in the cultural hall as well as informally on the streets. The hope is that many will be attracted to the sounds of music coming from the church’s worship center and be drawn inside. There they will be greeted warmly by the pastor, Rene Nielsen and members of the church. Coffee will be served (what would a Danish event be without coffee and a “little something” to go with it!). Friendly one on one conversation will go along with the coffeetime.

Zechariah 4:6 reminds us that it is “not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord almighty.” Plans and programs will fail without the might, power and presence of the Holy Spirit. As He provides the opening in the coffee and conversation-times, the visitor may be ready to accept a low-keyed, non-pressured and winsome witness to Christ and the gospel. Christian literature will also be made available. The church will be open from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. on Friday the 24th and 3:30 to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday the 25th.

Prayer partners of Pray for, as you think about the wonderful opportunities Tønder Festival 2007 presents for an evangelistic outreach, in the next several weeks please

PRAY that the faithful efforts of Pastor Nielsen and Tønder Frikirke will be rewarded by many visitors to Tønder Festival 2007 accepting the invitation to come into the church’s worship center to hear the featured musicians.

PRAY that the Holy Spirit will use the style of music and earnest testimonies of Hans Jørn Østerby and the ABC Gospel Quartet to stir the hearts of visitors who may be spiritually hungry seekers.

PRAY that visitors who come to Tønder Festival 2007 only to hear a variety of secular music will have hearts open to the life-changing claims of the gospel and come to faith in Christ as Savior and Lord through the efforts of the Tønder Frikirke believers and the guest musicians.

PRAY that the Holy Spirit will be in control and use the ministry of every guest musician and every believer on Friday and Saturday, August 25-26 to the glory and praise of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Summer 2007 - Schedule of Selected Danish Conference/Camps/Bible Schools

Once again, denominational and revival movement conferences and Bible camps will be meeting throughout Denmark this summer under tents, at resorts, in school buildings, or even in the open air. The larger share of these conferences and camps will take place in July. A sampling of them appears below, though the list reflects only those of which we have thus far become aware. Such summer activities are important avenues for inter-church fellowship, for evangelistic contacts, and for believers' spiritual growth and development and training for ministries. Many of the conferences and camps include a full program and activities for children and young people.
Various weeks in July and August - Indre Missions Bibelcamping 2007 is a large and multifaceted camping program with 18 different camps for different ages at a number of locations throughout Denmark, including Bornholm, Fårevejle, Haderup, Hadsund, Hurup, Lystruphave, Myrhøj Pinsecamping, Mørkholt Strand Camping, Sdr. Felding Å Festival, Skovgårde Bibelcamping, Sundeved, Sæby, and Tullebølle. Indre Mission is the oldest of several revival/renewal movements in the Lutheran Folkekirke. The full schedule for Indre Mission’s extensive 2007 camping program may be viewed at

Various weeks in July – Luthersk Missionsforening (a Folkekirke revival movement) has scheduled youth, family, and children-juniors camps at two locations: Haderslev Næs in Mid-Jutlland, south of Kolding, and Virksund, near Skive in northern Jutland. Full schedules for both campsites may be found at (Haderslev Næs) and (Virksund).
July 2-8 - Oaselejr Sjællands Sommerlejr 2007, a regional family camp associated with Dansk Oase, meets the week prior to the national SommerOase 2007 (see below). This family camp will be held at Odsherreds Efterskole, in Fårevejle, northwest Sjælland. This theme selected for this year’s camp is “Noget om nåde” (Something about grace).
July 7-13 - The Apostolsk Sommerstævne 2007 of the Danish Apostolic Churches will again be held on the campus of the Internationale Apostolsk Højskole in Kolding, Jutland. The theme of this year's conference is "Autentisk kirke" (The authentic church).
July 14-20 - The Pinsekirkernes (Pentecostal Churches) SommerCamp 2007 will meet on the expansive campus of the churches' Højskole (High School and Bible School) in Mariager, 36 miles north of Århus. This year's theme is "Drevet af en passion" (Driven by a passion).
July 8-15 - Dansk Oase, a charismatic-oriented revival movement within the national Lutheran Folkekirke, will hold its SommerOase 2007 conference at Rudehøj Efterskole in Odder, Central Jutland. The conference theme is "Reformation." A number of Danish church leaders will be featured speakers together with several pastors and Christian workers from other countries.
July 8-15 - Nyt Liv (New Life), a revival movement within the Lutheran Folkekirke, has again scheduled its Familietræf 2007 family camp at Djurslands Efterskole, northweast of Århus..
July 22-28 – Baptisternes Missionsstævne 2007 (BaptistChurches’ 2007 Annual Conference) will once again take place at the Pinse Højskole in Mariager. This year's theme is "Nyt live I tro” (New Life in Faith).
July 21-27 - Det Danske Missionsforbund (Danish Mission Covenant Church) holds its multigenerational "Sommerkonference 2007) on the campus of the Internationale Apostolsk Højskole in Kolding (south Jutland). The theme of this year's conference is "Værktøj for livet: När tro bliver til livsstil" (Tools for the Life: grace belief gives birth to lifestyle").
July 23-29 - Vineyard Norden churches from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and Finland will gather for a week of SommerCamp, this year at Liljehomen's School in Rimforsa, Sweden. The theme for the week is "Att vara en Jesu Fäjunge idag--vad betyder det?" (To Be a Disciple of Jesus today--what does that mean?" The visiting speakers will be Peter and Kathy Downs, national directors of Vineyard in Australia. A wide range of seminars will also be offered.
August 2-5 - The 8th Scandinavian Calvary Chapel Annual Summer Conference will take place at Sommerhjemmet , near Roskilde. Invited speakers are Pastors David Guzik of Calvary Chapel Bible College in Siegen, Germany, and Bob Pecoraro from the Calvary Chapel in Turku, Finland. Calvary Chapel ministry specializes in verse-by-verse biblical exposition and this year's conference study will focus on the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.
August 5-12 – Den Dansk Metodistkirke (Danish Methodist Church) will hold its annual Sommerhøjskole at Solborgen ved Sejerbugten, near Holbæk (a short distance northwest of Copenhagen). The Sommerhøjskole theme is "Livsglæde og kristent fællesskab" (Christian fellowship/community and the joy of life).
There are evidences that God is truly working in Denmark. Let us join Him in His activity through our fervent intercession on behalf of these 2007 conferences, camps, and Bible schools. "Revive us, and we will call on Your name" (Psalm 80:18b, NIV).
PRAY that the Holy Spirit will use every leader and speaker mightily in each of these conferences, camps or Bible schools.
PRAY that every camper, of whatever age group, will come to these summer events expecting God to bless graciously and powerfully in meeting their individual needs. When they return to their families and congregations, may it be evident that "they have been with Jesus" (cf. Acts 4:13).
PRAY for the musicians as they lead the people in praise and worship. When it comes, revival will surely be borne along on the wings of Spirit-led praise and Spirit-empowered singing. No revival ever comes without God's people breaking out in songs of high praise and worship.
PRAY that every conference, camp, and Bible school will offer a fearless and dynamic presentation of the human need for salvation and a positive response by the unsaved to the Savior who has so graciously, through His once-for-all sacrifice at Calvary, made possible our salvation.
PRAY for a sense of ministry to pervade the actions and activities of the supporting staff at each of these conferences, camps, or Bible schools.
PRAY for God's protection from accidents and injuries and the possible intrusion of demonic influences at every summer campsite.
PRAY that as a result of these summer conferences God will give such a spirit of unity and love for each other that the various denominations and organizations will be able to deal effectively with whatever problems, antagonisms, dissensions and spirit of competitiveness there may be between themselves and other denominations, local churches, and church members.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Preparing for Danish Summer Camps and Conferences

Once again this year, the months of July and August will see the gathering of hundreds of Danish believers in summer camps and conferences sponsored by the various free church denominations and Folkekirke revival movements. This website will shortly begin to post the dates and places of the summer camps and conferences of which we have been made aware.

Because many of these camps usually bring together large numbers of people from all over the country, the spiritual implications are tremendous. Many of the free churches in Denmark are rather small. There is a dynamic and excitement often present in the singing and worship of large assemblies that is rarely experienced in smaller local churches. There is also an appreciation for fellowship in the larger Body of Christ that comes from worshiping together with fellow believers from throughout the country. Enduring friendships are often made at these summer events.

PRAY for the intense preparations going on now for the many July and August summer camps, including the final details for each camping event, the setting up of the camp grounds, the orientation and training of camp helpers, and the ministries of camp administrators, musicians, seminar leaders and speakers.

PRAY for God’s protective mercies as camp workers and campers travel by bus, train, and auto from the far corners of the country. Some of the speakers and seminar leaders will be coming from other countries. PRAY that campers at each of the scheduled camps will be spared serious injuries or illnesses.

PRAY that the power of God’s Holy Spirit will be felt in every camping event and that speakers will confidently proclaim the Word of God with His anointing in every teaching and preaching sessions.

PRAY for revival to break out in many of the camps with numbers coming to faith in Christ and every camper, whether child, youth or adult, strengthened and encouraged toward growth in their Christian life and walk.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Urgent Need in Burundi

As a matter of policy, Pray for does not generally become involved with matters of funding or fund raising and does not expect to do so often in the future if at all. However, Thomas Spanner of Baptistkirken i Danmark (Danish Baptist Union) has notified us of an urgent request pertaining to the African country of Burundi, where Danish Baptists began mission work in 1928. As the work grew, and because of the need for medical care for converts and families related to the indigenous churches as well as ministry to the general local population, the Danish Baptists early on financed and constructed a hospital at Musema in Burundi’s Kayanza Province. With the cooperation of local Burundis, the hospital was long administered and staffed by dedicated Scandinavian doctors and nurses, among them for some years my dear friends Dr. Torben and Rita Rouland., now retired in Viborg.

In 1989, the property and management of Musema Hospital was taken over by the Burundi Ministry of Health. The hospital was all but destroyed during the civil war years between 1993 and 2000. The World Bank provided financial support for its renovation between 2001 and 2003. As a temporary measure, Musema Hospital has been managed since early 2005 by Médicins Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders) which has very recently ended its participation. The local population had great doubts that the Burundi government could or would maintain proper hospital standards. The Burundi Minister of Health has now asked the leaders of the Baptist Union of Burundi (UEBB) to assume the burden of management of Musema Hospital.

It is essential that this Hospital continue its medical services and caring ministry for the obvious reason it is one of only two hospitals in the entire Province of Kayanza, an area with a population of nearly 560,000. There are high costs involved in managing such a large hospital operation and the Burundi Baptist Union has limited resources. Danish Baptists have continued over the years to give generous support to missions endeavor in Burundi. In a cooperative effort on behalf of the Burundi Baptist Union, the Danish Baptist Union program coordinator Thomas Spanner has launched an urgent project and appeal to churches and Baptist organizations worldwide, as well as other entities, to consider lending support to the Burundi Baptist Union in its management of the Musema Hospital project. That support is expected to take the form of medical teams of volunteer doctors and nurses; financing for specific projects such as fences and security around the hospital; provision of a building to house a radiology unit; upkeep of paths and roads on the hospital grounds; and new surgery facilities and equipment. Also needed are funds for daily running expenses for a period of at least three years. The Burundi government has been asked to contribute support, though it is not all certain that such support will materialize. In the aftermath of the civil war, the nation’s resources are still decidedly inadequate and limited. The country is still in transition from civil war to peace and reconstruction.

Those concerned for this urgent need may contact Musema Hospital project coordinator Thomas Spanner, Secretary for International Missions, at Baptistkirken I Danmark, Lærdalsgade 7,, DK 2300 Copenhagen S. He may be reached via email at

PRAY that the urgent appeal for support of the Burundi Baptist Union’s management of Musema Hospital will result in widespread interest and generous response in the hospital’s ministry for Christ on the part of many individual donors, churches and other Christian organizations.

PRAY for wise leadership by Danish Baptist Union's cooperative program coordinator and Secretary for International MissionsThomas Spanner in concert with the Baptist Union of Burundi’s General Secretary Isaac Bimpenda as the needs of Musema Hospital are disseminated amongst concerned believers and churches throughout the world.

PRAY that the mercy ministries of Musema Hospital will be the means of introducing the Gospel of Christ to many unreached Burundis in Kayanza Province.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Global Day of Prayer, Pentecost Sunday, May 27

On Pentecost Sunday, May 15, 2005, Christians from 156 of the world’s 220 nations came together across denominational and cultural boundaries for the first Global Day of Prayer. The movement had its origins in South Africa in July 2000 but has now rapidly spread world-wide year by year. Believers from 199 nations, including Denmark, participated in the 2006 Global Day of Prayer.

I would like to encourage those throughout the world who regularly or even occasionally view this Pray for website to check the Global Day of Prayer international website for information on their country's gatherings this year and to become a part of this Christ-honoring prayer movement. See for further information. It will take awhile for the idea of the Global Day of Prayer to ignite the hearts and actions of Danish believers, but it is beginning to happen under the leadership of volunteer coordinator Kirsten Nielsen of Copenhagen.

In Denmark, at least three major public gatherings will be held on Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2007: at Rådhuspladsen in Copenhagen; at Rådhuspladsen in Århus, and at Signalbakken in Aalborg. Details (in Danish) may be found on the Internet at We understand that thirteen local churches in Aalborg have banded together to participate in the Global Day of Prayer. May there be similar unity and participation all over Denmark.

The church I and my family attend here in California will also be participating in the Global Day of Prayer on May 27. The church’s large choir and orchestra will be singing Tommy Walker’s hauntingly beautiful and heart-searching contemporary anthem, Calling Out to You, picking up the theme of 2 Chronicles 7:14 in these words:

“Lord, You have told us;
Lord, you have promised,
That if Your people will pray,
You will hear from heaven
And you will send Your mercy,
And touch us with your strong, healing hand.
So, we’re calling out to You, crying out to You,
Forgive us of our sins and heal our land.
As we seek Your holy face
And turn from all our wicked ways,
Hear from heaven even now,
Hear from heaven even now.”

It is especially important in these troubled and dangerous times that God’s people come together in repentance and prayer for the glory of Christ and the healing of the nations. The formula for genuine revival has remained ever the same from Old Testament times to our present day: “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

PRAY that Danish believers, pastors and churches will gladly and enthusiastically unite with their counterparts worldwide in massive, passionate repentance and intercession on the Global Day of Prayer, Pentecost Sunday, May 27.

PRAY for Spirit-empowered vision, ability, and wisdom for volunteer coordinator Kirsten Nielsen as she plans and promotes the 2007 Global Day of Prayer throughout Denmark.

PRAY that as Danish pastors, churches and born-again believers unite for the Global Day of Prayer it will lead to repentance and unprecedented spiritual revival in Denmark’s churches and in turn spread with blessing and healing to all the nations of Europe.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Denmark's Island of Bornholm

Bornholm, the most eastern part of Denmark, is situated in the Baltic Sea 94 miles southeast of Copenhagen and 24 miles south of Sweden. The island has a land area of approximately 227 sq. miles and a coastline of approximately 87 miles. The current population estimate is 45,000. Rønne, the largest town and the island’s capitol, has a population of 16,000. Smaller towns include, Nexø, Gudhjem, Allinge-Sandvig, Aakirkeby, Svaneke, Listed, Hasle, Snogebæk, Dueodde, and Arnager. Bornholm has been called Denmark’s “Crown Jewel.”

The landscape of Bornholm includes rolling wheat fields and thick forests in the center of the island. The coastline is rugged with many small fishing villages and dangerous cliffs that dip down into the sea. Two thirds of the island is granite. The northern sector is very rocky while in the south the landscape changes to gently rolling and fertile farmland. The southern coastline has powdery white sand beaches. Fishing is a major industry.

The Lutheran State Church (Folkekirke) is the most prominent of Bornholm’s churches with 22 parishes located throughout the island; many of the Lutheran churches are centuries old. Bornholm is famous for its four whitewashed Round Churches (Rundkirke). The Danish Lutheran revival movements Indre Mission, Evangelisk Luthersk Missionsforening, Luthersk Missionsforening are active and have mission houses and ministries at various localities on the island. Significantly, Luthersk Missionsforening had its origins in 1868 on the island of Bornholm.

Though relatively few in number, a free church presence is maintained by Baptist (, Methodist (, Missionskirken/Mission Covenant (, Pinsekirken/Pentecostal ( and churches, mainly in the capitol city Rønne. A Syvende Dags Adventistkirke/Seventh Day Adventist Church is located in outlying Tejn ( Frelsens Hær (Danish Salvation Army) has ministered on the island for many years. Further information regarding the history of Christianity on the island may be found on the website at (in Danish only).

PRAY, as for all of Denmark, for a sweeping spiritual awakening on the island of Bornholm.

PRAY that believers and their pastors and leaders will be committed to aggressive but culturally sensitive evangelism to reach every town and hamlet on Bornholm for Christ.

PRAISE GOD for the Christian radio network (BKN, Bornholms Kristne Nærradio) that operates on Bornholm with the participation of several of the Lutheran revival organizations and free church denominations (see

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Heartfelt Prayer for Denmark at Eastertime

On Easter Sunday, the sun will rise in the east and make its way bringing the light of dawn across Denmark from Bornholm to Esbjerg, just at it did over Palestine and Jerusalem two thousand years ago. When the sun rose then, it was a day such as the world has never known--it was Resurrection Day! The disheartened band of disciples experienced a thrilling, life-changing moment when it dawned on them that the crucified Christ had truly risen from the dead!

Any human life that recognizes the fact that Jesus Christ the Son of God died for our sins and rose bodily from the grave can also have just such a life-changing experience. The New Testament makes that clear: “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Romans 10:9, 10, NIV).” Membership in a church and putting trust in its rites can in no way guarantee eternal salvation--only personal faith and trust in Christ brings salvation.

Easter Sunday in Denmark will see many Danes making their way to church services, some out of the continuing thrill of having met and known the Risen Christ personally and others merely out of curiosity, family tradition or holiday sentiment. There are not many in Denmark today who know and have experienced Christ in a genuine personal and life-changing way--thank God, there are some. A country once evangelized is always in danger in succeeding generations of cooling off and engulfing itself in a tradition of belief about Christ without personal trust and commitment in Him as Savior and Lord. That could change in Denmark through spiritual revival and a renewal of evangelical faith. We earnestly pray that it will.

PRAY that the Spirit of God will hover over Denmark from one end of the country to the other to make Easter observances this year not merely the trappings of a traditional and sentimental holiday but a day when the crucified and risen Christ becomes a personal reality for many.

PRAY for a great outpouring of God’s revival blessing everywhere throughout Denmark this Easter with many coming “to know Christ and the power of His resurrection” (Philippians 3:10).

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A Potpourri of Prayer Requests

Pray for Denmark has continuing contact with a large number of friends in Denmark, including pastors and laypersons in local churches, leaders of Christian organizations, and a number of those who have initiated contact with us through the website. Some I have had the privilege of meeting personally. There are many needs that surface through these various contacts and the interchange of email messages. Let me share a few of these with you in the hope that you will join with us in prayer on their behalf.

PRAY for a young American believer who is currently playing professionally for one of the Danish basketball teams in Jutland. He first contacted us for assistance in finding a church or group with whom he could have fellowship. He needs prayer that he will be able to stand true to his faith in difficult and demanding circumstances.

PRAY for a young Scot lassie who recently arrived in Denmark and is attending a college in Sjæland to enhance her training and experience as a teacher. She is a believer who craves fellowship with other believers. In response to her request we have helped her by making some suggestions of possibilities of fellowship with Danish believers in Holbæk.

PRAY for a fine Danish couple in Kolding who are loving parents of two autistic children. They are believers and need prayer for wisdom and strength in caring for their children's needs day by day.

PRAY that a Christian faculty member and Campus Crusade advisor at a community college in Minnesota will have many opportunities for witness with Danish exchange students from Svendborg. We have been able to put him in touch with Anders Seekjær, a leader in Funen of the Danish counterpart of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. The prayer need is that upon their return to Denmark there will be good follow-up with these exchange students who have shown some interest in having a Christian group similar to the one they attended in Minnesota.

PRAY for a newly married couple temporarily working at a Christian facility near Aalborg in Jutland. They are concerned and a bit anxious to know God's will for their future and more permanent ministry together. He has a German father and Danish mother and has had some training at an American Bible college. His bride comes from America. Some of their plans have been frustrated by changes in visa regulations. Our hope is that if it is His will the Lord will guide them into ministry in Denmark.

PRAY for a fine young theological student attending one of the universities in Jutland. He is a strong believer intending upon completion of his studies to become a minister of the Danish State Church (Folkekirke). The liberal university environment is not especially friendly to a student who espouses an evangelical and evangelistic faith. Our prayer is that he will remain committed to his faith in Christ during his time at the university.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Salvation Army at Work in Denmark

The Salvation Army is an evangelical Christian church founded in England in 1865 by William and Catherine Booth. With its unique quasi-military organizational structure, this faith community now has work in 109 countries with over a million members worldwide (the Army calls its members "soldiers"). With its Christian heritage and motivation, the Salvation Army has been supremely successful in wedding evangelism with works of a social nature, based on its sense of the interdependence of material, emotional, and spiritual needs. It has never surrendered its essential biblical base, and has long fed and sheltered the hungry and homeless, ministering to the "down-and-outers" in countries around the world. It has been at the forefront of the rehabilitation and restoration of those having problems with alcohol. The Salvation Army is prepared and can be counted on always to be among the very first on the scene of any catastrophe wherever in the world it may occur. As an organization it casts spiritual vision on all of the dimensions of human need through its churches (corps), social work, crisis centers, work with children, youth, and adults, rehabilitation, thrift stores, and the like.

The work of the Salvation Army in Denmark dates from 1887 where it is known by its Danish branch name Frelsens Hær. Its purpose is one with that of The Salvation Army International: "Dens opgave er at forkynde evangeliet om Jesus Kristus og i hans navn møde de menneskelige behov uden diskrimination" (Its task is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and in His name to meet human need without discrimination). Frelsens Hær has 34 corps (churches) in Denmark with 1072 soldier-members and 172 civilian members. It operates three recycling centers and 21 thriftshops, 16 social institutions, and six "åbent-hus" centers. According to the latest available figures, Frelsens Hær provided help to more than 160,000 persons in Denmark during 2005 with Christmastime assistance offered to 6000 families. For further information, click on the following informative webpages: or

PRAISE GOD that though relatively small in number, the "soldiers" of Frelsens Hær are quietly and without compromise or fanfare providing for the material, emotional, and spiritual needs of thousands every year in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

PRAY for adequate financial support for the many social and evangelistic ministries of Frelsens Hær on behalf of needy Danish children, youth, and adults.

PRAY for the newly appointed leaders of Frelsens Hær in Denmark as they enter upon their many responsibilities. Lieutenant Colonel Erling Maeland will begin his work on July 1 following the retirement of Colonels Michael and Ina Marvell. Colonel Maeland's wife, Lieutenant Colonel Signe Helene Maeland, will work alongside him as the leader of Frelsens Hær children's division.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

English Bible Study in Aarhus

Pray for often receives requests from people in various countries asking for help in locating a church to attend while in Denmark for a brief or longer time. Just recently a foreign student at the University of Aarhus wrote asking if we knew of English services in Aarhus. Not having that information at hand, I tried to get the information for her though it took me some time to find it. Meanwhile, the student herself had found a weekly Bible study. When I had finally located the same Bible study group and emailed her she had already been attending for several weeks and was enjoying it immensely.

As it turns out, the laid-back, non-denominational Bible study is led by Theis Broegger, a good friend of Pray for since its inception. Folks from various countries and church backgrounds have found the group provides excellent and focused Bible study along with fulfilling Christian fellowship through worship, prayer, and social activities. While it is an independent group, it meets in facilities graciously opened to them by the Apostolic Church in Aarhus. The language used in the Bible study is English, a language in which Theis is as proficient as he is in his native Danish. Theis is a journalist by profession, as is Brad, my partner in the Pray for ministry.

The website for the new Bible study group can be found at Information about location, some photos, and contact data are provided on the website as are downloads of past weekly Bible study content. Currently the study is in the Gospel of John. Sessions are held each Monday evening at 7:00 o’clock in the facilities of the Apostolic Church, Nørre Allé 23, 8000-Aarhus C. Already there are 20-25 people involved in the Bible study.

Theis tells Pray for that his vision for this Bible study is "as simple as it gets: feed the sheep." He adds, "God has told me not to worry or concern myself with the amount of people that might come, but to focus fully on preparing meaty spiritual meals each night for those that do show up. It has been a blessing to see how God has blessed it tremendously. His Word is powerful, so as long as we serve that faithfully, we all go home edified and inspired."

PRAISE God that international students and permanent residents for whom English is their first or preferred language now have a weekly opportunity for solid Bible study and warm Christian fellowship.

PRAY for the Spirit’s wisdom and direction as Theis (and Allison) work with the Aarhus Bible study group and for the weekly preparation of study materials.

PRAY for those who are attending the Bible study, that they will delve deeply into the Scriptures as did the Bereans in the Book of Acts 17:11: "They received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true" (NIV).

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Tightening of Residence Requirements

The Danish government is tightening immigration laws and the conditions for issuing residence permits (visas) to foreign pastors, missionaries, and other religious workers. Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has implied that in the past residence permits have been able to be obtained too easily.

Among other requirements, the government is now demanding that pastors, missionaries, and other religious workers desiring to establish legal residence in Denmark be appropriately educated, be financially self-sufficient, have more than passing familiarity with the Danish language and culture, and respect Denmark's position on human rights, in particular the right of an individual to change religions. Given world conditions at the present time, it is likely that national security concerns are in large part fueling the new residence requirements.

Muslim leaders believe the new requirements are discriminatory, designed to limit the activities of imams already in the country and prevent the entry of others. Christian leaders believe that the all-encompassing law may have a negative effect on the residence of international pastors and missionaries, including those called to ministry by local congregations. As we understand it, the law will require an applicant to be recommended by an existing, legally recognized Danish denomination.

At the present time there altogether nearly 700 foreign pastors, missionaries, or religious workers of all sorts in the country (including evangelical pastors and missionaries, Muslim imams, and Mormon missionaries). Some evangelicals have been waiting several years to obtain approval of their residence permit applications, among them Lee Hanson, Tony Acheampong, and Jonas Kouassi-Zessia. In a recent issue, the weekly newsletter of the Danish Baptist Union indicated that residence permits for the three pastors are at long last expected to be approved (

PRAY that the new requirements for residence permits will not adversely affect the opportunities for ministry on the part of evangelical pastors and missionaries approved the various free church denominations.

for Pastor Lee Hanson's ministry through Bethel Baptist Church in Aalborg. Lee, originally from the USA, speaks fluent Danish and received his seminary education in Denmark. He has an significant work with international students at Aalborg University. (

for Pastor Tony Acheampong's ministry with the International City Baptist Church in Taastrup. This church is oriented to English-speaking Africans and other internationals residing in Denmark. (

for Pastor Jonas Kouassi-Zessia of Copenhagen's Eglise Protestante Baptiste. Pastor Jonas is a former Ivory Coast diplomat. The church is oriented toward French-speaking Africans now working or studying in Denmark. (

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Pastoral Crisis in Danish Free Churches

Who will replace aging pastors in Danish free churches? In its June 2006 issue, Church News from Denmark, reported that several free church denominations in Denmark are experiencing difficulty finding candidates to replace retiring pastors. Too few free church young people seem to be drawn to the vocational ministry, tending rather to follow other career paths even while remaining a part of the church. One University of Copenhagen sociologist finds it puzzling that free church young people are not drawn to the ministry at a time when youth in general are more interested in religion than ever.

There may be reasons why many young believers from the free churches are seemingly deaf to the call of God and are bypassing pastoral ministry as a career. Some of the free church denominations and the local churches are themselves aging and have perhaps lost some of the spontaneity, ardor and freshness of their origins. Even free churches can over time develop their own rigid traditions. Whether in Denmark or elsewhere, subsequent generations tend to cool off, lack the commitment of their forebears, and look for new religious experience or affiliations. Young people often find older church members to be inflexible and uncomfortable with change even when the times warrant it. As one young American believer put it, "It's lonely being a Christian my age in my church."

There tends to be considerable divergence in the views of older and younger church members on what the church should look like and on how to go about doing church. As the article in Church News from Denmark suggests, "For the young generation the most important thing is the social network in the congregation, and they do not understand the traditional ways followed by the older generation." Rather than fight the system, many leave. In addition, many of the free churches in Denmark are quite small and struggling to support their pastors, some having only part-time pastors who must supplement their income from other sources. For young people considering career opportunities, such uncertain modeling detracts from the attractiveness of the vocational ministry. Not a few young people are forsaking the traditional free churches to find a home in the new church plants as, for instance, Copenhagen's lively youth-oriented and thoroughly evangelical Vineyard Church and other similar churches in the urban areas.

Meanwhile, the problem of free church pastoral vacancies persists and begs a solution. Dare we say it--were genuine spiritual revival and a new wave of the Spirit to occur in Denmark, it would go a long way toward remediating what is now a challenging situation threatening the future and possibly even the continued existence of some local churches.

Happily, there are several fine training institutions in Denmark where young people who do respond to God's call to vocational ministry can receive sound theological education and pastoral training. Among these are the Danish Pentecostal Bible College at Mariager (; the International Apostolic Bible College at Kolding (; the Skandinavisk Akademi for Lederskab og Teologi (SALT) in Copenhagen (; and the Dansk Bible Institut/Copenhagen Lutheran School of Theology (

for young believers in the Danish free churches, who are idealistic and committed and wanting to serve Christ in ministry, but who find it lonely and frustrating being a part of a church more oriented to the needs and perspectives of its older members.

that older believers in the free churches will become less concerned about maintaining church and denominational traditions and more understanding of and receptive to the passions and perspectives of younger believers.

PRAY for an increase in the number of students preparing for pastoral ministry in the Danish Bible colleges and evangelical theological faculties noted above.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Evangelical Alliance Prayer Week (Bedeuge)

In concert with its continent-wide counterpart, the European Evangelical Alliance, the Evangelisk Alliance i Danmark sponsors a week of prayer each year in the first full week of January. The Alliance's 2007 Bedeuge begins tomorrow, January 7 and continues through Sunday, January 14. There will be scores of prayer groups meeting all over the country and it is hoped that more than 30,000 Danes will be participating. While much of the announced focus is on prayer for evangelical work in Eastern Europe, and rightly so, we believe this week also gives Danish believers a significant opportunity to agree in prayer for revival and renewal throughout the nation's parishes and congregations.

Pastor Rick Warren said at the December 27-31, 2006 Urbana Conference that, "God's timing is perfect. I see a spiritual hunger, I see a spiritual readiness, the willingness to commit, and a willingness to sacrifice; and all of these things coming in together ... has created a 'kairos' moment--the right time for a reformation to take place." As one pastor has reiterated, prayer and worship go hand in hand. He writes: "I believe the pathway for the Church's moving into its full destiny in God's counsels, while retaining a practical sanity and spiritual balance on earth's surfrace, lies in our ability to perceive the true purpose and spiritual dynamic in worship. What has been defined for too long as an hour's exercise on Sunday, packaged by enculturated tradition and preserved in doctrinaire posturing is being redefined, unwrapped, and unsealed today. Worship is being redefined in terms of its form and focus. It isn't that valid traditions must be scorned or discarded but that newness must refill them with meaning." (Jack W. Hayford, Worship His Majesty, Gospel Light Productions, 2000).

That is what happens when revival and renewal occur. Wouldn't it be wonderful were such revival and a new Reformation, bathed in prayer and worship, to break out all over Europe in 2007 and for it to begin in Denmark this coming week! The website for the Evangelisk Alliance i Danmark is

PRAY that the the Spirit of God will move graciously and powerfully among the many prayer groups meeting in Denmark next week with Christ-exalting worship and fervent, believing prayer. Thirty thousand people so engaged could turn Denmark and the whole of Europe upside-down in a mighty demonstration of God's power and blessing.

for the hundreds of parishes and pastors of the Danish State Church (Folkekirke), as well as the scores of free evangelical pastors and congregations, that they will experience a life-changing spiritual encounter with Jesus Christ through this coming week of prayer throughout Denmark. (For a list of participating prayer locales, see the following website:

that there will be a rebirth of aggressive but culturally relevant and sensitive evangelism throughout Denmark and the Faroe Islands.

that God will reverse the downslide of Christianity in Europe as believers are stirred to their depths with the urgency of evangelism and revival.