Friday, December 17, 2010

The Meaning of Christmas Largely Forgotten in Denmark

From a purely worldly and cultural standpoint, Christmas in Denmark has many wonderful and inviting traditions. This is not the place to write of how Danes celebrate Christmas, but if the reader is unfamiliar with these customs the following websites offer a fine overview. Check them out at:

What is rather depressing in these descriptions of Christmas customs in Denmark is the absence of reference to Juletjenester (Christmas services) in the churches, save for one line in one of them, “… some families go to church in the afternoon [i.e., Christmas Eve] to hear the Christmas Gospel about the birth of Jesus,” a statement that says much of where Denmark is spiritually. It is likely there will be more Danes attending church services on Christmas Eve than usual, upping the percentage somewhat from average Danish church attendance reputed to be only about 2-3 percent of the population. But, the truth is the vast majority of Danes will not “hear the Christmas Gospel about the birth of Jesus” because they will not be there to hear it.

Most Danes possess a secular mentality. They will celebrate a jolly and tradition-filled Christmas with little or no thought of Jesus Christ, who he is and why he came to earth taking on himself human flesh. The Apostle Paul tells us why Christ came: "God our Savior . . . wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:3-6, NIV). Or, as John 3:16 affirms so clearly, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

One couple ( who sense a call to minister the gospel in Denmark and have a good grasp and accurate assessment of where Denmark is spiritually write on their webpage: “Today, the Word of Truth (Eph 1:13) has lost its voice in the land of Denmark. The generations that once knew God have passed away, leaving a generation that is postmodern, post-Christian, and unaware of the Gospel. The place that at one time revived the heartbeat of missions has indeed hardened its own heart toward God.” Denmark needs to be reevangelized and the gospel made clear by every means possible to everyone throughout the country.

Having said that of the land and secularized culture as a whole where the Word of Truth has lost its voice, we do need nevertheless to recognize that there are numbers of born-again believers in Denmark found in both Folkekirke and free churches. While they comprise only a miniscule percentage of the Danish population and while we may not agree in every aspect with many of them theologically, God thankfully has not left himself without a witness in this dejlig (lovely, beautiful) land. We continue to ask God to bring revival to his people in Denmark and to give new breath and voice to evangelism and church planting. For that to happen, the Word of Truth must be given voice as never before so that every Dane has an opportunity come to faith in Christ, the One born in a manger, put to death on a cruel cross, and arose from the dead. God loves the Danish people and so do we!

PRAY that Danes’ love of family and the cozy hygge of Christmas customs will not stand in the way of understanding it is Christ and Christ alone through his birth and ultimate death and resurrection who is the central focus of this Season.

PRAY that at this Christmas season there will be many spiritually hungry Danes who will realize their need of a Savior and turn to him in repentance and faith to own him as Lord of their lives.

PRAY that Danish born-again believers will be empowered during the Season to give a clear and bold witness to their friends and neighbors of their commitment to Christ and trust in his finished work of redemption.

To all friends of Pray for Denmark,

We wish for you a Blessed Christmas and a Spiritually Prosperous New Year.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Introducing the Tuohy Family in Esbjerg

Confident and determined to follow God’s leading, Martin and Hansy Tuohy recently returned after five years in the United States to their home base in Denmark’s city of Esbjerg. Martin completed his biblical education at Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas and received his Master of Theology degree on May 8. The Tuohys had lived in Esbjerg before leaving for study in the USA and Martin has members of his family living there as well. Hansy was originally from the Faroe Islands. The Tuohys have four children: Jónatan, Isabel, Victoria, and Emma Grace.

The family is in fellowship with a small church in Esbjerg, Den Kristen Forsamling i Mølleparken (The Christian Assembly in Mill Park). This small assembly has been in existence for 30 years but has for some time lacked the theological background and gifting of someone who can offer systematic teaching of the Scriptures, as had been true in past years. This is the very thing that will be the focus of Martin’s ministry. The worldwide network of non-denominational churches (i.e. assemblies) popularly known as “Brethren,” from which the Esbjerg assembly springs, has been noted for the emphasis on such teaching. Some of the most well-known and able verse-by-verse expositors of the Bible have come from within that fellowship of churches, especially in Great Britain and the United States. Among them have been such Bible teachers and scholars as H. A. Ironside, Robert Chapman, J. N. Darby, F. F. Bruce, A. C. Gabelein, Samuel Ridout, F. C. Jennings, J. G. Bellet, W. E. Vine, and many others.

Martin is well-equipped spiritually and academically for this ministry of the Word of God. He is now teaching on Sunday mornings following the church’s Breaking of Bread service (believers’ worshipful remembrance of Christ’s death and resurrection). The Breaking of Bread, as it is called, has been a hallmark of assemblies services from their beginning in England in the early 1800s. Martin is rejoicing having a part in a ministry that he believes strongly has great potential for Mølleparken assembly’s development and growth. While Mølleparken is not exactly a new church plant, the Lord has given him an opportunity to help the church get up and ready for what He has for its future. As he puts it, “Prayer supporters have been doing the groundbreaking work here in Denmark. May this mean that the seeds of God’s Word that we cast out here will fall on good soil.”

As far as getting started in ministry is concerned, Martin says the first learning objective has seemingly been more about waiting than doing and adds humorously, “We thought waiting was what missionaries did before leaving for the field.” Martin will have to be self-supporting at present and has had to secure secular employment. He writes, “Our years at seminary should have prepared us to expect the unexpected from God, but once again we are reminded that some lessons, though basic, are not learned in just a few years. Before moving, we made a mental list of the challenges we expected to face. So far, we have only been able to add to the list, rather than check them off. I am sure the others will come later.”

Martin’s Danish mother and other members of his family have been very helpful getting the family settled into an adequate rented home near the church and daughter Isabel’s school, and only a few minutes away from his parents’ farm.

Esbjerg, Denmark’s fifth largest city, is located on the central west coast of Jutland, about three hours west of Copenhagen and just an hour away from the original Legoland. It is a city and area of 115,000 people. At one time Esbjerg was noted for its large fishing industry. However, with the discovery of oil and gas in the North Sea, the harbor is now mainly devoted to the needs of this new industry.

The Folkekirke (state church) is found all over the area, but Esbjerg has several “free churches” (independent of the Folkekirke), including Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Apostolic, Word of Faith, Salvation Army and non-denominational churches. I understand, and I hope correctly, that none of these churches has over 80 in attendance and non-charismatic churches are doing well to have 20 attenders at Sunday services. Martin believes, “There is much work to be done among Bible-believing evangelicals.”

Of Denmark in general, Martin writes: “It seems Danes are searching for answers, but many have dismissed Christianity, thinking they already know what Christianity is all about [through] confirmation classes …”The truth of the matter is they have received a false understanding of what the gospel is all about … It is our desire to help people in Denmark realize that they have not been given the whole truth regarding Christianity. We want to be available to them to present God not only as their loving Creator, but also as the only One worthy of our worship.”

PRAY that God will provide liberally for the material needs of the Tuohys and their children.

that Martin’s life and testimony before his fellow workers at his secular employment will draw them to the church and to Christ Himself.

PRAY that believers at Mølleparken assembly will grow in grace and knowledge of Christ through Martin’s teaching ministry and become a major influence for the gospel of grace in the Esbjerg area.

PRAY that as God leads Martin’s ministry may ultimately extend to teaching opportunities at Danish and Faroese Brethren assemblies in Hirtshals, Odense, Copenhagen, Amager (Kristnastova), Glostrup, Skovlunde, and perhaps even in the Faroe Islands.

PRAY that the believers of Mølleparken assembly, armed with sound teaching from the Word, will be spurred to seek new ways and means of confronting men, women, and children with the truth of the gospel of grace and that many in the Esbjerg area will come to faith in Christ as Savior and Lord.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pray for Article in Kristeligt Dagblad

August 10 was significant for Pray for On that day the Copenhagen daily newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad published a story about our ministry headlined “Amerikanere beder for vækkelse i Danmark” [Americans praying for revival in Denmark]. The initiative for the article came from Denmark. Brad and I were not available for a one-on-one interview, so reporter Marguerita Hvid Spangsberg submitted a series of interview questions for our written responses. The result was a story that accurately and fairly reflected the nature and purpose of Pray for Much of the story consisted of direct quotes from the interview questions. The article in its entirety [in Danish] with an excellent photo of Bill taken by his granddaughter Kari Meidlinger, may be retrieved on the Worldwide Internet atækkelse-i-Danmark.

Here are a few excerpts of our responses to reporter Spangsberg’s interview questions:

Kristeligt Dagblad: “Why do you pray specifically for Denmark?”
Pray for
“We believe prayer is an essential aspect of all Christian ministry. For us it is more than a tool, it is the very lifeblood of relationship with God, spiritual growth, and ministry. John 5:17 records Jesus as saying that “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” Brad and I are just crazy enough perhaps to believe that promise and to accept it at face value. The major purpose of the Pray for blog is to call believers around the world to prayer on behalf of the spiritual needs of Danes. We believe that if we pray God will answer according to His will and in His own time. The blog has no denominational or other organizational affiliations or support. It is completely self-supporting—two evangelical believers of Danish heritage attempting to summon prayer support for evangelical outreach in our ancestral homeland. We validate any ministry that honors the Word of God. We yearn to see Danes have a personal and vital relationship with God by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ for the salvation of humankind. We have a passionate love for Denmark and the Danish people.”

Kristeligt Dagblad: “How do you use the webblog?”
Pray for
“It is a matter of “what you see is what you get.” We are devoid of ulterior motives. We support existing work and workers and have no plans for ourselves taking up ministry in Denmark. We neither attempt to procure funds from others nor do we have funds to disburse for work in Denmark. We are simply calling others, especially those who like us may have Danish ancestry or connections, to join us in prayer for Denmark and its spiritual needs. The blog is on the Internet with the expectation that God will use our efforts as He sees fit. We keep looking for ways in which we could be of greater use to God’s work in Denmark.”

Kristeligt Dagblad: “Why do you pray specifically for Denmark?”
Pray for
“Who else but us? There certainly are Danes who share our prayer burden for the country, people like Aase Ellerbeck Larsen, Inger Porson of Women’s Aglow, and scores of others. We believe God led us to establish the blog and we join our prayer efforts with Danish prayer blogs such as Bedehus and OASE. If God were to bring a resurgence of evangelism and revival/renewal to His work in Denmark, the overflow would certainly reach all of Scandinavia and the rest of Europe as well.”

Kristeligt Dagblad: “What do you pray for? Can you mention some specific subjects?”
Pray for Denmark,com:
“It seems that by and large the church in Denmark is asleep and lacking in spiritual power and effectiveness. That is why we focus primarily on praying for aggressive evangelism, Spirit-empowered revival/renewal, and greater vision and effort in planting new churches. Our goal is to try to arouse prayer support for any evangelical effort in these areas of concern. As any reader of the blog can affirm, we want to come alongside churches, denominations, para-church organizations, and individuals that have a similar evangelical belief in the authority of the Bible as the Word of God and hold to the classic theological fundamentals of evangelicalism. We do not by any means rule out what God can do by His Spirit for the Folkekirke and pray toward that end. Lately, I have been concerned as well for a resurgence of solid, in-depth Bible teaching and expository preaching in the evangelical churches and ministries.”

Kristeligt Dagblad: “What is your impression of Christianity in Denmark? - How is it different from America?”
Pray for
“In spite of all its problems, its sometimes lack of depth, and sad disappointments in ethical and moral areas on the part of some, evangelical Christianity in America is much stronger than in Denmark and church attendance is far greater. Denmark has a strong heritage from the Reformation but that heritage seems not to be as powerful a force in Danish life and culture as it may once have been. From north to south, from east to west, Denmark is filled with hundreds of church buildings too often all but empty of worshipers. Secular influence on Danish culture seems to be at its zenith while committed Christian life is at low ebb. It might even be said that the majority religion in Denmark today is a highly secularized Christianity. The trappings of Christianity are in place but the mind-set of the nation is secular. That is, Christianity has unfortunately become a sort of cultural artifact that keeps many Danes going through the motions of christening, confirmation, marriage, and burial rites but is otherwise irrelevant in the daily life of the majority of them. The low level of church attendance would seem to be a major barometer of the church’s irrelevance. To be fair, much of what is said of Denmark is equally true of Great Britain and the United States.”

Kristeligt Dagblad: “What should Danish Christians/the Danish church do to attract more people in your opinion?”
Pray for
“Danish believers and churches need to be more focused and aggressive in praying for and expecting revival and renewal to come to Danish life and culture. Churches cannot and should not compromise with secularism but must display renewed zeal and commitment in consistent and no-legalistic Christian faith and lifestyle. The culture needs to be seen for what it is so that attractive ways and means of presenting a biblical gospel is found that is not watered down or compromised. Denmark should be viewed as an open and needy field for evangelism. The land requires its own methods, strategies, and approaches that attract and not repel Danes. Danish evangelicals may be informed by American ways of doing ministry but need to tailor them to fit the Danish context. A prime need is for young people to prepare and step into leadership roles. The evangelical churches need to pray for their young people encouraging them to catch the vision of service for Christ as ministers and evangelists. Many older ministers currently serving as pastors of churches are at or near retirement age and churches appear increasingly to have difficulty finding trained pastors and workers to replace them. Hundreds of gifted, leadership-quality young people are needed to sacrifice their lives and plans for the sake of the kingdom of God. Without them the churches and ministries will be crippled for the future.”
Kristeligt Dagblad: “How do you see the future for Christianity and the church in Denmark? What is your hope?”
Pray for
“There is quite enough evidence that God is at work in Denmark to cause us to have great hope for the future. If God is for us, and He is, who can be against us? Nothing would thrill us more than to see Denmark come alive in Jesus Christ.”

PRAISE God for Kristeligt Dagblad reporter Marguerita Hvid Spangsberg’s article that we hope will make many in Denmark and elsewhere who have not heretofore known of us aware of the ministry of Pray for

PRAY that Danish believers will be encouraged by the article to join with us and with the several Danish prayer webblogs (i.e. Bedehus, Dansk OASE) in earnestly and importunately asking God for revival, evangelism and new church planting in Denmark.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pray for Spiritual Revival in Denmark

If you have read any number of Pray for postings since March 2004, you will have noted a recurring mention of prayer for revival/renewal, evangelism, and church planting as major concerns. We began this blog on that note and continue to hold the same concerns in 2010. Perhaps we need to spell out why we have concern for these areas.

First off, let me underscore that we believe God laid on our hearts to put this blog online. I (Bill) had long wanted to visit Denmark again but couldn’t quite understand why the way was not open to do so. That is, until the Lord seemed to say that going to Denmark merely as a tourist or to visit relatives was an insufficient reason. Such a trip would have to be motivated somehow by some aspect of ministry.

Once Pray for went online, it wasn’t long before God answered prayer as dear friends provided the funds to make the trip. That wonderful journey in 2006 put me in touch with a number of wonderful, godly Danish pastors, churches, and ministries that have helped us get a better understanding of evangelical ministry in Denmark.

What I saw during the 2006 trip confirmed what I already had known from my first visit to the country in 1952. In a land with a state church (the Folkekirke), there is a small but viable minority of conservative, evangelical believers in free church denominations, in various para-church organizations and even in the Folkekirke itself that have been praying for the very same things that God has laid on our hearts. Don’t for a minute believe that there are no praying Danes who have similar concerns as ours for a great spiritual awakening to come to Denmark. Many believers and churches in Denmark have been lulled into powerlessness in a highly secular society.

Brad and I are Americans of Danish descent. So we perceive the role of Pray for to be that of encouraging those outside of Denmark, especially those with similar Danish heritage or interests, to join with believers in Denmark who are committed to praying for revival/renewal of believers and churches, an increase in aggressive evangelism, and a resurgence in the planting of new bible-believing, evangelical churches. Revival is assuredly needed in every country worldwide, but God has placed Denmark on our hearts specifically. Because we are American citizens in no way obviates the need as well for a sweeping revival in our own country.We believe Denmark is greatly in need of a revival that would turn the country upside-down spiritually and undoubtedly spread to the rest of Europe as well.

And what do we mean by revival? It is a fact that over time, believers can become lukewarm and lethargic. The need for revival amongst God’s people has its roots in Old Testament history and the declensions and revivals amongst God's people Israel. Though given initially to Israel, 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) spells out clearly what can be expected to happen when believers in any age become serious about revival: “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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

The British pastor D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones underscored clearly and accurately the meaning of revival: “You cannot revive something that has never had life, so revival, by definition, is first of all an enlivening and quickening and awakening of lethargic, sleeping church members. Suddenly the power of the Spirit comes upon them … they are humbled, they are convicted of sin … then as a result of their quickening and enlivening, they begin to pray. New power comes into the preaching of the ministers, and the result of this is large numbers are converted. So the two main characteristics of revival are, first, this extraordinary enlivening of the members of the church, and, second, the conversion of masses of people who have been outside in indifference and in sin.”

All spiritual awakenings begin by prayer whether through the prayers of a few or many. Dr. A. T. Pierson affirmed this truth when he wrote, “From the Day of Pentecost, there has not been one great spiritual awakening in any land which has not begun in a union of prayer, though only among two or three; no such outward, upward movement has continued after such prayer meetings have declined.”

General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, said: "You must pray with all your might. That does not mean saying your prayers, or sitting gazing about in church or chapel with eyes wide open while someone else says them for you. It means fervent, effectual, untiring wrestling with God. This kind of prayer be sure the devil and the world and your own indolent, unbelieving nature will oppose. They will pour water on this flame."

When revival comes to Denmark, biblical preaching and love for the Word of God will again become central in the churches, nominal Christians will regain their “first Love” (Revelation 2:4) as they fervently renew their commitment to Christ, and the salvation of unbelievers will suddenly become an active and heartfelt burden. Indeed, in a very real sense Denmark needs to be re-evangelized.

Join with us and with Danish believers who are committed to praying for revival fires to break out in this small but influential Scandinavian country. God has done it many times before in other areas of the world. Pray that it would happen once again—this time in Denmark. Nothing that may seem impossible to humankind is impossible to God.

PRAY that Satan’s stronghold on Denmark will be broken as God’s Holy Spirit revives His church and empowers His people for evangelism and the planting of new churches.

PRAY that lukewarm and indifferent Danish believers of whatever denomination will realize that revival in Denmark must begin with them through repentance, confession of sin, and “fervent, effectual, and untiring” prayer for a nationwide awakening.

PRAY for the mobilization of Danish, pastors, leaders, believers and intercessors claiming the conditions and promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14 for revival in Denmark.

PRAY that revived and renewed Danish believers and churches would be awakened to a new vision of mission, including aggressive evangelization on behalf of the unsaved both in the homeland and worldwide.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Summer Camps and Conferences in Denmark

It is not too early to pray specifically for this year’s summer ministries throughout Denmark. There will be camps and convocations of the free church denominations as well as a number of camps set up by the several Folkekirke revival movements. Denmark needs a stirring of the Holy Spirit in a genuine revival that would turn this wonderful small nation into a spiritual powerhouse with an effect on all of Scandinavia and the whole of Europe. It could well happen this summer as believers gather in Christian camps and conferences.
The following list may be far from complete, but at least it provides a sampling of spiritual opportunities this summer. Many of the camps listed below feature special programs for children and teenagers and some for seniors. Beyond this list are also many parachurch organizations with stepped-up activity during the summer, among them Friluftsmissionen (Danish Open Air Campaigners led by our good friend Torben Østermark). We do not overlook other such organizations as YWAM, Operation Mobilization, and Youth for Christ that offer practical ministry experience during the summer months whether in Denmark or in other nations.
Note that the larger number of these camps and conferences in the following list will be held in the month of July. Because a number of Denmark’s free church pastors are aging, there is a great need for commitment of young people to respond to God’s call to ministry to replace them. A number of churches even now are without a pastor. We believe young people are often more open to the call of God when challenged with the need during summer camp. Genuine revival arising out of this summers camps and conferences would undoubtedly lead not only to the filling of pulpits but to a great wave of evangelism and planting of new churches.


Pinsekirker Sommer-Camp (Pentecostal) at Mariager, July 10-16.
Baptist Missionsstævne at Mariager, July 18-24.
Apostolskkirkens annual meeting, at Kolding, July 10-16.
Vineyard Copenhagen, Roskilde (Vineyard Norden Summer Camp 2010) at Nyhem, Mullsjö, Sweden, July 18-24.
Metodistkirkens Landsmøde 2010 at Lægården Efterskole, Holstebro, May 21-24.
Nazaræeren Kirkens Sommerlejr at Tømmerup Efterskole, July 2-9;
Danske Missionsforbundet Sommerkonference at Kolding, July 24-30.
Calvary Chapel Scandinavia Conference 2010 at Ekebyholm (30 minutes outside Stockholm), August 4-8.


IM (Kirkelig Forening for den Indre Mission) will have no fewer than13 summer camps, including Bibelcamping, Teencamping and Seniorcamping events during the summer throughout Denmark at Haderup, Lystruphave; Valby, Sønderborg, Bornholm, Tullebølle, Hadsund, Fårevejle, Hurup, Sæby, and Allingåbro;
LM (Luthersk Missionsforening) has scheduled several Bibelcamping events in July at both Haderslev-Næs and Virksund.
ELM (Evangelisk Luthersk Missionsforening), meets for its Bibelcamping 2010 at Bækkely i Snogebæk, Bornholm, July 16-25.
NYT LIV (Forbund for Evangelisation i Danmark) will hold its Bibellejr 2010 at Fjellerup, July 10-17.
OASE (Dansk Oase) has scheduled its SommerOase 2010 family camp at Odder, July 17-23.

PRAY that God will prepare the hearts and minds of the organizers, speakers, seminar leaders, counselors, and hundreds of attendees at these important camps and conferences to be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

PRAY that the Word of God will be presented attractively and passionately in every venue and that there will be a holy hush as hearts are stirred and challenged to lifetime decisions for Christ.

PRAY that the denominational meetings will be bathed in prayer and punctuated by unity of heart and mind in all of the sessions. PRAY that sessions will be marked by a revival atmosphere of confession and repentance that would ignite a resurgence of commitment to evangelism and church planting in Denmark.

PRAY that young people will be open to God’s call and encouraged to seek His will for full-time pastoral and cross-cultural ministry in Denmark and throughout the world.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Calvary Chapel in Denmark

Calvary Chapel is an association of independent and like-minded evangelical Christian churches numbering around a thousand congregations worldwide and growing ( The life and ministry of Calvary Chapel churches is based on the Reformation principle of Sola Scriptorum exhibited throughout the movement by an emphasis on verse-by-verse, chapter-by-chapter, book-by-book expository teaching of the Bible. Calvary Chapel work in Denmark brings with it this distinctive approach to Bible teaching.

This approach resonates with me because it was always my own emphasis in pastoral ministry. From what I have come to know about Denmark thus far suggests that such an expository method of teaching and preaching is not a common approach in the churches. In fact, to our knowledge there is a great dearth of solid expository teaching throughout Denmark. Calvary Chapel envisions a distinctive ministry in Denmark ( and has several ministers of Danish nationality in place and seeking God’s direction in church planting.

It is not easy getting started in church planting in Denmark, especially when it involves “new wine in new wineskins," i.e. new churches in new denominations. We have been tracking Calvary Chapel’s efforts at church planting since the inception of Pray for and have been in contact from time to time with leaders Theis Brøgger and Daniel Jacobsen. Daniel has had a Calvary Chapel weekly Bible study in the northern Sjaelland city of Hillerød for the past three years. Meeting as a house church, the work is slow and as with many new works has had its share of ups and downs, but the Lord has been blessing. True to form, Daniel has based his ministry on systematic verse-by-verse, chapter- by-chapter, book-by-book teaching of Scripture. Currently he is finishing a study of the gospel of Matthew and then plans to begin a study of the Old Testament Book of Exodus. Click on “Hillerød Bibelstudie” on the page for Daniel’s teaching available for Mp3 upload (in Danish). While the group in Hillerød is small, the year 2009 saw two persons radically converted, both of whom are now studying at a Calvary Chapel Bible College.

Daniel was born in Denmark and reared in a Christian family. How he came to be involved with Calvary Chapel is an interesting story best told in his own words: “In 1996, my family and I were vacationing in California where the Lord had a divine appointment with me. We were finishing up dinner [at a restaurant] and as we were leaving my dad saw some people sitting at a table with their Bibles. He looked a little bit too intently and a woman among them asked, ‘Are you born again?’–not a question you’re used to getting in Denmark. My dad answered, ‘Yes,’ and after some conversation she asked him, ‘Where are you from?’ He answered, ‘Denmark,’ and the woman replied, in Danish, ‘So am I!’ She was a Danish American who at the time attended Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa. The rest is history, but I saw her love for Jesus and her knowledge and love for the Word of God and I wanted that for myself. So, in the year 2000 I became a student at Calvary Chapel Bible College in Murietta, California, and graduated in 2002.”

As yet there is no officially organized Calvary Chapel in Denmark. For the present there is much ground work yet to be done made harder by the necessity of Daniel having to support himself for the time being through secular employment, but the Lord will bring the work to fruition in His own timing. Calvary Chapel’s distinctives will mean a great deal for evangelicalism in Denmark through promoting and hopefully igniting deeper study of the inerrant Word of God.

PRAY for wisdom for Daniel and his wife Lisa in knowing how to prioritize family, secular work, and the ministry while at the same time maintaining faithfulness in all three areas. The life and work of a bivocational church planter is not an easy one as other church planters can attest.

PRAY that the Lord will lead a committed worship lead to the Hillerød Bible Study. (Note that Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California and Maranatha Music were pioneers in the development of praise and worship music.)

PRAY for the two individuals from the Hillerød Bible Study who are now students at Calvary Chapel Bible College.

PRAY for the guest teachers and attendees expected at this year’s Calvary Chapel Scandinavian Conference to be held August 4-8 at Ekebyholm Castle, 30 minutes outside Stockholm, Sweden. The focus of indepth Bible teaching will be on The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Last year’s conference was attended by 120 people.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Viborg, Denmark and Its Baptist Church

Viborg, about 86 miles west of Copenhagen, is a city and municipality situated in the Central Jutland peninsula. The city has a population of about 35,000 with the larger municipality having close to 100,000 residents. The city of Viborg dates back to the 8th century, settled by Vikings. Viborg municipality, reputedly Denmark’s second largest, has a land area covering more than 560 square miles. Viborg city is the administrative seat of both Viborg municipality and Region Midtjylland, as well as of the Western High Court, the High Court for the Jutland peninsula. The name Viborg means Holy Hill and the city's skyline is indeed dominated by the Domkirke, the historic cathedral of the Viborg Folkekirke bishopric located at the highest point in the city. Viborg has a fascinating Christian history dating from before the Reformation and after. The Reformation was a historical event that ever after transformed the religious life and practices of the area and, for that matter, of the entire nation. The history of the coming of the Reformation to Viborg is given briefly on the following webpage:

Today not only are there numerous and historic Folkekirke (Lutheran) churches in Viborg and the surrounding municipality but also several active free churches, including Viborg Baptist Kirke (Baptist) Viborg Internationale Pinsekirke (Pentecostal), Viborg Apostolsk Kirke (Apostolic), and Viborg Adventkirke (Seventh Day Adventist).

Viborg Baptist Church is one of the churches I visited on my last trip to Denmark, a church dear to my heart for the hospitality extended to me by members Dr. Torben and Rita Rouland and also because of its close proximity to my mother’s birthplace in Sparkær (Fjends), a village only a few kilometers from Viborg. Though small, as are many of the free churches in Denmark, Viborg Baptist Church comprises a fellowship of fine, faithful members and attendees. The past several years have been difficult for the church as it has been without pastoral leadership. However, the church continues to function under dedicated lay leadership and has great potential for growth and for influence in the city and municipality. The church’s website may be viewed in Danish at .

PRAY that the Spirit of God would bring a time of spiritual revival and renewal to the churches of Viborg city and municipality.

PRAY that by His sovereign grace God would soon provide the Viborg Baptist Church with dynamic pastoral leadership to help move the church’s ministry and outreach forward.

PRAY that the members and attendees of Viborg Baptist Church will not be discouraged or disheartened but remain faithful in prayer believing God in His timing will surely provide the pastor the church needs.