Monday, May 12, 2014

Balloons, anyone?

They’re the ones sharing the gospel every year at popular Danish campgrounds and public venues, organizing outreach events and concerts, wading into vacation crowds with good news booklets, telling the story of Jesus through puppets, balloons, and any other way that has a chance of reaching the hearts of Danish young people and families. And this year Friluftsmissionen -- the Danish branch of Open Air Campaigners International -- turns 20.

Happy birthday! (Or as they say in Denmark, tillykke!) The 2014 calendar is full. Their signature “Jesperhus Gospel” event is planned for June 9 this year at the Jesperhus vacation park and gardens on Mors Island. Now in its fifteenth year, and in cooperation with local churches, they’re bringing praise music, a gospel choir, puppet theater, and much more to this festive outdoor venue. In addition, a summer team outreach is planned for July 7-18 at the lovely Gammelbro campground in southern Denmark, near the sea at Årøsund. The Friluftsmission team has also been active in urban youth evangelism, in cooperation with kids from the Inner Mission Lutheran renewal organization.

And that seems to be the strength of this vital ministry: working with a wide spectrum of Christians across Denmark -- from committed Lutherans in the state church, to free church youth groups. And because of their commitment to camp and street outreach, they’re coming in contact with families and young people who might otherwise never consider stepping foot in a church building. Although they don’t consider themselves a church, the Friluftsmission workers play a critical role in building up the Danish church.

Keep in mind that most Danes treasure their summer outdoor and camping experiences. That’s part of the reason why the Friluftsmission approach is so strategic in this country. Believers from the Friluftsmission are going to where the people are, meeting them where they’re at. So they need all the prayer support we can offer.

PRAISE GOD for 20 years of successful ministry in Denmark, pointing people to Jesus, one camper (or pedestrian) at a time.

PRAY for Torben Østermark, who faithfully heads this ministry. Ask God to give him strength and vision as they reach out this summer, and throughout the rest of the year.

PRAY especially for the Jesperhus Gospel event in June and the Gammelbro campground outreach in July, that God would soften the hearts and open the ears of many who will follow Christ through these events.

PRAY that the good partnerships between the Friluftsmission and Danish churches would continue to increase and flourish. Pray for more open doors of cooperative efforts between the two.

PRAY for even more workers and volunteers to join with the Friluftsmission team, so that God might increase the harvest and use this vital support ministry to help bring revival in the Danish church. 

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