Sunday, November 14, 2021

Like a relatively normal human being

Last month we met Tine and Anker in the amazing video series from Movingworks. If you haven’t seen that short video yet, take a moment and watch. It’s one of five such videos with honest, moving testimonies from Danish people who have come to follow Christ in a culture that often denies Him. 

The videos are meant to challenge Danish people and draw them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. They’re in Danish, of course, but subtitled in English, so it’s easy to follow along. And pray! But let’s also look at another video. In “The Highest Passion,” we meet Manuel—a thoughtful husband and father, and a well-regarded professional at a Danish engineering and architectural firm. His vital faith sets him apart from his co-workers, however, and in this story he explains how he navigates that path.

“It’s always surprising when someone finds out that I have the job I have,” he explains with a smile, “and seem like a relatively normal human being, and, at the same time, am very committed to faith, and actually believe what is written in the Bible.”

Let’s pray for Manuel and other Danish believers like him, as they live lives of faith in their culture today. Here’s a link to the video.

PRAY for Manuel, that he would continue to be a shining light in his marketplace, that co-workers and clients would see Christ in him, and be drawn to faith.

PRAY that Christians in Denmark would boldly and winsomely share their faith on the job.

PRAY that many Danes would come across this video and want to learn more about the Jesus who makes such a difference in the life of a successful businessperson. 

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Must-see new Danish videos!

To get a genuine feel for the heart of God in Denmark, take a look at a new testimonial video series, created by a Christian filmmakers from a ministry called Movingworks.

The videos are that good. And they’re designed to support the church in Denmark, since they present powerful, personal stories of people who have trusted Christ and have chosen to live for Him. Couples, families, people like you and me. Emotional stories, honest stories. Stories of people whose lives were changed by the God who saves. 

Movingworks says their focus is on reaching the most connected countries with the most need for Christ.

“Since our ministry began,” reads their website, “we’ve noticed something. Many of the most connected and media-engaged countries are the furthest from Christ.

“This reality might seem disheartening, but it’s actually a wonderful opportunity! God has given us unprecedented access to countries with great need, and we are responding by equipping His church in these cultures with real-life testimonies to encourage the saints and engage the lost.”

Certainly Denmark fits the model for a country that is media-engaged, yet far from the Lord. Movingworks has produced four short personal Danish testimonies so far, with another on the way. The videos are free to watch and distribute. 

Let’s start with a typical Danish couple, Tine and Anker, living in a very comfortable Danish neighborhood, living a very comfortable life. They enjoyed everything good, but God gave them a burden to reach Turkish immigrants—who did not live in their neighborhood. So they decided to move to another community where they might encounter and make friends with immigrants. Thus began a wonderful adventure.

“He left all the glory of Heaven and became a human here on earth, just like you and me,” said Anker in the video. “He left, and not just that, he humbled himself. He became a human and died for my sake. He left everything. Even his own life, he counted as nothing for my sake. So… compared to that, it is nothing that we moved from one house to another. We moved a few kilometers, but he has done everything for me.”

The video is just 8 minutes and 53 seconds long. But you will be touched and inspired by their testimonies and their love for the Lord. And don’t worry; it’s subtitled so you can follow along. Please, take just a few minutes and watch it here on YouTube.

We’ll introduce additional videos in future blogs. Meanwhile, 

PRAY for the new Danish videos from Movingworks, that more and more Danish Christians would see them and be inspired to reach out to those who need to know Jesus. 

PRAY that unbelievers would also see the video and come to know Christ through these powerful testimonies. 

PRAY for Tine and Anker, that God would continue to bless their ministry, and that more Danes would also become missionaries in their own country. 

PRAY that God would bring revival to Denmark through the ministry of Movingworks. 

PRAISE God for these incredible videos. 

Sunday, September 05, 2021

4 languages, 1 new church!

Pray for the believers in Vollsmose, a suburb of Denmark’s third-largest city, Odense. Four distinct “small” groups have formed with the intention of growing into a single fellowship, associated with the existing Odense Vineyard fellowship. Their target date for meeting all together for the first time is this October.

But these are not typical small groups. Each one is meeting around a different language: Danish, English, Greenlandic, and Arabic.

“In the network groups, we’re going to get to know each other, learn who God is, pray together, and have fellowship with each other,” said Sebastian Olesen, the overall group leader and church planter. “When there are enough people in these groups, we’re going to start monthly worship services (or something like that) that the people of Vollsmose can relate to.”

That will be an interesting challenge, as Vollsmose is known as one of the most ethnically diverse areas of the country. But that distinction provides Christians there with opportunities and challenges for spreading the gospel. At one gathering of the area’s Muslims, Christians set up a booth to give away juice and dates. Their hand-painted poster read, “We are Christians, and we love Muslims!”

Watch a video (English subtitles) of their encounter here and see an English-language version of their website here.

Vineyard fellowships came to Denmark in 1997, and are known for their emphasis on Biblical teaching in a relaxed atmosphere. Today there are eight Vineyard churches around the country.

PRAY for each of the fellowship groups as they meet: Danish, English, Greenlandic, and Arabic. Each will be welcoming both believers and not-yet-believers, and will face unique challenges as they examine the Scriptures and pray for each other.

PRAY for unity during a time of disunity, that God would weave together these four different groups into a unique new fellowship in the fall. 

PRAY for the leadership of these groups, for wisdom and insight into the unique needs of their people. Pray for Sebastian Olesen, that he would have wisdom to deal with whatever comes up, and courage to follow where God leads. 

PRAY for revival in Vollsmose, that Jesus would be lifted up in that multi-ethnic city! 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

This is going to be different

The new pastor at Karlslunde Standkirke (Karlslunde Beach Church) is looking for revival in his post-pandemic fellowship, but he doesn’t believe it’s going to look the same as it did, before. 

As Anders Michael Hansen describes it, it’s all about freeing the gospel from its “Babylonian exile.”

In other words, he says, the good news needs to be freed from the old church culture. And revivals, he said, aren’t tied to church culture, but to people. 

“I prefer to preach the gospel in a down-to-earth way, and let the power of God’s Spirit confirm the truth of the gospel with His presence and accompanying signs. I think… congregations that are only institutional and dependent on meeting in large gatherings will give way to smaller, organic, flexible fellowships. The alternative would be increased secularization and more distant Christian faith communities, if we as Christians don’t have the imagination to adjust to a new reality.”

So Pastor Hanson is looking to rediscover what is “the fellowship of the saints” in his local church. And he believes their main focus will be what he calls “the living community of faith in small groups.”

Along with another visionary pastor at Karslunde Standkirke, Peter Tingleff, they’re looking for new ways to implement a service-oriented one-to-one outreach called “Church on the Way,” specifically aimed at non-churchgoers.

“We need to spread the gospel through our local presence,” said Pastor Hansen, “not isolate it in large, self-sufficient congregations.”

The 57-year-old’s outward-facing, neighbor-serving attitude is clearly not the norm for all Danish churches, but pray for him and his congregation as they face the post-corona reality in their community. 

PRAY for Anders Michael Hansen, Peter Tingleff, and others at Karlslunde Strandkirke, for wisdom as they seek God’s leadership to grow the church there.

PRAY for unity and that believers would catch the vision of outreach in Karlslunde.

PRAY for programs like the “Church on the Way” and others, that Christians in Karlslunde Standkirke would be known for the way they love their neighbors.

PRAY for revival in Karlslunde!

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Perfection and depression: Pray for Denmark!

"In Denmark," says the narrator of this nicely done video, "everybody wants to be perfect. It seems like nothing is ever good enough. For this reason, a lot of Danes suffer from stress or depression. Students also experience that even though Denmark is more spiritual today than ever, religion has become a very private subject, and it's difficult to talk about it with others. Here's a couple of ways you can pray for Denmark..."

Please watch this short, 1-minute video (link here), enjoy the pretty pictures, and keep praying for Denmark!

Pray also for the young people who look forward to attending Revive Europe, a 5-day event scheduled for this coming December that will feature Bible teaching and evangelism training, plus fellowship and prayer. Here's another video of a young Dane who is eagerly looking forward to the event. They need our prayer support!

Meanwhile, be sure to:

PRAY for young Christian students, especially those who feel alone in their faith.

PRAY that God would show Danish believers new ways of reaching their neighbors for Christ, no matter the circumstances. 

PRAY for Danish students who feel overwhelmed and pressured by society to succeed. 

PRAY for Christian college students like Sarah, that God would encourage them as they learn how to represent the Lord where they are. 

PRAY for revival in Denmark! 

Sunday, March 07, 2021

I met Jesus... online!

How are Danish churches reaching out during these COVID-times? Many are looking online. And one fellowship, Byens Valgmenighed in Copenhagen, has just started a new session of a successful seeker-friendly online forum – Alpha Online.  

On one social media platform, a church member asks,

“Are you sitting alone in front a screen, too much? And want to meet other people? Interested in talking about some of life’s questions? What do I believe? Who is God? Where is he, during these times? So maybe Online Alpha is something for you.”

It’s in Danish, of course, and aimed at Danish speakers. But the church is also sponsoring an “International Alpha” for newcomers and others… in English. 

Either way, the online approach is a great way to introduce those who are curious… to Jesus!

PRAY for the Alpha course leaders at Byens Valgmenighed, that they would be filled with God’s Spirit as they talk to unbelievers and seekers. Course leaders need courage and wisdom. 

PRAY that many would hear and come to know the truth of the gospel.

PRAY that many Danish (and non-Danish!) hearts will turn to the Lord during this time.

PRAY that those who come to follow Christ – no matter where they are in Denmark – will find fellowship, encouragement, and a way to grow as believers. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Guess who is praying for Denmark?

With few exceptions, Denmark is closed until at least January 17. Businesses are shuttered, as are restaurants and nearly everything else in this small country, and group gatherings are severely curtailed. So it’s surprising that churches are even allowed to meet, but only for 30 minutes on Sunday, and no corporate singing allowed.

No praise songs. No prayer meetings. No youth gatherings. And with dark, cold weather across the land, it’s difficult to stay optimistic and upbeat—except perhaps when we’re reminded of other Christians whose situations are much worse than our own. 

Believers in North Korea, for example, are routinely subject to imprisonment, brutal torture, and execution. Following Jesus in that land could mean a death sentence. But the Dansk Europamission, which ministers to oppressed Christians worldwide, recently received a note of thanks and encouragement from a North Korean church leader, promising to remember Danish Christians. 

“We would like to pray for you and for our brothers and sisters in Denmark,” wrote the Korean. “We pray that God, in his fatherly love, will protect you from the corona virus, and ensure your health and safety.”

It’s profoundly humbling to think that persecuted believers are praying for Denmark, isn’t it? 

We can do no less. 

PRAY for the protection of faithful Christians in Denmark, meeting under less-than-ideal situations during short services. 

PRAY that Danish Christians would continue to connect with each other online and by using other means.

PRAY that Christians would be encouraged in the knowledge that they are not alone, and that—even during this time—Jesus is near. 

And please join our North Korean brothers and sisters as they… 

PRAY for the health and safety of Danish believers.