CFC Commended Missionaries
Greater Europe Mission
Regional Director for the Nordic/Baltic countries
Evangelism/Church Planting in Sweden
CALL TO CHRIST
I became a Christian at the age of 16. I attended church, but never heard a clear message of the Gospel. My sister became a Christian and invited me to a youth Bible study. I noticed the young people had something I didn’t – like meaning to life, but was not ready to respond when they gave the clear gospel message. Through reading Billy Graham’s book, The Jesus Generation and later seeing a Billy Graham Crusade on TV, I prayed the sinner’s prayer. I called up that youth Bible study leader and he began discipling me.
CALL TO MISSIONS
As a young Christian I really enjoyed evangelism. The guy who discipled me had the gift of evangelism and later I realized that I did too. Although I saw my high school as a mission field, school as a mission field, I never really considered ministering anywhere else in the world. After high school, I attended the Torch Bearer Bible Institute in England where Kristina and I met. After we married, we moved to Sweden for Kristina to finish her nursing degree. From there to Greater Europe Mission’s Bible Institute in Sweden and Dallas Theological Seminary, after which we were asked to return to serve in Sweden. The call to work in Sweden specifically has over the years grown to a desire to minister in Europe in general. We have worked with GEM for 27 years. At present I work as a regional director in The Nordic Baltic countries looking after the work that we are already involved with there and looking for new opportunities to assist national Christians. Kristina and I are again living in Sweden and are also involved in a church plant in Stockholm.
FRUITS OF OUR LABOR
For the last 18 years Kristina and I have been involved in 5 church plants, 3 in Riga and 2 in Sweeden. Two churches in Riga have now become a part of the Baptist Union of Latvia. One church in Stockholm is still growing and part of the Swedish Inter-Act Denomination. The one we are currently involved with is just starting out but going well. We are trying a totally different method of church planting this time around. We are following the pattern that Jesus outlined in Luke chapter 10, and Matthew chapters 9 and,10 we are hoping to start 10 reproducing house churches along the Stockholm subway line that we live on.
Riga, capital city of Latvia, is 800 years old. For the 60 years Latvia was part of the former Soviet Union evangelism had to be done very carefully and Christians in general were not treated well. In 1999, I was able to help get GEM involved in the largest evangelistic outreach that has ever been held there. We invited Luis Palou to come and we saw many Latvians come to know the Lord.
In 2002 I was asked to be a regional director for Greater Europe Mission in the Nordic Baltic region of Europe. As of this year we will have workers in four of the eight Nordic/Baltic countries. My goal is to see our missionaries in each of the eight countries.
In a new initiative to start churches in Stockholm Sweden we are having opportunities to share our faith with many nationalities. Stockholm has become a multicultural city and where we live there are many immigrants from the Middle East. We are looking to start house churches in ten subway communities on the subway line we live on.