“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…” (Rev 7:9)
Dear brothers and sisters,
While corporately singing to the Lord in our church service, I noticed that in our little fellowship of 18 members, there were around 35 people gathered from more than 17 different nationalities. For many of these brothers and sisters in Christ their original family, their “flesh and blood” do not live anywhere nearby. When a tragedy comes (a miscarriage, sickness, or depression), who will be their family? When good news comes along (an engagement or baby on the way), who will rejoice with them? When they need a hand with something practical (moving furniture or filling out a paperwork), who will help? Most importantly, as they grow in their faith, who will be their “Titus 2” older men and women that will raise up the younger ones in the faith?
One of our great joys is witnessing the members of the church start naturally seeing each other as a family, and to live it out while others are observing how that is being practiced. This is something that we’ve struggled with as a church, so this is a great answer to prayer.
Naturally, some of the nation’s we come from might see each other as enemies, but through Christ, those barriers are being teared down. It’s wonderful to see how God is continually answering our prayer to be a foretaste of Rev 7:9, a people from every nation, from all tribes, peoples, and languages worshiping God before his throne.
Please keep praying that we would continue to grow in being a foretaste of this wonderful final end. Just in the area where we are ministering, there are people from 144 nationalities, many who come from unreached people groups. Pray that we would see many of them experience the miracle of regeneration.
In sickness and health
Just like in marriage, as members of a local church, we are committed to one another in sickness and in health. Lately, it has been challenging times for several people have experienced sickness. At the same time, it has been a joy to see how the membership has been are caring for one another.
I would like to ask you to pray for a man that was recently diagnosed with a serious sickness. He has expressed how he wants to follow Christ. Pray as we continue to share gospel truth with him. We have been having many fruitful talks around the Bible over the last few months.
Encouraging people from various cultural backgrounds into 1 to 1 discipleship, has been a good way for them to grow deeper in their faith. In the early days, it was hard to see people taking initiative to meet together, but now it is happening by itself. We are seeing people from different nationalities gather together to study the Scriptures and to pray. Please pray for the 1 on 1 meetings, that they would continue to bear fruit.
I’m currently meeting up with four different people from four different nationalities. It is one of the highlights of my week. It is encouraging to see how they are growing in their marriages, family, and ministry.
Some time ago, I was asked by a church planter (working in one of the most challenging places in Sweden), if I could help him to grow in his understanding of the church and leadership. As we were planning to read through one 9Marks book a month, more people got interested. So, I’m now reading through these books with 8 men. Three of them are church planters, three are theology students, and two of them are members in our church. It has been encouraging to see their willingness to learn and the hunger to get to know God’s Word better, and to follow him.
New family member on the way
I have the joy of announcing that we are now expecting our 5th child in April next year.
Thank you for your partnership to reach out with the gospel here in Sweden.
In Christ and for His glory,