I made a decision this past weekend. I want the church in Tidan to be “my church” in Sweden. I feel so much love there, just as much love as I feel when I visit First Assembly in Fort Gibson. Love is so important. We all need love—to love and to be loved. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel love in other places. But this is special.
The church in Tidan started to support me in 1964. In 1979 my husband was their interim pastor for a while. The girls and I had to stay at our place but we visited during the winter break. I love the people there and it was a great joy to have a service there on Sunday. It was a long one, with preaching, Communion, a business meeting, and refreshments. We spent more than three hours at the church.
At present the church in Tidan has no pastor. So the members take turn leading the services. They invite speakers. And I had the privilege to be the one this past Sunday. Let me show you some pictures.
Announcement of the services by the church
The sanctuary of the Filadefia Church in Tidan
Some of the audience
Ready to serve Communion
Mary testified dressed in the Huancayo, Peru special outfit
I told the story of my Seed of Love web ministry
Mary fell in love with little Johannes
He was a charmer, no doubt about that!
Dressed for the cold, maybe not so happy about it
After church we were invited to Sören and Ulla for dinner. Sören is the mission treasurer. Both him and his wife are such precious people, very kind. Their love for the Lord and his work shines right through them.
One of the customs in Sweden is to take your shoes off at the door. Some people bring “inside” shoes with them, but should they not have done that, at this house you can borrow some.
Swedish design slippers (it’s the flag!)
The table was set in the kitchen, not uncommon
International representation: Mary—Peru,
Ulla—Sweden, and Cecilia—Ethiopia
Mary told the story of how she met my dad and other stories of her life. At one point Cecilia started to cry, because in all the years she has been in Sweden she has never been able to express her deepest feelings due to the language barrier. She wished to have someone interpret for her from her native tongue. Those are things we usually don’t think about. We speak our language and take for granted the possibility to express our thoughts and feelings. But when you live in another country and don’t have anybody to help you, it can be heart-wrenching.
Cecilia met her Swedish husband in Ethiopia, where he worked. He brought her to Sweden but never helped her learn the language. They always spoke English. When he suddenly died of heart failure, there she was—alone with her son, having to find a way to make it without him.
I wish you could meet Cecilia. She is such a sweet and loving person. And her love for Jesus shines all over her face and spills out to anybody around her.
Ulla blowing a chauffeur
The highlight for our hostess has been her recent trip to Israel. She loves her chauffeur, and anything special from the country where Jesus lived.
Well, my friends, this will do for now. Tomorrow we’ll start a weekend of services in the south part of Sweden. Friday and Saturday will be in Spanish with a group of Hispanic immigrants. Sunday will be Swedish at the church that supported me financially as a young 18-year-old missionary. There will be no Internet for me until next week.
Lord willing I’ll be back on Monday.