Monday and Tuesday, 31/10 – 1 / 11 Pope Francis was in the area of Malmö and Lund to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The pope was invited by the Lutheran World Federation, LWF. 70 years ago LWF was founded in Lund and this year leaders from the Catholic Church and LWF met in Lund to commemorate the memory of the reformation that happened 500 years ago. During the days the Protestants and Catholics signed a historic document. In this, the parties undertook, through five different commitments, to “deal with future situations in the perspective of unity instead of division”. When the two leaders embraced each other after signing, the audience stood up and applauded, and some cheered.
– We Catholics and Lutherans have started the walk together on the path of reconciliation, said the Pope.
Also, in the middle Ages, Lund was a church center. The city was Denmark’s spiritual capital and called both Metropolis Daniae and Nordic Rome. Lund is a special place for this reason, and we were a large group of Adventists gathered in southern Sweden to distribute tracts on the Reformation, health, creation-evolution and prophecy in the book of Daniel. We wanted to inform people what the reformation was really about, pointing them to Jesus, our only hope. Ever since January 2016 I have felt a special call in this kind of mission. For me it began when I at that time traveled to San Francisco to hand out one million tracts there. During those ten days I got really inspired to do the same thing in Scandinavia as well. It is a very effective way of sharing truth since you can give out many tracts in a short time. As soon as we got to know about the reformation event in Lund, we started to plan for a similar event there as the one in San Francisco.
After much planning, the day finally came when we all took off for “Empower Lund”, as we chose to call this mission event. We lived at a camp ground outside Veberöd in the near Malmö-Lund region, and the participants were eager and dedicated to reach souls for the kingdom. Kenneth Jorgensen, pastor and resident in Denmark, had been invited as a speaker and he taught church history, including the seven churches in Revelation. 2-3. It was very interesting and we really felt how it “burned in the heart” as he taught how Bible prophecy had been exactly fulfilled. We who attended the event, a total of about 30 people aged 13-60 years, came from all corners; Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Holland, England, Germany, the USA, Serbia, Ethiopia, Malaysia and Singapore. In the mornings we had meetings and outreach training and in the afternoon we split into several cars and drove to Helsingborg, Lund and Malmö to distribute tracts, a total of about 140 000. Probably this was the biggest single handout of tracts in Scandinavia ever, organized by SDA members. With the tracts, we were able to offer them several free resources. Four of the tracts pointed people to reformation.empowermissions.org, with offers like free Revelation Documentary, the Great Controversy, free Bible Studies, etc.
On the two health tracts, people were directed to Empower Missions brand new branch – Empower Health, providing health resources and a discount at Fredheim Lifestyle Center in Norway.
In the evenings, after the outreach, we shared testimonies about our experiences and meetings with people during the day. The highlight was the Pope’s two-day visit in Lund and Malmö on October 31st. Many of us were in Lund when the Pope came to the cathedral there, and it felt a bit weird and exciting at the same time, to get a little sense of how Revelation chapter 13 is about to be fulfilled. Therefore, it was an extra blessing to distribute tracts with information about the Reformation to people, who don’t have much knowledge of the spiritual battle that is ongoing, and that will soon culminate in the world.
“Should we wait for the fulfillment of the prophecies of the end times before we say anything about them? What value does our words then? Should we wait for God’s judgment falls on the transgressor before we tell him how he should avoid it? Where is our faith in God’s Word? Must we see things that are predicted to beat up before we believe in what he has said? “(Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 20).
As people gathered to see Pope Francis, my friend Christian was interviewed by a Finnish TV-team right in front of the cathedral in Lund. He got to talk about the reformation and important issues to what was going on. Our tract was also clearly visible on the National Swedish Television, probably several times, as we were waiting for the Pope to come to the cathedral. Although it was exciting to be a part of all these things, it was also sad to see Pope Francis being received as a god, an idol, and a superstar.
Another girl from our team handed out tracts outside the cathedral the day before the pope’s arrival. Some young catholic students stood there and first they were very negative to what she was doing. But then she started to talk with them and explained why she handed out the tracts, what the Reformation really was about, briefly going through Daniel 2, telling them that God also loves Catholics. In the end many of them got interested and wanted the tracts that she had.As a result of the handing out of tracts, several people ordered The Great Controversy and many visited Empower Missions and Empower Health online. This year – 2017, at the same time in October as last year, the Pope will most likely travel to Wittenberg to attend the real 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The desire then is that even more tracts could be distributed. We do never know exactly what happens with all these tracts that we share, but we can be sure about that many of them will come into the hands of people that need them most. Ellen White has a powerful quote about tracts handed out in Northern Europe. We do not know exactly for which time she wrote this, but for those souls that are hungering for truth today in Northern Europe, many of these words apply to them as well:
“I was shown that many in Northern Europe had embraced the truth through reading. Their souls were hungering for light and knowledge when some tracts or papers came into their hands, and they were represented to me as reading. The wants of their souls were met; the Spirit of God softened and impressed their hearts; tears were in their eyes, and sobs came from burdened hearts. They knelt with the leaflets in their hands, and with earnest prayer besought the Lord to lead them and help them to receive the light as it was from Him. Some surrendered themselves to God. Uncertainty was gone; and as they accepted the truth upon the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, they felt that they were indeed standing upon the Rock of Ages. Many persons scattered all through Northern Europe were presented to me as being ready to accept the light of truth.” —The Advent Review Supplement, February 6, 1879.
We are fast coming to a close of this world’s history and now is the time to preach the truth. The truth upon the Sabbath will according to the Bible soon be one of the most important testing truths and many will accept it. Many are those who want to hear about the truth, but few are the workers says the Bible. However, it doesn’t need to be so. You can also become a worker for Christ and help to spread the final message. This can be done in many ways. One effective way is doing like all those people did during Empower Lund, with the handing out of tracts. I want to end with some quotes from four of the participants that I think will inspire you do be part of a similar event in the future or to do some other missionary work for our great Lord Jesus Christ.
“This is the best event I have attended since coming to Scandinavia, as this has worldwide ramifications. The meetings from Kenneth were super timely and restores my faith in historicist interpretation. To be able to hand out tracts to people right on the doorstep of Lund Cathedral, the evening before the pope came, gives me some meaning and purpose in my life. Thanks for the great organization of the camp. The fellowship with this group was just amazing and I have the greatest hope for the future of Adventism. God bless you and Empower Missions.” – Stephen
“Thank you for planning this mission trip. I was thoroughly blessed! Praying together, conversations, laughing, the sermons, the great food – everything was such a blessing. I have been revived and I must say I needed this! …Sweden GLOW mission trip is probably the best mission trip I have been on…God has renewed in me a joy in ministry. We hope to make it to Germany – so please plan again! May God bless you and Empower Missions!” – Sibu
“I thought it was a very good atmosphere and good meetings, and it felt meaningful. It was good that we were there right at the time of the anniversary of the Reformation when the Pope came as there were many people there and they had a greater interest in spiritual things. – Bengt
“Empower Lund refreshed my soul, and inspired me to stay strong in Christ, and to share Him more with others!” – Participant
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