It had been about two months and a week since I arrived in Norway when the “Back to The Word of GOD” conference was to begin. During that time the LORD had kept us pretty busy going about HIS business. Bjørn and I had been traveling, preaching, and teaching…sometimes with our eyes being granted to see the LORD working in lives and at other times wondering what was going on. Sometimes doors would open and other times they appeared to close. Also during the first two months the LORD had been blessing HIS home church. There were those who had come to join with us…one, the LORD granted to have us tested, and some who have come offering a breath of fresh air….all by the hand of the LORD. Yes, the LORD also granted our own personal testing with one another…of which my mind went to the following Scripture
2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. James 1:2-3 (NASB)
GOD is Sovereign and all that HE does is for HIS glory and according to HIS perfect plan. It was during these times the LORD had been working on me…striping away more and more of the flesh that I might depend on HIM and HIS grace. It was also an indication, to me, the LORD was granting adversity due to HIS true work being done. As I witnessed HIS hand moving in the lives of others…seeing them have a hunger growing…you could get the sense something wonderful was occurring. Now, this all appeared to be heading toward the conference. There was to be a gathering of brothers from all over to come preach/teach on “Back to The Word of GOD.” I look back and reflect on how the LORD brought people together…who were those whom the LORD used to bring to this gathering which was to occur. More on that soon…as I think that is one of the most humbling aspects of this mission trip….also an indication of what may be coming to Norway.
The day before the conference…all the preparation had been done. Praise the LORD I was blessed to be used of the LORD to assist Bjorn with some of the behind the scenes work. Things which…well I am glad the LORD has given me experiences dealing with several of these areas. But, one area, Music, I was inexperienced in, was definitely a challenge….lol Once a couple of the other featured speakers arrived, Don Currin & Tony Miano, we settled in for a time of fellowship and worship (On a side note…watch closely what people say and do…it will give you an opportunity to see truth). I was blessed to meet Tom Faulkner…a brother who flew from Illinois just for the conference. That night was one of enjoyment…refreshing in many ways. The first day of the conference, Thursday, was also the day the last featured speaker Michael Morrow arrived. The next day was going to be the beginning of what might be the beginning of a reformation in the nation of Norway! That is not an understatement….
Roughly 40 people, mainly “leaders” gathered to hear the teaching and preaching of these men of GOD. The next four days saw people come under conviction over the teaching, there were those who were almost in tears due to hearing the truth of GOD’S Word, and there was worship! There was a question and answer session on Saturday which went over two hours. This Q & A was one that covered many difficult questions…what could have been used as a tool to divide, became one of joy! Later that night Tony Miano preached a heart felt message…that I know spoke directly to one individual regarding their salvation. Sunday came and after Don Currin spoke Michael Morrow delivered one of the best gospel messages…praise the LORD! I would suggest, if you have the opportunity, get around brother Michael…I was refreshed by what he said…how the LORD used him. Praise the LORD!
The next day, Monday, after the conference was the first day for Tony Miano in the city of Vigrestad, at the home of Bjørn Storm. It
was also Tony’s first day to go out to open air in Norway. In the afternoon, Bjørn, Tony, Andreas, and myself loaded up and drove to a town called Nærbø. We set up at a local mall, prayed and the Tony began to read from Luke 11 through Luke 13. Praise the LORD! It was during his reading that another, Egil, arrived. Egil has been a pastor for 35 years and had never been out to witness before! Praise the LORD! Soon into Tony’s preaching the manager of the mall came out and informed us we had to leave. While the manager of the mall and Bjorn were talking the LORD brought Sebal, a young Muslim woman, along my path. I handed her a tract and began to witness to her. I was surprised she knew a lot of English. I had asked her if she knew the Gospel, which she replied, “No.” I asked her about JESUS and she said she knew who HE was according to the Koran. But then the LORD allowed me to go through the Scriptures with her and after explaining the law & the gospel she said, “This is good news.” Her face just lit up with a big smile. She said she had been thinking a lot lately about death and hell. Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD! May the LORD be pleased to grant her repentance and faith…may HE save her from HIS wrath and from her sin!
Saints continue to pray for Norway! There is much work left…the gospel “Has” to go out to more and more people! The LORD has been using brother Tony in a mighty way….Praise the LORD! The LORD is having HIS grace which is in brother Tony manifested. Believe it or not….it is being manifested not so much in the open-air, but behind the pulpit. Tony has already preached several times including 2 open-air’s in very cold weather. Before he leaves this Sunday morning…he is preaching three more times…with the possibility of more open-air proclamations. Praise the LORD! that means his voice is going to be strained….may the LORD give him rest and preserve his voice. Also saints, there is something else that may be happening very soon…stay tuned as the LORD may be granting another fruit to validate the mission trip of brother Tony.
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. Acts 8:35 (NASB)
My time is drawing closer to the end now. as I look back at how the LORD brought me here along with Tony is a remarkable journey. I think back to 2009 and meeting a brother Ayron Wilson. It was literally about a 1 minute meeting. The LORD burdened my heart to stay in touch with him…which led to him inviting me to the “Origin of Species” hand out on the U of Florida. That is where the LORD had me meet John schaffer, Len Qualls, and Ralph Provance…along with Steve Hereford, Annie Gaddis and others. It was a blessed time! It was from that meeting eventually the Gospel Outreach began (28 months continual months) in St Augustine, Fl. From there, that one meeting with Ralph Provance led to my meeting a brother in Ireland and then Bjorn in Norway. While I was in the UK this past summer I was blessed to meet and labor with several wonderful brothers including Tony Miano. It was while being back in the states it was impressed to talk to Bjorn about Tony. Which led to Tony and Bjorn getting together….and Tony arriving here in Norway. Just to sit and think, nearly three years ago the LORD was working in the lives of HIS slaves to move them and have them meet at the right time so what we are seeing here in Norway would be occurring! Praise the LORD! And I am only seeing this on my end. Just imagine how the LORD moved all the others so that HIS name, Word, and Gospel would be proclaimed and exalted! Praise the LORD! HIS ways our not ours! HE is worthy of all worship honor and praise! Praise the LORD!
Now…think on this…try and wrap your arms around this….today, the LORD had Tony proclaim the law & gospel to Kanute the son of Eric, the leader of the Lutheran Organization Bjorn works for. It was during the conference the LORD put in Eric’s heart to bring his son to have Tony proclaim the gospel to him! Saints, today, we may have been granted a wonderful blessing of witnessing the LORD saving this young man! Praise the LORD! How great and majestic is HE! Praise the LORD!
Right saints, I’m off to listen to a sermon and hopefully spend some time in the Word. The LORD be exalted! I still am asking your prayers as I am getting pretty tired…it has been a long three months, though it seems like yesterday arriving. In fact it has been a long year! One the LORD has shown much grace…and much mercy! Praise the LORD! Never would I have imagined the LORD using me…not in this manner. Perhaps, one day, I may be granted to look back and see where this indeed was the starting of a reformation in the land of Norway!
Glory to GOD! Worthy is the LAMB!
1 Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty expanse. 2 Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
3 Praise Him with trumpet sound; Praise Him with harp and lyre. 4 Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe. 5 Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with resounding cymbals. 6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Psalms 150:1-6 (NASB)