From 24th to 27th of Nov we’ve been to Gothenburg to explore city and culture. After a turbulent touch-down at the airport we were welcomed by a stormy rain. Nevertheless, we first walked through the city centre which was completely deserted.
Friday morning we had our first official appointment at the International School of Gothenburg. We were impressed by the philosophy and friendly atmosphere at this school. We wished our children could attend this school as soon as possible. There is one more big advantage: It’s almost free of charge. The little fee you need to pay includes all materials and a daily lunch. BUT: If Ole, Nils and Svea will attend this school from next summer on they need to be registered by April. So we should know first if we will get our needed support in time and if a move to Gothenburg next summer will be feasible at all.
We spent the rest of Friday down town in order to gather as much impressions and ideas as possible about Gothenburg’s culture. The cleanness and neatness of both city and people was strikingly obvious. There were hardly homeless people, gangs or junkies – even in the midst of weekend nightlife. We also noticed that there are no allusions to spirituality: No moon calendars or esotericism, no religious depictions or ornaments. We were surprised by that, for it does not fit to postmodern thinking. Even the Christmas decoration of shopping windows and of the city generally was rather thin – at least compared to Germany.
The meetings we had with church leaders, pastors and other people of Gothenburg confirmed this. Swedes seem to have an omnipresent father whom they trust and follow. He cares for them and provides everything they need. But it isn’t God, it’s the Swedish government. We were told that 94% of the population have no connection to any kind of church, although more than 80% are still member of the former Swedish state church. But the real predominant and prevailing religion seems to be a very strong kind of materialism which needs to be challenged by God’s Word. Now it’s our task to develop appropriate approaches to do so with the true love of the real father.
For us it starts to feel uneasy as we know that time goes by and so far we just know so little. How will it work out to get full support until June 30th 2006?! Every missionary probably knows feelings like this – and maybe now it’s just our turn. And yet, promises to support us need to increase by 15% per month. We want to set a deadline: If we will get 75% of our needed support by April 30th 2006, we will go.
This morning Karen and me were a little depressed because of so many impressions and thoughts, because of tiredness and uncertainty. But God comforted both of us: Me by the “Herrnhuter Losungen”, which say for today: “But as for you, be strong and don’t give up, for your work will be rewarded.” (2Chr 15,7). And Karen’s calendar said today: “Don’t be afraid, little flock, for your father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” (Lk 12,32)
Isn’t it exiting to have a heavenly employer?!
Thanks for your prayers!!!