Posts Tagged ‘ukraine

20
Aug
08

Three wonderful years

It’s been a full three years since Jeannette and I said “I DO!!” to each other on a very hot summer day in Garden City, Georgia! Three wonderful years with my precious wife. I won’t embarrass her too much, so I won’t write too much about her, but I want to mention how special she is to me. It’s a privilege and a joy to spend every day with her. We thought we knew each other really well three years, and to some extent we did, but today we know each other even better, because of the choices we’ve made. We have allowed each other to see and know both the good, the bad, and the really ugly. We are journeying together getting to know God and ourselves better. And what a fascinating journey it is. I’m amazed that Jeannette knows me so well, and knows my faults and weaknesses, and yet chooses to forgive and love me. It’s beyond me what I did to deserve my wonderful wife. God is good, and I see his goodness displayed every day in Jeannette’s love for me. 

Now we’ve moved our lives from Kiev, Ukraine, Eastern Europe to Marietta, Georgia, USA, and it’s quite a big change not just in terms of location, but in any other way as well. But two things I know for sure: God is good all the time, and Jeannette continues to love me in ways that go beyond my wildest dreams!

Happy anniversary to us – I’m looking forward to a new year with Jeannette!

Torben

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11
Apr
08

Mercy ministry

I am a discipleship trainer, and I thoroughly enjoy working with discipleship training and try to help people get to know God and themselves better and experience more of the freedom, life and joy that Christ has won for all his children. Mercy ministries, on the other hand, is not my strongest point. I am a big picture thinker, and sometimes I find myself thinking about mercy ministry. Sure you can help one person, but what about the other 100,000 with the same problems? (I don’t like admitting that I think like this from time to time, but I do)

I realize that Jesus had and has a different perspective than I do. He told us to love our neighbor, and throughout the Gospels we see how Jesus wasn’t afraid to “waste his time” with just one person instead of focusing more on the big crowds (obviously he also spoke to the big crowds, but he spent a lot of time with individuals throughout his ministry years). Jesus showed a heart of compassion to women, children, and sick and disabled people whom most other men didn’t give the time of the day. And throughout the Old Testament as well we see God calling his people over and over again to care for widows, orphans, children, foreigners, ets. All the outcasts of society have special priority for God. “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6) and “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8) are just two of the Scriptures talking about God’s view of mercy.

I thoroughly respect all you people all over the world who work in mercy ministries, children ministry and work with old people. Often times people don’t recognize what you’re doing. Often times you don’t get much praise or press. You’re not the ones writing the bestsellers or getting the well-paid speaking arrangements. But you serve faithfully. You show God’s love. One person at a time. You hold the babies, put a band-aid on a kid’s knee, talk to the troubled teenager, comfort the woman who just had an abortion and sing a last song for a dying, old lady in a hospice. And your Father in heaven honors all of it and rejoices in you showing his mercy and compassion for all people! 

And you teach the rest of us to love the least of these. Statistics for orphans in Ukraine say that 70% of the guys who grow up in orphanages don’t find permanent work, and 60% of the orphan girls end up in prostitution, and 10% of all orphans commit suicide before they reach their 18th birthday. I hear statistics like that and get hugely discouraged. Friends of mine from YWAM Kyiv’s ministry, Key of Hope, hear the same statistics and decide to be God’s hands and feet for these orphans. Through hugs, talks, games, different practical help and the occasional opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ directly through words they love these kids and teenagers and show them compassion, mercy, joy, life, and provide a sense of hope that nobody else gives them. Through what Key of Hope, and countless other mercy ministry workers do every day the kingdom of God is advancing. One person, one changed life at a time.

Torben – who enjoys how we can learn from each other in the body of Christ!




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