30 september 2012

Today would have been Dad's 91 birthday.

When my father, Sven left us for Heaven in Nov. 1967, he was only 46 years old. We children were aged 18, 15 and 11.
I have cared for many 90 year olds and I have often thought that he could still have been among us. He was snatched away from us in the middle of his life. Away from his wife and children and the grandchildren he never had the joy to welcome. He had dreams for his daughters, for what they would be in life. He enjoyed life in full and was a very positive person. We daughters always looked forward to when dad would come back from the sea.
This time he didn't come. But for me it became like the second encounter with God, that has greatly come to influence my life.
I remember when the news reached us.  In the middle of the chaos, I went up to my room and shut the door behind me and knelt by my bed. Suddenly I feel as if I was surrounded by safe warm arms and I heard as clearly as if God had stood by my bed:'' You need not be afraid my child, I am your Father, I am with you and will never leave you. Do not be afraid. ''
I've been through many storms since then. But this truth is as a foundation and a stronghold in my life. We meet our losses in life, but this truth is a fundamental security that no one can take away from us. That God is our Father and that He will never leave us. He whispers to us deep inside the heart by his Holy Spirit: DO NOT BE AFRAID! I AM WITH YOU!
"I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you".
Love Anna

27 september 2012

Into the midst of the society

Along with 375 pastors and leaders from all over Thailand, I participated this week in meetings in Bangkok. The Motto is:

I really enjoyed getting to know many dedicated and good Christian leaders. At the same time, I see more and more two types of goals for church growth, also here in Asia:

a) We need more good members and more good activities in the Church building, so people will come to us. Good Institutions.

b) We are a Church Planting Movement (CPM) in the society. We reach out to others, who reach out to others, who reach out to others etc. In the midst of the society.

I enjoy good meetings in a large "perfect" Church buildings, but in terms of a more rapid Church planting, I believe 100% that the best way to see the Kingdom of God grow is working with National Pioneer Workers who go out and ... become part of the community.

I was glad that I took part in these meetings, although the pioneer spirit was not as prominent as I hoped. Even thought, I returned home to Chiang Mai more "on fire" on CPM than when I went.

And by the way, a) and b) do not have to (in proper proportions) exclude each other. Ingvar

22 september 2012

‘’This is My target group.’’

While worshipping alone in the TOL meeting room in preparation for the initial and special Cross Current Program,  the Lord was coming through with His gentle voice: ‘‘This is My target group’’.
I started to ponder upon this. The assignment of Jesus was first to the Jews. The commissioning of the disciples was Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.The Gentiles were Pauls assignment. Another target group for Paul was the Macedonians....and so on.
For God so loved the world that he sent His only begotten son...... God targets mankind.
He loves and targets us all. But for us human beings we are only able to focus on a small area even for the best person we are limited. The Lord is limitless. 
Many years ago while working in Bangladesh at the time when the nation was one of the poorest in the world, we were frequently asked:’‘ How can you cope seeing the starving masses and still being limited to people and resources?  The answer at that time was simply: I focus on the individual.  If I focus on the masses, my mind says: it is in vain, our help is a drop in the ocean. 
Another lesson the Lord taught me was: Seeing Jesus in the ones we targetted... ‘‘whatever you do to one of these little ones, you do unto Me’’. Maybe we can call that a double vision:-). 
It was so good to hear the confirming words yesterday: ''This is My target group'', so I quickly responded: Lord if this is Your target group, then it is mine too.’’ And so we had a heavenly agreement! Agreements are powerful and binding. Jesus is committed to this work and I am committed to it and to Him! 
Love Anna

16 september 2012

Do I dare?

The last week we started to plan and pray over the work of INTERACT 2013. At the same time God has been speaking about reaching the most unreached parts of Thailand with the Gospel of Jesus. One area to work with National Pioneer Workers has been becoming more and more urgent for us: Ubon Ratchathani (อุบลราชธานี).

The challang is that among 21 million people in Issan (Eastern Thailand), there are only 0.15% Christian. And in the province of Ubon Ratchathani (อุบลราชธานี) among 1.6 million there are only 0,115% Christians.

As we work on the plan for 2013 we ask ourselves; Do we dare to go for it?

I am recalling the motto of William Carey 1790:

One thing is certain: We need both God and ... many many people's participation to do this. We have a big and important calling on our table. Do we/I dare to move forward? Ingvar

9 september 2012

This weekend in Omkoi

This weekend we have been in Omkoi. We really felt 100% welcomed to be in Omkoi 180 km southwest of Chiang Mai. Here is a Bible school, Hostel and Church with about 400 members.

I preached today in English, Anna translated into Thai and ..... a man translated into Pow Karen. So we were three speakers. What the pastor finally said I do not know, but the people were blessed. They are used having one speaker and two interpreters. And .... God's Word spoke their heart language. That was clear.

We were encouraged by their devotion and hunger. Our prayer is that the whole of Thailand will be blessed by what is happening among the Karen people in and around Omkoi.

After this weekend, I cannot help to be even more called to minister more among the youth and leaders of Asia. They are eager and looking for help to "bloom". To pray for and bless leaders who are in key positions ..... I am most happy. Anna and I drove tonight the 180 kilometers down the mountain, back to Chiang Mai, full of hope and joy. Ingvar

5 september 2012

Love God and love my neighbor. Full stop!

It is not so strange that Jesus gave us one commandment containing all the commandments which was given to Moses:
Love God ...... and love your neighbor as yourself.
If we love everything else falls into place.
Jesus himself, God as man, loved us unto death upon the cross.
There is such explosive power in love, something which is effortless but yet so difficult.
But I sense the difficulty lies in that we make it complicated.

We check to see if the object of our love is good enough to waste some love upon.
We try to figure out if our love will be received, even before we give...
We tick off our list of offenses and see if ‘our neighbor’ is repentant enough for a dose of love.
We demand first and then make a choice to give or not!
Can you imagine if God would have loved in this way. Then there would be no hope for us all.

Last Sunday I visited a friend and she put on the film ‘‘Father of Lights’’ by Darren Wilson. I highly recommend viewing this film. It touches deep, so deep it even hurts, and puts a lot of our values on edge. 
My mind made a journey to memories when Ingvar and I have seen the power of God’s love totally melt down opposition. Where love forcing its way through our heart like a mighty river, changing people and situations, healing wounds and diseases in a moment. 

We have seen the miracles, we have tasted the power of love, what is it that hinders us to live in it constantly? I will write more about this but there is a key in Prov 4:23 Above all, keep your heart, because out of flows the issues of life.

Now back to the present time: One of ‘’the families in crisis’’ whom have been in our fellowship for some time, our plan A was to love  without expecting anything in return, to love despite of what we saw was most unloveable. We had no plan B. The miracle happened. That love touched him so deep that he took a step right into Daddy’s arms. This reminds me about ‘‘the prodigal son- embraced by Dad’’.

I feel that I need to come back to the simple foundation of what mission is, but also the reason why we are here on earth: Love God and love my neighbor. Full stop!!
In His Love Anna

1 september 2012

Planning and Side effects

This time of the year (Aug-Sept), we work a lot with praying and planning for 2013. This evaluation of our involvement is becoming more and more necessary and vital. Good planning is biblical. God is a God of order. Often we ask ourselves:
  • Where are we going? Our Vision, Our Goal.
  • How will we reach it? Our Mission.
But another issue that has become more and more relevant to me is:
  • What are the side effects? Both negative and positive.
We live in a complicated world and we affect others, more than we think. Others opinions are not our master, but it is healthy to take a look at our side effects at the time of planning, so we make sure they are positive.

The other night Anna and I watched the Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speak. His determination, skill and charisma gave us a lot of courage and hope. He gave positive Side effects far beyond Singapore. He believed in 3 words:


With an open heart for God and people we can see many positive side effects around us. We can have a testimony that makes a difference. Ingvar