(Lue suomeksi/In Finnish)
I have recently been heartily welcomed into the Mission Europe (ME) team as of June 1st, 2021 and am excited about this journey together into the future.
I am based in Oulu (northern Finland) and desire to serve the spiritual and non-spiritual community in northern Finland primarily, but also in other parts of Finland, Estonia, Russia, Israel, and Namibia through the platform of the Mission Europe team.
I was born in Grootfontein, a small town in central northern Namibia to parents who were both teachers by profession. I am the fourth of eight children, with a twin sister.
I met Niina (from Finland), who was an education exchange student in Namibia in 1998, through a short-term mission’s project involving a Finnish team with KRS (Kansan Raamattuseura), to help start Campus Crusade for Namibia. We got married in Kajaani, Finland at the beginning of the millennium. God has blessed us in an unexpected way with a lovely daughter called Nea. She is twelve years old and just finished fifth grade. We lived and worked most of our married life in Namibia until two and a half years ago, when we moved to Oulu to study (Niina) and to live and work here. Niina is now employed in a project as a social service worker in Oulu. She and Nea are my local team members and are very supportive of this next venture with Mission Europe.
Growing up in the vast outdoors in Namibia, I ended up studying and graduating as a geologist. Since childhood I have had a love and fascination for nature and the earth. Niina is a graduate in multicultural education and more recently in social services in 2021. After graduating we both worked in our careers until 2005 when God called us to join Campus Crusade for Christ Namibia to give our best years in full time service.
Jesus rescued me
“You must be born again, or you will go to hell.” This was my “uncensored” introduction to Jesus by a high school friend which started a journey of seeking and discovering what he meant after I felt judged and somewhat offended initially.
These would not be your conventional words nowadays to share Jesus’ love to a friend, but I am forever grateful that my friend opened his mouth then, even if he may not have had the words considered appropriate today. My search led me to my high school English teacher who was an exemplary follower of Jesus. She explained to me from scripture what being born again meant. I was made aware of and recognized my shortcomings as a human being (Rom 5:19) and the need for salvation though Jesus (John 14:6).
In May 1992 Jesus was gracious and merciful to give me eternal life. I live and strive to please, love and obey Him through the power of His Holy Spirit and to help others to do the same.
Serving Jesus in Namibia
In the early years, during the 1998 missions project at the university of Namibia, we served in both the student and workplace ministry. The mission of CCC was to make Jesus known, equip, and send students, professionals and the broader community to live and serve Jesus in their own sphere of influence and community. We had the privilege to lead the national ministry for five years (2007-2012) and served as Global Church Movements (GCM) directors for the last seven years before coming to Finland in 2019.
During our time in GCM we led a staff team that worked in collaboration and partnership with spiritual leaders and organizations in resourcing individuals, churches and fellowships with evangelistic tools (digital and hardcopy) and to equip them for personal and corporate mission. Our work involved relational and outreach evangelism, equipping to do personal ministry, using strategic mission days, national and local missions, retreats, conferences etc.
I would be happy to share more about those experiences if you are interested.
My contribution through Mission Europe
In my role as ME Coach my hope is to inspire, encourage, equip and send individuals, fellowships and churches to live out Jesus’ mission in practical everyday life. My conviction comes from loving Jesus and my neighbor as Jesus instructs in the great commandment in Matt 22:36-39, obeying His commission in Matt 28:18-20 to make disciples as well as His purpose for why He died for us in 1 Tim 2:3-7. I see my strength in generally equipping smaller committed groups in order to make lifetime impacts and helping younger leaders fulfill their calling in Jesus.
A series of disciple making workshops can be arranged as well as exposure and training in evangelism tools to help share Jesus with friends, family and colleagues at work.
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