Evangelism in Denmark

A report from Denmark.

By THORVALD KRISTENSEN, President of the West Denmark Conference

Six weeks before the evangelistic effort in Aarhus began, we tried to interest church members in the effort. At a special Sabbath worship and in the weekly prayer meetings the church members were made acquainted with the plans for the public effort during the win­ter. We contributed schedules to all our mem­bers. On these they could write down in which way they personally wanted to support the evangelistic campaign. On the schedule the fol­lowing points were mentioned:

1. By having a special season of prayer for the effort.

2. By attending the public meetings myself and doing my best to bring one or more with me.

3. By distributing handbills and literature in a certain street or district, as far as time and strength will allow.

4. By singing in the meetings.

5. By supporting the effort financially.

6. By writing down name and address of family members, friends, and acquaintances who I think should receive a special invitation.

7. By giving name and address of backslidden Ad­ventists.

A great number of the church members promised to help in one or another of the previously-mentioned ways, and we succeeded in getting a good work started with the help of the church. The two Bible instructors, to­gether with ten young people, organized a group of literature workers that called them­selves "The Hour Workers." They promised to do at least one hour of active missionary work every week. During the first four weeks they visited several hundred homes with free literature. The fifth week they tried to get the people interested in the Bible correspondence course, and the next time they offered an invi­tation to visit our public meetings.

It was very hard to rent a hall suiting our purpose, but at last we were able to rent the lecture hall in the town library. The hall could seat about 350 people, and from the first eve­ning there were more people than that. Many times fifty to one hundred people were obliged to stand; nevertheless they came evening after evening. We distributed handbills only twice in town—once in the beginning of the effort and once after New Year's. In fact, only half the town received handbills, and most of the advertising was done in the newspapers. We succeeded in getting the newspapers to write a few lines mentioning the place and hour of the meetings. In every meeting we had special songs, either a choir, a solo, a duet, or a quar­tet. We had special enjoyment in singing the little stanza:

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face;

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace."

This stanza was sung by the assembly in every meeting, and with this we made it clear from the beginning that the main theme in the Advent message is Christ and Him crucified. From time to time we had a picture of Christ on the wall while we were singing. It seemed to have a good effect, and the assembly was deeply moved. By offering the Bible corre­spondence course and literature we soon se­cured many addresses. During the whole win­ter we had mostly the same people to our meetings, and even after the testing subjects were preached they continued to come.

At this time we have had the blessing of bap­tizing and receiving thirty into the church, and several more are visiting both our Sabbath and our weekly prayer meetings. Among the thirty are several families in which the husband has decided by great sacrifice to follow the truth. One man, with his wife and their four chil­dren, was obliged to leave the position he has held for twelve years, but God rewarded him, and he now has other work. Their three grown­up children have also been baptized. Another family who took care of a church house be­longing to the State church were obliged to leave both work and house, but God has also rewarded them and the others, and also has given personal victories over sins and bad hab­its. The honor belongs alone to God. It has been most encouraging that more than half of those who have received the message are young people not yet thirty-five years old. It is a joy to see that the message can stir both young and old.

We believe that the evangelistic effort still has great and wonderful times ahead. The won­derful truths of the Advent message are the same that they have always been, but the mes­sage must be clothed in garments suited for the people in our time of distress and trouble. May the Advent message and the story of redemp­tion in Jesus Christ still be able to stir people and win them to obey the law of God.

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By THORVALD KRISTENSEN, President of the West Denmark Conference

December 1949

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