We have now been back at home in Finland since last Friday and we have had a chance to rest after our five weeks in the USA. The time difference is still bothering and we sure miss the warm weather and the sunshine. Finland right now is dark and the temperature is around 14 degrees (-10C). Well, this is where God put us so we have to deal with it. The most important thing we have over here is our family and friends.
Since last time we wrote we had a wonderful evening with music and testimony at Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida. This was the very first church I ever visited in the USA. I traveled there for the Florida Outpouring in 2008 and I got blessed. The second trip I also experienced disappointment but that is now eight years ago and it is nothing I chose to hang on too. I keep the good memories and the miracles God did in my life back then but what ever happened to the outpouring I decide not to comment. All I can say those trips still means much as it was there and then I met many of the connections we have today. We thank Pastor Stephen Strader and Ignited Church for a wonderful night.
The same Sunday we ministered at our home church, Fountain of Life Church in Okeechobee, FL and it was another good service. Jesus was in the centre as when we get out there it is all about Jesus. Many responded to the altar call and came up to receive prayers and some gave their lives to the Lord. Thank you Pastor Dave and Linda Robertson for our time with you.
We did one more visit at the Detox of South Florida and this last visit was wonderful. We visited the detox clinic four times during our visit and three Mondays of four we saw God touch peoples lives and we got to witness the greatest miracles of them all; salvations.
Thanksgiving is a big thing in the USA. We do not celebrate Thanksgiving in Finland but we are blessed to be able to be there to celebrate this holiday with so many other people. For the fourth year in a row we were part of the Fort Pierce Thanksgiving Feast. All churches and ministries comes together and they are doing a great work serving the community. There are many needy people in Fort Pierce and they do not only serve the Thanksgiving meal there on the spot under the big tent. They also deliver thousands of portions to the homes, especially to those who can’t afford a Thanksgiving meal. This is the perfect way to let everyone in the community know that God loves them. We are blessed to be part of this outreach event.
From Fort Pierce we drove north to Daytona Beach. We set up our tent at the Daytona Turkey Rod Run that was held on the legendary International Speedway. We were there for four days and we gave away Bibles and talked with people. On Saturday we had church service at ”the hub” that is the main stage at the event and this was the first time we had church on Saturday. Sunday we had church again and the weather was perfect. The change of location brought more people to us and it was a good time, even if our van broke down half an hour before church. After church I had the honor to take care of the music at the hub and we had good discussions with people before we packed our stuff and were taken to our hotel as we did no longer have a car. We got it running the following day again and we could return to Okeechobee for our last days in the US.
Children, our future
The last Tuesday we visited Real Life Children’s Ranch in Okeechobee. These people do a fantastic work with children who are coming from dysfunctional homes. It just touches our hearts when we see these young children and when you think about where they are coming from you realize that this world is a very evil place. The people working at ”the ranch” are doing a fantastic work with these children and since 1957 Real Life Children’s Ranch has impacted thousands of children and helped these to a better life. Many of them has brought Christ with them in their lives and the stories about children who grew up at the ranch are many.
Our last night in Okeechobee we said ”good bye, see you in February” at Fountain of Life Church. The congregation laid hands on us, sent us out and prayed for us. That is what a church is for, to be there and disciple, equip and send out. Most important of all is all the encouragement.
Thursday morning we left Okeechobee at 7:30 am and 26 hours later we were here at home in Vasa, Finland. Again we have another trip behind us and we are blessed. We got to witness people receive Christ into their lives and we got to minister to many people, mostly outside the four doors of the church. Financially? Well, we can not complain. We saw peoples lives change in front of our eyes and that is what counts. Worth way more than all the money in this world.
10 years anniversary
The new year we will kick off with a concert at Ritz in Vasa. Since I got saved I have celebrated in January every year. Now it is 10 YEARS since I found a church where I could be myself for a while and where I received love and help. Past years the celebrations has been held in my former church but since we are celebrating 10 YEARS without alcohol and drugs with God’s help we are going to do it at Ritz in the heart of our hometown Vasa. It will be a free concert and soon we are announcing some of the special guest we are going to share the stage with that night.
Now it is time to spend some quality time at home with our family. We miss our family when we are away but we also realize that we are called to be on the road. Well, this year we have been on the road for 220+ days. We do not see a reason to slow down next year but now we are taking a break for the rest of this year.