Dear brothers, I pray you are well and the Lord’s grace enriches your soul each day. I was asked if I could write for you a simple review of our time in Iceland, with Gunnar and his church. As a general overview I would say we went in with a plan but God had a different one in mind. We went to train other pastors and leaders, but God gave us one pastor to pour into and one church to engage with. This trip looking back on it was God’s design to build up and encourage Gunnar, and in God’s sovereign timing for the members of the team opportunities to walk in His grace with faithful brothers close by.
Ed, Ken, Zach and I arrived at different times between Tuesday evening and Thursday morning. Our final team member, Gareth from Wales, came in Thursday night. Ken and Ed had a great but tiring time in Russia, very intense as they put it. Ken also found himself sick throughout the duration of our time in Iceland, and while it did not keep him from participating, it did make him uncomfortable through the time. As it turned out we did a “Bible study” with Gunnar’s church , the first on Thursday night and the second on Monday night. This was not how we thought things were going to be, but we all could see God’s hand in the time given and how He wanted us to use it. I started Thursday night by teaching on what it means to hold the line of scripture, trying to put it more in a context of studying the word and using it in the life of discipleship. Ed then followed up with a focus on context. Monday night, Gareth started the night with a focus on the role of the Holy Spirit, and then Ken finished the time with a discussion on framework.
The Spiritual deadness of Iceland has many reasons, but one of them is a failing to accept the truth of the Bible being God’s word and its sufficiency. So our time with Gunnar and his church was a very helpful time to support Gunnar as he strives to teach from the word, helping his body go deeper in their understanding at how foundational the word must be for their journey of growth as the true church of God in a Godless country.
The other key thing we were able to do was spend a great deal of time with Gunnar most of Friday, Saturday night and Monday morning. We spent Friday going through John 3 using the Simeon Trust worksheet. And then Saturday and Monday we talked a lot about church life, polity and the Bible, and getting to know about his journey of faith and his family’s. This trip did not go to plan, but it did go to God’s design and intent. As a team we saw God move and provide great opportunity to uplift a pastor and his church to press on in a place that does not welcome them. We must pray for Gunnar above all else that the Lord will provide a pastor or two that would help Gunnar grow and stay the course. IT was a great trip. Please let us know if you have any further questions. Thanks for the support in this. Blessings