Thursday, March 10, 2011

Danish Pastor as a Guest

Karen and I said "So long" to Pastor Ruben Knudsen today as I put him on a Delta/Air France flight to Paris then to Copenhagen. Ruben spent ten days with us and we grew to love and respect him.

I met Ruben a few years ago in Randers, Denmark where my old friend Peder Poulsen lives. Peder had come to many of our seminars in Norway back in the Eighties and we have been friends ever since. Peder left the State Church many years ago and planted a Free Church in Randers. He took Ruben under his wing and he now succeeds Peder as Pastor of the Randers OASE Free Church.

Ruben is a very discerning fellow who discovered early in his ministry that the marriage and family relationships among his parishioners were moribund, lethargic and failing. Many of his friends lived in chronic misery. When I was near Randers speaking at a, "Equipping Lay Persons" conference Ruben asked me to preach on Sunday morning and afterward asked for some time to chat. That is when I learned how many of the marriages there are in trouble.

Ruben mentioned that some 40% of the married women in Denmark admit to having regular extramarital affairs. In fact, many "experts" in Denmark suggest that adultery and pornography are good for a marriage because they can "liven them up". That sounds crazy but evil is bold; very, very bold!

Ruben also noted how many of the Danish men are chronic users of pornography and he wanted to learn how to minister to them and to all marriages. So, I invited him to come to the USA and attend a Pure Hope Men of Valor Conference. He arrived last Tuesday and left today after learning from many of our local Pastors, Counselors and Christian leaders. He left filled with excitement and hope.

We in the USA are also facing an epidemic of family relationship problems along with pornography. Sweeten Life Systems is working hard to help Pastors, Lay Ministers and Counselors improve their skills of ministry to couples. One of the most important things we are doing is focusing on parents of children with a disability. The stresses on these couples is overwhelming and they can certainly use our wisdom and support.

I will follow up with Ruben in August by doing two training sessions in Denmark. Please support us with your prayers. Europe is in crisis and we have a lot to offer the Christians there. This includes Russia.

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