What Are You Leaving Behind?

Right now we are traveling in Denmark preaching the gospel visiting family and friends. The other day as we were heading for our next destination Karen told me to stop and turn the car around. “Did you see the sign at the roadside”, she asked, “It says “Nødhjælp fra Hjem til Hjem”… (Danish meaning “Disaster Relief from Home to Home”).

Could that really be? The sign looked very official, but it looked familiar to me. It was the name of a non profit organisation that Karen and I founded back in the 1990’s as we started collecting food and clothing for poor families in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldavia. God gave the vision, and God gave the provision – for when God guides, He also provides!

We went down the dirt road. On the right side was a barn. The door was open. I could see piles of plastic bags with clothes at the right side of the wall and stacks of wheel chairs, bikes and hospital equipment on the left side. In the doorway there was an old man in work clothes.

“Helmer?”. The man in the barn looked at me. It has been more than 15 years since last time we met, but obviously he was still here, still going strong 86 years old collecting donations and packing stuff for the next transport. Since we started the work it has been 228 trailer loads with 9 trailers last year. Hundred thousands of people have received helped over the years because of one mans vision.

This was my first big assignment before entering into full time ministry. I was visiting the former Sovjetunion when God told me to make a food drive and collect clothes for the people there. I was just a young man and I had no clue what I was doing, but the collection laid the foundation of what we are doing today.

From Home to Home

It was so cool to meet Helmer and hear about the work how it continues to bless people in great need. What started in our home has now spread to many homes. Amazing to see how this work of the Lord keep going and growing, spreading to different nations.

After this experience we went north to the coast to visit the thrift store that has been the financial engine behind the transports. Karen and I started the thrift store in 1998, as a teamwork between the church and the city, and there it was, still in the same location as a monument of the faithfulness and the goodness of the Lord.

As I entered in I found three ladies working in the store. Only one of them looked familiar. I did not introduce myself. “Do you remember me?” I asked, and when I said my name, she cleared up. “This gentlemen were here from the beginning, he was here before anybody else” she explained and now we were all talking.

Old pictures came out of the drawers together with old articles from the local newspaper, and we talked about the first trip, when I brought a group of ladies to Ukraine. When they saw the poverty they were changed for life, they cried for a week, some of them gave their lives to Christ, and after this they gave themselves 100 pct to the work.

The Story Continues

It was amazing to see how the work of the Lord has not been in vane. How the vision that He gave came through, and how the seed that was planted back then is still growing for the benefit of many, even though we are not there anymore.

God has called us all to make a difference where we are at, to be history makers, trail blazers, vision bearers, life changers. Question is, what do we leave behind when we are not here anymore. What are the fruits, have we been faithful to do what He called us to do?

I live every day for him. That’s my passion, my only desire. I want to be obedient to all that He calls me to do. Not to say “no” but to go wherever he tells me to go. To Denmark, to Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando, to Ecuador, Greenland, Kenya, leaving a trail of testimonies behind.

Power to Overcome

Four years ago we introduced Powerschool in Orlando Florida, where people could come to our church in Orlando and learn about Christian lifestyle.

We started out small, with the members from our church, but over the years we have had an increasing number of international students. They come from Africa, Europe and South America, from different states and even from different tribes. We have prayed God to give us the nations, and our prayers have been heard!

What is Powerschool

The purpose of Powerschool is to empower people to live victorious in every area of life. In Powerschool you will meet teachers who has been through “stuff”, and they will talk to you about the process, how they overcome obstacles in life. They will share their lives, not only the success stories, but also their mistakes and misery, the problems and the pain. But they will not leave you there. They will show you a way out and share, how they were able to pick up faith and to move on in life.

I will talk about how we gave up our 60 acres farm in Denmark to come and feed the homeless people in Orlando. My wife will share how she overcame cancer, having a handicapped child, and how it was when my teenage boys were on drugs. Our pastor from Rwanda will teach you about prayer, telling powerful testimonies of healing the sick and raising the dead, and the other leaders will give you their version of how to build a church from scratch, faithfully serving the poor and believing in the vision when nobody else was there.

Worship and workshops

In Powerschool we start the day with coffee and fellowship, followed by prayer, worship and teaching. We also have workshops with evangelism, prayer and community service, giving out dinner and brunch to the poor people in the community.

If you want to know more about powerschool, you can go to our website . Registration is open, and the price is 50 dollars for a week .https://www.powerhouseflorida.com/powerschool

Today is The Day

People standing in line for BBQ outside our Powerhouse church building in Orlando during our Winter Fest last year in February. Now the church building is ours!

Do you know what day it is today?

It is the day, where we finally got to purchase our church building on 1025 S Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando, Florida. It is the day, where we officially own a part of “the trail”, the highway 441 that runs through the downtown Orlando area.

For us, to own this 20,000 sqft building is an absolute miracle. When we first started the church five years ago, we were only a few people that got together and rented a party hall half a mile down the road from our current building. The party hall was known for parties in the gay and lesbian community. The rent was 3000 dollars a month, and we were only 6 families. So we decided, that if nothing else would work, we would just pay 500 dollars each to make sure that the rent was paid every month.

Our first facility was one room, two bathrooms and a back room the size of the closet in my master bedroom. Here we had our children’s ministry that shared the space with the cleaning supplies, and here we put up a room divider to separate the kids from the brooms.

God’s House, in the Middle of The Street

After three years in the party hall, praying and looking for another building that could contain the vision, God showed us the building we have now. It was huge compared to the first place, the rent was triple, and we were still small in numbers. One of our leaders took contact with the owner, and after a time of negotiation, we were able to rent the place.

It has been two years with a lot of trials, we have had water damage, rain through the roof, rats, coach roaches, and people stealing, shooting up heroin in the parking lot. It has been like the 10 plagues of Egypt, but finally, we are at the end, now it is time for God’s people to go and take the land that God has already given to us.

100.000 USD Downpayment

God gave us a rental agreement with the option to buy. I know some of you followed us last year when we raised 100.000 dollars towards the downpayment. We gave everything. One gave a car, another a house, and a motorcycle, just to mention a few things. We are not a rich church but we are rich in vision and we are willing to pay what it takes in order for God’s Kingdom to come and his will be done.

The church is not a building, we are the building, the living stones, that make it all come together, but we believe that God has given us Powerhouse on OBT as an embassy for the Kingdom, like a lighthouse shining in a very dark place.

When we came with the downpayment of 100.000 dollars, I could tell that our landlord was impressed. He wanted us to proceed, he said, to buy the building, which meant another 120.000 dollars in downpayment according to the contract. I knew this was not gonna come easy, it was just too much, we had given everything!

God’s Way of Doing Business

All the way we have had a good relationship with our landlord who is a Muslim. He has great faith in us and in the vision and he has been speaking highly about us all the time, as we have kept our testimony and paid our bills on time.

At the beginning of this year, he called us. He said he wanted to speed up the process, in order for us to buy the building, and we decided to meet. I called a businessman in Texas to give me some advice before the final negotiation, and he asked if we were in any default. I realized that we were! The month we paid 100.000, we had not been able to pay our rent in full. The businessman told me to get this in order, and he helped me by transferring the money an hour before I arrived at the landlord’s office. When we sat down, the first thing the landlord addressed was the default, and by the grace of God, I was able to pull out the check with the exact amount so that we could continue the negotiations!

Long Story Short

Someone said that “money talks”, and now we were able to talk and to present our case. We had a very direct proposal. No more downpayments and a reduction in the price equivalent to the past two years of rent, plus a new roof, because of all the test and trials and tribulations, we have been going through.

It was a tough one, our landlord is a businessman, but he is also a believer. Even though we don’t share the same faith, he has respect for the House of God, and eventually, that made the conclusion. We got the price down below the market price which is an absolute miracle, and we own the building from today!