Categories
community

A Disturbing Day At Church

Last week I had a very disturbing experience at the food sharing outside our church on Orange Blossom Trail, OBT, in Orlando. We feed the homeless and needy people in the neigborhood every week, so this was one of our regular nights with a 100 people standing in line to eat.

At 5.30 pm we were plating the food and getting ready to serve, when four black cars came into our parking lot and parked next to a black truck that were already there. It looked like new rental cars, something official, so they caught my attention.

Next thing I saw were the drivers in the black cars jumping out, opening up the trunks and giving out stuff from the back to the people in our parking lot.

I don’t mind people caring for the community and helping us serve. That happens a lot of times. Usually teams will come and ask if they can join us, giving out food, clothing, hygiejne products etc, but this time was different. It seemed like these people had another agenda.

I am Not a Racist

I walked over to talk to them, but they totally ignored me. They were all african americans, a group of 10-15 young people, handing out packages. “This is private property”, I said, and immediately one of them, a young guy with tattoos in his face, came right at me cursing me out. Somehow he tried to make this a racial issue, calling me a “White Mother……”, as if the color of my skin would have anything to do with feeding the homeless. I am not from this country. I am a viking from Denmark, and over there we don’t see colors like some people see them here.

At this point, they all started shouting at me, almost like some of the protesters I have seen on the news. I saw the hate in their faces, as they were threatening me and calling me a racist. It all happened really fast, like putting gasoline on a fire. In all these years I have worked as a pastor in the “hood”, I never experienced anything like this…

Calling the Police

Our church is located just down the road from the police headquarters, so I picked up my phone and called the police, while the newcomers were still in my face cursing me out. Then they all went back in their cars and started to leave, including a black female driver, who almost ran me down on the way out. As the car touched me, I lifted my leg as a reflex, and the driver jumped out, accusing me of kicking the car.

At this point, the rest of the team were waiting across the street, and when they saw her coming out of the car, they all started running towards me. Again they were yelling and screaming, it looked like a lynch mob coming towards me, but thank God. Somebody went in their way and stopped them before it was too late.

The Devil in the Parking Lot

When the police showed up half an hour later, we were feeding the homeless like we always do. They were my eye witnesses, they had been watching from the side. The only hard evidence I had was footage from the security camera, but somehow the intruders had managed to cover up for the episode by parking one of the cars in front of the camera.

The Devil was in the parking lot that day, but so was God. And the only reason why I am still here is because of God. From His perspective All Lives Matters. It is not about being black or white. He made us all different, and He likes us like that.

Categories
Disaster Relief

The White Shirt On The Pole

Only a few days after we launched the food bank in Ecuador, the work is spreading to more places. Pastor Carlos Marchan and his team in Puyo has been giving out essentials to the people in the city, but now they are planning a trip inside Jungle to one of the small communities.

The people living in the jungle are under the same lock down as the people in the city and they have nothing to eat. Usually they will travel to the city to buy food or trade for food, but because of the curfew they can’t make it that far. They live so remote, without lights and running water, and they don’t have any cars.

Over the past years we have been visiting the village several times. Usually we would travel out there in the morning, preach the gospel and share a meal with them. Some of you might remember the pictures, my sons tribal adventure when they painted us in the face and gave us chicha to drink as a part of their welcome tradition!

The White Shirt

Right now the team in Puyo is making care packages for the villages with rice, eggs and cooking oil and other things. The government gives out rations of five eggs and a little rice, but our team has been able to buy a lot of eggs so they are giving out packages of 30 eggs which is a huge blessing.

For the past two days our team have been giving out care packages in Puyo, and as they went out to the suburbs, they saw white shirts hanging outside the houses. This has become a common thing in Ecuador, people hanging out their shirts as a sign of surrender to show that they have no more food.

We Need Your Help

In Puyo pastor Carlos Marchan and his team sre loading the cars with care packages to drive out in the communities In just a few days, his church has become a food bank, a distribution center of essentials.

This has been possible through generous donations from our local church and from business people that we know. As the team in Ecuador has been sending pictures of families and elderly people receiving help, we know that we are reaching the lost.

If you want to be a part of this, we will be very thankful. Think about the white shirt on the pole. Look at the pictures, the faces of the children, the elderly, the places they live and the fear and poverty they are facing due to COVID-19.

If you want to support, you can buy a care package for 15 dollars. One package will feed a family for two weeks.

Click on the link and donate today.

Categories
ecuador Mission

Food Bank Launch As Response to Pandemic

Last week I was on the phone with my pastor friend in Puyo, in the Amazon Jungle. I was happy because our corona lockdown in Florida finally is over, but in Ecuador the reality is very much different. Due to the pandemic, people are not able to leave their houses during regular hours, and they are only allowed to drive their car once a week. Because of this, it is very difficult just to get essential supplies for a house hold. People have to walk, and if they are not back in their house before 2 pm, they will be fined or even arrested.

Many of the people we know have family members and friends that have died due to COVID-19, including one of the ladies that took care of our team in Esmeraldas last year. In Guayaquil which is the second largest city in the nation, they are burning dead bodies in the street or even dumping them in the ocean, because they can’t bury them fast enough.

Church is Essential

My good friend pastor Carlos Marchan who has an established ministry in the area, cannot pastor his church since everything has been shut down. I challenged him to become essential, to buy food and start distributing food to people in the community like we have done it at our church in Orlando, Florida.

I asked him to buy food at wholesale prizes and we would send him the money. Starting with one ton of rice for 1000 dollars, he could make the church into a food distribution center, which would be the beginning of the temporary “food bank” in Puyo.

A few phone calls later, business people started to donate, and the next day we were able to buy one ton of rice, eggs, cooking oil and other essentials for the people in Puyo as an emergency response to the pandemic.

Documentation

Right now the pastor in Puyo is working together with my other friend who is a tour guide. He has a military background and will be able to use his vehicle to pick up the food without any restrictions.

Our friends in Ecuador will be receiving the donations through our ministry and document with photos and video as they buy the food and give it out to the people in the community, especially families and elderly people in the neighborhood who cannot make the walk to the supermarket.

The economy in Ecuador is hit hard. People have lost their jobs because of COVID-19, and when the oil prices dropped, the nation was brought to it’s knees. Oil is a main source of income in Ecuador with an export rate of 60 pct.

Categories
Inspiration

Perfect Love Drives Out Fear

The other day I read an article from my home country Denmark speaking about “being skin hungry”. I guess it is a new word in this pandemic, and the definition of “Skin Hunger” is the need of a physical touch, a hug and a kiss. In other words, we need to be loved!

Truth is that we are all social creatures and in this time of global social distancing because of the pandemic, people are starving for physical contact. We can’t live without it, and some people are so under stimulated right now, that they go crazy.

The Fear of Death

Social distancing seems to be a necessary curse right now but I wonder if the consequence of separating people is worth the prize compared to the many broken families, suicides, depressions etc that inevitably will swipe through the world as a consequence of the lock downs and separation of people.

Right now fear is in the front seat. People are afraid of getting sick. People are afraid of being a carrier of the virus. People are afraid of dying. And in order to control the fear of death, people all over the world are trying to control the spread of the virus, instead of turning to God who conquered death and gave us a living hope!

A Jesus Touch

At Powerhouse Church we reach out to some of the weakest people in society and for them the church is an important daily salvage raft that gives them hope and joy and a Jesus touch when most needed.

For them surviving daily in the streets is a much bigger threat than the virus and they need the church now more than ever. We daily follow the news of the streets of Orlando, news of murder, rape, broken families, addictions, gang, aids etc. We see people with cancers, open operation wounds, stab wounds. For them the corona is just another thing on the list to fear.

What Are We Waiting For?

People are telling me to shut down the church and to wait. To take care of my self and not risk the life of our members. My question is; Wait for what? Jesus did not wait for nobody, he touched the lepers and hung around sick people on a daily basis as he was doing his Fathers business. Paul said in 2. Cor 6:2 “Today is the day of salvation, now is the appointed time”. This is the Bible. No government order can postpone God timing.

I do not fear the virus. I do not live by fear, I live by faith, and my faith is being expressed in love. Perfect love drives out all fear. In times of social distancing, it is our time to show our hearts. While Christians all over the world are praying in their homes, their neighbors are sick of isolation and fear. This is the real killer! Who will show them the way to salvation, who will teach them to cry out and pray in times of distress?

Rise And Shine

This is the time for the church to rise!

Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

This week we have started a daily feeding program, so that people can come and get a hot meal, meet some people, still keeping social distancing, and experience the love of God in action.

Today we received pallets of food and drinks for our food bank, reaching out to homeless and low income individuals and families in our community. On Sunday we have drive in service in the parking, serving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a world that is lost.

We Need Your Help

We don’t know how long this is gonna last, but we will continue to do as much as we can. Right now we need pop up tents to protect the people from the Florida sun and money for food to continue giving out the daily meals.

We need your help. If your conviction is to stay home, I am okay with that, but you can still help us reaching out to the poor. If you can’t go yourself, your money can make a difference. If you want to partner with Powerhouse Church and our ministry in this season, please help and donate today!

We see people with cancers, open operation wounds, stab wounds. For them the corona is just another thing on the list to fear.

Categories
Powerhouse Church

Church is Essential

In this season, my schedule as a traveling evangelist has been put on hold due to the pandemic. Two weeks ago I was ministering in Australia, and before this we were in Denmark and Ecuador. We came back to the USA on March 16th as our president introduced social distancing. We did not have to self quarantine, but I am thankful that I was able to return home before everything shut down.

The world has changed forever. Nothing is the same anymore, schools, entertainment, sports etc. are being shot down, while we are told to shelter in place in our community, staying at home as much as possible, only leaving the house when it’s needed. We keep hearing the word “essential”. Only essential businesses will be open, like grocery stores, doctors offices, fastfood restaurants and … the list is long!

The Gospel Must Be Preached

So now we are here in Orlando, waiting for the plaque to pass by, and in this season the church is essential. People are desperate, laying sleepless at night, turning to drugs and alcohol or even suicide because they are fearfull and hopeless. The world is still waiting for God’s children to be revealed and the good news to be preached. We cannot sit idle, we have a calling on our lives to be servants and witnesses of Christ. Our challenge is to find out what this looks like “in such a time as this”, not to act out of fear, but to keep the faith.

This we do as much as we can. Even though we don’t have our traditional church services, we had our first drive in service on March 29. We will not neglect the gathering of the saints, we can still meet up to 10 people to worship and pray and live stream our services, and we must still reach out to the community and feed the poor, which we do even more in this season.

What Are The Guidelines

Last week we called the Orlando Police Department to get guidelines in the current lock down. It provoked me that the churches are closed, while the store next door still can sell Coca Cola and snacks. Is church not more essential than Dollar General?, I asked.

The lady on the phone gave me a link to the Orange County website, stating that “this Order does not limit religious or funeral services at any location, but all persons leading, performing or attending religious or funeral services are urged to fully comply with all measures advised by the CDC, including limiting gatherings to not more than ten (10) people and practicing social distancing of at least six (6) feet between persons.”

Essential workers includes workers who support food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, such as those residing in shelters, which also includes the church!

Hot Meals Every Night

I don’t know what other churches are doing in this season, but this week Powerhouse Church in Orlando have started a “soup to go” kitchen for our community, so that nobody have to worry about the necessities of life as long as the county is under lock down. Last night was our first night. People came walking, riding on bicycles and driving in cars for a hot meal made with love. We didn’t do a lot of advertising, but still we served 55 meals the first night and many more to come.

This is how we fight our battles. We pray, we worship, we stand on the Word and we feed the poor. We are the church, and in this season we have church, every time two or three are gathered, when we feed the poor from our soup kitchen. We are there for the people, sharing the good news in a time of much sorrow and distress. Serving God and serving people, that is still what we do.

Categories
Inspiration

A Day in the Studio

A few weeks ago I joined Rich Marshall in Orlando as his guest on the God@Work television show. This program, that highlights how God is at work in people‚Äôs lives around the world, is produced by GodTV and my segment will air on March 16th at 8:30pm Eastern time. I really enjoyed my time with Rich and his other guests as we explored the power of God at work in our daily lives. Please tune in and tell your friends about this opportunity. 

GodTV is on channel 365 if you have DirecTV; or you can get it online at www.god.tv/work. I am on episode 110. You can also download the GodTV app; God@Work is under the GodTV Originals section.

I genuinely hope you will watch the March 16th program and drop me a note letting me know what you think. GodTV reaches out to million 300 homes on the globe with a potential of 1 billion viewers.

If you are one of them, plz let me know!

Remember, put it in your calendar: Channel 365 on DirecTV; online at www.God.tv/work or on the GodTV app.

Categories
Mission

Church on The Beach

Last month I went on a mission trip to Ecuador to speak at a conference in Puyo in the Amazon Jungle and to visit the city of Esmeraldas which is a major seaport in the Northwestern part of the country.

Over the past year we have been ministering to a group of fishermen in Esmeraldas. It started with a random fishing trip and a bbq on the beach, and as we were eating together and sharing lives, people gave their lives to Christ. At this occasion, God gave us a vision to start building the community and supporting the families there.

I already shared how some of the businessmen in our church https://www.powerhouseflorida.com/ invested in a boat to to help a family with seven children and this time, we were able to raise funds to buy 1000 yards of nets.

Faith in Action

Coming back to Esmeraldas this time I found out that the fishermen had appointed a new leader of their fishing commune and that he was born again. He was happy to meet us and asked us to come and teach the community, and the following day he asked us to come and help them start a church.

We went out fishing and after the catch we arranged another fish bbq on the beach. People came from near and far, and this time it was much more easy to share the Word. I understood that the boat and the nets had been preaching for me.

When Jesus was preaching to the multitude, he did not only serve them the Word, he also looked to their physical needs and served them food. He demonstrated the power of God through five loaves and two fishes supplied by a little boy. Jesus was very practical and we should learn from him!

Building Church Community

As we were sitting around the fire, we realized that we were not only building the community, we were building church. These were tough fishermen, not saints. Some of them were alcoholics, but as we preached the gospel, they wanted to change.

It was almost midnight when we led the fishermen in the prayer of salvation. They received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and repented from their sins, right there on the beach. Then they started talking about getting baptized, and eight of them were ready to do it right away!

The water was there, so there was no reason to wait. Those that wanted to be baptized went out in the waves of the Pacific Ocean. It was cold and dark, but they didn’t care. This was the power of the gospel unto salvation, and these fishermen are now Fishers of Men.

I can’t wait to go back to the beach of Esmeraldas and see what God will do next time. I have no doubt. God is gonna build his church right there, as we continue to reach the lost!

Categories
denmark

Something is Rotten in the State of Denmark

This photo was taken in 2011 when I was standing in court in Denmark for preaching the Word of God. The inscription on the building behind me says “the Word of our God will stand forever” which is a historic statement, but no longer valid …

The headline for this post is an old quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but recently it popped up again, when I read an article of how the Danish evangelist Torben Soendergaard had left Denmark to seek religious asylum in the USA. Something is definetly rotten, when a democratic country no longer can make room for faith!

I have known Torben Soendergaard for many years, and I know what he has been going through, because I as a Danish evangelist went through the same things! I have enjoyed the blessings and the persecution, that Jesus promised us, when He gave the assignment to preach the gospel, heal the sick and cast out demons in a nation that don’t believe in that kind of “stuff”.

Denmark is a very secular nation, a society without God. The state religion is Lutheran, and everything outside of the Lutheran church is considered a cult. The numbers of believers are few, and in this place of darkness, God has called us to shine His light.

When we started the ministry. In Denmark in 1998, things began to change in A good way. There was a spiritual awakening and a lot of people including the media was following because of the miracles that took place in our meetings. The word “evangelist” was still unknown, but now it was nominated the Word of the Year by Danish television, and I became “the clip of the year”, confronting the evil spirits over Denmark to “Let My People Go”. People were healed in their homes through the clips on national television, calling in after the program in such numbers, that the journalist had to tell people not to call!

10 Years of Persecution

After some years, the media started to turn against us, and then the persecution broke out. It was very evil. We went through 10 years of heavy persecution with death threats and vandalism on our properties, financial losses and parents in the ministry that lost their children because of their beliefs. Lots of slander. In the end I was sued by the Health Department of Denmark and sentenced in the National Court for instigation of quackery, preaching that Jesus Christ can save, heal and set people free.

The Calling to America

We left Denmark during the court case to start a work among the homeless people on Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando, Florida.

When I shared my story, people would ask me about the persecution and why I did not seek asylum. Honestly I had not even thought about that option, since we were so used to the persecution of the Christians in our nation.

I still remember the day, when the satanists broke into my parents church and disgraced the sanctuary. I was only a child and I did not understand what was going on when I saw a human poop on the bible and cut off chicken feet and blood smeared on the altar.

Just before I left Denmark, I had a satanist breaking into my house, and the same satanist sat in court, when I was sentenced for instigation of quackery. He even followed me to the USA by sending seeds and curses to us in an envelope, trying to affect me over here.

A Wake Up Call

This is the reality. Something is rotten in the State of Denmark. So much opposition against the born again believers in the free churches.

With Torben Soendergaard seeking political asylum in America, you should think this would be a wakeup call for the Danish government. Something is rotten, since the Danish people no longer have the freedom to speak what they believe.

I am talking about the people that believe the bible. It seems like some peoples freedom is ranking higher than other peoples, that you can believe anything you want, as long as you don’t publicly practice your faith in Jesus Christ.

So far you can’t even teach your own children according to your Christian beliefs. This is one of the foundational UN rights, but not in Denmark, where people are known for being “openminded” as the first nation to legalize abortion, pornography, prostitution and same sex marriages, now making laws against sharing your Christian faith.

I remember one lady that came after our ministry, because her son had been saved. She was upset that he would no longer drink alcohol or sleep around.

It’s a spiritual battle. Its not about people. Its not about preachers. But it’s about the word they carry, a message of salvation and freedom from sin

With this history, you can understand why preachers of the gospel are not welcome in Denmark. Something is rotten in the State of Denmark – and that what is rotten is what the Bible defines as SIN.

Categories
Mission

The Blessing Came As a Boat

Imagine to be a fisherman and raise your family on a beach in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, when you only have a small boat, and the fish that you catch is not enough to feed your seven children.

This was the reality for Mr. Luis whom we met on our missiontrip to Ecuador in November 2018. Luis was living on the beach, alone with his seven children, and we had the joy of leading him and other fishermen to the Lord.

Since then it has been on my heart to start a Christian fishing community to help Luis and his friends who had received Christ. I wanted them to know the full gospel, the life in abundance, that restores not only your soul, but also your life. I wanted to help these poor people so bad, and as I shared the vision, I have been able to find investors that were willing to finance the vision of buying a bigger boat so they can catch bigger fish, feed their families and grow their business for the Kingdom of God.

Working together with a lawyer in Ecuador who was saved during the crusade, the vision has come through. We have bought a boat, and in May 2019 as we went back to Ecuador, we were able to legally assign it to Luis and his friends and start the Christian fishing consortium. The deal was sealed and we all gathered to pray for this new vessel.

Imagine what it would be like to walk on the beach in Esmeraldas that day when we found Luis and told him about the blessing. He had no clue, since we had not been in contact with him since November last year. We just assumed that we would find him again, same place, still working hard in his little boat to provide food for his family.

This is a leap of faith, but we strongly believe that we are doing the right thing. We found out that our fisherman Luis with the seven kids was a key person in the local community. People knew him and he was a man of good reputation.

What joy when we met again and told him the good news. That night we had a party, celebrating the goodness of God and the blessing that came as a boat!

Next step will be to provide school for the seven kids and to start a church in Esmeraldas. We are working together with other missionaries and the lawyer who is willing to help with the ministry on the beaches and already has an apartment in the area.  We are looking for people who will move to Esmeraldas and do the work of the Lord. So far we have young lady who is willing to be send out to live there for three months. 

Thank you for your prayers as we prepare for this, teaching Luis and the other fishermen to follow Jesus and making them fishers of men!

Categories
Family

Holding On to The Promises

Two weeks ago I went on a mission trip to Europe. I traveled together with my wife Karen and my son Hector and his wife Nashali, visiting Denmark, Sweden, France, Belgium and Holland. Remember, Europe is small compared to the USA, so it is easy to get around!

Ministry in Denmark

In Denmark we came to minister for three days of Pentecost revival in a community center in the country side. This was a non denominational gathering. More than 100 people had signed up for the weekend, and I think another 100 dropped by during the conference. Some people had traveled 3-4 hours just for one meeting. There was such a high level of faith!

Three Generations on Stage

I preached on Friday night, and Saturday morning my father who is 86 years old shared how he got saved as a young man and had an encounter with the Holy Spirit. He was in a prayer meeting when he was liftet up by the Spirit physically. This happened several times, and this experience has followed him throughout his life. He has such a close relationship with the Holy Spirit. Some people should think that it would decrease over the years but it has only increased!

People loved my dad’s testimony and so did I! In the afternoon my wife Karen was speaking, and in the evening my son Hector was asked to preach instead of me. This was the first time my son spoke in Danish in front of so many people, but he did well. He shared what was on his heart, and I finished by calling people forward for prayer!

It was not before after the conference in Denmark that I realized how God had used our family to speak to this gathering. We were three generation on stage. I can’t remember I have seen this before in my life as a preacher. It was very powerful testimony of God’s faithfulness in our family.

Steadfast Promises

As a preacher I meet many parents who come to me with pain in their hearts because their children no longer walk with God. They have turned their back to God and some have turned their back to the parents as well. This was our situation as a family only two years ago but by the grace of God we now see how all our children are following God.

My parents have always trusted in God and I believe that is why they can see the promises of God being fulfilled in their lifetime. There is a blessing that runs from generation to generation, not only to their children but also to their grandchildren. Don’t loose hope. God wants to pour out his Spirit upon all flesh. The promise is for for you and me and the generations to come.