Building the Kingdom

416689_10150518968422430_1410855161_oWhat does the Kingdom of God look like?

Jesus told us that the Kingdom of God is at Hand, so we know that it is within reach. It is not something that we will experience one day in Heaven, we can experience this in our everyday life as we pray Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.

God’s Kingdom is where the will of God is manifested, where God reigns. It is not a matter of eating or drinking, not a bunch of rituals or regulations, but the presence of the Holy Spirit,  righteousness, joy, and peace in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17).

I was thinking about it this week as our church is planning a huge outreach on Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando. We will go out in the street every day and hand out 10.000 flyers and invite people to a party in our parking lot. We want to show people what the Kingdom looks like, how King Jesus can bring righteousness to a street of unrighteousness, peace in a place where there is no place to rest and joy, where depression and anger are present all the time.

This free event will be an effort to create a culture and build community in the heart of our beloved City Beautiful. It will be an amazing opportunity to give and show love to those who are less fortunate. There will be live music, food, and entertainment for all ages, including activities for the youth and a live musical performance. There will be raffle prizes given away to low-income individuals and families, including gift cards, bill pay (debt elimination), and even a free car!

We are open every day during the week, giving out breakfast and lunch, but this coming week we will do a special effort to reach out to the lost and the least. Our goal is to show them the Kingdom, to introduce them to our King. To show them a better way than the OBT way, where females and males prostitute themselves and overdose in the streets. The past two months nine people have overdosed in a house across from our church. People are dying out there, but Jesus wants them to come alive!

The other day we talked to a police officer. He had worked on our streets for 26 years and was telling us, that feeding the homeless is just enabling them in their abuse and crime. He admitted, he had lost faith. He said that only one in a 100 wants to change. We have heard that before, but we will still be there for the one! So far we have seen one, two, three, four and more come alive, and we are believing for a supernatural breakthrough.

We are here for ones. Jesus left the 99 sheep to find that one that was lost. We are here for the families, for the kids, for the next generation. He has called us to take up the cross, to follow in his footsteps, to partner with Heaven in bringing the Kingdom of God to Earth through faith in Jesus Christ and the empowerment of His Holy Spirit.

Our vision is to see Orange Blossom Trail being transformed into a Highway of Holiness and Great Joy. (Isaiah 35:8)

Celebrating Our Three Prodigal Sons

28082082_10214711779566339_504718714_oThis week on Valentine’s day we had a very special celebration at our church in Orlando. There were roses in vases, chocolate covered strawberries and some kind of non-alcoholic champagne at the table, but the party was not for Valentine, it was for our family and the homecoming of our three prodigal sons who finally have decided to surrender their lives to the Lord.

It has been a long and winding road, a detour down the darkest alleys where no parents want to see their children go. We have spent nights awake in prayer, reminding God of his promises, that “Me and my house will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24.15), and that “all my children will be taught by the Lord (Isaiah 54.13). There have been days where the battle has been so intense, where I had no tears left and my heart was broken into pieces, and there have been lonely nights where I have cried out in the laundry room and in my closet where I thought nobody could hear me except for God.

Our oldest son in Las Vegas was the first to surrender. He is 25 and used to be an atheist, on drugs and alcohol, doing magic in the street. At one point he got involved with a witch and that brought him to his knees. He was delivered from witchcraft and substance abuse, was baptized and blessed with new business opportunities. He got away from the street, started his own social media company and is now traveling the world doing social media and food trading. The past year he has visited 17 countries and seen things that most of us will never experience in a lifetime. The change in his life started the chain reaction, that eventually changed the life of his brothers. They finally came to the conclusion that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one comes to the Father except through him!

Seeing this as parents it the greatest you can ever experience. I had to take an extra look in January when our youngest son who has been an agnostic attended our communion service. The same day he told us that he had decided to follow Jesus, and the following week he started interceeding for the other brother who had been suffering from depression over the past two years. This young man had been running away from home, taking drugs to calm the pain in his heart. God answered the prayers within a week and now we received a text message that the depression was gone!

We were like dreaming when it finally happened. We were hoping against hope, but now our hopes were fulfilled, so we called our boys together for three days and send out the invitation to the party at the church. We wanted to share our joy, we wanted to give Jesus glory, and we wanted to make a declaration in front of spiritual powers and principalities, that we as a family have decided to follow Jesus together. Sitting with the three sons, talking, sharing and praying together, was epic. We knew we were writing history and we went out  to do ministry, just to proclaim the good news, that our sons had been dead but now they are alive!

Never give up. Keep praying and keep believing, even when there is no hope in the natural, there is still hope in the spiritual. Do like Abraham, our Father of faith. Hold on to the promises, hold on to his faithfulness. He who is faithful will never fail. Remind Hime of his Word and know that his Word will not return void. Like the Father was out there waiting for his prodigal son to come home, he is still there waiting. I believe there is a lot of prodigal sons coming home this year. If He can do it for our family, He can do it for yours. Our children are like arrows in the quiver, ready to be sent against their destiny. As God is sending them towards the target, I know they can never fail.

Genesis 50.20. “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

 

 

My Holy Spirit Comeback to Lima, Peru

Last week I was preaching in Lima, Peru, which was a very unique experience for me, not because of the traveling and the preaching, but merely because of the timing.  I have traveled to more than 60 nations preaching the gospel, but for me going to Peru this time was a vision coming through.

Let me give you some background. In 1988 Karen and I went on our one year honeymoon around the world, hitchhiking with a guitar and a fishing pole on top of our backpacks. At that time we fell in love with Peru. It was the country of all countries, full of ancient Inca history and adventures. We stayed in Lima for two months playing the guitar every night in the downtown area in order to pay for our hotel and there we met all the weird and dangerous people that only show up when other people go to bed. I played music with the Indians that taught me how to make artisan work, and for the next 10 years, Karen and I were convinced that we were called as missionaries to Peru.

I started to study Spanish in Copenhagen but, as the years went by, the calling got a little “rusty”. I would go back once a year to find artisan products to sell in Denmark and my little import business was growing. I kept talking about moving to Peru but eventually, Karen asked me not to mention it anymore. With a 3-year-old handicapped daughter in a wheelchair being a missionary in Peru seemed as impossible as going to the moon.

In 1992 I went on an expedition in the Amazon Jungle, fought my way down the Amazon River from Venezuela to Peru with a friend of mine. It was the wildest adventure. We traveled in a bongo (a boat made out of a carved tree) for five weeks until we finally made it to Iquitos which is the jungle capital of Peru.

At this time Peru was dominated by the terror movement called the Shining Path. People were being killed on the main roads so there was no way we could go from Iquitos over the Andes which is the biggest chain of mountains in South America. We had to go by plane so we bribed a military pilot to board his big military cargo jet. It was not a comfortable flight on top of canons and munitions. I was a young Danish man who had barely seen a weapon before so I was absolutely shocked when we landed at a military airport on high alert and ready for immediate action.

As we arrived Lima was in a standdown with the terrorists celebrating their 10th anniversary blowing up big car bombs and random killings.  Everybody was tense and scared and at night tanks were driving around with heavily armed and masked soldiers on top scouting the rooftops for potential attackers. As we came around the corner of the main street in the center of Lima, a crowd came running towards us screaming “coche bomba.” I had no idea what that meant but seeing the fear in their eyes made me turn around and soon I found myself running for my life in front of the whole crowd as a car bomb went off in the middle of the day. I remember walking down the street and shots going off over our heads and us seeking cover on the ground.  All in all, it was some very frightening experiences and I made a promise that I would never go back before it would be in the service of Jesus Christ.

In September 2017, 25 years later, I found myself in the same streets but where I used to run for my life, I was now preaching the gospel. Everything had changed, Lima is now double the size with 12 million citizens, and I was going to areas and cities that did not exist in 1992.  I met with my old friend Carlos who used to change money for me in the street. Today he owns three money changing bureaus. He took me around on the back of his motorcycle and I took him to church.

I have had several opportunities to go to Peru but I wanted to wait for God to open the doors. This time I knew the Holy Spirit told me to go, together with my pastor friend from Clermont who has been talking to me about his constant trips to Peru over the years. Traveling with him, I met many pastors from different churches and many wonderful Christians. I preached and worshipped in Spanish, still asking God “what do you want me to do for such a time as this?”

I believe in pre-destined lifestyle and for the past 20 years of full-time ministry, I have had incredible encounters with God and with people. This time was no exception. Before my last meeting in Lima, I found what I was looking for. I was preaching in a meeting and the Holy Spirit fell on the congregation. When we started worshipping, we couldn’t stop. The worship band consisted of four professional musicians, they were all brothers, very gifted and at the same time very anointed. The worship went on and on in waves till after midnight. It was such a unique experience.

Holy Spirit meeting in Lima.

Before I left Lima I met with the four brothers whom God had connected me to in such a special way. We talked about what happened that night and they said they had never experienced the presence of God this way before. I knew it was about destiny and so did they. This was no coincidence. God is looking throughout the earth to support those whose hearts are fully committed to him (2 Chronicles 16.9), so this is what I will be looking for as well. These young men had such hearts and, as we had ministered together in the meeting, we knew that we are going to minister together in the future. God will show us how and when but this is about destiny: The calling for Peru has been revived.

The Good, The Bad And The Evil

The other day I went with my wife Karen on the back of the motorcycle down to our church downtown Orlando and when we hit “OBT”, Orange Blossom Trail, I asked her “Why in the whole world she had chosen to follow me all the way to the US spending her best years serving the homeless people, some of them drunk and drugged, lazy, lying and stealing our stuff.

Since we have been married 29 years I already knew the answer. “Because God called us to do it”, she said as we pulled up in the parking lot to feed the poor which we have done consistently since we first came to Orlando in 2011.

I realize that many people my age have their 401Ks and are ready to retire. We have no pension, it was already spent in the visa process. We have no savings and we don’t own a house. But we have something much more powerful. We have a strong vision and we have a purpose which makes us feel rich every day.

A lot of men and women from the street had found their way to our Community Cafe. Most of them I recognized and some of them were new. One of them was a crack head, he was roaming around as if he was looking for something, and as I went into the main building to do some work together with the administrator, he followed me in, picked up a circular saw that belonged to the church and ran out!

Instinctively I and the administrator followed him through the traffic across the street. He was fast and I was not, so I turned around to get the motorcycle and came right after with a pistol in my pocket. The hunt ended less than 300 yards from our church, right in front of a house with a bunch of guys sitting outside. They did not look friendly. The oldest one with the most tattoos came and asked what I wanted so I explained to him that I was a pastor from the church on the other side of the street.

The man with the tattoos looked at me and made it perfectly clear that he was not familiar with our church or any kind of church. A lady next to him asked me if we were Methodists or Baptists. We are “Wild-ists” I explained. “I don’t know what that is!”, she said. “We are the ones that worship with their hands up and shout Hallelujah”, I said. Then she turned to her friend. “That is the kind of church you would like to go to, you get “high” there!”, she said.

Now the guy that stole our circular saw came running behind the fence into the house. “There he is!” I shouted and took out the phone from my pocket to call the police. I guess they knew where I was, they told me to wait and NOT go into the house!

The man with the tattoos was looking at my motorcycle. I asked if he would like a ride. Next thing, he jumped up behind and we raced down the street. When the police finally showed up, we a pulled up next to the police cars in front of our church, I the pastor, with an over tattooed man on the back.  This was his first introduction to the church so hopefully, he will be back!

When I came down the next day the guy that stole the circular saw was there again. He came out from 7-Eleven and I jumped right up on the side curb on my big bike so that he could not escape. As I looked him in the eyes, he started begging me for forgiveness with big tears in his eyes. Sorry pastor, I should not have stolen from the church but the drug dealer put a gun to my head and told me to get 60 dollars within an hour!”

I want Jesus to be the new “high” in the street. Life on OBT is different from where I come from. But I love every second of it. We have a great church, full of extraordinary people. I will say we are about 75 members including rats and roaches. Recently we have lost several members, including a younger fellow that fell into the sink. We are not afraid of losing members, the only thing we care about is doing the will of God – and the number of rats in our traps!

Matthew 22;8-10. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the crossroads and invite to the banquet as many as you can find’.  So the servants went out into the streets and gathered everyone they could find, both evil and good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

Our Church On OBT

Let me tell you about our church on 1025 S Orange Blossom Trail,  known to the locals as “The Trail” or simply as “OBT”. The church is called Powerhouse Church because this is what we believe in. And if you come and visit you will find out that there is Holy Spirit Power inside the house. We see people getting touched, saved, healed and delivered, we feed the poor, give clothes to the naked six days a week, and we give him all the honor and the praise, worshipping him from the depth of our heart.

We are not many people but we are still a mighty army. We don’t have much money but we are rich indeed. We have big hearts, big vision and we serve a big God!

When you come you will see a big building painted gray with an orange in the front. Here we have the Orange Blossom Market, a vintage/antique store with a lot of beautiful furniture and all kinds of cool pieces. The store opened this week and we believe it will be well known. We want to lift up the standard on OBT, also by selling nice stuff that will attract people from other areas in town.

From the front building, we go into the main sanctuary which is a work in progress. So far we have done a lot of work but we still need the roof and the floor to be fixed. When it rains, it pours into the building. So far we have received a lot of great offers to renovate the roof but we still need the money to do so. With the finances, we can do the roof and eventually we can do the floors.

So where do we meet for service? We worship in the back building, same place as where we have our community cafe for the homeless people. We have tables and benches and folding chairs and we are very flexible. On Sundays, we look like a regular church with chairs in regular rows, at our midweek meeting Wednesday we use the benches and place them in a circle and during the feeding, we use the tables so that we can enjoy the meals together.

The kids meet in the kids’ room next to the back building and we are all connected in the court yard where the kids can play after service. In the yard, we also have a separate building that eventually will turn into a shower and laundry room. This project will be a blessing to our community as well.

We love our church. This is our house, Powerhouse, in the middle of the street, this is where we live and breathe, this is where we dream and prosper, where we cry and laugh and surrender day after day to his plan and his will for our lives.

The vision is alive. We are here for the change. We know that God has planted his Powerhouse on Orange Blossom Trail, and we believe that we will see it blossom. This is The Trail, 7 miles of the US 441 which we believe will become a Highway of Holiness according to Isaiah 35.8-9.

A highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it. But it will be for him who walks that way.  And fools will not wander on it. No lion will be there, Nor will any vicious beast go up on it; These will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk there,…

 

 

 

On The Road With Jesus

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Every year we travel across the continent to preach the gospel and to visit friends. This year we did more than 9000 miles in our car, ministering in Florida, Pensylvania, Kansas, Texas, and Nevada. The picture above is from Poconos PA where Pastor Christian was able to ride with a Christian motorcycle ministry. It was an amazing trip, thank you all for receiving us so well.

On the road, we launched Pastor Christian Hedegaard’s new book “Fallow Ground”, which is his first book written in the US about discovering and recovering your full potential in Christ. The book is inspired by the work we do among the homeless people in Orlando, with teachings and testimonies from the church and the street.

After the road trip, we decided to start a ministry blog so that we can keep you informed of what is going on in the ministry, not only in Powerhouse Church on Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando but wherever we go, to other states and into the nations. New doors are opening and we need your prayers and support!

This week pastor Christian Hedegaard will have 3 days of revival in Open Doors Ministries in Georgia, in September he will be preaching with Titus Ministries on a crusade in Lima, Peru, and in the first week of November, we are planning a mission trip to Denmark for another 3 days of revival. If you wanna know more, follow us here.

John 4.35.Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.