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.

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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’s 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
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
Powerhouse Church

When God Connects The Dots

From Mount Elgon in Kenya to Powerschool in Orlando. Read the incredible story of pastor Brian Kibet Mosong who received the Bible in his native tongue Sabaot translated by danish Wycliffe bible translaters from my hometown in Vejle, Denmark.

Pastor Brian Kibet Mosong from Western Kenya was one of the 48 graduates at this years Powerschool in Orlando. This was his third year in Powerschool and for us who has followed him for the past three years, it has been an incredible testimony.

First time I met pastor Brian was in Nairobi Kenya 3 years ago. I had invited him to come and meet me, at FEM Family Church, Kenya. My bishop is Rev. Teresia Wairimu, and this was the opening of her new church building.

I did not know him, but we had a mutual friend in Switzerland whom I had met in 1985 in a kibbutz in Israel. My friend had been traveling in Kenya and had supported pastor Brian over a couple of years, and eventually he had called me so that pastor Brian could connect with me. That is how we met.

Connecting The Dots

I invited pastor Brian for Powerschool in Orlando, and I must admit, I was not sure that he would come. The visa, the airfare, the tuition fee would be like a mountain of obstacles, but pastor Brian had faith. He applied for Powerschool, and without money on his account he got a 10 year visa to the USA!

In June 2017 he came for the first time and attended one week of Powerschool and after spending a week with him, I got to know him even more. He wanted me to be his spiritual father, and he wanted to start Powerhouse Churches in Western Kenya. Back then he had around 70 churches in the bush and was doing a great work, from feeding widows and orphans to discipling and raising up pastors in unreached places amongst the Sabaot people in Mount Elgon.

When I heard this, I could not believe my own ears. I remembered how my parents friends had traveled out to Mount Elgon as missionaries many years ago to translate the bible into the Sabaot language. They were send out when I was a kid from my home church in Vejle in Denmark, and now God had connected the dots so I could meet a man that had been saved by the Word translated by these Danish people!

We Are his Workmanship

Ephesians 2.10 talks about us as his “workmanship” created in Christ Jesus for good deeds which God prepared beforehand for us so we can walk in them! Meeting pastor Brian was one of these “good deeds”, and I realized this was not a coincidence. Right there I made a video for my parents missionary friends who spend 25 years translating the bible to pastor Brians tribe, before they moved on to the other side of the mountain to work with another tribe. Think about it, what an incredible job!

I was so excited so I made a vlog to the Danish missionaries with pastor Brian thanking them for translating the bible to his people. People and churches are being impacted everyday by the Word of God and by this translation. People are getting saved, and every year pastor Brian comes to Orlando to bring a good report. Now there is more than 90 Powerhouse Churches in Kenya, and there is a big demand for mission in the area.

The harvest is ripe, and Jesus is calling workers for the harvest. The question is, “whom should I send, who will go? (Isaiah 6.8). Pray for workers. And if you want to go, please let me know.

Powerschool 2019. Pastor Brian Kibet Mosong is kneeling in the first row to the right.

Categories
Mission

God Is Not Done With Denmark

From one of the house meetings in March 2019. A group of Inuit believers from Greenland came and joined us!

Most of you know our story of how God called us out of Denmark, and some of you know how we were sentenced in court for instigation of quackery, preaching that Jesus Christ can save, heal and deliver people, which according to the government is a crime. 

All this happened before we came to the USA in 2011, but now it is happening again, not to us, but to another evangelist that has been in the media and now is experiencing persecution and death threats on his life like we did. It is almost the same story, a journalist comes into the ministry and collects all kinds of material, they cut and paste and make a soup of slander and lies ready to serve on television.

This time they made three programs and now the politicians are changing the laws to “protect” people and especially children from radical christianity. Several Christian families are already under investigation because the Danish government wants to remove their kids in order to protect them from their parents beliefs!

Raising Up a Standard

What is our response to this? Isaiah 59 says that “when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord will raise up a standard”, and this is exactly what we saw in Denmark when we were there.

People were craving for the gospel. We could not preach anywhere in the churches so we planned to do one house meeting and this grew into five meetings in different homes. People came, 30-40 people every evening. We did not know the people, they responded through Facebook, and even though Facebook shot down the live streams from the meetings because of persecution, the people kept coming.

The last night we were close to 60 people gathered in a little house in the country side, and the power and the presence of God was there. There was such a huger. We were worshipping in the Spirit, praying in the Spirit, and people went home in the power of the Spirit.

Pray for Denmark. We might be back there sooner than we know!

Categories
Powerhouse Church

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

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Powerhouse Church

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!

Categories
Powerhouse Church

In Memory of “Come Clean”

“Come Clean” was the street name of this man who died a few days ago behind a garbage dumpster alone, just across the street from Powerhouse Church. This is the picture of his memorial. A photo, a few plastic flowers, some candles, two booklets, and a white teddy bear on the spot where he was found.

“Come Clean” was one of the homeless people in our community. He used to come to our church all the time, for Community Day or during the Wednesday Dinner. Now we won’t see him anymore. He is no longer around. It is really sad. I talked to him last month and now he is gone.

I went to see his memorial yesterday together with one of his friends, and as we were going down the street, we did a Facebook live recording to give you an impression of what kind of area we are in. We are in a dark place, and God has put us here to shine his light!

In a few days “Come Clean” will be forgotten and another memorial will be raised for somebody else on the trail. Orange Blossom Trail, OBT, devours people and destroys families, only Jesus Christ is the answer.

Do you realize that all these people dying for nothing were kids once? Think about it, they were playing around, going to school, and they all had dreams – until some adult stole it away from them, they were abused before they started using, and as they grew up they suffered the consequences of iniquity and sin.

His Last Message on Video

One of the young guys from our church made a video with “Come Clean” recently. At this point, he thought he still had plenty of time left on this earth. He was free of cocaine, but not free of alcohol. This is what he said, not knowing that this would be his last message to us on OBT https://www.facebook.com/C.Hedegaard/videos/10217329688412424/

Are you ready to meet your Maker? Only one thing is sure in life and that is that we all will be leaving at one point. I wish we all be ready. I know where I am going. I have dedicated my life to give and to live a life worth dying for. I want to live life to the fullest, with Christ, in obedience to Him, as if each day was the last.

This is the live video that I made from the memorial of “Come Clean” https://www.facebook.com/C.Hedegaard/videos/10217326384969840/

“Come Clean” was a beautiful man, and I hope that one day I will see him again. In Powerhouse Church he is not forgotten. “Come clean, or don’t come at all”, that is what he used to say. God knows his heart, He knows every outspoken prayer, He even knows his last words and how he died …