Sweden must seem a world away from his home in Southeast Asia, but for Htay and a group of 100 other refugees from Myanmar—also known as Burma—this is their new home. Swedish church planter Per Bolling has spent the last year planting a church within this community in the Swedish Norrland (Northern Land) town of Sandviken.
A few of members of the refugee group were already Adventists when they arrived in Sandviken. They sought out an Adventist Church, but there wasn’t one close enough for them to attend each week. Sweden has just over 2,800 members in a country larger than California. Finding a church close by can be difficult. So they appealed to the Adventist Church in Sweden for their own church. Per Bolling, the leader of a congregation 15 miles (25 km) way readily agreed to take on the Burmese congregation. He now has 40 people worshipping with him each week, 17 of which are baptized members.
According to Per he has struggled to reach the older members of the group, but the youth have been very receptive to him. So far he’s been able to start a youth choir and a Sabbath school class specifically designed for them. He hopes to start more programs for the children and youth of the community.
To help Global Mission church planting projects in Europe such as this one in Sweden, please support Fund # 5270.
Europe today has the fewest Adventists per capita of any continent. The region’s challenges include post-modern and secular countries such as Sweden and the United Kingdom and former Soviet bloc countries, such as Hungary and Serbia, where years of religious oppression left many with no religion at all. Nearly half of all Europeans are secular and practice no religion. Please keep this region of the world in your prayers.
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