Monday, October 20, 2008

Christ Day in Turku Finland

In October I went with Tateos, our Jesus film leader in Bulgaria to visit Turku, Finland. CCC Finland organized a national prayer congress with the goal of transforming the country. Believers from each town registered on a website and were represented in the stadium with their flag, showing responsibility to pray for that political area. Returning to their area these representatives are asked to help mobilize each believer to adopt one person to pray for. Few people, when asked, refuse to be prayed for. All participants received a 32 page magazine on prayer.

It was exciting when the stadium filled with 7,000 believers from all over Finland from every denomination. They invited international representatives to learn from the event from as far away as Egypt and the Solomon Islands. I met CCC staff from Spain and Holland as well as friends from Russia.

We had a chance to debrief with 7 from Russia and others from Holland on Sunday before church. Here were some of the highlights of that discussion.
What did you like best about Christ Day?
• The emphasis on love and unity, you could sense it everywhere.
• Young leaders worked together with older leaders and had their support. There was a big emphasis on connecting across generations.
• Respect for different traditions, even if you don't agree.
• How relaxed they were, blessing each other even when things didn't go quite as planned.
• They had different types of worship, without extremes.
• They taught on prayer, showing several ways to pray and then gave us a chance to pray
• The flag parade was a special moment, we were presenting our individual cities or countries to God. This made us feel like official representatives to God in praying for our city and also in bringing God to our city or county.
• It was great when the 4 church leaders knelt the first evening and confessed the wrongs of the church and of Finland.
• It meant a lot when the Swedish Mennonite man broke down as the 30 pastors took turns praying. He expressed how they had isolated themselves and felt rejected by others.

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