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Denmark 2013, Day One

August 17, 2013

Well it’s off on a new adventure. This will be the first trip with my new wife.  I guess you could call this our honeymoon since we did not go anywhere after our marriage last year. God has called us to his service and this time it’s not to a third world country but to a country where many people don’t feel the need for God. The emphasis here is a little different than  most of our trips.  As people in Denmark do know about God and Jesus Christ,  the need is not to introduce them to the Gospel as we might do in a place where God is not known, but to remind them of the Salvation of Jesus through loving friendship, kindness, and service.

We arrived at the airport in Copenhagen, Denmark,  in the late morning,  where we met the resident volunteer missionary from California, Katie, and Kaj Ove’s, the pastor of the Greve Firkirke, Church of the Nazarene,  located in a small town just outside of Copenhagen. Pastor Kaj Ove’s is the spiritual leader of the Sweet Surrender Coffee House where we will be helping.

Pastor Kaj Ove's, wife Susanne and daughter Jane

Pastor Kaj Ove’s, wife Susanne and daughter Jane

Missionary Katie

Missionary Katie

Here is a excerpt about the Sweet Surrender Coffee House in Copenhagen, Denmark from the Church of the Nazarene website. “Coffee is a way of life in Denmark! There is a huge coffee culture in Copenhagen.  Churches are really struggling in Denmark and we need to find creative ways to reach people. So, we are combining the familiarity of coffee with outreach. The Church of the Nazarene in Denmark is going to be opening a coffee shop / ministry center in Copenhagen to go out and reach people where their interests are. Through the coffee shop we will find unique ways to share the gospel, start Bible studies, and support non-profit organizations (such as donations to (NCM) Nazarene Compassionate Ministries). We need help refurbishing a building to be the coffee shop. We will be doing minor construction repairs, painting, decorating, and basic set-up to turn an empty room into a coffee shop.  We can use both skilled and un-skilled help. The summer months are the best time for teams to come, but we will work with any schedules.  We have different options for housing and food, which will help, cut individual costs. This project in Copenhagen is the dream of members in the Greve Church of the Nazarene. It will be their new start ministry and they need some help to get things going. They will be working along side and helping take care of any teams that come.”

The coffee house is now open for business run by church members and volunteers, but there is still much work to do to complete the facilities. We have joined a team from the Richland Center, Wisconsin, Church of the Nazarene to assist on this project.

Work and Witness Team from Richland Center Wisconsin

Work and Witness Team from Richland Center Wisconsin

The coffee house is located in the City of Copenhagen within walking distance of the city center. It is in a neighborhood with many apartment buildings and other businesses lining the streets.

Sweet Surrender Coffee House

Sweet Surrender Coffee House

Interfacing with customers in the coffee house

Interfacing with customers in the coffee house

Area for children to play while the customers drink coffee and chat

Area for children to play while the customers drink coffee and chat

We and a few others arrived before the rest of the team and were offered a walking tour of the city center with Katie, the volunteer missionary. We were amazed at the beautiful old buildings and the amount of bicycle traffic on the streets.

Copenhagen Central Railway Station

Copenhagen Central Railway Station

Bicycle parking lot

Bicycle parking lot

Copenhagen Museum

Copenhagen Museum

After a long walk the rest of the team arrived.  We have some supper at the coffee house and head for our overnight accommodations. Several members of the Greve church have graciously agreed to take us into their homes for the duration of our stay. We are spread out around the city with some of the team staying in the Greve church;  the rest of us are guests of the church members. One of the special parts of doing Work and Witness is being immersed in a local culture to learn how people live, eat, work and worship, something you never get to experience as a tourist. This is truly a blessing from God.

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