Glory to God in the Highest

hki

As I walk through the streets of Helsinki on a Monday evening, I catch myself being mesmerized by the work of God in my life. As I sit down on curb and ponder what God has done throughout my life, I am captivated by the simple thought that God is good, and God is great. That’s it. God is good, and God is great. Perhaps one of the simplest yet most difficult statements to grasp. In our highs and lows, in our successes and failures, in our ups and downs, God is good, and God is great. Through it all, He always remains the same. He is good. He is great.

Glory to God in the Highest! That is how I would summarize these last months. It has been the most anointed and fruitful season I have witnessed during my time here in Finland so far. The church has grown, people have gotten saved , more students have been coming to the Bible college classes, and the younger generation is carrying on with their fire for the Word.

During this fall, I started a Bible study with Ukrainians. We meet every other Saturday afternoon to eat Ukrainian food and open up the Scriptures. Eija has been a faithful organizer and translator. I always look forward to being with these precious people.

A group of us went to Riga, Latvia with Pastor Roger Robbins for a weekend conference. We saw some old friends and evangelized in the city. At first, I wasn’t sure about going but God led me to go and I am so glad He did. It was a hallmark mission trip for me. In January, we’ll stop in Riga for a day on our way to Klaipeda, Lithuania.

Here in Helsinki, some young men who recently became believers have been faithfully attending church and Bible college. They have many questions and it is always an adventure to open up the Bible with them and search for answers. We are all growing together. We truly believe God is speaking to our hearts as we have fellowship with each other. We have an increasing desire to grow in prayer and to reach the lost through evangelism.

In light of that, we started a fundraising campaign to buy a van for missions to go to other cities in Finland and across Europe. We have almost reached the goal of €8,000 to buy the van. Glory to God! Please keep that in prayer.

There is so much more to say but it would take multiple pages to fully describe what has happened in Finland during this Fall. Benjamin and I sometimes just look at each other and start laughing as we realize that God is actually bringing a revival in this country.

In a way, many times, I don’t really know what I am doing. I am just enjoying God’s work and being available to serve Him. This verse has come to my mind quite often recently: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24. The word “money” could be replaced with any other word: “aspirations,” “ministry,” “family,” “church,” or even “people”. We must serve God and God only (Ecclesiastes 5:7, Colossians 3:23-24). The work of the minister is to draw near to God and receive His love. “We love because He first loved us” – 1 John 4:19. Without receiving His love, there is no love to give. There is no service without allowing Jesus to first serve us. Jesus said in John 13:8 “If I do not wash your feet, you have no share with me”. Fully surrendered, we must allow Him to wash our feet. We must accept being served by Him so that we can serve others. That comes only from a personal relationship with the Word. As we grow in our vertical relationship with God, people are blessed in the horizontal. People should not be our motivation to serve God, but God should be our motivation to serve people.

Let’s keep drawing near to Him knowing that, as Pastor Brian Lange once said, it is better to be a small part of something great (God’s work) than to be a great part of something small (meaningless). Let’s have an eternal perspective of the Finished Work of the cross of Christ and rejoice in the portion we have in proclaiming it (Isaiah 53:12).

Let’s go forward by faith believing in the name Immanuel. God is always with us. God is always good, God is always great. Amen!

Nata Oliveira, missionary to Finland