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17. Feelings and proposal

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Let’s go back to the autumn of 1966.

Sven speaks: During the time when I went to Bible school, I met Marianne a few times in the Filadelfia Church. I got the idea of her being quite alone and I offered to drive her home a couple of times. However, this was kept on the charitable level, a kind of "taxi service". I had no feelings for her and when she got out of the car, I simply “shook her hand" and said: "God bless you".

On another occasion, Marianne told me that she would go to England after having celebrated Christmas with some relatives up in the North. I thought that I would never see her again.

At Christmas 1966 Lars-Ivar and I took care of an alcoholic who had submitted himself to God. He had a very troublesome background, including some incarceration. In an effort to help him, we let him stay with us. A few days into the new year, he came with Lars-Ivar to Stockholm City. He told Lars-Ivar that he needed to buy a new pair of shoes, thus Lars-Ivar dropped him off at a shoe store. Unfortunately, he didn’t buy any shoes but spent his money on brandy and later disappeared. Lars-Ivar came back to Skå and told me he had "lost" our lodger. I was annoyed with Lars -Ivar because he hadn’t realized that it wouldn’t turn out well to just "unleash" the man, all alone, out in town.

The same evening, I took the car and drove into Stockholm City as an attempt to find the man. Since it was very cold, I thought he might be around the Central Station to keep himself warm. I walked around looking for him a few hours. At 10pm, I stood and leaned against the railing by the "Ring" at the Central Station. I thought about going home since my efforts to find the man were unsuccessful. The "Ring" is an opening between two floors, so you can stand on the upper floor and see people passing on the lower floor.

As I am standing there watching for the man, Marianne walks on the lower floor. She happens to look up and waves at me. I wave back. When she comes up to the upper floor, we talk for a little bit. She says, among other things, that she did not receive a work permit in England and therefore she cannot travel there as planned. She changed her plans and will stay in Sweden until she must return home to Australia in September 1967. I come up with a suggestion – maybe she would like to hang out sometime? "If you come to our worship service in Skå, I promise to offer you coffee." We exchange phone numbers. Once that's done I go home to Skå and think no more of her.

We, Marianne and I, met sometimes in the Filadelfia Church. I do not remember the details exactly. But she called me once. After that phone call, I said to Lars-Ivar:

"Marianne called and we talked for longer than an hour but I have no idea why she called at all."

"She's out to get you," Lars -Ivar says and laughs.

"No, no, she’s not!"

"Well, surely she is." Lars-Ivar says.

I previously talked about the dinner we arranged for the seniors. During the preparations, I called Marianne to ask if she wanted to come and show the slides from Australia and Papua New Guinea. She very much wanted to and thus we met at that time.


Sven in deep conversation with Anders Nilsson

In early spring 1967, the singers of the Pentecostal Church in Bromma were to participate and perform in a church service at Tystberga. Anders Nilsson, a former pastor in Bromma, was now pastor at Tystberga and he thought it would be fun to be visited by his old church members. I also thought it would be nice to meet both Anders and our friends from Bromma, who I did not have the opportunity to see very often, so I decided come along on the trip to Tystberga.

I was going there together with an elderly man. He was a bachelor and he told me that he had invited two widows to join us in his big car. I laughed and said, "If you are going to bring two women with you, I have to get one at least." At this point, I had probably started to be interested in Marianne. I called her up and asked her if she wanted to come with us – and she did.

When we sat next to each other in church, I saw that she had polished her nails, put lipstick on her lips and she wore a necklace. I could die of shame since some people might think that we were a couple. Before we parted that evening, I told Marianne, "If you want to see me again, you have to stop making yourself up and throw away the necklace." She flung the door shut in such an angry manner that made me believe she never wanted to see me again. (In the 1960s, some Pentecostals thought that it was wrong to polish nails and use lipsticks, and to wear earrings and necklaces. It is very different today, and I have seen Marianne wearing both necklaces and lipstick. (Author's note)

I did not meet Marianne for quite some time. I was invited to Göran Appelgren´s graduation celebration, (he was one of the youths in the Pentecostal Church in Bromma). I found some courage and decided to call Marianne. I asked if she wanted to come to the graduation party. She said yes. After the party, I drove her home to her brother in Sollentuna, where she now lived.

When we arrived, I was going to shake her hand, as I always did, and say: "God bless you", as I always said. But Marianne did not leave the car. She later told me that she at that moment made a decision not leave the car until I had kissed her. (Marianne had still not told Sven anything about the prophecies about her life or what she felt the first time she saw him. (Author's note) A couple of hours went by before I kissed her.

19670804_002.jpgBlidö in the Stockholm archipelago in 1967. Marianne has just arrived with the boat and Sven meets her while all camp participants are lining up to view his fiancée.

It was not until now that I realized that Marianne could possibly be my future wife. At the same time I had to reproach myself for kissing her without knowing for certain that she was the one God had chosen for me. Some time passed, but then I started to pray to God: "Lord, you really have to show me if Marianne is the right one for me. If she isn’t, I am prepared to tell her that there can´t be anything between us." During a Tuesday prayer meeting in Skå, I full-heartedly committed to praying and asking God about this one thing. "Lord, you have to show me whether Marianne is to be my wife or not." All of a sudden, I knew with an absolute certainty and peace that she was the right one, and after that prayer meeting I never doubted this fact. I know she is the one God has chosen for me.

Marianne speaks: At the time of this event I live at my brother´s in Sollentuna. I've just told my brother that I'm interested in Sven but he did not seem particularly interested in me. When we meet, all he says is "Peace sister" and when we depart, he says "Good night sister." I feel desperate as time goes by and nothing happens. Soon, I have to go back to Australia since my visa is about to expire.

Suddenly I become very uneasy and I begin to walk around the room. "What's wrong with you?" my brother wonders. "I don´t know." I reply ,” but I have a feeling that Sven will propose to me when we see each other on Friday." "How can you know that?" my brother asks, "You can’t just know that." He thinks I am behaving in a strange manner.

Sven speaks: Friday comes and I meet Marianne "Marianne, I’m going to become a missionary. I don´t know if we will have a house to live in, I don`t know if we will have food on the table or any money. I just know that God has called me to be a missionary. Will you marry me?"

Marianne speaks: I’m thinking, he’s finally proposing, but what kind of proposal is that? I had long known what my answer would be if and when Sven proposed but I had hoped that the proposal would be a little bit more romantic. Maybe that he would have said something about how much he liked me. "I don’t know." was my answer.

Sven speaks: I am close to losing it. Here I am "struggling with God" to get certainty about whether Marianne is the right one for me, and she replies with a simple "I don’t know"?

Marianne speaks: After a few minutes of seeing Sven's despair, I answer "Of course I want to marry you, I know it’s God's will. I've known this for a long time."


Sven and Marianne on their engagement day on August 18, 1967.

Sven speaks: We got engaged after a fairly short time – August 18th, 1967. We went to Skåne so Marianne could meet my parents. We were together down there for a week. Later on, I went to Stockholm for some farewell meetings on the Mälar Islands. Marianne stayed in Skåne during this trip. We met again on the 3rd of September in Copenhagen to travel to London. She was going to take the boat back to Australia and I needed to attend a 3-month-course in English.


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