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22. To live in the calling

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Both Sven and Marianne were now in their 34th year since birth. Given that they both, independently, had known a calling to become missionaries from early ages, one might think that it took a long time before they came to serve in mission activities. The most important thing is not to "get away" quickly, but rather that everything is in accordance with God's plan.

Sven speaks: When you feel a call for serving God , there are some things that I believe are of great importance and that has been very important in my life. One must understand that a calling is not simply something that you receive and then you can go on doing what you are called to straight after. The preparation is a very essential process. During this time, one makes a lot of decisions that are crucial to one's future life.

What I want to highlight is this: The calling to be a missionary does not mean that I live a "normal life" until the day I enter my service as a missionary. Everyday works as a preparation for what is yet to come. The calling is therefore not to be fulfilled at a given moment but is rather a process that includes various events and actions that are necessary for the calling to be fulfilled. It is important that I always live according to my calling and that I make decisions based on it. The objective of the decision is that I will serve God and become what he has meant for me and my life. Thus, it is not just the future goal as a missionary that is important, but that I during the preparation time am present where the Lord wants me right now and that I do what God wants me to do at that particular time in my life.


Sven is pushed into the water on Blidö Camp in 1966

Of course, the process looks very different for different types of people, depending on the future role and calling. For some, as it was in my case, the initial process was rather long. If we look at Marianne's and my missionary work in Papua New Guinea, it took many years before we even moved there from the time we individually felt the call to become missionaries. In the beginning, I didn’t even know I was to become a missionary and little did I know about what country God had called me to go to. Already when I was saved at age 14, I felt that God had a plan for my life, but it was slightly vague back then. In the chapter called "The boy becomes a man", I told you about how God at a youth camp confirmed to me that I was going to become a preacher. In the same chapter I told you about how I, during a missionary meeting, felt that I should go to India. But, you might object, you never ended up in India? Were you then outside the barriers of God´s will? No, I don´t think so. This was God's way of gradually developing the calling to do missionary work in my life.

On my path to pursue a life of mission in Papua New Guinea, there were many preparatory tasks. Sunday school teaching in Matteröd and Hässelby, the Christian Technician Group in Hässleholm, worship services at the School of Combat, the delivery of Evangelii Herald in Bromma and on the Mälar Islands, the testimony in front my colleagues at the engineering firm, being a camp leader at Blidö, participating in worship services in Bromma, the time as an evangelist on the Mälar Islands and participating in the reconstruction of the new church in Mount Isa. All of this was very important for me growing into the person that God wanted me to be. Of course, these were not "simply" preparations, but rather important tasks God wanted done during these different period of times.


Kids Activities in Mount Isa in 1969

The tasks God gives you can be different during different periods in your life. Personally, I currently find a great delight in being the leader of a prayer group meeting in our home every second week. It may appear to be far from excitement of the mass meetings in Papua New Guinea, but nevertheless equally important since this is what God wants me to do now during my retirement.


Youth Activities in Mount Isa in 1969

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