Sent by God
Home Search chapter Contact details More photos


8. The boy becomes a man

Svenska  sveriges-flagga.png


Sven speaking: When I was 15 years old, I was at a youth camp in Skanör. One day, as we were praying, I heard the Lord speak to me yet again. He said, "Sven, you are going to become a preacher." I then asked for a sign – a proof showing that it was God who had spoken to me. I prayed for someone to come up to me that day and ask me if I was going to become a preacher.

During that day we had a meeting held outside in the park. Some of the participants from the youth camp had, for some reason, started a dispute with some of the young people from around the neighborhood. These youths had gone away to bring along some reinforcement since they wanted to fight us. As I was one of the last people heading home from the place where we had our outdoor meeting, I was all of a sudden surrounded by a whole group of these neighborhood youths. I was carrying my Bible. They started pushing me and one of them started pulling the Bible from me. "Get off my Bible," I said. He then swore and used the name of Jesus in vain. To this I replied, "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name." "Are you going to be a preacher?” he replied. After this, they simply let me go. Later during that evening I came to think of what I had prayed for –someone to ask me if I was going to become a preacher. I realized that this had been God calling out for me. God had laid out his plan for my life.

A few years later, I was sitting in a missionary meeting. One of the missionaries was talking about India. What he said touched me and, yet again, I felt that mission work was God's plan for my life. At that time, I thought that India would be the destination of my mission work. The experience was so strong and vivid, it made me want to take my briefcase and leave right away.

When I told my father about this, he advised me that getting myself a job would probably be a good thing to do first. He suggested that I should apply to the Technical School of Hässleholm. I applied and was accepted. I remember when I first entered my room in Hässleholm, I knelt and prayed, "Lord, I will try to make it through this education and if you help me to manage these upcoming years, I will give my engineering degree back to you." Through all of the school days my one and only objective was to prepare myself for missionary work.


The Technical College in Hässleholm in the early 1960s

After a while I felt that I should do something for my schoolmates. I put up a notice on the bulletin board on which I asked if there were any believers among the students who would be interested to meet once a week during the lunch hour. There were 23 of them, belonging to different communities, who responded to the call. Together we formed a Christian "technician group". We arranged prayer meetings, vocal exercises and on the weekends we held services in various churches. We were in Pentecostal churches, Mission Association churches (in Swedish: Missionskyrkan) and once we were even in a Lutheran church. After that particular church service, I met a former evangelist sister (retired) from the Sion church in Matteröd. She said: "Sven, you weren’t in the Lutheran church, were you?" My answer was: "Well, actually, we did gather in the Lutheran church and we had a wonderful service there." The background to her question was that at the time (I don’t know how it is in Sweden today), from the perspective of the free churches, the Lutheran church was almost as far as one could get from God. Anyway, we were a group that came to be a great blessing.


Sven in The Hässleholm Technical College

I would like to share a few more experiences from the time in Hässleholm. Many comrades gave me gibes, one could say that it was kind of bullying, but I never experienced it as bullying, but rather as I was persecuted for my faith. It actually came to help me, strengthened me and made me a lot stronger in my faith. I also learned how to deal with arguments against the Bible and my faith. It was thus a very rewarding time for me. I was a bit of a specialist to answer questions and I often won the discussions. There were, for example, stories that I read which fit into different contexts. An example of such a story was the judge who wanted a “yes” or “no” by the accused. "Yes", claimed the accused, "but there are questions you cannot answer with a simple “yes” or “no”. "I do not agree with you", said the judge. "Oh", said the accused, "Could the judge please answer yes or no to this question, then? Has the judge stopped accepting bribes?" Once a friend who was determined about receiving a “yes” or “no” as the answer to a question “so that I wouldn’t simply talk my way out of it” beset me. I came to think of the story and said:

"You know that there are questions that cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”, don´t you?”

"It's not like that at all."

"Okay", I said, "Could you then please answer the following question: Have you stopped bribing the teachers?"

He then had to admit that there were issues that could not be answered with a “yes” or a “no” alone, but had to be followed by an explanation.

On another occasion, we were sitting in the school cafeteria eating. I always used to ask God to bless the food. I clasped my hands, bowed my head and said a silent prayer. One of my companions, who was a communist, asked:

"What are you doing, Sven?"

"I’m asking God to bless the food. Don’t you ever do that?"

"No, I never do that."

"No, I ought not to be surprised. The pigs at home don’t do it either."

I learnt to reverse the questioning to my advantage so that the classmates would not laugh at me, but at the one who tried to harass me. But pretty soon I realized that people did not come to faith in God by me winning arguments. When this became clear to me it was no longer as crucial to win all of the debates. The important thing was to testify in a way that could bring people closer to God.

At one time, the school was arranging a dance. I asked my fellow Christians from the “technician group” if they were interested in doing an evangelization venture associated with the dance – and yes, they were. I went to the organizer and asked if there was a break during the event. At 10pm there would be a 20 minutes` break and I asked if we, the Christians technicians, could sing and testify at that time. "Dare you do this?" he asked. "Of course we dare!" was my answer. Said and done, when the break approached during the school dance, we were there, testifying and singing. The crowd was so quiet you could probably have heard a pin drop. As we finished, there were many young people who came and wanted to talk. Some cried and told me that they once had faith but had lost it. We even got to pray with several people there on the dance floor. This night and similar experiences made us certain of our calling to serve God and be a blessing.

Previous chapter

Next chapter