Nepal has a face, a smell and my heart.

Life with God is full of surprises, some bigger than others. A couple of weeks ago, a businessman offered to sponsor a trip for 9 of us to Nepal. We prayed and fasted for about a minute and accepted. A week later we were sitting on the plane on our way to what has been a marking trip for us all.

Oddleiv enjoying the in-flight entertainment
Flying over India

Third world country citizens, first class citizens of heaven

We landed to another universe. Coming from Europe, I had never seen poverty so closely. It was sobering to see all of these people fighting for existence, when we live with our gadgets and entertainment. But what was even more striking, was to see the richness of the faith of the believers here. My bible reading had brought me to James, and one verse nailed it:

“Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?”
— James 2:5

Our contact and hero down there, Sandip was a pastor living with 50 children. He shone Jesus, and joyfully guided us around. Here are some photos of the home (click for bigger picture slideshow):

Improvised revival meeting

We had different sorts of outreaches during the week, some of them at the Buddhist and Hindu temples, praying there and speaking to people about Jesus. One of the best experiences came one day when we bought a megaphone and improvised a street meeting, with dances and preaching. Immediately around 2-300 people gathered around us, and when we had finished preaching, we prayed for the sick. One got healed, so another one came to be prayed for, he also got healed, so another came, and another, and another. In the end we were there for three hours just praying for people and more than 100 got healed of different sicknesses and pains!

My friend Oddleiv had the presence of mind to pick up his phone and to film some of the preaching and praying for the sick.

Gospel preaching

A sick man just gets healed

Short interview towards the end of the prayer time

What now?

It could be easy to walk away from it all and remember it as a good experience. But we pray that God will guide us so that we can continue to work in the nation, both towards the poor and to train up young gospel preachers that can go out and spread the good news. Because Nepal is not just some country far off anymore. It now has faces, it has a smell and it has our hearts.

More photos…

Relaunch and change of name

Hello Friends, just a short post to say that we are relaunching this website, which hopefully will give you the possibility to follow better what is happening here in Norway and in our lives in general. We have also changed the name from “Jesus To Europe” to “Only One Life,” (from my favorite quote: “Only one life twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last”) this is because our mission is now not to Europe anymore, but to the whole world, and we wanted the name to be a bit more including for non-believers too. But the content will stay pretty much the same.

I do not promise anything, but we will try to post a photo per week, and update regularly with quotes (the new quote section is one of my favorites on this site). Guro will also be writing a bit more.

Hope you like the new site…

Be blessed!
Paul and Guro

Stabbed With God’s Knife…

Some time ago I was listening to another young leader share his heart, what had happened in his life and his vision for the future. What he shared was truly inspiring, but strangely enough, I found myself groaning on the inside. I could not simply rejoice at his success…This led me the following morning, to probe down into myself. What it revealed was like getting stabbed with God’s knife. It led me to jot down the following thoughts:

Lord, continue to break all insecurity in me that is based in pride. Let me truly rejoice at other people’s successes.

Insecurity as a leader leads to competition and comparison. Why do I groan when other leaders are successful? Especially successes that embody something I want to be. It becomes “my kingdom” instead of “His kingdom.”

What is this kind of insecurity based on? What is the root? Pride and fear? Is it just as simple as me wanting to be in the center? Wanting myself to be made much of? It seems obvious that I am not satisfied when I slip into the background. Something in me says: “I need to step in, I need to be seen, I want to impress.” In other words I try to seek glory from men. So it is also fear of men. Insecurity then seeks approval in the wrong place. This in turn goes to show that I do not live in the fullness of God’s approval.

The challenge is that approval by men is not necessarily a bad thing. Rom 14:18 “He who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.” But as a source of security, it is very shaky. Approval is good, seeking approval from man is treacherous.

I do not live in the fullness of God’s approval/love. I need a deeper revelation and experience of Your love. That is the true path to freedom. It brings the ability to truly rejoice at another’s success. So the cure is to receive your love, and to bless, love and pray for those who embody our desired success.

Since that day, whenever I feel the “groaning” coming. I just repeat this sentence to myself: “God, my approval is in you” and I feel like a puff of fresh air coming into my spirit. I can truly rejoice at other’s successes.