Mission: Sweden Learning from a “Godless” culture ✝️

Mission Sweden: Learning from a 'godless' culture ~ Our Cozy Den

September whipped by me in a blur. This fall is going to pass by in the blink of an eye, I’m sure.  You wouldn’t believe what adventures we have coming up in the next 2 months, so I wanted to share some of that with you!

Here are some updates:

  • The boys are playing soccer ⚽️ and the girls are immersed in their music lessons (piano for Lia, guitar for Sophie)
  • We are finishing up our school year (click here to read more about our unconventional January to November homeschool calendar) and the kids are eagerly knocking out their schoolwork to finish early! 
  • We have some BIG travel on the horizon, including Byron’s and my anniversary trip (SKYDIVING!!! ), a family cruise to Central America  (Honduras, Belize, & Mexico), and for me personally — a mission trip to Sweden. I’m going to share more about that trip today!

Why Sweden?!

Sweden seems like an odd choice for a mission trip, right? It’s not like it’s an underdeveloped country like most mission fields, and the Christian church has been firmly rooted there for centuries.

If I learned anything from my 3 years living in Germany and traveling Europe as a whole, it’s that the history of a place doesn’t necessarily reflect its present. The whole time I lived there, I felt like a dark cloud had settled on the region. The people had turned from the faith they had in centuries past and had vastly accepted an agnostic worldview {athiest = there is no god; agnostic = I don’t know if there is a god and don’t really care}. It was difficult to live there, seeing the evidence every day of how this society had progressed past the point of religious morality. I’m not saying there were not wonderful things about living there too – I can honestly say I miss the countryside, the historical landmarks, the ‘greenness’ of the country in terms of walking as transportation and recycling. But the negatives weighed on me like an inescapable burden.

There was pornography on billboards — ads for non-s*xual products, like soda and cigarettes, featured completely topless women or couples in compromising poses. Graffiti was rampant, and almost always in English. It was not uncommon to see incredibly offensive language like the f-word or the c-word on walls and underpasses. The general attitudes toward things that our faith deems sinful are that they are acceptable and even expected. Those who choose to abstain are the strange ones, even given the research that shows these behaviors have detrimental physical and psychological effects.

Sweden is much like Germany in this regard, and is considered one of the least religious countries in the world. It is also commended for its low crime, high levels of education, and overall happiness. Anti-religion zealots have proclaimed that secularization leads to more successful societies.

A common mindset in Europe

 

This leads me to the big question that I had upon leaving Germany: how can I evangelize to a society who believes we have moved past the point of needing religion?  I’m seeing this mindset grow more and more in the US — as more and more people believe scientists have figured out all the answers to the world’s great questions, ignoring Biblical evidence to the contrary.

What to do

My trip to Sweden next week is mostly a learning experience — so I can see what the growing churches in that area are doing to reach this new mission field, and how we can bring that evangelical model into the United States. I believe that it will greatly empower Byron and me to minister to people outside of the church family — to reach them where they are, understand them, and help them to embrace the love that God has for them.

I think that one of the biggest misconceptions that atheists/agnostics have about Christians (and faith in general) is that they expect faith to make everything perfect. They say things like~
If your god is real, why is there so much evil in the world?
If you call yourself a Christian, why are you committing ~x~ sin?
If your god cares about you as much as you say, why isn’t your life perfect?

The answer to all these questions is: God never promises a perfect life on this earth. That’s why he prepared heaven for us. But we have to buy a ticket to get there, and the price is our love. Not perfection, not a sinless existence, not adherence to the rules… LOVE.  Atheists & agnostics tout these secular societies as being wonderful places, all because there is no religion. But I know from personal experience how different it is to live in God’s love and to be [what I thought was] happy without Him.

To snag a quote from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series ~ you never know what kind of light you are missing until you see it. Imagine if you went your entire life at night, believing that street lights and candles were the brightest things that existed. Then suddenly, the sun rises and lights up the world in a way you never imagined! ✨☀️

Coming Soon!

When I return from my trip — I’ll be sharing tons of lovely photos from Sweden’s beautiful cities and countryside. Hopefully, I will also return with a renewed sense of purpose and direction, and know how God is leading me to serve during my short time on this earth!  (If I have wifi, I’ll post some photos along the way as well — follow me on Instagram to see them!)

 

If you do not share my faith or religious views — that is fine. I have the utmost respect for you and your ideals. Please refrain from commenting negatively. There is enough adversity in the world without throwing gasoline on the fire.  

3 thoughts on “Mission: Sweden Learning from a “Godless” culture ✝️

  1. Randi says:

    I’ve never been to Sweden, but I have a couple of great friends there. They attended and then staffed a YWAM (youth with a mission) DTS here in Canada. I know you don’t know me (I follow you on instagram) but, If you’re looking for friends in your journey to Sweden, I would love to connect you guys.
    Either way, praying the Lord strengthens you in your journeys and give you wisdom and grace in this upcoming season.
    Blessings!

  2. Brenda says:

    What an amazing and enlightening trip this will be for you! I am excited to hear more of your understanding on how to reach these people (and all people) when you get back!! Definitely praying for you and this trip!

  3. Suzanne says:

    I really enjoyed your post and look forward to sharing/discussing it with my teens. My husband and I spent a month in France years ago and were quite shocked by many of the things we saw and experienced there so I have an idea of what you’re talking about. I think it is wonderful that you are going to Sweden to see what the churches are doing there. The U.S. is heading into this darkness quicker then we realize. I pray that you have a safe and productive trip and that you are able to use the knowledge you gain to help people here.

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