"What man is he that feareth the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way that he shall choose."—Ps. 25:12.
Being now home again we are sure that many of you would like to hear what we, ourselves, think of our Missionary Expedition to Europe—its success, or lack of it. We know that some of you would ask: "Don't you think it was a mistake?" Some have already suggested it, because we met with so many difficulties.
I thank the Lord for having had the restful assurance; all the way, that it was His will that I should go when I did go. The difficulties that we met with and the losses that we have sustained have not reduced this blessed assurance the least. Even if we had seen no tangible results we would not be moved to doubt. But results there were, and we give Him all the glory for it, and deem it a great honor conferred upon us by our Lord and Master, that we were permitted to do the initial work in introducing in our native land the precious truths that He has entrusted to us.
The "tangible results" consisted in several who came to the knowledge and assurance of salvation through our testimony, and many, many more who were led to see and embrace God's universal eonian program, as revealed in the Scriptures. Our work has established a solid "beachhead" in Norway and Sweden. The future will show how the reconciliation saints in this country and in England will follow it up and utilize the investment that has been made.
Never have we seen more openness of heart and mind for what we had to offer. There is real hunger and thirst for the deeper things of God. But there is none to dispense them. The so-called "reconciliation meetings" that we contacted are perverters of the great truth. It would be much better had they not been. The rankest fatalism is domineering them. The situation is deplorable. It is painful to the extreme.
We see it clearly that if the need over there shall be met there must be a real revival among us on this side of the Atlantic and in England. Should we take the support that we received from this side while over there as a measure of the interest in the saints, it could be expressed by zero, plus. Since arriving in Europe we received for the work ten dollars from a brother in Newfoundland, two and one dollar, respectively, from two sisters in this country. That was all, and very few encouraging letters. What it cost US in direct outlay and in losses at home is impossible to say, but we know it goes into several thousands. Sorry that we went? No, not at all! We believe that the results cannot be measured in $$$ and £ (pounds).
Needless to say that we are deeply grateful to the Lord for having held His loving, protecting hand over us while covering, perhaps, more than 30,000 miles on land and sea, and having provided for all our needs. We also thank Him for the painful, but profitable testings.
Because the breaking of the lease contract and the abandoning of our home by the "sister" who leased it for two years, we have had severe difficulties, and will continue to have them for a long time to come. For the same reason we had to break off our work over there one year earlier than we had planned. However, we trust that even out of this misfortune He will work out something for His glory. Seemed for a while that we might be ruined by a foreclosure on our home, but by the help of loving friends and other factors it has been staved off, and we hope that He will enable us to restore our home and use it for His service and glory. It was impossible for us to get back sooner as all the boats were filled completely, and air passage was too expensive.
This lease experience has emphasized the moral corruption even in some who garb themselves in a super high spirituality. "Beware of men" the Lord said.—Matt. 10:17. Peculiar, is it not, that He never warned His disciples of the beasts?
We planned to sell the car in New York and use our equity in the work, but failed to find a buyer in spite of advertising in two big dailies. We had to store it and pay $25.00 per month in storage. As we planned to be two years in Europe, this item alone would have cost us $600.00. We would have to count about the same amount in depreciation. After coming to Norway we found that the prospect of selling the car for what it cost us was very good, and that we could pay the freight in Norwegian money, and would not have to pay the duty outright, only deposit 20% of it. It was cleat that it, would be foolish not to take the car over. When leaving Norway we had to sell the car at a loss (compared to what we could have gotten had not the state interfered), nevertheless, we gained by saving a lot of trouble and expense by travelling by the overcrowded trains and buses. We lost about $300.00 on the car by the devaluation of the currency. In spite of all this it paid us to take it over. We were able to do a lot more than we could have done had we not had it. In all this we saw the guidance of the hand of the Lord. How good and profitable to rest in Him!
We could fill pages of interesting details from our travels in war-seared Norway, but in consideration of the space we cannot indulge writing about these.
Brother Alexander Thomson met us in Newcastle and took excellent care of us there. One problem that we had there was to turn the monies given through several years to the Diff. and what we received for ourselves, into merchandise that could be taken with us. No other way to get the much needed cash with us. What it meant to have a good "pilot" in the strange, large cities, only those who have travelled know.
In Birmingham (Black heath) we were met by Brother Nock and brought to Brother and Sister Walker where we enjoyed their loving hospitality the days we were there. The meeting here (in Black heath) I consider about the best reconciliation meeting that I have visited. One perceptible reason: The spirit of evangelism had not been quenched. The appreciation of our ministry was gratifying, and, we hope, also of permanent value to the ecclesia. Thanks, dear friends!
From Birmingham to Llanelly. Here we were met by Brother Meredith with Sister Williams' car and taken direct to her lovely home where we abode the days we were there. The class here (meeting in Pontardulais) is not large, but the fellowship was refreshing. Also here Bro. M. and Sr. W. sacrificed a good deal to take us around, even to Swansea for shopping, Your sacrificial spirit will never be forgotten. May the Lord reward you richly—and He shall.
Brother Withers came to London and took fatherly care of us there. Had provided hotel accommodations for us and paid the bill. We are so unaccustomed to such treatment that we received all over in England, that we could hardly believe it. The "piloting" in London by Brother Withers, but best of all: The fellowship in talking over mutual problems and sharing with each other. Thanks to you, Brother, for your love and concern for us! Yes, our visit to England shall stand as one of the bright parts of our expedition. We feel that the bonds were strengthened in such a way that it must be to the glory of God for the future. God bless you over there, one and all!
Your little pamphlet, "Forlikelsens rekkevidde," (The Scope of Reconciliation) was enough to persuade me about God's salvation plan. What I stopped for, mainly, was that when God has all power in the universe, and it is His will that all shall be saved, who and what can stop Him?
Yes; I praise Him for what I have heard and seen of His truth. Jesus has become my LORD. No longer will I fear the power of the devil nor our so-called "free will." Thanks also for promise to help us, through correspondence, with our problems.
I cannot understand that such great and positive truth
that you brought us and declared unto us can be rejected and stamped as
heresy by the majority. We rather ought to scream "hallelujah" in
chorus. May God bless and strengthen you continuously in your work to
proclaim His wondrous truths."
—Signed: Bjarne Granlund.
"Dear Brother Larsen: Christian Greetings!
Just a line to convey my love and best wishes to you, and
to thank you for the Diff. I find your writings are the clearest
expression of truth I have ever read, and I thank the Lord for them. I
pray the Lord will continue to use you and bless you so we may be
blessed in turn.—Signed: F. Smith.
Last updated 27.10.2008