13 June 2010

Sweden Wrap Up

I'm sitting in a McDonald's this Sunday morning in Malmo, Sweden. I've checked out of my hotel and am getting ready to head to church in Malmo. Today wraps up a busy 12 days in Sweden.

It started off a bit rocky. I got sick the Sunday night, the 30th May, before my departure from Klaipeda, Lithuania to head back home to Rolandseck. I was supposed to drive up to Stenungsund, Sweden the next day for the Europe Advance / Church Planters Meeting, that didn't happen. I couldn't get very far from my bathroom, no less a very long drive.

Wednesday, I thought I was fine until the middle of the night when "it" started up again. How frustrating. Finally, I made a "faith & executive" decision. My bags were packed, the car ready to go, and my new GPS, I call "Sarah" programmed for the trip. I decided I would go as far as I could go knowing that I didn't really want to be stuck on the autobahn "needing" a rest stop facility. The first four hours of the drive my stomach was upside down. By noon, it seemed to settle down a bit and I was really on my way.

"Sarah" told me that it would take about 10 hours of driving but "she" forgot to figure a 45 minutes ferry ride and the 60 minute wait for the ferry to arrive. The entire drive from my house to my host families house took 15+ hours. I really couldn't have done it without "Sarah". (You can see this is going to be the start of a running joke about "Sarah" in my future blogs.)

All the other EA Lead Team members were already in Stenungsund and getting ready for a meeting. Well my only choices were to arrive late or not arrive at all. I elected late was better than not at all. It proved to be the right decision.

The Europe Advance / Church Planters meeting went very well. We had about forty interested people attend the three day meeting. I met more neat people and some of God's most beautiful creations imaginable. (I'll post some pics later when I get back home. You don't want to miss these.)

While in Stenungsund, I stayed with two different Swedish families. They were terrific hosts. Since I have literally not stopped traveling since around 16 February, I decided I was going to take a few days off for "mini-vacation". Actually, I just needed to stop moving long enough to spend some "face time" with God. Traveling and keeping busy is great when you're serving Him but you can easily "run dry" yourself ministering and "doing" for everybody else.

During the meetings the weather was great which we really needed. When the meetings ended, so did the sunshine and the rain began. My Swedish friends told me that it can either be a rainy June or sunny June. Looks like it was going to be a rainy June.

It either sprinkled, rained or down poured every day starting in early afternoon. So it really didn't matter what time you got out, it was going to rain. At least I had plenty of daylight available. The sun is up at 04:30 a.m. and down at 11:30 p.m. Now that's a weird feeling. I think it's actually harder than jet lag.

It was still worthwhile for me to stop. I took my little car to a nearby harbor, parked it and read, read and read some more. Listened to music and teachings on my iPod and took lots of pictures of incredible things God and man had made.

Someone suggested I drive to an old fishing village named Smogen. I got up and out early and drove there. I locked in an historical church site in "Sarah" (the GPS) and we drove there to find a 100 year old sailor's church. It was simple and beautiful. I decided it was time to stop there and just get some quiet time before "sightseeing". I had an unexpected "God moment" in that quaint red brick church I don't think I will forget. Our Heavenly Father is amazing.

I spent the whole day in Smogen driving back late that evening. It was incredible and I was "catching up" on some needed rest.

Yesterday, I left Stenungsund for the four hour drive to Malmo. The wind started blowing like crazy in the middle of the night. It kept up for the entire drive south. 30+ mph cross winds and on and off driving rain storm kept me and my little car occupied.

30 kilometers outside of Malmo and it all ended as suddenly as it began. The wind was still blowing but deep blue skies and a bright sun filled the sky above me. I met my friends the Jonsson's at their church. Had some coffee, dinner and finally headed back to my motel room.

So, now it's time to shut down the laptop and head to church. I don't know if I'm going to head back home for the 10+ hour drive today after church and just push it or stay overnight and head out in the morning. We'll see what happens at church.

Okay, this is going to be one of those blogs I'm just going to push out and publish, hoping that I haven't made any big editing mistakes. Forgive me if I have. I promise to post some pics as soon as possible when back at home.

All of God's blessings from Malmo, Sweden.

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe and Asia

03 June 2010

The Baltic Christian Men's Network Meetings / May 2010

The following are random pics from a recent ten day trip for Christian Mens Network, Europe to Riga, Latvia, Tallinn, Estonia, Klaipeda, Lithuania and Hamburg, Germany. Pastor Paul Cole from CMN USA was the primary speaker.

New Generation, Christian Russian Church in Riga, Latvia.
The service was televised to Latvia.

CMN Meeting / Tallin, Estonia

Christian Russian Church in Hamburg, Germany

The church in Klaipeda, Lithuania,

Powerful worship and great people

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe & Asia

More info:
Christian's Mens Network Europe

Christian Mens Network

First Step Ministries.Net