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Hans Nielson Hauge

Nov 2, 2010 at 11:58


Friends, from November 3 through 15 I will be in Norway sharing on the theme of Mission as Modelled and Mandated by Jesus from the Luke 10 Manual.  We are grateful for the opportunity and the Manual is being translated into Norwegian.  We would deeply appreciate your partnership in prayer during this time! 

Norway  had a movement of simple churches which transformed the nation.  It is a powerful story.  In 1771 Hans Nielson Hauge was born into poor circumstances.  The country was culturally christian but few actually had any relationship with Jesus.  The state churches were mostly empty except for baptisms, marriages and funerals.  

On April 5 in 1796,  as a young man of 25,  Hans had an encounter with God and immediately began to share with the people in his local community.  They responded to his example and message and began to meet house to house as living communities of Jesus followers.    For eight years he walked the length of Norway and multiplied disciples.   Then the state church had him arrested for illegally baptizing people.  He was in prison from 1804 to 1811 and his health broke.  He died as a young man of only 52 in 1824.  Nor was his personal life without other tragedies with his first wife dying in childbirth and two children dying of fever.  

Norway at that time was about 800,000 people but still to establish simple churches through all of Norway in only eight years is an amazing example of the multiplication of disciples.  One part of this multiplication was that Hans wrote 13 books and published 250,000 copies of them. The whole nation read these books!   

Those were also difficult years due to economic collapse caused by the Napoleonic wars.  As he travelled Hans would connect men with ideas with those with some money to invest.  His ability to connect people, build networks and encourage trust  led to the establishing of over 1000 businesses.  He never kept ownership in any of them but acted as a catalyst to start them to provide jobs and income so that people could help themselves and have money to give to others.  He taught his disciples to be honest, hard working and to invest in the future.   In fact the reason he was finally released from prison was that the authorities realized that the nation needed his leadership and wisdom in the economic difficulties they were experiencing.

At that time Norwegian society was divided among rich and poor.  From the preaching and practice of the value of each individual, male or female, young or old, rich or poor as the priest hood of all believers and as equal members of the body of Christ and as valued sons and daughters of God came the foundation of humans rights and the democratic values that characterize Scandinavia today.  This emphasis on the dignity and value of each individual and economic empowering through business and hard work created a middle class in Norway where before there had only been rich and poor.

The Kingdom of God practised brought about social and economic transformation.  The same could be said of John Wesley (1703- 1791) who led a small group movement in England that transformed that culture as well.  Be encouraged in what you are doing!  Small groups of committed people change individuals, families, villages, cities and cultures.  In fact that is the only way nations change!  

Our friends in Central Asia continue to multiply disciples and we continue to help them all that we can.  Would you prayerfully consider a year end gift to help us help them?  Would you prayerfully consider regular partnership with us in 2011?  Your gifts can be placed upon ABN-AMRO, BIC #ABNANL2A, Stichting Harvest Now, IBAN # NL 47 ABNA 0405606087.  You can also place gifts on Pay Pal at stevehill@harvest-now.com but remember to hit "personal" and "gift" so that we are not charged processing fees.  Thank you so much.

Connect with us on Face Book and Twitter at Stephen W Hill.  Why not?  

Your friendship and partnership in the Kingdom is deeply appreciated

With much love 

Steve & Marilyn

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