In February 2016, 30 Power to Change – Students students and staff travelled to Copenhagen to launch our brand new Global Missions partnership in the country of Denmark. In partnership with Agapé Europe’s leadership (Power to Change Ministries sister ministry in Europe) our goal was to launch a student ministry of evangelism and discipleship on campuses in Copenhagen.
Denmark is considered one of the most prosperous nations in Europe and Danes consistently top surveys as the happiest people in the world. At the same time, the vast majority of people have turned away from God. Over 100 years ago, Soren Kierkegaard criticized the lack of spiritual life in the Danish church and today, few people in the country would claim to have a vibrant relationship with Jesus. Even in the midst of material wealth and prosperity the need for the gospel is the same. We invite you to come, make Jesus known.
Jesse Pang was one of those students. Here is his story.
Before arriving in Copenhagen, Denmark, I thought that there would be a larger Christian community or club on the Danish campus, but, there really was close to nothing, aside from a small, niche club for Christian medical students.
Over the course of the Reading Week trip, our P2C-Students team of 30 set out to survey and engage Danish students in spiritual conversation. Our purpose was to share the gospel and to see if we could find Christian students ready and willing to live out the Great Commission on their campus.
It was fast-paced and at the end of the week, our team of 30 had talked to 1421 students!
23 of those 1421 (1.6%) professed to be believing Christians. To me, that number seems so small and it’s strange to think of Denmark as an “unreached” nation.
What Does “Unreached” Feel Like?
At the end of the trip our team was asked to think of some words to describe our experience. While some members of the team shared words like trust, perseverance, mission, and faith, all I could think of was the first word that came to my mind: desolate. The spiritual climate and soil that we were experiencing in Copenhagen was desolate and it seemed very barren at times.
But the second word I thought of was hope. I think that through this desolate spiritual landscape, there is also so much more opportunity for God’s grace to really shine, and there is a lot of hope. This year was also the close of a 10-year partnership between P2C-Students and the student ministry in United Kingdom as their ministry is growing, self-sustaining, indigenous, and sending. This is the first time for P2C-Students to be in Denmark, and if God can do such great work in the UK, he can most definitely do amazing work in Denmark.
How To Launch A Danish Student Ministry
One of the aims for Agapé Europe (the European equivalent of P2C-Students) is to start a student ministry that focuses on discipleship, evangelism, and making Jesus known on campuses in Copenhagen. There is still so much work to be done. The spiritual ground is so fresh and raw and there are still so many footprints to be made!
I witnessed this work first hand over my five days on campus. There are so many opportunities for God to work in Danish students’ lives. Let me tell you about one of those conversations.
My teammate Nickayla and I had a conversation with a girl named Tao. To begin the conversation we asked Tao which of the following she valued most: love, acceptance, justice, power, success, or satisfaction. It was awkward when she replied saying she was already asked this question by another pair of students! But she went on to tell us that love was what she valued most because she felt like the others would not have meaning if love wasn’t involved.
Continuing to chat we asked her about her experience with faith or religion. She told us that she did not come from a spiritual background, but was definitely open to talking about it! I encouraged Nickayla to share her own experience with faith and religion. Nickayla shared some of her story with Tao and Tao was interested in hearing how Nickayla’s life had been changed by Christ. At the end of the conversation we left Tao with a Knowing God Personally booklet and prayed that Tao would continue her spiritual journey pointed towards Jesus!
Jesse, What Did You Learn?
I learned so many things on this trip: patience, to be led by the Spirit, conflict resolution, just to name a few things. But I want to focus on this: “[Jesus] told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’” (Luke 10:2)
I see now that although it would be comfortable to stay in southern Ontario, where there are three or more large Christian student clubs on most campuses, my eyes have been opened to the places that are in need of the gospel! The need is great, and workers are needed!
But the work does not just fall to us. As I mentioned, our purpose was not only to share the gospel, but also to see if God would raise up a few key Christian students who would take on the challenge to pray for their campus and actively engage in helping other students discover Jesus. Of those we met, about 10 Christian students wanted to see a ministry start on their campus. And two of them recently flew to Spain for leadership training, and this academic year they are joining with long-term workers to reach their campuses and city. Praise God!
Three Opportunities For You To Join The Work
Every student needs Jesus, even people who think they are ‘beyond’ Christianity and look down on people who have a personal relationship with Jesus. Once, the Apostle Paul was nervous about continuing to do evangelism in Corinth but Jesus spoke to him saying “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent… for I have many in this city who are my people” (Acts 18:9-10). We believe that God has many people in Western Europe who will be the ones to bring Jesus to their country. But first they need to hear. Will you go tell them?
There are three opportunities to help bring Jesus to Western Europe this upcoming February. Applications are currently being accepted for these trips.
To learn more visit their pages:
By Jesse Pang
Photography by Benjamin Ng