Gospel Shared with a Dane

It is not every day that you get the opportunity to share the Gospel with a Dane who is visiting Pietermaritzburg and South Africa for the very first time! And in English, too!

Whilst out in town yesterday [25th] I had thought about going down to Alexandra Park to the UCI World Cycling Tour final, and for reasons we, Lungisa and I, were delayed speaking to many other South Africans, until we were about to leave and just then an old school friend Raymond Dold came by and was once again witnessed to by us – the last time was during the Royal Show. Whilst Lungisa continued witnessing to Raymond, I noticed a cyclist draw up near the corner we had spent time preaching at. He paused a bit, and I had taken out an “Are YouReady?” Gospel Tract to go hand to him when he moved off a little way took out his cellular phone to take a photograph of the banner for the cycling event taking place in Pietermaritzburg – this was the point I went over to meet him. It was as if God had providentially delayed our departing to have this meeting!

Steffan Petersen from Denmark

Meet Steffan Petersen (35) from Denmark. I had asked if he was local and if he was taking part in the cycling event, generally making “small-talk”, when I then proceeded to ask him if he ever thought of death, eternity and the God of Creation. He had indicated that he believed there was a “big force” out there but I could tell him. The entry into the Gospel was using a news item that has “shocked” the world, to some degree, the events unfolding where American pro-cyclist Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005 for taking enhancement drugs and that the USADA has charged him with doping and trafficking of drugs. The start of our conversation was making reference to cycling having rules and regulations that need to be kept or else people can be disqualified or penalised, so is it with countries and their laws, but how much more with our Creator God who has given us His perfect, holy and righteous standards, His Law that He has given to us in the Ten Commandments. From there we were able to help Steffan see that he has transgressed God’s Law and that he was guilty before God and headed for His prison – Hell, but God who is just is also rich in grace and mercy and He offers the gift of everlasting life through His Son Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Law and Grace was shared with Steffan and he was hearing of this God he had not known about, basically for the first time. He told me that he was given a Bible when he was still in school and had read it about 22 years ago, but he doesn’t read it – and occasionally goes to Church with his wife. I said, possibly this meeting today is an answer to someone’s prayer and that he must really consider why we have had this conversation today. He agreed and also understands that we do not know when his life will be required of him as the Scripture was shared that our lives are like a vapour:

14Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. ~ James 4:14

Steffan Petersen’s first visit to South Africa – outside the City Hall in Pietermaritzburg

If we had gone to Alexandra Park, in all likelihood this conversation would not have taken place. I put the scenario to him, and he agreed that he had travelled some 20+ hours and over 20000kms to come to South Africa for the first time ever and to hear the Good News of God being just and merciful in and through His Son Jesus Christ. What was saddening was when Steffan mentioned to me that his American wife had visited Denmark before their marriage and the Church she belonged to in the US rejected and ostracised her because she had visited Denmark, a country with very liberal sexual laws. I expressed concern for the way they had been hurt and that the way they were treated is not the remnant Church that Jesus Christ is building and that those believers should have welcomed the opportunity to have prayed for Denmark and not to have just cast them away – and especially his American wife who was at that time in fellowship with them. Does the church in America not know that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? Our encouragement to Steffan is to consider our reaching out to him and his family, and that he will take up the Bible and read it, but most of all that he would go to God asking for His forgiveness of Steffan’s sins and asking our Father to reveal His Son Jesus Christ to him.

Praise God for an opportunity to witness to a young Danish man who was willing to listen and examine himself against God’s Word. Please keep Steffan Petersen, his wife and their family in prayer for their salvation.

All Glory to God!

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