“Seventeen years ago, my parents and I flew to Finland for the first-ever training for ministry to university students. Nearly twenty pastors and students signed up. It was a rousing success,” relates John Koeshall, AGWM personnel in Germany.
“A year later we returned to build on the great start, but the advertisement for the training never went out, and there was no interest from those who’d come the year before. With only three people signed up for the training, we flew to Finland to make the best of a poor situation. One of those three was Merja, a student new in the faith. However, during the two days we had with her, God called her to reach university students. Despite many closed doors over the subsequent 16 years, she nurtured the call of God in her heart.
“A few weeks ago my father and I returned, along with our colleague Chuck Haavik. The door was reopening. Students and youth pastors arrived at Iso Kirja College from cities around Finland, motivated to see their university campuses reached. Our teaching, times spent in worship together, and in the sauna, and the faithfulness of one young lady, all contributed to an emerging national vision.
“Merja reported back, ‘Everyone who participated had such a great experience!! Inspiring teaching, lovely and welcoming atmosphere and so many good connections…some said it was the best teaching they had ever had…I felt the Holy Spirit with us through the weekend. We feel so blessed to be part of all this. And suddenly there is a door open for a national network of student ministry in Finland.’
“Now we stand at the cusp of an amazing move of God in Finland.”