Monday, August 13, 2007

X-Change

I came back yesterday after a week in Germany at the Church Planting X-Change Conference for the Adventist church in Northern Europe.

Although I was disappointed about several aspects of the conference, it was nonetheless a very positive experience. Positive because the Southampton based church plant team had time to get to know each other better and because there were so many of my old friends there.

The conference also made me think long and hard about my life. My mind was full of so many questions, mainly concerning how I can serve God and be a part of the church. I've been struggling for the last couple of years with the question of how to relate to a church that hired my wife instead of me?* I was overwhelmed, at one point of the conference, by the feeling that my life was empty and without purpose. But God did not leave me there.

At the conference I had the opportunity to present the idea of opening a debt advice service in Totton/West Southampton in cooperation with the Frontline charity. Although the presentation was very short (2 minutes), several individuals approached me afterwards with questions and interest. Through these conversations the idea grew in my mind and left me with a sense of calling. Maybe, just maybe, this is a way I can serve God and others.

So many people struggle with financial issues in Britain, where credit is cheap and credit cards are promoted by cheap balance transfers. Organisation and numbers are not my strengths, but the idea is so good that someone should do it!


* This is not meant as a criticism of the church, rather I am trying to explain how my wife's sponsorship and employment created somewhat of a 'crisis of identity' for me.

5 Comments:

At 13 August, 2007 14:33, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Torsten, your idea regarding opening a debt advice service in Totten/West Southampton. My son-in-law and my step-daughter may be of help in giving you advice and assitance in the above regard.

He and his wife are Christians who had a very strong sense of God's calling in the above regard and consequently opened a service in Croydon. They are in partnership with another Christian. Their service is based on compassion, and every tenth service to the community is given free as a form of tithe to God. they are all very highly committed people.

I am quite sure your legal knowledge and further studies may be of great assistance were you to set up a similar function in your area. Should you wish to contact them please e-mail me at histo-jesus@hotmail.co.uk

I really would not worry about the fact that you are not working for the church. As I have read your various postings I have notice that you have remarkable talents which could be used for the good of humanity.

Sincerely, Gordon

 
At 13 August, 2007 21:52, Blogger Lasse Bech said...

I think helping people out of the bondage of debt is a REALLY great calling. I was deeply moved by hearing about it. It fits well with the whole project in Totten.

For me one of the best things about the X-change was seeing you and Becky there.

 
At 13 August, 2007 23:10, Blogger Torsten Pedersen said...

Just rewrote part of this post (including my misspelling of Totton) :-(

Gordon, thank you for your comment. I will definitely take you up on this. I/we can use all the advice and assistance we can get!

Although we are thinking on modeling the service on Frontline (a Christian charity from the Isle of Wight), we would very much like to know more about how your step-daughter and son-in-law have organized themselves. I'll send you and e-mail in the next couple of days.

Lasse, good to see you too. Can't believe how big Willian Magne has become!

 
At 14 August, 2007 11:23, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Torsten, min første kommentar på din blog. Ville bare sige, at jeg også synes det var rigtig hyggeligt at møde dig, efter så lang tid. Dejligt at mærke at vi kunne snakke så godt sammen stadig. Tak for snakken lørdag, det var en god snak. Sorry to all who dont understand danish:)

mvh.

Daniel

 
At 14 August, 2007 21:31, Anonymous Kiersten said...

I personally think debt counseling is a very high calling. I don’t know what the stats are in Europe, but here in the U.S., finances are the number one reason for broken marriages. And who knows how many health problems etc. are caused by worry over debt.

On a personal note, Charles and I went through a program called Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey, about a year and a half ago. It has been a great help to us, and to my whole extended family. Dave’s program is a total cash system, no credit cards allowed :-). It might be geared to Americans, I’m not sure if he has programs anywhere else, but the principles are pretty universal.

Other than God’s grace, I’m not sure that there is anything more freeing than being debt free.

 

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