Saturday, August 22, 2009

Through Wind & Snow -The Truth Reaches Norway

*I'm gonna post the yearbook experience that I didn't get to post yesterday-tomorrow, since I wanted to post this experience from the JW Proclaimers book, since it ties in well with today's text discussion about leaving no stone unturned in our ministry. And talk about extreme weather! How would you like to preach in this territory? =)

(photo of Andreas Øiseth, experience on pgs 407 & 408 of the JW Proclaimers book)

Scandinavians Share With One Another
Many Swedes were living in America. In 1883 a sample copy of the Watch Tower translated into Swedish was made available for distribution among them. These soon found their way by mail to friends and relatives in Sweden. No Norwegian literature had yet been produced...As the Swedish group began to grow, some went over to Norway to distribute Bible literature. Even before that, literature had arrived in Norway by mail from relatives in America...
One young man who received some literature was Andreas Øiseth. Once convinced that he had the truth, he left the family farm and undertook colporteur work. ('colporteur' was what they used to call the early pioneer ministers) Systematically he worked his way north, then south along the fjords, not bypassing any community. In the winter he carried his supplies—food, clothing, and literature—on a kick-sled, and hospitable people provided places for him to sleep. In an eight-year trip, he covered nearly the entire country with the good news.

(Branch Office in Norway - photo on pg 383 of the JW Proclaimers book)

Talk about reaping what you sow! Can you imagine the determination and willingness it took to systematically preach the 'good news' throughout the entire country of Norway, all by yourself, during an 8-year trek, in one of the coldest regions on earth??? But look how God made it grow! -the 2008 annual report shows that there are 10,560 peak publishers in 168 congregations, who spent over 1.4 million hours in the ministry during the 2008 service year, with a Memorial attendance of 16,676.
Another Witness who had an active share in the ministry in Norway, was a sister named Anna Andersen, (who had once been an officer in the Salvation Army) she's mentioned on pg 559, which says she "persevered in this service for decades, usually traveling on a bicycle, and she personally reached nearly every town in Norway with the good news."