Big Day for Swedish Sports Mission
On March 13th Roger Larsson’s Foundation for Evangelical Faith and Mission hosted a big festival at the Salvation Army in Uppsala, Sweden. With pomp and circumstance this year’s Evangelistic Awards were distributed. As proud representatives of Sport for Life, my wife and I had been invited to receive the award in the category ”Organization of the Year”.
The feast started already at two o’clock with a delicious three-course dinner. Around the table sat the award-winners, the board of the Evangelical Foundation and the people who were going to participate in the big festival later on in the evening.
When the dinner was over, we went upstairs for a few hours of fellowship, in order to get to know each other a little better.
Shortly before half past five we gathered for a moment of prayer and worship. The atmosphere in the small, beautifully decorated devotional room was immediately filled with God’s presence. We could almost feel the roof lifting!
Filled with holy joy and expectation we marched down the stairs and lined up outside the entrance to the crowded sanctuary. Accompanied by powerful music we marched in through the wide-open door, led by Roger and Karin Larsson, and took our seats on the stage. Apart from me, the company of award-winners consisted of Anna-Maria Nilsson, Jacob Ramlöw, Tomas Forsbäck and Stanley Sjöberg.
For two hours we enjoyed a service that resembled the Nobel prize ceremomy – but with a sound of heaven. A choir called Nardus, conducted by Margit and Rolf Borgström and complemented with trombonist Thomas Ahlström, made the atmosphere vibrate. And when solo singer Mikael Järlestrand gave it all in ”It is accomplished,” the audience got goose-pimples on their arms and tears in their eyes.
Each award-winner was thoroughly introduced by a board member of the Evangelical Foundation, before he or she was invited to rise and receive the diploma and the 15 000 SEK from Roger Larsson. We were also given time for a short speech.
In my speech of thanks I dedicated the award to Sport for Life’s founder Paul Kobylarz, whose pioneer work as a sports missionary during 20 years in Sweden has been absolutely invaluable. It is thanks to Paul’s faithful service that Sport for Life exists, and it is equally the reason why my eyes were opened to sports mission at the age of sixteen.
After the award ceremony, Roger Larsson preached on the topic ”Evangelist, where are you?” The sermon was followed by a moment of intercession, where the younger evangelists (including me) had the privilege of kneeling down and receiving the laying on of hands by the older, more experienced evangelists, Roger Larsson and Stanley Sjöberg. We also received our own copy of the tastefully illustrated book ”Vis & vacker” (“Wise & Beautiful”).
As the secretary of the Evangelical Foundation closed the festival, I think we all felt that we had experienced something unforgettable, a milestone in our ministry.
Andréas Andersson Director, Sport for Life
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