Nordic Countries Program 2017
Denmark, Faroe Islands & Iceland:
This is an account of the Nordic mission. God is the One and only who leads us in the race we have started, and it is indeed a training to be going on a mission. It is noticeable that God always provides His instrument enough strength to proclaim a resurrected Christ and to glorify Him. His Voice, as it is heard through His messages, puts blazing fires in each heart without exception, leading His people with grace in their faith, so as to bring it to perfection.
Wednesday, May 31:
Vassula’s mission started before she even left her home. The Daily Christian newspaper’s Mette Skov Hansen interviewed her at home, and then published the interview in the newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad on June 2, the day Vassula presented her talk in Copenhagen. It was a good interview, having a more positive rather than objective angle. (View the original newspaper article)
Thursday, June 1:
Vassula and I left Athens for Copenhagen on Thursday, since the program was scheduled for the following day. We did not encounter any disturbances while travelling to the destinations for this mission; instead we felt the Holy Spirit’s presence providing us with open-hearted people.
Friday, June 2:
The following morning, a meeting was arranged with the publishers, Scandinavia, who published Vassula's book, Heaven is Real But so is Hell, in Danish. We arrived at the publisher's office and were cordially greeted. They had even prepared a morning breakfast. Since this was their first time meeting Vassula, they wanted her to feel very welcomed. Asked to lead them in prayer, Vassula opened our little prayer book and read the prayer that Jesus gave her on July 18, 1990. She asked everybody to stand while she prayed.
The owner, Jorgen Vium Olesen of Scandinavia Publishing House, was very impressed that Vassula read the prayer while standing. He said that normally, when they prayed around a table, they never bothered to stand. He understood this was a wonderful and significant gesture. He said he would adopt this manner of praying--that it is a way of ‘showing respect.’
Then he and his son, Jacob Vium Olesen, along with their employees asked Vassula a series of personal questions as well as questions pertaining to her spiritual mission, as they listened to her story and how her experiences began. Jacob ended the meeting with a prayer, and our TLIG friend, Frank, offered them a copy of a painting done by Vassula of Jesus’ Shroud. They were very touched and happy to hear that she had painted it. Frank explained that Vassula sees Jesus in the manner He is depicted in the painting--with blue eyes.
We then departed for the church where Fr. Lars Messerschmidt, a longtime supporter and believer of the Messages is stationed. He is also the only exorcist priest in Denmark. You can read this interesting interview on him.
Fr. Lars celebrated a special Mass for us and thanked Vassula for coming to Denmark. He asked the congregation for special intentions directed towards the fruitfulness of her witness meeting. Moreover, he prayed for the organizers, asking our Lord to enflame his people to preach about Christ.
After Mass, Elisabeth Astrup from the Danish newspaper Politiken came to interview Vassula at the church. The interview was published on June 11. Here is the interview in Danish.
The following is an English translation of Vassula's interview with Elisabeth Astrup:
Politiken, June 11, 2017:
Earlier this day Politiken meets with her in the Catholic Knud Lavard in Lyngby. It is Friday evening in outer Nørrebro. The doors are open to Københavns Kulturcenter on Drejervej. Music of praise sounds from inside: old revival hits from the seventies. About 300 people have found their way inside. Most of them from the generation with reading glasses, but also many young people with sunglasses in the hair, Catholic priests and German speaking people. Most of the evening’s program is simple: Vassula Rydén reads from her conversations with God and places the conversations in a context--a kind of sermon.
She reads these words from God: ‘I will not blame you for your sins. I forgive you now. I can forgive you a million times. I ask you to come to me. Let me enkindle your heart.’ And then she explains: 'If you are here, it is because you want to know and understand more about God. This is the reason He speaks to us through these messages. However, he also speaks through silence. There is a lot of noise in the world.'
Vassula Rydén’s talk lasts one and a half hours. The hall is dim apart from the spotlight on the stage. Nobody whispers or fools around. Some listen with their eyes closed. Others have their eyes fixed on the stage.
Fifty-year old Lene Gosvig and 31 year-old Karen Reiter are among the listeners. They both have associations with the Church, and their everyday jobs are as a psychiatrist and a nurse. ‘I was a little in doubt and skeptical when I arrived. However, I am pleasantly surprised. It is very much about having focus on the grace,' says Lene Gosvig. Karen Reiter sees the messages as ‘very insisting,’ probably because she has experienced all of it herself. 'They were delivered with a high degree of presence and are actually very simple--they return constantly to the love of God,' says Karen Reiter.
One can find many interviews with Vassula Rydén on YouTube. Here she speaks prophetically. She is more cautious this Friday, as though wanting to disclaim that name that people usually attribute to her.
'People call me all sorts of things. It does not bother me. I am an ordinary person, who does shopping and cooking, but at the same time, God has given me a task that I am committed to. However, I am not responsible whether people believe in it or not.'
Are you a prophet?
'No, I am not a prophet. Others have attributed me this name. I am what I have just told you. I just transmit what God says. He himself explained it like this: “Let those listen who want to. Leave alone those who do not want to listen.” If anybody calls me a false prophet, they mean to say that I am a liar who wishes to seduce people. I am not interested in that. I just transmit the words of God--they are also for everyone.'
The average Dane will consider your words as far out. They live as you once lived. What will you say to them?
'If God had not approached me, I would have rejected anyone who would try to preach to me. God revealed himself to me, this made the difference.'
How can ordinary people make contact to God?
'I once said to God: “If only you would meet every single human being on Earth in the same way that you met me, just say one sentence to them, where it is clear that you are the one speaking, then people will turn to you as willingly as a pancake gets turned over on a pan."'
What did God answer?
'There was silence.'
'Yes, he did not answer.'
Why was he silent?
'I do not know. I still wish that everybody could have such an experience, for it is amazing.' -
Gethsemane, one of the TLIG volunteers, mentioned to me that she heard the newspaper’s web designer who was present say she had never before heard anyone speak like this. The newspaper’s photographer, Finn Frandsen, said he had never before heard of anyone having had an experience like Vassula's. This shows how attentive they were to the nearly one-hour interview. At 6:30 p.m., people began arriving at the Copenhagen‘s Cultural Center,, Københavns Kulturcente to hear Vassula’s talk.
I was able to get a few testimonies from the people about how the talk had touched them.
Krista:“You could feel the presence of Jesus in there definitely. The message was very powerful; it touched the soul and the heart.”
Natalie: “The simplicity of the message touched me.”
Karina: “I have been a TLIG reader for years and the most important message is Vassula herself--the way she goes around the world witnessing in a very simple and loving way. This time I brought my kids and husband.”
Jolie Mary: “I come from India and I didn’t know about this message. I am fortunate that God called me, as I know somebody. It is a blessing, and I am very blessed and am very happy. We hope that Denmark is blessed for both Muslims and Christians--everybody.”
Evie: “I come from Vietnam. I am here three months. I believe God said, ‘Come to Me.’ I feel God’s love and it teaches me how to love. He takes the hurt from us, as I cry about it.”
Markus: “What really touched me was the speech about the Holy Spirit; that He is alive and lives in us. What touched me was that every human being has the capability of the Holy Spirit to speak through him/her. So, we are joyful and happy and we have access to peace and love. She said He is pouring into the earth right now from God and we just have to repent. I like the message and the fact that it is for everyone, no matter what faith you have, whether you are a Christian, an atheist, a Buddhist, or a Muslim, and it is accessible--a beautiful message.”
Ernst: “What really touched me was the sincerity of the love that God has for us.”
Irene: “I loved the message of the Unity of the Churches. We are all called to be united to each other and united to God.”
Saturday, June 3:
On Saturday, we were on our way to the Faroe Islands. This is Vassula’s third visit, as she was there in 2004 and in 2011. The Church of the Faroe Islands is one of the smallest of the world's State Churches. Prior to becoming independent on July 29, 2007, it had been a diocese of the Church of Denmark--a Lutheran church. About 81.6% of the Faroe Islanders belong to the State Church.
Once we arrived at Vagar airport, we were greeted by Fr. Paul Marx and Erla Simonsen. Fr. Paul, who had invited Vassula to give a talk in his church in Copenhagen over 20 years ago, told her that when he first heard her talk, he loved her simplicity of speech. We drove to the village of Midvagur and arrived at the home of Bjarni and Gurl Joensen, who offered us a warm meal. Jacob and his wife were also there. Their father, Bjarni, had attended Vassula’s meeting when she was in the Faroe Islands years ago. He had the TLIG One Book in English that he was presently reading.
Torshavn, where we would be staying and where Vassula was scheduled to speak, is the Faroese capital and the largest city in all the Faroe Islands. It is one of the world’s smallest capitals, with a population of 18,300.
Pentecost Sunday, June 4:
On the day of Pentecost, we were invited by Fr. Paul, to attend Mass at the Catholic Church in which he serves, called Mariukirkjan. One of the Filipino Dominican nuns, Sister Yolanda Aurora, approached us as soon as we entered the church and told us that she read the TLIG Messages. She relocated from Russia to the Faroe Islands because there is a growing Filipino community in the Faroe Islands. In general, there is a shortage of women on this island, and the men, through a special Internet site where people search for husbands or wives, realized that many Filipino women are searching to get married. The men help them come to the islands and then marry them. Consequently, the women generally bring their relatives into the country. Vassula’s wild guess is that this movement is willed by God so that Filipinos who are devout Christians may start evangelizing and reviving the Christian faith in the Faroe Islands. This shortage of women is due to the fact that when the local women enter Denmark’s university system, they find a job in Denmark after graduating and remain there.
After Mass we were driven to Kirkjubøargarður, a village that was historically important in the Middle Ages. The old Kirkjubour farmhouse, the oldest inhabited wooden house in the world, is found in Kirkjubøargarður. It was built in the eleventh century.
Four clergy members who were present were invited to have lunch with us: Pastor Heri Joensen--the Dean of the Lutheran Cathedral Church named Domakirkjan, the Very Reverend Uni Næs, and two nuns. Sister Marisa Spiteri--a Franciscan originally from Malta and Sister Maria Forrestal, also a Franciscan, originally from Ireland, joined us along with the family that has owned the home for seventeen generations, the Joannes Patursson family.
Sister Mary Forrestal, a Franciscan Missionary of Mary, said she wasn't interested in the Messages years ago when she first heard about them. She explained that when she heard Fr. Lars say he had read the Messages and that he believed they were authentic, (he admitted that the first time he met Vassula he saw Christ appear on her face) she told herself she should be open to reading them. She continued by saying how much she loves reading them, as they are hope for our times. Before we departed, I gave the family owner of the house a recently published TLIG newsletter.
In the evening we went to Vesturkirkjan, the cathedral where Vassula's talk would begin at 7:00 p.m.
There were approximately 150 people in attendance. Most of them were new and young as well. Jon Sigurd Hansen introduced Vassula. Hanna Mikkelsen did most of the interpreting into Faroese. Parenthetically, the first volume of the Messages had just been published in Faroese, a great achievement! The HIR Book in English displayed on the tables was successful here as well; many people bought it.
Hanna talked about the event through an interview on the local radio station called "Kringvarp Føroya”. It was aired July 2, on a program called "vikuskiftissendingin" (A weekend program). It is wonderful to see how the Holy Spirit works through different media networks to gather His sheep.
I envision the radio station as an analogy to climbing upon the rooftops, as Jesus says: “I am sending you My mouthpieces to shout and proclaim on the rooftops of your houses the Wedding of My Holy Spirit, I will not grow weary of calling you to wed Me, I will not get discouraged by your hostility nor by your aridity;" (TLIG Messages, October 10, 1990)
Here are some post-event, spirit-filled testimonies:
Ethel: “I am from England. I have been living here for 50 years. It was very interesting what she told us. What touched me was that God wants to hear our will given to Him every day and we have to cleanse ourselves every day.”
Ramva: “I thought this was very good as it moved me a lot. It made me think about whether or not I was on the right path, as I have doubt if I was. I am a struggling person. I always believed in God and I thought this was very helpful. I had sent this on Facebook. Here in the Faroe Islands we are very traditional and conservative, and we don’t like to say out loud or express ourselves, such as saying that I do not go to our church often. I thought how I could use this message in my daily life as I am a mother and a wife.”
Bjarni: “I read the TLIG Messages and it gives me much, especially the love the Lord has for all people. I recommend that everyone reads this book.”
Jacob: “I love the Messages, especially the analogy of the fish in the ocean, the glass of water and that we must empty ourselves so the Holy Spirit can live in us, guide us and be a testimony in our lives--that I loved.” [Jesus says in the TLIG messages on November 8, 1995: ‘in My Holy Spirit; enjoy moving in My Spirit, like a fish in water; out of this water, you will die and dry up;’ ]
Peter: “I heard about this on the radio station; I wanted to hear her story about her experience with God. The holiness of God our Father touched me very much.”
A sibling of one of the organizers: “The one thing that I thought was amazing was that Vassula was so imperfect; not that Christian before and it shows us how God works in mysterious ways.”
Testimony of three nuns:
Yolanda: “What I got was that the Holy Spirit is always life giving.”
Maria: “I am from Ireland--living here since 1990. I remember the fish in the bowl and the glass of water. I like to think and pray in imagery as it means a lot to me.”
Marisa: “I have lived here for 36 years. I am from Malta and this is my third time hearing Vassula. What touched me tonight was hearing that when we give our will we must give it every day.”
It is soothing to hear that the True Life in God messages touch so many young hearts. This salvific plan of God is being sent everywhere; it is as Jesus said many times, a healing balm, or as He expresses it in other words, medicinal.
Monday, June 5:
We completed the mission in the Faroe Islands and departed for Reykjavik, Iceland on Monday. In Iceland, Fr. Nicholas, arriving from New York, was to accompany Vassula for the rest of this mission trip.
I could not stop thinking of the time when Jesus gave a special prayer five months before the April, 2010 Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption occured. About 20 countries closed their airspace to commercial jet traffic and it affected about ten million travelers.
Vassula wrote a letter regarding the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption in 2010 as well.
“On November 28th, 2009 the Lord called me and gave me a prayer that I had to distribute, asking us to pray it, and ask for His mercy. This is what our Lord said:
- address Me, Vassula in this way:
'Tender Father, lash not Your wrath
On the April 14, 2010, five months after the Lord gave us that prayer, the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted, producing, as we all heard, an ash cloud. The region around that volcano was evacuated. Some people nearby took videos, and one could not properly see a few meters ahead as clouds of ashes covered the atmosphere. Everything was grayish and covered with ash. Air-traffic business became tragic as there were many plane cancellations and millions of dollars were lost daily. Fruits, fish and other products rotted in the warehouses. Travelers were stranded all over the world. The ashes from this eruption continued spitting for a year and a half. As I write this article, we are still waiting to see when the aftermath of this tragedy will come to its end.
However, worse things will befall this earth if people ignore God and His callings to repentance. Like Pharaoh, out of stubbornness mankind will suffer for having rejected all of God’s signs in these times, but it will be too late to turn back.
This was Vassula’s second visit to Reykjavík, as she was last invited here to speak in 2004. The three of us, Vassula, Father Nicholas and I, were welcomed by Maria Weixelbaumer, who was originally from Austria and now lives in Iceland. At this time we also met one of the organizers and her husband. Dr. Maria Agustsdottir and her husband Reverend Bjarni are both Lutheran pastors. We all had lunch together. After lunch, Maria’s husband graciously spent some time with us.
He offered to drive us to Skalholt and meet Bishop Kristján Valur Ingólfsson of Skálholt, Iceland. He is one of three Lutheran bishops in Iceland. He showed us around the grounds and explained the history of Iceland. Inside the church there was a beautiful corner with Our Blessed Mother’s statue. I was so touched when I heard the bishop say, “She is our Mother too.” This reminded me of the message in which Jesus said, “peace be with you; I, Jesus, am with you; try and discern who is with Me; (I saw with the eyes of my soul, His Mother.) Your Mother! St. Mary? your Mother too, child! listen to Her:" (My Angel Daniel, Notebook 3, December 15, 1986)
Bishop Kristján was very gracious. He made time to meet with us, even though he was going to Germany the next day for the Reformation's 500th anniversary. In his conference room I saw some TLIG books on the bookshelves. He had allowed Maria to place them on the shelves.
Tuesday, June 6:
On Tuesday, Pastor Maria had arranged for us to meet with a young Capuchin Franciscan Catholic bishop, Dávid Bartimej Tencer. He was very jovial and his background is from Slovakia. He was ordained a couple of years ago. During our conversation, Vassula spoke to him about the desire of Jesus—the importance of the unified Easter date between the West and East. To our surprise, however, His Grace showed some skepticism and didn’t agree that it is important to have the same date. With this comment, Vassula was convinced that since he did not agree with Jesus’s request, he must not believe that the Messages were indeed from Christ.
Vassula continued to inform him about her vision of the three iron bars representing the Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Churches and that they must ALL bend to accomplish Christian Unity. Humility and Love are the keys to unity. She continued to explain to him about the apostasy in the church etc., but again he was disagreeing, disagreeing that there is an apostasy at all right now. He claimed that the Church is in full bloom, and that all the churches are super-packed with the faithful, like never before, giving as an example his own church. Yes, we thought, but his church encompassed mainly immigrants who needed the support of the church. What about the natives? He was previously telling us about the number of immigrants that were migrating to that land, and how he gives them full support.
Vassula wanted to help him understand that the Pope too is working to unify the dates of Easter. She reminded him of what Pope Francis said to journalists in an airplane interview in May of 2014, during the return flight from the Holy Land.
Pope Francis said: "Another thing about which we spoke, of which perhaps the Pan-Orthodox council may do something, is the date of Easter, since it is a little ridiculous: 'Tell me when does Christ rise for you? … Next week? … For me he rose last week' Yes, the date of Easter is one sign of unity. And with Bartholomaios we spoke as brothers. We like each other, we tell each other about our difficulties in governance. And one thing we have frequently spoken about is the issue of ecology: he is very concerned [about this], as I am. We have spoken enough to cooperate on a joint project on the issue. Thank you." Reference: Vatican Website
After that visit, we went to the Lindin Christian radio station. The radio interviewer, Hafsteinn G. Einarsson, received us joyfully and was happy to have Vassula talk on the radio. He interviewed Vassula for approximately 35 minutes. Through that interview, listeners were informed of the meeting. Maria simultaneously interpreted the interview into Icelandic. Hear the interview.
As this country is rather new to the TLIG messages, they had only the first volume, and it had just come out in the Icelandic language. It is the forty-third language in which the TLIG messages have been translated. Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed His Work to expand, to grow, to illumine hearts and to guide them to perfection.
Through the witnesses of people whom I interviewed, I noticed that some, who might have been so far from God, now have rediscovered their roots in Jesus. We are hoping that they will stand their ground and pray unceasingly.
At 6:00 p.m. we departed for the public meeting that was held in the church at Hateigskirkja. People refer to this church as the Four Towers.
The meeting began at 6:30 p.m. Pastor Maria was again Vassula’s interpreter.
At the end of the meeting we all prayed the Repentance and Healing Prayer from November 13, 2006.
I was deliberately standing at the back door of the church, so that as soon as the meeting ended I could ask the participants about their experience and their impressions. Suddenly, I saw a man who was leaving. Many tears were streaming down his face after that healing prayer. His behavior coincided so well with this beautiful passage in which Jesus says, “love Me and heal My Wounds, let the tears shed for Me be a soothing balm to My Wounds;” (TLIG Messages, May 7, 1987)
Here are some inspiring testimonies from the people of Reykjavik:
John: “Honestly, it’s the simplicity.”
Raknavi: “I was very much touched by what she said. I am trying to get near God. Everything I heard inspired me and I will read her book. I am eager to carry on. I heard about it on the Christian radio interview that she did.”
Joel: “My first time I met her personally, and what touched me the most was the reminder of how to apply to our prayer life.”
Petrina: “Wow this was something really wonderful; to get this message from God so people can come back to God; I am so touched really.”
Seagra: “Second time around, as I was in the church 13 years ago when she was here in Iceland. Both times were wonderful. Difficult to say one thing; all of her message is so strong and to remember to be close to God and not think he is far away.”
Margaret: “What has always touched me the most in this message is the simple intimacy with Jesus, and how she speaks to him as I would speak to you or a friend. This has touched me the most.”
Elie: “A wonderful evening based on what she told us, and gave us a picture of God the Creator more clearly.”
Pastor Maria: “I am the pastor of this church and I think this has been a wonderful experience. We have been preparing for this meeting for months. I have been especially reading the messages on the Holy Spirit. They spoke to me about this deep personal relationship that these messages contain. I find this as contemplative Spiritual Christianity, where you can speak with God like your friend and of course your Father; so this really spoke to my heart and renewed my will: to give my will and my longing for God. Personally, I am very grateful for this visit. I admire her for all this travelling and may God bless Vassula as she gives this message all over the world.”
During the interviews, people told me that they heard about this meeting on Lindin Christian Radio. It brings this scripture passage alive in Romans 10:17: “So then faith comes from what is preached, and what is preached comes from the word of Christ.”
Wednesday June 7:
Vassula’s mission did not end here, but continued with Fr. Nicholas to Nuuk, Norway, Finland and Sweden. I had to return home.
We hope and pray that the Lord keeps the people in Iceland safe. We must keep praying the “Tender Father Prayer.”
I am so thankful for the chance to see how the Messages have touched the people in Denmark, the Faroe Islands, and Iceland. Their hospitality and all of their work was felt from the heart!
"It can only be to God’s glory, then, for you to treat each other in the same friendly way as Christ treated you.” (Romans 15:7)