Pastor Jonathan’s Farewell Words

That they would hear!

The gospel must be preached to all nations – gather a great multitude that no one could read, from all tribes and kindreds and nations and languages.

These thoughts have been imprinted on my heart over the course of 51⁄2 years where I served in GNN Finland missions and at home.

The last period has been valuable – I learned various things from Pastors Arto and Orvokki, as well as their enthusiasm in the work of unreached people groups.

Together with Pr. Arto, we did multiple mission trips to East Africa and Southeast Asia. In some evenings we held “vision-casting” seminars in Finnish local churches. Representing GNN, we delivered more than 150 “that they would hear” radio programs which are heard on Tuesdays and Saturdays on Radio Patmos’ channel in Finland.

Our time in Finland has come to an end and a new chapter is waiting for us in Australia, but “that they would hear,” vision will remain. Thank you Arto and Orvokki for being faithful to your calling.

Thank you to the GNN management team for all the support and also to all of you who have prayed and supported us in different ways.

Let’s do our part to fulfil the Great Commission given by our Lord Jesus!

He is the Lord of the harvest and will return soon.

The Lord Answers Even Before We Ask

A year ago came a Filipino couple, Pastor Edsel and Barbara Klit, to VICF church in Vantaa. I had met them a decade earlier when they came to visit their married daughter. Surprisingly in Spring 2022, they moved to Finland.

They also came to VICF church. Before coming here, they had worked for 17 years in mission work in Bangkok.

Pr. Edsel is a gifted teacher with a versatile education. In the beginning of January, he was invited to the church’s council and has then been teaching Bible studies on Wednesdays.

After prayerful consideration, we called him as VICF assistant pastor. Edsel was blessed for his mission on June 4, 2023, at the same time we held a departure party for the Lemmett family. The hall’s full audience felt a new feeling in the air.

Edsel Klit is now working as a full-time pastor alongside senior pastor Ndegwa Maina. As an experienced missionary, Pr. Edsel will join some of GNN’s missions.

A Year of Changes

Pastor Jonathan returns to Australia

Jonathan Lemmetti, from Australia, became my colleague five and a half years ago. Energetic and helpful, he joined me in GNN missions and was working part- time as an assistant pastor in Vantaa’s VICF church. He has been a well-liked person both in his home country and in the target countries.

However, there is a time for everything. Pr. Jonathan’s contract with GNN Finland reg. ended in 31.5.2023. In July, along with his family, they will migrate back to Australia. In the beginning of the year, two of the eldest children have already began studies there. We are grateful for the contribution of Pr. Jonathan’s family both here and in the mission destinations. However, it doesn’t all end here!

At first I mourned the departure of a good colleague, but then it came to mind that his loss could be turned into a blessing – what if GNN’s vision of unreached people groups expanded to Australia, where significant missionary work has been done e.g. in Papua New Guinea.

What if the new generation would take on unreached people groups as their own challenge? There are approx. 700 such people groups in Southeast Asian countries alone. We have agreed that Jonathan would try to continue coordinating GNN Africa from Australia …

That’s several prayer topics all at once!

How to Start Missions in a Church?

The theme of my seminar, ”How to start missions in a church?”, dates back to three decades in Indonesia. During that time, at the request of GPdI’s leadership of the church, I had carefully prepared a practical strategy on how to start missions from Indonesia. (Strategy means learning how to win a war. Of course, such a thing is also needed in spiritual warfare guided by the Holy Spirit.)

But the strategy I had prepared in Indonesian for months was buried under the pressures of the central management. In the end, I had completely forgotten about it.

Disappointed, I had buried the material I was working on in the depths of the archives until I called Indonesia in January 2023. During the call, the forgotten material came to my mind again. I dug out the plan I had written and translated it into English.

Now, at the course in Tanzania, for the first time I ‘tested’ that grassroots plan for the participants. I enriched the topic with field experiences and said that when oppositions and attacks come, it is vital to keep the main focus on the calling so that the forces are not wasted.

I described how an eagle spreads its wings and rises to great heights when threatened. Same way a believer with an eagle mindset omits malicious comments, instead focuses on his calling and aims towards his life purpose. In spirit you can rise high and wide with the wings of prayer to an open, vast space. From there, you can see far and can hear better what God is saying.

I invited the participants to spread their ‘wings’ and feel how God’s winds can lift each one above difficulties. The lecture hall was filled with ‘flapping wings’ and everyone had a good time.

The material, which I thought was useless work, was enthusiastically received in the course. Often God’s timing completely differs from our own . . .

Arto Sädeaho

Little Elsa was also present at the courses