Counting Down…

4 weeks from today (July 30), I will be on a plane with 23 others bound for Panama City, Panama to meet up with 26 other Minnesotans already down there!  By then, so many more details will be hammered out and plans laid.

That week, it will be all about implementation.  We are expecting anywhere from 5,000-7,000 girls to attend a girls conference as part of the government’s first attempts to deal with their human trafficking problem.  The Panama Canal is becoming well-known for its role in the sex trafficking industry.  This conference has the potential to create a movement of  governments worldwide being proactive about ending sex trafficking (the second largest global organized crime today) in their countries as well.

2 months from today (September 2), Go Life Church will be launched in Gothenburg, Sweden!  Go Life is one of EuropeAdvance‘s newest church plants.  Gothenburg is an urban harbor city. Inner city Gothenburg has a population of 500,000 and greater Gothenburg has 1 million inhabitants and is the 2nd largest city in Sweden.  The population grows by 2-3% each year! It’s a young and hip university city.  The inner city is home to lots of high tech, media and innovative companies, which is surrounded by bigger industries.  Gothenburg is known for companies like SKF, Volvo and Hasselblad.

The percentage of confessing Christians (Catholics, Orthodox, Lutheran and Free Church) in all of Sweden is 4%.  Sunday church attendance is 1%.  According to the “World Survey,” Sweden is the most secularized nation in the world.  In Sweden, more than one church is shut down a week!  But Swedes are more open than ever.  Gothenburg is strategically located between three capitol cities within only a few hours drive: Oslo, Norway; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Stockholm, Sweden!  The time has never been more right to plant a church in Gothenburg to reach the northern part of Europe!

There are some other exciting things in the mix, but I will save those for another time.  🙂  I don’t know about you, but there’s just something about a countdown, about looking forward to something on the calendar, that’s kind of a big deal.  For those of us planners, sometimes a countdown is one of our greatest motivators and ‘energizers.’  But if we are only living for the countdowns, for the BIG events on the horizon, it can be so easy to miss what’s in store for us today, and tomorrow, and the day after that, and all the other days before the big event.  Between now and July 30th, there are 28 days that hold the same potential as July 30th.  May I (we) wake up each morning with the same expectation for what today holds as we do the days that are circled on our calendars.  EVERY day is a gift.

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