Prophet Graham, Mary Unsworth and myself were invited to minister at Shalom Covenant Church in Bergen, Norway by their leader, Solomon Haile in November 2016. Prophet Graham had previously visited the church twice before, the last time in 2014 where he took a team from the church to teach on Apostolic Perspective. After asking God what He wanted us to bring this time we felt it was right to teach on “Building a Solid Foundation”, teaching the 6 foundations stones found in Hebrews 6.
We arrived on the Friday afternoon, with a few hours to rest before the Friday meeting. Our host, Senait, welcomed us into her lovely home and gave us the first of many fantastic meals. We had been warned, but I don’t think I’d ever get used to the scale of Ethiopian hospitality – every meal came with plenty to spare! Well-fed and warmed up, we went to the first of our meetings.
Through Friday and Saturday, we each took it in turns to teach through the 6 foundation stones: Repentance from Good Works, Faith towards God, Doctrine of Baptisms, Laying on of Hands, Resurrection and Final Judgement. Prophetess Desta, who had visited Birmingham in early 2014, translated for us well. For me, it was a new experience to speak with a translator, and took some getting used to. But Desta made it easy, especially as she was already familiar with Apostolic Perspective.
Despite teaching through things that we’ve been through many times before, I was surprised by fresh revelation that the Holy Spirit brought as we were teaching. When it came to teaching on “Laying on of Hands”, we could then practice this by praying for the congregation for healing. Prophet Graham had a word of knowledge that someone was suffering from leg pain and two people came forward for prayer. Mary also prayed for one of the elders who suffered from migraines, having a word that he was relying on medication rather than God. The ministry was received with open hearts.
When teaching on “Resurrection”, God reminded me how He resurrects things that we thought long dead in our own lives. I shared on the things that I’d long given up on in my life, like drama and acting, that God resurrected when I attended Bible School. For me, it was a fresh way of looking at the topic, and I was thankful to God that He brought a fresh perspective to something we’ve looked at before.
Out of the Friday and Saturday, Prophet Graham spoke on laying down your life on Sunday. It was well received and many in the congregation responded. Solomon accurately summarised the weekend; it was great to see that they’d understood and received so much from us in such a short space of time. At the end of the service they presented us with t-shirts they wear when doing street evangelism which said “Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life” in Norwegian. It made me feel part of their fellowship and showed me that the connection Prophet Graham had developed by coming previously had been strengthened.
Bergen is a beautiful city; sitting on a fjord, the water comes right into the city centre and you can climb one of various mountains to gain spectacular views. In some ways, it couldn’t be further from Ethiopia, yet the members of Shalom Covenant Church have made it their home. I feel privileged to have been able to visit them, experience their hospitality and to have imparted some truth to them. I look forward to the next visit as I’m sure this won’t be the last time we spend time in Norway.