The Month

The month has been fairly normal, not a whole lot of highlights to fill you in on, so I want to use this opportunity to share with you not only what has been going on, but also what changes will be happening in the near future, short term goals, long term goals and so forth.

I may squeeze in an update e-mail before our family takes the trip for three months to USA as a sabbatical to recover from some serious stress over the past 5 years and specifically the medical issues with Mikael's cancer the last two years and the birth and following that the diagnosis of Salomon's condition who was diagnosed with a very rare and serious genetic mutation in his X chromosome that will, if the other two cases diagnosed in the world is anything to go by, cause him not to be able to walk, talk, swallow, crawl or hold his head up by himself, also he has a condition of weak muscles and organs where doctor's do not expect a long life, this has been misunderstood by people, so just to be clear, we do not know how long the life expectancy is, it can be 2 years or 20, we do not fully know.

With that said, God is still all powerful and can do whatever he wants, so we will continue to pray for a miracle.

Now, let's jump into some of the changes taking place.

The Ministry

USA Trip
Here in two days I get ready to go to the USA yet again, this time landing in Virginia, driving down to Louisville, KY for Together for the Gospel conference where I, among thousands of others will be worshipping and using that time to network with many
pastors around the US about the need in Iceland and for them to prayerfully consider jumping on board with supporting the Iceland Project to see more churches planted in the area.

Pray for this introvert to handle the thousands of people and tens if not hundreds of small conversations about Iceland well.

I'll fly back on the 17th where I will begin to get things in order for our summer family trip happening the 1st of May.

For those interested I will be preaching at Pillar Church of Dumfries on Sunday the 8th, where the same Sunday Logan and Carla will be introduced to the church as they begin to prepare for their coming to Iceland.
Iceland Project Changes
One of the other things that'll also be changing in the coming future is a welcomed change, to make the Iceland Project less connected to me (Gunnar) and my family personally, as we see it grow and develop to include more people and more efforts undertaken by the Iceland Project in general.

This means that following this summer the summaries of my perspective as to what has happened in the last month will become shorter and we will make room for Logan and Carla to share with you how things are going from their end as they prepare and fundraise to come over to Iceland around the new year, if God so allows.

This is a welcomed change because:

1. It shows that we are growing into what we have been hoping and praying for all along.
2. As it grows it is not dependant on one person, and will therefore not come to a halt if something happens to me, but gospel work will continue.
Upcoming Short Term & Long Term Goals.
As the Iceland Project develops, interests from people, mission organizations and churches increase we want to develop with it.

We will not stop being an effort that seeks to glorify God through our two major points and that is to:
1. Plant healthy, gospel centered, disciple making, Christ exalting and multiplying churches in Iceland.
2. Equip, fund and send out church planters and ministry leaders in Iceland.

However, those goals, when expanded are quite extensive and may take a very broad approach, so right now I want to share with you just what we are thinking for the short term (1-3 years) and long term (4-20 years), and possibly getting into what my prayer is for Iceland for the next 100 years.
Short Term Goals (1-3 years)
Right now our primary focus is on:
  1. Funding Logan and Carla to come over here to work with our church for two years or so and be sent out to start a church.
    1. When we have more support we can rotate schedules around to have a more frequent presence in the US preaching at churches and networking at conferences while we cover each other's ministry duties on the ground as the other is away, I will also focus more attention on evangelism on the ground as I have a pastoral partner.
  2. Release our first translated book by the end of this year which is now fully funded by the generosity of so many of you, this will be the Jesus Storybook Bible, hopefully selling them well so that the profits can go towards other translation projects in the future.
  3. Start a campus ministry for the University of Iceland.
  4. Create 4-5 annual events throughout the year that supporting churches and individuals can bring people to help with.
  5. Start rotating classes and groups to equip the lay people on the ground including:
    1. Something similar to Financial Peace University to teach our people to be good stewards of our finances.
    2. Freedom from Addiction as we've had a few experiences where we have struggling addicts among us, some of whom get the advice from their sponsor in their NA or AA program to not go to our church, which I imagine will be a problem for any Bible believing church.
    3. Christianity 101 - Evangelism classes opening up to the questions of people and going into the core of our faith for new believers or those who are outside of our faith to come to.
    4. A call to Arms class, equipping believers on the ground in the work of evangelism and plugging them in.
  6. April 27th we'll be doing a test run of an event made to discuss Christianity and worldview, I'll be sitting down with the president of the Atheist Association and we'll host a worldview discussion night at a bar which we titled: "A Baptist and an Atheist walk into a bar: A frank and friendly discussion about Icelandic worldview".
    1. If this goes well I'd like to prayerfully consider doing this a monthly thing, but it does cost some money, so we're praying about it.
Long Term Goals (4-20 years)
To start working towards the sustainability of the Project long term we have a few things we plan to tackle in the coming 4-20 years, do keep in mind that these numbers are rough estimates as we obviously do not know what the currency rate and inflation rate will be like in the next 4-20 years.
  1. 70,000$ - Start fundraising to have money in place for our 3rd church planter before he is here to have finances set aside for when God has sent and equipped the right man for the task.
  2. 100,000-150,000$ - Fund a revision and printing of the old translation of the Bible into modern language, and record it as an audio book as well. Currently we only have one Bible in print (the 2007 version) which is bad in multiple ways.
    1. It costs between 70-100$ just to get a copy.
    2. A big percentage of the new Bibles have the Apocrypha books in there, so not just the 66 books of the Bible.
    3. Faithfulness to translating the original texts has been sacrificed on the altar of societal acceptance, including gender neutral language & the removing of homosexuality for instance from 1. Corinthians 6:9, which has been transformed into "men who use others or let others use them".
  3. 1,000,000-3,000,000$ - Start raising funds for buying a permanent building in the capitol area of Iceland.
    1. To have a permanent location for Loftstofan church to meet in.
    2. To have the space available for new church plants to use when they do not have funds to go out yet and rent another building to use for their worship gatherings.
    3. To have office space for our church and church planters in the capital area which they can work from during the day.
    4. To better reach a society that seems from experience to highly value continuity, that is, not to move every year as we have done thus far into our church plant.
    5. To host classes such as our school of theology, financial peace, freedom from addiction, Christianity 101, creative night and call to arms.
    6. To have a place for outreach events, concerts, small group gathering place, weddings, funerals and so on.
    7. To have a place where we can reliably produce media to reach the country, when and if God blesses us with more creative people.
How you can help with this is to pray for continued success and financial resources to see this happen, also if you are not already contributing financially and have the ability to do so without it affecting your faithfulness in giving to your local church, would you prayerfully consider jumping on board with this?

For the next 100 years, my prayer has been rather bold, I will aim for the stars, and if I miss, then at least know that I missed an epic shot. My prayer for the last twelve months or so is that God would use our church community to be a catalyst for an exponential growth in healthy, gospel centered, Christ exalting, disciple making and multiplying churches in the coming 100 years so that we can participate in the effort to plant 250 of those churches in the country in the next 100 years.

The reason I pray for it, is because it seems like an impossible task, and history will know that it was definitely not thanks to any genius on the ground that this happened, but only by the strength and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who builds His church.
As to how this will happen, I pray that It might do so through healthy churches being planted who each make a commitment and set as a goal to plant two other churches like them every decade, who make the same commitment.

The Prayer Requests

-Pray for the fundraising for Logan & Carla.
-Pray for our marriage, strength and endurance, also for this summer to be a refreshing and enjoyable time for us.
-Pray for Salómons future, and things that we need to get done to prepare for his continued growth.
-Pray for personal wisdom as we already have medical equipment that would greatly help our family, but at the moment we cannot use due to a small living space, so we need to grow our home, but are really unsure how to financially make that happen.
-Pray that people to come to know Christ, that our church would grow in the health of our people and numbers.
-Pray for renewed strength and endurance for our family to continue to work well, and for the people of our church God has called to step up into leadership roles.
-Pray for the upcoming trips would be fruitful and rejuvenating. 
-Ultimately pray that the gospel would be preached, disciples would be made, labourers would rise up for the harvest, churches would be planted so that ultimately God would be glorified in and through our work here.
-Pray for wisdom as we look to the future, to take care of the people we have now well, as we also reach out to new people who need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.
-Pray for the worldview discussion to go well, and that the gospel would clearly be proclaimed.
-Pray for finances to make the goals we've felt God lead us to pursue to be accomplished.

The Partnership

Join Us As A Partner
Do you want to partner with us in the spread of the gospel in Iceland? You may not have been here yet, but you can partner with us by praying over the updates we just sent and by financially giving either with a one time gift or by setting up a monthly support to take part in gospel efforts in Iceland.

How To Give
Pillar Church of Dumfries has made it easy for you to give to the work in Iceland and serves us in such incredible ways to get the funding from our donors to us every month, here's how you can give:

For processing payments:
PO BOX: Pillar Church, PO Box 622, Dumfries, VA 22026
Put “Loftstofan” in the memo.

We also have an online option for our supporters to use what's called STRIPE ACH.
If you plan on using this option you must remember to choose "Loftstofan" as the fund for your donation, otherwise your donation will not get to us.

If you click on the button below you can give a one time gift or set up recurring payments through your bank account. This is the cheapest ONLINE option on our end as the fees for processing are $0.25 (compared to if you choose to use your debit cards or pay through PayPal which is 2.3% + $0.25 per transaction).

Give Now Online
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