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2019 in Numbers.

If you've been following our e-mail updates throughout the year you have a pretty good idea what's been going on from month to month but let me give you a 2019 recap in numbers. First let me preface by saying it's not all about numbers, but each number represents an individual soul that has heard the gospel proclaimed and/or worshipped with us.
  • In 2019 Sunday attendance was the highest it has ever been and better than every single month when compared to 2018. 
    • A strange thing happened in 2019, December which is usually among the worst months in attendance was actually the highest attended month of the year.
  • We had more children with us in Sunday services than 2018.
  • Giving from the church has risen dramatically (roughly double from 2018) allowing us to support other church plants, take care of rent, have an office space, give to our benevolence ministry, get the word out, pay an intern etc.
  • We had exactly 100 locals visit our Sunday gatherings as first-time visitors in 2019, a dramatic rise from 2018 where we had 48.
  • We had 10 confessions of faith reported from our members sharing the gospel, teams, and in services.
  • We had a couple of hundred foreigners come for a one-stop visit to our church.
  • We had 9 people go through our membership process and become members.
  • We had a dramatic rise in volunteers for Sunday services.
There are more numbers that I could get into but wanted to give you an overview in numbers from 2019 compared to the year and years before.
Ex Deus
Ex Deus took a break over Christmas and New Years as students went on their breaks, after the summer the focus of Ex Deus shifted a bit from having a small group on campus to having club night to have fun and get to know the students and sharing the good news of Jesus with them, praying that they would come to faith, get plugged into the church and grow in their faith.
The plan worked really well, more non-believers started coming, more of the students got plugged into small groups and showing up for Sunday services, right now we are praying for more faithful people to come to these gatherings as we have too many non-believers attending and not enough Christians to show up, share the gospel with them, become good friends and spend time with them.
For Christmas we had an Advent teaching series and a Christmas service, then came Christmas and new year break, in this season there was a membership meeting to talk about changes to be implemented in the new year, discuss internal issues and vote on a budget.
Some of the changes include Logan and Carla slowly backing out of their responsibilities getting ready to plant Redeemer Church, voting on an elder candidate to go through the candidacy process and being voted on in the end of April. The end of April will also be the commissioning service for Logan and Carla to set out to start Redeemer Church.

With that came changes to the leadership of Ex Deus, with the elder candidate taking the lead on that, changes to meeting locations and leadership of small groups etc.

Other than my monthly devotional on Lindin FM 102,9 I was asked to write a piece for Christianity Today on what Christmas is like in Iceland, the traditions we have and what it's like to have a religious holiday in such a secular country. If you are interested you can read the piece here.
Regular Ministry
Outside of the abnormal stuff the normal stuff takes it's course, I'll be flying out to California to marry one of our church members there in the beginning of February, premarital counseling has been taking place with them and another couple, extra focus placed on discipleship with certain members in the church, January also means a lot of work has to be put into administrative stuff, bookkeeping, paperwork to complete for the government, sermons to preach, meeting with attenders and so on.
We've had two couples come over for short trips scoping Iceland out and praying about moving here to become members of the church to help reach locals.

After some difficulty with our realtor we decided to take our apartment off the market for December to host a student for around 6 weeks while he waited for his student apartment to be available, now we're getting back into selling our apartment, fixing it up and getting it ready to be put back on the market this upcoming week.
January 23rd was a big day, I turned 31, but more importantly we had to take Mikael to have a minor surgery at the hospital to get his port removed which had been placed in to administer the drugs easier during chemo and make it easier to take blood samples from him... This marked him being chemo and cancer free for 1 year, he is still in a place where he needs semi-regular checkups but our prayer is that the worst is behind us.

Outside of that there's not much to tell you, except that the weather has been terrible for about 3 weeks now with one storm after another, so there's that!
How you can pray:
  • Pray for this coming year - for people to come to faith, people to grow in faith, more faithful workers in God's harvest here in Iceland.
  • Pray for Logan, Carla and the people that will go with them to plant Redeemer Church.
  • Pray for a new home fitting the needs of our family and ministry.
  • Pray for opportunities for me and the members of the church to share the gospel, pray for the spirit of God to work in those that have confessed faith but not yet come to be regular attenders or members of the church.
  • Pray for Salómon and wisdom on what to do with regards to him constantly throwing up and barely being able to breath through it.
  • Pray for the preaching of God's word to be effective in educating, admonishing and rebuking us when need be.
  • Pray for Discipleship groups to multiply.
  • Pray for our apartment to be sold and a new home that is more fitting for the special needs around Salómon and for doing ministry in.
  • Pray for those who are considering moving to Iceland to live here and help with the ministry.
  • Pray for us this year financially that we'd fundraise enough and have enough to focus fully on the ministry.
  • Pray for faithful believers to give their time to be a part of Ex Deus and witness to the students on the campus of University of Iceland we've made contact with.

The Partnership

Join Us As A Partner
Do you want to partner with us in the spread of the gospel in Iceland? 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 monthly giving to support Gunnar and to take part in gospel efforts in Iceland, your finances will go towards supporting Gunnar in working full time for Loftstofan Baptistakirkja.

If you have a desire to become a partner click the blue button below, fill out the 60-second survey and read the info at the bottom as to how you can give, both online or via checks.
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