Over the years, the geographic focus of our theological famine relief mission has primarily been the Global South. Though growth in the number of believers in Asia, Africa, and South America has been strong in the last century, the lack of access to biblical resources is generally more pronounced.
We’ve also long been engaged in Europe through various publishing projects in English, Italian, French, Swedish, and other languages. The famine there takes a different shape, since the economic environment is much different. Nevertheless, the dearth of gospel-centeredness is still present.
I recently corresponded with a Swedish believer who articulately described the need there. I think it exemplifies the situation in much of Europe. This comes from a Swedish family who relocated to the United Arab Emirates for three years, became part of a great church, and then went back to their home country.
During our time in [the UAE], we were exposed to very clear expositions of the gospel and the Bible through [our church], which we had never experienced before in Sweden. When we moved back, we saw the state of Christianity in Sweden with different eyes.
We attended a church in our town for about a year, during which time the gospel was not clearly proclaimed once. It was mentioned a few times as the good news, but nothing more. The people had a genuine zeal for seeing people come to Christ, but had no idea what that actually meant. We tried to encourage the pastor to preach from the Bible and explain the gospel, but he himself was confused as to what it actually meant to follow Jesus. The focus was solely on “God is love,” and bringing non-Christians to church, which seemed to be the ultimate goal.
Unfortunately, this seemed to be the norm for most churches in Sweden. I asked the pastors what they wanted non-Christians to hear when they came to church; virtually no one could give a clear answer. The [denominational] church was even more confused. . . . So during our two-and-a-half years in Sweden, we ended up driving an hour-and-a-half each way to Stockholm to meet up with Christians on a weekly basis. The group/“church” was four families. . . .
During our time in Sweden we also noticed that there are practically no solid books available in Swedish. We started buying good books for friends who classify themselves as Christians but probably aren’t, and noticed that most couldn't effectively read “spiritual” books in English. The need for good books in Swedish became apparent.
Currently, we are working to finish funding Greg Gilbert’s excellent book What Is the Gospel? in Swedish.
We invite your support for the sake of strengthening the Swedish church for the glory of Christ’s name.