Forside Articles The Faroe Islands, the Backbone of Our Monarchy
The Faroe Islands, the Backbone of Our Monarchy Udskriv Email
Skrevet af Jørn Nielsen   
Fredag, 06. januar 2012 19:30

My first trip to the Faroes was abt. 30 years ago.  I encountered the land with a lump in my throat. Imagine, being in a community with so much revival history.  The Christian testimony in that part of our monarchy is unique – way up in the North Atlantic sea.

An old Danish speaking “Brethren” preacher from Scotland, J.J. Adam, told me in my early youth about his wonderful time of awakenings on those beautiful islands going back as far as before World War II. But the linear goes much further back when God was pleased to use a young man coming from Scotland with a burden for the Faroese people.  His name was William Gibson Sloan.

When he arrived 27 years old in 1865 he had to start from scratch.  The language was Faroese, but the language of the church and the whole Civil Service was Danish.  He worked 13 years without seeing any fruit and being often scorned by the dead Lutheran state church –  but then awakenings broke out, and many new assemblies were spontaneously planted.

His first scouting visit in 1865 lasted for 7 weeks, but after that visit he soon came back and settled down for good on the Faroes where he died on his 76th birthday Sept. 4, 1914 in Torshavn (the capital).

It´s touching to read his first written sermon in very poor, broken Danish, held in the open air before he left for Scotland after that short stay of reconnaissance.  These are the words translated into English and very relevant for our situation too:

“My dear friends, I will with pleasure tell you about Jesus.  I, a poor sinner, have been led to trust Jesus and love Jesus, and I wish that everyone would do the same.  We are not born Christians.  Baptism does not make children Christians.  Union with the church will not save us.  Jesus speaks that you must be born again.  A Christian is someone who is born of the Holy Spirit.  After the Holy Spirit, a new heart.  This new heart leads him to love Jesus and hate all evil and love the Lord´s Day, and to be friendly and good to everyone.

Some folk think that they are Christians if they belong to the Church, which is false, but this is Satan´s lie to deceive them and lead them to hell.  Some folk seek to serve God, and serve the devil in the dancing place and card place.  God speaks, don´t let yourself be deceived.  God is not mocked – whatever a man sows to the flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit, everlasting life.  My dear friends, trust surely in Jesus´ blood to cleanse away every spot and then you will hate all evil and seek to serve Jesus every day.”

(I read that sermon to our fellowship group today in our home and they all said “Amen!”)

His grammar was poor, but his sincerity was obvious to the onlookers.  Three days before he died on Sept. 4, 1914, he was seen on the streets handing out gospel tracts.

The Faroes and our monarchy as a whole have by and large been paralyzed by secularism, yet the strongest Christian testimony will still be found up there in the North Atlantic, more than 1,000 miles from Denmark. They were granted home rule in 1948, but is still financially supported by Denmark, and we share the same queen.  Our desperate need is an old fashioned revival in all its simplicity like the one in the days of William Sloan.

My son-in-law in Denmark is sometimes visiting the Faroe Islands on business.  He gave me a beautiful photograph of Sloan´s tombstone in Torshavn.  It says (translated into English):

Missionary William Gibson Sloan,
Born Sept. 4, 1838 in Dalry, Scotland, died Sept. 4, 1914.
Arrived to the Faroe Island 1865, labored faithfully in the Lord´s work till his death,
boasting of nothing else for salvation but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
“The memory of the righteous is a blessing.”  Prov. 10:7.

Jan. 5, 2012 - jn

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