Eero and Hillevi Nuolioja | The Voice of Zion January 2019 --
A faith as precious as ours: this phrase precisely describes our experiences on our trip to North America in October, 2018. These words are Peter’s. He wrote to those who through righteousness had received an identical, precious faith. Now we had the opportunity to visit on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and see for ourselves that the Holy Spirit effects the same faith and doctrine in different parts of the globe. Our trip consisted of innumerable encounters with different people, twenty service events, a communion service during three-day fall services, ministers and wives camp, visits and an LLC Board meeting. These all happened in 15 localities in three states and one province.
On our flight from Reykjavik to Minneapolis I thought of Abraham, who didn’t know what address to go to in a foreign land. We didn’t know either where we’d be spending the night. When we arrived at the airport, Eric Jurmu met us and wished us a warm welcome and then brought us to his home. After that many other homes became familiar as well. It didn’t pay for us to take everything out of our suitcase each visit, because we generally stayed only two nights in each place. The hospitality we received on our mission trip in the U.S. and Canada is indescribable! We remember with humble thankfulness the service of love that local believers and their families did to make our trip a success.
Throughout our trip we noted with gratitude how God has richly blessed North American congregations and believers. The number of congregations has grown. Believers have the desire to attend services, even on weekday evenings. At ministers and wives camp there were about 100 participants, some from thousands of kilometers away. The camp was blessed with an atmosphere of love, thankfulness and unity. There are beautiful churches and homes, schools can be used for services, there is a new camp at Prairie Shores in Canada, there is land in Monticello on which to hold summer services and the congregations’ finances are in order. It was also a joy to hear that the economic and job situation is good in North America. Amidst the plentiful blessings the work of the enemy remains familiar: there is yet four kinds of soil, as there is in all times and all places.
God blessed and protected our trip; we had no difficulties. The LLC and local congregations handled the practical arrangements excellently. We were strengthened by the many wishes for blessings that we received in our home country and there beyond the ocean. It felt special when even the airline official wished us a happy mission trip. We remember you North American believers in prayer: May the Heavenly Father protect you and help you keep faith and a good conscience.
On our trip we got to meet many families with children. Our prayer rises to the Heavenly Father that the mothers and fathers would remain in faith so that all these little Andrews and Emmas would also be preserved in God’s kingdom. -Hillevi Nuolioja