This summer, individuals from across Europe and America gathered to be part of a 24-7 Prayer mission team in Iceland: a week of 24-7 prayer followed by serving refreshments at one of Iceland's biggest festivals.
Kirstine has been part of the mission for a number of years and here, she shares a beautiful insight into what goes on each summer:
The land where the tectonic plates meet. Where everyone is related. Where they eat sharks and the eyes of sheep. (Sometimes, at least).
Where “Bless" is the normal greeting. Where fire and ice roam in the underground. Where light rules the summer, and darkness rules the winter. Where an epic soundtrack is suitable every time you leave town.
And where great promise has been spoken. Where God has big plans.
Iceland is a country of spirituality, creativity and independence. A Scandinavian warm climate culture, which seems like a paradox in a land just south of the Arctic Circle.
And this is where we have chosen to serve at a summer festival each year - to pray, meet people and try to show what it means to know God.
This outreach was pioneered in 2012 and has been running every summer since. It’s been a slow process; it's required faithfulness and it's required trust in God’s timing and in our calling - even when that means our own planning fails.
But it’s also been a rich process. A process of growth; moving closer to God in order to show his love.
Each summer we get involved in the Þjóðhátíð festival on the little island of Heimaey in the Westmann Islands (Vestmannaeyjar). The mission is centred around preparing ourselves in prayer and then taking action: which here, looks like the simple step of serving coffee to festival goers each day. Now, to some, this might seem like a passive and fruitless approach, but through the years, we have stuck to the simplicity and faithfulness of waiting on God, believing in the power of prayer and kindness.
And through those years the atmosphere has slowly changed for the better.
I sometimes have a hard time explaining why I keep going back to that little island with a group of strangers to give coffee to drunk people. In many ways this isn’t ‘traditional mission’ in its stereotypical form. Instead, this outreach is about faithfully returning, stubbornly praying and expectantly listening to God. And every year, I find myself surrounded by a different temporary family: passionate, creative, fun, life-giving people who come and go, each bringing something personal to the team. Something of God.
We are still waiting for more breakthrough for those who don’t know God on that island. But while we wait, we’re lifting each other up and sending each other out - into the festival and later back to where we live for the rest of the year. Cheering each other on and trusting in God’s calling.
We’ll keep going, keep giving, keep praying - and of course, we'll hike a volcano or two along the way.