November 9, 2022

East African Adventists Meet in Denmark

Most of them refugees, they sing together and share their faith in God’s leading.

Sven H. Jensen, for Trans-European Division, and Adventist Review
[Photos: courtesy of Sven H. Jensen / CC BY 4.0]

The Danish Union church family includes almost 300 Seventh-day Adventist church members from Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. With most living in Denmark as refugees, they are people building a new life in their adopted country.

Many of those members met for a special Saturday (Sabbath) gathering on October 29, 2022, to celebrate in their own languages and with their own songs. A sizable number are single mothers with many children. It was something incredibly special: meeting at the Silkeborg Seventh-day Adventist Church, they came together from many different churches and groups, especially from the Mid-Jutland region, to worship and hold a concert in Kinyarwanda (the national language of Rwanda). Each delegation presented their own songs in solos, duets, or choirs.

Autumn Gathering for East Africans in Denmark 630
Each Adventist delegation to the gathering in Silkeborg, Denmark presented their songs in solos, duets, or choirs in their own language. [Photos: courtesy of Sven H. Jensen / CC BY 4.0]

Rwandan preacher Edison Barinda moved and stirred the congregation with his sermon based on Isaiah 6:8: “Here am I, send me!” The lively children’s story about Zacchaeus captured the imagination of a large group of children gathered at the front of the church. The spirit of worship filled the church auditorium, enhanced with beautiful, harmonious singing in Kinyarwanda with the fervor and empathy characteristic of Africans at worship.

The common meal at lunchtime was hosted by the families in pots, pans, and food containers that was able to satisfy the most discerning taste. Likewise, the afternoon concert was as pleasant to the ear as the food was to the palette.

And then came a final appeal for the day, given in line with Joshua’s appeal to his people: “Choose for yourselves this day, whom you will serve.… But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

The day was a Sabbath feast, and it was good to be there. It was difficult to go our separate ways. But there was singing in the bus on the way back, with a renewed vision to live for God and share His good news — even in the most challenging of circumstances.

The original version of this story was posted on the Trans-European Division news site.