Greenland / Arctic
August 3 – 9, 2016
“This looks like at home in the Bernese mountains…” I called, as I left the plane in Ilulissat. Rocky, rugged, barren landscape. Clear air and very quiet. The only road leads in a few minutes over the rock outcrop down to the little town, past the harbor and up a steep hill into the midst of the colorful houses. In spite of the sunshine, everyone is wearing coats or jackets. Backpack tourists wearing caps remind us that we’re at sea level far north of the Arctic Circle.
The island’s inhabitants seem quiet and shy, which we experience in the church also. They are friendly and yet reserved. In our spirits we sense discouragement, inferiority feelings, resignation and many other needs.
Werner takes this up in his sermon on the first evening, “You are chosen to be a kingly priesthood”, which falls deep into the hearts and is received in faith. The wife of the pastor and the small group of elderly believers have been praying steadfastly for ten years for a breakthrough and a “visit” from the Lord. We are surprised to see that our arrival just at the right time and way express the beginning of the answer. Increasingly we see darkness turning into light. This is expressed in the increasing openness, with laughter and warmth. We experience great trust and our whole team is able to pray for many.
The lengthy times of worship in the local language with its looooong words such as: sassarpunga, inuunera, tunniullugu…are pleasingly simple, yet also deep and without affectation.
On Sunday, after Werner’s passionate sermon and the pastor’s humorous translation the trumpets are blown in the midst of the congregation. This was followed by the victory cry for the town of Ilulissat and all of Greenland. A prayer of repentance and proclamation of Bible verses took place at a formerly inhabited location on the fjord. We blow the shofar on various hills, proclaim words regarding the north and plant an Israel flag with the words from Is. 11:12 and 43:6, “North, give them up!” We are happy to see an Israel flag hanging in the meeting room and to learn that there is regular prayer for Israel here.
On two visits we have the opportunity to taste raw shark, various kinds of fish, dried whale and reindeer meat, as well as sugary sweet, colorful cakes and coffee.
A special gift for us are the hikes in the total quiet of the rocky mountains with a wonderful view of the imposing icebergs swimming in the blue sea.
“Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth” (Ps. 48:10).
Ursula and Susanne
Proclamation of Psalm 24 (english/greenlandish) in a Video