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In The Land Of The Midnight Sun – The Midnight Cry Goes Forth
"A year ago a young Finnish lady wrote to us: ‘I am still pleading the Lord to open the Herald work here in Finland. Our great need is to be stirred up as Christians to pray and to watch, because the time of our Lord’s Coming is nearing, and we have not yet received the national awakening. May it come quickly!’
"Brother and Sister Moore hastened to reply to the letter of this one who sensed with them the urgency of heralding Christ’s return to Christians in the Scandinavian area. When approached about taking full responsibility for a Finnish Herald, Aune Lehtisalo hesitated, feeling keenly her own unworthiness and realizing the immensity of such a task."
(Reprinted from Herald of His Coming, February 1966)
"The Finnish Herald, Airut, started its work on 23rd August! Some 3,000 copies have now gone to bring the message of the coming King! All glory to His glorious Name! I have the assurance in my heart that the Lord soon sends Revival and undertakes also for the needs of the Finnish Herald – the greater things to happen! Please pray now on to get the full victory as it might be the purpose of the Lord." – Aune Lehtisalo
(Reprinted from Herald of His Coming, November 1965)
The Lord has remarkable ways of accomplishing His purposes. He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. We praise the Lord that even in the midst of Sister Lehtisalo’s feeling of unworthiness, He used her in 1965 to begin a work of heralding Christ in Finland. Today, the staff of the Airut shares from a small office nestled in Lampäälä how the Lord is working almost thirty-one years later.
Herald of His Coming: Please tell us about the circulation and the audience of the Airut.
Finnish Herald: The monthly circulation of the Airut is approximately 10,000 of which more than one-third makes the regular subscribers. The rest is distributed freely to homes, churches, and people walking on the streets. We are publishing 10 issues of Airut per year.
It is a challenge for us to get our circulation to grow. A reader touched by the Lord is the one who is also the best advertiser for the paper there where he/she participates in real life.
HOHC: Can you tell us about who shares in the ministry there, and what are their various responsibilities?
FH: Three people work in the Airut office. Seppo Niemelä is the editor of Airut. He was caught by the Lord through a tract, which was circulated by Herald of His Coming Finland while a student of education in 1968. Kylli Niemelä, who is Seppo’s daughter, works in the administration and is an editorial secretary as well as being our media and Internet expert. Sirkku Viitanen’s responsibilities are the arriving post, mailing and correspondence. Most of her work is updating the addresses in our register. Susanna Kallamäki works as a freelance translator in Helsinki and mails the translated articles to us. Heikki Lintula, who lives in Tampere, reads the Airut into cassette tapes for visually wounded people.
HOHC: What are some of the special problems and challenges you face now in ministry?
FH: An everyday challenge is praying for the readers who send their prayer requests: family problems, sickness, and spiritual needs.
Each month we have to choose the front-page messages so that they address people with the topic which we experience God leads to.
In the spiritual realm, the main challenge is how to get Christians revived to pray and expect Christ’s coming back at any time.
HOHC: What kind of response have you had by establishing an Airut website?
FH: The Internet page is a good instrument especially for younger persons. We hope to have more capacity to create this tool further. We are waiting to purchase computer program, Adobe Indesign, in order to make layout and work with the extra computer we have for it.
HOHC: Please give an overview of conditions in Finland that affect life and ministry there.
FH: The current situation is quite the same in all five Nordic countries. Secular liberalism is the ruling ideology. Lutheran Evangelistic Church is the main church. There seems to be a quiet and slow awakening among some in the intelligentsia, scientists, artists, and also athletes. We have some good scholars and evangelists, but mainly theologians are timid in preaching. There is a lack of clear teaching. Many pastors are educated in secular universities.
Nordic countries are the least in corruption, and education is high in quality, but spiritually masses of people are blind. People are not able to live in richness, on the contrary to Paul who said he could live in poverty and richness.
HOHC: To help us in praying for Finland, please give us some specific prayer needs.
FH: We thank the Lord for your prayers.• Pray that God opens the hearts of our nominally Christian people to see that living faith in Christ is our only hope.
• Pray that God anoints the Christian minority to be under His leading.
• Pray that God gives us love for the sinners to preach and teach the full Gospel of Christ.