HEART FOR CANADA
I'm privileged to know Canada more than most Canadians. For the first 16 years of ministry I crisscrossed the country, often by car, from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island. International campaigns have taken much of my time over the past few decades, but the vision for Canada burns as strong as ever.
Yet, like 22% of people in Canada, I was born outside of this country. As a child, I didn’t know much about Canada. My earliest recollection is watching the country of my birth, Sweden, play hockey against Canada.That was before players from the National Hockey League were allowed to participate in international tournaments. Canadian players had a reputation of playing with their heart (and sometimes with their fists), and that passion often resulted in a winning outcome.
After I received Christ, I had a powerful experience with the Holy Spirit. This changed everything; I became eager to share the gospel anywhere and everywhere.This newfound passion led me to read books by a Canadian pastor, Dr. Oswald J. Smith (I think I read all of them), founder of the People’s Church in Toronto. His writings profoundly affected my spiritual development.
Some of the titles like, The Challenge of Missions,The Passion for Souls,The Man God Uses and The Cry of The World, give an idea of the vision that permeated Dr. Smith’s ministry.Though I was only 15 years old, God was using these books to burrow deep into my soul. Billy Graham called Oswald J. Smith the foremost missionary statesmen of the 20th century, and I echo that statement.