Uppsala is what can be regarded as a 'university city' as it is the home of one of the oldest and celebrated international institutions of higher learning. Founded in 1477, Uppsala University (UU) in Sweden attracts students from all corners of the world. These include members of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) church who are now scattered all over the world.
One of the blessings is that just next to the university complex there is an SDA church - Adventkyrkan - that is accessible to students. It is now the home church of Marie Anderson who has/had been studying there. One new student is Wenjian Xing from China. The story of how she become an SDA in a non-SDA family is quite interesting. Her teacher back home only had to share the good news of salvation that she found inspirational!
The challenge, however, is to bring together all SDA students attending Uppsala University to jointly worship and work together in making disciples for Jesus. Gospel work in this area is particularly challenging since there are no that many pastors in Sweden. But as we know, historically, institutions of higher learning have been great centers of revival and reformation.
It is thus touching to see how Robert and Rebecka Karlson are passionate about witnessing in Uppsala. They go door to door with their fellow members to distribute spiritual tracts and pray. They also hold Bible lessons with non-SDAs. Robert also preach at church on the Sabbath. One of his latest sermons was a passionate plea to those who are waiting for the return of Jesus Christ to be alert all the time like the 5 wise virgins in the Bible who reserved oil for their lamps. Though working as a carpenter, like his Savior, Robert is still investing time and energy in being what they call a 'Bible Worker'. It is the best one can do when one cannot afford to study Theology and be a fully-fledged pastor. Hopefully one day it will be possible to do so.
Last but not least the church is blessed with, among others, the service of Ellen Erbes, a 'retired' professor of Modern Languages at Uppsala University. She is 'retired but not tired' as the church piano in the church testifies as her fingers fine-tune the melodies from the historical Adventist Hymns. As a wife and mother of a pastor, her experience in the ministry is also proving to be valuable in mentoring the 'Bible Working couple' and administering the church.