Oikos as mission base
by Torsten Borbye Nielsen, Denmark
We are a family living in Brønshøj, 6 kilometers from the centre of Copenhagen, Denmark. We are Helene, Torsten, our biological daughter Maria, our foster children Ali and Simone and our Philippine au pair Shani. 2 years ago a young couple bought a flat nearby so that we could build an oikos together.
We meet to pray, we eat together once a week (with a couple of more guys) and on a regular basis our dinner is open for everyone in the neighbourhood. It is so encouraging to see how many neighbours join these ‘Open Dinner Evenings’ and start inviting others as well. One neighbour said she would cook the food the first time she came, and she has been doing this ever since. After eating we have a “Round of Thanksgiving”, where all get to share one thing that they are grateful for.
The oikos form the centre of our missional community, Nautilus, based in our house. It is a part of our church Byens Valgmenighed and we also work together with ‘In The Master’s Light (IML)’, where Torsten is working as a mission pastor. IML is a mission work, reaching out to seekers interested in spirituality and wholeness, and we join IML on festivals like Body-Mind-Spirit, where we pray with 400-500 people during a weekend and have deep conversations with many. There is an unusual openness and God touches people in wonderful ways.
We invite people to Nautilus’ monthly Brunch and Fellowship Sunday and many join our mailing list. Around 40 people are connected to Nautilus’ and 20-25 show up at our Fellowship Sundays.
We also do Silent Retreats twice a year and they function both as a place of rest and prayer as well as an missional event where some of the seekers join. It is amazing to hear afterwards how God meets people in the atmosphere of worship and silence. One woman, who joined for the first time, had a strong encounter with God. This was so obvious that when she came to work on Monday, though she didn’t say anything, her colleagues asked: ‘What has happened? Did you have a revelation?’ She is growing in the Lord.
Those who want to, also join a small group where there is an intentional focus on discipleship and sharing lives on a more personal level. Torsten is leading a huddle, where part of the content is learning how to guide a meditation and how to pray with people (e.g. the prayer we call ‘Healing of the heart’).
Over the last years we have seen God draw in many people, both neighbours and spiritual seekers. We have seen people healed and coming into a living relationship with God, and it is really encouraging. A growing number of people wants to serve on the festivals and pray with people there. It is our experience that there are many people who are open and hungry for God.