Kyle McCartan is a HeartCry missionary from Northern Ireland. He is an evangelist and church planter who is living and ministering in the rural farming community of Northern Ostrobotnia on the east coast of Finland. Kyle’s ministry includes evangelism, discipling, preaching, and teaching the Word of God in an area dominated by nominal Christianity. He also serves as the pastor of Agape International Church. He and his wife Sara, a Finnish national, have five sons: Emil, Viggo, Ezra, Amos, and Theodor.
Our little fellowship is growing slowly, but surely moving forward. Our people are steadily growing in knowledge and in faith. I love our church. We have been given such a tremendous compassion and concern for one another, and it has that wonderful feeling of “family” to it. We are truly blessed! Everyone is involved and everyone is sharing in the responsibilities of the fellowship. This involvement is not limited to the Sunday service or the mid-week gathering; everyone’s lives are overlapping and intertwining. It is lovely to see! The love of Christ is strong among these people, and it shows in their affection which they so richly lavish upon one another.
I have been asked to “baby-sit” a church in Tampere until April/May. Therefore, I am currently alternating between one week at our church and the next at the Tampere church. Tampere is a large city, with a population of approximately 250,000 people. It is 285 kilometers (that’s 177 miles for you Americans) south of us. It has a large university, which attracts students from all over the world. Tampere is also famous for having the largest (and most unbiblical) “word-of-faith church” in Finland. Their influence touches almost all of the other fellowships in the region.
I have only been visiting the church at Tampere since the end of August, but there are already over a dozen new folks that have started coming to the Sunday service. They are all students from as far away as Brazil, Cameroon, Indonesia, and other distant places.
The Sunday service begins at 11:00 AM and ends around 1:00 PM, yet everyone stays behind and eats together. People do not even begin to leave until 3:00 PM, and many stay until 5:00 PM. You know that the Lord is moving in folks’ hearts when a twenty-something-year-old man from Cameroon bakes a blueberry pie in order to bring it to church on Sunday so that we might fellowship after the service! Despite the difficult travel and the long days, I really enjoy my visits to Tampere, and I know that the folks there are equally delighted to see me as I am to see them. At the moment, I am preaching through I Timothy with them.
Thank you for your interest and for your prayers!