Translator / Administrator - Bankeryd, Sweden
Ola is from Sweden and works with the non-profit organization, Reformedia, (http://www.reformedia.se) which has as its purpose to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and the preaching and theology of the reformation. This is done among other things through book publishing, and the creation of virtual and physical meeting places. Ola is the chairman for Reformedia, and serves as the editor and proofreader for Daniel Lundgren’s translation work. Ola does the marketing, sales, and designs for the books, as well as being bookkeeper for the organization. He is also passionate for preaching the gospel and teaching the word of God in Sweden. He lives in Bankeryd with his wife, Marie-Louice.
Testimony of Salvation
My name is Ola Nilsson – or Olaf, which I have learned is more understandable to people of the English tongue. I grew up in a small town named Markaryd on the Swedish county side with my mother and a somewhat older brother and sister. My dad died when I was about 18 months old. My childhood wasn’t so strongly influenced by the Christian faith, even though I went to Sunday school and my grandparents were Christians.
I became a Christian at age 15 in the fall of 1983. My mother had been admitted for psychiatric care for about six months, and my situation was destructive in many ways with struggles of depression and dark thoughts. My grandmother, who was 92 years old at the time, took care of me, though she didn’t know everything going on in my life.
Through one of my Boy Scout leaders I came in contact with a group of young adults who recently had become Christians, and I started attending a kind of new believer’s cell group. At this time I had a strong conviction of sin, and felt a strong desire to become a Christian – but I was too insecure to ask for directions. How could I have this happiness that I saw in them?
At this time all ninth-graders made a visit to the nearby Free Lutheran Church as a part of our studies in religion, and there two evangelists explained the Christian faith to us. We were also invited to a meeting at a youth community center in the evening, and that night I repented and believed in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. At last! Ten days later I was baptized at a Christian conference.
Called into Ministry
I had a rather radical conversion, and my life really turned from darkness into light in a second.
I let my light shine in school, witnessing to my classmates and was part of the Christian students group at school. After finishing the ninth grade I went to Bible school for a year before attending college, and I would say I felt called into ministry from the beginning.
During my college years I was part of a church plant in my home town (together with some of the young adults from the cell group) until I moved back for a second year at Bible school. We had seen a lot of people coming to Christ, and life was more or less lived at church. After finishing Bible school I was part of another church plant in a larger city, where I had responsibilities for the “Children’s Church”.
After this I felt led to study to become a journalist, and since then have worked with a Christian magazine and also some publications for the Swedish pro-life movement. In 2005 I became a staffer for Member of Parliament Mikael Oscarsson, once founder of the Swedish pro-life movement. I felt especially called to go into this work, as the question of same sex marriage was coming to the front.
During these years I have been part of a local church, taking responsibilities as a cell group leader and preaching at times. Since 2008 I have been studying part-time at the Theological Seminary of the Swedish Alliance Mission. In 2015 I will have finished my studies to become an ordained pastor. Now I look forward to letting my communication skills join with pastoral preaching and care.
Gifted to Translate
One of my gifts in life is that of writing and of language, which is why I once studied to become a journalist. In my work today I write speeches both in Swedish and in English, and for church I some times translate hymns and songs. For example, I have made a translation of Getty’s "The Power of The Cross," which is currently waiting to be authorized. It’s fun, but hard, as you have a rhythmic phrasing to consider.
But of greater interest is maybe that Desiring God ministries have approved me to do the first translation of a book by Pastor John Piper into Swedish.
I think we are in a great famine regarding good theological literature in Sweden, and that we have a great need for books of Reformed theology to be translated into Swedish. Many Christians today are looking to the Emergent or the Seeker Friendly movements, if not the Word of Faith movement, but our longing is to lay another firm foundation. And this is a real need since Sweden is considered one of the most secular countries in the world!