Wednesday, November 30, 2011

the gospel

A couple weeks ago we had an awesome Youth Meeting in our church here in Helsinki. It was so encouraging to see so many, maybe 30, teenage Finns crammed together in our fireplace room, worshiping God together and listening to His Word. I felt as if we were in the upper room, in the presence of the Savior Himself. We spoke on the Gospel of Jesus Christ; a simple but profound message. Many times we can forget how powerful the Gospel is if we aren't faced with it's reality in revelation. We were 100% lost, totally filled with our own sin... that is, until He came. He came and lived a perfect life in order to be our kinsman redeemer, satisfying the justice of God and fulfilling the mission of the Father's love towards His creation. Incredible.

My prayer is that this message would sound throughout this country through the mouths and lives of these young people.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Here's some photos of a recent trip we took to Lahti, a city about 100 kilometers from Helsinki. We are praying about starting an outreach to this area in the near future.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

my mother

Just a few days ago, my mother returned to the States after being here with us in Helsinki for almost a week's time. She came with Jenny Perry, an awesome woman of God from our church in Lee, MA, and they ministered in the Women's Seminar that our church hosted. It was so great to see them invest in the ladies' lives here in Helsinki and I believe their visit really left a lasting impression on everyone present. My mother has always played a huge role in my walk with the Lord. Her prayers were many and their power has been manifested in my life and many others. We await your return Ma!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

tonight's subject

We are having a larger youth meeting tonight at our church here in Pukinmäki. We have invited the attendees of our annual band camp celebration to come and join us. Here is the subject we will be speaking on: The believer's unique ability to expect the supernatural while seeing the beauty in that which is normal.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

the person

Late this evening, I found myself walking through the back streets which lead home, enjoying the crisp autumn night. I was listening to an old Pastor Schaller message which sparked some crucial thoughts in my mind.
Consider the lost souls in this world and how they think. Many people in the west have such an interesting concept of Christ these days. They see Him as just a religious figure, or in some cases, as just a principle. We often hear people speak of Christ on these terms: Why haggle about whether He really existed, or whether He really was who He said He was? The story of His life and death is full of useful principles of morality and selflessness. Why can't we just leave it at that and move on? The problem with "just moving on" would be this: What if He is not just a principle? What if He is a person? What if He is God? On these two points pivot all the meaning and purpose of creation and human existence.
The fact is He is not just a principle. I have a mother. She lives in Lee, Massachusetts. We can talk about the "Mother Principle," or the principle of having a good mother. However, the fact is that I have a real mother who is a real person. The same reality faces every human being. Jesus Christ was, and is, a real person. He really is who He said He was and will continue to be so. We must engage this personal God and find our life and meaning before His wonderful Throne.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


So last week, for the first time in Greater Grace/Raamattu Puhuu history, we launched a preteen boys floor-ball league: Pukinmäen Säbäkerho (Pukinmäki Floor-ball Club). At our first official game we had a group of 9 people consisting of four leaders and five preteen competitors. Three of the young guys were from the area and were first-timers in any of our church activities.

Each week we will have a game which is divided into two halves with a water break and Bible study during the halftime. We plan to play every Saturday morning until November 12th. Keep this in prayer as it is a great way to reach young people in this area with the precious Gospel.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

the latest

Well things are starting to really heat up here as the Finnish autumn approaches. We started our Bible school up again at the start of this month and we have been so thankful to God for the fruit that is being manifested. Our classes are full as more and more people are looking to find definition for their lives in the Word. The Bible is truly alive with power and substance.
Also, as is shown in the pictures, we sent out a newly married couple to spend a period of time in Budapest, Hungary taking classes in the Greater Grace affiliated Bible school there. Teija, another amazing friend and disciple from Helsinki, has taken a step of faith and moved to Baltimore, MD, USA to study in our Bible College (MBC&S) for one year. It is so edifying to see these young Finns dare to challenge the system, or as I call it, the "Finnish way", and walk by faith in this time. I pray that it continues. I am sure that God honors all who let go of the natural life to find the greatness and power of a victorious life of faith with Christ.
This month, starting this week, there is a major media campaign run by various churches and Christian organizations in Helsinki. This campaign will run into the middle of October. There will be advertisements all over the city pointing to Christ in whom we find the power to change. We are excited to see what fruit will come of this event. Our church is taking part in evangelism and visitation programs which will be used to meet and follow up on people who are seeking this changed life. Pray for us... pray for them.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Southern France/Geneva, Switzerland

Last week I returned from a one week trip to Southern France and Switzerland to visit the churches there and to be with Pastor Schaller, the pastor of Greater Grace Church of Baltimore and leader of GGWO. Pastor Schaller came with his wife and we had a 5 day conference with the three Greater Grace churches of France (Paris, Nimes, and Montpellier). It was so amazing to meet these precious believers and to see their unity of their fellowship in the midst of such an atheistically minded country.

Two pastors, Jean Cartier from Nimes and Yohann Pepe from Montpellier, were ordained during one of the evening services.

It was shocking to watch 50 or so people looking on as Pastor Schaller did a sketch-board display in Montpellier as part of the outreach.

We were so blessed to see the work of God there as so many believers are laying down their lives, walking with Christ, and making an impact on the western world. Pray for France. Pray for Finland. God is moving.

Friday, August 26, 2011

an epic day

Jouni (our youth pastor in Helsinki) and I (Mathew Laflamme) left shore this morning expecting a easy ride on our little white fishing boat around the lake known as Ylä-Lylyjä didn't turn out that way.

 We've been spending the last few days there relaxing and doing some serious bouts of fishing. The first days on the lake were pretty uneventful, that was until last night. On our way back in from a 2 hour fishing expedition we were carrying two small pickerel and we were quite satisfied to just go back and hit the sauna. But Jouni wanted one more cast, so we did, and he hit gold. A 7 kilo (roughly 16 pound) northern pike nailed his lure and after quite a struggle we wrestled it into the boat. Jouni was shocked as we saw how big these giants can be. It was over 3 feet long! I've never even seen a fish this big.
Then this morning we went off again without any real equipment because we weren't expecting anything big. I cast my line...we began talking... and BOOM, another big hit. As I was thinking to myself "how big could this one be?" the thing jumped out of the water with my lure still in its jaws. Jouni rowed the boat slowly back to the dock as I wrestled the beast. Finally, I was back on the dock, thinking I would just reel him in. I was wrong. It took me over 30 minutes to fight him back to shore and finally get him close enough for Jouni to grab him in the net. This pike was even bigger then the one from last night! It was 18 pounds and way over 3 feet long. Two huge catches in just 24 hours... crazy stuff...

Now we're headed back to civilization with our prize fillets stocked away in the cooler

Two fish over 16 pounds in less then 24 hours...

Saturday, August 13, 2011


 Last week we visited a nearby city of about 50,000 people called Porvoo. It's a city that's mostly Swedish or Finnish speaking with very few immigrants living there. Our church has had amazing times of outreach there over the past few years and we decided to spend a few hours there just enjoying the city. After eating some sushi at a local restaurant, one of the crazy Americans who was visiting us here in Finland, Ruth Caron, decided we should kick around a soccer ball randomly in the park at 9:30 pm. So we did.  As we were talking and playing, two young guys approached us cautiously. "Can we play with you?" they said in English with an obviously foreign accent. We replied with a yes and started to talk with them as we booted the ball around. As we spoke, they told us that they are two high school kids from Italy, one from Naples and one from Palermo. They are living in Porvoo, Finland for one month as a part of a English course that is run by an international organization. They just so happened to be the only Italian students studying in that program that were sent to this little city, the rest were sent to Helsinki, about 30 of them. They had been walking around the town receiving only cold looks and laughs from the "natives" and were about to go home before they found us in the park. We ended up talking with them for almost 2 hours and discussed many things including religion and the Gospel. They were very open and invited us to come visit them in Italy.

As we drove home we all were amazed how random the night seemed but also how Divine the appointments are that God puts in our lives. Italy is a place that is been on my heart for many years, not only because I am a citizen but because I feel it's an open door for the gospel, especially the southern parts and Sicily. Maybe these two guys will be the next P. Scibelli's... who knows?... He does.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bändi Leiri

Band Camp here in our Finnish church is something really special. Every summer about 50 young people go out into the woods to get away from the world and fellowship together around Christ through music. The camp is run mostly by young adults and teens from our church who teach kids from the ages of around 8-15 to play a selection of Christian songs on all types of instruments. This is a ministry which reaches far beyond the walls of our church with kids coming from different countries, churches, and backgrounds. A few of us had the chance to drive up into the wilderness to witness the annual "Band Camp Concert."  There are different bands which are formed throughout the week who perform at the grand finale concert on Friday evening. It was something special. One of our youth leaders, Tommi Viljanen, is the camp "pastor" and we had the privilege to listen to his message on the Blood of Christ during the concert. It was an amazing night. One for the history books for sure.

Juho and Päivi's Wedding

We had two great disciples come together recently here in Helsinki. They are both awesome believers and vital parts of this ministry here. We pray that God will continue to lead them personally, and now together, as they follow the Lamb withersoever He goeth.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Living Waters 2011

Last Thursday we ended our first "Living Waters" International Summer Youth Event here at our church in Helsinki. We had been diligently planning this great exploit as a team for over six months. It was such a blessing to have the Youth Pastor from Greater Grace Church in Baltimore, MD, USA, Pastor John Love as our guest speaker. Each day was filled with activity, fellowship, and heavy doses of the Word of God. We had over 80 young people come from Finland, Sweden, Russia, Germany, Great Britain and the States. I personally heard of 9 different people professing Christ as a direct result of this event, 5 in our meetings and 4 on the streets during a time of evangelism with the youth. What a kick in the devil's face! On the last night we had a time of testimonies and people were really speechless, the week had really had an eternal impact on our souls. Thanks be to God for this unspeakable gift of Grace.

Souls saved, lives changed, God pouring living waters into our earthen vessels. Now we look to next year ... could there be a Living Waters 2012?

summer in Helsinki

Thursday, July 7, 2011

To the conference

I arrived back in Helsinki last night, just in time to catch an amazing service at the church with Pastor Matti Sirviö.

Now it's on to the summer conference. Four days around a lake with 400 Finns... What could be better?

Our expectation is of Him, anything is possible.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Into the schools part two

So last week Jouni, our youth leader, and I got to go to a public school and share our faith with two groups of 15-16 year-olds. It was amazing to see some of them very interested in what we were saying.
I had a chance to give my testimony and my personal view of what the Bible means to me.
The door continues to be open and we plan to go back to that school and hopefully more as well next semester. Keep this important vision in prayer as we look to let every Finnish student know what great Love the Father has towards them.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Into the schools

So for the past 9 months or so, we have been really praying for God to open doors to go into schools here in Finland where we could share the gospel to students. We approached some doors only to find them shut. It didn't seem to be a real possibility by sight, but we kept on believing that God would make a way for us to realize this vision.
This morning I received a call from a Religion teacher at a public middle school in Espoo. He told me that he had met Pastor Juha at some event and heard that I was planning on sharing my faith in the schools here. He has invited me to come this Monday morning to teach a 90 minute lesson on the topic of "What the Bible means to Christians in their lives." Praise God!
Please keep this great endeavor in your prayers this weekend.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The march

Here are some photos from the Jesus March here in Helsinki. This is an annual interdenominational march that Finnish Christians in Helsinki do on the first of May. There was about fifty, or so, from our church in attendance, along with thousands of other Believers.