New Life Sunday….more than surviving

Earlier this week, I was given the opportunity to spend several hours with Jaan Heinmets. He shared his testimony about growing up in Sweden. His grandfather was a leader in the Baptist Union in Sweden during communist occupation.
When he was a boy, the soldiers took his grandfather into the front yard of their house, forced him to his knees…
…and shot him for being a Christian.
Shortly after that tragic shooting, Jaan’s family came to America by boat. They landed in New York when Jaan was 9 years old.
The day after landing in America, Jaan went to school in New York. He didn’t know any English and didn’t have any familiar classmates.
His dad started a drywall company since jobs were scarce. Over time it grew and his company won the contract to install the drywall in the twin towers.
After graduation, Jaan attended NYU and was then drafted into the military to work with US intelligence because he was bi-lingual.
While he was in his 20’s he had set a goal to become a millionaire by age 30, then he heard Norm Evans from the Miami Dolphins speak to the business school he attended. Norm shared how Jesus had changed his life.
God used that testimony to draw Jaan to salvation.
His life changed and together with his wife Shirley they moved back to Sweden as missionaries. Over the past 40 + years Jaan has served God in many capacities including his present role as a leader for a ministry called, “Here’s Life Inner City” (
I have thought about Jaan’s story many time’s this week and while studying for the sermon this Sunday from Daniel 5 I was reminded that there are similarities in this story and that of Daniel.
These guys were put through very difficult circumstances…so difficult that the average person would probably not have survived.
The lesson from Jaan and especially from Daniel 5 is that with God’s help we can thrive when others don’t even survive. I have been so inspired by the role Daniel was given in the Babylonian Empire and I am so thankful that he has left us with a blueprint for his success.
We’ll discuss that blueprint on Sunday.
God Bless!


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