Iceland residents sense revival in Reykjavik
Icelanders came streaming down the aisle responding to a gospel message from Franklin Graham, spurring talk of revival in this post-Christian nation. (BillyGraham.org) (BillyGraham.org)

It normally takes a lot to move Skúli Barker to tears. But what he witnessed on Sunday night in his country? He’ll be the first to tell you that simply doesn’t happen in Iceland.

“My wife was sobbing next to me,” Skúli says. “And I started to cry. It’s just amazing.”

It started off as a few souls responding at the end of Franklin Graham’s gospel message, and before Skúli knew it, throngs were flooding the stage, elbow-to-elbow, hundreds of people packed in, aisles backed up.

People wanting to meet Jesus. And willing to say that out loud. Pray that out loud.

Skúli doesn’t want to be overdramatic, mind you, but he’s a native Icelander in his 40s now, and he’s seen the state of Icelandic people when it comes to talking about God or anything spiritual.

“There’s a joke here that we are the ‘frozen chosen,’” he says. “But it’s really true. In Iceland, people don’t show their feelings. So for Icelanders to come forward to receive Jesus ... "

His voice goes silent. His eyes turn red.

“It’s just been a real fight here for Christians,” he says. “And this gives us hope.”

Revival?

In one sentence, Skúli sums up five years' worth of prayers from a core group of pastors and business leaders. He manages to put into words what this means to the Iceland Festival of Hope executive committee members who put in nine months of hard work.

“It was like a child has been born in many ways,” says Ragnar Gunnarsson, Festival of Hope director. “A tremendous experience. This is what we have been praying for.”

And while nobody wanted to say it beforehand, Sigurros, an usher at the Festival of Hope, finally put into words what everyone has been thinking.

“I’m hoping,” she says, “this will be the first step for revival.”

Sigurros, a believer for two decades, works for the government’s environmental department. She signed up to be a festival usher but on Sunday night was called into emergency duty at Laugardalshöll Arena after a counselor shortage on Saturday night.

Government worker by day, usher by night—and now counselor in a pinch.

“It’s been very encouraging for my spiritual life,” she says. “Such a blessing seeing so many people come forward.”

On Sunday, Sigurros counseled Soffia, a mother in her 50s, and her teenage daughter, Sara. Both attended church once in a while, not untypical in Iceland.

“They had both been exposed to the gospel, but they needed a push to make the decision,” Sigurros says.

Franklin Graham, preaching out of Luke 15 on the prodigal son, gave a clear gospel presentation, weaving in candid tidbits about his own rebellion in his teenage years. “If I embarrassed my parents, well, too bad,” he said.

“Both [Soffia and Sara] said they wanted to receive Christ into their hearts,” says Sigurros, who is overwhelmed at how God used her. “It was just tears of joy. I was so happy.

“I was praying when Franklin Graham was talking that God would open the hearts of the people to hear the truth.

“He’s a good preacher—that’s all I can say.”

‘He'll Change a Nation’

After two powerful Festival of Hope nights—and nearly 6,000 in attendance—one question lingered as Icelanders filed out, spiritually charged from a weekend filled with a top-notch choir, a plethora of local artists, two Michael W. Smith worship concerts and hundreds of new believers.

Is this the start of revival?

Perhaps the singer said it most succinctly on Saturday night, just before his final song: “He’ll change a nation.”

While only God knows the answer, the signs are already encouraging. Prayer for revival has multiplied in the Iceland evangelical churches. Many of the 41 involved churches at the festival are now closely working together—with pastors praying together weekly.

“It means a lot for Iceland,” Festival of Hope committee chairman Ómar Kristjánsson says. “This will be a new beginning. Something very big.”

Kristjánsson—a humble businessman who five years ago followed a call from God to gather pastors and leaders and start praying for Iceland—is able to sum up the weekend in one word.

“Magnificent,” he says. “We have no words to express our thanks and appreciation to Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.”

Click here to read the original story at BillyGraham.org.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • Foot washing

    Shaking the Gates of Hell With a Basin of Water and a Towel

    "When I saw His foot, I knew He had come to take back territory the enemy had stolen from His ...

  • Growing relationship

    2017 Prophetic Word: The Supernatural Key to Growing Your Relationship With God

    It's vital that we understand what comes from God and what comes from the devil.

  • Marriage man and woman

    Why Marriage Is Not Just Between a Man and a Woman

    Marriage is a miracle. Let us treat it like one.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit