Ben grew up in Yorkshire, UK, while Emelie grew up just outside Gothenburg, Sweden. We met while both serving with the London City Mission in 2001. To cut a long story short we married near Gothenburg in 2004 and now have four children.
We have travelled back and forth to Sweden a lot over the past 17 years and have witnessed the decline of the church personally, particularly among younger people. We have seen how a mixture of secularism and comfort has decimated the church. In Gothenburg alone, the Evangelical Churches shrink by 170 people each year! We have seen churches get smaller and smaller and watched people we love lose their confidence and love for the gospel. So for us 170, is not just a number, it has faces.
For this reason and many others, we felt an active call to somehow, one day serve Jesus in Sweden. What started as a vague desire grew with clarity as we began to get involved in church planting and became part of the Acts 29 network. In 2013 we felt a clear call to think about one day church planting in Gothenburg, but at the time we knew we had important lessons to learn before we could fulfil that calling.
In 2013, we joined Chessington Evangelical Church (CEC) where Ben currently serves as Pastor of Outreach. While serving at CEC, we have both grown in many ways. Under the guidance of the Elders at CEC, we have been trained and set apart for the work of church planting in Sweden in January 2020.
In 2017 we travelled across Sweden to develop gospel relationships and to seek churches to partner with. On this trip, we developed a friendship with Allékyrkan, that has developed into a partnership for planting in Gothenburg.
We are looking forward to serving the gospel in Gothenburg!