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Bring the Gospel to Scandinavia

$11,980 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 28 people in 15 months
Since I was in high school I've longed to visit Scandinavia. One of my best friends back then was a foreign exchange student from Sweden. We connected through social media, and he invited me to visit. It seemed the perfect catalyst to put together a tour of some of my 1-man plays!

I was telling a friend about my passion for this trip, and she put me in touch with a friend of hers in Oslo, Norway. He put us in touch with  the Nordic Black Theatre in Oslo, Norway, which has accepted my play I Dreamed I Was Free (formerly A Clear Leading) for their fall lineup!

The theatre focuses on stories about people of color, and I Dreamed I Was Free tells the true story of how John Woolman spoke out against slavery a full century before the Civil War in America. Tim Craig of InterVarsity and a coordinator for the Price of Life  movement said it was the "Most moving artistic display against slavery I have ever seen."

In addition to renting the theatre in Oslo, I'm hoping to offer workshops which will help local Christian actors develop and perform their own dramas. You can see how we did that in Cuba here.

We've raised enough to secure the Nordic Black Theatre for a performance on September 1. Now we're in touch with a network of house churches in the Church of the Nazarene (our denomination), and we'll need to raise the rest of our goal to get to them.  See our latest Update for more info. The tab is right above this text. There you'll also find details about how I'm giving my favorite witnessing tool to contributors.

Please pray about partnering in ministry to the most secular nation in Western Europe. It is estimated that 45% of Norwegians are atheists, as compared with 5% in the US. We have seen drama unlock an openness to the Lord unlike anything else. After performing one of my plays in Romania an atheist walked up to me the moment I stepped off the stage and said, "Can you tell me more about Jesus?"

Please pray about helping us make this trip a reality.

Funds will go toward 
*Theatre rental
*Travel, board and lodging for Rich and Joyce Swingle. Joyce will serve as stage manager and production manager.
*Travel, board and lodging beyond Oslo. Our goal is to perform in every Scandinavian country as opportunities unfold. 

We are not a non-profit organization, so donations are not tax deductible.
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We realized that we never did a final update on the trip you all so generously funded! We had a whirlwind trip, visiting eight nations in some 23 days.

As you may know, we felt a call to Northern Europe, starting with a desire to visit a Swedish high school friend of Rich’s. As we prayed about trying to make a trip happen, Joyce asked the Lord to confirm by providing either funds or bookings. The Lord graciously provided overwhelming response to this GoFundMe “toe in the water.” So with the funding secured, we — joined by many praying friends — asked the Lord for bookings.

Through a lovely set of circumstances, the Lord provided an anchor booking of Rich’s one-man play I Dreamed I was Free at the Nordic Black Theatre in Oslo, Norway. From that anchor booking, we were able to reach out to our Nazarene brothers and sisters in Northern Europe, securing opportunities to minister in drama, preaching and personal prayer/evangelism in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. Friends we had first met at our home church in White Plains, NY, booked the play and a preaching in Frankfurt, Germany. We did prayer (including enacted prayer) in Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Iceland.

We want to thank all of you for your generosity and prayers and we would like to thank our faith family members at Westchester Chapel Church of the Nazarene for their support financially and spiritually. The prayer team prayed us through all the specifics of the trip, using a daily prayer calendar and regular email communications. We can’t imagine our lives and ministry without you all!

Following is a photo from Denmark and you can find more at https://swingleseurotour2018.shutterfly.com/pictures/8 and stories at www.RichDrama.com/EuroTour18.
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Hi! We are now in Helsinki, having completed our Oslo adventure. RIch did a great performance of "I Dreamed I was Free" at the charming Nordic Black Theatre, which had been converted from an unused Methodist church. We had a highly engaged audience, many of whom stayed well after the "hot seat" in which Rich stays in character to answer questions. The gospel was definitely presented in the show. RIch also blessed the audience after the hot seat by praying the gospel over them.
On Sunday, we joined the Oslo Church of the Nazarene's service where Rich did Jonah from his play "Big Fish Little Worm" and I preached from Jeremiah 29:11-14, and wove in my testimony. Although the fellowship is largely Portugese, a Norwegian-born man, who attended for the first time yesterday, told me with tear-filled eyes that my testimony had really moved him. In prayer, he dedicated himself totally to Jesus. Another precious one for Jesus!
Tomorrow night we will have the blessing of doing all of "BIg Fish Little Worm" and I will give my testimony as well here in a gathering sponsored by the Helsinki Church of the Nazarene. Please pray for more to come into full relationship with Jesus as a result! Many blessings, Joyce and Rich
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We've arrived in Oslo, and we're making final preparations for my performance of I Dreamed I Was Free. Wherever you are in the world, it will help raise awareness of our performance Saturday if you'll click "Interested" in our event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/240585659914977

If you've enjoyed one or more of my plays and/or movies posting a bit of a review there would be a great help. Tusen takk!
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Friends and family,
Our first ministry day in Scandinavia went miraculously well!

You can see my video report here: https://facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=455132204993855&id=47282573997

In the morning at the Greve (Denmark) Church of the Nazarene, I performed "Lazarus" for the main service and then for the children. They asked what it was like to be dead, so I performed John's view of the New Jerusalem from my one-man play The Revelation...as Lazarus. I led them all in a prayer to dedicate their lives to the Lord. I spoke to a boy who speaks good English over lunch, and he said it was the first time he had prayed such a prayer, so at least one Salvation on day one! I returned to the service where Joyce was preaching. She had me weeping to hear her message about the love of God, and then she partnered with the pastor in communion. After lunch I led an enacted prayer workshop that was really powerful!

We were hosted by former members of Covenant Players. She said I inspired her to start acting again! He said the Lord stirred something in him, preparing him for something...

In the afternoon we crossed the border into Sweden where I performed Big Fish Little Worm, and Joyce closed in prayer. Then I led a sociodrama workshop, which spoke to people on multiple levels.

It was a first for both of us to present in two nations on the same day!

The woman who runs the coffee house spoke of how the Lord used our visit to encourage her specifically in that we didn't need money from them because you, our friends and family, gave so generously. Because of your donations we offered a monetary prize to the person who translated the most slides for the performance... which were finished minutes before the performance began! A woman, who translated over half of the play on a day she was home sick, turned down the money, so we're giving it to the coffee house, and they're overjoyed!

More to come: www.RichDrama.com/Schedule
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Raised by 28 people in 15 months
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