Derrick & Mikaela Shipley
Since January 1st, 2020, Derrick and Mikaela Shipley have been serving on the mission field in Norway. A calling that has roots all the way back to 2004 in Mikaela’s life and then taking hold in Derrick’s life in 2014. Our mission is to share the Living Gospel in Norway and Beyond! We are both from Indiana as Derrick is from Carlisle and Mikaela is from Greenwood. We first met each other at Ball State University at the Christian Campus House in August 2013. We presently live and serve in Stavanger, which is on the southwest coast of the country and is the 4th largest city in Norway with a population of over 135,000 people.
Stavanger is home to over 180 different international groups as it is quite a diverse city, partially as a result of the petroleum industry off the coast, being Norway’s largest industry. We have partnered with a Norwegian free-independent church called IMI Church where we both serve alongside of in focusing on building a multi-ethnic church in being a Norwegian church for all nations! Derrick serves as the International Pastor and Mikaela has started a Ceramics Studio to build relationships in the local community. We are excited to see what God is doing here in Norway and at IMI Church in being a congregation of over 49 nations!
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Norway: A lost land of beauty
Norway is a beautiful small Scandinavian country in northern Europe known for its landscapes, fjords, midnight sun, and vibrant cultural life with a population of 5.4 million people. A first world country that is recognized as one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
Despite all of this, Norway faces a deep spiritual need as less than 3% of the population are practicing evangelical followers of Jesus. Norway is largely secular, and atheistic, and shares a common need for the Gospel in relation to western and northern Europe.
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In all that we do, we understand and realize that what God has called us to do in Norway is much bigger than just us. It includes the many people praying for us and the calling that God has placed in our lives. It includes those who encourage us and give us the energy to move forward. It includes those who financially support us in pushing forward God’s agenda, not simply our own. The passion that we have to go and serve in Norway is a fire of passion lit by the Spirit of God to go and serve him, his creation in Norway. We cannot say enough how humbled and thankful we are to the many amazing people and churches that have partnered with us in following God’s calling! However, we need more prayer warriors and financial partners to make Norway a reality.
A mission that is bigger than just us, a mission that God has called all his followers to in responding to the Great Commission.Henri Nouwen really gets at the heart of what we wish to convey when it comes to partnership. Nouwen writes in regard to fundraising, “When we ask people for money to strengthen or expand the work of the kingdom, we are also inviting them into a new spiritual communion. Asking for money is a way to call people into this communion with us. It is saying, ‘We want you to get to know us.’ Gathered together by our common yearning, we begin to know this communion as we move together toward our vision” (Nowen: A Spirituality of Fundraising). It is this spiritual communion we wish to invite you into as we truly want you to get to know us and the heart to do ministry in Norway that God has placed in our lives. The calling and desire to do ministry in Norway is a spiritual longing and a vision that we wish to fulfill in communion with one another.
1. The Gospel in Norway - Pray for Norwegians and Internationals who do not have a relationship with Christ, that they would come to know and learn the Good News of Jesus.
2. Encouragement - Pray for us as we move forward in our calling to Norway that we would be faithful as God continues to open doors for us.
3. A Future House - Join us in prayer as we plan to purchase a house in 2024 as homes can be relatively expensive here in Norway. Prayers for God's network and provision as we seek to use our home in ministry.