Yesterday I wrote an entry about the well-known Bjørn Olav Hansen – a giant of faith and prayer. Today I like to share with you a little bit about the woman behind the man. This woman is a great woman of God and a giant in the Kingdom of God. There is a popular saying going like this: Behind every successful there is a surprised woman. I like to change this sentence to a better version: Behind every man of God there is a praying wife or woman! The praying woman behind a man of God is more important than we normally understand. The humble woman behind is often not appreciated nor honoured in the way she deserves.
May Sissel Hansen is such an important woman behind the man of God that I want to honour her. Whenever I see her, she is a big smile, but I believe that behind there are many burdens and tears shed in the secret place of prayer. Her husband has a big name among believers in Norway, he is well-known, but what about his precious wife? Is she appreciated for her selfless service, her humble assistance of her husband?
May Sissel is always serving. She has the heart of a true servant of God. She is looking for opportunities to serve and to bless people. She has the gift of showing hospitality and are blessing the many visitors they have in extraordinary ways. Solveig and I had the privilege of enjoying a wonderful meal at their home quite recently. We really enjoyed the food but even more we enjoyed the company, the blessed fellowship of being together.
Whenever I see Bjørn Olav speaking at a conference, I observe that May Sissel is in the background. He is in the front, he is visible, but she is always the important person behind. Often, she is not seen at all, but she is always there behind the scene ready to assist. She has an eye for what he needs at any time, and she is always there to help and to serve. She is really a hero! She is the woman behind the man of God.
I am sure May Sissel have had the same experience many times that Solveig and I had recently. I had been invited to preach in the Sunday morning service in a church. At the beginning of the meeting, I was warmly welcomed to the by the leader from the front when the service started. Solveig was not mentioned at all. We were sitting together, but she was totally overlooked or ignored. I felt bad but choose to keep quiet. The precious woman behind the man of God was not appreciated. What a shame. It was not the first time she was overlooked; I am afraid it happens to often to the important women behind the man.
Whenever I am asked to preach, I spend time in prayer and preparation of the message. Behind me there is a prayerful wife who is travailing more in prayer for me than I do myself. Sometimes she brings me words or visions from God that helps me in my preparations and enables me to bring the Word of the Lord to the churches.
May Sissel is having a similar function towards her husband. She is a prayerful lady. I do not know exactly the many ways May Sissel is praying for Bjørn Olav, or how her prayer and spiritual insights helps him in his ministry. But I know that she is behind him and share a vital role in his fruitful ministry. Without her he would not have been the man of God that he by the grace of God is.
I like to honour May Sissel for her humble and prayerful ministry to the Lord. She is an example of godliness and holy devotion to God for everyone, whether we are men or women.
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Text: Erling Thu