Finland brings Jesus on the tram
“Hallelujah Tram” serves as a moving platform for evangelizing.
by Saga Lippo-Karvonen, Captain, Youth Officer Finland and Estonia Territory –
In Helsinki, Finland, a Salvation Army “Hallelujah Tram” ran in the city center for more than two hours recently as part of the 2007 Regional Congress.
At regular stops people were invited to climb on board and during the tour were told about the Army’s work and Salvationists shared their faith.
The unique idea came from Cadet Esa Nenonen who used to work as a tram driver in the city. Two years ago he entered the training school knowing that God wanted to use him in The Salvation Army. During planning for the congress, Nenonen suggested renting an old German museum tram from the Helsinki City Transport Network, his former employer, to be used as a “Hallelujah Tram” that would host a two-hour non-stop evangelization program around the city.
When the tram arrived at the first stop, 30 people were waiting to board. Along the way, a number of people jumped in. Some stayed for a couple of stops, some sat for the whole two hours, including many tourists visiting Helsinki that day. A Finnish-Brazilian team also sang and testified in English and Portuguese.
Local media also covered the faith tram. A Swedish speaking internet-radio journalist and a cameraman were there and a program about the tram remained on the Internet for weeks after the event.
Along the route four teams held open air events, handed out Salvation Army balloons to children and invited people to join the tram and congress meetings.