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Who Could Know? Only God! (Part 1)

Sometimes we are given glimpses into a story that leaves us thinking, “Only God!”

Only God could have arranged all the particular times and places while orienting each person according to His perfect plan. How else could an American military kid have grown up to live as a missionary in the Middle East, to then later find herself ministering to people from many nations with her husband in his native Sweden, while along the way discovering and helping spread Songs for Saplings “Questions with Answers” in multiple languages? And who else could have united them with a mom seeking resources to teach her son basics of the faith, and another woman passionate about using her voice to change Sweden through Christian worship music, as well as a married couple longing to glorify God with their gifts as a music teacher and sound engineer?

Only God.

The more we hear the stories of Songs for Saplings, it is all the more evident that God is to be praised for the gift of grace that Paul wrote about in Ephesians. We can boast only in the creativity and kindness of our Lord, “for we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life” (8:8-10).

God had done a lot of preparation in the lives of Hannah and Daniel Norén prior to “officially” meeting Dana and James Dirksen at a Gospel Coalition event in Orlando in 2015. They were there because of Daniel’s work that involved translating theologically sound books and articles into Swedish for a Christian nonprofit called Rotad (Rooted), and Dana had a table set up to give away the music of Songs for Saplings. It turns out that wasn’t the first time their lives intersected.

Hannah and Daniel had first crossed paths with the Dirksens a few years earlier when they Dirksens happened to be visiting Gothenburg, Sweden to record Questions with Answers into French. The Noréns drove to the house where the Dirksens were staying for the week in order to observe the recording in action. During that time, Daniel was spurred to record a Swedish version of Who Made God (song #2 from the first album of Questions with Answers) into Swedish, which provided “a spark that carried them” through the years ahead. Many times they shared that simple little recording with friends and prayer warriors as a reminder of how important this project would be!

The Noréns had been living in Gothenburg since 2011 and it was through his work with Rotad that Daniel discovered Songs for Saplings. He and Hannah gladly used the songs to help teach their children. They believed it was great for their own kids and quickly came to see that it would benefit other Swedish children--as well as adults! Of course, they never could have imagined how involved they would be in making this a reality.

Part two is coming soon.



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