It was with great disbelief and shock that I received the sad news, only a few hours after it happened, that Lars-Erik Andersson had died in a work-related accident on Sunday, October 23. Lars was one of our ASI Scandinavia board members. He and his wife Audrey had looked forward to coming to the ASI Convention in Malmö this New Year, where he was also planning to attend our yearly board meeting. In fact, as recently as Friday afternoon, I talked with him about when they would be coming. Life is so fragile, and we often take it so much for granted.
Lars was a man of faith, and he loved listening to mission reports. Though quiet, he was not just a listener. He was as an active farmer and an entrepreneur, managing the family farm and several other enterprises, like fertilizer production and a heavy machinery operation. While he loved the farm and his wooden clogs, he could also dress up and accompany Audrey on church business trips around the world, to wherever her appointments as the executive secretary for the Trans-European Division took her. It was on one of these trips, less than three weeks ago, that he attended the General Conference Annual Council in Washington, D.C. where he represented ASI from the TED territory at a meeting between ASI and GC world leaders. His first contact with ASI was in 2006, when he and Audrey (then the Swedish Union executive secretary) attended the International ASI Convention in the USA, assisting Theresa and I at the LifeStyleTV booth (see picture) – a great and memorable trip.
Lars and Audrey were often separated by large distances when she was away traveling, and he took the opportunity to get things done on the farm. But it always amazed me how close they were in spite of the distance – it often felt like they were in adjoining rooms. They were always in contact and he knew every detail of her life. When I talked with him on Friday, she was away on a trip to Cyprus, and he said, “If you want to talk with Audrey, just wait about an hour and she’ll be back – she just went out to grab a bite to eat”.
ASI Scandinavia has lost a highly valued board member, and his presence will be greatly missed at this year’s ASI Scandinavia Convention. Lars will be profoundly missed by many, but I don’t think any of us can imagine the pain and loss that Audrey must be experiencing.
Please pray for Audrey and the family!
President, ASI Scandinavia