Ingvar & Anne Solbrekken
Pastor Max Solbrekken writes of his precious
parents who pointed him to Christ by word &
example. May these words strike a chord in
others to be an influence to family members.
Ingvar & Anne Solbrekken, 1925
Ingvar & Anne Solbrekken, 1957
My Mother, Anne Hestekind at 19 years
Anne Solbrekken with her guitar, 1967
Ingvar Solbrekken, Edmonton, 1970
Ingvar Solbrekken's book, My Experiences with God
Ingvar Solbrekken age 20 in Norwegian Military
GOOD TIMES GROWING UP!
As the years come and go I find myself thinking about the good times I had growing up in a loving family with a precious mother and father who cared about our well being. Although we went through the depression of the 'thirties' we lived on the farm and had enough food and plenty work to do.
We all had our duties and didn't complain and that is the way we were raised. Getting up early to milk the cows before going to school was par for the course. Being the second youngest, I got off easy with only one cow to milk.
Until my fifth grade we had 2 1/2 miles to go to school. In the summer we would ride our bikes or travel in a one horse buggy, and in the winter we would make own track and all six of us would go single file on skis. Dad built a one-horse covered sleigh with a little heater to keep us warm on extra cold days. He made the skis as well!
We acquired more land one-half mile from Norquay, so that we could attend High School. We would ride our bikes or walk to school. I enjoyed running and found myself often running to school in the morning, home for lunch and back to school at 1:00 pm, and home after 4:00 o clock.
Our mail arrived at the Post Office three times a week so we would often run to town for the mail on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. When I won the Senior Men's 880 yard Race at the Saskatoon Provincial Field Day in 1951, I did not realize that I was already a trained runner.
(Back to the beginning in Norway)
MY MOTHER BECAME SERIOUSLY ILL!
My mother, Anne Nikoline Hestikind was trained in Specialty Cuisine and was often called to prepare dinners at High Class events. Then one day, she became ill. The doctors could not diagnose her illness. For six years she was constantly having fevers, more fevers and recurring fevers. She had lost her balance and was very weak. Then, one day there arrived in the mail a little magazine from the Storm-Monsen Mission, inviting sick folk to visit the Betesda Healing Home on the outskirts of Oslo, Norway.
She was taken by horse and wagon to a level railway crossing. Her brother travelled with her by train to the Betesda Healing Home. For seven days my mother listened to teaching from God's Word, prayed and worshipped Jesus Christ in preparation for her healing. On the final night before her healing, she and others heard a constant noise like someone cluttering up and down the chimney. She was told that Satan often tried to scare the people, but to ignore him!
On the seventh day, they were taken to a bath house at the waters edge of the North Sea. The nurse handed my mother the key to open the door. As she stood in the middle of the room, suddenly a beautiful warm feeling surged through her and she was instantly healed, walked into the water and back out again. The next day, she took the train and walked 21 kilometers to her home. As far as we know, she was the first person to be healed in that community in Valdres, Norway.
One of my Dad's sisters wrote him about the great miracle that Anne had experienced. He wrote back saying, “I know Anne Hestekind and I would like to hear from her of how she got well.” When he had some free time, he and a friend decided to visit the young lady who had been healed.
My Dad asked, “Did God heal you or did you just get well, naturally?” She told them that she had been born again and healed supernaturally, and called to proclaim the gospel. Dad stated that the Holy Spirit touched him when she spoke the name of Jesus and he felt like crying. They both became deeply convicted and left.
MOM & DAD IMMIGRATE TO CANADA!
My Mother was a very musical person, played the violin, piano and guitar. She belonged to the Lutheran Home Missions and often sang and spoke to the children in schools. When my father had finished his 'three year tour in the Army' he became a conductor on the Oslo Street Car system. After some time, his father became ill and he had to go home to look after the farm.
He enjoyed his work as a Street Car Conductor but was happy to be able to see Anne Hestikind again, because he was secretly falling in love with her, but was afraid to tell her. He felt drawn to her and visited her often.
Even though my mother was seven years older than my Dad, he asked for her hand in marriage but was refused unless he became a 'Personal Christian' (born again). He asked her to explain what it meant to be born again. After some time, he made a confession of faith. Later, they were married.
My Mom and Dad owned a General Store in Etnedal, Norway and were doing well, however, word came to them about great opportunities in Canada. My grandfather had immigrated to Canada years earlier and was getting old. He wanted his daughter Anne, to have his half section farm land in Norquay, Saskatchewan.
In 1927 the Solbrekkens embarked for Canada aboard the Bergenshaw. Martin was two years old and Astrid six months. Traveling from Montreal to Saskatchewan on the Canadian National Railway, they were involved in a horrific train collision when two locomotives met head to head at top speeds in the dead of night, near Quebec City. Many were killed and others injured. My father suffered a broken neck and spent three weeks in a hospitable there. It was a shocking entrance for them in their new Country!
Dad was unable to work for two years and was awarded $750.00 ($10,747.00 today) from CNR with which he was able to buy a team of horses, some cattle, furniture, farm implements and an Model T. Mom and Dad were young and strong and toughed it out, and so life began on the farm four miles north of Norquay in the province of Saskatchewan. Four more children were born to Ingvar and Anne Solbrekken in the next 10 years; Mekkal, Fred, Emil and myself.
Fast forward to March 1956.
DAD HAS A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE!
For thirty years Dad had suffered with an infected gallbladder but being a farmer he couldn't find the time to have an operation. Finally, he ended up in the hospital. Many tests were taken and he was very concerned. He also suffered with a racing heart and anxiety. There were four men in the ward, when my Dad heard a voice in the Norwegian language saying, “Go home and listen to Oral Roberts”.
He looked around to see who had spoken to him, but he was the only Norwegian in the
room. Again the Voice said, “Go home and listen to Oral Roberts.” He asked the nurse to
call Dr. Duncan, who gave him permission to go home, under his own recognezance. He
was very weak as he walked to the bus depot and had to lie down on the grass, however, a
taxi came by and took him to a hotel until the bus arrived.
My Mother was surprised when he returned. He said that God had spoken to him, to which she replied: “That is good. I have praying for that for 35 years.” In his book 'My Experiences With God', my Dad wrote: “I continued to be very weak and sickly. One day I said to my wife, I will take my Bible and start seeking God for a miracle healing in my body."
My oldest son had sent me some Oral Roberts magazines which I hungrily read, together with my Bible. I would rise early and have my devotions. Faith began rising in my heart. How long this continued I can't quite remember but I do know that, I began to believe that God would heal me.
One night I had a strange dream and in it I saw a 'Chariot of Fire' travelling at a terrific speed. I awakened and knew I had dreamed something supernatural. I asked my wife what it could mean. She had no answer to give me since we were Lutherans and had not had any real experiences with the Holy Ghost. My wife was a spiritual person, but besides being a Lutheran I was a “dead Lutheran”.
A few nights later I had another dream. In this dream I was walking down a newly constructed road which ran east and west. It was a dry, rough road as it was still ungraded. I had a hard time to walk but I struggled on. Finally I came to a hill. I took a little rest before I tackled this hill. I wasn't sure that I could make it because it was very steep besides being rough. I kept pushing forward and finally made it.
When I stood at the top of the hill I was very happy. There were no buildings, but there was a strong light there and many tall trees that seemed to almost smile down at me. I had such a wonderful feeling of joy and I was extremely happy. Just then a voice spoke to me and said, 'You will see greater things than these.' When I awakened I wondered in my soul what these things could mean.
I HEAR ORAL ROBERTS ON RADIO!
A week after this great experience, I was up early having my devotions and tuned in to hear the Oral Roberts radio broadcast. I had been reading my Bible a good deal and prayed much during the week in order to prepare myself for God's healing power. As Oral Roberts began to preach I sat very attentively listening to his sermon;
He said, “If you want to know if God lives or not, lift your hands up toward Heaven and ask God to reveal Himself to you and show you if He lives or not.” In obedience I did exactly what the Man of God asked us to do. I did not hesitate but quickly raised my hands towards God and sincerely prayed, 'O God show me if You live or not.' Immediately, I felt God's power come down over me. It was like a charge of electricity coming down on my body. God's presence not only came upon my body but into my body, soul and mind. I became very afraid as I thought that I was dying. I felt my pulse but could feel nothing. The power of God was all over my body.
As I was prostrate under the mighty power of God, I finally called out to my wife and said, “God has healed me and filled me with the Holy Ghost.” My wife who was still in bed came running and said, “Papa, have you had a stroke?” I answered, “No, Mamma. I have not had a stroke, but I have been filled with the Holy Ghost.” I then asked my wife to open her Bible at random and wherever it falls open, put your finger on that verse and read it to me.
Here is what she read, “Give ear, O ye Heavens and I will speak, and hear, O Earth, the words of My mouth, My doctrine shall drop as the rain, My speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the grass. Because I will publish the Name of the Lord, ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock. His work is perfect for all His ways are perfect. For all His ways are judgment: O God of Truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.” (Deut.32: 1-4)
STAMMERING LIPS & OTHER TONGUES!
One day I was sitting in the easy chair singing an old Norwegian Hymn and the Spirit of God was upon me. I was filled with great joy as I sang about the Church all over the world. I was lost in the Spirit and began singing different words with the same tune. Then I began to speak fluently in other tongues with great peace and joy.
My wife was taking a little nap and came running, asking what had happened with me. I answered, “God has filled me with the Holy Ghost.” She answered, “I have been a christian all my life and I don't have this. And you have been a backslider.”I asked my wife to read Isaiah 28: 11, 12.
She read: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people. To whom He said, This the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing, yet they would not hear.”
She had never seen that before in the Bible. She fell to her knees and said, “This is the power of God.” Then she confided in me that she wanted this great experience also. I laid my hands on my wife and prayed that she would receive the Holy Ghost. Two days later she received the Holy Spirit of promise and spoke in unknown tongues glorifying God.
One of my boys was asleep in his bedroom and when he heard me crying out to God,
came running and in a concerned voice said: “You must be suffering from a nervous breakdown.” I answered him: 'No my son, I have just received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and have been healed miraculously by His Divine power.'
I had been totally set free from darkness and brought into the light of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. The glory of the Lord was so strong that I could scarcely bear it. I could see with my visible eyes the 'shekinah glory' and the anointing was so strong that I could hardly walk. The mighty power of Grace and Glory was upon me for more than one month.
The same night that I received the Holy Ghost I was sitting in an easy chair worshiping God when suddenly a vision came to me. A cup was set to my mouth and I was given two sips out of this cup. I have never in my life tasted anything so wonderful as what I drank out of that cup. I believe it was a little taste of Heaven with God's grace and mercy that I was allowed to partake of. Hallelujah!
While I was kneeling on the floor in our living room seeking God during the radio broadcast I heard Oral Roberts singing 'Amazing Grace'. The next night I said to my wife, Tonight I am going to go on my knees and ask God to stay His hand because the anointing was so strong that I could hardly contain it. When I knelt to pray the anointing came over my head and stayed there for about two hours.
One day while I was lying down on my bed resting, I saw a coal of fire coming from the window and it touched my lips; it did not enter my mouth, however. In that moment, I thought of Isaiah's experience and I trembled at the thought of God's holiness and nearness.
“Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin is purged.” (Is. 6:6,7) I knew that my lips had been cleansed because I had been a sinful man.
The first person I told me experience to was my own doctor. I told him that I was healed and filled with the Holy Ghost. I told him that I didn't need any more pills. That I was born again and changed by God's power. After he examined me, he noted that not only was I well in my gallbladder, but also that my heart was normal.
Dr. Duncan looked me straight in the eyes and said: “Mr. Solbrekken, you are a very lucky man.”
From that time and onward I began testifying publicly for Christ, telling of my experiences with God and inviting them to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour and receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. I soon realized that I had received an experience from God which seemed to be foreign to those with whom I conversed.
Some people had the knowledge of sins forgiven and a personal experience of salvation but no one in our area had received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Some old time Christians had sought the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and still others were afraid of it because of wrong teaching in their churches.
I also noticed that I soon became a marked man and if I would go into a public building in my town and people were blaspheming or swearing when I entered, they would abruptly discontinue that foul language and calm right down. They must have felt the influence of the Holy Spirit within me. I also learned that I had received great power over demons and evil spirits as I would seek God in prayer.
PROPHECY FROM GOD!
The Holy Spirit would speak to me regarding things to come. Usually this would come at night. I would pray to God concerning certain matters and ask Him to reveal His will to me and grant me His wisdom and understanding in many matters. Then the Holy Spirit would speak to me through dreams or deep impressions.
God spoke to me declaring that He had given me power over diseases and demon spirits and that even cancer could not stand against me when I came against it in Jesus' name, with complete faith. He also reassured me that He would never leave me nor forsake me but would be with me always even to the end of the world.” (Matt 28:20)
I noticed when the Holy Spirit wanted to speak to me, I would become very tired and would lie down to rest. Then the Spirit would begin to reveal many things to me about things to come. He showed me that a tremendous destruction was going to come as a result of a great world war, and the aggression would come from the Northern part of the globe.
In the spring of 1956, I was having my crop spayed by a neighbour. In prayer the night before I asked God about my neighbour. He assured me that he was a born again Christian. The next morning as we met on the field, I shared with him concerning the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. He asked me to pray for him. I asked him to remove his cap. Then, I laid my hands on his head in Jesus' name and began to pray for him to receive the Holy Spirit. I commanded him to receive the Holy Ghost in Jesus' name.
The mighty power of God came upon him and he fell down, overcome by God's presence and began to speaking in tongues as they did in the Upper Room in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. This continued for about fifteen minutes as we worshipped God in the open field. Then, I helped him to his feet. I asked him what had happened to him.
The first thing he said was, “I am not afraid of war any more.” Then he continued, “I had a wonderful experience with God and had a vision of three bright lights. First, I saw a small light coming towards me and then a second larger light and finally a third light that I could not look upon it and there was no strength in me. Hallelujah. This is the power of God. Glory to His name; Now I know Heaven is for me and that I will make it there.”
One week later, I met this same neighbour again and he gave the following testimony. He had been deaf in one ear for quite some time but his ear had opened up and he could hear perfectly from it, since his wonderful experience in the field.
I AM SO THANKFUL TO THE LORD!
Before my healing, I had a difficult time to walk the half mile from our home to town but after my healing I could run to town and back, and felt that I was almost more in the air than on the ground. Since my healing, I have had absolutely no trouble with my heart. Praise God.
There are two things that I could not understand. First, why would God love me and want to give me His gifts when I was such a sinner? God spoke to me through the Scriptures and showed me that Jesus Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom. 5: 6).
And that He had come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19: 10). Jesus said, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I not am come to call the righteous , but sinners to repentance. (Matt. 9:12, 13)
Second, I did not know how easy it was to receive from God. As I read the Scriptures, I realized that all a person has to do is to believe the Word of God completely and in simple faith, trust and obedience reach out and take whatever you need from His hand, because He stands ready and willing to give it to you.
Jesus said: “Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened.” (Matt. 7: 7,8). Then, thank, praise and glorify God for sending His Son Jesus Christ to save, heal and fill you with the blessed Holy Spirit. In closing, remember my friend that Jesus Christ died for you and that God loves you and wants to forgive you, heal you and fill you with the Holy Spirit and power. May God bless you. Amen.
LETTER FROM MY MOTHER!
Below is a personal letter written by my Mother Anne, regarding her experience of being filled with the Blessed Holy Spirit. This letter was written in Norwegian and sent from Norquay, SK and translated into English. - Max Solbrekken
Dear Max and Donna, March 29, 1956
Thank you so much for the phone call – it was so good to hear your voices. I must tell you a little about the wonderful things which have happened to us here on the farm in Saskatchewan.
It began with Dad receiving a wonderful spiritual experience. He sat in the big chair and listened to Oral Roberts on Sunday morning and was expecting to receive healing from the Lord. This was the third Sunday morning he had risen early to hear this radio broadcast.
Oral Roberts said we should ask God to show us that He is God! Dad told us later that he had done just that. The first I heard was when Dad began to groan and it sounded as though he could not breathe properly and then he began to cry. I jumped out of bed and ran to the front room, thinking that Dad was dying or had become terribly sick.
You have probably not seen Dad cry; in over 31 years of marriage, I have never seen him cry before. I asked him if he was sick and he barely managed to answer, "This is God's power." When I heard this I let him alone thinking, if it is God's power then it is nothing to worry about. I fell to my knees and prayed.
Dad seemed to be completely overtaken with this wonderful power of God which was upon him – he had just sat down in his big chair again when this great power came all over him again and seemed to take complete control of him.
It all began when Dad sat praying, and there appeared something like a pillar of fine rain or mist above his head and enveloped him – he just breathed in the wonderful presence of God and he was so thrilled with the nearness of the Lord and the beauty of this great spiritual experience. Then this great power seemed to fill his body, soul and mind.
Naturally, I became very surprised at all this and many thoughts crossed my mind, perhaps Dad was going to die. I could not really understand what this was! Such a change came over Dad and it caused me to really wonder about it all. He was completely taken up with spiritual things and wanted to talk about God and the Bible and also to pray a great deal.
In other words, he had become a new person! He only wanted to do that which was right in all matters and he had such a burden for all those who were not saved.
I was overjoyed at the change in him – a short time later - perhaps one week, Dad had lain down to rest on the bed, when suddenly he began to speak in a foreign language, clearly and distinctively, and for a long time. I became so surprised that I began to cry as I had never heard or seen anything like this before. Dad continued to speak in these foreign tongues several times a day and continued praising and magnifying God.
All of this greatly surprised me as I could not understand it, but I knew it was the working of God, since I had observed the great spiritual change in Dad for the better! You know, he had never been a church man.
So Dad rejoiced and spoke in tongues daily and worshipped God; I had always been against those things, but now when I saw it in reality, I realized it was a great power from God. I certainly could see that from Dad's experience!
Then, I began to consider the possibility of receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost also, but I was afraid – afraid to pray for this mighty Gift and afraid to ask the Blessed Holy Spirit to come and dwell within me. Since I had these fears within me, the devil didn't waste any time in trying to rob me of this great gift from God.
Finally, however, God gave me grace to pray for the blessed Holy Ghost to come and take His abode within me. For three nights I prayed earnestly to be filled with the Holy Ghost, but became rather discouraged because nothing happened.
The presence of God, however, was so real in our home that many times I would tremble and shake as I sensed God's power all over me – it seemed I could just breathe in of God's goodness and power. Then one morning I woke up with strange heavenly words on my tongue which I spoke fluently. I thanked God as I felt a deep peace and tranquility fill my chest.
The next day, I lay down for an afternoon nap as I was tired. Suddenly, I felt a trembling in my hands and a quivering in my mouth as my tongue begin to move. The blessed Holy Spirit had taken possession of my tongue and I heard myself speaking out loud in distinct and clear words – praises unto God in other tongues. After this had passed I became so overjoyed that God had visited me that I began to cry.
Dad came running into my room, praising and magnifying God because I had also been filled with the Holy Ghost. It still thrills me to think that the Holy God would touch the lives of sinful humanity. It is all the grace of God through faith. Seek God and receive the Holy Ghost, Max and Donna. It is a great blessing.
In July, 1957 I surrendered my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and was born again and baptized with Holy Ghost and fire. In 1961, we started our radio ministry and in August 1963 I resigned from my lucrative position in the business world and launched out in World Evangelism, which continues until today! Together with my precious wife Donna, we have stood in the forefront for Jesus across the world! I want to say that had it not been for my Dad's great miracle and changed life, I do not believe I would have ever entered the Gospel Ministry for Jesus Christ! AMEN.
November 18, 2018