97 years old. That is certainly a respectable age. And it is even more respectable when we know that for almost 80 of those years Mary Jansen has consciously lived a wholehearted Christian life. She was one of the pioneers in the Church and her life will be remembered as part of the foundation itself, perhaps especially for her local fellowship in Eiker, Norway.
Mary grew up in a stable and good home on the Døviken family farm in Krokstadelva, just outside of Drammen. In 1931 something happened that turned things on their head for the Døvikens: eleven-year-old Eli died suddenly after a short illness. Her death made a deep impression on the entire town. In their grief the Døviken family sought solace in God. The effects of this were immeasurable, not least for Mary who was 19 at the time. Together with her mother, Karen, she became a pioneer, setting a new direction on the farm. The Word of God and our treasured Christian songs became the focal point.
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The episode and her conversion in the early 1930s was the start of a long and rich long life with God. In 1940 Mary was married to Anders Jansen and they established their own home. He was a man who had the same purpose and longing in life as she did. Their home in Krokstadelva was a base, from which this woman of faith continued her work. Whatever her family and the other members of the church went through—tumult or peace, sun or rain—Mrs. Jansen was stood firm and unshakable as a rock— always with complete trust in the Lord in whom she believed. Her love for God was manifest in the warmth and care she had for the people around her; the Jansen home was always a secure and peaceful haven for young and old alike.
Now she has crossed the finish line of her course on this earth. But we believe that Mary Jansen continues her work in another, much better place. From there she can continue to offer up prayers and good thoughts for the many she cares about, without being hindered any more by an old and weary body.
Watch the historical film about the family Døviken, and listen how the elderly woman of faith, Mary Jansen exhorts the youth to live a faithful life.