In the previous article on our website we met family Tombre Nilsen in Stathelle, who shared their thoughts about the development at Brunstad. In today’s article, they talk about their own investment and also their involvement in the local church life in Grenland.
Text: Johanne Reiersrud – Photo: private
The family of seven participate in most of the BCC events that are held at Oslofjord Convention Center each year, and therefore, they invested in a long-term leasing agreement there a few years ago. For Erling and Helene, both of whom had spent all their summer holidays since childhood at Brunstad, this was an attractive choice, that also had a financial side.
You told us that you were very motivated to enter into a long-term leasing contract for a dwelling unit at Brunstad. But was this a big financial effort for you?
– As with all investments, there has been a need to focus and prioritize in order to achieve the goal. For our part, it has been a question of goal-oriented saving over the course of several years, yet we have a normal living standard, without becoming financially strapped.
We would never have bound ourselves to an agreement that would make life heavy for us, as we have a large family to care for and we need to think responsibly.
However, since we both experience participating at BCC’s conferences as something enriching, something which the children look forward to, then we have had the desire and the wish to make this investment. When we were given the chance to sign an agreement a few years ago there definitely was an atmosphere of celebration here at home.
You are an active family with five children, who are closely involved in the local church here in Grenland. Do you contribute financially here too?
– We contribute what we can locally, because it is here that we spend most of our time. After all, It’s one’s leisure time, that one prefers to spend one’s money on, says Erling. – Our children participate in many activities in the church here, where they also experience good and safe carers and they have lots of friends.
Active family: The children participate partisipate in differents types of leisure activities in the local church, and they do differ in their interests. Above is Cedrik (13) on the ice hockey rink. Photo: private
Our church also has a meeting hall that needs to be run, and we therefore contribute both in the form of financial gifts in order to pay regular operational costs, as well as the usual subscriptions for the children’s activities. And we do participate in other voluntary work, such as preparing food during feasts, setting up the hall, laying tables and enabling the church’s events.
I am involved with youth work and Helene has board duties which she attends to. The local church here also wants to build better facilities for all the children and the youth growing up. In order to manage this, we have a goal to save up so that we don’t start building before we know we have the finances both to build and to operate. For this reason, we are along in contributing to the local savings plan that can enable us to meet the financial goals we have collectively.
The fellowship with the other youth in the local church is very important to Erling and Helenes children. Photo: private
– We are also along in contributing to the local church, in supporting donations to BCC centrally, Helene says. It’s been very natural for us to be a part of this, because of how much we appreciate being at Brunstad during BCC events. It is something that motivates us highly.
Do you experience encouragement to joyful giving as pressure or force?
– Everything that has been built up in the church’s history has been based on voluntariness an people that were full of enthusiasm. The desire and motivation for the future, both at Brunstad and here in Grenland, makes us want to use our energy in this way. In my opinion, it wouldn’t have been possible to push this work forward by the use of pressure or force, it just wouldn’t have worked in the long run, Helene says. – Fellowship based on our faith makes us thrive, and we want to use our time and our money on something meaningful like this.
At much as we are engaged in our church, we have always had a good relationship with the people around us; we have good colleagues at work, and pleasant neighbours. In our neighbourhood, the children like to play with one another in the street and visit one another, so generally speaking it’s always lively around our house.
Are you very different from other families in the neighborhood?
– We don’t have any other rules for our children than what most parents have, who want their children to be good citizens; that they might be honest, friendly to all those around them and not treat people differently. We want our children to show respect of others and learn good moral values.
– Our experience is that we have come to a good and happy life through the Church’s doctrine, and we want to live in such a way that we are good examples for our children. It’s not about having a lot of rules, but that the children can experience a good childhood both at home and in the church, such that they themselves make good choices when they grow up, concludes Helene.