3500 Gathered for International Conference

Around 3,500 BCC members gathered on November 17th for this year´s eighth international conference at Oslofjord Convention Center in Vestfold. The weekend´s target audience was slightly more grownup, and attendees enjoyed a varied and memorable schedule.

Tekst: Johanne Reiersrud – Foto: Brian Noronha / Randi Hutt 

Events for young people are a main focus for BCC and several new youth events are already being planned for next year. However, the November weekend was targeted at a somewhat older audience: participants included parents, couples, singles, and elderly.

Many used the opportunity to spend quality time with friends and acquaintances from around the world. In the 900 apartments and hotel suites in use, festivities continued late into the night on the conference grounds.

Many appreciated the chance for a little quality time together this weekend. Photo: BCC

Providing for future generations

In spite of differences in age, gender, parental and marital statuses, conference attendees had a lot in common. Among other things, they shared an interest and enthusiasm for the generation growing up now. Themes of the weekend included sound reminders on improving life for this generation, in the local churches and most importantly, at home. The weekend´s schedule was eventful, including three evangelical meetings, a banquet, and a live broadcast of the TV-program BrunstadMagasinet.

.The verse from Jesus´ Sermon on the Mountain was cited in several evangelical messages: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” People have wished to see God for thousands of years, but their biggest hindrance is selfishness. Purity of heart is actually purity from egoism-one can begin to see God by ridding oneself of egoism, hypocrisy, and falsehood. God sends thoughts about a life of sincerity and truth as a disciple of Christ, as the apostle Peter writes in his first letter, chapter 1, verse 22.

Vigilant parents understand that their own children are their foremost responsibility. They see their children´s unique needs, show them kindness, and provide them with security.

Among other things on stage on Saturday evening – participants helped shed light on different topics through a panel discussion. Photo: BCC

Banquet and feast meeting with a relevant theme

Saturday evening saw several contributions to one of the central themes, that of being a good mentor for the youngest youth. Listeners were encouraged to support the work being done in this area, no matter what the arena. Youth mentors and parents united in this goal, with a focus on caring for children and youth, will pull in the same direction, and thus make things simpler for those growing up. Children shouldn´t be pressured into a certain social form or character, but rather experience without coercion or fear that they can be themselves and develop as individuals.

If those growing up today experience real and true Christianity–in adults who through goodness show the way to a good life–they are supplied with values and a childlike faith which can provide a sense of security for them both now and later on.

From the feast meeting on Saturday evening, which consisted of songs and music, panel discussions, edification, and a banquet meal. Photo: BCC

New perspectives on practical Christianity

“I have without a doubt gotten some good tips and new perspectives that I want to take home with me from the weekend,” says Naomi Grimes-Borch from Copenhagen. She is here together with her husband Keld, and looks forward to going home to her children with renewed inspiration.

“I want to go home and work with myself and my own egoism. By acknowledging the truth about myself I can take everyday things in a positive way. Instead of becoming irritated and impatient, I can show my children a better way. For example, when it comings to judging other people. If I speak well of my fellowman and avoid pointing out mistakes, I have it good with everyone I meet. In lieu of planting negative thoughts in my children´s hearts, they learn to meet their fellowman with a free and open mind.”

Naomi Grimes-Borch (l) also used the chance to meet family members during the conference. Pictured with her sister and mother. Photo: BCC

The weekend ended with information and a live broadcast

To round off the weekend an episode of the TV-program BrunstadMagasinet was broadcast live from the great hall at Brunstad. Inspiring news and information about ongoing and meaningful projects for BCC were presented. Current brainstorming and strategizing work for future events and development of plans for a larger conference hall at Brunstad were presented, amongst other things.

Comments from the audience during the live broadcast on Sunday. Photo: BCC

Local churches derived inspiring ideas for further fundraising work, and a new plan for next year´s summer conferences was announced.

The audience´s enthusiasm and optimism in the great hall at Brunstad was promising for the months ahead. As a memorable year draws to a close, there is little doubt that 2018 will be just as dynamic for BCC. We look forward to meeting next for the New Year´s conference and celebrating a new and eventful year, a year in which the vital work for children and young people will continue in a positive and healthy direction.

Performers from BCC´s local church in Bergen with one of the weekend´s vocal works. Photo: BCC