“It means a lot for me to come to the fall conference and hear the message that is delivered here,” says Seth Gieseke from Urbana, USA. He is one of many who came to Norway to participate in BCC’s fall conference for men. Many make this conference a priority, despite the long distances they have to travel.
By Espen Larsen – Photos by Eirik Tombre
Over 4,400 individuals were registered for the conference, which is held every fall. This year 31 countries were represented; among others, there were 153 attendees from the USA, 84 from Canada, 20 from Australia, 9 from India, 7 from China, and 2 from Brazil.
There is a similar conference held in the spring for women. It is a particularly good opportunity for adults to meet without the interruption of small children, and the journey here also adds to the experience. Conference participants come from many countries and places, and young and old travel together and enjoy one another’s company.
Time for camaraderie when members from around the world gather for the fall conference. Photo: BCC
The age requirement is 13 years or older, with no upper limit.
The age limit is 13 years or older –the oldest person registered for the conference was 91. Age is not an issue for the huge international community, which is bound together by a common faith and purpose. For the vast majority, whether or not to attend the conference is not the issue. It has already become an established tradition they look forward to.
From the Saturday evening banquet. Friends both old and new gather with faith and edification in focus. Photo: BCC
Edification and faith in focus
It is the message about Jesus Christ which causes so many to prioritize such a weekend. During four faith-strengthening meetings and an evening banquet, there are messages about the way in Jesus` footsteps that can create renewal in our lives. Throughout the weekend there are several members who share songs, prayers, and personal testimonies, and express their thankfulness for the Word and their desire to observe it.
Community with no generation gap
A meeting is over, and everyone has filed out to the food court for a bite to eat. The area is abuzz with many voices, and the general atmosphere is great. Groups everywhere carry on lively conversations around a meal or a cup of coffee. At one table, some younger guys laugh loudly at stories being told by some older men.
New inspiration for a personal Christian life
Seth Gieseke (34) has come from Urbana (USA) for the conference. He first traveled five hours from Urbana to Chicago, where his next flight took him to London, and then to Oslo; a total trip of about 24 hours.
“Coming to the fall conference means a lot to me; hearing the word that is spoken here is a personal priority. I need to learn about Jesus’ life, so I can pursue it and thus have a good effect on those around me. It is a great help for me in my daily Christian life, and in my family life, together with my wife and two children, whom I love. Here I meet older and younger friends who are interested in the same thing, and we are all inspired together.”
On the trip home after the conference, there are many, like Seth, who are inspired to practice what they have heard. Waiting for them at home is their daily life: their job, family, or school. However, after such a weekend, they feel revived and inspired.
A choir from Holland singing on the Saturday evening banquet. Many participate with songs, testimonies, or prayer during the weekend conference. Photo: BCC