300 young people explore Norway in winter
In the middle of January, more than 300 participants from BCC`s Youth Program took a trip to Ål in Hallingdal. Christian young people from 31 different countries got together to experience what was for some their first Norwegian winter in the mountains.
By Thea Tangen – Photos by Eirik Tombre
Many of the youth had been looking forward to this for a long time. Five buses of young people, volunteers, and employees from BCC’s Christian Youth Program arrived on Friday night at the assembly hall for BCC`s local church in Hallingdal. They were met with beaming hospitality and a hot meal. The weekend’s program, including outdoor activities like skiing and sledding, team competitions, and a banquet on Saturday evening, was presented to an excited audience.
Many took advantage of the chance to test the ski slopes. Photo: BCC
An international Christian community
Most participants in the Youth Program are students at Brunstad Bible School, in addition to some who are in groups affiliated with local churches on the eastern side of Norway. During the year-long program, they study the Bible and the church’s literature, the Norwegian language and culture, and work as volunteers on projects which support the church’s Christian objectives. This trip to Hallingdal is one of several breaks in their school year.
The young people were divided into competing teams for outdoor winter activities on Saturday. Photo: BCC
Winter sports, team competitions, and a banquet
Saturday morning dawned with opportunities to try slalom skiing, snowboarding, or sledding, in addition to organized team competitions. As part of the “Battle of 10”, 20 teams competed in 10 different activities, like tandem skiing, boot throwing, trivia, human towers, axe throwing, obstacle courses, and target shooting.
“It was super fun, even though there were a lot of surprises,” says Naomi Chan from Hong Kong. She explains that she wasn’t prepared for everything they had to do, but that it was fun to be together with the other groups in the Youth Program. “It’s interesting to get acquainted with people I don’t know from before. And I got to try skiing, which went passably,” she laughs.
Saturday evening, everyone congregated for a banquet at the Øyni assembly hall, together with teachers and other volunteers. Encouraging and edifying speeches were given for the young people, including messages about honesty and sincerity—with fellow humans and in their personal relationship with God.
An evening of celebration and edification, themed «Honesty and Sincerity». Photo: BCC
Teaching about Christian faith gives young people opportunities
The international group of participants at the Youth Program have an abundance of resources and creative abilities. During the banquet on Saturday evening, many shared personal testimonies of faith. They also contributed music and entertainment they had prepared for the cultural portion of the banquet.
The stability and education which come from Bible studies don’t just give young people a solid foundation for their Christian faith, but also values which help them become good citizens. Many of them experience a personal development during the year they spend at the Youth Program—they gain more faith in themselves and their own potential.
Their talents have had room to grow, together with good values and empathy. The future is promising for these young people, their social circles, and their environments when they come home at the end of their year at BCC`s Youth Program.
The young people planned the entire trip themselves, including the banquet program. Photo: BCC
The final presentation of the evening was «After Ski», a program consisting of music, entertainment, and competitions. Photo: BCC
Teachers and other volunteers from Bible School were in attendance for the banquet. Photo: BCC
Many talented young people contributed different sketches. Photo: BCC
A year’s participation in the Youth Program creates friendship across borders – for life. Photo: BCC