A 75-YEAR-OLD WITH LOVE AND FAITH FOR THE FUTURE
BCC is known for its steady, good work for children and young people, but it is not a matter of course it has become so. Tonight, nearly 5,000 adults gathered to celebrate with a leader who has faith for the future.
By Berit Hustad Nilsen – Photos by Lidiya Lukashuk
It’s heating up in the large multipurpose hall in the Oslofjord Arena. Expectant men and women between the ages of 25 and 98 years old are ready for the main gathering tonight. It’s time for a celebration of Kåre J. Smith’s 75th birthday this week.
The church has evolved to make it a priority for children and young people to thrive and feel secure in a healthy Christian environment. However, we cannot take this development for granted.
It’s not appropriate to have a good teaching if we live a bad life
The hopeful message we hear this weekend says something about what should be the basis for a Christian life. The message at the morning meeting today was important and thought provoking.
“We have to begin in our homes. It is not appropriate to have a good teaching if we are living a bad life. A life without love becomes terribly cold; it becomes like ice,” said Kåre J. Smith in his message.
Being reminded of the responsibility we have, first and foremost in our homes and our marriages, showing love to those around us, sets in motion thoughts about things we can work with more.
A visionary leader
Kåre J. Smith is a leader we at BCC are very grateful for, who has led the church into a new era in many ways. He has a vision to make it possible for future generations to gather for edification, and for local churches to be healthy and secure settings for children and young people.
Many thousands of members have contributed to the realization of these visions, and today we get a glimpse of the results: a vibrant church environment with room for children, youth, adults and the elderly.
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At the table with guests from the church in Drammen, Norway, sits Ingrid Aamodt (57). She is very happy with this development.
“The fact that we have had projects to work on together has created unity in our local communities,” she says.
“Difficulties have been removed when we have come together and stood side-by-side in the work, and Kåre Smith has inspired us to practical Christianity. It has done wonders.”
Love and prayer in the work for the church
The atmosphere of the celebration is characterized by gratitude, unity, and glory to God. The evening begins with a film based on an article Johan O. Smith wrote in 1936 entitled “An Apostolic Struggle”. The struggle a servant of the church has for his sisters and brothers is a valuable work. Paul worked tirelessly for the churches, guiding them and praying for them. He carried them in his heart because he loved them. This is how we have also experienced Kåre J. Smith, and the birthday party inspires everyone to take part in this pursuit, and to pray for those who are responsible for the spiritual development of the church.
Leif Arne Bratlie (54) and his wife Elisabeth (52) have taken the trip from Oslo to attend the fall conference. Leif Arne has something particular in mind concerning the guest of honor.
“Kåre Smith has taught us to love Jesus and to love one another, which I greatly appreciate.”
“The film in the beginning made a big impression on me,” says Elisabeth. “I have been inspired to see myself as an important part of the church, because everyone has a purpose and a function.”
During the evening many church members share their experiences, both from the pulpit and in film clips, of Kåre J. Smith’s work on behalf of the church – a steady stream of gratitude for the help, care and compassion shown by Kåre J. Smith to people all over the world.
As the festivities draw to a close, and such an inspiring conclusion leaves us with a desire to be part of this work, and to help build and prepare the church for the future.
We look forward to the last day of the conference tomorrow.
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