While the pandemic has halted most group activities, it has not diminished the enthusiasm of youth workers in BKM Horten, Norway. Recently 11 new teenagers were welcomed in the youth group, with a gift from the church delivered to their door.

By Per Kristian Østern – Photo: privat

Filip Bernhardsen

Members of the local youth group in Horten, Norway join from the age of 13. In 2021, the group welcomed 11 new participants, says Filip Bernhardsen, a youth leader in the local church in Horten.

“We are really lucky to have new and promising youth join our amazing group every year. This has enriched our group for many years and 2021 is no exception”.

Welcoming the new youth

In Horten, there is usually a welcome party where new youth members receive Bibles. Although the pandemic prevented a joint welcome this year, the youth workers wanted the youngest to feel welcome, and so they delivered Bibles to the homes of the newcomers.

“The welcome party usually provides a great opportunity for newcomers to be introduced to the rest of the group, so we hope that everyone who received a knock on their door feels welcome in our youth group. We look forward to seeing them when activities can start again. We also warmly recommend making use of the gift- the words of the Bible are the foundation for what we believe,” says Filip.

Most activities are cancelled due to the pandemic so new youth received a welcome gift from the church delivered to their door. Photo: private

Looking forward to seeing each other again

Although the corona pandemic has made a great impact on normal youth activities and gatherings, this work has continued using alternative methods. The local church in Horten collaborates with BUK (Brunstad Youth Club), which offers activities, Christian fellowship and youth camps. During the past year, the camps have been hosted online, and here youth workers have received assistance to host activities and gatherings in alternative ways.

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When corona restrictions end, many exciting opportunities will be available for new participants, both for local activities, along with the possibility to attend international youth camps.

Over the past year, youth work has been conducted using alternative methods; here from the local summer camp in 2020. Photo: BKM Horten

“Even though the pandemic is challenging, we are very glad to have so many dedicated youth workers use their imagination to do good for others. Here in Horten we have many, both young and older youth, who spend large amounts of their free time to make it as nice as possible for the others,” says Filip.

Even though we are living in challenging times, God’s word is inspiring. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those that are called according to His purpose,” (Romans 8:28), he says. “This is something we are experiencing, and continue to hold on to.”

“We have a lot to be thankful for and look forward to,” says Filip. “Now we are excited to be together again. Then there will be a great celebration!”