Summer Camp: a message for a good direction for life
Brunstad Youth Club’s summer camp is well underway, with activities and Christian fellowship. One of the highlights is the theme evening “From the Beginning,” a project that encourages young people to familiarize themselves with what practical Christianity means.
By Ulrikke Andresen – Photo by Øystein Vårdal/Brunstad Ungdomsklubb
The opening of the summer camp took place in the conference hall on Tuesday afternoon, and there was great anticipation when the countdown began on the screens. Nearly 3,000 young people cheered when the starting shot was fired – finally they were at camp again.
After a kick-off including edification and music, the young people are ready for several summer days packed with content. During the day, there are many activities, and every evening there are theme-based broadcasts. For many these are the very core of the camp. One of these broadcasts is about the project “From the beginning.”
There was a lot of eager expectation during the opening of this year’s summer camp. Swipe to see pictures from the opening event. Photo: Brunstad Ungdomsklubb
“From the Beginning”: An exchange of letters made public
Since February this year, young people on all continents have followed the project, and gained insight into the personal correspondence between Johan O. Smith and his brother Aksel Smith. In these letters, Johan gives clear advice to his brother in living a life of personal godliness and following Jesus.
Elder Kåre J. Smith was the initiator of the project, and together with a team from BCC Media, among others, has worked to impart this over the past six months. Several themed broadcasts were produced, as well as a web app that made the letters available in 16 different languages, in addition to biographies, films and other content that made it relevant for younger readers.
Eager young people flocked to the hall in small groups after a day outside with many different activities. Many of the young people had looked forward to the grand finale of the project, and the expectation in the hall was palpable.
Young people from over 40 countries were also watching online when the evening opened with a song. A youth choir sang with hope and power to young fellow believers: “In my heart there’s jubilation – Jesus gives me revelation; Now with all my heart I joyfully can say: I have found the way to heaven …” This is song no. 111 in the songbook, and was written by Aksel Smith when he was only 35 years old.
“The project struck a chord with me”
Silje (22) was involved in the project, and was also one of the hosts this evening. She says she has gained a new perspective on the letters after the project:
“The ‘From the Beginning’ project has been so good in many ways. It has opened up a special opportunity for interesting conversations with friends, given us better knowledge of Johan and Aksel, and a new way of reading the letters. At least it struck a chord with me, and I think many experienced it like that, too,” says Silje.
This evening Silje is on stage, and together with Kåre J. Smith and Bernt Aksel Larsen she will be guiding us through the evening. In the opening it is clear that the gospel has a message that is highly relevant for the youth:
“Pray for the spirit of wisdom and revelation from God. Then it is as if the letters jump out of the Bible and into your heart, and the glorious inheritance you have with all the saints is revealed in the light. Then you have found the way to heaven, and the kingdom of Christ has started to grow – it has entered into you. Then it begins to increase in there, and you can serve the Lord Christ with all your heart.” These were some of the words with which Kåre J. Smith opened the evening.
During the evening, there are conversations and films with young people’s experiences in focus. A feature film has been produced, as well as personal stories from slightly older mentors about their experiences around repentance and the practical Christian life that follows. In between, there are also humorous elements, and there is a lot of laughter from the audience.
The message is simple and clear to understand, with an encouragement for the young people to give their whole heart to Jesus and to enter a life where the word of God becomes a guide for the choices they make. This is a life that gives hope, joy and peace, that you can already get the kingdom of heaven within you when you are young, and become a blessing and joy for other people.
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More camp days
In the next few days until Saturday, there will be summer concerts, competitions and live broadcasts from various locations, both for those who participate in Norway, and for those watching from local camps in other countries.