“Being here is like coming home”

“The refreshing atmosphere and spirit strengthen my faith every day. Being at a conference is like coming home,” says Susan Beckmann. She traveled all the way from the west coast of the USA, but feels that she belongs here.

How is it possible to unite across cultures and nations? During the summer conference on Tuesday evening, we celebrated the faithfulness and unity that built the church from the very beginning. The themed evening had elements from several corners of the world, and animated speeches about God’s power, and what it can do within and through us by faith.

One member of the audience was Susan Beckmann (51) from Oregon, USA.

The first time she came to a BCC conference was in 1984, as a 14-year-old. She was fascinated to see people from all walks of life excited to serve God.

“It isn’t heavy or burdensome to be a Christian. We all have the same desire to be saved, and that overrides any differences in language, custom or culture. It is an honor to have a place at the conferences with my family.”

A destination for international mission

For more than 60 years, the conferences at Brunstad have brought BCC together as an international faith community, and the preaching has set the direction for the local churches. The conference facility, which was once a simple tent site for Norwegian visitors, has today become a destination for mission work at the international conferences, and this was highlighted during Tuesday’s festivities.

Here, the speaker is interpreted from English to Norwegian, which is the main language at the conference. Photo: BCC

When churches gather here for conferences, it feels like a city, filled with people from all corners of the world. God’s Word is in focus, but the area is also a summer paradise for many thousands of children and young people. Good childhood memories are eventually replaced by good youth experiences, and many thousands have given their lives to Jesus during these conferences.

“The atmosphere and spirit here is so refreshing. Whether it’s a smile, hug, or an evening of fellowship, I know I will be strengthened in my faith every day,” says Susan Beckmann.

She travels to the conferences at Brunstad almost every year, sometimes making several trips a year.

“I am drawn back year after year because I long to hear the Word about transformation. I know of nowhere else where the Word is spoken with such incredible clarity by people who have a genuine life in Christ, with a life-giving spirit that says, “Follow me!” The whole world is seeking happiness, but for me the key is the Word of God preached here.”

An international community- built by faith

A formal themed evening was titled “By faith”. The audience heard about how the church from its beginnings more than 120 years ago through today has been built by faith. The result of this effort was illustrated throughout the evening, when several hundred singers took the stage from churches in North America, Eastern Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Through varied performances, speeches and testimonies, the conferences’ importance for both churches and individuals were apparent. The same preaching that gathers us together has also united us, across borders and cultures.

Watch the song performed by 200 people from the USA and Canada:

Swipe for more photos from the themed evening:

1000 children concluded the evening

That BCC has a place to gather, and share the Christian message with younger generations, has strengthened the local churches and meant that children and youth who grow up in BCC often want to remain part of the community.

The formal portion of the evening appropriately concluded with a choir of 1,000 children – a performance that ended with deafening applause, before the evening continued with an outdoor concert and catering for 9,000 conference participants.