Among those who cannot travel to the conferences in Norway, some follow from their own living rooms, while others gather their whole local church to watch the broadcasts together. In many places, local churches choose the latter, combining edification and fellowship.
Gathering the church on the same wavelength
Broadcasts from the Brunstad conferences are nothing new. In the 90s, BCC started broadcasting via satellite TV to other countries, a development that brought together local churches all over the world in a completely new way. BrunstadTV, started in 2011, developed this further, and during the pandemic almost 10 years later, the technical platforms that had been built up became extra important. Here, fellow believers from all parts of the world could follow and participate in live broadcasts from BCC, despite the isolation. Now, after the pandemic, these broadcasts have not become less important.
“With these broadcasts, we get God’s word straight into our home. In particular, it has meant a lot in the last two years during the pandemic”, says Linda Heaven from Didcot in England. With two small children in the house, she greatly appreciates being able to follow along via the TV screen.
“We are extremely happy to be able to be at the conference ourselves, but during the July conference we were very grateful that we could follow along from home.”
The whole church viewing together
For Donald Tcheumwa (41) from the local church in Bafoussam, a town in western Cameroon, watching the conference broadcasts and hearing the gospel is a wonderful opportunity.
“No one here wants to miss such an opportunity, which is why the whole church gathers when there is a broadcast from Brunstad. After the broadcasts, we have food and fellowship in our meeting hall”, says Donald.
With the long journey, and because many from Africa do not have the opportunity to come to Brunstad, streaming is extra important here.
“During the gatherings, we enjoy being together as a church and hearing God’s word. It is a great blessing for us. In that way, the gospel enters our hearts, and we feel a part of the whole church, and the body of Christ”, says Donald.
“I am so grateful to be part of this community. Regardless of which family I come from, or where I live, the living gospel can set me free and make me happy”, says Donald.
Swipe to see photos from gatherings in Bafoussam. Photo: private
For Donald and the others following along from Cameroon, translation of the meetings is also important. During the conference, several dozen interpreters are present, translating the message into around 20 languages. This includes French, for countries such as Cameroon, Congo, Belgium and France.
Marc Tombre (47) from Nancy in France is one of several who ensure that all the French speakers understand the message from the conferences. The aim is to convey the message as it is preached.
“We try to interpret as best we can, both literally and in the same spirit and faith as it’s spoken. Those of us lucky enough to listen to the message directly, know how important that is. The interpreter must try not to remove that part, but make it as clear as possible.”
“The idea that we should convey what comes out with the same enthusiasm as is spoken here, is my motivation and joy.”
Broadcasts for the whole family
It’s not just those who live far away who benefit from the TV broadcasts. Henning Fuglseth (aged 40) from Hønefoss in Norway, says that the conference broadcasts are something he prioritizes watching, the times he is not present himself.
“We have both children and young people in the house, and like to watch the broadcasts together with the whole family. We like to make these a bit of an occasion, so that the Brunstad broadcasts are something special”, he says.
Henning finds the message being preached makes an impression on him; it stays with him in his everyday life and changes it for the better.
“For example, when I take the word about humility to heart, I become a more pleasant husband, father, colleague and fellow human being. This is the kind of development I want to have”, he says.