What do you want to be like when you are old?

What do you want to be like when you are old?

Read this interview with Bjørg Brinks from Oslo who has been along at Brunstad right from the start in 1956, and who still has a youthful energy. She believes that those who are older have an important task in the church.

It’s almost time for the sister’s conference, the weekend which is such a highlight for women of all ages. There will also be an important status update for the ongoing action campaign. Churches from around the whole world have been split into 15 teams and are competing to defeat each other in the friendly DRIV-competition.

In this connection, several BCC members were interviewed about what motivates them to contribute to the campaign. As we have previously written about, there are two things. To save money for future accommodations during conferences via Samvirk, and to collect money so the youth clubs can participate in camps. And young people all over the world are enthusiastically participating in this.

A youthful energy

But even for those who are older, there are still ways to get involved. Bjørg Brinks is 86 years old and became a widow in 2020. It seems that she still intends to get the most out of life. When Bjørg arrives at BCC’s head office in Moss, after an hour’s drive from Oslo in the winter weather, she explains why she is doing this interview:

– I’ve decided that if there is anything I can do, anything that can contribute to building the church, then I will say yes. Whatever it is.

Bjørg Brinks
Bjørg Brinks

She has a big smile and she radiates a youthful energy.

A couple of days earlier, she was sent three short questions on her mobile phone, and now she brings two printed pages with her thoughts for the interview.

– Nothing happens by itself

The first question is: Why do we have this action campaign?

– If we hadn’t taken action, Brunstad would have remained as it was when we bought it in 1956, with the dilapidated barn, the smelly pigsty, and an unusable and narrow road, she says firmly.

– And I would like to say that I like that word “action” very much, because it means that “something needs to be done here.”

She shows a picture of Aksel J. Smith sitting on some logs during a break. Back in 1956 there were no facilities and people had to sit on the floor of the farmhouse on the farm.

A picture from Brunstad Farm back in 1956.
Breaktime during the first workday at lower Brunstad Farm in the spring of 1956. Aksel J. Smith (on the left) sits on some newly felled trees beside Arvid Johansen from Tønsberg (on the right). Photos: Private

– We had to find out where we were going to hold meetings, where we were going to sleep, cook and make coffee. Nothing happens by itself. We have to take action and get something done, and that’s how it’s always been, for as long as I can remember.

We had to work before we could have conferences

From the beginning, there was a real atmosphere of action to get the center finished by the summer of 1957. Brinks says that everyone helped. They sang songs, worked together, and kept at it, and she has only good memories of that time. It was the best campaign she has ever been a part of. In the following decades, Bjørg has continued to be active in volunteer work. She has been involved in developing and planning kitchens for many local churches, and during the working weeks in the 1990s, she was at the forefront of both organizing and training younger people.

– I’m even more invested now, when I see what Brunstad has done for me – for us – and what it will do. That’s one part of it, and also, I love the youth, she says enthusiastically.

On the same wavelength as the young people

As a retiree, times are different now for Bjørg Brinks, but it is clear that she has retained her motivation to get things done for the cause of God’s kingdom. She pays close attention, and has great care for the coming generations.

– I am on the same wavelength as the young people. When I come to a meeting and sit next to them, I ask them what their name is and what they do.

She believes that it is important that those who are older are guides to the good, and that you should use what you have learned throughout your life meaningfully for others:

– The youth are flourishing, and we older people should too. We will shine! Because we have experienced life, and we have to pass that on to the young. Don’t come across as a grey, serious lump, but have some cash in your pocket and be flexible, she says with a twinkle in her eye.

– We can smile at them and be friendly, so they know they are in our hearts.

Excerpts from the interview. Bjørg Brinks expains why she is enthusiasted for the young people.