On Thursday 18th May, I embarked upon my second adventure to Norway – this time leading a team of eight people who are doing the first year of DNA. I had an incredible time and am so grateful for the amazing opportunity to revisit beautiful Norway and lead a team of awesome people.
I first visited Norway last year in May when, as part of my DNA year, I went on a mission trip with 8 others. Going back this year, the team went to serve the same church, called Kraftverket (meaning power plant) in the South East of Norway, not too far from Oslo.
We all stayed with different hosts from the church and had a great time getting to know the different families and being able to live with them during the trip. Throughout the two weeks, we were out there, we got involved with lots of different things and had a programme packed with exciting events.
We mainly got involved with events happening at the church and had the opportunity to lead some evening meetings, leading worship and some of the team sharing their testimonies. We also got to take part in their children’s and youth clubs, and had a lot of fun with the children, doing face painting, braiding hair, playing games and singing songs, and having Karaoke and games with the youth!
The events at the church were very laid back and relational, which was refreshing and nice not to worry about organising lots of content and having strict time frames and structures. The whole feel of the church was very family-orientated and relaxed, which was a lovely environment to get to know people better and build relationships and have conversations about people’s journey of faith and their relationship with God.
Another exciting event was Kraftverket’s annual canoe trip! I really enjoyed the trip last year, so was looking forward to going again. We had a lovely time and the weather was gorgeous which was a blessing – as my canoe capsized so I was able to dry off quickly! One of the young people at the church also got baptised which was great to witness.
We also had the opportunity to spend a couple of days in two local schools, playing English games with the children, who were primary school age. This was enjoyed by everyone and we had a lot of fun teaching them some basic English, which they were very good at! At one of the school’s they even had an ‘English Day’ especially, where they all dressed up in uniform and had tea and biscuits for their snack!
As well as spending time in the local area of Askim, we also ventured out to Eidsvoll, a couple of hours drive – and visited a youth congregation there. They had just acquired an old bus depot warehouse and had started to renovate it into an amazing place! They’d started a food bank, a second-hand clothes shop, had been hosting concerts and have big dreams for all God is going to do there! It was really exciting to spend an evening with the people there – we had a BBQ and a gathering with some worship and a few from our team shared their testimony and people got prayer afterwards – it was a great time!
As a team, we were also privileged to have two days off where we did some exploring, one day near the border with Sweden, and one day in Oslo. This was a great opportunity to relax as a team and spend some time enjoying the scenery and culture!
Leading the team this year brought a whole new dimension compared to last year – but I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot! I felt, though there were challenges, on the whole, it all went smoothly – helped by having such an amazing team, full of a real diverse mix of people who worked together amazingly! Spending two weeks together also meant I was able to get to know people on the team better, which was a real highlight.
Overall I had an amazing time in Norway, and it was exciting to see the body of Christ in another part of the world and to witness all God is doing in and through the amazing people, I met in Norway. It was an experience I learned lots from and will never forget!