“The word of God cannot be locked down!” This was the sentiment of one of the participants in the Pentecost Youth ‘Camp’ held by Brunstad Christian Church.
The one day event held on Sunday, 31 May 2020 was an online ‘camp’ modeled on the 2020 BCC Easter ‘Camp’ in April. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Easter ‘Camp’ was adapted to an online ‘camp’ and in the wake of its success, and the impact it had on the youth of BCC fellowships worldwide, there was no lack of enthusiasm to take part in the Pentecost ‘camp’. Testimonies received after the Easter ‘Camp’ revealed that not only did the young people enjoy participating in all the online activities, but that the edifying Word of God spoken at the youth services, was of great practical help to them in their daily lives.
The recent technological breakthroughs enabling international connectivity in Africa, once again provided a sense of being part of the global church community. Young people from Cameroon, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Uganda participated by linking up to BrunstadTV and various online platforms which facilitated all the recreational activities.
What better way to kick off a youth event than with a scrumptious breakfast! Mentors in most of the BCC fellowships around the world organized breakfast for their youth groups; having a ‘simultaneous global breakfast’ proved to be very popular! The program for the day included two youth services, an evening of fellowship and an array of indoor and outdoor activities, all of which were held in accordance with the Covid-19 pandemic regulations, pertaining to each participating country.
Spiritual nourishment is the cornerstone of every youth event and the 2020 Pentecost ‘Camp’ was no exception. Kåre Smith, the leader of BCC, warmly welcomed the approximately 5 000 young people from around the world, to the online ‘camp’. Screened live from Norway on BrunstadTV, Smith delivered a powerful edifying message, encouraging the young people to put all their trust in God. Quoting from the second book of Peter in the New Testament of the Bible (2 Peter 1:19), he implored the youth to use God’s word to bring light and power into their lives, thereby excluding all darkness and enabling them to live their lives in peace and joy.
With energy and anticipation abounding, the program of recreational activities commenced at midday. The activities included outdoor nature activities, gaming, media, DIY and crafts, photography, dance challenges, computer coding, fitness training, cooking and music. The interactive online platforms worked very well with facilitating contact between members in each interest group. The online tutorials and demonstrations were also very effective for the various activities.
A powerful youth service which was broadcast from the BrunstadTV studio, was led by Gershon Twilley. He urged the young people to use their time well and not waste it on unnecessary ‘stuff’ that would ultimately be of no value to them. Quoting a verse from the Old Testament Book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:4), Twilley reassured them that it is normal for young people to feel inadequate at times, but wholeheartedness is all that is required for God to equip them with everything they need, to do all good works!
As this action packed day wound down and evening approached, camp fires were lit in preparation for a very special fellowship evening. In the BrunstadTV studio in Norway, a magnificent outdoor evening setting was recreated with seating around a ‘campfire’. A spectacular backdrop of the typical semi-desert landscape found in Israel, created an amazing atmosphere. Storytelling and song brought content and fellowship to this warm welcoming studio setting and who better to have as a studio guest, than Sverre Rikjsford. Armed with a treasure chest of edifying and humorous stories from his younger days, when he traveled with Kåre Smith and other young Christians to several BCC fellowships in Scandinavia. This was a most appropriate culmination to an edifying and eventful ‘camp’.
The testimonies below are a reflection of the appreciation and thankfulness of the young people:
Stéphane Koagne (Cameroon): “Personally this online ‘camp’ taught me about patience and determination in what I do. I participated in the photography activity and this requires a lot of patience! I will continue to practice what I heard.”
David Ochieng (Kenya): “The camp was an opportunity to help the younger youth to participate in the activities. This made me realise that I need to press in and not just think of myself. I participated in the music activity; Zoom Meet and the training was fantastic. The youth service made me aware that I must be focused on my Christian calling.”
Renedi Bambe (DRC): “ I appreciate what the church organizes for us young people and I also want to thank the mentors for their time that they devote to us and also the good atmosphere that they create.”
Edwin Onyango (Kenya): “Thank you very much for the Pentecost ‘Camp’, I am indeed blessed to have been part of it. I have started practicing in my daily life what I heard in the youth service… that I must give myself completely to God, He should have full control as He knows what is best for me. I participated in the music activity and it was good to learn how to play the guitar. I am also thankful for the Zoom meetings that we could connect with youth from BCC fellowships around the world.”
Lyse Koagne (Cameroon): “Thank you very much for this day, it was blessed. I did the DIY/craft activity and I saw how discouraged I became when I did not succeed, but I was helped by the other young people in my group and that was a great encouragement to me. It was also edifying to listen to Kåre Smith and I have become more serious to fight against sin.”
Michael Rolf (Kenya): “ I am extremely thankful for the Pentecost ‘Camp’, it was the second opportunity to be part of a BCC online ‘camp’. I participated in the music, media and photography and learned new skills. I am thankful for the youth meeting and that this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, while others complain, there can be a change in my life and that I can have a deep connection with God, do His will and be of more service to Him.“
Roma Nyagweth (Kenya): “I enjoyed the camp from the breakfast to the activities, singing and watching the E-Sport final. I participated in the cooking and the music. The youth service was a great help to me, I should take hold of my Christian calling and give my whole heart to Jesus.”
Asher Zek Robert (Kenya): “I am very thankful that I could be along in the online ‘camp’ and join the activities with everyone and I am also so thankful for our mentors. What stood out for me was that I should learn to work with those around me.