“Welcome to Team Norway!”

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12

One exciting opportunity that I get is to speak at a private high school.  It isn’t totally a boarding school, but it has students that do live there from a number of different countries.  My second time there stands out in my mind.
Many have the idea that the younger generation aren’t that interested in knowing if the Bible is accurate or not.  My experience shows this to definitely not be true.
At this school I usually speak for a week.  Every day I’ll speak to the whole school in the morning and afternoon.  The rest of the time I speak in various classes that invite me in to teach as well.  I’ll usually end up speaking about 5 to 7 times a day while there.  And I LOVE it!
The first trip really fired me up about what this school is doing.  I had a LOT of time to spend just conversing with students informally.  There was one group of international students that really stood out.  They were from Norway and I’ll never forget one specific young man from that group.  His name was Christian.  That’s why he’s so easy to remember.
Christian was always there, but never said anything.  For the whole week he just stayed in the background taking everything in.  His peers were engaging me with questions left and right, but not him.  I couldn’t read him and actually thought he wasn’t paying attention and was just there because of his friends.
From the body language and the way the others interacted with him it seemed to me that he was a leader.  He just never said anything to me . . . until the last day.
Christian asked me three or four questions while the others listened.  We had a really good conversation and after about 25 minutes he asked me the BIG question.
“Would you come to Norway and speak?”
I was blown away.  My response was one of shock and I just asked, “Really?”
He said, “Yes, we need this teaching in Norway.  The church is dead there.  No body speaks about the Bible the way that you do.  No body teaches how to do what you are doing. We need this!”
I told Christian that I would love to come to Norway.  All I needed was an invitation.
A couple of years later I was invited back to the same school.  The response was the same from the students, they were VERY interested and ENGAGED.  This time though the students from Norway didn’t converse with me as they had the first time.  I later found out that students from Norway only spend one year there and don’t repeat so it was a totally different group of students this time.
As I was walking into one of the classrooms on the third day the teacher said to me, “Welcome to team Norway!”  I didn’t know what he meant.  When the class started, I quickly found out what he meant.
A young lady immediately raised her hand and began with questions.  I praise God for interactions like this.  If all the student’s do is sit on their hands, it leads to a very boring day!
You could tell she was a little upset and we went back and forth.  It was respectful and the questions were very direct.  Honestly, it was a blast.  After about 15 minutes from just her, the other students chimed in and it was an amazing time.  At the end the class the vast majority of the students came up and gave me a high five, knuckle bump or thanked me.  The first lady still wasn’t happy and was with about 6 of her friends.  They were speaking Norwegian.  That was “Team Norway!”
I overheard one of the young men tell the lady to “Chill out!  What he said makes sense.”  I felt bad because I didn’t fully understand what was going on.  Unfortunately the teacher had to take me to another class.
Later that afternoon I was able to speak to the teacher again.  I asked him what had happened with the young lady from his class.  I hadn’t meant to upset her.  He told me, “Oh no.  No way, that was great.  She was upset because everything that you taught goes against what her father had taught her.  He’s a science professor at Harvard University!”
Ouch!  I had no idea.  He told me that the other students were totally engaged in conversation with her now and that the class had been huge because it caused them to start talking and dealing with the issues I’d raised.
I told him about my first experience and asked about the student I’d met the first time, his name was Christian.  I asked if he’d kept in touch with him and knew what he was doing.  He told me, “Yes, Christian’s a bright spot.  He was so impacted by his time here that he’s now a youth pastor in Norway.  As a matter of fact, he’s one of the best youth pastors in the country!”
None of us can take any credit for something like this, God gets all the glory.  It certainly is a pleasure to hear that those you’ve had an opportunity to pour into are continuing in the faith and not leaving as is so common in our world today.
I’ve not been invited to Norway, YET!  Regardless of whether I ever go there or not though, I praise God that Reasons for Hope was given the opportunity to pour into these students.  I’ve not heard about the young lady.  I’m praying that the Lord will draw her to Himself and use her to reach her family and many others.
Thank you for helping us to reach out to the youth.  Stay Bold!
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