|Report from the Open Heart Conference 2008|
|Written by Ronny & Katrine Yttrehus|
|Saturday, 23 February 2008 20:56|
Ever since 2004, the Open Heart Conference has been an annual event that gathers disciples from all the Nordic countries for an intense weekend of preaching and fellowship in the (literally) dark month of February. The Oslo Church of Christ in Norway once again showed generous hospitality by hosting this year’s conference. Although the conference first and foremost is meant to serve the Nordic disciples in building their faith and unity, the event has been attracting more and more sisters and brothers from other countries as well; this year drawing attendants from 20 countries all together. We are very grateful for the guest speakers who came all the way from the US. Not only did their messages inspire us by the sharing of their lives and preaching of the Word with conviction and passion, but their effort to contribute reflects their hearts for the disciples in this region in general.
For a number of years, Reese and Mary Kay Neyland (Los Angeles) have been supporting the Nordic and Baltic region spiritually and, through their involvement in the Baltic Nordic Missions Alliance (BNMA), financially as well. They are an invaluable outside influence and have given focused training to us personally as well as to the other church leaders in the region. We are eternally grateful for all their help!
Tim Huffman (Houston) was part of the original mission team to Stockholm: the first church planting in the Nordic & Baltic region. His daughter Viktoria, who also shared at the conference, was actually born in Stockholm, and Tim proved his genuine heart for Sweden by having kept up his fluent Swedish by reading his Bible in that language weekly, for some 20 years!
Douglas and Joyce Arthur (Boston) have recently become more involved with the European churches through the International Missions Society. By the initiative of the Neylands and the Arthurs, among others, the BNMA and the IMS have decided to work more closely together to make more resources available to both regions. This year’s Open Heart Conference made it clear to us that we are already seeing some of the benefits of this cooperation. In addition to his two keynote speeches, Douglas led a session for Small Group Leaders. We were very inspired by his lesson, but also by the fact that so many disciples, leaders or not, attended to gain vision for how God can use us to strengthen and build up His church here in this region.
Please pray for the brothers and sisters in the six Nordic churches! We know God has a vision for this part of the globe as well, and hope to be able to share more good news from here in the future!
Ronny & Katrine Yttrehus