Eight months have past since we moved to Odda and started to live our lives together in the collective community. It has been a very exciting year that has challenged us in many areas of our lives.
Most of all, Jesus has shown us how we need to surrender everything to him, and let him be in charge for what he wants to do in Odda. These last days Father God has also shown us how much he longs for his children to love each other and be one. When we love each other his love is made perfect, and has reached its goal in us. This love will drive out all fear. We long to be a church where there is no fear, and where we live out of confidence in God through every circumstance. This is the love that the world desperately need and long for. And this love only exists in Christ – that is why we have to abide in him.
In January we began to have gatherings in our home once a week where we worship God, share his word and pray for one another. Some of our new neighbours and friends have been at these gatherings. It is very encouraging that someone has started to come regularly. We believe it is good to have a place where we can disciple one another. As spring goes by we hope to go into the depths of what it means to have our identity in Christ. We have great expectations to what God will reveal to us.
Some of our new friends are Christians who have not had a Christian fellowship earlier on. This is especially true for one of our neighbours. He says that he has been given a totally new life through our friendship with him. He himself has been a great blessing to us, because he has helped us so much with carpenter work for the renovation of our houses. One day he also brought a friend to us, who needed a temporarily place to live. He wanted to live in the little house that we have in our garden – and in return he could do some work on the house. We concluded that this would be a great way to be a blessing for someone in a very practical way. As time goes by, we see that he is an even greater blessing to us. For instance; the storeroom in the basement suddenly became all tidy and nice after he entered the building.
Not everyone we get to know has the possibility to go to our gatherings. But almost every day we have guests for dinner, where it is natural to share what God is doing in our lives, on the work place, or just what happened when we were out jogging. And since we most of the time have prayer and worship after dinner, this is a great opportunity to give people a taste of the close relationship with Jesus. In February a student of photography was visiting us. He was going to make an exhibition in Oslo with the title “Odda changing” (or something like that). He wanted to take pictures of us while we were worshiping God together. This was of course an unusual and quite funny situation for most of us.
We notice that God entrusts us with more and more treasures that he has longed for to be found, for a long time. This is valuable people whom we by no means want to look upon as projects or short term acquaintances with a given agenda. We really want to know them, and live our lives together with them. We desire that God’s love will flow between us – both ways – like a nourishing river. Please keep on praying; that this love will be poured out abundantly among us.