I have been in Stavanger In Norway for about 6 months. And I have been participating in different youth gatherings. They were so different than what I experienced in Hong Kong’s churches.
The experiences from Norway
In these 5 months, I have been to two youth camps held by The Norwegian Mission Society Youth (NMSU). I would not say I enjoy it so much but I experienced noticeably big cultural difficulties in the camps. How we discipline the youth in a Christian camp. I remembered how the youths ruined the talks and devotion. Then, how Norwegian leaders bring their concentration back. It is hugely different between Hong Kong and Norway. In Norway, the leaders would more respect them by just looking at them. I would say it was rarely happened inside Christian camps in Hong Kong.
Secondly, I am also participating in confirmation class held by a local church (St. Johannes Kirke) in Stavanger. I more like an observer at the beginning and I was so glad that the priest asked me and my partner to take part in one class. And we found that youths here enjoyed the interaction more than listening only. Therefore, churches here offer some interest groups for the youths instead of only having bible lessons. They encourage more vivid way to learn Christianity. That is a great inspiration for me to think about how Hong Kong churches could include more youth by knowing what youths want.
“And we found that youths here enjoyed the interaction more than listening only. Therefore, churches here offer some interest groups for the youths instead of only having bible lessons. They encourage more vivid way to learn Christianity. ”
Throughts for going back to Hong Kong
Being in Norway for 8 months, I met so many kind people, especially the youth! They are friendly and willing to speak English to me which is so warm and quite challenging for them (they seldom speak English in daily). After coming back to Hong Kong, I hope we could include more youth and listen to their voices in making a better church.
Ngai Wong (Sandy) Participant in the Connect program from Hong Kong 2021-2022