After a long trip, we arrived home last night shortly after midnight. The trip to Norway was wonderful for us. Here are a few of the bullet highlights of the trip:
Olso Christian Center - Our time at the church was great. The pastor and people there are so excited about God's grace. They are perhaps the most influencial church in Scandanavia. Their generosity and hospitality to us were as great as I've seen anywhere.
Bergen - Paul and Haley met us in Olso the day after I finished speaking at the conference. (You can read about who they are in the "Photos From Norway" blog. We left Oslo and went to Bergen, a six hour train ride to the west. Shortly after arriving there, Melanie came down with strep throat. We had to take her to the doctor. After 2 days on medicine, she improved greatly.
The folks that owned the flat we rented (Karine and Van)were strangers we met only after arriving. We called them to ask about how to find a doctor. They came over and took us to the hospital so that Melanie could get help. While waiting for her to see the doctor, their son "happened" to call on her cell phone. When she told him where she was, he said, "Mom! That's the guy whose book you are reading right now and who I heard speak in Oslo this week!" As it turns out, she was reading the Norwegian edition of Grace Walk. Until we met, none of us knew each other or that we were all Christians. It was one of those times when we all saw the fingerprints of God all over the situation.
The Fjords - You can see the photos under the other blog, but this was an amazing experience. National Geographic Magazine calls the fjords of Norway the number one unspoiled nature destination in the world. I can believe it.
Breakfast on our last day in Norway - On the day before we left to come home, we were at breakfast in the hotel. A man came up to me and said, "Steve McVey! I no speak English." He then put his hand on his heart and pointed to me. I assumed he had been at the conference at church and was thanking me.
The next day, when I went to breakfast, just before we left for the airport to come home, the man rushed up to me again. "Steve McVey!" he said. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a note that he obviously had somebody write in English for him. The note said how much my books had impacted his life. I smiled at him. Tears filled his eyes and he pointed to himself and said, "Free! Free!" We embraced in a hug, unable to say anything to each other, but understanding and sharing the oneness of two people set free by God's grace. It was one of those "Kodak moments" that remind me why I'm in this ministry.
I want to thank those who are partners with us in Grace Walk Ministries. All of us together are making a real difference in places all around the world. The support of those who have a passion for this message reaches further than they could possibly know.