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ss nucleus - September 2013,  fjords and fellowship

fjords and fellowship

Jack Strain and Lorna Hemingway report on a CMF Summer Team in Norway.

what did we do?

Having answered an advert for summer teams on the CMF website, we found ourselves in Norway. After sightseeing in Oslo, we met with local students to travel to Hermon H√łyfjellssenter, a traditional wooden lodge in a Christian-run ski resort. The beautiful surroundings were a real retreat from London life! There were 16 people including students, junior doctors and speakers at the conference from Norway, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, and Germany.

CMF's Giles Cattermole led teaching on Titus and running a CMF group, and a German psychotherapist gave talks on caring for yourself and others. We found these talks a great opportunity to reflect personally and encourage others from countries where running CMF groups is more difficult. Some of the most uplifting aspects of the week were prayer, sharing and worship sessions. We had great fun learning about other CMF groups, and were able to share ideas such as Imperial College CMF's 'Brothers and Sisters' mentoring scheme.

The last two days involved a day hike (complete with jumping over streams) and visiting Sognefjorden - the largest fjord in Norway. Both days were a great opportunity to reflect on seminars, brainstorm ideas for the next year and make some good friends.

Fun included traditional food (did you know that on Saturday night everyone in Norway eats rice porridge with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top?) and the revelation that the other students would come in school uniform if asked to dress up as someone British (the countries represented do not have school uniforms). Less surprising was the large amount of time needed to describe cricket, or the importance of the Lions' rugby game.

what did we learn?

It's staggering to think that in nearly every medical school across northern Europe there are other Christian medical students like us, meeting and sharing the gospel. It was encouraging to realise we're 'all in the same boat' and that students from other countries are praying for us!

Before the trip we thought that as large UK medical schools we had everything sorted and knew exactly how to run a CMF group and encourage others in Christ. We left realising that we still have a way to go! To see how others battle in countries where CMF isn't an easy organisation to be a part of, or where they struggle to find other Christian medics was incredible. We were amazed at their huge faith and trust in the Lord.

join a CMF summer team next year

It's a great opportunity to meet Christians in similar situations, and see for yourself that we have a global gospel, bearing fruit in all sorts of different countries where Christians face varied challenges. It is easy to hold a narrow picture of the Christian world in the UK; being part of a summer team is a splendid way to break down those assumptions. For more details see:

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