PHOTOS: Oslo Festival Warms Hearts in Chilly Norway

By Tiffany Jothen and Ron Nickel   •   November 11, 2017

The Håpets Festival with Franklin Graham (or Festival of Hope in English) kicked off Saturday in Oslo, the largest city in Norway. For KING & COUNTRY filled the Oslo Spektrum arena with drum beats, later joined by a trombone, cello and other instruments.
Oslo is the center of Norwegian trade, banking, industry and shipping. In a country that lacks very little, it can be easy to look for happiness in material things, Franklin said. But the latest fashion, a big TV or a fancy Tesla (popular in Norway) can bring only temporary fulfillment, he went on. "We have a vacuum and an emptiness that only God can fill."
Music is big in Oslo, and Saturday didn't disappoint, with artists like The Afters, David André Østby and Lacey Sturm. This girl had one of the best views in the arena.
Audun Rensel, who appeared on The Voice Norway, was the first onstage with songs about Jesus Christ. "Christ is enough for me," he sang.
Gilles Gatete couldn't stand still as he worshiped along with the crowd.
The Afters sang some of their most popular songs like "Light Up the Sky."
Over 4,300 people filled seats in the arena Saturday after the Festival drew pushback from some in the area.
Franklin Graham's message was interpreted into Norwegian. "Did you know that God has a plan for your life?" he asked.
Like the U.S., Norwegian society is becoming more secular, but seeing young ones enjoy Gospel-centered music brings hope that future generations will put God first in their lives.
David André Østby is a popular Christian artist from Norway.
"Sin is a barrier; it's a wall between you and Almighty God. And sin has to be atoned for," Franklin said earlier in the night. "And the only way that can take place is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross." Many responded to his message as he shared how living a Christlike life can't be done alone. We must rely on the Holy Spirit's power to live as God wants us to.
Lacey Sturm spoke briefly about her life as a 16-year-old atheist who hated God and anyone who wanted to talk to her about Him. All that changed when she had a miraculous encounter with God Himself.
Gilles Gatete, exploding with praise earlier in the evening, later had a chance to counsel a young man who came forward in response to Christ.
The Festival continues Sunday in Oslo. Please keep this city, and all of Norway, in your prayers.