Tracker Pixel for Entry

Can Jesus come back to Norway?

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | HPR Abroad | June 16th, 2016

By: Angie Perez

Religious affiliation in Norway has been on a steady decline in recent decades. For the first time ever atheists slightly outnumber believers, demonstrating modern society’s move toward secularization.

According to Norway’s Ipsos MMI 2016 social-cultural survey, 39 percent of Norwegians who were asked about their faith considered themselves atheist, 37 percent confirmed to believe in a higher power, while 23 percent were uncertain. Oslo, the capital of Norway, reported the lowest percent of believers in the whole country where the the older demographic had higher number of believers than the youth.

This disinterest in religion might not affect most Norwegians but St. Mark’s Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Oslo has found a modern and creative approach to preach the message of the Christian gospel in a way they hope young people can more easily relate to.

Oddleiv Sandtorv, 31, an artist and member of St. Marks, has devoted 8 years of his life in mission work. Two years ago, Sandtorv and his wife, Debora Sandtorv, a hip hop choreographer, were inspired by their desire to share the good news of “who is Jesus?,” and how he has changed their life and how he can change others’ lives. Now, in 2016 they have successfully toured all over Europe with St. Mark’s mission organization, Jesus Revolution.

“We asked ourselves: how can we make Jesus and the gospel’s message available to the youth, in a way that they can relate to and understand,” Oddleiv said.

Since a little girl, Debora has dreamt of creating her own dance show, and Oddleiv has always had a passion for singing and music. Combining their love for the arts and Jesus they decided to start musical performances and concerts with Jesus Revolution.

“This whole idea came, and we immediately started working. We took some time and prayed about it until we sensed that God was leading us to do this,” Oddleiv said.

For the last few months they have been all over Europe performing their first Jesus Revolution tour, booking shows at Pentecostal and Evangelical churches. Their last stop was in their home church, St. Marks, where they gave a performance Thursday, June 9th.

They started this dream of theirs with no money, resources, or team members, but little by little they started forming a crew of dancers, music producers, multimedia directors and sound technicians.

What makes the performance special, according to Oddleiv, is the narrative that unfolds. They share the gospel through lyrics and simultaneously telling different people’s stories with multimedia on a screen of how their life was before, what kind of a mess they were in, and then how Jesus came into their life and changed.

The mix of music, song, dance and multimedia enhances the performance, and demonstrates the variety of styles used such as EDM, hip hop, house, dubstep, drum step as the dancers dance ballet, tap dancing, floorwork and more.

“We think that we have something that is unique and different from other people, and we hope that many people can be blessed by this.” Oddleiv said.

Besides Oddleiv’s talent on stage he considers himself a preacher more than an entertainer but always dreamt to use music and art that comes with a message.

“I think I’m a preacher first and foremost and I preach through arts… I haven’t heard or seen anyone else that is doing exactly what we are doing, where you have a mix of media, dancing, music and preaching put together,” Oddleiv said.

He and his group have made an album set to come out this summer and are looking to expand their tour to the United States in the future.

“I think people focus more on the well use of religion but don’t search for the relationship with Jesus,” Debora said. “And that’s what we are trying to do - to portray the gospel in a good and relevant way that people are able to relate to and ultimately have a good time.” 

Recently in:

FARGO – Republican optimism for enlisting Senate candidates is suffering blow after blow. Democrats have flipped eight Republican-controlled state legislative seats across the nation, from Roy Moore’s loss to former federal…

When I was a young boy of five I was lucky enough to have a black and white TV in our house. I had a lot of friends in those day because I let the whole neighborhood come over on Saturday morning to watch cartoons. I distinctly…

Wednesday, January 24, 6pmFargo Theatre, 314 Broadway NThe very first showing of “Homegrown: From Farm to Fargo,” a half-hour documentary shot, written, edited and produced by mass communication and journalism students at…

Last week I was asked to appear and speak on behalf of Matt Pausch, owner of the Oasis, before the Public Works and Safety Committee in Wahpeton. The Pausches are great people and I will never forget the time I spent at the Oasis.…

Corky had a knee replaced in late December and she has been diligently doing the physical therapy connected with the rehab. Although the operation was done in Fargo, I imagine the procedure would have cost about the same if it had…

Rhombus GuysWhile they may be known locally and throughout the region for their restaurants, which feature over thirty different pizzas, and their recent addition of a brewery in Grand Forks, Rhombus Guys also proudly pour from a…

Do you eat enough vegetables? Almost no one does. The current USDA nutrition guidelines for adults recommend 2.5 to 3 cups of vegetables to be eaten daily. Other nutrition sources indicate this number can be upwards of 6 cups of…

No one who has lived in Fargo for any length of time has to be told how bitterly cold it can get here during the winter. As much as we might complain about the cold temperatures, the biting winds, or the copious amounts of snow, we…

Now playing on Netflix Instant Watch, Voyeur is the curious story of strange bedfellows Gay Talese -- the once influential and celebrated journalist -- and Gerald Foos, a creepy peeper who spied on the guests at his hotel,…

High Plains Reader: How did the idea for Daily Trump Cartoon come to you -- what was your call to action?Peter Yuenger: It wasn't really a call to action, It was more of a New Year’s resolution to get back in the habit of drawing…

Smoke starts to seep from the sides of the stage and a rocker’s voice echoes over the crowd: “Are you ready to rock?!”You might think that you’re at a rock concert, if you weren’t seated in a black box theatre. For the…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

“What are some of your favorite bottles of whiskey?” is a question I get asked quite frequently and is often harder to answer than one might think. One of the great rewards of my profession is getting to sample some of the…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

By Gary Olsonolsong@moravian.edu“Kissing a man without a beard is like eating an egg without salt.”— Dutch proverb, probably written by a man.“Kissing a man with a beard is like going on a picnic. You don’t mind going…