Friday, July 5

The trip back home! We awoke at 3:15 am local time in Sweden and all made it to the train station in Stockholm via Uber. From there we traveled to the airport by train and flew from Stockholm to London. We had just enough time to make it to our London to Seattle flight, deboarding and hurrying through the airport to make our connection with just a few minutes to spare. After arriving in Seattle, parents picked us up in vans and cars, and we safely returned to BCC around 3:30 pm local time in Bellingham. All in all, about a 20 hour travel day.

Thursday, July 4

Our last day of the Festival and our last full day in Sweden! We spent the morning holding our last Festival session, then said our goodbyes and thank you’s and traveled by train from Norrköping to Stockholm. Our last evening was spent staying on a ship hostel. A special last day of interaction and reflection before the trip home.

This school gym was our home for most of the trip
Thanking our wonderful hosts!
Big group gathering for last day of Festival
Big group photo before departing

Wednesday, July 3

The group had a similar schedule for the third consecutive day as we continued hosting the festival before traveling to the church for time serving with the cafèbussen and a dinner at the church.

Wednesday’s dance class featured swing dancing.

Yet again, a wonderful meal graciously prepared for us by local church friends.

A parting gift keepsake from our hosts during our last evening in Norrköping.

At the end of the evening, some of our group went to new friends’ home to watch Sweden play in the World Cup.

Tuesday, July 2

Tuesday’s schedule followed much the same as Monday’s as we held the second day of our festival followed by time serving with the cafèbussen and a dinner at the church.

Tuesday’s dance class feature line dancing as the dance for the day.

During the afternoon, a few of our team members traveled to the church while the rest of the group continued work at the festival. The group that went to the church performed music for the elderly at the church.

The weather was rainy Tuesday, with more cafèbussen visitors coming aboard the bus itself for coffee, tea and cookies as opposed to the sitting at outdoor tables that are also typically set up outside the bus.

We enjoyed yet another great dinner from local church friends to conclude the day.

Monday, July 1

Monday marked the first day of the festival our group has been planning to host. English classes, children’s lessons/childcare and dance classes were the three main areas of focus our team prepped for in advance. The festival features morning and afternoon sessions and continues each day to Thursday.

Monday’s feature danced was hip hop as participants learned a dance routine to music.

Following the festival, we traveled to Hageby Church to share Fika with the community in the area with the cafèbussen. Prepping coffee, popcorn, cookies and the bus setup came before time spent sharing in conversation with those who came to the bus.

We concluded the day with another great meal graciously prepared by local church friends.

Sunday, June 30

After a full day Saturday that included some of our group serving with the cafèbussen until quite late in the evening, we had the opportunity to sleep in a bit on Sunday. We enjoyed a breakfast brunch together and had a morning devotional time. Then, we traveled to a nearby mall to share about and invite community members to the evening’s church service and upcoming festival we will be hosting during the week.

A special cake during breakfast to celebrate Joelle’s birthday!

Afterr our time at the mall, we went to Hageby Church (Hagebykyrkan) for an afternoon meal and some service prep and free time. Our host friends gave us Hageby Church t-shirts as gifts!

Before the service began, we were able to enjoy a delicious meal prepared for us by church friends.

Our evening worship service included a BCC worship team, student devotional and sermon. An opening song by one of our hosts was sung in Swedish and English, while our devotional sharing and sermon were both translated into Swedish as they were shared. The service was recorded live via the Hageby Church Facebook page, use the button to watch.

To conclude the evening, after church some of our group opted for an ice cream outing! We were told Sunday was one of the warmest days of the summer in Norrköping as temperatures reached the mid to high 80s during the warmest parts of the day.

Saturday, June 29

A day that started at camp and ended with the cafèbussen! In the morning, work continued with painting, cleaning and mowing at the camp. We even got to hear about the history of the camp itself, which dates back to the 1800s.

After a two-night stay, we packed up camp and headed to a restaurant for an early dinner before an evening exploring downtown Norrköping and parking the cafèbussen in the city to share coffee, tea, cookies and conversation.

The oldest church building in Norrköping

Fika with the Cafèbussen

We had ridden the cafèbussen to camp and back, but Saturday evening the first opportunity during our stay to park the bus and use it to serve those in the area and share conversation. The local church uses the cafèbussen quite frequently.

Friday, June 28

We spent all day Friday at the camp location, doing service work and sharing community with friends from a local church who visited the camp for the day. We did service work (painting, mowing, cleaning) during the day and also shared community and fellowship with our new church friends. From conversations to games to sharing meals together, it was a great time together.

After some work, lunch and community time in various groups we all got together for a couple of big group camp games before hosting a short worship service.

We wrapped up the evening with a meal together, before saying goodbye to our new church friends and sharing some more community time while enjoying the camp amenities.

Thursday, June 27

Our team got together for a morning meeting and devotional before doing some planning for upcoming events we will help with during the weekend and during the next week.

Team members have been hard at work planning in advance of our trip and continued to work on details Thursdays while others went to assist a project requested by our host. During the afternoon, some of our team went to invite community members with sharing about the upcoming festival we will help host next week.

In the evening, we took the cafèbusse to a camp where we will spend a bit of time during the weekend. Thursday evening at camp consisted of dinner together and enjoying some of the site amenities, with a day of service and community work set for Friday.

Headed to Camp

Here are a few images from our first evening at the camp:

Wednesday, June 26

After a night of sleep, several from our group were awake to take a walking tour around town in the morning.

We enjoyed breakfast at our hostel - some of our group even got to stay in rooms on a boat during the night.

Scenes from the walking tour on our way to lunch and a museum in Stockholm.

Vasa Museum: Lunch and a Visit

Part of Wednesday’s agenda included lunch and a visit to the Vasa Museum. From the museum’s website: The Vasa ship capsized and sank in Stockholm 1628. After 333 years on the sea bed the mighty warship was salvaged and the voyage could continue. Today Vasa is the world's best preserved 17th century ship and the most visited museum in Scandinavia.

At lunch, many great dishes were on the menu. This dish was called “A Taste of Sweden” and enjoyed by those who ordered it.

Scenes from the Vassa Museum visit!

Train Trip: Traveling from Stockholm to Norrköping

After visiting the museum, the team took a series of trains to reach Norrköping.

The team had dinner at the train station and on the trains during the trip.

A few scenes from the train ride, a time for fellowship together and rest.

We arrived at our destination after the trip and look forward to the week ahead!

Team Journal Entry: Kezia

The day started with an emergency 😉. The roommates worked swiftly and effectively to evacuate their warm beds and rooms early in the morning...not even taking time to put on real shoes but settling for flip flops to save time and to get out as fast as possible. Jené was the brave leader who stopped the problem at its source by pressing snooze on her alarm. I’d say in the end, her “fire alarm” went very smoothly. Breakfast was super good and if I could, I would have it every day. We then went on a morning walk in the rain to the Royal Palace and Church. The whole group met up at 11:00 to go to the boat museum (Vassa). It was huge and cool (even though they cut out 2/3 of the masts). Lunch was very fancy and they had nice tea. We took a little boat back to the hostel after e walked to the mall to look at Gucci bags and stuff. We got to the train station and we ate Thai food and they gave me way too much curry. We took a train to Norrkoping. Family time: Jené won Shame Train for “evacuating” her roommates and Casey won Fellowship Of The Bling for general positivity.

Tuesday, June 25

We arrived safe and sound in Stockholm late on Tuesday evening! A cancelled flight from London Gatwick to Stockholm rearranged travel plans and made for a 30-hour travel stretch overall, but we made with a flight to Copenhagen and a layover there before the flight to Stockholm.

Monday, June 24

Travel day! Our team met at Bellingham Covenant on Monday morning and loaded up cars from the drive to Seattle.

Team Journal Entry: Elle

Here’s how Elle detailed our first day in our team journal 😊

Two Weeks Away!

Now that we’re just one week away, our team wanted to THANK YOU for the financial support you’ve given us over these past few months! Because of your generosity, we’ve raised well over $10,000 for this trip so far. Your support has been a huge blessing!

Now, our hope is that you’ll continue to support us through prayer!

Here are some ways you can pray for us:

First, please pray that God would use our team in powerful ways. We hope that God would use us to make a genuine difference in the lives of the people we meet and serve!

Second, pray for each team member. Specifically that their personal walk with Christ would change. Our prayer is that each one would be sparked to re-examine life priorities in light of what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a hurting world.

Third, join us in praying that life back home would change for us. Our prayer is that we’d return to the Bellingham community with new eyes — sensitized to see the ethnic diversity and pockets of poverty that may have escaped us previously. We also pray that our team would return home with a new vision for how their faith might impact their home life and their community at large.

Finally, we’d appreciate prayer for team unity and safety as we travel.

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