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Holsby Bible School – Winter Term

Winter term was a busy term, we had enough going on to fill up the free time we had 🙂 From extra assignment and book studies to preparing events. This is also the reason why I haven’t been able to keep you guys up to date as I normally would with monthly posts, so this post will be longer than usual and will cover the whole of Winter Term but a bit more condensed.

January

week 13 – 15

The first week of the winter term! Everybody came back rested and well from the Christmas break and it was good to see everybody again. It felt like the three weeks apart made us grow closer once we came back together again. We also got three news students that will be staying with us until the end of spring term, Veronika 🇩🇪, Naomi 🇩🇪 and Megan 🇺🇸 The lectures this week were about the seven letters to the seven Churches in the book of Revelations, the lectures we’re given by Luke Thomas. I never expected to learn practical knowledge from Revelations but there is definitely a lot to be learned. Once we got to the letter of to the church of Smyrna Luke pulled a prank on us by telling us that Holsby has to shut down because of new regulations set up by the government, we would be having two more weeks together at Holsby and then we had to leave. As expected everybody was really shocked, but Luke just continued his lecture. After 5 minutes he reassured us that it was a joke- he wanted to make it clear that like the church of Smyrna everything could be going well, but that tribulation can always come and when that happens we need to know that our strength is in Jesus and that we should trust in Him.

People playing ice hockey on the pond this winter

The second week we had our first digital lectures, it was a lectures series from Rob Wittaker, I think from all the lectures we’ve had, Rob’s lecture have been my favorite lectures so far. The lectures were about the book of 1 kings and how David came to be king, Rob went through the book and showed us all the practical applications of the things David encountered.

This week we also started our third intramural, we competed in a game called innebandy (floorball/ indoor floor hockey) and at the end of the week we had the JPCPPT (John Poysti Classic Ping Pong Tournament), John Poysti is the former director of the school and he was very good at Ping Pong as I have been told.

This is a little graphic that I made of the word ‘hilastērion’ it’s Greek for propitiation, I printed it out and used it as a sticker on my water bottle.

February

week 16 – 19

We started February off with a screen fast, this week we turned our phones in and lived a week without them. Definitely an interesting experience, since everybody automatically is more invested in the things around them where as normally they might have been on their phone. I don’t think I’ve ever spend a week without my phone since I got one, so this was a good reminder of how life is without it. To be honest, living without a phone is inconvenient, it’s harder to plan things with others, you can’t look something up you don’t know and you don’t know what time it is if you don’t wear a watch like me, but a phone also consumes a lot of time most of which is unnecessarily wasted on social media and other things like it. At the end of the screen fast we had an issues in perspective lecture from Jonathan about phone use and how it changes us. Issues in perspective lectures are lectures where we discuss more controversial topics, but without causing a divide. Some of the topics we’ve had are phone use, pornography, Egalitarianism vs Complementarianism, Marijuana and more.

Winter retreat! We ended the first week of February with a winter retreat where we spent the Friday doing fun winter activities like sledding, cross country skiing, ice hockey, broom ball and snowball fights (lots of snowball fights). During our time here we sometimes have weekends like these where we don’t have a curfew and are allowed to watch movies, this weekend we watched all of the Narnia movies.

On our way to the winter retreat activities!

The lectures for the second week of February were given by John Brenneman, and he taught us about the book of Acts. He made a map of the Mediterranean Sea on the floor with string, we all sat in a circle around it and while going through the book he had us memorize all the places Paul visited and what the main event was in every chapter of the ook of Acts. These lectures were very interesting, Acts on it’s own is an interesting book, but Johny B. is also a great teacher.

At the end of the week all of us guys got to experience “Guys Appreciation Day”, this is a day all of the girls prepared for us to make us feel appreciated. It was a wonderful day, we had fun games outside, an amazing Fika prepared for us in the BIK, cool games in the gym in the evening and a really cool video at the end.

All the girls dressed up to imitate the guys, Julia who dressed up as me is the one holding the hot-sauce bottle, something I am know to consume a lot of.

Sunday evening, the next day, I got very bad news. My dear friend Addy (I wrote a bit about her in the last blog at week 11) had an accident while sledding, she hit her head on a pole and got a serious concussion. She spend two weeks in the Hospital and a week in Rehab, during this time I learned to trust God, and be joyful in him no matter the situation. Addy’s well being is a lot better now and she is even slowly going back to work, God has done a great miracle with the speed of her recovery, especially from a injury as serious as this one.

The next week we had to say goodbye to 3 of our Canadian brothers 🇨🇦 Brian, Morgun and Taylor, two of which were my roommates so I had a room to myself for the last couple of weeks. Canada put in a new regulation where citizens that fly into Canada have to stay in a hotel for a couple of days of quarantine which doesn’t sound that bad at first, but the hotels charge ridiculous prices where one has to pay 1500-2000 dollars for 3 nights. So our boys left before that new regulation was put in to place, which is sad, but we had a great time together.

Half way through February we were asked to design our personal pages for the yearbook. Even though it’s called a year book it’s only for the students that stayed for the Fall and Winter term and not the Spring term, at the time of writing this I already have the yearbook and it turned out great!

My personal page for the yearbook, I designed it in the same style as I designed this blog.

As there is a Guys Appreciation Day there also has to be a Girls Appreciation Day, planning this day was a blast and to see the result of all the effort we put in was really satisfying. It was also really cool to see how each guy used their talents and picked up the tasks that they felt fit them the best and by doing that lightening the workload of others. As I was the leader of the evening planning group my first instinct is to do all the work, which was just unrealistic really, but for the different items we planned for that evening everyone picked up what they think they did best, this was nice because this made me able to focus on what I was excited for which was the Gala. The Gala was a one and a half hour segment of the evening where we setup up round tables for the Girls to sit at and they could enjoy the various performances while getting served drinks and snacks. Seeing everything come together that day was really bond strengthening as brothers here at Holsby and having this all happen by appreciating the girls made it even better.

During January we had lectures from Jonathan about Bible interpretation, these lectures were spread over a couple of weeks and were interesting to listen to. We learned all kinds of things all surrounding the topic of interpreting the Bible, but now starting in February Jonathan is giving us three assignments, one about asking questions and making observations about the text, the second is about writing an exegetical, theological and homiletical idea of the text and the third is about making a Bible study from the research. We all had to choose a Bible passage to do our assignments about, mine was Colossians 1:15-23 The Preeminence of Christ, I might make a separate article for this assignment on my blog.

March

week 20-22

We have a new student! Rudi 🇳🇦 from Namibia, Rudi is also my new roommate, since I was alone in my room he joined my room. Rudi is a friend from my good friend Ben 🇨🇭, and was originally meant to do Bible school in Klostermühle Germany because he speaks German as well as English and Afrikaans. I was excited to hear that he spoke Afrikaans since it is very similar to Dutch, he let me read his Afrikaans Bible which was practically Dutch and he can understand me as well when I speak Dutch.

We gained one we lost one. Quickly after Rudi’s arrival we had to say goodbye to our beloved RA, Tim 🇨🇦 (Residential Assistant, an RA is someone who leads the guy or girls dorm and makes sure that everything is well with the students in the dorms and outside). Tim was not able to get a visa to be able to stay for the whole year, so now that we don’t have an RA anymore there is not really anyone that communicates anything to Luke, so Luke asked us to vote for a student to fill that role and the majority of the guys voted for me, so during the spring term I will be fulfilling the role of RA partially.

Easter is coming up and to celebrate that we are having a Passover meal, earlier that week we had a day of lectures about the feasts of the Bible from Brad our kitchen manager and chef. I’ve celebrated my fair share of Passover meals, but never with this many people at the same time and that during a pandemic, what a blessing! The Passover meal was really good as well, the kitchen did a great job preparing it. The ceremony was pretty much the same as I do it back home, but the washing of each others hands instead of your own was a cool addition.

One of the lecture series I was excited for were the lectures about C.S. Lewis by Ray Baker, Ray Baker is from the USA but lives in Stockholm. Something that stood out to me in these lectures was that C.S. Lewis has some theology that I don’t agree with and I think most Christians don’t, for me this is not a problem but it was surprising to me because he is in very high regard with a lot of Christians and I don’t think most people know this more controversial side of his theology.

Some of the girls had the idea to do a staff appreciation day, it was only in the evening so it was more like a staff appreciation night. We did sort of a similar thing as with girls appreciation day, we organized a gala where the staff could enjoy performances, have time to talk and get snacks and drinks served to them. I think what they appreciated most of all was that we took care of their kids so that as staff they had a night with just the adults. We closed the evening by praying for the staff, first all together and then separate in family groups.

Staff appreciation night.

Bible school is not only learning and doing fun activities, as a student body that is separated by boys and girls in two different buildings pranks are bound to happen. And to close the term of we as boys have outdone ourselves, we had the idea to steal some chickens from Brad or Luke and put them in the girls dorm at night. Now we thought stealing the chickens might go a bit to far so some of the guys drove 45 minutes to and back to buys 4 chickens. We kept them in the showers during the day and at 3 am we let them loose in the girls dorm. The girls woke up with pooping chickens in their hallway and had to catch them and get rid of them in the middle of the night, they put them in the Brad’s chicken coup and he didn’t even notice the next morning when he fed them. The next day we killed two of them, I killed one and Ben the other, we plucked them, gutted them and put them on the BBQ. They smelled good and they tasted good but they were extremely tough to chew on.

The end of the term is here and that means we have to say goodbye to some people who are not staying for Spring term, but before we did that we had the commencement ceremony, with commencement the students that did the Fall/Winter Bible school get their certificates and share something of their time here.