AA DRA Norway raised USD $23,000 for educational projects in South Sudan during a two-hour-and-half program by Hope Channel Norway on Saturday, November 14th. The program was live-streamed from the Mjøndalen Seventh-day Adventist Church and featured what Adventist churches and schools across the country did for the ingathering program during the pandemic.
The live event marked the end of the week of prayer and the annual ingathering campaign. The program showcased how church members have been active as part of the initiative ‘Total Membership Involvement’.
ADRA's Secretary-General, Birgit Philipsen, is very pleased with the positive response received from viewers across the country. “It has been really encouraging to see Adventists in Norway support ADRA's work to provide education for children and youth in South Sudan. I am especially pleased to note that even during the pandemic, members are able to see beyond their own challenges and think of people who are facing larger problems. This inspires us at ADRA to continue our work,” says Philipsen.
During the broadcast, viewers saw video reports from Adventist churches and schools across the country. In a year marked by the Coronavirus pandemic, many schools have nevertheless collected significant sums for the development work that ADRA manages.
“I am happy to see young and old working together and see how involved they are,” says Philipsen.
Britt Celine Oldebråten, an ADRA employee, was in charge of an auction during the live transmission. Bids were submitted via Facebook. “We did not know if people were going to watch the program and if they were going to bid, but there was a huge response, and we received a fantastic sum,” says Oldebråten, who was very busy towards the end of the auction, when bidders were particularly active.
The painter Anne Valen Næss, one of Norway’s most significant colorists, donated a painting for the auction. The painting was made for the auction and was entitled ‘Alle engasjert’ (everyone involved). The final bid was NOK 18,000 (approximately USD 2,000).
“I am very pleased that the picture could be a blessing,” says Næss.
Of the rather strange items put up for auction were three cans of vintage Nutolene. The Nutana health food factory used to produce the peanut-based pâté, which evokes memories among Seventh-day Adventists in Scandinavia. However, the product is no longer available in Scandinavia.
Tom Angelsen, the North Norway Conference president, won the bid for the three cans with a bid of 900 kroner (USD 100). “I enjoy Nutolene on a slice of bread with tomato and mayonnaise,” he says.
For the children in South Sudan, all the contributions to the fundraising campaign are important. So far this year, ADRA Norway has raised USD $328,000 and hopes to reach USD $388,000 before the end of the year. Education is the key to a better future for many children. ADRA Norway’s education projects in South Sudan operate using funding from Norad, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.