The tragedy of Norway’s Russ…

[highlighted_p boxed=”false” center=”false”]Sex, drugs, drunken debauchery and dares are all part of the “fun” for Norway’s final year high school students called the russ.[/highlighted_p]

1st of May marks the beginning of the festivities, and from then until 17th they can be seen wearing their characteristic red overalls and caps and with a bottle of beer in the hand. What was meant to be an amusing rite of passage has become a destructive tragedy…

Typical Russ Clothes
Typical Russ Clothes

The dares

Each year a competition goes on among the students as to who can get the most knots on their cap. A knot rewards a certain accomplishment during the russ period. These range from the most inoffensive…like:

  • Spending a night in a tree
  • Eating a big Mac in two bites
  • Spending a school day crawling on hands and knees

To the most stupid and immoral such as:

  • Drinking a bottle of wine in 20 minutes
  • having sex with at least 17 partners
  • Picking up a tender teen
Different knots according to what dares have been accomplished...
Different knots according to what dares have been accomplished…

Expensive buses

In addition to the uniforms, caps, and dares, one of the most important parts of the russ celebrations are the “russebil” – cars or buses the russ decorate and equip with immense stereo systems. Inside, the buses are often fitted with TVs and entertainment equipment, couches, refrigerators. These buses can be a large financial burden; contributions of up to 22 500€ (200 000 Kr) per member have occurred. The average is between 1500€ and 4500€. Including sponsors, the cost of a bus can reach over 230 000€!! (2,000,000 Norwegian kroner).

Inside one of the most expensive buses!
Inside one of the most expensive buses!
Another one of the buses
Another one of the buses

JesusRuss

Luckily, the Christians do not shy out. Young Christians in their final year can join christian alternatives to russ: JesusRuss and KristenRuss. These set up tents at the russ events where they take care of sick and injured drunks, give out buns, being salt and light for those that realise that the partying is not as satisfying and liberating as expected…

One of the Jesusruss tents
One of the Jesusruss tents

Top 10 things I love about working with missions

Guro and I have just come back from holiday in Spain. Coming back to work is an amazing blessing when you love the work you are doing. Here is a top 10 list of reasons why I love working with missions:

  1. Getting to know God more – I have definitely discovered amazingly much about Him through spending time with Him
  2. I found my amazing wife in missions
  3. Here she is :-)
    Here she is 🙂
  4. Seeing others finding God – One of life’s greatest experiences is being with someone that feels God’s presence for the first time, or that understands the message of the Gospel, or that get healed by God on the streets
  5. All the friends with a heart for God that I have made
  6. Traveling and getting to know different cultures, meeting new people, making new friends, eating new kinds of food
  7. Just came back from Spain
    Just came back from Spain
  8. Inspiring other young Christians to live for God, and being an example for them
  9. Spending my time meaningfully, impacting eternity and living for something greater than me
  10. Being constantly challenged in different ways. This enables me to grow!
  11. Walking alongside great leaders, people that I can trust and be inspired of.
  12. Living by faith financially – Maybe not something that I always “love”, but a blessing for sure!