Friday: Kongsvinger ~ A Joyous Day!

The Day

Today was a great day.

First off~ I got an email this morning from the IRB (internal review board from the university) approving the “prison employee” side of my study. Praise God! Right now I have two parts to the study ~ the employee side and the prisoner side~ The first part is finally approved!!! The second part goes up to the IRB board next month~ so fingers crossed!

The Lord is so faithful b/c I came down to Kongsvinger to do interviews with a few prison teachers and it would not have been possible w/o the approval of the board 🙂 WHEW!

With approval in hand, I sat down & talked with 3 prison teachers today. They all shared very interesting stories with me…. should hopefully be good data for future analysis. Now if I could just figure out how to transcribe with the NVivo software… We started interviewing around 11:00am today & went right up until 4:30pm. I am exhausted. I didn’t realize how much interviewing really wipes you out. Luckily I have a fantastic audio recorder to capture the conversations. This makes life far less stressful in terms of note taking. Steve also came along & took notes for me (on his impressions of the conversation.) That should also be some interesting data. The first interviewee spoke limited English, so Laila had to do some translating~ but in the other 2 interviews, the people were strong english speakers. I feel very blessed that they shared their time with us!

An interesting note on Norwegian culture….
THEY LIKE TO FEED GUESTS!
Steve and I are STUFFED right now. The first home we went into, the gentleman started by servings us coffee & cinnamon rolls. Then he brought out three different containers of ice cream and more coffee. After that he went back to the kitchen & came back with a beer, 2 cokes, and 1 Fanta orange soda. It was so sweet of him. When Steve, Laila & I said it was too much, he exclaimed “It’s not every day that Americans come to visit me!”

The second home we went into, the woman offered us coffee, tea & a snack, but we were all so full that we declined & just asked for water. I hope that this was okay culturally… she seemed to understand.

The final home we went into the gentleman also served us ice cream (with strawberries this time!) and coffee. Whew!!! Needless to say, I was sugared & caffeined up by the end of the day 🙂 But the Norwegians are incredibly gracious hosts/tesses. We felt very welcomed in each home we visited today.

The Stone
It’s now about 8:00pm & Steve and I are going to take a short walk & then listen to Halim’s sermon (from the Stone) from last week. It looks like it’s going to be pretty good. The Stone posted some quotes that Halim used this week on their website. I absolutely L.O.V.E. them! I’ve included them here for others to enjoy as well:

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“They tell us that it is heresy to suggest the superiority of some value, fantasy to believe in moral argument, slavery to submit to a judgment sounder than your own. The freedom of our day is the freedom to devote ourselves to any values we please, on the mere condition that we do not believe them to be true.”-As quoted in, Finding God at Harvard

“In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.” -Dorothy Sayers

“You account for the facts: 100s of orthodox Jews who were the last people on the planet to believe in the risen son of God did… it couldn’t have been wishful thinking… you account for the fact that sometimes people saw him hundreds at a time and so it couldn’t have been a hallucination – people don’t hallucinate in groups. And you account for the fact that those people lived the rest of their lives and died for their belief in the resurrection and so it couldn’t have been a hoax” -Tim Keller

“I believe in Jesus because He fulfills none of my dreams because He’s in every respect the opposite of what He would be if I could’ve made Him in my own image”. W.H. Auden

“The gospel opposes both moralism and relativism. On the one hand, “moralism” stresses truth over grace, for it says that we must obey the truth in order to be saved. On the other hand, “relativism” stresses grace over truth, for it says that we are all accepted by God (if there is a God) and that “truth” is something we decide for ourselves. But “truth” without grace is not really truth, and “grace” without truth is not really grace. Jesus was “full of grace and truth”.”-Tim Keller

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Anyway, that’s really all I’ve got for now… Time to write our more field notes & start transcribing!! Happy Friday all!

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