top of page

Finding New Hope In Finland

22/12/2015 11:50
By: Fargo Bcn

Meet two good friends you would like to hang around with despite having difficulty "overcoming the language barrier." It is a very typical encounter among different people, like many of us coming from foreign countries and having to learn to speak a new language apart from our mother tongue. Two promising young adults have come from a long journey to Tampere to make a fresh start. Sedad was 24, and Ahmad was 21 when they arrived in Finland in 2015. Like any of us, they both have simple dreams and aspirations. After over a month of getting to know them better, from their regular visits to our little multicultural congregation and their interest in learning English twice a week, it encouraged me to make things different for them. Being shy, sincere, and humble, I'm grateful they're the kind of people who can get along quickly. It's incredible to feel the good vibes between us. Unsurprisingly, I got to trust them both quickly, and they also trusted me in return.
As asylum seekers who hail from Mosul and South Kurdistan, each has their struggles and stories about their homeland and family life situation. Knowing Kurdistan as a semi-autonomous region within a united Iraq, I sympathize with how the Kurds fought for autonomy to govern their own government over the past decades. Sad though, this one consistent bright land, a nation that appeared to be a prosperous and democratic Kurdish region in northern Iraq, is no better than its neighbors. Now, a region is disturbed and experiencing severe conflicts, fighting, and war. True, the notion that South Kurdistan was merely a semi-autonomous region within a united Iraq was little more than a convenient diplomatic fiction. The reality was that Kurdistan was an independent state in everything but its name. The rise of ISIS is the most recent and devastating manifestation that has dramatically affected the Kurdish nation.
Listening to Ahmad and Sedad's story is an unspeakable experience one can ever imagine. I bet no one would like to encounter the fear, the hunger, the sleepless nights, and the hardship they went through. Imagine crossing the many dangerous borders by foot, risking their lives to sail the deadly sea, and escaping from all dangers to survive. One can always question, "Why leave your country and family in that condition?" Yes, we may have reasons to ask, but these people have the right to survival just as we do. In this broken world where anyone is going through pain and suffering, which leaves many lives uncertain, we can't help but pray that we could be more compassionate and sensitive to the needs of others. No one is a stranger to God. It's okay to doubt, but it's NOT okay to give chances to people who deserve a safe refuge, a peaceful community, and a brighter tomorrow. It's the small act of kindness that we offer to strangers that help change the world to a better state of the human race.


This is how we all started. Taking time to listen and appreciate a foreign language is fun. (Photo taken at the Parish house, Näsilinnankatu).

Starting a new community in Tampere. Sedad and Ahmad pose with Finnish friends, Kati and Leena during the Christmas Carol service at Vanha kirkko. Helping them adopt to the Finnish culture, Leena helps in organizing activities aside from teaching Finnish and English lessons once a week.

It's LOVE that brought us together underneath the Christmas tree. Sedad and Ahmad celebrate their first Christmas in Finland in a homely atmosphere in Hervanta.

ICCK- It's About Family

20/10/2015  20:05
By: Fargo Bcn


Becoming a volunteer teacher at the Sunday school has been one of the best experiences I encountered at ICCK. Being with the children, storytelling, and greeting the happy faces of every parent who brings their child to the children's fellowship is joyful! It is truly a place where each child makes friends and experiences the love of God regardless of color, race, and language each one has. Every child is free to "wonder" If God is black, white, yellow, red, or brown.
 Starting a new life in Finland took work for me three years ago. I needed to start from the ground up. After a few weeks of finding an international church that has English service, I finally found this multicultural congregation through the net. From my first Sunday visit, I knew it had become my home. A place I run to when I need a word of encouragement, when I need to feel safe, and where I can call a family. 
 How do you describe this thing that pulls you into its web? The International Congregation of Christ the King- Tampere, as most call it, the ICCK. Many people who came the first time are encouraged to return and join the church family. Yes, many consider it their family home, their place of belonging every Sunday. Men, women, young and old, international students and children who speak Finnish, Spanish, German, French, Dutch, Arabic, Tagalog, Portuguese, Korean, Chinese, African, Urdu, Hindi, English, and many other languages gather each Sunday to celebrate their faith in Jesus Christ. More than twelve countries from around the world are represented. It's like a mini United Nations. And ¨united¨ really what they are. The political divisions that seem so troublesome around the world move to the background as people come together as ¨ brothers ¨and ¨sisters¨ in the family called ICCK.
When you're away from home and your family, you miss two things the most- the food from home and hearing your mother tongue. ICCK is a true home away from home where people often get together to celebrate their food and language and share God's love. I am truly grateful to belong to this multicultural congregation in Tampere.
Most of us are looking for answers to the meaning of life. Some of us have come to this country not by accident but for a reason. We may have visited Lourdes, France, to experience miracles. Some might have traveled to Tibet or China to see if the wise men in that mysterious place could shed some light on how to live and know inner peace. We may be passing by as tourists, coming to work or studying in this country. ICCK, for many, is a journey. We come from traditions that were important to our parents but seem to have little meaning to us. Not having the luxury of choosing our brand of religion from back home, we find ourselves drawn into this collection of people from all over the world who are also on a spiritual journey. People with different religious backgrounds share the same understanding of God's boundless love. The International Congregation of Christ the King is about family, home, and a journey, but most importantly, it's about God.



Authentic Hope

18/04/2013 15:40
by: Oscar Njumba

Dear brethren in Christ, today we read and hear headlines of beating drums of war in many parts of the world, the economic collapse in many countries, and, worst of all, the growing intolerance for the Church’s moral positions. Do you still have Hope in God? How do you feel this Hope today?
In my opinion, Hope is so much more than simply “positive words.” The words are merely invitations. Christ’s three-year ministry was one of invitation, but the actual Hope was conceived on the Cross. This, dear friends, is the path of authentic Hope for you and me in these times.
Hope comes from a living and intense relationship with Jesus Christ. It is not just knowing about Him, but knowing Him. Many people today, and perhaps some of us, are chasing after prophecies of the future and have forgotten to spare enough time to pray and build a valuable relationship with God. Let us remember that Hope springs from an ongoing encounter with God through a life lived for Him and Him alone. When we pray properly, we undergo a process of inner purification that opens us up to God and our fellow human beings. In doing this, we become capable of being great Hope and ministers of Hope for others.
If we continue to hold back from God’s commandments and keep a part of ourselves out of His reach and the reach of our neighbor, the result is nothing more than losing Hope. Every time we sin, we lose Hope because we have ceased following Him, who is Hope itself.
The authentic Hope we seek today cannot live in us unless we start following Christ’s life pattern seriously. This is no longer time to hold back, to keep a part of you to yourself. Give everything to God, no matter the cost. And the more it costs, the more influential the grace, reward, and resurrection of Jesus in your life in whose image you are being renewed.
We cannot hide that many threatening clouds are gathering on the horizon. We must not lose heart; rather, we must keep the flame of Hope alive in our hearts. In the name of God, I urge you not to let yourselves be robbed of Hope and to remain faithful in Christ.
Thank you, and remain blessed.

Njumba Oscar Mokono

bottom of page