Text: Anna Pärkkä
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
Our Opisto student completed his year Jämsä Opisto last spring. He was our first child to attend Opisto. With this minimal parental experience, I am happy to recommend Opisto to every young person.
The students had had a magnificent year, and we were able to see glimpses of it in the closing festivities. They are taught about the Christian faith in the way that we understand it. They also learn about self-knowledge, working life skills, human interaction and social communication skills. These skills help them to assume responsibility and to be active citizens. The most important goal is also reached: the value of faith is highlighted and strengthened. This was reflected in how willingly the students attended the services and other occasions arranged at Opisto.
They also learn about approaching adulthood. During their year at Opisto, our child and many of his friends surpassed themselves in many ways. They learnt skills that will be useful in independent life, such as keeping their rooms tidy, behaving well with their dorm mates, attending classes and many other things. As parents, we are sincerely grateful for all this. Yet, the most abundant thanks go the Heavenly Father. I remember one of the Bible portions mentioned during the festivities: ”But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7).
Many of us wonder about the right kind of faith. Is this the right faith? Each devotion and sermon shows us that here is the fellowship, here is the light, here is Christ and the kingdom of light. The students had also felt the presence of the kingdom of light at Opisto. Every portion of God’s word testifies that there is only one faith and one kingdom with one king, who is Christ, our Lord. The members of this kingdom experience the fellowship of the saints and the forgiveness of sins.
You lovely young people, go on meeting each other and hang on to the gospel. When you come across mishaps, sorrows and falls, you will always get over them with the help of the gospel. When you have put away your sins and burdens, you will feel happy again.
We had a wonderful time at the Opisto when the parents of our child’s friends came to tell us that they had been happy to get to know our son. How important it is to open our homes to the children and young people of other families. Living in Norway, we have tried always to keep our doors open. I sincerely wish each young person would have one or more families apart from their own family where they would feel at home.
Käsite omantunnonvapaudesta on vilahdellut medioissa alkaneen vuoden aikana. Se on liitetty valmisteilla olevaan translakiin, ja siihen, millä tavalla siihen saa suhtautua. Aiheeseen liittyen on noussut esiin mielipiteitä, joilla on pyritty määrittelemään, mitkä asiat kuuluvat omantunnonvapauden piirin ja mitkä eivät. Tässä keskustelussa on paikoin unohtunut, että omantunnonvapaus itsessään on perustavaa laatua oleva ihmisoikeus.
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