In 2015, Benedicte Mella and her husband Gjermund were praying for Norway with some friends when she suddenly felt a strong burden to gather as many people as possible to seek God together. She had no idea what this was about or what she was to do with it, but she sensed the gathering should be called Onething Europe. As they prayed together, they received a picture of radical young people with fire upon their heads.
A month later Benedicte attended a national prayer conference in Norway and received two boxes from complete strangers during a meeting. One box was full of money, while the other contained a wedding dress, a pair of shoes and fresh flowers. Though these were unusual gifts, they were a confirmation for Benedicte: Throughout the previous decade the Lord had revealed to her the biblical message of the bride (the church) being prepared for the Bridegroom, Jesus. She knew these gifts weren’t just for her, but instead had to do with preparing the “bride” of the Norwegian and European church for Jesus’ return.
Benedicte and her husband, Gjermund, received more money in the following months to visit the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOPKC), a ministry focused heavily on this same “bridal paradigm” of preparing the bride of Christ for His return. At that time, IHOPKC hosted several gatherings around the United States called Onething, where thousands of young adults came together to seek God. Benedicte and Gjermund traveled to Kansas City, where they met one of IHOPKC’s leaders, Wes Hall, who had received a prophetic word that he would be connected to “the Vikings.” Wes, who is originally from England, had just been called by God to go back to his home continent in hopes of seeing revival throughout Europe. As the Mellas talked more with Wes and shared their vision for Onething Europe, he connected them with Mike Bickle, the main leader of IHOPKC and the Onething gatherings. Mike quickly sensed God was at work and blessed them to continue following the Lord’s leading for Onething Europe.
Shortly after the Mellas returned to Norway they attended a prayer meeting in Hamar. Benedicte was on the way to this gathering when she had a strong sense there was something special about Vikingskipet, the Hamar indoor stadium built like an upside-down Viking ship and the venue for the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway. As soon as Benedicte arrived at the prayer meeting, a woman approached her and said, “God told me to tell you a word: Vikingskipet.” At another point in the meeting, a man shared with Benedicte a prophetic word given for Norway from 2002. When she opened the message in an email, these words virtually popped off the screen: “The Vikings are ready!” As if this weren’t enough, as Benedicte was walking out of the prayer meeting, she noticed a picture on the wall of—you guessed it—Vikingskipet.
It was clear: Vikingskipet was the place! Yet as exciting as it was to watch God direct and confirm things, He didn’t open any doors for the Mellas and the others involved. So for two years they gathered and prayed. During this season, they received many prophetic words, pictures and confirmations about Onething Europe—some re-emphasizing the importance of young people praying and fasting, others dealing with the generations coming together. In one meeting, the group heard the words “north, south, east, west” and sensed they were to go around the nation to “prepare the way for the Lord” (Isa. 40:3). (This would happen in 2019, when Benedicte traveled throughout Norway with a good friend, worship leader Anders Skarpsno, who had recorded an album titled “Prepare the Way.”)
In 2018, planning for Onething Europe officially began after the Mellas divinely connected with IHOP-KC’s event coordinator for Onething, who (of course) had recently sensed a desire to begin international gatherings. They booked Vikingskipet by faith, not knowing how God would provide the funds. Many organizations began approaching the Onething Europe team with a desire to join what God is doing. And month after month, God has sent people to help the Onething Europe team, proving that this is His gathering. Indeed, He continues to prepare the way, even as we prepare the way for Him!