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Few people have had more influence on cultural and Christian life in Hordaland than the Lavik family from Eksingedalen; the long, narrow mountain valley in Vaksdal. The best known is Andreas Lavik (1854-1918) and Nils Lavik (1884-1966). Andreas Lavik was the main architect behind the creation of Det Vestlandske Indremisjonsforbun in 1898 (The Federation of West Norway Inland Mission). He was also a politician and a parliamentary representative for the moderate Left party for a period. On a personal level Andreas Lavik held a strong liberal ideal. The layman chieftain in Eksingedalen did not let himself be directed by anyone.

His nephew Nils Lavik took over the inheritance from his uncle. For many years he was an emissary and secretary for the inland mission, later on he took over as manager of the Bible School in Bergen. In 1933 Nils Lavik was on top of the list of nominees for the newly created Kristelig Folkeparti (The Christian People’s Party), and elected to the Storting. Culturally he had a more open mind than Andreas Lavik. Nils Lavik was a fervent defender of “Nynorsk” (Neo-Norwegian). For him Christianity and Norwegian-ness was one and the same thing. Typically, the only education he had was one year at the Christian Framnes Youth School and one year at the broad-minded Voss People’s High School.

Even though he sat 20 years at the Storting, Nils Lavik never became a proper politician. He was more at home at open-air meetings on a fine summer’s day, with an audience in national costume and his songbook in his hands.