However, in other parts of the world, the situation doesn't look good at all, especially in poorer countries like India or South America. In the US, after a period of improvement, the figures are rising again. So it's not all over yet, although I wish it was.
For over a week already, I have been visiting my family in Germany. After all, I had to cancel my planned trip to the US (if the GC Session in Indianapolis didn't have to be postponed, it would be happening right now), and so I can now afford spending longer time than usual in my home country. It's been a blessing to be here, even though every day I'm confronted with the "new normal". While in Belgium you are only required to wear face masks in public transport, here in Germany you also have to wear them in stores. Furthermore, many of our churches have reopened here, but again you cannot meet without face masks. In my home church, they require you to put them on even during congregational singing. You may imagine how challenging this is! But the hardest for me is the fact that it really doesn't help with communication. I miss smiling at people, and the fact that you are not supposed to hug or shake hands seems so pathetic to me. I really hope that this "new normal" will only be a temporary state.
The weather has been very warm here, and we have been enjoying the fruits of the garden. On Tuesday, I'll be heading to Brussels again, but soon, I'll be back to Germany for our annual bible camp. It looks like we will be able to have about 200 participants (instead of 350+ as usual), and it will be quite a challenge to implement all these restrictions and rules. However, we are thankful that it can take place in spite of the situation, even though in a smaller format and without international speakers. May the Lord help us, so that it can be a spiritually uplifting experience especially in these times!
I've been participating in the 100 Days of Prayer organized by our General Conference. It's been a blessing to be part of this, and I've been encouraged by the praise reports, as well as the daily readings. Here is one of my favorites:
Indeed, this world is not our home. I think it's important to indeed place our minds on heavenly things, especially in these times. Things are not going to get better on this earth, but what splendor and glory is waiting for us in our heavenly home that the Lord is preparing for us right now! May we focus on that today and make our calling and election sure!“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”– John 14:1-3“We have no home here; we are only pilgrims and strangers, passing to a better country, even a heavenly. Place your mind upon these things, and while you are doing this, Christ will be right by your side.” – Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, p. 293
|The castle in my home city|
|Water fountains on the market place|
|Our beautiful artichokes in the garden|