Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sick but happy

Yesterday, I returned from the German camp meeting. Although I got sick there on the last day, I'm very thankful I attended. This is one of the very few camps in my country (and probably in the rest of Europe) where Present Truth is still represented. Of course it's difficult to absorb everything, especially as we are always having parallel seminars, but I've been greatly inspired during this week. A special blessing to me was the seminar of Pastor Juan Campos from Colombia, who spoke about sanctification and getting ready to receive the Latter Rain. The fellowship was also very nice; there were over 300 people at the weekend and about 250 during the week. As a nice surprise, some former youth members from my home church came with their families. However, this bug that I caught there has put me out of action now. After a warm and sunny weekend, it became rather wet and chilly, and the fact that other people got sick, lack of sleep, and draft in the house added to it. I'm thankful that it got hold of me only after the meetings ended, and that I was able to drive home safely in spite of it. I only had to cancel the weekend retreat with my church here in Brussels, which is taking place now. I was hoping to be able to go there at least for the Sabbath, but I realized this morning that it wouldn't make any sense.

So I'm recovering at home now, reminiscing and digesting the events of this past week. There is one thing the Lord came through to me more, and this is the fact that it's only Christ who can fulfill our deepest needs. He is the One who can give us true peace and happiness in life that nothing else in this world can give. Would you like to enter into a deeper relationship with Him? I certainly do.

"As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." (Psalm 17:15)

Attendance on Sabbath

Derrol Sawyer - we were very blessed by his music
Marco Barrios explaining prophecy
Interpreting John Davis from California

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Flower Carpet

Last weekend was a special event in Brussels. I had totally forgotten that every summer, a flower carpet is spread out on the historic Grand Place in the city center. I found out about it in the German news, and so I decided to go there on Sabbath after church. Well, I wasn't the only one who had this idea, so we went with a whole group of church members. It was impressive to look at the myriads of flower petals nicely arranged in a beautiful pattern. However, it never lasts longer than a few days, and given the rain we had on Sunday, I was glad that I made it there before.

Everything hand made!
Another view
close view
People watching from the balcony of the town hall
This is a picture from a previous year - I wasn't able to get that view!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Getting ready for vacation

It is still quiet at work and I'm enjoying this time to the fullest. Whenever my hierarchy is out of office, the most senior desk worker is in charge and signs everything on behalf of the head of unit. This week it's my colleague John from the UK who is very easy going. He attends to everything promptly, which is a nice change of course :-). However, it also tends to get rather boring, but I've been trying to keep myself busy.

Last week, I had the opportunity of having lunch together with a former co-worker of mine from Greece. We used to work together in a research institute of the European Commission in Germany. This was my first work place after I had finished my training and education. He transferred to Brussels some time before I came here, and somehow, we managed to keep in touch throughout the years. This time, our conversation took an interesting turn, as he asked me about the differences of my church to other denominations. So we ended up talking about the Sabbath, baptism, and unclean foods. He seems to be very open, but as usual I'm wondering how I could take this further. I really need the Lord's guidance here.

Next week, I will finally go for a short summer vacation, which promises to be filled with spiritual blessings. I'll be attending a camp meeting in the "Westerwald", a beautiful area in the mid-west of Germany. It is organized by "hoffnung weltweit e. V.", a supporting ministry of the church founded by lay people. I was called to become a board member after I returned from the US, and I've been since acting as secretary for this ministry. These camp meetings take place every summer, and some of this years' speakers will be Derrol Sawyer from the US and Juan Campos from South America. After this, I will be back to Belgium right in time to attend the yearly spiritual retreat of the International Church, which will take place the last weekend of August in a beautiful rural seeting in the south west of the country. So I probably won't write again until after I'm back.

I'm still pondering about my futile efforts to change my job, and how the outcome is a reminder that the Lord is in charge over my life. The One who numbers the hair on our head and who knows all the stars by their names certainly knows what He is doing in the lives of each of His children. He may say "wait" sometimes, but this doesn't mean that He is not fully in control. Indeed, He has given me peace and acceptance with this outcome, and although I cannot see the big picture right now, I know He will reveal Himself to me in this matter whenever the time comes. There is a quote on page 331 of Desire of Ages that spoke to me in particular:

Those who take Christ at His word, and surrender their souls to His keeping, their lives to His ordering, will find peace and quietude. Nothing of the world can make them sad when Jesus makes them glad by His presence. In perfect acquiescence there is perfect rest. The Lord says, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee." Isaiah 26:3

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Since it is nice and quiet in the office these days, I decided to take Tuesday off and go to Antwerp, which is about 45 minutes north east of Brussels. I had never been there before, and it was interesting to explore this town. Of course the old architecture is quite similar to Brussels, but the fact that it is a seaport gives a special touch to this place. However, after having visited the major tourist places in my adopted home country, I came to the conclusion that there is no place as charming as the little town of Bruges. If you ever come visit me here, I would be glad to take you there! Anyway, I had a good day away from work, and even the sun was shining nicely.

The railway station
The clock at the station
Cute architecture
Interesting Statue
The houses of the Guilds or corporations. There are many of such historic buildings in Brussels as well
The town hall
The "Groete Markt"
Small alleyways
And somebody playing the piano in front of a department store