Everything went well with the arrival of Ann-Marie and Sharon during the week before the camp meeting. I also took them to my church on Sabbath, and Ann-Marie gave a health talk there. Our journey to Germany went very well. I had the best rental car ever - a Ford Focus. It was actually a great deal, since I paid for it as much as I would normally pay for a small car. This size was perfect for us, and the car was just great. I had never driven with 6 gears, which made it even more easy to speed up. I did know that Ann and Sharon had never been on the German Autobahn (were there is in principle no speed limit), but I wasn't really aware that they had probably never gone on a speed of 170 km (105 mi) per hour. I hope I didn't scare them too much!
Arrived at the venue, there were also some other team members who came already on Sunday (the meetings only started Monday evening), but unfortunately, the preliminary work did not turn out the way I would have wished. Thus, we only started Monday morning with the preparation of the name tags, and alas, I realized that about 50-60 names were missing on the word document our IT person had prepared for us. Until now, I have no idea how this could have happened. It really stressed me out, since I had to prepare all these missing tags manually. I did have people to help, but the main burden was on me at this moment. Plus there were many details concerning the registration of the participants that only I knew about, so when the crowd came, people would ask me one question after the other. The result was that I was totally wired that evening. My brain was like a PC that couldn't shut down, and eventually I didn't even get a wink that night. Unfortunately, the following nights didn't turn out much better (since once I'm out of balance, I really am, and it takes a little while to get back to normal), and thus, it was pretty hard for me to make it through the days. This strongly reminds me of last year, when I was in a similar situation. It was just after the death of Thomas, who had helped so much in the past, that we had to learn to make it without him. I had similar problems with sleep then, and thank God, somebody was able to take over with the interpretation of a seminar that I was in charge of. This year, I also had an "angel" filling in for me, so I was relieved not to put an additional burden on my team members. I realized that I just can't take up such a task if I'm in charge of registration, as this already fully consumes me. Anyway, we do have a solution for next year, as I will get more help, for which I'm very thankful.
So we had about 280 participants, which was a good number. We couldn't have handled many more in this situation. The speakers were all very blessed, especially the Meyer family had such a good influence on the people. When I considered sponsoring part of their travel costs, I didn't even imagine what an impact they could make on individuals. There was one Russian-German lady who went up to Joel Meyer at the end, sharing with him that the Lord had told her through him everything that she needed: Concerning her personal life, her marriage, and the upbringing of her children. They decided to home school and to move to the country. Wow! I couldn't hold back my tears.
All in all, I'm very thankful for this experience, although I would have really liked to enjoy more fellowship with the people I knew already as well as with the folks I hadn't met. Well, hopefully next year! But at least I had a blessed time with my American friends. The camp ended on Sunday morning, but we only drove back to Brussels on Monday. Until they left on Wednesday morning, we still had some time to do sightseeing in Belgium, which was quite an experience - but more about that later!
|Uchee Pines Reunion picture - from left to right: Joella, Mark, |
Joanna, Joel & Joyce Meyer, Ann-Marie Scott, me, Jana Meldt
"Always cheerful" sung in German
|The children also had fun|
|Indeed a lot of fun|
|While the mothers were relaxing|
|A snapshot down in the village|
|The beautiful country surroundings|
|Above: Ann-Marie teaching - Below: Joel & Joyce Meyer speaking|
|The gym in which the main meetings took place|