I've been blessed in many ways lately, and I'm full of gratitude and praise - although I've had some health struggles. About three weeks ago, I contracted a nasty cold from which I only recovered slowly. It all began when I slept with my window open one of these damp, cold nights. Unfortunately, I had left my grape seed extract at my parent's home, otherwise I might have been able to nip it in the bud. But I'm thankful it's over by now.
Nevertheless, these past few weeks have been a blessing in many aspects. Although it was hard on me again that I couldn't spend Thanksgiving in the US, I was able to do another fundraising dinner at my home. This time, only five guests were able to accept my invitation, so together with Adina (my new flatmate) and me, we were seven altogether. We had a blast; and in spite of the small number, I raised over €100 for my project in Serbia. Praise God for their generosity!
One of the weekends in November, we had Jan Carbungcal and Kraig Harnett as speakers for a special youth programme at our church. In fact, all Youth from Belgium was invited, and even some from the Netherlands came. It was so blessed to have them. Not only the Youth, but also other church members joined for the outreach activities, which took place Sabbath afternoon in Brussels city. Due to my illness, I had to refrain from joining them, but from what I heard it was a great blessing.
My flatmate has also been a blessing. Adina is originally from Romania, but she studied in Spain and had lived there before she decided to come to Brussels and try to find work here. She is a member at our French speaking church, and since she had been in rather unfavorable living conditions, I was asked if I couldn't help her out for a few months until she would find her own place. I didn't see a problem, after all I had a nice time with Larissa last year. Adina is also a pianist and for now she is making a living by giving piano lessons to children. Of course she is fluent in Spanish, and thus I'm able to freshen up my language skills. What a blessing!
I have also continued with my Dutch classes, and I still find it the easiest language I've ever learned. However, I still need to study it. The thing is that I couldn't really take much time for it lately, so it's an advantage that the pace of this particular course is rather slow (the teacher has to adapt to all the Southern European students after all, for whom it's not easy at all to learn this tongue). At one recent class, we learned the names of the different body parts. Well, everything except genitals (I guess every medical professional would have spoken up at this point!) In fact, we entered into a lengthy discussion on whether one could really say that a man has breasts. The teacher suggested that this word would rather apply to women. I should have mentioned to him that men could even get breast cancer, however I didn't know how to say this in Dutch!
Other than that, I'm eagerly preparing my trip to the US, as I'll be flying out on Tuesday. I'm going to spend one week at my friend Ann-Marie's place in Arkansas, and then I will fly down to Orlando to attend GYC. After that, I'm going to enjoy the sun in Florida for a few more days before heading back to dreary Brussels. I'm very excited of course!
Tomorrow will be my last day in the office for this year, but I guess it will rather feel like going to work on a Sunday, since most of my colleagues took this day off. The Commission closes its doors between December 24 and January 2; but I will be back only on January 10. So let's see what 2014 will bring!
|Part of the church family at our annual ADRA fundraising dinner|
|Part of my Thanksgiving dinner, nicely decorated by Adina|
No, it was nobodies 28th birthday, but Thanksgiving was on the 28th"
|Jan Carbungcal preaching|
|Kennely - the innocent look|