Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Blessings Galore

Today, I arrived at the Belgian coast, starting to enjoy a few days of total relaxation. After the events of the past weeks, I felt I really needed that. Here, I don't have any tasks to fulfill, I don't have any household chores, I don't have to take care of family members, etc., but I can just rest and relax: walk whenever I feel like walking; sleep whenever I feel like sleeping, communicate whenever I feel like communicating... - you get my point.

Our camp meeting in Germany was extremely blessed. It's just too much to recount. So many lives have been transformed during those six days, including mine. With our speakers, the Nebblett family, Frank Fournier, Norberto Restrepo Sr, as well as Christopher Kramp, it was a programme packed with spiritual highlights. Although I didn't have much time at all to follow the seminars, I sensed that every participant was richly blessed.

However, the logistical part was too much for me to handle. Back in June, our ministry changed the server provider, and this affected our registration website. Thus, everybody who registered after June 8 had to be manually added to the list of participants. I thank God that after returning from the States, I had about four weeks at home that I could dedicate to the preparations for the meetings. Nevertheless, during the week of camp meeting it was a bit much for me to manage. Since I was the only one who had an overview over the registrations (and even the finances!), there was too much only I knew and too little that my assistants knew. That of course is a bad combination, and I did by far not get enough sleep.

Nonetheless, I've been truly blessed. It was actually during the week of camp meeting that I decided to extend my leave of absence from work by another seven months. Yes, I will go back to the US! I'm basically going to spend another winter helping out at Uchee Pines. So I'll be in Belgium until end of September; most of the month of October I'm going to spend in Germany (finally I will have some more time to be with family and friends!), and on October 26, I'll be flying out to Southern California. The AMEN Conference (Adventist Medical Evanelism Network) will be held there, and after that I'm going to visit some dear friends in Northern California. From November 9 until early March, I'll be back at Uchee. I can't wait to come home :-).

Nevertheless, I'm still convinced that Belgium is my designated mission field. The Lord still has something in mind for this country and for Brussels in particular. We really need to press forward and finish the work. I've written more in my latest Newsletter. If you are not on my distribution list yet, please feel free to contact me (through this blog or via Facebook), and I'll be happy to email it to you (I have shared some things there I would not share on this public website).

So back to my latest experiences: After camp meeting, we (i. e. a couple from my ministry team and myself) took Frank Fournier and Norberto Restrepo to the Martin Luther sites, i. e. the Wartburg castle as well as Wittenberg. There, we saw the church door were Luther pinned the 95 theses. Quite impressive. We also saw Hal Mayer's wife Betsy there. However, her and her friend didn't know where he was at that moment, so we couldn't say hello to him. Too bad!

After that, I went back to Brussels - together with Frank Fournier, who gave a seminar there at my church. It was truly blessed. I only felt so sorry for him that after that, he missed his plane to Hungary (long story). But now he is on his way back to the States - only to go on another trip end of this week. Poor him. These OCI/ASI people should be more considerate of the fact that he is an older man who doesn't travel so well anymore. Well, I admit that we also couldn't resist to invite him over again!

Back to the coast: I'm so thankful that I was able to come here. The sea is so invigorating, and the sun is not too hot. As I decided to cook my own meals this time, I had a lot of luggage. It was a bit tough to carry all this on the train (it's about 1 1/2 hours from Brussels to the sea side), especially since Belgian men are usually not very helpful. I hate to say that but it's a fact. If I had been on a train in Germany, I'm sure several men would have offered me help with the luggage. But as Dr. Agatha Thrash used to say: "Gallant men make feeble women", I'm thankful that I managed to carry all these bags. I'm sure I've gained some muscle mass today!

Below are a few pictures to illustrate my latest adventures:

Christopher Kramp speaking
Children's choir 
Paul Dysinger preaching
Frank Fournier
The ad-hoc choir
With my friends Jana and family
We even had a harpist
The door with the 95 theses
The stone were Luther was resting - with Frank, Norberto and Alberto
It's called the "Luther Stone"
Wartburg castle
Frank exploring the yard of the castle

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