Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Leaves of Autumn during Springtime

Yesterday, I took the 4 1/2 hour train ride to visit my folks in Germany. It's nice being with family again for a change. We have awesome spring weather right now. While the nights are still cold, the days have been sunny and pleasant, and the flowers and trees are very pretty.

Last Sabbath, I spoke for Divine Service at the French Church in Brussels city. I'm friends with the first Elder there, and when he asked me to share, I couldn't believe it at first, but finally said yes - provided I would be interpreted from English. So arrangements were made, and the outcome was blessed indeed. I'm humbled that I've been asked to share at several occasions lately, and I'm prayerfully considering to accept further invitations. Nevertheless, I'm still dealing with the dilemma that I've never really seen myself in this role. It's been a struggle. However, if they keep asking, it may indicate that the Lord actually wants me to do that; and then I shouldn't need to worry about the outcome, should I?

Besides that, I'm thankful that since I left Brussels yesterday, I've been able to share some literature with four different ladies. Two of them I met in the train, one at the shopping center this morning, and another one this afternoon on a bench by the lake. They were all older, and I just had casual conversations with them. At the end, I shared a brochure about Martin Luther and the Reformation anniversary with each them (the English version of which can be found here). It basically deals with the fact that the Catholic church hasn't changed over the years, and it also talks about the Sabbath truth. Each of these ladies was very appreciative about it. I think it's great that we are having this anniversary year right now. It's a wonderful opportunity to share this brochure. This reminds me of a famous quote from the book "Publishing Ministry" (p. 5):
"God calls for message-filled books, magazines, and tracts to be scattered everywhere like the leaves of autumn. As church members unite with literature evangelists in spreading the good news, the task will be accomplished."
We are living in serious times, and we need to get the message out. Sometimes I wonder how it can ever happen, but if we are sensitive to the Lord's leading, He can use even the weakest vessel.

With my interpreter Laurence
This used to be a telephone cabin. Now it's the so-called "Open Bookcase", where everybody can
drop off books they don't need anymore - a great way to share literature
And some beautiful flowers!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

From Honduras via US back to Brussels

I thank the Lord for my safe arrival here in Brussels yesterday morning. Because of my departure from the US on Monday, I needed to leave Honduras a few days earlier than the others. So I stayed a short time at Uchee Pines, basically just to say hello and good-bye and get organized, as I'm scheduled to return mid-April to volunteer until the end of June.

The second part of our Honduras mission was intense, yet very rewarding. As mentioned in my last post, we had a rather large group during our 10-day lifestyle session. It was a lot of work, and the fact that this was a pilot project (and the treatment facilities not originally being designed to host such a program), made it challenging in many ways. In addition, some of us (including me) were stricken by a stomach bug along the way, but it thankfully didn't last long, and the Lord gave us all the strength we needed. Overall, all our efforts were worthwhile, having seen lives changed spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

I'm going to be in Europe for another six weeks. At the end of this month, I'll be headed to Germany and from there to Switzerland. I'm going to write more about that later.

Today, after having slept for about ten hours, I'm feeling much better. The weather here is not very conducive to overcoming jet lag though; yet in spite of the rain and cloudyness, I went for a refreshing walk on the nearby university premises. Unfortunately, they have been working on some building projects there, and thus, some of the trees and green spots had to be sacrificed. But I'm thankful that there are still some other nature places nearby; so in the future, I might go there more often, even though they are a little further away. This teaches me that there are things in life we cannot hold on to forever. Well, this applies to most things in our lives, doesn't it? And this again reminds me of a famous quote of Martin Luther:

“Feelings come and feelings go, And feelings are deceiving; My warrant is the Word of God-- Naught else is worth believing.
Though all my heart should feel condemned For want of some sweet token, There is One greater than my heart Whose Word cannot be broken.
I'll trust in God's unchanging Word Till soul and body sever, For, though all things shall pass away, HIS WORD SHALL STAND FOREVER!”

May the Lord bless you as you feed on His Word today!

Still some nature spots near my home