Nr.138 ended with: “And then there was a conference in Switzerland…………….!” (See richardandmarina.net).
Yes, an invitation had come from International Teams (IT) to speak in August ‘77 at their European Workers Conference in Switzerland, which was only a day’s drive from us. It was a wonderful time indeed and we met some great people. Les and Sharon Frey from our home assembly in Canada were there, they were part of a team working in Spain. I had married them some years before this. We also met Joe and Lois Black from the US who were engaged in the Lord’s work on the island of Sicily.
At the end of the conference a few of us got talking about having a workers conference on a regular base. Joe and I decided that he would organize it and I would do the speaking, at least for the first few years. Marina would get things organized for the children. And so the Christian Workers Conference (CWC) for English speaking missionaries in Europe was started. From then on we met every year at the end of August for one week. Usually we came together somewhere in France, but we were also in Germany at least once. Almost every year more people attended and once there were about 175 adults and children, but the numbers go up and down due to people being ill, on furlough, etc. They have been such encouraging and blessed times, really refreshing for both the missionaries as well as for the children. Often driving home after the conference our children would be crying as they missed their new found friends so much. This yearly conference is still ongoing.
Back to Belgium now, where things were really moving. I started a home Bible study in Ghent which grew into a small assembly in 1978. It is still going today, 2015, but much larger and they now have their own building. But more about this later, for much has happened in Ghent.
A Bible study was also started in Maldegem, in the swimming pool. Not in the water, of course, :-), but in a separate room. This was really something unheard of, a man preaching from the Bible in a swimming pool and it caused some to come just out of curiosity. But a little later we moved into the living room of a young couple, I’ll call them Gerard and Griet. They soon became born again believers and so did a few of their relatives and friends. One night a professor from a Catholic seminary attended, you can read about it in nr.67. What a shock his words were for the group of Catholic people there………………….! (Go to Musings).