I had the privilege of welcoming a brother from Paris, and to attend the North American singles' conference, hosted by the Montreal Church of Christ (yes, us!)
This week, I went on monday to welcome a brother and a sister from France, who were to spend some vacation time in Québec and to attend the conference.
I had a good time with them. The brother was staying at my place, and the friendship we had in Paris was just as good as when I left!
Something great happened to me on Friday morning, when I was jogging... I saw a fox! And it was running after me for a little while :) I was praying in a small pavillion close to the Tree House and I had my face in the sun, feeling warm and loved by God.
Then, for work, we fixed bugs and we made a real move forward in the software. I'm so glad!
In the afternoon, we went to the conference. We had a few hiccups with registration, but things turned out all right.
We went out with a few sisters to see a bit of Old Montreal and Chinatown, and ate a a chinese buffet (yummy!).
Afterwards, I made good contact with a bunch of brothers and sisters, and we kicked into Karaoke night :D Our group played "Thriller" and everybody liked my zombie (mwahahahahahahaha).
One brother from Halifax (I think) sang a great song with the piano, and another one from Montreal rapped something really inspiring too.
We had a little dance afterwards. I was loving the way it was starting!
On Saturday morning we woke up early (6:30) to go pray in the Old Port (under the rain too!) and it was good. I forgot my umbrella and a sister let me use hers. We were praying on our way back and she was holding on my arm so that she was better covered by the umbrella.
It was a great revelation for me: I was able to pray in all purity in this context. Not only that, but I did not feel any supposition or insinuation in my mind ("does she like me?" kinda thing), but just that I was a good brother holding an umbrella for two. God did a miracle that morning!
At 9:00, the teaching began, with Chip Mitchell. The message was focused on the need to remember how bad people we were before we were saved... and how much God does not need us... that his love is really for our own benefit.
We were heavily exhorted to be more active in loving and helping the needy and our neighbourhoods. That was a major shakeup. I would only say that I didn't follow all his references and that I'd need to study the idea that people are sent to Hell for not helping the poor.
One thing is certain, is that God is sending me a lot of messages to die to myself more to take care of the others, both on Campus and in the church... maybe even in my community ;)
In the afternoon, we had a good time at paintball. The sisters wanted me to brief them on strategy, and I gladly did so... that computer gaming paid off ;)
I really had a blast, and I even done some sniping :D
I had a deep conversation with a brother of Toronto who told me about the challenges he faced in his last year, on how God is powerfully pulling strings to make things good for him.
After a power nap, I went to the supper. The food was great, and I had great conversations with the sisters at my table... I've got myself a blind date set for when I go to Boston!
A sister asked me out for a blind date for breakfast, and I had to tell her that this would not be very possible, since I was serving. She was still interested and told her I had to come back and note it down not to forget it, and she ended up not interested in the end... I really mis-expressed me, and she felt rejected. If you read this and know this sister, please extend my apologies to her, I did not want to reject, I was just tired (which gets my English to a lower quality) and I can't be trusted to remember something if I don't write things down (which is almost universally true)... it was a bad set of circumstances.
One guest came by and joined in the fun, as the dance was starting. As of me, I had to leave to get the baptistry from our basement, to only come back near 11 PM... this means that I danced only a few dances before going back to bed.
On Sunday, I had to wake up earlier than most, since I was serving as an usher, and got to the Marché Bonsecours at 8:30 with a muffin in my pocket and a tea in hand. I've served in setting up the room and to help people not getting lost on their way there :D I also took care of the collect, but I otherwise had lots of opportunity to focus on the message.
Chip Mitchell's message was very much along the lines of what was preached the day before, and was built around the three major points from the praise to the Thessalonians (1 Th 1:3-4... works by the faith, labour by love and endurance by hope). Otherwise, he was on the same lines as the day before, boosting us to get serving.
We had a great climax in the service with the baptism of a sister in Campus. I felt like crying when we were singing "Sing Hallelujah" afterwards.
Afterwards, I had a brief moment of fellowship. I already arranged to exchange emails with the people the day before, so I had no rush whatsoever. Afterwards, I went back serving in dismantling the room. I was frustrated, because almost all the ushers vanished quickly, and that everybody was WAY gone by the end of the dismantling... I felt I was being penalized for serving the Body.
I had lunch with a single brother and a couple from Montreal (near 4 PM, none-the-less) before going home, feeling tired and frustrated.
My discipler showed up with a six-pack of Guiness beer and my roomate showed up... and I got to confess my bitterness. That, combined with my brothers' love and the beer, got me upbeat again.
To make things better, a sister calls me and sets a date for Monday with New York sisters and another brother. My serving felt less futile... I felt like God IS DEFINITELY pulling strings in the background for my good, as things litterally come to me. Even though I wanted those things to happen, I did not even ask them or pray for them, but they were given to me by my Abba, simply because He cares.
Conclusion: I need to develop more thankfulness. I don't think I'm remotely close to being fully thankful for all those small miracles. As with all good things coming from above, I know I just need to ask for it, and it will be given to me :D