After two weeks at sea, we reached the Canary Islands. I’ll spare the reader most of the further adventures and anecdotes so we can move this story along.
After the Canaries, we sailed to Spain. Soon it was time for OM’s annual conference, which is a time of orientation for new recruits, and debriefing for those going home. I went with a busload overland to Belgium (stopping at the Eiffel Tower only long enough to use the public restrooms under the Tower, and to eat peanut butter sandwiches which had been packed by the hundreds in big plastic bags – true story!).
There were ministry opportunities prior to the conference. In Belgium I joined a team doing outreach in the Flemish countryside. I was the women’s leader, and reams could be written about being the second in command under a man crippled by indecision. It was his third team, as he’d been given a third chance to get it right. Major diplomatic skills needed as I was a newbie, wedged between an impatient team of newbies and a leader in denial!
Peter spent the month doing outreach in London, day after day visiting Muslims in their homes or mosques, engaging in conversations about faith, and learning more about Islam. He had not been permitted to travel with us by land because of his South African passport. This was the time of sanctions, and many countries denied entrance to anyone bearing that passport. It was hugely unfair to him of all people.
Four weeks passed, and we all met up again at the Belgian Bible Institute in Leuven. Peter flew in from England. During the course of the conference, we started running into each other frequently! We found we had similar interests. We also coincidentally ended up in the same Dobson workshop on parenting. (Wait, was that a coincidence?)
Of course, thanks to the Social Policy, we didn’t spend a lot of time alone.
What – you don’t know what the Social Policy is? The world famous “SP”?