Thursday, November 17, 2016

Regional Convention, 2016

July 8-10.  Silkeborg, Denmark.

It was that time of the year again when we had to travel far to attend our annual English Regional Convention for the whole Scandinavia. It's an occasion where we partake in a grand figurative feast and replenish our spiritual well-being, a time when we once again meet with our English-speaking friends, brothers and sisters living in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Faeroe Islands. All of us made sacrifices to make this long journey to Denmark.

Usually, hubby and I traveled by ourselves, as all the other families in our group, but this time, we traveled in caravans, two cars actually, one car conveying a family that just moved in from Australia, and the other, hubby, me and a male friend who also recently moved to our city.

We started off from Umeå on the 5th of July, stopping by the Höga Kusten bridge to eat our packed lunch.

Since our destination was quite far, we had to stop by several rest areas along the highway for coffee and lunch,

...and had to spend two nights in different campsites, first in Sollerön Camping in Dalarna (5th),

pitching our tents

frolicking a little at the campsite ground before checking out

...and then in Varberg (6th).

The following morning, we drove to the harbor and boarded a RORO (roll-on-roll-off) ferry bound for Denmark. There we met some dear friends who were also going to attend the convention. That was a very memorable bump-into-each-other moment for me, as we stayed together on board during the entire voyage.

That afternoon, we arrived at the camping site in Silkeborg where we booked our cottages. I was glad to find our cottage cute and comfy. We shared lodgings with two single brothers who occupied the loft floor while hubby and I slept in the little bedroom.

reception building balcony

campsite reception building

our cabin

The convention started the next day, with the title Remain Loyal to Jehovah, which expounds on the universal truth that our Creator appreciates and loves those who are loyal to him, and eventually rewards them.

Each day has a central theme. First day: Cherish loyalty (Micah 6:8);  second day: Your loyal ones will praise you (Psalm 145:10);  third day: He is guarding the lives of his loyal ones (Psalm 97:10).

Loyalty to our Creator involves love, commitment, integrity. It means doing his will and following his holy standards and commandments under any circumstances. Doing so ensures us of his blessings and his loyalty, for it was said of him, "With someone loyal you will act in loyalty." (2 Samuel 22:26). He is always there to help us and compensate for whatever loss we may have as a result of our sticking to his standards. And if everyone else has abandoned us, he is always there for us.

So, I'm living by this motto that was highlighted at this convention: "Never abandon the One who will never abandon you." And that is a very reassuring and comforting thought in times of adversity!

As always, such yearly convention consists of lectures, dramas, music-video presentations, interviews, singing praises and, of course, spending time with friends. Everyone in attendance always goes back home revitalized.

dining tents where we ate our packed lunch

drama about Jesus

the intermissions gave us opportunities for joyful associations

The day after the convention, 11th of July, hubby, I and a friend who traveled with us in our car left the campsite and moved on to visit a place that I had in my bucket list, which I'm going to blog about  in the future.

I brimmed over with joy for being filled up with nutritious spiritual food that supplied me with the strength I need to keep living amidst this trouble infested world, and for spending lovely moments with happy and loving friends.

...And I'm immensely thankful to the One who made all of this possible out of his great love and loyalty.