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Network 55+: Living with the right perspective!

Camp Network 55+, so much anticipated and so long delayed because of the pandemic, was able to take place from September 13 to 19, 2021 in the region of the Haut-Jura, at Chaux-des-Crotenay. What a joy for the fifty or so participants! The title of this article is a good summary of the theme for the occasion.

It is with grateful hearts that we think back on what we experienced. We discovered, on foot, riding bicycles, by car, the beauty of the Jura with its waterfalls and its lakes, under a beautiful sun. What grace, too, especially for the women, to have been able to sit down at the table morning, noon, and night and be served. And then, we had the joy of new encounters or reunions, exchanges “without masks,” literally—because we were all up-to-date for the requirements imposed by the pandemic, and concerned about protecting each other—as well as figuratively with regard to our personalities. What freedom in Christ and how good it is to know that one is accepted with all our differences, and our weaknesses! What simplicity and what joy in brotherly fellowship! What encouragements we received thanks to the testimonies of the Lord’s work in each of our lives, through trials, illnesses, griefs, frailties . . . through suffering in general.

We dove into Romans 15, and particularly verses 4 to 13. First we were exhorted to meditate on the Bible to better understand God, not only with our head, but also with our heart and our thoughts, to put it into practice. In applying the Word, God allows us to know Him better, to strengthen our trust in Him and to increase our attachment to Him. . . . For example, we saw several of us take the first step in asking forgiveness in a situation of conflict, of tension. God worked in hearts and changed the circumstances.

Our love for God is the source of a sincere brotherly love. We experienced it wonderfully, what a blessing! And how this fellowship among brothers and sisters is important to God. It is His pleasure and His glory! On this topic Daniel shared a quotation: “Of all the men I know, the only intelligent one is my tailor. Every time I go see him, he retakes my measurements. As for the others, they measured me once and for all and imagine that their judgment is still my size.” We want to remember that God keeps working in the heart of each one and so avoid classifying people or having fixed opinions.

In the epistle to the Romans, Paul also says that the glory of God will be manifested among all the nations. We all hope that Jesus comes back very, very soon, but we realized that about 4 out of 7 billion of the world’s population do not know the Gospel, that is, there are not local believers able to speak with them about it. We really need the Lord to grow our heart for those who do not yet know Him. Several mission endeavors were presented to us, nearby as well as distant ones. We saw evidence that God is faithful and how He is working in these places. We realized the importance of becoming informed about God’s progress in the world and to participate in it in the way that He will show us. He gives us the grace to involve us in His plan, so let’s become informed in order to know how to take up these challenges and how to contribute through targeted and inspired prayers.

We were, in a concrete way, sensitized to missionary work as we concluded our stay on Sunday at the church of Dole. The brothers and sisters, with Daniel and Nadine Kessely, had a warm welcome in store for us. They did not hesitate to welcome more than 50 people in their premises, to share the worship service and an excellent meal. We were thus able to realize what church-planting work means in a region of France. We are aware of the need to support and to carry in prayer these brothers who labor in mission.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”[1] Yes, the promises of God will come to pass. Even in our valleys, we see the invisible realities behind the mountain. Hope fills us with joy and peace so that we ourselves will overflow with hope. Eternity is our “home.” It is with these encouragements and this desire to better know God, to give Him a bigger place in our life, that we return home, with a renewed perspective. Later it will be possible to read a more detailed and documented report of the camp on the blog of 55+.

Marinette Glucker and Jacqueline Joos

[1] Romans 15:13.

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