On our way to a wedding in England we are spending the night at “ZavCentre”, OM’s Conference and Hospitality Ministry in Zaventem, just outside Brussels, Belgium. For many years this was the European head office, and home to the garage where a fleet of old VW buses, Ford Transits, and other vehicles were maintained for the hundreds of evangelistic teams that would be sent out across Europe, the Middle East, and all the way to India.
In a changed world where nowadays using these old vehicles to transport teams of youngsters would constitute a nightmare of legal liability, and the land route to places like India and Pakistan is closed (at least for Christian missionaries), the garage has been converted to offices and the old offices to bedrooms. The attic, which used to house the boy’s dorm and storage areas has been converted to a conference room, which since a number of years serves as the meeting place for Zaventem’s Evangelical Church. Next up for conversion to more bedrooms is “Charlie’s”, the second-hand clothes depot that was once a fixed part of any self-respecting OM office, but is no longer needed at a conference facility.
Anyway, up at 3 a.m. for a potty stop, I sat for a while at the back of the conference room and remnisced about the times when I passed through here before, beginning in January 1972, shortly after becoming a committed Christian, on my way to the UK to join the team at the STL literature warehouse in Bromley; then many more times, usually travelling to and from England, once helping for a few weeks when the conversion of this attic I was sitting in was only just beginning, and once for a conference for O.M. IT support people, which is one of several volunteer hats I am wearing.
Remembering also people like Jonathan McRostie, one of OM’s early leaders, who was based her in Zaventem, even after a road accident in Spain put him in a wheel chair, and who passed away just a few years ago, or Frank Bus, for many years the head of the garage, and many others like them.
So many good memories, of the goodness of God and the faithfulness of His people.