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Fly-Swatting in Baarlo, The Netherlands

October 17th, 2011 Categories: reporting..., serving... 15 comments

Hello everyone! How terrible that my first post of the month is on the 17th! If you have been looking for other good blogs to visit in between my sporadic posts, then here are a sampling of some I try to keep up with:

And now, on with my own post…

Serving in the heavenly team

So, this time last week, we were on the road back from Kasteel de Berckt in Baarlo, The Netherlands, after serving for a week at the ITERO (International Training for Elders and Responsible Ones). This was my first time serving at an LSM (Living Stream Ministry) event, and also my first time serving with transportation, so I thought I’d tell you a little bit about it! I really enjoyed serving with our little “transportation team”, and with the other saints there also. We were all learning together!

Transportation Section of the office

Transportation involved greeting the 800+ brothers at the airports and train stations, getting them from airports and train stations to the Kasteel or their hotels, getting them (and their luggage) around the Kasteel and safely to the campground, providing hotel shuttles during the days when there were meetings, and then shuttling the saints for the Lord’s Day blending meeting and their subsequent departures. Thankfully, not all 800+ brothers were involved in every stage, as about a quarter had their own transportation arrangements for getting to and from the Kasteel.

Well, without going into too much detail, for me it boiled down to databases (hence why I was there – I can’t drive!) and numbers and lists and reports and schedules and signs, and printing, reprinting, and more reprinting. And the odd bit of laminating.

Somehow (the Lord) all our coordination was translated into shining God-men FTTL trainees and saints as greeters at the airports and train station, as drivers for the shuttle vans or riders along with the coaches, and as ushers for “flow control”, “road-crossing” and “campground-directing”. The precious trainees and saints also served with booksales, meal service, bathroom checking, and a host of other things.

Much grace was supplied the whole week, both to and through the serving saints.

Lord's Day Blending Meeting

On to the matter of Fly-Swatting

In the midst of all of that, we come to the matter of fly-swatting. The first half of the week was still very hot, and as a result there were flies, wasps, mosquitoes (and the odd hornet) buzzing all over the office. Someone purchased two fly-swatters. Cue occasional bouts of running around the room, waving the fly-swatters in the air. LL was pretty good at it, but TT was the master – we lost track of how many flies and wasps (and there was one hornet) that he downed.

There was a particular occasion when I did swing the fly-swatter, and I found it remarkably stress-relieving. Something very small was bothering me, but it had got into me and I kept thinking about it. I tried to ignore it, but just like a pesky fly, it kept buzzing around in the periphery, darting in every now and again. And then of course, there were the physical flies, doing the same thing.

So I grabbed the fly-swatter, swung it around with gusto, completely missed all the flies, yet temporarily chased them away, and felt immensely better. Which reminded me of something I read a few years ago, something like this:

When we remain silent and refuse to speak, it is rather easy for us to become angry or to lose our temper. However, if we are continually speaking, singing, and giving thanks, it will be difficult for us to lose our temper. This indicates that the flowing of the water of life is a repellent which drives away the negative things, all the “flies,” “scorpions,” and “gophers.” The Christian life is a life of fighting. Day and night, we fight against the negative things which seek to influence us and drag us down. We need a repellent to chase away the “bugs.” Speaking is the best repellent.

I realised that if I just tried to ignore the flies (both physical and spiritual), they would keep circling closer, become increasingly frustrating, and even land on me. Instead, I had to fight! And so… I began to sing a hymn.

And I began to feel much better!

At the time, I didn’t think much about why singing a hymn “worked” to get me out of my troublesome thoughts, other than from my experience I know it does. But in continuing to read the next few paragraphs from Life-study of Exodus, it suddenly made so much sense:

When we are spiritually dry, it is easy for us to be irritated or angry. When we are not flowing the water of life, we easily lose our temper with our husband or wife. However, when we are overflowing with the living water, our irritation, anger, and temper are flushed away. What a difference it makes to be flowing the water of life!

What a difference it makes to be flowing the water of life! This flowing is by our speaking, our singing, our praising and thanking the Lord. We shouldn’t be silent Christians!

We actually read about this at the Young People’s meeting on Saturday. We need to be those both drinking and flowing, flowing and drinking; not like a blocked hose. Ah, if I had written this blog post earlier, I might have been able to share this at the YP meeting as a practical experience of drinking and flowing. Maybe next time :)

An avenue of trees near Kasteel de Berckt

Mavis Lee, Constance Chen liked this post


  1. October 17th, 2011 at 15:02 | #1

    This was one of the few conferences/trainings these past few years where I went just to enjoy the speaking and the fellowship, and not to serve. But I am definitely grateful to all the ones behind the scenes helping out and serving. It was a great time, and the Lord had a way to speak what is on His heart to His recovery.

    On the other hand, this reminded me of the ITERO 2003 in Heckfield Place, where I was a trainee laboring together with all the saints :)

  2. semyl
    October 17th, 2011 at 15:28 | #2

    It was a joy to serve all the saints, with the saints :)

  3. mavis
    October 17th, 2011 at 15:32 | #3

    thanks for the watering. i’m eating atm, physically! eat, drink & flow with the TG. do sing along ….

    • semyl
      October 17th, 2011 at 15:34 | #4

      Keep eating, drinking, and flowing! :)

  4. October 18th, 2011 at 19:09 | #5

    Thanks for mentioning my site!

    Praise the Lord for all the brothers and sisters in Christ!

    See you on Lord’s Day! Yay more photography!

    • semyl
      October 18th, 2011 at 20:00 | #6

      Ooh great! Look forward to seeing you on Lord’s day! :)

  5. October 30th, 2011 at 01:59 | #7

    Thanks for the watering! I thought I was going to read a practical report, and then you worked in a practical experience of what a Life Study spoke about.

    When I was helping a brother move into a new house today, I found myself singing “Jesus I come to Thee.” It surely helped the time be enjoyable rather than a labor!

  6. semyl
    October 30th, 2011 at 12:57 | #8

    Praise the Lord brother Philip, thanks for the comment. It is good to keep turning, turning, to our spirit :)

  7. November 9th, 2011 at 22:57 | #9

    Many thanks to all who served in many ways at ITERO!!! Grace to you all wherever you are now.

  8. semyl
    November 10th, 2011 at 08:56 | #10

    Amen, thank you for your comment brother Don. And grace to you!

  1. October 18th, 2011 at 23:32 | #1
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  5. November 14th, 2011 at 11:33 | #5