Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Well, today is the last day of the ICCC Congress! I am looking forward to being home and having breakfast at my own table, looking out at my backyard, but the breakfast view I have had while here is beautiful!

I had a second speaking opportunity today, participating in a panel discussion with brothers Brad Gsell and Ken Olson on the upcoming World Council of Church’s theme for it’s 11th world Assembly in 2021. That theme is, “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity,” which is essentially advocates for the social gospel. If you’re interested, you can read my presentation here.

We had a break during the afternoon, which I used for taking a nap (my famous 18 minute nap of course!) and packing for the return trip home.

I enjoyed a last dinner at the arena where the Congress was held. I was an observer of an interesting and stimulating discussion among these brothers 😁

The final service of the Congress featured a number of encouraging hymns by a large choir. Though it was all in Spanish, I knew most of their selections; it was a joy to listen to. The floor was pretty well packed, I would guess attendance for the service around 1,000 people.

ICCC executive committee

In William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” Juliet said goodnight to Romeo with the words, “parting is such sweet sorrow,” thinking about the next time they would be together. The goodbyes mutually relayed with so many new friends I made truly were “sweet sorrows.” Contact information was exchanged, Facebook friends added, pictures taken, and tokens of love exchanged. I will truly miss my brothers and sisters here, but am thankful that because we are all in Christ we have a unity and future expectation that nothing in creation can sever.

Of course, the time here in Chile could not just end peacefully (heh heh). Some Chilean demonstrators decided to burn a bunch of tires and demonstrate just down the road from our hotel, so we got to spend a couple extra hours at the Congress. Getting on the bus to head there was a great joy, I was hoping to get some kind of decent nights rest before my flight home!

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

Before our Father’s throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
Our comforts and our cares.

We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.

When for a while we part,
This thought will soothe our pain,
That we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way,
While each in expectation lives,
And longs to see the day.

From sorrow, toil, and pain,
And sin we shall be free;
And perfect love and friendship reign
Thro’ all eternity.