Two weeks ago, Leon and I went to Zaventem, Belgium for an IT training course that Leon and two other instructors taught IT Admins from OM fields around the world. It was a growing experience for us, as it was our first business trip as a married couple. We managed to still enjoy ourselves, though. The training course had 16 participants this year! That made things really busy for the instructors.

Leon teaching about encrypting computers

I really enjoyed getting to watch Leon teach some. It helped me better understand what he does for OM so I can better explain his part of our ministry to others. It really is a blessing to provide the IT support that most missionaries within OM wouldn’t otherwise have. What a neat ministry!

While Leon was teaching, I spent my time getting caught up on things that hadn’t gotten done since we have been on furlough. I made a slide show of some wedding photos for a reception that we are having in Carlisle next weekend. I made a bit more progress on thank you notes for wedding gifts that we received (I know, I am not following proper etiquette… being a newly married missionary’s wife comes with a busy life!), I even got adventurous and took the train into Brussels for a day.

a pretty view of Brussels

The trip to Brussels was interesting. I didn’t have a good map so I basically had to rely on street signs that were conveniently placed on corners telling tourists where most of the attractions are. Unfortunately, they were all in Flemish and French. I managed, though. There wasn’t a whole lot to see in Brussels, and it made me wish I knew the language so I can understand and learn about the history a bit more. Then I might appreciate it more.

The one place I did want to go in Brussels was the Musical Instrument Museum. They have thousands of instruments in their collection. They give you headphones at the beginning of your tour which are connected by a radio type signal to various points in the museum. You can then listen to examples of each instrument. It was really neat.

The Friday night, Leon and I made a trip to Leuven, which is about 20 km east of Zaventem. It was a very pretty city… prettier than Zaventem or Brussels. There we walked around and enjoyed having a date together and time away from the OM training base and Leon’s work for awhile. In Leuven, Leon and I found a shop that sold ice cream and Belgian waffles. So I got to try an authentic Belgian waffle with Belgian chocolate ice cream on top, of course! :)

Leuven at night

Sunday Leon had a the day off from teaching, so we borrowed some bikes from the OM Zaventem Centre where we were staying and took a ride to visit Leuven again. It was an adventurous cycle ride in many ways. First, we got turned around a bit and ended up taking a route that we hadn’t planned. Second, we had cycles that weren’t in the greatest condition which made it a challenge to cycle up hills. We made it though, and because we came in a different way than planned, we came across a really cool castle that we wouldn’t have otherwise seen!

Leon and I in front of Leuven’s City Hall

The Monday and Tuesday were still teaching days for Leon, so I did more of the same. Wednesday the participants took down the computers they’d been working on and ended a bit early. So it was off to Delft, Holland for us! We thought we would take a short camping holiday in Delft after being on furlough and travelling to Zaventem for this course. But details of that trip will be saved for another post some day soon!