Today was the official start of Lausanne. The day started early, but the opening ceremonies were tonight.
First was meeting the five people in my Table Group: an Ethiopian professor, a South African woman, a Chinese woman who was born in Singapore and now lives in the States, a Canadian pastor, and a Korean pastor. In the morning sessions we will be working our way through Ephesians together, but this afternoon we mainly were getting acquainted.
During the dinner break, South Africa came on strong with a thunderous (and I do mean thunderous!) group of drummers. I made a video, but it is over 500mg and will take all night to upload from here so will have to wait.
The highlight of the day was meeting several people with powerful stories of struggling to live out the gospel under terrible persecution. For several of them it has involved beatings, as well as the murder and genocide of loved ones and who are wrestling with anger, forgiveness, reconciliation, and Jesus’ call to “Love your enemies.” The discussion of “living out the gospel” takes on a very different tone when embedded in these very real and agonizingly painful stories. I have a lot to process.
So Lausanne is officially open. A very full week is ahead, and I am calling it a day!