To the Venice of the North

Two weeks ago, I was privileged to be able to attend a conference for Backpacker Ministries, in the beautiful city of Amsterdam.  I had never been before but everyone I talked to raved about how much they loved it.  I was excited to see what all the fuss was about, and boy were they correct.  If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it.  Especially if you love being near water as much as I do!  The conference was only 2 1/5 days longs but man did they pack a lot in.  We had seminars all day long, covering a variety of topics and different aspects of this type of ministry.  Day one had a time for presentations from all the different ministries represented and a few videos of those who couldn’t be there.  I think there were at least 9 different countries represented where people are working and even more with people looking to start something or get involved some how.  That was one of my favorite parts because I love hearing what is going on around the world and seeing like minded people living out God’s will to minister to this subculture of travelers that only seems to be growing as our lives become more tied with technology and a face paced lifestyle.  Two of my favorite sessions were the ones that centered around Christian meditation.  In both, the person leading the seminar, took us through a time of mediation.  I’ve never really thought much about meditation and to be honest it always sounded so new agey to me.  I learned so much from going through those and I am excited to see how we can incorporate it into the Pilgrim House plan.

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I had a free day on Monday after the conference ended, so me and two of the gals I had met that weekend decided to rent bikes and see the city.  President Obama was in town, so going to the museums was a no go.  It was a beautiful day though a little chilly.  It had rained on and off most of the weekend and we lucked out and had nothing but sun for most of the day.  We got fresh stroopwafels at the large outdoor market, road through the park and biked all around the canals.  I might not have been the best on my bike but I did avoid getting hit by a tram and a motor bike and only crashed once 🙂  It was a very good day.  I will leave you with a few photos from my time there.

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