“As I think back over this past year, and over everything that the little fellowship in Dubai has experienced, it makes me happier than all the colors in the sky.”
There are explosions in the air for several minutes, and the sky is filled with hundreds of colors that are reflected in the many excited eyes watching intently. The fireworks show held at the luxury hotel “Burj Al-Arab,” Dubai is well underway and starts the new year with great fanfare.
“Despite the noise and the show, as I think back over the year that has past and everything that the little fellowship of around 30 friends in Dubai has experienced, it makes me happier than all the colors in the sky.”
This New Year’s weekend that we have shared together sums up really well the fellowship and brotherhood we have had in 2011.
Focus on children, young people, and families
The New Year’s weekend started with a youth trip to a mountainous area in Oman. A long hike awaited us, and it took us to great heights. We finally took a welcomed break at a fresh-water oasis, where we were able to enjoy the cold mountain water.
The next day, there was a gathering for families on a beach of the Persian Gulf. Exciting games were arranged there, which the children really enjoyed.
With their shoes and clothes full of sand, the friends went to an apartment to watch the satellite broadcasts from the New Year’s conference at Brunstad.
The Gospel was proclaimed with power, and gave us new hope to be able to continue to grow and to build the church to God’s honor, regardless of where we are.
We can identify with what is described in Jeremiah 29:21: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
I have had a fantastic weekend, and have the impression that my dear friends from Dubai have as well.
I ask what six-year-old Jonathan liked best about the weekend. “The games at the beach were the most fun. ‘Relay race’ was super fun! That is my favorite game,” he says.
Sarah Joseph (17) for her part especially enjoyed the mountain trip.
“It was fun to be together with all the young people. The trip was more challenging than usual, and I thought that was extra fun!”
Sarah appreciates the value of being able to be together with other young people who share the same faith in God. “Trips like this give me the opportunity to become better acquainted with people my own age who have the same faith as I have,” says Sarah. “To be together in this way gives me a good opportunity to see more of myself-life to work with.”
The adults were also thankful, both for the church in Dubai, and for what they heard at the conference.
Lily Dadlani (48)
I am especially thankful for faithful sisters and brothers who live the life that we hear about in the church. I have personally experienced this goodness from people who live a genuine life for God.
Ronald David (42)
“It has been very encouraging to see brothers and sisters across the whole world with a genuine longing to lay hold of their heavenly calling. It has been good to see the church in Dubai grow.”
The thing that especially touched my heart from what we heard from the New Year’s conference was to fear God with all of my heart and to work on my salvation every day with fear and trembling, as it is written in Philippians 2:12.”