Friday, 19 May 2017

Meeting Thomas a Kempis

written by John Oostdyk

Meeting Thomas a Kempis
Just for 24 hours! And what a great time it was.

Dutch youth visit a German youth group in Kempen and discover a wealth of information and build new friendships

On Easter day at 14.30 pm we left in two cars to travel two hours east from Zeeland to Kempen, a town just across the border in Germany, the birthplace of Thomas a Kempis. Thomas á Kempis wrote the book that is the best read Christian book after the Bible, the "Imitation of Christ". 
For 24 hours we were hosted by the youth group of the Free Evangelical Community, a small church in Kempen. The welcome was heartwarming. Part of the time we pretended to live like monks in the 14th century, we sang and worshipped together, did a game in town to get to know the area, stayed overnight in their church building, and learned about the writings and life of Thomas á Kempis, a monk who inspired so many with his writings and his devotion to Christ and the cross.
Amazing how much you can learn and experience in a 24 hour exchange when accompanied by a spark of inspiration that comes from two groups meeting each other for the first time. As we got to know each other, we also learned of each other's spiritual background and discovered the roots of our common Christian Heritage in Kempen. The next leg is being planned when the Kempen youth come and visit us in Zeeland.









Hallo, I am Paulien from Meliskerke (in The Netherlands). I thought the time in Kempen was great. Really, I enjoyed it all but a little tired now. The people, the special breakfast (monk style) and that the German girls suggested we pray together before we go to sleep. Singing songs was good, getting up early was not. Walking in silence through town was really nice, you have a chance to think. And really good to talk with people of different background about faith in God. I never heard about Thomas a Kempis before.