From forty lands they came, more than 7,000 strong, to Brussels, home of the European Economic Community—and site of last month’s Eurofest ’75, a ten-day international evangelistic training conference for youth.

Four Swedish students on a vacation trip to southern France pulled a Eurofest brochure from a trash can in Germany and switched their destination to Brussels. A Greek trucker detoured to Brussels after some German girls he tried to pick up in Holland told him about Eurofest (where, he confided later, he became a Christian). When an airline employee at the Brussels airport asked why a planeload of Egyptians had come to Belgium, a young Arab replied: “to study the Bible.” Canadian Reg Esau spotted a Eurofest poster in a church in Montevideo, Uruguay, then scraped rust and painted his way across the Atlantic aboard a cargo ship. Some 2,000 Britons crossed the Channel, and participants from both the Irish Republic and embattled Ulster shared the same chartered plane. Delegations arrived from eastern Europe, and a hundred Gypsies set up camp in a field near the assembly hall, the Palais du Centenaire, on the grounds of the 1958 World’s Fair complex.

They seemed undeterred by an abnormal heat wave that baked Belgium, by the language difficulties, or by the spartan conditions (there were no chairs in the hall, only thin matting over a concrete floor, and most bedded down in sleeping bags on wooden pallets in dormitories; some camped in tents and trailers).

Days were spent in Bible-study assemblies, seminars, and “mini-group” sharing. At night the conferees moved next door to Heysel Stadium where a Billy Graham evangelistic campaign was being held.

The main morning speakers at Eurofest were Anglican bishop Festo Kivengere of ...

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