Welcome to Brussels

I arrived in Brussels last night for FOSDEM and, while attempting to figure out how to use the ticket machine for the public transport, was welcomed to the city by someone stealing my luggage. I no longer have my laptop, clothes, books, papers or Ogg player.

By God’s grace, I still have my wallet, passport, phone and return ticket. But I need to go and do some clothes shopping.

Ironically enough, on the Eurostar, I was studying the 8th Commandment (“You shall not steal”)! A related verse my notes flagged up is Ephesians 4:28:

He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

So it’s fairly clear what I should be praying for the thieves :-) That’s the good part – they stole my Bible so, who knows, they might read it. No-one is beyond God’s reach.

21 thoughts on “Welcome to Brussels

  1. Someone reading a bible in Belgium? Dream on. :p

    Go to “Dod” in Brussels for your clothes. Best quality/price comparison.

  2. That totally sucks. A group stole my 2 week old laptop in Brussels last year. Especially frustrating to be a victim so close to home, I thought I’d seen all the tricks after travelling Eastern Europe and Latin America.

    I’m not a local but I know plenty, so if you need any help sorting things out then get in touch through my blog.

    Enjoy FOSDEM!

  3. Bummer about your luggage. Maybe God is telling you it’s time for a make over (new clothes and all).

    You do have a lot to be thankful for (e.g wallet, passport, phone and return ticket).

    Even though that guy stole your stuff, at least you know your “…doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.” Like FireFox.

    Thanks for your work my Brother.

  4. Ok, guess that will keep me from bringing in my notebook to FOSDEM. Just out of curiousity: How did they do it?

  5. Ha! Just when I thought the whole world was turning evil, I find that my favorite program (firefox) has a man of my own religion standing behind it. Go Christianity!

  6. It probably happened in the Brussels South railway station? It’s notorious for being populated by laptop thieves :-(

  7. Sorry to hear about the mugging, losing a machine is quite messy. As for the Bible, I recently also lost one while travelling.

    At Christmas I went to Stansted airport to go to visit relatives in abroad. Having clothes and a toothbrush and so on already there, I did not need to carry much with me. I did however take an empty suitcase and empty hand-luggage bags to bring stuff back.

    As I went through security checks, they scanned and rescanned my backpack. They asked my permission to search the bag, so I smiled and told them to go for it, politely unzipping the main section for them (they never did search the front pocket).

    As I had eaten all my food and read my computer magazines on the six hour trip to the airport, I had jettisoned everything that was in the main pocket except some toilet roll and my Bible, a large study edition that would form my in-flight reading. They removed the Bible from the bag, rescanned the bag and then gave the empty bag back to me.

    Two people then spent fifteen minutes working on this Bible, scanning it, going through all the pages and poking things behind the spine. Eventually I was allowed to have the book back and was allowed to go on my way.

    Since I had some tight connections on the way home, I decided to leave the Bible out there.

  8. Zeth, I’m happy to hear that security did check your stuff most intensively. I grew up in an airline family, and not checking someone that fakes luggage and then brings a bible (heavy big container) would worry me badly. There are enough oddities in airtravel security, letting you just go through because your “bomb” looked like a bible would have been seriously flawed.

    Just to make my point clear, airport securities shouldn’t trust the cover of passengers with oddities, they should get a crystal clear picture of what’s going on. If that takes time, I’m all for it.

  9. I kind of doubt that it takes 15 minutes to find a bomb inside a Bible. I mean, it would have been understandable if he had been carrying around the large print edition of War and Peace, but…

  10. I’m sorry about your luggage, now I understand why on Saturday morning you said that about your new t-shirt bought the previous day.
    I also had a little incident on my arrival to Brussels on Friday night, I was enclosed inside the underground till some guards came to open the doors for me. jajaja

  11. It is so very encouraging to hear someone who is active in the open source community write openly about his faith in the Lord! God bless you in your travels. Now I’m not only thankful for Firefox because it is a wonderful product, I’m also thankful for its success because people find their way to this blog.

  12. I’m sorry to hear you had such an unpleasant experience on Belgian ground.

    I hope that hasn’t influecend your view of the Belgian population in general to negatively.

    Greetings from Antwerp, Belgium

  13. wow… another Gervase who also uses the nickname gerv… and we look scarily similar … only your religious AND you code in Java =\ your almost like my anti-christ (pardon the pun) :P if you use MSN, add me using the address i used to make this post would be interesting to talk to another gerv :P

  14. p.s., i should also offer my best wishes that you get some of your gear back =\ i haven’t yet been robbed to date but i imagine the experience is not a good one.

  15. Man dude… I feel for you getting your stuff stolen. I was in Amsterdam on a layover from the states and was really worried about my horns getting stolen. I was lucky. I had them straped to my person the entire misison trip (We went to Birmingham, England). I would not let a soul carry them. Good to know your open about your faith. Man… Europe used to be such a meca for Christianity so long ago and now it has drifted from its roots. It kills me that just becuase it’s not a 3rd world area that people don’t consider it a misison field. Praise God they got your Bible… you never know that may have been God’s plan all along and one of those theives will be lead a spiritual awakening to Christ in Europe.

  16. >We went to Birmingham, England
    I live in Brum and I have found it to be much safer than many other big cities, i.e London.

  17. Ha! Just when I thought the whole world was turning evil, I find that my favorite program (firefox) has a man of my own religion standing behind it. Go Christianity!