Hello, from beautiful Switerland. We are begining to develop an understanding of what life is like here in Switzerland. We have spent many days working hard, hiking through the Alps & attending church in the language of Swiss-German (which is very different from the German you may have learned in school).
Last week God used an unsettling situation to His Glory & we remain amazed at the testimony we were able to provide. In the middle of the night last week, a Swiss student group, staying at the retreat facility, pulled on some of our tents in the middle of the night as a “prank”, although the team did not find it funny & were a bit alarmed. In the morning, through the staff at the YWAM base, we had a meeting with our team & the student group. An opportunity developed for our team to demonstrate the love of Christ through offering forgiveness to this group for their actions. The Swiss students were shocked at our team’s willingness to freely give forgiveness and they were a bit ashamed by their actions. Our team also had the opportunity to share with them about why we were in Switzerland and specifically working at the Schlossli. The group was interested & we believe that God used this time for us to testify about Him to these youth.
The weather here has been a mixed bag. It reminds those of us on the team from the Northwest of home. We experienced two days of rain and cool tempetures & it has been in the mid 60’s without rain for the past four days, which is perfect working weather. The team remains in their sweatshirts throughout most of the day & cherish their hot cocoa every morning.
Work on the Schlossli is progessing much quicker than the staff anticipated & they are very pleased. We have removed nearly all of the rocks from the walking paths & are in the process of edging the paths & then we will replace the small gravel on the paths with new gravel. Another team is working on building a dry rockwall on a small lane that aproaches the property. This group is about halfway done & they have completed digging the drainage pipe & covered it back up. The team enjoys the views that they are experiencing while they work as we are surrounded by the Alps & overlook a very large lake which is usually filled with sail boats. Next week we plan on increasing our productivity as there is a wedding on July 16th that we are trying to have the property perpared for.
Yesterday the team took the opportunity to spend the afternoon walking to the nearby town of Spiez. This town has some shops, a grocery store & small castle. The walk took us about an hour, but it was through some beautiful wooded trails & the team enjoyed the gentle stroll. Today we walked in the other direction to attend church. This was also an hour walk each way. We attended the Free Evangelical Church of Gwatt. Although one of our missionaries had sent the pastor a text to inform him that our large group was coming, he had failed to receive it. So they were surprised to see our team of 20 in boots march into their church, but they greeted us with open arms. Today was a special confirmation service for four of their youth. We were blessed by a lady in the church who was willing to translate & explain the service to our team. Our team especially enjoyed the choruses which were sung, some even in English! We returned to the Schlossli on along the ridgeline overlooking the lake & stopped for lunch along the way, it was beautiful!
Please continue to pray for our group of 4 team members & a leader who will be traveling to the other side of the lake of Tuesday to share with an English class. Also, pray for the health of our team, some team members are suffering from colds & seasonal allergies. Finally, pray that God will open doors while we are here to share about Him with the Swiss people.