Visited the same church in Biel today. Every service has been unique and unexpected. On the first visit a Catholic theologian visited and shared a very formal message that included the history of a woman and her service due to her faith. He wore the formal garb. My friend, Kim, who had visited a week earlier, said her first visit was similar to her home church in Australia and this was very different. The second visit included communion, launching a new group of interns, and the message was about the scriptural theme for this year. There were about 27 excited teens and twenty-somethings. An aside regarding church attire. People dress in everything for church. I remember a pastor during the 1970’s being so shocked that a young man came to church in jeans. Oh my – how that has changed. I’m not saying that is good or bad because, at my age, I don’t think skin or baseball caps add to an atmosphere of worship. What has surprised me, in general, is that Swiss men dress as well as women. Sometimes the man looks decked out to the T and the beautiful Swiss women look plain by comparison. I think in the U.S. women are the peacocks! So back to church, today we had communion and the 1.5 hour service focused on the children. In this church’s tradition, they blend the idea of dedicating the babies to the Lord and sprinkling. Families then have an annual celebration of that dedication and the hope is that a future commitment to Christ and choice to be baptized will follow. There is an emphasis on the role of the parent in training and mentoring into faith. It was lovely and was important for me with my two littles to dedicate them to the Lord. They then were baptized on the same day by Pastor Larry at Overlake Christian Church in Kirkland, WA. It took. The challenge is getting to church here because nothing is near but worth the planning.
So field trip to two famous YWAM (Youth with a Mission) sites in Switzerland – Lausanne and Chatel near Geneva. Lausanne was the original school to equip youth to be mission minded for short-term service worldwide but began to serve as a launching pad for many into full-time service. Currently there are 120 students plus 70 staff on the improved site of a golf hotel in 1969. They are adding some dorms and trying to keep up the original buildings. It was exciting and then on to the very quiet remote location where a lot of counseling training takes place. That is such a good purpose for people in ministry. All of that reminded me that Wiler is the best spot for me. As Goldilocks said…Lausanne is too big, Chalet is too small, and Wiler is just right. So you may be wondering what is next here? Service happens everyday but outreach is still in process as we finish training. After orientation we have been studying relationships, prayer, character and nature of God, the Father heart of God, the place of the Holy Spirit and prophecy, and original design (how God has created us all as individuals). Next begins evangelism and mission outreach…why I am here! I will try to attach some pictures but hold that thought for just in case!