It’s been a few days since I’ve posted. I caught a Swiss bug that kept me under the weather for a couple of days. But I’m back! Well at least 80% of me, lol. We have had an interesting few days, nothing overly exciting…
Wednesday, we made a trip to Lucerne, or Luzern as it is known here. Luzern is in the heart of Switzerland, and where we feel called to stay longterm. James wanted to seek out the hospitals in the area for open doors and specifically to find out what his occupation title is know as here (he gets mixed responses everytime he inquires). In short, we were directed to the main hospital in the Luzern canton. Step by step we made it to the Bio-medical shop and spoke to a nice young man, named Max, whom introduced us to the chief man Mr. Francis. Unfortunately, Mr. Francis was not opened to speaking to an “English man”. However, he did shake James’ hand. So maybe the door is cracked, but not yet opened. But God… James felt the Lord say to him this morning that he will meet Mr. Francis again. Yes Lord!
It’s amazing, how many people have dogs in this country. They are everywhere and they walk them everywhere. Dogs are even allowed in coffee shops, stores, etc. It’s quite shocking at times. This is the country for dog lovers!
Thursday, we made ‘fun trip’ to Bern. Because I wasn’t feeling the best, we decided to take a casual day to walk around Bern. Bern is very pleasant to visit. Rather a casual atmosphere.
First, we decided to visit Starbucks for a cup of coffee. We marveled at the people, in and outside the shop, as we listened to the chatter of conversations without comprehension. The view from the coffee shop is Bern’s striking central area with beautiful statues and clock towers, lined with restaurants and shops.
We then began a walk through the city. We first stopped in a pharmacy for some cold medicine. Switzerland is amazing. They offer both pharmaceutical remedies and homeopathic remedies. It is so nice having such options side by side. We have found that the Swiss prefer natural solutions for ailments. We then stopped in a Sony shop to find a plug-in adapter. We spoke to a young man who is so eager to live in America. He has friends in Newark, New Jersey and actually has ‘BRICK CITY’ tattooed in asian font on his forearm. We continued our walk and found ourselves in the bustle of the center of this area, which is a mecca for transportation- trains, buses, etc. As we walked through this area, I found myself praying and studying the people’s faces and body language. I was grieved and the scripture found in Mathew 9:36 came to mind, ‘When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were harried and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is rich, but the workers are few…”‘ I know this could be said of any nation; nonetheless, I am thankful He is speaking this to me in this nation, as this is the nation He is giving us.
We then walked through the busy narrow shopping ‘alleys’ to Old City of Bern where we came across the grandiose Zytglogge…say what??? Well this beauty is often featured on travel shows of Switzerland (It’s so amazing to see these epic monuments in person!). It is a large, medieval tower built in the 13th century. It has a rich history of serving the city as guard tower, prison, & clock tower. Currently it is an astronomical clock with musical mechanisms. Needless to say it is a major tourist attraction.
After some delicious homemade gelato, we made our way back to our car. We came into the busy center area again and noticed something peculiar happening with a crowd of people in front of a shop called ‘MediaMart’. What seemed like a small celebration with fire work type flares and confetti with streamers, we realized, after talking to a young man, was a protest! Apparently, the building once was occupied by restaurants of traditional cuisine, but the owners were not able to keep the building maintained and it was closed. MediaMart bought and renovated the building, and this was their grand opening. We were told that MediaMart is multicultural company and not welcomed (at least this is what we understood from the young man who spoke fairly good english, but it seems there is more to the story). What seemed a relatively peaceful demonstration progressively became more violent, as eggs, bottles and other objects were thrown at the windows, causing them to break. The police were on each corner, but we didn’t stick around to see how it ended. James encouraged us to leave quickly.
It seems there is a church ready to greet us in every town we come into. These churches are so apparent, as they stand much taller then the rest of the buildings, and each one has a four sided clock on it. This is so profound to us for two reasons.
1st- before we left for Switzerland our dear friend, Bill, shared with us that at our wedding he had a vision. He never shared the vision until the Sunday before we left. In this vision he saw a four sided clock (almost all church clock towers here are four sided) the time he seen on the clock was just after 12. And he said as the clock struck just after 12, there was a huge release. He also saw like a scarf (or flag) with several crosses. (WE SAW THAT FLAG TODAY!)
2nd- I got this revelation. This is such a prophetic picture, because the church is to know the ‘TIMES’.
“In the same way, when you see all these things, you (the church)are to know that the TIME is near, right at the door.” Mathew 24;33
And we declare over Switzerland: “You know at what point of history we stand; so it is high TIME for you to rouse yourself from sleep; for the final deliverance is nearer than when we first came to believe.”
Friday, we stayed in most of the day. I, flat on my back, and James, worked on his resume. At about three in the afternoon, James suggested a walk to the bakery for bread and to the store. I thought it may be good for me, so I agreed. It was a nice walk; however, we both got very hungry and I was not really feeling up to cooking. So we checked the menu of a couple of different restaurants, and on the board of the restaurant closest to our apartment stated ‘burrito night-Freitag 1700PM’ (Friday @5PM). “Ooh that sounds good!” It was about 4PM, so we decided to go home first and unload our groceries. Then a thought occurred to me-let’s invite Hans and Therese (our host parents). James went to their home to invite them. He came back and reported to me that they could not because their grandson was coming over for dinner. However, they were so excited and had marked the following Friday on their calendar for us to have ‘burrito dinner’! And then, suddenly, our doorbell rang. It was Therese inviting us to join them for dinner! That was a joyous moment! Our first Swiss family home cooked meal. In short, it was a wonderful evening, full of laughter and good times. The food was delicious!!! Their grandson & his girlfriend (ages 19) stayed for only an hour, as they had a hockey game to attend. They were so nice and polite, and the girlfriend spoke some english, so she was able to translate for us.
Therese nursed me with all kinds of home remedies, and of course Hans thought I needed a shot of ‘medicinal schnapps’, lol. Apparently, every September, Hans & Therese make a ten day trip to Holland to pick Hollander berries (Elderberries). They laughed, as they told stories of competing with the birds for the berries. Therese, then brings them home to make a thick syrup from the berries (mixed with hot water to drink). Therese makes 50 to 100 bottles. They drink it to keep the immune system strong and when they have colds, etc. We were gifted one of these treasured bottles: dated September 2014.
They are indeed a gift to us!
Hans & Therese invited us to church this Sunday, followed by dinner. As well, they would like us to celebrate Easter (Ostern) with them.
We will be speaking to Andreas, via Skype, today. Andreas is Hans and Therese’s son, as well as, the owner of our apartment. He resides with his family in Boston and is apart of the Swiss consulate there. We asked to speak to him to get some insight on the proper process for James in landing a job here. Please pray we gain some wisdom from this talk!
****Stayed tuned, I will share on my next post about Saturday in Luzern…Amazing! And our first traditional Swiss church service tomorrow with our sweet new family.