Week 2......I know, boring title
I guess it’s about time for another update. At least my mom tells me that the list is growing of people who want to hear from me. I feel like time is going slowly; which is good. Everyday is packed and meaningful. I had a moment this afternoon/evening of feeling overwhelmed, a little emotional; and missing family and my dad. But I think I’m a little refreshed now; having heard from home last night and also having talked to a handful of people here at the base.
Things are still going well. I’m loving it here: the community, the people, the classes, the structure; and just the sense of purpose. Lectures are challenging. At one point during community intercessory prayer I wanted to run out of the room and pack my bags to go home. I thought: “What am I doing here? I’m not as spiritual as these people! I doubt! I can’t do this!” but I stayed and as we got into groups and prayed, everyone prayed and confessed the doubt that was on their hearts that mirrored mine so much.
My afternoon lectures this week are intense too. I’m being pulled, stretched and challenged. But I also know I’m learning; and I can’t tell you what the outcome will be, but I’m learning and growing. I feel vague as I type this. The lecture series this week is on the Character of God. The speaker is intense, but it’s good. The motto here in Ywam is “To know Christ and to make him known”. Everything centres around learning to hear God’s voice. It’s only the second week, so I know I need to be patient with myself in learning this. I’m seeing God work, but I long to be back in the place where I was in high school where I really felt that I heard from God. Sometimes I feel crazy sitting in class and like I’m forcing myself to believe in the fundamentals of Christianity alone. But then hours later (as in tonight) I find myself sharing where I’m at spiritually and flooring myself with the words that come out of my mouth: I do believe or I wouldn’t be so passionate in what I share. I am a paradox unto myself.
I’m currently reading my first book for school here: “Forever Ruined for the Ordinary” by Joy Dawson. One chapter down; I’m learning.
Last weekend was spent up at the mountain: Villars. I feel unreal snowboarding in the Alps. It’s hard to believe I’m really there. It’s so neat. We were there to volunteer staff for an annual 24 hr ski/board race that raises money for charity. The race was HUGE I don’t know how many racers, maybe 100? and they relay with others in a team, each skiing/boarding for an hour. It was quite the experience to be apart of this. As a volunteer we had free passes for the slopes for both Saturday and Sunday and had been assigned a shift one of those days. Mine was from 5:30-8:30am Sunday morning. We slept Saturday night in a bomb shelter in the village at the base of the mountain. So we had to get up at 3:30am, to be ready to start walking to the train at 4am, to be on the train at 4:30am, and be up at the slopes for 5am. I was excited for our shift, but it was actually very brutal. I did not pack enough clothes coming to Switzerland alone (I still need to do a little shopping trip). And for some reason I did not bring enough warm stuff to the mountain for the weekend. I frozen while doing my shift. 3 hrs is very long when your toes are painfully almost numb after an hour, not even. I had to stand at a post part way up the mountain and watch the skiers, if anyone fell (I praise God that they didn’t b/c it was no stress for me there) I had to get help if they weren’t ok.
Boarding the day before was alright, it was snowing intensely so we called our day short due to poor visibility (while boarding) and lack of depth perception. Sunday was a powder day (lots of fresh snow). But I was too sick and tired to enjoy it much. I did one run: to a little pub on the hill that had sun chairs set out in front; so one of my leaders, another student and I sat there for three hours. Surrounded by the view of the alps, with the sun keeping us warm (it’s warm when the sun is up! Unlike at 5:30-8:30am…….never EVER again!) After lunch I called my day short with a handful of others. My school leader had to drive a van back, there was a coach bus coming for the rest of our group a few hours later. I had a good chat with my leader as we drove down the mountain. Talking about home and some of the stuff I’ve been through.
The roads zig zag down the mountain and towards the bottom are vineyards. So beautiful: its no doubt breath-taking in the spring and summer. Switzerland is beautiful. And I’m happy to be here.
My health has improved: IBS is totally less of an issue; so I’m really thankful for that (and I almost feel stupid for freaking out about it so much when I first got here).
I’m tired a lot of the time; I find it hard to make it through my lectures without getting sleepy; I went into town today and picked up some snacks, so I’m hoping that’ll be less of a problem.
I can’t think of anything else to share.
In a week or two I’ll be able to direct you to some pictures on the web. They just haven’t got them on the website here yet.
That’s all for now; I’ll write again in a week or so.