Saturday, 26 February 2011

Man perspective

Hello all,
John here this week because Fritha's creative juices are running low having done the blog for many weeks in a row. And she has just had a hard day snowboarding so needs a shower!

This week has been Father, Son and Holy Spirit week on the lectures front and we have had a lady called Maureen teaching us, she has been amazing and her heart for Jesus is one that's pretty much unrivaled in my experience this far. It was a real treat to learn from her and glean some of the amazing knowlege in her mind. We all learnt alot more about who this 3 in 1 God is and how he works or tried to but i pretty much got stuck at the 3 in 1 part. Turns out christianity can be wonderfully simple and also seriously complicated!

Its really fun to be on DTS.

In other news Fritha and i have come to the understanding that we are pretty negative on the whole and are setting about to change that. Fritha has put a note on our bedroom door and everytime we enter we write someting we are thankfull for. Mine pretty much are always food related im sure that must mean something. Its a funny thing to realise our negativity and as it was coming into focus God seemed to be pointing out different aspects of our lives and others around us that it was affecting. Negative talk is really not that nice and as ive been thinking about it its amazing how much hurt and pain words can cause even to ourselves.
Ok enough of that, looks like we are pretty much going to Egypt so thats good news. They are opening up the embassies again or someting so that means we can now go. Happy.

I had a sleep over (i should call it a "Manover") in the boys room on thursday night and that was.... hmmm, smelly. We played a card game that was seriously complicated and went on till at least 1.30am then the guys thought it would be a good idea to set up some sort of booby trap for poor Roman who came in after brushing his teeth only to knock down Cans and chairs set up for the purpose, i dont know who was more affected Roman or the girls the foor below! Anyway the night did what it was suposed to. Good Manly time with much junk food consumed.
Fritha slept in with the girls and I think they talked.

Next week's teaching is the cross, im pretty sure i know all there is to know about that so its gonna be a fun week of me crying and so on.

We are off to hang out at our school leaders house for hot chocolate and chats now.
Miss you.

F and J

Sunday, 20 February 2011

real life

Hi. This is the view from our window.

So this week has been intense. The topic was Identity in Christ, and it was basically a process of going even deeper into how God feels about people. Tears were enthusiastically shed. And yes, Dan the speaker did have specific stuff God wanted to say to both of us. Twice.

The teaching went so deep that we were all feeling fairly raw all week - superficial conversations were obliterated in a tide of sharing and caring.

So, that was cool.

It was also exhausting and by Friday none of us wanted to talk about our feelings, our emotions or our pasts. We wanted to go to sleep.

Poor broken armed hubby was actually pretty pleased to not be hitting the slopes on Saturday - he got some good alone time and lots of work done. I hit the slopes. With my face. Learning to snowboard is hard and it hurts a lot because compacted snow is not your fluffy friend, it is a concrete impersonator. Learning to snowboard is also some of the most fun i've had in years and years. There's something about that moment when you and your board and the mountain click that can only be described as...epic.

Obviously i've felt that feeling, um, twice. The rest of the time I was just hitting the mountain with my face. John says he's very proud of wifey. After such a feelingsy week it was so good to just pound everything out on the mountain. Sport is good.

This morning was a treat - we went to church in Lausanne. We will definately be going back. The worship was stunning, even though their rendition of Revelation Song was quite frankly not a patch on Ali and Emilie. But hey ho, it was very good to just belt out some songs to God after such a navel gazing week. The sermon was also one of the best on submission that i've ever heard. If you want the podcast I guess google C3 Church Lausanne. It's French into English and that was fun cos I think our bilingual status in increasing.

Next week is Holy Spirit week - we're both well up for this week. Not sure what to expect and we like that.

Other interesting things include:
I'm going to be getting some tuition on photoshop and illustrator plus the normal teaching cos a friend is letting me use her laptop. They run the comms and design school out of Lausanne so i'm gleaning the skills....

God keeps hinting more things about the future. Can't say specifics yet but it's kind of cool.

We may not be going to Egypt, but if we do it's going to be very interesting. We want to go. Pray.

John's back is not healing as fast as we'd like but he's had the stitches out of his arm and they are impressive. Please pray for him to heal quickly and well.

K, dinner's ready, so bye
J and F xxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, 12 February 2011


Howdy Y'all.

Not sure what to say really - don't want to spew Christian drivel at you but I feel honesty is the best policy. Think the Bible says some stuff about that.

The last two weeks have seen us get kicked about and chucked around, and we've come out a little black and blue. Literally but also on the inside. John's hospital jaunt took precedence over my tooth for a week or so but this week the tooth decided to implode, taking a couple of other teeth and some of my face with it. Non melodramatic translation: wisdom teeth suck and i've had one out, one pending and i'm on four kinds of medicine to combat the infection that likes to pound on my nerves... and all this costs money. But through some bizarre hook up (prayer) it's not costing anything like as much as it should and this is good.

So the last couple of weeks have been heavy - pain isn't fun and neither of us are in a state to look after the other. If we were living by ourselves we'd be screwed but we're not, we're surrounded by beautiful people full of God's spirit. Lifts to hospitals, shedding tears with and for us, cups of tea, hugs on sofas and offering anything they've got have been the responses of our family here.

And it's this that bouys us up, that lifts us up to where we couldn't get before. It's this kindness that flows against our culture that shows me who my God is. People haven't offered what they've got to spare, they've offered what they need themselves. No strings attached. And I don't know how to thank them so i'm writing it here and praying that God will give us chances to bless them back, and the humility to just sit back and accept what's been given.

So what's going on? Darkness likes to show it's teeth and then light punches it in the face. Bye bye, teeth. (A dental theme has emerged.) We're not backing down from this thing. Yes it would be easy to flee home and get free healthcare and look after ourselves and see dearly missed friends and family. But we didn't sign up to a life of easy options, we signed up to a life that looks the dark in the face and laughs, clenched fists at the ready. Want to be a force for goodness, want to show with our whole lives who this beautiful, loving GOD truly is.

So yes, it's been hard. But it's beautiful being here and the future is an exciting place. Let's go there.
Also, I like this song:

Next week's teaching is about Identity In Christ, by someone called Dan Sneed who apparently is given to random personal prophecies for people in the class. Pick me! Pick me! This week's teaching has been phenomenal, it was on evangelism and I think we've both remembered who we are. The teaching here often feels like a sunrise.

What an amazingly poncy thing I just typed. Oh well, have got to get the laundry into the dryer. Have a fun day.
bye xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Happy Sad

Hello one and all,

so now the dust from John's epic fall has settled I can sit down and let everyone know what happened.

On Monday we arrived in Champery and it was beautiful, sunny and up in the mountains, and just a perfect getaway spot for us to learn more about God. But before the learning came the snowboarding so we piled into gondolas and swooshed up to the bit deemed good for skiing. Myself and the other beginners went to the bunny hill (sad lack of actual rabbits) while the advanced group - including John - went off to the scary bits.

I had a lovely day and was very excited to come home and tell John that now his wife could, potentially, maybe, get herself down a slight incline on a snowboard. But then I got a phone call saying that 'John's arm is broken, they're not sure about his spine and they're helicoptering him to the hospital'.
I freaked out a little bit. There may have been some swearing. I also did not finish my Mars Bar, which is a sure sign of catastrophe.

This was followed by much wrangling with insurance and Swiss hospitals. Insurance companies assume you're lying and Swiss hospitals assume you're too poor to afford to pay. So by the time I was allowed to see John they'd taken him into surgery. And handed me his wedding ring in a bag and his clothes that they cut off of him. I freaked out again. But then they told me that his back was ok, they just needed to sort his arm out. So I calmed down. But did not yet have a Mars Bar.

We blagged our way into the hospital at about 10pm, and were relived to find a beaten up but alive hubby. Slightly bewildered because of all the french speaking doctors and painkillers, but happy to be alive. Quote: 'now I can sing Blessed be your name cos I have something hard to praise him in!' I think they were strong painkillers. Apparently on the mountain he was quite giggly.

So he was in hospital for a couple of days and that was, well, rubbish. Boring, scary and sad because he was in lots of pain. He's got plates on both bones in his right forearm, as it was quite an exciting break. I'd show you a picture of the scars on his arm but you wouldn't like it as they are a bit frankensteiny.

But he came home to the chalet on Wednesday and that was lovely - still beaten up and sad but we had time to just hang out and get him better. Everyone was so lovely to us, much chocolate was sent John's way but ended up in my belly. He felt poorly. Mmmmmm, Mars Bars.

So now we're back in the base and life is returning to normal. Sad for John because no more snowboarding for a year, plus, you know, it's rubbish being brokened. But he's doing really well and is happy that he doesn't have to write any book reports! We are so glad to have him home and functioning, it could have been so much worse. Hooray for doctors. And God.

So next week: we're having teaching on evangelism by a guy from Australia. We haven't really stopped to think about teaching etc this week as it's been somewhat intense, but it'll be good to properly get back into the routine.

Please pray that:
- the insurance will pay up. We have a two grand excess so financially this is not great, but it'll be so much worse if this doesn't go smoothly. It should do, but I am intimidated by admin.
- John will keep getting better and that he won't be sad. His body is a little traumatised.
- We'll be able to keep pushing in to God stuff and won't be too distracted.

Ok so the whole time i've been writing this Cat has been stroking my hair but she's going now so i'm going too.
Lots of love,

F and J xxx