Originally published 14 June 2010.
Whew! What an amazing few days! Time to catch up!
Last Thursday, I was in for a real treat… a guided tour of Basel’s religious background and historic churches! Holger, the preacher at the church here in Basel, took me all around and explained why it’s so difficult to spread the gospel here. The Swiss people are well-taken care of and self-sufficient. They are an extremely prosperous nation, and they need nothing. Everything they have is double-insured, and no matter what they need, it’s provided by the government, non-profit organizations, neighborhood groups, family, etc. Why would they need God, right? Holger said it’s very difficult to show people they have a need for a Savoir–the greatest need of all. I asked where the Swiss people generally think they’ll spend eternity, and he said they generally don’t think about it. They live life now. In a way that’s good–live in the moment, never miss an opportunity–but it’s certainly not the best way to live. Live life now because God gave it to you and provides those opportunities, you know?
Anyway, I thought the whole day was so interesting! The churches around here are mostly Catholic or Reformed churches, and there’s a synagogue or two as well because of the large Jewish population. These buildings are literally 700-800 years old. Holger told me things about the Romans coming in or something, and it just floored me: that stuff really happened! And it happened HERE! WOW.
And after the most elaborate lunch I’ve ever had (three courses and elegantly arranged on the plates! Home made, too!), I got to spend the afternoon with Margrit (Mrs. Steinhauer). We talked about a lot of things concerning family and church and life, etc. She is so much fun! She’ll be completely straight-forward, but is by far one of the sincerest, kindest, funniest people I have ever known! We walked to the little downtown of Leistal, the village where they live just outside of Basel. It’s so precious! It reminds me of Old Town Alexandria. I love it!
Anyway, we walked and took her mother for a stroll in the wheelchair while Mrs. Steinhauer did her errands–grocery shopping, stop in at the bakery, stop in at the butcher (yes indeed! A real bakery AND a real butcher shop! They still exist!), etc. She was so excited to show me the little town with its old buildings (like, 900 year old buildings!), and I was excited to see it all! It really is cute, and it’s fun to walk through there with someone who appreciates it! I feel the same way about my little Old Town! Hehe.
So after running errands and such with grandmother, we ate a light supper and we probably did something else, too. I don’t even remember! I remember having the realization, “Have I really been here nearly a week? Have I really ONLY been here a week?!”
And on to Friday… I made a new friend! Pina, one of the ladies at church, asked me to go with her and her husband Urs to pick up their daughter from the airport in Zürich. She was just getting back from visiting friends in Smyrna, TN, believe it or not! =) She was pooped, but we were fast friends! We have a lot in common, and she’s a lot of fun to be around! When Pina and I dropped her off at her apartment, I went to lunch and to the grocery with Pina to talk and spend time with her. These women at church are already part of my family. I am amazed at them and the real difference in the way they live their lives. And the Steinhauers are fabulous–they’re nuts but they’re so much fun!
When Pina dropped me off that afternoon, Mr. and Mrs. S (Dan and Margrit) had already left for a get-together they’d been invited to several weeks ago. Joyce, Alice (grandmother) and I didn’t mind, though. =) Hehe. Ben and I met up in Basel city that night to see Nicki, another girl from church, who works at a really cool restaurant called City Beach. It’s like a beach on top of a parking garage! It’s such a cool idea… except it rains so much here! It’s a great place to see the city, though, and to eat! After supper, Ben and I walked around Basel a little bit and headed home. We were in for a full weekend, which I’ll have to go into tomorrow! Right now, it’s past my bedtime for the 4th night in a row!!!!! =)