Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Go "Team Missionary"! Me, Marian, Rob, Nathan, and Greta gathered at my house Sunday for one last meal--Greta and Marian are back home now.

Just wanted to share this beautiful picture. Took me a lot of tries to get it right, but the butterfly was patient with me.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Some people collect stamps. Others collect coins. In Switzerland you collect the tops off of the little coffee creamers. That's right. And they even have some sort of quasi-scientific name: opercules.

As a gesture of solidarity with the Swiss I have begun my own opercule collection. It was a light decision, but little did I know that coffee creamer collecting is serious business!

The first thing to do when you begin such an endeavor is to tell Jean-Pierre about it. The first couple of days I would come home and find several creamer covers waiting for me. About the fourth day after beginning my collection, I came home to find an entire bowl full them! Apparently that's about how long it took for everybody in town to know that they're supposed to save them for Jean-Pierre's missionary :o)

But it's not necessarily as easy as it sounds, although I'm certainly glad I don't have to drink the cream of every cover I collect. But the real work begins once you have the covers and you have to organize them. You actually buy at the supermarket album sheets with little slots for the opercules. The images on them come in series, so I organize them into groups. Fascinating, I know. Don't worry, everyone back home can see my collection in person when I come back in December. For now you'll just have to satiate your curiosity with the few photos I've included below.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I felt very Swiss Saturday morning, organizing my opercules over a cup of tea at breakfast.

Here's just a glimpse of part of my collection. Yes, there are album pages made just for nerds like me.

The ones with animal pictures are some of my faves. Plus, these cows and swans are just so Swiss!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Cherry Trees and Yearbooks

Every Sunday a family in the church opens their home for whoever wants to come eat. This Sunday the welcoming home was where my friend Rob rents a room, so we ("we" being me and my friends, aka the other expats, aka "team missionary") all went to see where he lives. He happens to live in paradise. In the back yard is a big garden with such treats as strawberries and raspberries currently ready to pick and eat. Also, I enjoyed standing underneath the cherry trees, gorging myself on the tasty fruit by the handful.

This idyllic environment inspired me and my mean Kiwi friend Annelies to take some pictures. Think highschool yearbook/senior photos. (By the way Kiwi=New Zealander and in New Zealand mean=cool.)

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Not your classic yearbook pic, but the cherries just had to make it onto my blog. Mmmm...

Classic senior photo. I think I still have pictures of several of my friends in this same tree.

Cutie pie Annelies. Too bad I can't put sound files on here so you could hear her wicked accent. (Wicked also means cool in NZ).

Why didn't I have a chicken in any of my senior photos? Zut! I need retakes!

By the way, there was also a carousel practically in the backyard. Of course we had to ride it!

Yes, I do still shave my armpits in Europe.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Geneva with a friend

This last week was a treat for me--took the week off of school (it's a language school where you just pay week by week) and went to Geneva on Monday to meet up with my friend Missy from George Fox University. She's on vacation in Europe for a few weeks.

At 10pm Monday night we realized we needed to find a place to sleep :o) We located a youth hostel and were so thankful they still had a couple of beds left. Funny though--it wasn't hostile, nor was it only for youth. It was clean and friendly and breakfast was included. Not bad for about $25! We were very pleased with ourselves for pulling off this new adventure!

Tuesday evening we headed back up to Neuchatel, where Missy stayed with me until Friday afternoon. We did a lot of walking, just enjoying the beauty that is Switzerland and Missy got a glimpse (and taste) of my life here.

It was fun to visit Geneva. This "big city" of Switzerland has just 400,000 people in the entire canton. The population is 40% foreigners, so English was much more prevalent than in my home. Enjoy the photos.

This is the famous Jet d'eau, symbol of Geneva. The fountain spurts up 7 tons of water 140 meters into the air.

We got very wet walking about the city for two days in the rain! This is a fountain at the Jardin Anglais by the waterfront.

Ever seen a real guillotine?!

My first youth hostel experience.

We visited the UN and took an overpriced tour, but it was cool to be where a lot of important decisions are made.

We visited the powerful Red Cross/Red Crescent museum, which is mostly about their wartime work over the past century

This beautiful flower was highly photogenic

Missy was treated to a traditional Swiss Raclette at my house. I'm getting pretty good at preparing it now!

There are precious little ugly ducklings following the swans around now

I enjoyed walking with Missy through my beautiful neighborhood

I was sad to see the tulips and daffodils go, but now it's rose season!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Balancing Act

Just to balance out my last post, I'd like to post a few verses that are dear to my heart. Actually, it's not so much balancing, as putting in focus what really matters, not putting more importance on marriage than is due, and remembering that most of all it is a reflection of the relationship God wants to have with His people, the Bride of Christ.

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." Colossians 3:1-4

"I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs--how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world--how he can please his wife--and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world--how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord." 1 Corinthians 7:32-25

"At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven." Matthew 22:30

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.'" Revelation 21:1-3

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


One of my favorite hobbies is matchmaking. I enjoy predicting who will hook up or even suggesting to others who they'd go well with. My record isn't too shabby either :o) My friend Angela, faithful reader of this blog, can attest to that--married now for close to 3 years! Something I've joked about for maybe 2 years now is making my hobby into an official Wycliffe vocation. The last few days, I'm actually wondering if I should take it more seriously...

I've often joked that we should have our own missionary matchmaking service. Most missionaries are fairly isolated from one another, with few opportunities to meet others with the same calling and interests. But it has always remained a joke to me because it seemed rather "unspiritual." Yesterday, however, I discovered that a missionary friend (who shall remain anonymous!) has started using E-Harmony. I was totally shocked! But after some thought I've decided that if I were this person I'd probably do the same thing. And others who found out about it were like, "Yeah, why not?" Then tonight I started thinking about all the arranged marriages that have taken place over the centuries all around the world and about how finding a life partner doesn't have to be "spontaneous" or out of nowhere. Even in my culture it's often a friend or family member who introduces a couple to each other because they think they'd go well together. I also think about the people in the "Wild West" and missionaries of old (and even today) who married out of "convenience" because there wasn't time for a long courtship. Also earlier this evening I stumbled upon the personal ads in the local paper here. The Christian man whose house I live in met his wife 30 years ago through such an ad!

So I want to hear from you...Why not have a similar system for missionaries? My friend using E-Harmony has to wade through all the profile matches that aren't missionaries and the personal ads contain few Christians. Almost all the single missionaries I know would like to find a mate. Sadly, many of them have climbed in years, and I imagine these single people wishing and waiting as they're scattered around the globe without a way to get into contact with each other. I know that God is completely able to have people cross paths even in the remotest of locations, but would it be bad if that crossing of paths were facilitated? I've yet to think through exactly how I could go about creating this facilitation, but in general what do you think? Missionaries, I'd especially like to hear from you!

OK, so I feel like a total dork for posting this :o) Hope it goes over well!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Post away!

For some reason, I just now figured out that I could change my blog's setting to allow anyone to post, not just those with a blog. So if you weren't able to post comments before, you can feel free to do so now!

Hiller watching Napoleon Dynomite, which I gave him for his birthday!

Happy Birthday Hiller!

My nephew turns 4 today! Happy birthday, Hiller!

In honor of this special day I must share with everyone the cutest stories ever. A couple weeks ago my sister and nephew saw a purple motorcycle. This is a pretty big deal to a 3-year-old motorcycle-loving guy and he exclaimed, "What a beaute! That's a real beaute, Mom!" My sister laughed and asked where he'd learned that expression, thinking maybe it was from his grandpa. "From my heart," he answered. :o)

Story #2: H asked my sister, "Does Jesus live in our hearts?" "Yes," she said, "If you ask him to. Have you invited Jesus to live in your heart?" "No," he answered. "Do you want to?" "Yes." So my little Hiller-Boy prayed and invited Jesus into his heart! Later he asked, "Is there blood in our hearts?" "Yes." "And Jesus lives there? With all the blood?!" :o)

Verse of the Day: "I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better." Ephesians 1:16-17

Family member of the day: Hiller, the birthday boy, of course!

Dessert of the Week: Foret Noire=Black forest