Finally I arrive at the conference

Trip Start Sep 27, 2012
Trip End Oct 12, 2012

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Where I stayed
Emmaus Bible College

Flag of Switzerland  ,
Friday, October 5, 2012

This morning dawned with a glorious sunrise - the best sunny morning since I arrived, just as my holiday is over! But the lake looked beautiful and bright as I packed up in the apartment and Vicki and I closed down our little getaway in Montreux. It was a fantastic way to stay in one of the world's most expensive destinations, and for much less than a hotel we had a whole flat with all utilities as well. Although the train noise was rather invasive with a line below and above us, the place was certainly well located for travel and had all we needed.

I felt a bit off colour this morning and by the time we were packed up I was light headed and shaky and wondered if I could make it down the dangerous narrow road to the station with backpack, bag and pulling a suitcase! I think I have probably overdone the walking and uphill climbs a bit and this half strength heart of mine needs a break! It is also probably time for a sabbath rest! Anyway, I did make it and we had allowed plenty of time for the two train trips Montreux - Vevey - St Legier. We were met at the station and driven to the college by an Australian driving on the right hand side of the road for the very first time...we got there!

Emmaus Bible Institute is situated high up the mountain above Vevey with sweeping views over the lake - what a place it would be to study! (Come to think of it, the Bible college where I studied had wonderful views of Encounter Bay in Victor Harbour). It was established in 1906 and hundreds of students have graduated and gone out to French speaking countries. It operates as a conference centre and is like a motel, with simple but lovely rooms with balconies and views. Lunch and dinner today were superb French meals and I think we will be well looked after.

This is the 4th Global Christian Schools Conference and the largest so far, with nearly 60 delegates. The largest groups are from Germany and Australia, and there is a rule that only two of each of those groups can sit at any one table at meals! Already I am overwhelmed by the rich experience and ministry represented at the conference and am trying hard to memorize names, countries and jobs of people I speak to. One man drove 1200km from Budapest to be here, we Aussies flew a day and a night to come, and others only had a two hour trip over the border. It is strange and a bit sad that there is no one from Switzerland present. It is so encouraging to meet Europeans with real faith, knowing that evangelical Christianity is struggling here. At dinner I sat next to a delightful young German teacher, Ruth, (who speaks perfect English and teaches it) who was so passionate about their school in Stuttgart. I have met Africans, Indonesians, Americans, English, German, French, New Zealanders already and the shock of talking and socializing so much after a fairly solitary week of holiday is quite something! I know, however, that I am about half and half introvert and extrovert, so I should be able to make the switch! I am so grateful that I paid the supplement for my own room so that I can get space when I need it.

Tonight's presentation was by Luk Bussiere, the regional director for Assosiation of Christian Schools International for French speaking countries. He was, however, born Swiss and he spoke about the history of the reformation and the need for a revival of that history - the reformers believed strongly in education. He urged us to go to Geneva and to intercede for Europe. I am too tired to summarize any more but it was a powerful presentation. So what am I going to take away from these days here? I know that I was meant to come and am open to what God has for me.
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