Sunday, December 30, 2012

July 15th: And so we say, "Goodbye!"

Sunday, July 15

**This is going to be a long post, so carve out some time if you want to read it! :)**

Today we were all excited, because instead of breakfast in the courtyard again, we were to have breakfast at fancy restaurant. This of course, meant a little bit of a trek, but we were all ecstatic about it.
We walk in and find out that it is a very trendy, and expensive restaurant. I was SO excited!
The restaurant had reserved the whole entire back part of the restaurant for our group. There were four spots at each table. Sarah and I found a table along a far wall and sat by ourselves, just chatting it up. Mostly talking about our horrible luck with guys, which was both hilarious and terribly depressing.
A fruit bowl with kiwis, apples, and bananas sat in the middle of each table, and at each seating was a glass of orange juice and a small croissant of to the corner, near the glass of OJ.
The waiters came around to each table offering coffee and hot chocolate. The hot chocolate was quite a bit different than I am used to. It wasn't very sweet at all, but had more of a bitter taste to it. Not horrible, just not exactly what anyone was expecting.
Then again, we had to remember our 5 syllable mantra, "We're not in 'Merca!"(aka: We're not in America).
Our "fancy" croissant breakfast
The fruit bowl.
After our croissant breakfast, we headed to 11 am church service at Hotel Warwick.
There was a very powerful move of God in the worship portion of the service.
Linsey had a singing special, and she blew the roof off of that church (metaphorically, of course). She did a fantastic job, and it was a very anointed performance.
After Linsey's song, the sign team, consisting of John, Megan, Britney and Kelsey, did a spectacularly moving performance to "Jesus Said It".
God just moved in that place. It was like a wave through the congregation. Really indescribable.
Here's the link for the signing of "Jesus Said It":

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4388757842298&set=o.337161099668762&type=2&theater

A lady named Mia, who Sis.Mann has been talking with and working with, returned from last night's service.
She asked Sis. Mann if she could talk to the group after the service. Mia stood in front with Sis. Mann and told us about how she has been in Geneva for over 13 years, and how in all of that time, this was her first Apostolic experience. She talked about how she was walking around town this week, when she heard one of the groups of young people singing and how she literally felt the presence of God. Mia went on to say how she was feeling very sad and depressed at that moment in time, before hearing the singing. She was caught off guard by what she felt, and decided to move a little closer to the group. She went closer and was handed a flier. She told us how she felt God upon receiving the flier and how she could see Him with the choir as they sang. Mia began to get emotional as she thanked us for traveling so far to bless Geneva and told us what a blessing this experience has been to her.
Hearing Mia said this really touched our group, and really encouraged me. I had been feeling a little frustrated and confused by the fact that more people had not accepted the word or attended services, or received the Holy Ghost. I had expected this trip to warrant a full on, blow out revival, and well...that's not what happened. It was in that moment that I realized how wrong my perspective had been. This trip was worthwhile, even if Mia was the only one who's life was changed (she wasn't the only one, but for the sake of this argument just humor me).
Mia speaking to the group
Sis. Mann (left), with Mia (right).
Switzerland in essence is a Godless country. People don't think they need God, and are overall Atheist or Catholic in nature. In general, we received a very cold reception.
Here's the thing, God is still God, and God is good. Hungry souls were still led to the services, people were still filled with the Holy Ghost.
***In fact, there were a total of 25 visitors. 3 of those visitors received the Holy Ghost and 1 was renewed. 4 Bible Studies were started (and counting).***
I think that's something to be proud of.
After Mia spoke, Sis. Mann told us how very proud of us she was and how different this trip was from every other trip that she and her husband have been on. She told us not to be discouraged by the low number of people who received the Holy Ghost, and not to compare the results with those of other AYC trips from this year. This trip was not like the other trips in the other locations. Sis. Mann explained that the other trips were reaping the harvest of hungry souls and explained how we were not a part of the harvest, but that our work was to sow the seed of revival. She said that this trip made an impact and that our efforts were not in vain, but that we were actually doing the groundwork for what will explode into a revival. She said this trip changed her life and she is excited about what will come of our efforts in the future. <--I Believe that!

After the morning service, we all got our cameras out and began going frantic, because we really realized how quickly time was escaping us. We wanted to savor every possible photo op, and we did.
Here are a few of the pictures:



Sis. Mann (left), Me, Bro. Mann (right)

Oh and there was this crazy, possessed lady that kept following the Manns around. She came to all of our services and had a horn that she hung from her neck and sounded periodically throughout the service.
She ended up gifting the horn to Sis. Mann (pictured below):


After the last minute pictures, we had a few free hours to go sightseeing before dinner/end of trip ceremonies.
Everyone divided up into groups. The group I went with consisted of: Natalie, Cassie, Kayla, Cody, Tanner, Daniel, Kim--I hope I didn't forget anyone.

After a while, some of us broke off from the group and wandered off. Sarah, Melinda, Kim, Kayla, and I went to Starbucks and just hung and tried to avoid the torrential downpour, which came out of nowhere. We took some pics with random statues and then we all went back to same restaurant we had breakfast at for our last dinner.
This, my friends, was a nice dinner.

During dinner I sat at a table with Kim, Natalie, and Sarah. We just chatted about a bunch of things. Conversation went from the personal to the spiritual, and back again. This is where I really got the chance to get to know Kim better.

Remember how the whole group was divided into smaller groups with a chaperone? I was in the group chaperoned by Bro. Stirnemann. One member from each group presented cards and thank you's to their chaperones. Our thank you card was presented by Naomi.
Afterwards, we said some heartfelt "goodbyes" to each other. More pics (DUH).
Naomi presenting thank you to Bro. Stirnemann (sharing some anecdotes)
Bro. Stirnemann
Bro and Sis. Sayers
Sis. Karina, the best translator in the world!!!

Bro. and Sis. Mestre of the Spanish speaking church in Lausanne
Back Row: Amanda (far left), Melinda, Me, Danita
Front: Linsey (left), Sarah (right)
Then we all went back to the hotel where we all hung out and got sentimental. A lot of people brought journals specifically meant for signatures, and we got signatures and phone numbers from as many people as we could. It really was a yearbook sort of scenario.

Then Cassie started filming a group of us for a music video spoof of "Call Me Maybe" (one of the trip theme songs, don't ask why...I don't have the answer).
The video is here:


After the filming, I just walked around talking with as many people as possible and getting signatures. Then somehow Amanda and I ended up with Kim in her room and we had a straight up prayer session, it was truly amazing. That scripture in Matthew 18:20, "For where two or three are gathered in my name, I'm there with them" is so true. God showed up.

I don't remember what all else happened. I know that we stayed up long past our curfews, just hanging onto our last few hours together.
Saying goodbye tomorrow will be so surreal.