I’m headed to the L’Abri Fellowship in Heumoz, Switzerland for January and February. This, of course, is the ministry Francis Schaeffer started in 1955. So I’ve got my flight to Geneva, I’ve paid for my two-month stay with a bank transfer, and got some Swiss Francs from the bank for spending cash on the trip.
I hope to learn a lot from my stay there. Most people, so I’ve read, go there to ask questions, to study Christianity, and/or generally take a break. I will be doing some of all of these things, but have other purposes in mind as well. Primarily I’m hoping to learn more about L’Abri itself and determine which aspects of their ministry may be worth incorporating in the ministry I’m starting – Sola Appalachian Christian Retreat. Also, I plan to listen closely to what is being taught at L’Abri and report back to seminaries, churches, and people in general in America as to the current doctrinal stance being held at L’Abri. So I hope to write a long blog post also about my time at L’Abri.
I can’t think of a better time of the year than winter to be in Switzerland. I expect it to be quite beautiful. But like Schaeffer himself, I’m concerned with the weakness of the church in Europe. Are there many missionaries to Switzerland? I don’t know of any. It seems odd that the place where John Calvin once lived, the place out of which the Reformed faith spread, that is the city of Geneva, now needs Christianity brought to it. But God is faithful and his plan is in his control. In the early church Syria and Greek-speaking Turkey were once centers of Christianity. Though it has faded there it grows strong in other areas of the world. The same happens today. Though parts of Europe fade, the gospel makes inroads in China and hundreds of other countries. The power of the gospel has shown itself to be stronger than any religious or political movement which has been matched up to it.
Well, anyways, it has been a few years, but I’ve read some of Francis Schaeffer’s book. And just last week I looked at his personal letter collection at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. Though I don’t see as thoroughly a worked-out philosophy in Schaeffer as in THE presbyterian philosopher, Gordon H. Clark, I do appreciate a lot of his writing and work for God’s kingdom. And I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to visit L’Abri. This is the 3rd of 3 major reasons I quit my engineering career a few years ago: hike the Appalachian Trail, go to Seminary, visit L’Abri. I’m very blessed now to do so many things in life that I’ve desired to do.