There were familiar faces and new ones with lots of smiles. With four children among 28 adults with a combination of nine nationalities, two stars were given to Aria for her basil leaf snacks and Quinn the muscle baby.
The weekend kicked off with the first Bible study from Jan Hammer on “What Is the Essence of Dead Works?” That study set the scene, followed by other interactive topics from Ester Meir (open-doors and decision making), Erik Casper (pornography) and Michelle Kasper’s clever Bible scavenger hunt. Sabbath services were held at the same location with Derrik De Moei’s sermonette titled “Lessons From Student Life” and Paul Kieffer’s sermon titled “What Does the Cross Mean to Us?”
One of the highlights of the weekend was the three-to-four-hour hike up a 1.835-meter mountain with a panoramic view of the Austrian Alps in the background.
For those on kitchen duty, we took the cable car up and met them at the top. For a bit, we all thought Michael had taken another exploratory diversion into the unknown, but he resurfaced much later to join us in the restaurant for a nice snack. This event gave a test for some of endurance and mental stamina through the cold, steep and cloudy surroundings. Possibly a lesson to learn that no matter how fast you try to reach your goal, it’s getting there that counts the most (the Kingdom of God).
The range of dishes reflected the international coverage of culinary skills and good taste. Such dishes included a chili, Ester’s vegetarian curry, Michelle’s various juicy and freshly wholesome salads including couscous (I still dream of it), pasta and sushi. Jess made crumble, Jan made amazing unleavened bread, Sarah made cheesecake, and Sophia made hummus.
Organization was key, so a kitchen rotation was set up by Ester for cooking and cleaning. The farmhouse contained two dormitories for the girls and two for the boys and several smaller rooms for couples attending. It wasn’t long before Jess used her master barista skills and trained key people to use the vintage Italian coffee machine. Before long we all were able to order cappuccinos and Americanos. Also following alongside this, Tristan Francis found he had a fantastic knack for putting together tasty blends of tea and became rapidly in demand. Card games such as peanuts/nerts caught on with groups of eight people at times. Mafia also became a favourite game during the weekend with much enthusiasm and exciting creative performances.
The weather extraordinarily started off cloudy and was able to allow a few campfire evenings but was followed surprisingly by a winter blanket of snow, and soon people were clamoring outside for a snow fight and a chance to build a snowman.
Altogether God was very generous and blessed the whole weekend with plenty of amazingly scrumptious, abundantly healthy international cuisine. Also, it was an uplifting and much-needed occasion to discuss and enjoy fellowship. The presence of cheerful selfless acts of service and the constant access to good heating and hot water was also another blessing given to us. In summary, it was a fabulous chance for isolated European young adults to get together. Because of this rewarding opportunity, it is hoped this event will be set up again for next year.