19 July 2008

Back From Zurich

A week ago Monday, I returned from an eleven day trip to southern Germany and Switzerland. The purpose of the trip was to explore new ministry opportunities in southern Germany, Switzerland and at Power House Church in Zurich. At the same time it gave me chance to check out the possibilities of relocating there. This will be a major move for me since Bonn has been my home from the time of my arrival to Germany from the U.S. in 2002.

Pastor Desmond Frey of Power House Church, was kind enough to drive me around to visit potential places for me to live. Since I am still without a car, access to public transportation is mandatory. One practical choice seems to be a small, university town called Konstanz, Germany. It is located right on the Swiss/German border. On the practical side, the cost of living is a bit less in Germany than Switzerland and it would only be a little over a one hour train commute to Power House Church in Zurich. But at the same time, I'm also open to see if God has other plans or ideas, for me. This is a time of transition physically and increase in ministry opportunities in Europe overall.

John Maxwell's EQUIP Program
I extended my trip a few days so I could ride up to Ulm, Germany with Desmond where he taught one of John Maxwell’s EQUIP leadership seminars on Friday and Saturday. The seminar was held at Pastor Toni and Connie Heule's church, "Missionzentrum Immanual". On Saturday morning, I was able to share my vision of the Kids Prayer program with this group. This was my first time to visit The Heule's church in Ulm.

Stau = Traffic Jam
The entire trip was marked by traffic jams. Nearly every time we traveled on the autobahn either in Germany or Switzerland, we got stuck in a traffic jam. The worst traffic jam happened one evening on the way back to Desmond's home from Zurich. We waited for nearly two hours on the side of the highway, until a car fire in a tunnel was cleared out. Along with hundreds of other stranded motorists, there were also not moving, we utilized the time and got some work done. Desmond and I were working out the details on how I can best help him and the church.

Kids Prayer Program Will Continue
Never fear, the Kids Prayer program will continue even while helping Power House Church, In fact it will probably open new ministry doors of opportunity for me in the region. I’m excited about the future and see this possible move as a "new chapter" in my missionary life.

It will be easy to integrate into Power House Church since I have been there before in October and December of 2007 and always received an incredibly warm welcome from the church members. I look forward to becoming an active part of the church ministry team.

Power House Church is young, vibrant church, which is growing steadily. A few months ago, they moved into their own facility located near the Zurich airport. The church's future potential to reach the lost, with a focus on young families and professionals in Switzerland is incredible. This past Monday, they opened Power House Day Care which will enable them to minister to the pre-school children and parents working in the many nearby office complexes and airport, surrounding the church building. The Zurich Airport alone has 41,000 people directly tied to the operation of that airport and it various surrounding facilities. It is literally a small town with its own postal code and train station.

Lake Zurich Baptism Service & Grill Party = BBQ
The Sunday before I returned to Bonn, the church had a baptism service in Lake Zurich. Desmond baptized seven people from the church.

After the baptism service, we celebrated as a family, with a "Grill Party" aka BBQ. Serious rain storms over-night and in the morning threatened to cancel the event but prayer does work. After the Sunday morning service and while we drove from church to Lake Zurich, the rain stopped during the baptism service and BBQ and started to sprinkle shortly after the event ended while we were on our way back home. God is good.

Just click on the arrow in the center of the picture below to check out a YouTube video of the baptism service below. It was recorded by one of the church members.

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe

03 July 2008

Short Trip to Switzerland

Happy 4th of July Weekend
Usually tomorrow I would be doing my normal 4th of July ritual of flying my small American and State of Arizona flag from my balcony but I’ll be on a train traveling south to Switzerland instead. So someone fly a flag for me.

Quick Trip South
Just a quick update to let you know that I will be taking a short trip to Zurich, Switzerland tomorrow. There are some additional ministry opportunities coming up in the near future and I want to explore them on the trip. During my time there, I will be meeting and staying with Pastor Desmond Frey at Power House Church in Zurich.

You might remember my previous trips (and blog postings) to Power House Church this past October and December. This is where I was able to help Pastor Desmond and his church during Switzerland’s first Men’s Commissioning.

I’m looking forward to being able to spend the week with him, his family and Power House Church again. The church recently moved into a permanent facility near the Zurich airport. Since then lots of great things have been developing in the church. I’ll update you on the trip when I return next week.

In the mean time, enjoy the holiday weekend and the freedom we have as Americans. Don't take it for granted.

Be safe and blessings,