A friend of ours from Switzerland, Etienne, stayed with us for nine months last year. Recently he asked if he could visit us with a friend for a few days. He said he’d told his friend all about us and he was interested in our community and way of life. Eti and David are typical Swiss teenagers: they’re loud and bouncy, ultra young in bearing, dress funnily and they’re very affectionate.
I picked them up from Luton airport a day early on Saturday morning, which was brilliant because it meant they were around that evening for our impromptu bonfire and sing-song. Here’s a video:
On Sunday I promised them I’d take them for a tour of our community houses and businesses so we trundled off to eight locations around us, including a couple of Farms, Cornhill (formerly a grand hotel) and our Food Distribution Centre. They’re a right handful but it was simply a joy to show them around community, to talk about stuff like the kingdom, baptism, dating, that sort of thing.
They turned up at my office at 4:45 on Monday asking if there was anyone going to London who could take them: they wanted to see the capital of Europe. I’ve heard the Swiss are typically a punctual and people lot so if these two were anything to go by the nation’s in serious decline! I made a few calls and got them a lift with our folk from Acton.
It was such a shame to see them go but the last 20 minutes we spent together were quite precious. David left me with something I won’t forget when he said “We love you because you are real. Many other christians we see seem to be really God for Jesus but it’s just nothing.”
Many social commentators say the things the Millennial Generation most crave are community and authenticity because they’re the self-made social network generation and the most advertised-to generation (hence the longing for authenticity rather than razzmataz). I’d say that’s true. Millennials are also often afraid to commit too but that’s another subject.
The final thing that topped it off the great few days was last night when Mark brought his new toy, a double bass, to our Tuesday evening house-meeting. He’s the sort of guy who can 1) get hold of pretty much anything from a friend of a friend really cheaply and 2) pick up any instrument and vaguely learn it within an hour.