26 April 2009

Anzère Weekend with TNT!!

Just thought I'd write a quick post about the recent TNT (twenties and thirties church group) weekend in Anzère. We've just arrived back tonight. Here's a picture of where we were (a picture which, btw, I think nicely captures God's obvious love of both the majestic and the detailed):

Absolutely beautiful weekend - took my breath away more than once. I think we were twenty-one people altogether staying in the chalet, with a few other people driving up to join in the hiking and fondue on Saturday.

Here's a huge shout out to BETHANY, who organized the entire weekend for us. *WAHOO!!* Bethany is awesome - very selfless with her time. As Matthias would say..."Bethany ROCKS!" *pumps fist in the air*

We really packed a lot into our weekend - a Bible study each morning (reading the book The Reason for God)...big hiking on Saturday...a few movies...card games (I beat Brad!! YAY!!)...lasagna, fondue, too many loaves of bread to count...pancake bakeoffs...a "farting machine" (I hate that word...and the dumb thing was absolutely sickening and immature, but ok, funny because of the men's jubilance at the girls' reaction - though not at all funny the time of night at which they chose to use it - one in the morning - which should tell you our reaction and why they thought it was funny...)...a lot of worshipping God in song...some special times of prayer...and basically the most laughing I've ever done in my life.

So here are a few "Best of" scenarios from our weekend in Anzère...Enjoy!!

Best laugh of the weekend: Saturday night as we were having the biggest fondue party ever (picture includes not even half the group), somebody decided that we should sing all the national anthems of the countries represented in our group. (I think it started with the three UK guys singing "God Save Our Noble Queen"...)

Let's see if I can name all the nationalities we had...American, British, Swiss, German, Portugese, Greek, South African, Swedish...aaaannd...I think that might be all...

Anyway, the majority of us were American, with the British following up a (not so) close second (they had three). So our little Sing-Along-In-Between-Bites-Of-Fondue ended up turning into an Epic-Battle-of-Patriotic-Songs between our two countries, with the UK'ers shouting that we Americans had stolen their tunes, and we Americans yelling out our songs until the roof almost collapsed (not really, but it was loud, which was the intended imagery). The climax of this impromptu contest took place when the Americans sang "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" and the Brits sang "God Save the Queen" (same tune) - all at the same time at the top of our lungs. WHAT the people in the surrounding chalets MUST have thought!

The Americans won, BTW - Iain, Ben, and Richard finally gave in and admitted that Americans are more patriotic than the British...but they were also firm in their opinion that all our songs are the same words, just with different tunes ("God bless America" seems to be a frequent theme).

BUT - the part where I finally lost it and laughed until tears were literally dripping off my chin was when the Brits were being particularly loud, and Kevin (New Jersey) stood straight up, put his hand on his heart, and started loudly reciting, "I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA..." Our group is so much fun! It wouldn't half so great if we didn't have so many nationalities represented.

Also as we were singing out patriotic tunes - Brad (or Kevin??...hmm...I don't really remember) suggested the three Germans sing some WWII songs about Hitler...I couldn't help laughing when Matthias looked around sideways, lowered his voice, and said, "I actually know some of those..."

Best brownies: Ben's - a WHOLE POUND of sugar, baby, YEAH! I ate three...brownies, that is, not pounds of sugar.

Best long conversation: Laurent, Melody and I stayed up till about 3:30 Sat. night/Sun. morning debating several ideas involving God's wisdom/perspective versus Christian perspective/world's perspective. Well...Laurent and I were debating...Melody was mostly just laughing at how stubborn Laurent and I were both being. In the end, after nearly two hours of heated discussion, we realized we were basically agreeing, the problem was just in our definitions of a couple key words. (Or maybe he just came around to my point of view...haha...) All three of us were dead tired on Sunday morning.

Best time of connection: After our Sunday morning Bible study when our small groups got together to pray for each other...Devon, Katie, Jessica, Melody, Julie and I had a really open time talking about what has been on our minds lately and the areas in which we feel we need God's help. It's amazing to be able to pray for each other. It's what we as Christians should be doing daily.

Winner of the Pancake BakeOff: Brad, for his stellar achievements with buttermilk and cinnamon.

Best back massage of the weekend: Richard. THANK YOU! I OWE YOU! (or wait...no I don't...you owed me...and now you don't.)

Best Running Joke: Matthias and his speed dating - "I only have two questions for you...what are your hobbies and how many children do you want?" It was also Matthias' idea to do "speed dating" during our fondue Saturday night - so we were randomly changing seats every five minutes, taking plates, cutlery, and glasses with us...the "speed dating," along with the fondue confusion and the loud singing of national anthems, made for one very interesting evening.

Best movie of the weekend: Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina. (Brad refused to watch it. Apparently it isn't a manly movie. Here's to Ian B. for sticking it out. *raises glass*)

My personal favorite bit of the weekend: Saturday evening - Brad played the guitar for us and we just sang to God for about an hour. I started crying at one point because it was clear that every single person in the room was craving God's presence. It's been rare in my life to be with a group of young people who are only thinking about worshiping God, not being embarrassed of raising their voices to Him or thinking about other people - just closing their eyes and embracing the awe. God was with us, I know He was - He was right there in the room saying, "This is why you were created - to praise and glorify me without a thought to yourself."

It's so cool...that we all came together, from different countries to the same place, with the most important thing in our hearts a desire to focus our lives on God...I'm so blessed to have been given my time with TNT...I wouldn't trade it for anything. These are friends for a lifetime, and hopefully longer than that.

So I'm signing off now, dear Readers. I've got a smile on my face and a bigger one in my heart. I'm relaxed, refreshed, and rejoicing.

Love and Peace,
That girl in Switzerland


  1. Sounds amazing. So glad. =)

  2. Hey Heather!

    Glad you've got what sounds to be an awesome group for support and fellowship.
    Obviously that's important no matter where you're at, and I've often wondered what on earth I'll do when I leave GBS...but I know God will provide ppl in my life as He is in yours.
    Its nice to hear you're enjoying life across the sea and doing well! Love ya!

    -Tiff <3

  3. :-) Thanks, y'all. So much fun! It's amazing to have such a supportive group here. And don't worry, Tiff...of course God will provide people. He cares about helping us strengthen our faith. Love you toooooo!! xoxo

  4. That was the most fun I've had on a TNT weekend yet. Especially since Matthias was my first speed-dating partner and we really hit it off when it came to hobbies.

  5. sounds like fun!! Let me know when you go next time and I'll join ya!!! So glad you have such a great group of friends to hang with!
    Love ya..
    oh and btw i know that i am awesome but you can keep saying it if you want to! LOL