Voser Report Apr ’09

Newsletter April 2009

Dear brothers and sisters,

We decided to give more regular reports to our supporting congregations. Our hope is that through monthly newsletters, instead of newsletters every second month, you will be better informed about the mission work in Thun in the future and therefore more updated on the work that is going on. It is also our hope and prayer that as many supporters as possible can sustain their support as long as this mission plant needs it. We are gradually becoming more self-supportive, but it will take time. We appreciate your faithfulness that you have shown to this work in the past and hopefully so in the future.

Albright’s Visit from the Overseeing Church

Dwight and Josephine Albright from the Park Avenue Church stayed at our home for one week at the beginning of April. They used this time to get an idea of the good challenges and the difficult problems that the church is facing. This will enable our overseeing congregation to understand better for the future where we are as a church and to know our needs. Lena and I are especially glad that the elders of Park want to continue to commit to the mission plant in Thun. It could not be better for us than to have a congregation like the Park Avenue Church assisting us in our financial and spiritual needs.

On April 25 some members of the congregation organised an exhibition between two large grocery stores in Uetendorf near Thun. It is the first of four dates (April 25, May 16, May 30, June 6) that we made an exhibition benefiting orphans and victims from the Tschernobyl disaster on April 26 1986. This first time we sold art objects and received donations for more than 200 Francs (about 200 dollars). My father, my mother and Christine stood at the booth in the morning and Elfriede and I in the afternoon. Lena was prevented being there because she felt sick on that day due to her pregnancy.

Why are we doing this exhibition? When Lena and I were in the Ukraine last summer, we met with a lady from a small charity organisation from who gave us the art objects to be sold in Switzerland. Rather than putting our money as donation for a large charity organisation which we only vaguely know what it uses donations for, we decided to help orphans and sick children in the Ukraine and encourage people to give donations for this cause. Since we know two people who work for this organisation in Bila Tserkva, we feel like it is safer that people donate one’s money to this organisation to help support children in need. The next exhibition date will be May 16.

Youth Retreat in Zofingen, Switzerland

I was invited to speak at the yearly Zofingen retreat on the Friday evening before Easter Sunday. The title that was given to me to speak on was “what can Jesus give me?” There were about 35-40 young people present at the retreat from at least four different German speaking congregations in Switzerland. There were six young people from Thun at the retreat, including Lena and me. Most who attended were between fifteen to twenty five years old. Lena and I were glad to participate on Friday evening and all day Saturday to get a feeling of the kind of young people that are in our churches in Switzerland. Unfortunately, many teenagers in our congregations do not go to church regularly or at all, but have some connection to the church through their parents and attend certain retreats. The Zofingen meeting is more of a spiritual nature than some of the other retreats and so the more spiritually oriented teenagers gather there. Another meeting about which I will inform you next month is the soccer event that is taking place once every year in May where a broader variety of church kids come to participate in.

News on People

Andrea K. got married to Killian H. at the official wedding office. The wedding feast will be on August 1 which is the national holiday, day of independence of Switzerland. Andrea is a Christian and attends regularly on Sunday morning. Killian enjoys the fellowship with Christians of the congregation, but he has attended church few times.

Prayer request:

  • Lena’s pregnancy
  • Matthias, a teenage boy, who continues to suffer depression
  • Our contacts: Ueli, Margrit, Johanna and others
  • Our teenagers in church
  • Our continual search for an affordable meeting place

We continue to be short of funds each month.  If you would like to help, please send your support to our overseeing congregation:

Park Avenue Church of Christ
5295 Park Avenue
Memphis, TN 38119

Grace and Peace,

Ivan + Lena

Ziegeleistrasse 34a 3612 Steffisburg, Switzerland
E-Mail: voserivan@hotmail.com     Phone number: 0041 33 534 57 37