Voser Report – Jun ’09

June 2009

Dear brothers and sisters,

As many people will be going on vacation in the months of July and August, this will be the perfect time for Lena and me to leave, too. This year once again we will visit Lena’s mother in Bila Tserkva and I will probably preach at least on one Sunday morning in church.

Preaching in Lucerne

Giving a message during the Sunday assembly in Lucerne
Giving a message during the Sunday assembly in Lucerne

Lena and I were pleased to visit the congregation in Lucerne on June 14. Since the time the church plant was started in the early 90ies, the congregation in Lucerne has been meeting in a Judo centre on the top floor of a building in the centre of the city. The congregation rents the meeting place only for Sunday morning and Wednesday night. I preached on Psalm 100 on entering the gates to worship God with joy and thanksgiving. After the sermon the congregation got together in a circle to have a discussion on the sermon. Comments could be made and questions could be asked. The comments I received, were very positive. I am always looking forward to coming back to this really good congregation with a new opportunity to give a lesson.

It was interesting to see how the membership has changed over the last few years through people who have moved into the area. Now the congregation of about 15-20 members consists of more than 50% of foreigners. Some of the foreigners who moved into the area, did not attend a Church of Christ before, but were simply looking for a place to worship. They found in this church a very good congregation. After the worship service we had a fellowship meal at a children’s playground near the church meeting place. During the time of fellowship at lunch, I was able to talk to three new members who all come from Germany.

Lena and I appreciate very much the work of Mathias and Therese Walser who are in their mid forties and have done some ground work. Mathias is only on part time support for which reason he particularly appreciates that I preach for this congregation occasionally.

Our most faithful visitor Ueli

Ueli (in the background) and others are joyful on the morning of James' baptism last March.
Ueli (in the background) and others are joyful on the morning of James' baptism last March.

We enjoy it how Ueli, 19, comes along with James and Martine almost every Sunday morning. Ueli seems to be a very mature young man who just finished successfully the exam as electro fitter. In October he will serve in the army for 10 months. His other option would have been to go to the military for only 17 weeks. If that were his choice, he would have to continue to serve in the army in the following years for three weeks at a time.

Ueli’s parents are part of the official Protestant Church. They have a hard time understanding why their son Ueli cannot go to the Protestant Church at their village. Ueli helps in the youth work of that church during the week, but on Sunday he attends worship service with us. He has talked to a number of young people about his convictions which are

no longer based on traditional Protestantism. He, for example, sees the need for baptism as moved by faith in Christ which is in contrast to what he was taught. The Protestant Church baptizes children after birth which is when Ueli was baptised. It is good to see him grow in his faith and knowledge so as to cling to the biblical teaching more strongly rather on some church tradition.

Visiting Missionaries from Ohio who Support the congregation in Thun

Ben O'Neil is preaching during the assembly time
Ben O'Neil is preaching during the assembly time

On Sunday, June 21, we had Ben and Jane O’ Neal as our visiting missionaries from Pickerington, Ohio. Ben and Jane return almost every year to Switzerland and Italy to support churches. Since January 2009 their home church has been supporting the work in Thun. We are very glad for their special love and effort that they have for the congregation in Thun. Ben preached in English which was translated into German.

Last Exhibition Saturday to benefit orphans in the Ukraine

We had one last opportunity to collect money for the children in the Ukraine on Saturday, June 6. The total collection of the four Saturdays totals 603.80 Fr which is more than 610 dollars. Some of the art objects were bought by church members who stood at the booth. In addition, some members donated money. In spite of the little success we have had to collect money, we would like to continue this project in fall. Before we do that, we want to ask the question, what can we do better next time?

News on People

  • Maria, who was baptised in May of this year, successfully finished her one year stay in a family in the French part of Switzerland and returned to Thun. After a vacation of one month, she will start her three year apprenticeship as a pastry-cook in Adelboden near Thun. Mathias, 17, still suffers depression, but his parents believe that he is slowly recovering from it. Mathias has not attended worship service for months. He is the older brother of Maria.
  • Lena and I are thankful for the more or less smooth development of the pregnancy. Lena has often felt bad over the last two months, but it seems to go much better now. We pray that everything will also be fine on our trip to the Ukraine and our stay there.

Prayer Requests:

  • Continue to pray for Margrit and Johanna – my parents still study the Bible with them
  • Continue to pray for Ueli who is searching for God and for a church
  • The teenagers who have not submitted their lives to God in baptism yet
  • Mathias, a teenager, who still suffers depression
  • Lena’s pregnancy

Any funds can be sent to our overseeing congregation:

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

Grace and Peace,

Ivan + Lena

Ivan + Lena Voser Ziegeleistrasse 34a 3612 Steffisburg, Switzerland

E-Mail: voserivan@hotmail.com Phone number: 0041 33 534 57 37