Voser Report – Jan ’10

Dear brothers and sisters,

We had a very cold month of January. Temperatures stayed for most of the time below the freezing point during the day. One Wednesday we cancelled the Bible class in the evening because the streets were extremely icy. We had never before cancelled any Wednesday night Bible class, but this time it seemed to be a reasonable and necessary decision. The snow and ice in winter is wonderful to look at from the living room or when one takes a walk outside, when the sun shines into the snow and ice. Yet cold weather is also dangerous for all those people who decide to drive in the streets in the late evening.

The evening sun on the top of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau

Jeanette a short time after birth
Jeanette a short time after birth

Andrea gave birth to Jeanette

Andrea had to be hospitalized because of an excessive amount of water in her body. After a few days in the hospital, doctors decided that Andrea needed to give birth soon through a Caesarean section or the life of mother and child would be jeopardized. On February 11 Andrea gave birth to a baby girl whose name is Jeanette. Her mother, Danielle, who is a member of the congregation, was the midwife who assisted her oldest daughter in the birth process. Mother and child are stable. The child now needs much care because it was born 4-5 weeks before the due date. It was just a little over 2kg at birth. The baby has since then gained some weight, but mother and baby have been staying at home until the baby will be strong enough so the mother can take her to the worship service on Sunday morning. Father, Killian, is a non-Christian, but he is very much approving of Andrea’s faith. We pray for him, too.

Making Groups for Our Projects

We are currently in the process of asking members to join one of three project groups. One group helps in the planning for the money-raising of orphans in the Ukraine in the streets of Thun. Another group plans the “Knusperfestli” in December. The third group is in charge of planning the “Grill Fest” (the grill party) in July which will be taking place for the first time this year. We added it to our activities so we have another time during the year for inviting friends to a “non-threatening” church event. The time gap will be smaller between events.

Wednesday Night Study on How to Interpret Scripture

I was about to start a survey on the New Testament, when some issue oriented questions arose on Wednesday evening. Two members had the problem because helping orphans in the Ukraine would be an activity in which the church would be involved. They believed that from Scripture only individuals should organise these projects and the church should not be involved in it. The only reason that it could become a church activity is, when we raise funds for needy Christians. That is why I started putting all the announcements about our help of the orphans in the Ukraine after the close of the worship service so this would not become a stumbling block. Still questions are raised and require some biblical answers. I suggested that we start a study on how to interpret Scripture. This study should help understand how we faithfully interpret scripture without putting our issues and ideas into a text. I pray that it really will be making clearer on how important it is that we not only read the Bible, but that we do it so we understand, what God intends to teach us through every text of scripture.

“English Conversation” Classes

I have been teaching English in my office in Uetendorf since 2005. Last fall the number of students had decreased to one group of two ladies for which reason I put an advertisement in the newspaper. I was able to gain one student. Early in January I started offering conversation classes in English. As a result, I received several new students. Lena and I really need this extra income for the payments on our apartment and our growing family. I am glad to say that it has not become a big burden along my ministry efforts. It will be also a new chance to let people in my class know of my faith and my work with the congregation.

News on People

Angelica announced in church that she is expecting her first child in September. After a Bible study break of two months, we met with Regina and Marianne again to study in Acts. Regina also hopes to attend worship service again soon. Regina’s husband, Peter, who teaches part-time ethnology at the University in Basel, is looking for a full-time position.

Prayer Requests

  • Elfriede who has been very sick
  • Lena’s mother who is undergoing chemotherapy to fight breast cancer
  • Peter who has been unemployed since this month, January
  • Regina’s husband, Peter, is looking for a full-time teaching position for ethnology.
  • Ilja’s and Elena’s health and continual growth
  • Andrea and child Jeanette who needs a lot of care
  • Angelica who is expected to give birth to a child in September
  • Mathias is glad to have found a job
  • Teenagers of church members – Anna, 20; Mathias 18; Benjamin, 14; Rahel, 12;
  • Ueli, a church visitor, who went to serve in the military service for several months
  • Margrit and Johanna who plan to come to Wednesday night Bible class

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