This week we swapped chaplains and said goodbye to Lindz, Lucy and Jack. Before Lindz left, we prayed for a very special seasonnaire who wanted to come back to God and put Him back in the driving seat of her life. What a privilege that was.
It’s been an incredible couple of weeks we have had and, again, we can really feel God striking out and doing something new.
Adam and Karina Martin arrived with their family and a team from their church in Derby (Reach community church). They run programmes to help churches welcome refugees into their congregations and provide welcome packs etc. The team are staying with us in Altitude chalet and Adam and his family are staying in the chaplains apartment so they come down for supper every evening. Cat, the chef, has been utterly incredible as we have exceeded 30 around the dinner table.
Saturday saw an international arrival of 11 Dutch friends of the Martin family and 2 American guests. The Americans immediately saw God at work as they miraculously sped through passport control and baggage collection to make their transfer coach after a delayed flight. Literally in about 25 mins! This saved them being dropped down the valley somewhere at 1am. It was good for them to see God helping them and for one it was particularly needed.
As always, we sat back and watched God work miracles. Michelle was meant to have a private ski lesson with JoJo from Ski Marmalade but she couldn’t make it. Her replacement also backed out so she had Alex. It just so happens that Alex goes to an evangelical church in Wales and was thrilled to hear about us so great connections were made.
On the Saturday, Will, Adam, Collin and I returned to the Folie Douce to help people down after it closed at 5pm. Collin shared his story with someone who had been suicidal and had a huge impact on him and his sister as he prayed for them.
We had a great time helping incredibly drunk seasonnaires down the piste. The Folie staff were delighted we were there to help as their job is to just get the skiers off the slope outside the bar. People have to ski down a steep, icy, mogul run as they head to Ronnies, the next bar. The skiers loved the fact that we were there just to help them and keep them safe. They totally got it and bought us drinks when we got them to Ronnies so we could stop and chat. We also met with the official ski pisteurs who love what we are doing, are confused that we volunteer but will be a great help with advice about insurance, risk etc.
At the chalet this week we had Collin and Lyndsay staying who specialise in helping christian workers spread the gospel in their work environment. They taught us many things and we were given fresh confidence to pray with people out on the slopes, on chairlifts, bubble cars etc. They taught us how to start conversations about prayer and to just step out and pray. So many many people were prayed for in the 3 Vallées this week as the whole chalet put it into practise. People were very accepting and opened up emotionally to reveal things they needed prayer for.
Sunday was church day and we had a packed church with about 40 of us there. The huge benefit of Chalet Altitude is that we already have 20 or so people coming along which lends itself to a great atmosphere, great worship and a bit of warmth! It’s easy to invite people to a service which has many people all together rather than the 10 of us who were there last year. It really does make a huge difference.
With an international worship team we worshiped in the mountains – it was really great.
Richmond workers came from Les Menuires and everyone piled back to ours for supper – a huge task for Cat who made Beef Bourginon for a million people without an oven.
A seasonnaire had made a commitment to follow Jesus in the chalet which promptly led to a power cut and the oven hasn’t worked since! Please pray for that!!
Alex, the ski instructor, came to church and said that his wife would just not believe that there was a church like this in Meribel which was really lovely. He re-gave his life back to God and came for supper.
So we had 3 people this week who decided to let Jesus into their lives and give Him the controls. What a blessing as we watched in awe as God just made miracles happen.
We’ve all been fighting off a bug this week and everyone’s been very tired. It’s been such a blessing to have the organisational skills of the Dutch as they swung into action in the kitchen every night finishing all the washing up and cleaning everything.
Wednesday was pizza and beer and also more ski pastoring. The Folie Douce was even more crazy than normal today. Lots of incredibly drunk people in fancy dress. We helped Raj down the slope who should never have be on a red slope at the best of times let alone after a few hours in the Folie. He followed me down the run, falling a lot but incredibly grateful for the help. It’s a great privilege to be able to explain that we are with the Meribel chaplains and that we are here to help them safely off the slope (to the next bar!). They totally get it and it’s a great way to gently bring God and His love to them.
Then it was back to the chalet to find the Dutch giving it a spring clean and Heath (back for a visit) in charge of pizza making. What a blessing.
5 seasonaires mingled with all of us. They are becoming regular visitors which is fantastic and many conversations were had.
After Collin and Lyndsey’s lessons in chatting with prayer, Meribel is getting covered on the lifts and in the restaurants with people offering to pray for people and very rarely have we seen anyone not be open to this.