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#SKIWITHGOD

Love God + Love Skiing = Altitude Mission

What an incredible start and first season.

It’s been a really weird time as many people are leaving and the bars are all closing.
 
The Folie Douce had their closing party on Saturday and it was a predictably mad party. I went down to the toilets to find a girl slumped over the sink with her friend trying to look after her. She was totally out of it and they were trying to make her drink water. Her head was by the automatic tap which just kept on running and had become very hot! We knew she had to get the bubble car back before it closed so we attempted to drag/carry her out. She collapsed on the stairs and security came and carried her up to a sofa. I motioned for a sick bucket (must learn the French!) and got her in a ready position for when the vomiting started. Her friend took her phone to keep it safe. Sure enough, the vomiting started which led to her gradually coming round.
 
Alcohol has a much stronger affect at altitude especially on a hot day when they haven’t had enough water. When she was ok I left her to find Will.
 
He was helping a French crowd try to stand up and get their skis on. They just kept on falling over so Will arranged to get them up to the bubble car to stop them taking the red run down. They couldn’t stand even without skis on and kept falling in a pile on top of each other.
The Folie Douce staff and Pisteurs have really begun to appreciate what we are doing. Will had a meeting with the manager who has asked us to wear Folie jackets next year with our Ski Angel logo on instead of their Folie logo. This is fantastic as it’s the next step in setting up the Ski Angels officially. He’s also asked all next years Ski Angels to lunch in La Fruiterie restaurant at the Folie pre season so that he can meet everyone and we can explain what we are doing. Then he gave Will a magnum of Rose to ski back to the car with!
 
Then there was talks with the owner of our chalet to try and secure the chalet for next year and get the same discounted rate as this year. Again, we made sure the meeting was covered in prayer and without even a discussion we were offered the same deal. It’s going to be the last year as the owner is knocking down the three Chalets and building a smart block of apartments. We were rather hoping to rent all three Chalets in a row in the future so I wonder what God has planned.
 
We’ve been praying Isaiah 54:
“Enlarge the place of your tent,
Stretch your tent curtains wide,
Do not hold back.
Lengthen your cords,
Strengthen your stakes
For you will spread out to the right and to the left”.
 
We’ve had a children’s week this week with 6 kids in the chalet. It was beautiful to watch them during a worship session as they played the keyboard and cajon and sang along.
 
We made the church on Sunday into a worship and thanksgiving service and pulled the pews into a semi circle so that we could worship more informally. A crowd from Richmond came and we had a lovely service and great supper afterwards. It was my last service and I’ll miss everyone.
 
We are going to miss everyone a lot and it’s going to be strange going back to a house with just us in it. We’ve so enjoyed having a crowd of people around every night and a big thank you to Cat for being chef and relieving me of the pressure of thinking about what to cook.
 
The skiing is actually amazing as although it is icy early on and then slushy, the middle of the day is beautiful. Soft snow, empty runs and un-cut up pistes.
 
Will took Sammy off to his football camp in the UK so I’m left with Annie and Harry to run the chalet. As usual everyone pitched in on pizza and beer night and we had 8 people come up for it. 9 if you count Becky next door but she’s an adopted member of our chalet so isn’t really a visitor!
 
Today is our last day skiing and so we are going to hit first lifts and have a mountain burger at lunch! Ive borrowed some demo skis from The Bootlab and can’t believe the difference they make to my skiing. Nordicas that are 100cm underfoot. Hopefully some Richmond crowd will meet us for lunch and then it’s back to the chalet to really clear up and pack. Hopefully we can leave most of the stuff here over the summer.
 
There also seems to be an interesting connection developing in Japan for anyone who does the BASI ski instructors course with us. There’s some Christian skiers in Niseko so our instructors could go and teach skiing there and help build up the church as part of the OMF which used to be the China Inland Mission. The skiing in Japan is meant to be amazing with masses of powder so this would be a fantastic next step for anyone interested. We watch and wait to see what God will do with this.
 
I leave tomorrow so this is probably the last blog. What an absolutely incredible season it’s been and although we need a rest, we can’t wait to see what the next season holds.
Au revoir. A Bientot.
 
By next season I plan to speak better French and play the guitar!
I will start by learning :

elle va vomir.

elle a besoin d’un seau malade
 
Lara.

Passover In Meribel

Will is Jewish and his parents absolutely love Chalet Altitude so came for another week of skiing.

His dad is 84 years old and still skiing which is fantastic. Every year we celebrate Passover with them so this year we thought it would be a good idea to have one massive Passover for everyone in the chalet. There were 28 of us with various faiths ranging from Jewish, Messianic Jew, Christians, interested non-Christians and confirmed atheists. What a collection we were and we had an amazing Passover.

The evening starts with reading the Haggadah which is the Jewish Passover Book, taking you through the Exodus story of Moses, Pharaoh and the liberation of the Jewish slaves. There are many traditions to follow like eating bitter herbs, Charoset, horseradish etc with explanations and songs every step of the way. It ends with Motzah ball chicken soup followed by a delicious main course. Wills mum, Valerie, made 110 Motzah balls for us all amd Cat made tartiflette.
The evening was rounded off with rowdy singing of songs like ‘One little goat’!

Will has done some great ‘Ski Angel-ing’ this week. There was a French couple who could hardly stand, let alone ski! He realised that he’d have to get them up to the bubble car but they started throwing up everywhere. The owner of Folie Douce was there and it was great for him to see what the Ski Angels do. One guy was so drunk that he decided he could ski the red. He did one turn, collapsed and so Will had to go down the slope and push him back up! Other people had to be literally carried up to the bubble.

Kev and Laura are the chaplains for this fortnight and they’ve been fantastic at talking to all the nannies in resort as they have two young kids. We had a great Sunday service as it was lovely to show our IOW friends what we were up to, what our little church is like etc. We had no Richmond workers this week as they are all on Kids Club duties over in Les Menuires which was the first Sunday without them in a long time.

The lady whose ankle had been healed at the top of Mont Avalon came which was nice.


All our friends left on the Monday leaving a very quiet chalet! We have a great freestyle skier staying so plans are being made for an entry in to next years Riders Film Festival which would be cool. If you ski or snowboard to a really high standard please do get in touch.

Lara.

Incredible and such an honour to witness

Well this has certainly been a week to remember!

During the Wednesday night, after a great pizza and beer, many of us in the chalet – including Pat in the separate chaplains accommodation – had very disturbing dreams. My one involved sucking the insides out of someone’s cut off neck and spitting them in a bin. Daves involved him having a nerf war with evil powers. Really disturbing dreams. And then what a Thursday we had!

We all met at Clos Bernard for lunch where there was a French lady on crutches. Dave and Kate chatted with her and she’d been in pain since an operation 5 months ago which hadn’t gone well. Kate suggested they pray for her as Kate had been healed of a painful knee by prayer. The lady agreed so they prayed and nothing. So they sat her in a chair and Dave asked if one of her legs was shorter than the other. She said yes – about 3/4 inch. Dave said he’d seen a leg grow before so they prayed for the leg to grow and before their eyes it grew to the same length as the other one! They were all amazed and the lady put down the crutches and walked. No pain. She was utterly amazed – you should have seen her face shining with thanks and incredulity. They told her about Jesus and how she could now pray for other people and she immediately wanted to pray for our Sammy so prayed for his future. She was so so full of thanks and amazement. So were we!

This was followed by the same guys heading off for a ski and coming across a lift attendant with his arm on a sling. They prayed for him and he was healed! He could raise his arm up now without pains so he put his sling away in his bag. His friend seeing this and had a bad knee asked for prayer and he too was healed. It was extraordinary. Dave has known where to go as he’d had a vision of one of God’s mighty warrior angles standing, sword drawn, at the top of the Saulire lift.

The next day the healings continued.

A lady at the top of Mont Valon with crutches had her ankle healed. She could walk on it with no pain and didn’t need the crutches anymore. Something totally extraordinary was happening. At least 5 people were healed that day. Then we headed for Rond Point as we’d said on Facebook that healing was happening so if anyone wanted to meet us there with their breaks/strains/ etc they could. The team continued to heal people and Kate had an incredibly accurate word for a Seasonairre we knew. He was completely bowled over when she told him he was getting a new car as he’d just been on the phone to his mum talking about it. He thought we’d overheard! We could tell him about Jesus which was great.

Meanwhile I was back at the chalet and mopping up tears. One of our MSC staff was in the middle of big personal problems and was asking to go home. I prayed with her and mopped up tears. Then after that had finished I saw our other lodger in tears. She confessed she felt so bad as she really didn’t believe in God and we were being so nice to her and Cat, the chef, was trying so hard to teach her about Jesus but she just didn’t believe any of it. She felt guilt and shame as she poured out her grief. So more tears were mopped up as she said she wanted to leave the chalet on Wednesday and head back to her job accommodation before the end of the season.

Then that evening everyone headed back to the chalet for worship and what an evening it was. The Men of Meribel are all great and loud singers and James led brilliantly on the guitar. We sang out and it was incredible. I noticed that our lodger who can’t stay away when the guitar is played, but had just confessed her guilt and shame about not believing came in to the room and was standing by the tea urn with her eyes closed enjoying the music. I went over to hug her and she just collapsed in tears and literally clung to me sobbing for half an hour at least while everyone was worshipping around us. Then Kate got a word that James should play “Here I am to worship”. When this started, the lodger sobbed even louder. Deep wrenching tears. I just held her and let the Holy Spirit work. Apparently she had been singing this song to herself for a few weeks. It wouldn’t go out of her head. She’d asked me that morning if I knew whether James would play it. Whether he knew it. I said I didn’t know but he’d probably know it but I didn’t mention it to anyone.

Then after these big sobs as the song ended, the lodger just sang out a verse in the most beautiful voice. We were all stunned and then joined in. After, we had a time of prayer while James played softly in he background. At this point the lodger let out a loud prayer to Jesus asking Him to come in to her life and save her. To take away the darkness and shame and fill her with light. It was really incredible and such an honour to witness. When she’d finished her face lit up with joy. What an evening. Then everyone prayed for Will and I while our Sammy, who’d woken up with all the noise and singing, played “one thing remains” and sang in the background.

The Saturday was just filled with thanks and wonder as everyone had to go home. We’d witnessed something truly special.
The next 4 guests arrived at 7am that morning and we said goodbye to everyone at 8.30am! Luckily the next 14 guests didn’t arrive until Monday -Wednesday so we had a little time to draw breath and just reflect on what had happened.

Sunday saw 15 extras in church which was lovely. 6 Richmond workers as they have a very quiet week, 4 friends staying in Les Menuires, the lady who’d been healed at the top of Mont Valon amongst others. Kev and Laura are our new chaplain family and they are fantastic at chatting to everyone and Kev did a great preach on Jesus the Predictor.
Supper was busy and great as most people came back for beef bourginon.

Monday brought the arrival of the next influx of guests. They are friends of ours from the IOW and their family and a worship leader student from Durham.
Tuesday saw more guests arrive , and our Annie, so we now have a full house which was added to by our Freddie coming on Wednesday.

There have been more healings and some “non healings”. A guests knee was healed, which confused him as he wasn’t sure what he felt about healings.
Pizza and beer saw a highly proficient team in the kitchen and 6 guests. The evening just works so well.

Lara.

Embarrassment aside we sang out to God.

This week saw the first mountain worship session. Inspired by Lydia, a manager for Richmond, who had taken a group up the mountain to share communion with the mountain burger bread, we took a guitar up to one of the peaks and then climbed a rock to precariously balance as a group with Emily playing guitar. I was definitely worried as she tried to get into position while inches away from a big drop! We sang a few worship songs which is a great place to sing them. It was definitely out of my comfort zone as sound disappears out on the big mountain so I could hear my own voice far more than I was comfortable with! But about 10 of us put our embarrassment aside and sang out to God. It was really beautiful and easy to sing about His glory while we were perched on a rock surrounded by such amazing views. Afterwards we put music on a speaker and blared out more worship while we chatted. It was great.

The end of the week was certainly tricky as Cat caught a bug which left just me in control of everything – or totally not in control in my case. I learnt early on in the week that I couldn’t ski full days and run the chalet so I’m skiing in the morning, then coming back to sort things and walk the dogs. Pat Allerton came and did a bible study on Friday on God’s holiness from Isaiah 6 and we had a big fellowship dinner. We are a family of all ages this week and everyone’s loving it.

Saturday came with the daunting realisation that Cat was ill and Will was away so I had 24 to feed, lots of guests to say goodbye to and lots more to welcome. But what a team we have this week as everyone helped. The deal here is that you leave your bedroom ready for the next person, cleaned and hoovered and amazingly people really do! They also helped me lug all the clean linen up to the bedrooms as I was succumbing to Cat’s bug. I was so blessed that they had a late leaving time so could help me.
Then a spare hour before the next lot arrived! And again what a great bunch they are.

It amazes me every week that lovely people just keep on coming! They came up in the van with Rob the transfer driver who comes to our Pizza and Beer evenings and they had loads of good chats.

The final lot of guests arrived much later so after giving them a late dinner, showing them their rooms etc I staggered off to bed which was a very welcome sleep!

Sunday saw Will and Harry return and what a relief that was. Harry has had the most amazing time and made some great genuine friends and really grown in confidence.

Church was fantastic. 6pm is now very much in daylight which completely changes the atmosphere and look of the church and as it was a warm day we didn’t even need the blankets! Some Richmond crew came over and it lasted nearly an hour and a half. In the winter this just wouldn’t have been possible but the warm spring weather meant we could take our time.

After a great supper we got the guitar out and Cameron and James played and we all sang. Pat has brought a ‘Men of Meribel’ group out with him and the 6 boys know how to sing loudly and join them with Dave’s 8 meant the worship was fantastic.

Dave, James and Ben have been filming around town and asking people questions and seeing if anyone wants healing. We’ll wait and see the results but it’s been great that they have the courage to get out there and do this.
We’ve been doing more praying on the slopes too as Will came across a lady who had just fallen and obviously broken her arm. He could stay with her and pray while the medical help arrived.

The Folie has been much quieter this week but the presence of a very volatile drinker reminded me how great it will be when we can be in there as a team of Ski Angels to defuse any trouble and keep helping those get down the slopes. We’ve helped many many people this week find the green run down rather than risk the dodgy red! And we watched a snowboard become dislodged at the top of the run and fly off by itself down the steep slope. It was so fortunate that it didn’t head down the piste as this could easily have killed someone but it hurtled down the side of the run where there were no skiers and went at least 300m before it stopped. You can imagine the owners surprise when we found him looking for his board and showed him where it was. Rather worse for wear he started running off down the slope which was way slippier and steeper than he imagined as he tumbled down. Luckily he was reunited with his board unhurt.

The weather has been amazing this week. The group have picked a great week to come. There is still plenty of snow although it’s melting fast but the Rond Point Jump afternoon was great to watch in the sunshine. They build jumps on the slope just beside the bar and boarders show off their tricks.
Then it was back to the chalet for Pizza and Beer. There’s no rest here! Sophie was amazing as she, with the help of Kate, made all the pizzas as I was on he football run and Will was Ski Angel-ing. JP came and brought two new workers and it was a great evening with Lily stealing the heart of Naomi, who is new to resort.

There’s something about these evenings that really works. The atmosphere is always great and it is definitely noticed by the workers.

Lara.

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