Monday, July 20, 2015

Ad Deum Goes to Switzerland

It was just a week ago that we boarded the plane, waving our goodbyes to the beautiful country of Switzerland and the wonderful people we had met there. Though we were still groggy from our 4:30 am wake up call, all seven of us were very conscious of the fact that we were leaving Switzerland changed from when we had first come. God used this trip to encourage us, inspire us, challenge us, refresh us, and remind us what an awesome God we serve.
Our group -- Randy, Lysion, Emily, Whitney, Leah, Victoria and Shannon -- had the opportunity to travel to Switzerland, serving as staff for the 2015 Switzerland Summer Dance and Mime Intensive. We spent the week teaching classes, fellowshipping with the participants, and watching God work in our lives and the lives of those who attended. It was a truly blessed time and a great way to kick off the summer while preparing us for our next adventures.
Just arrived and reunited with Sara,
who spent the second half of Ad Deum's season with us in Houston!
Guätä Morgä -- “Good morning”
Each morning brought a round of moans and groans and the popular question, “How do you feel?”. We were all, us teachers included, taking care to roll out and stretch our aching muscles. However, mornings weren’t only filled with the sounds of nursing sore bodies. They were also filled with eager greetings for the new day and the intensive participants’ clear hunger to learn -- to learn more about God, to learn more about dance and to learn more about how well God and dance go together.
After Randy’s challenging devotions each morning, we all made our way through the streets of Biel, Switzerland to start the day. From the first class on Saturday to the last class the following Friday, we at Ad Deum were inspired by the talents and work ethics of our students.
This year’s intensive held three levels of dancers plus the mime track, and the growth from the first day to the last day was incredible to witness. Talk about your “proud mama” moment. We were all inspired by how well the participants’ soaked up the wealth of information they learned in ballet, modern, hip hop, jazz, floor work, conditioning and other classes throughout the intensive.
Dankeschön -- “Thank you”
While we were teaching dance throughout the week, we were also able to add to our Swiss German vocabulary, which was fairly limited for most of us. It’s too bad we don’t have recordings of those lessons.
But that’s not all we learned from our students. They encouraged and inspired us throughout the week, teaching us how to communicate through the language barrier and reminding us what it looks like to get back to our roots and simply worship the Lord through dance. The talent show on Thursday night was a testament to how the Lord uses willing people, whether they have years of dance experience or just a few days. We at Ad Deum would like to sincerely thank those who participated for inspiring us and reminding us why it is that we dance just before our performance on Friday night.
Tschüss -- “Goodbye”
All in all, the 2015 Summer Dance and Mime Intensive was a week of dancing, sweating, worshipping, laughing and enjoying life together. It was an invaluable experience. And though it seemed we were saying goodbye all too soon, we were already making plans to come again and see one another again in the near future.
When God sent the seven of us to Switzerland, only He knew what was in store for us and for all those involved in the intensive. Before the participants performed the dances they had learned throughout the week on Saturday afternoon in a closing Show and Tell, we learned some of what the Lord had done throughout the week in their lives. One girl even came to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!
Though there were a few obstacles that threatened to thwart this trip, the experience was truly a blessing every step of the way. Hearing those stories made the week more than worth it. Needless to say, we are all excited to go again.

Our view from the YWAM Wiler base
where we stayed
Walking through the city of Biel to dance class

Our final pow wow, discussing our experiences throughout the week

Warming up for Show and Tell

Sightseeing during our last full day in Switzerland