Eastern European Revival


Latest Letter - Basel, 17 January 2019

Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

Greetings from Switzerland! You haven’t heard from me since September. I have been quiet partly because I’ve had a series of viruses for almost 6 months that made me sick and tired. My nose ran a marathon for over 6 weeks. Now I am starting to feel better and have some energy again. My foot and leg are also better. Thank you for praying.

During this time my friend, Antonio Halitchi has been here looking for work in Switzerland. He has gone back to Bratislava and is applying for a permit extension from there. We don’t know what the future will hold, which is stressful for him.

In October I could give a lecture for the IFES (Inter Varsity) at the University of Basel. A medical student who was at the lecture will come to breakfast on Monday. In November I could go up to Swiss L’Abri for Thanksgiving, which was great. Friends in Biel and Zurich invited me for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I stayed the night in both places. These visits were very important as I live alone, and Christmas can be a hard time. I’m very thankful as a foreigner here to have some good Swiss friends.

The Spanish translation of “The Cloud of Knowing” is finished and the translation of “Staggering Along with God” is in progress. The German translation of the Cloud is still being proofread as the proofreaders have very busy lives. The book on Spirituality is on hold but I do have in mind to finish it.

The Church in Lausanne is doing well. It is a joy to pastor that community although I do it mostly from a distance and minimally. The finances of the Church have improved a lot but not enough yet to restore the previous level of my missionary support. There is increasing evidence that people listen to and discuss the sermons. I don’t take that as usual and am thankful.

The future will be more active than the recent past. I’m going up to Swiss L’Abri today to lecture and try to help out until Sunday when I will go down to Lausanne to preach and then home. On Tuesday I will fly to England to teach at Oxford in a school of Apologetics and then go to English L’Abri for a week.

In February I will teach for a week for YWAM here in Switzerland and then in Latvia for a week. In March I will lecture for IFES at the University of Winterthur and in April I will go to Cuba (!) for a week of teaching for YWAM. This will be my first visit there. YWAM can’t pay my travel expenses and I am not a fund raiser. I prayed about this and enough money came in quickly so it looks like it will happen.

Thank you very much all of you who have given prayers, friendship and support to me and my work. God bless and keep you all.

Much love in Christ,


Letters' Archive

Dear Friends,

I have not been flying anywhere since the last letter but have been teaching in Switzerland. The Church in Lausanne goes well. We are in a series of sermons on I Corinthians and are starting Chapter 13 tomorrow. This is a famous chapter that acts as a pivot or focus for Chapters 12-14, which form a kind of chiasm. As in other chiasms the central section brings the whole into focus. For example, Matthew 6:19-24 works like this with the teaching about the single eye solving the tensions of heaven and earth and two masters in the surrounding sections. These sermons are available in MP3 format online at the IECL website or at Lectures

In the last letter I mentioned that the Church needed to reduce my mission support. In various ways God has made my finances work in this situation. Thank you for you who have been part of this solution.

Short sections of my books 'The Cloud of Knowing' and 'Staggering Along With God' are being posted on Facebook about once a week. Many people respond to and 'share' these postings and I am hopeful they will be a blessing.

Antonio is still here and progressing with his German. He has helped me get a new laptop for travel and for use here by people who can help with transcribing and editing sermons and lectures. Your support made it possible to get this laptop. Thank you very much.

A portrait of me has been made by Zeke Szabolcs, a Hungarian artist and animated film maker, who is a student and friend of mine. I will attach it here.

The German translation of 'The Cloud of Knowing' has been finished and we are in the proof reading, layout and publishing process.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. God bless and keep you.

Much love in Jesus,


Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

It has been 10 weeks since I wrote and this will probably be the last EER letter of 2008. We celebrated the American Feast of Thanksgiving here last week with an American friend living in Montreux. It is right to be thankful and our hearts are often filled with so much else.

What do Bjorn, Abi, Daniela, Gulab, Werner, Raphael, Puia, Marco, Brigitte, Kim, Apelhu, Darlyne, Christian, Keltum and Chun have in common? They were all at a YWAM school in Hurlach where I taught in November. Can you guess which names belong to men and which to women? When teaching worldviews it is a challenge to discover that more than half the students have never heard of Bach. Carrying cultural baggage and seeing through cultural glasses becomes more obvious in such a group. Please see some photos in a separate mail.

The last 10 weeks have been busy. There is not space to tell you about the visit and teaching in Swiss L'Abri, in Moscow at a seminary, Christian School and the Russian American Christian University, the regular weekends in the Church in Lausanne, where we have just finished Hebrews and will begin Philippians, Lord Willing. I must rush through telling you about meetings with Christian leaders in Vienna, preaching in a Church there, moving on to Prague for lectures in schools and a private home. The days in Bulgaria were very rich, lecturing in a rented movie theater on Spirituality and Art in the evenings and meeting with Gypsy leaders in the morning to talk about apologetics and evangelism. The weekend in a Lutheran Church in Germany was very encouraging, partly because the students were so keen they didn't want to take coffee breaks. In England I gave a lecture and a sermon in a Church in Brighton, which must be lovely when it is not raining with a biting wind. At English L'Abri I could give a lecture and talk with students at meals and privately. They let me cast, direct and produce a readers' theatre production of "Lettice and Lovage" by Peter Shafer. The students loved doing the play and the discussion lasted until late in the evening.

Tomorrow morning I will leave early for the US, where I will teach in The Culture House (see their website) in Kansas City for some days and then go on to Wyoming to visit my sister and her husband and my nephew and great nephew. Living in Switzerland I get very little family contact and so look forward to this very much.

From the middle of December I will home much more for the next few months. Please pray that I will make good use of this time. Thanks.

The Preaching Class has grown again. 4 students from our own Church in Basel will have a chance to preach in the first quarter of 2009. I am as excited and nervous as they are.

A few letters ago I told you about some teaching I have been giving about approaching the Bible as "Well" and "Story". Several of you expressed interest in this and I have been doing some more thinking about it. I've added several items under the headings "Well" and "Story", which I think flesh out the concept and apply it more broadly. Hopefully the email will keep the columns in order:

Well /Story

Freedom /Form

Diversity/ Unity

Mystery /Definition

Right Brain /Left Brain

Subjectivity /Objectivity

The Testimony of Jesus /My testimony

Share the Faith /Share my faith

It seems to me that both sides are real and necessary. How many problem develop from over emphasizing one side or the other? Any thoughts?

In these times of worldwide financial difficulties, we are very thankful to be paying the bills, even while working in some places where salary and honorarium are not possible. Thank you all very much who participate in this work financially and in prayer.

Mary had a minor surgical procedure done recently, which has had a very good effect. She feels and looks better. We are thankful.

May I wish you an early Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May the Lord bless and keep you.

In Christ,


Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

In Moscow there was no time or opportunity to buy postcards, so here is a little electronic postcard.

The visit was brief and a bit intense. It was a joy to work with my friend and colleague Marsh Moyle. Our teachings seem to compliment each other and make a good package. We began in a seminary and Church, where I had been 2 years before for some teaching. Marsh did most of the first evening's teaching to the seminary students because I had just come in from the airport. In the morning we met with Church leaders in the seminary, whom we knew and had worked with before. It was amazing to see that they remembered and had implemented much of the teaching we had previously given. That afternoon we spent in a school run by the Church. We had 3 hours with the faculty and lunch together. Some of the teachers have given up very good jobs to teach there because they believe in it. It was a joy to see their dedication and desire to bless the children.

The next 2 days belonged to the RACU (Russian American Christian University). I could give a talk to the whole school, which was excellently translated. Then I concentrated on comparative worldview teaching with the faculty and a few advanced students. They are very insightful people and engaged with the concepts and got a little excited about them. I would love to go back and do a weekend retreat with the faculty sometime.

The infection of cynicism is rampant even among believers in Russia, where life is often quite frustrating. Moscow is huge and it takes 1.5 to 2 hours to get anywhere by metro underground. During much of the day driving on the surface takes twice as long. There are more and more cars but not enough facilities for them. The real estate boom with inflated prices seems about to bust. Developing natural recourses seems to apply more to minerals than to people. Please pray that Christians in Russia will live out and demonstrate the Kingdom of God so that people will see it and come in to it and be saved fully. Thank you.

Today (10 October) I will go to Vienna for a weekend of preaching, teaching and visiting and then on to Prague for 5 days of teaching in various venues and to a variety of people. Thank you very much if you pray. Mary and I both have viruses and I need to stay healthy and keep my voice for the work.

Perhaps I will even find time to buy and send some postcards from Vienna and Prague. God bless and keep you all.

Much love in our Lord, Jesus Christ,


Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

Greetings again from Riehen/Basel. Mary and I are well and hope you are also. There has not been so much travel in the last couple of months but some good and interesting work to do more locally. I'll try to attach the schedule for the next quarter to give you an idea of the mix of activities and places. Thank you for going along with me in prayer.

In Switzerland round number anniversaries are very important. This year Mary and I have a triple rounder: Mary is 80, I am 60 and our marriage is 30. Some friends came to help us celebrate with a garden grill and long evening conversation. We are thankful to God at these milestone in our lives.

In a separate mail I'll send some photos. They can be smaller and easier to open that way. Hopefully they will be labelled so you know what they represent.

Many of you pray and support this work financially so I thought to put some student comments from various places during the last 4 months here to give you an idea of the effect of the work you are involved in:

Thank you for modelling what it means to sincerely listen to people, show interest in them and ultimately love them!! May the Lord continue to fill you as you continue to empty yourself.

Thank you very much for all your inspiring and thought provoking inputs. I've got some excellent tools this week.

"Thoughts have consequences"! It's been great having you during this school . I've really been enriched.

Your talks have been 200% amazing for me. I have never seen thinking and articulation like this. You are blessed and have helped many of us with difficult issues.

Ellis, thank you for helping us think outside our boxes.

Thank you for challenging me this weekend, encouraging me to explore who God really is and how all aspects of my life should reflect Him and His Truth.

Hey Mon. Thank you so so much for your hard work and service toward us.

Thank you very much for taking the time to be with us this weekend and for showing the value in art for Christians. I study art History and it was a real encouragement to me to hear from a Christian point of view. It's not pointless as so many say! Thank you.

Lot's of things now seem to make more sense than I thought they could. Thank you.

Thanks for taking all our questions seriously and helping us to understand the big miracle better.

Please pray for our home Church here in Basel. We are going through a strong pruning and regrouping process. It has been painful and disorienting for some but many are beginning to see God's hand in it and to look for what He is going to do in us and among us next. I can do very little in the Church because of all the travelling, but I try to support and encourage here and there.

Albert Anker was a Swiss painter of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is much loved and shows family, village and school life very realistically and almost romantically in his paintings. His paintings are very realistic, with very little symbolism and little political or religious content. So, it was a thrilling shock to find the painting "Armensuppe" - "soup for the poor" in the Bern Art Museum. Try to see it on the web. Look for the altar, the chalice and host of the communion, the woman priest and man server, the shekina glory of the Lord rising as steam and the white horse running in the steam. I cannot find a comment on this painting anywhere and hope to prepare a little lecture on it.

Two items in the news during the past week have stuck with me and connected somehow: The development of hydrogen fueled cars and the comment of a Saudi government minister that "The stone age did not end because we ran out of stones." God takes us seriously and we should treasure His creation and take care of it. The unfolding of history belongs to His Mercy and Grace and we can truly trust in Him.

May the Lord bless and keep you in every moment of your lives.

Yours in Christ,


After Church in Lausanne


Basel Toilet Elephant

Mary's 80th Birthday Party

City View in Riehen

Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

Thank you very much for your prayers over the last several weeks. The Lord has been good to me, keeping me safe and healthy and using me in various places to encourage people in His Truth and Kingdom.

The time in Australia was quite full and excellent. The plane landed in Brisbane 14 hours late, so the beginning was not relaxed. The Presbyterian Church of Mt. Tamborine hosted a conference of afternoon and evening lecture/discussions with dinner in between. Basically 2 Churches, one Pentecostal and one Reformed, came together for this and the friendly cross fertilization was a joy to witness. The School of Worldviews at YWAM in Brisbane is happening for the second time and going very well. The students are increasingly interested in Truth and seem to me a first wave of post-post modern young people. I don't know where this is heading but so far it is encouraging. L'Abri in Sydney is in very good condition with inviting in, reaching out, making friends and serving in various places. We had 2 all day Saturday conferences with some other lectures and sermons in between. I talked so much in the winter weather that an infection got me in the throat and I had no voice on arriving home. The voice is back and I'm going off to England today for more talking.

The European Leadership Forum in Hungary was bigger and better than ever. I'm very privileged to be part of it. In the Autumn I should go to Prague for some lectures at the University because of connections made at the ELF.

The work in the Lausanne Church 2 weekends/mo. is going well. Even though it is summer holiday season we had a good group last Sunday. The Young People's group, which meets monthly, has very good conversations about new and old questions.

The visit from my nephew and his girlfriend went very well. The hotels were full because of the European Soccer in Basel, so they had to camp with us. We enjoyed each other a lot and hope they will come back.

Travel in June will include a Christian Artists' Conference in England and 2 days at English L'Abri, followed by a week in Romania. In August I will mostly stay in Switzerland and do some teaching at a Youth With A Mission base and in a Church in Biel as well as the work in Lausanne. Mary is well and enjoying our birds, who are still not parents. In a separate mail I will try to send some photos of recent activities.

Thank you again for all your prayers, friendship and support. May the Lord bless and keep you in all your ways.

Yours in Christ,


Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

Greetings in a rush from Basel as I get ready to go to Hungary this evening to work in a Church in Veszprem for 3 days and then the European Leadership Forum in Eger for 6 days. The ELF becomes more and more influential and I am very glad to be a part of it.

My 60th. Birthday has come and gone. It was very special. The highlight was being invited to a restaurant in Basel and finding a couple from Vienna and a man from Bratislava there with the other guests. They had flown in for the dinner. It was a great surprise and we had a wonderful time together.

The work in the Lausanne Church continues to be a joy. We have started making sound files of the teachings, which will be on the Church website.

In the last letter I mentioned some ideas about approaching the Bible as "Well" and as "Story". These ideas have been developing. The Well side has gathered to itself "subjective", Sharing MY faith, Giving MY testimony and the right side of the brain. The Story side has gathered "objective", Sharing THE faith, Giving the testimony of Jesus and the left side of the brain. I encourage people to pray and work for fullness and completeness of these two sides together.

Since I wrote last I've been in the US visiting friends in Dallas and working in Kansas at the Culture House. The Culture House is a great and growing work and I hope very much to returning to work with them again. Dr. Jim Paul of English L'Abri and I went to the New Word Alive conference in Wales to lecture. Several good contacts continue to develop from that time. During two weeks of teaching on Worldviews near Trondheim, Norway the students made some great strides forward in understanding. It was a very encouraging time. I could give a couple of lectures at the Trondheim University with Inter Varsity. One never knows what seeds have been planted or how God will make them grow. Most recently I have been teaching for a week in Germany and for several days in Spain at a Mission School in Camarma, near Madrid. This was my second time at this school and I am hoping for a third in the Autumn. Mary might go with me as we can stay with dear friends, Dean and Arlene Johnson, who work at the school.

Soon after the time in Hungary I will go to Australia to teach in a Youth With A Mission school in Brisbane, an all Sunday conference in a nearby Church and another week at Australian L'Abri in Sydney with Frank and Heather Stootman. Being released from a commitment in England in July, I will be able to go to Romania to teach in a Worldview School. God continues to give strength, health and finances for this work. Thank you very much for your prayers and support.

At the end of June we will have a very special visit from my nephew, Rex, who is a captain in the United States Marines. He will be with us for 3 days. I'm looking forward very much to having time with him. The last time we saw each other was in a military hospital in Germany after he was wounded in Iraq.

God bless and keep you.

Yours in Christ,


Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

HAPPY EASTER! Jesus is risen and His Kingdom of love, peace, justice, mercy and truth is established on the earth. May God teach us more and more what it means to live in His Kingdom and for His Kingdom to live in us.

A busy season is beginning for EER with travel to the US, Wales, Bern, Norway, Hungary and Australia in the next 3 months. I will continue, Lord Willing, to be in Lausanne with the Church 2 weekends per month.

Our excellent webmaster in England is faithful to keep the EER site up to date:

Ellis Potter Website

The people in Bulgaria made a film of the University evening lecture. You can see it on the website. There is an introduction in Bulgarian before the lecture, which is in English translated into Bulgarian. I have recently heard that a continuing series of Tuesday evening discussions between Christians and non-Christians began from that lecture. The bacterial souvenir I brought home from Bulgaria seems to have finally gone home.

The work in the Lausanne Church is a joy. There are various signs of life. We started having children's sermons and many people come into the front to hear what the children and I talk about. A Bible study started before Church. We ordered 15 study books to make sure we had extras, but we have had up to 20 people at the meetings. We finished the sermon series on Colossians and Philemon and will begin Hebrews. Hopefully we will be able to put recordings of the sermons on the Church website soon.

Lausanne Church Website

In May I will be 60 and begin to think about teaching others to teach what I teach. Various avenues are opening for this. One is the preaching class, which meets every 5 or 6 weeks. The class is scheduled from 19:30 to 21:00 but at the last meeting we worked until 22:45. The students do their homework so thoroughly there is only time to deliver half of it. Last time one of the students had a strong realization that it is essential to know what a text says before illustrating and applying it as a proof text for comments on the contemporary situation. It was a big light that went on.

The other avenue is the staff of the YWAM Worldview Schools. Several are beginning to teach, not only my material but their own and I am able to support them in this. A leader in Romania will give some of my teaching there because I cannot come and we are corresponding about it. Last time I wrote about asking students to share THE faith (rather than only THEIR faith) and to give the testimony of Jesus Christ (rather than only THEIR testimony). In connection with this I also teach that the Bible can be approached as a "well" or as a "story". In the well approach we draw out of the Bible comfort, teaching, warning, illumination, etc. according to our needs and situation. In the story approach we see the whole picture of God's nature and salvific economy and contextualize our lives in that story.

The well approach centers on us and the story approach centers on God. Many evangelicals have learned the well approach exclusively. We need the well approach but it is vital to contextualize and complement it with the story approach.

Mary is well. She enjoys her sewing class and our 2 funny birds and is looking forward to warmer weather. The Church where we belong in Basel is going through some major changes with 2 elders retiring and one leaving. We only have one elder and need to regroup. Thank you if you pray for this.

I am ever mindful and grateful for those of you who support this work in prayer and financially. Hopefully some photos will be attached taken with the new, very small and practical camera.

May the Lord bless and keep you and pour out His Grace upon you.

Yours in Christ,


A Neighbour

Church Service

Church Service

Mill Stream Behind the House

Preaching Class

Sunday Morning Bible Study

A Tired Man with a Baby

Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

The Bulgaria trip was full, rich, tiring and effective. Thank you all who prayed. I was ill for a couple of days, making the 5 hour train rides to Sliven from Sofia and back a little unpleasant, but managed to keep up with things.

My host family in Sofia have a gift and concept of hospitality that approaches perfection. This was a great support and encouragement for me during the week.

We began with a weekend retreat for YWAM and HARTA, an apologetics group that runs a website and tries in various ways to make Christianity available and credible for scientific and intellectual people. They were a lively group; young families with young children, single people, mostly locals and a few foreigners. HARTA members tend to be astro physicists, engineers, corporate lawyers, educators. They were widely read and we could easily talk about many things. I gave some lectures about comparative worldviews and apologetics, which stimulated some lively discussion, but the surprisingly enthusiastic response came to the impromptu music lecture on Arvo Part, Penderecki and Zbigniew Preisner. They were mostly scientific people who rapidly developed a hunger to branch out into artistic involvement in culture and history. This was very refreshing and encouraging for me.

In Sliven we had a 2 day seminar for Roma (Gypsy) Christian leaders. Roma and Turks are large minorities in Bulgaria. The Roma were nomadic for centuries and, although stabilized under Communism, have not yet integrated very much into the general Bulgarian society. They came from India many centuries ago and look Indian. Many Bulgarians regard the Roma with suspicion and are not welcoming to them. The Roma tend to have something of an inferiority complex and fatalistic outlook on life. I found them to be friendly, creative, lively, humorous people. Coming from such different backgrounds, it was a steep learning curve for me trying to connect with them. They avidly took notes and responded very well to the interactive aspects of the teaching. It would take much more time than I had with them to make much of an impact, but I would like to try again.

Back in Sofia the Wednesday evening open lecture at the University was actually thrillingly hopeful for me. About 150 people made a SLO crowd with people standing outside in the hall. There were many good questions which had to be cut off so they could close the building. About 100 people turned in comment and contact data slips. One hears and reads about people being "hungry for God's Truth", but I don't often actually see it among non-believers. Many have signed up already for the follow-up Tuesday evening discussion meetings over the next weeks led by the HARTA staff.

Bulgaria has an emerging economy with many teething problems and is a society trying to use new freedoms positively. There is a great need and many opportunities for the love and light of Christ to bless this richly complex nation. Please keep praying. I will be looking for further opportunities to visit Bulgaria.

Roma leaders and me in front of Church in Sliven

Bulgarian food and good conversation at the mountain weekend retreat of HARTA

Preparing for the film discussion evening at Vitosha retreat center

Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

Greetings from Basel, Switzerland.

Tomorrow morning I will leave for a week of teaching in Bulgaria. It will be a busy time with a lecture at the University of Sofia, a 3 day conference/retreat with the IFES leaders of Bulgaria and 3 days in Sliven teaching 25 Roma (Gypsy) pastors.

Thank you very much if you remember to pray during this time.

Thank you also for the financial support some of you have given. The Bulgarians are paying all my transportation and living costs for the trip, which is wonderful and a little bit amazing. There is still rent and bills to pay at home and that is what I want to be thankful to you and to God about.

God bless and keep you. Hopefully, you will get a little report about the trip.

Yours in Christ,


Christmas 2007

Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Especially to those of you who are Americans.

I am safely back from Sweden in good condition and thankful for your prayers and support. It was a worthwhile trip. First there was a meeting in a Christian Restaurant for about 30 people, sponsored by the Credo Christian Campus Group. Some non-Christians came, even a Buddhist. We had a good discussion together about truth and reality.

Then, the next day, I went to Stockholm for the Synergy Arts Conference in the New Life Church. They let me give 3 plenary teachings to about 175 people; 2 lectures and a sermon. There were also 2 seminars on Saturday afternoon for smaller groups of 20 and 30. We talked about the freedom and responsibility of people with special gifts of seeing and hearing and other sensitivities in the Body of the Church. We also worked on ways and principles for Christians to approach and receive the arts with love. Many people seemed to be encouraged by the time.

Back on Sunday in Umea in the Frozen North, the Credo group had a lecture/discussion meeting in a Church. Monday was a Sabbath for me. On Tuesday was a lecture in the University called "Are All Absolutes Absurd?" About 30 people came. The first question in the discussion time was from a non-Christian. He wanted to know how to get saved (!) It was lovely. It was a joy to meet some very fine Christian young people who want to live for and serve the Lord and His Kingdom. I hope we can stay in touch and encourage each other.

Thank you again for your prayers and support. The Lord and you keep me going. God bless and keep you and make you thankful.

Yours in Christ,


Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

Greetings from Switzerland, where I am briefly before going tomorrow morning to Northern (!) Sweden. Please pray for the Sweden trip as it involves 6 flights, a University lecture, a big conference in Stockholm and all the things that come up in between. I pray and believe that God will use me to encourage some people and help them work out their ideas and worldviews on various issues.

Here is our news since August: Mary went to Poland for 2 weeks! This involved some planning and organizing with her walker, etc. but everything went well and she is talking about doing it again. She could visit with doctors and therapists, parents and patients connected with her many years of work in Occupational Therapy in Poland. It was a very encouraging outing.

We got the birds mentioned in the last letter. They are an odd couple of Parakeets. The hope is for little birds eventually, but they are in their late teens and not behaving very parental yet. Perhaps in the spring.

In late August we went to the wedding of David and Christiane Richter in Germany, where I could be a witness. They have since moved to the neighbouring village in Germany, so we can go on seeing them.

Jim Giardina, a friend a former parishioner, has died of pancreatic cancer. Jim and I had a lot of contact during his illness and his wife, Wendy, asked me to preach at the funeral. It was an honor to help celebrate with thanksgiving the wonderful life and person of this man, who was loved by many and had an encouraging effect on everyone he met.

This quarter has seen visits to 2 branches of L'Abri; Swiss L'Abri for a lecture on Authority and Epistemology and English L'Abri for the 3rd. Annual Film Festival. 100 people came. Some local people got a better idea of what L'Abri is and does and several friendships were made and cemented. L'Abri is alive and well and growing and being used of God as salt and light in the world.

Somehow the most exciting thing I've done is begin a preaching class with a few men (see attached photo). We have met twice and they are excited to work hard and learn to handle and present God's Word. Pray for these men that the fire and vision will remain hot and clear.

After teaching in Germany for a week in October, I flew to Edinburgh for the Interface Arts Conference. They had 85 people for the weekend in the Leith School of Art, where the faculty of the school gave themselves in organizing and facilitating the conference. We had a very rich time together. After the conference I stayed one night at the home of the parents of the director at the Firth of Forth at Fife, which is as Scottish as you can get with St. Andrews across the water beyond an island which is a Puffin Sanctuary.

Just last week I could visit dear friends, Dean and Arlene Johnson in Spain and teach some classes in the Christian School where they are working. It was a refreshing time.

The work in the Church in Lausanne, although only 2 weekends a month, is very satisfactory. A Young Peoples' Group has started, where we eat together and discuss whatever is important to people about the Christian life. Gradually more people are getting involved in leading and participating in the Church life. We are very international and interesting. Last week, Mary went with me and saw old friends. We hope she can come again.

I've been reading some books by NT Wright, which are rather controversial among Evangelicals, I guess, but very stimulating and challenging.

In the next couple of months I should visit Sweden, Bavaria, Hamburg, a couple of Churches in Switzerland, Vienna and Bulgaria, where I will be teaching some Gypsy leaders. It is a wonder to be able to touch peoples' lives in all these different places and I am very grateful to God. There are various indications that some people actually learn and grow from my visits. What more can you ask?

Thank you for your prayers, your friendship, your communications and your financial support. God bless and keep you. Let me hear from you.

Yours in Christ,


Preaching Class

Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

I hope you are having a good summer. We are both doing well. Mary is actually trying to organize a solo trip to Poland for the autumn. Please pray for God's leading and provision in this. My own travels have been a bit less frantic in the last few weeks and should stay that way, except for the last two weeks of October, which will be action packed.

Since writing in May, I have been in Donetsk, Ukraine with Marsh Moyle, a friend and colleague with City Gate in Bratislava, who is also involved with English L'Abri. We were teaching at the Eurasia Institute of Inter Varsity (IFES) where hundreds of Christian leaders from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, etc. came together for 2 weeks of study. Marsh taught one whole week but I had to rush away to England for the Interface Arts Conference in Kent. The airline lost my luggage, which caught up with me four days later. It was a learning experience to lecture in Kiev and Donetsk without notes. I had to buy some new clothes and a friend in Bratislava said it made him think of pouring old wine into new wineskins. Here in Ukraine, as in many places, I am often asking the students "Who was Jesus Christ before you were born?" This question is useful because many peoples' understanding of Jesus does not go beyond their own experience. Knowing everything by our own experience is what the devil encouraged Eve to do in the garden.

The Interface Artists' Conference was the second of its kind for me and we are planning a third in October in Edinburgh, just before the Film Festival at English L'Abri.

A totally new experience was SLOT, a Christian Arts Festival in Poland with more than 5000 people, mostly living in tents surrounding a very large, crumbling Cistercian Monastery. I lectured to a couple of hundred people sitting on the wet ground under a tree with a great deal of noise and activity around us on the first day. Then a room was kindly provided and the students and I connected very well. I'm hoping to go again next year. At least half the participants were not Christians so the discussions were lively and interesting.

The new work at the Church in Lausanne has had a good beginning. The people are lovely and I enjoy getting to know them. 2 weekends per month is not a lot but it is what I have to offer and seems to be better than nothing for the Church. In our own Church here in Basel, I am preaching once a month and we might start having a house group once a week in English in our home. There is also a possibility that I will give some preaching classes for some of the young men.

The time with the artists in Southern France (see photo) was relaxed in an atmosphere of profound hospitality and deep conversations. Some very gifted and thoughtful people gathered together.

Youth With A Mission continues to be a regular venue for my teaching. It was historically connecting to be in the base in Herrnhut where Zinzendorf welcomed the refugees and the great prayer and missionary work began. Next week I will teach in the Worldview school here in Switzerland and have plans for teaching in Augsburg and Hamburg as well as in Umea in very northern Sweden.

A highlight of the Spring was the European Leadership Forum (ELF) in Eger, Hungary. One of the best parts of that was going with the group of 40 American volunteers, who make the conference run, to Budapest and taking them into the Hungarian National Gallery for some artistic engagement.

Recent reading has included the Pope's new book on Jesus and the last Harry Potter book, which are quite different from each other. The book on Jesus is excellent and surprising in several ways. It is unusual in that the Pope praises Protestant scholars and engages at length with a Jewish scholar. Reading the book in no way made me want to become Catholic, but it made me realize that if Catholics believe what is in this book we have more in common than I thought. The ending of the Harry Potter series was disappointingly "happy ever after". The magic in the books doesn't bother me, but the naturalistic humanism does. People use great powers but they don't seem to have an ultimate source, except themselves or other people. There is no final ground or base for reality except human experience. There is no real supernatural, just a naturalism expanded to include magic.

Mary and I miss the cat and are moving toward getting a couple of parakeets.

Attached are a couple of little things I wrote recently. Questions? Comments? Thank you everyone who has prayed for us and the work of EER, given us friendship and financial support. By God's Grace and your generosity there always seems to be enough money to live and travel. God bless you and keep you.

Yours in Christ,


Artists in Southern France

Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

In the last letter, I mentioned the upcoming trips to Norway and Australia. They are in the past now. In Norway, Youth With A Mission let me teach for 2 weeks in their School of Biblical Christian Worldviews. The school is right on the Trondheim Fjord and I was able to go fishing it it 3 times. I love to go fishing and the fact that I didn't catch anything was no discouragement. A special feature of this visit was the visit of our friend, Prof. Markus Zehnder, who taught with me for a few days. He has since gone to teach there for a week on his own. Aside from the school, there were 2 meetings of the pastors' association of Trondheim and a lecture in the University for a Campus Ministry. Non-Christians came to the University lecture and we had a very good contact and discussion.

Australia was a great adventure, beginning in Brisbane with the first Worldview School in Australia. The people I usually work with in Germany were there pioneering the school, so there were some familiar faces in an unfamiliar place. The students were bright and active and constantly questioning everything. We went to a Church on Mt. Tamborine, where I gave 2 evening lecture/discussions in a great Church. The second week we went to beautiful Byron Bay for teaching and Beach Evangelism, which I had never done. The students and staff were willing to do it my way, so I gave them two goals:

1. have such conversations with people that you will see them again, and

2. raise in their minds the questions that can only be answered by Jesus (about meaning, hope, guilt, identity, eternity, etc.). Some of the students reported that they actually enjoyed evangelism for the first time and found that they really liked the people they met and would be glad to see them again. For my birthday the students had a T-Shirt made with a Bible verse I had chosen printed on it. See photo. I love this verse because it is not religious, but real. It is literal, incarnational and has a voluminous subtext.

The third Australian week was in Sydney at L'Abri. This was home territory for me with old friends and colleagues and stimulating people in the audience. I could preach in a Presbyterian Church on Sunday and give a lecture for 120 people in a Baptist Church on Tuesday evening. I want to do it again.

Many people heard something of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, some for the first time in a real way. Thank you so much for praying and supporting this work in the many ways you do.

The work in Lausanne as 20% interim pastor has begun. Actually I will really begin going 2 weekends/mo in July. I'm quite excited about this new thing and looking forward to getting to know the people there and serving them in various ways.

Mary and I decided to give away the cat and get a new couch/bed. A manic cat and a new couch somehow don't belong together. Overnight guests will be very glad about the new bed.

If you read "The Geography of Thought" by Richard E. Nisbett you will have some very interesting thoughts to talk about. The same thing will result from seeing the film "Breaking and Entering".

In 2 days I should be off to Ukraine, then London/Kent, Hungary, Southern France near Toulouse, Herrnhut in Eastern Germany and Poland. July and August should be a bit more at home. The berries in the garden will want to be made into jam then.

May the Lord bless and keep you.


The Birthday T-Shirt

The Birthday T-Shirt

The Birthday T-Shirt

Australia 1

Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

Very fond greetings from Australia! I am a long way from home and Eastern Europe. Here we are pioneering the School of Biblical Christian Worldviews (SBCW) in the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) base in Brisbane. The base here is about 17 years old and has only done the basic Discipleship Training School (DTS) so far. This is the first school beyond that. The students are a mix of 3 men and 6 women from several nations, who have formed a good community together quickly. One of the women is the wife of the base leader, which is very encouraging. They ask good questions and keep me on my toes. We have finished the first week of the teaching and will go to a beach town on Sunday for the second week, including beach evangelism, which will be a new activity for me.

During the first week some people took me on Sunday and Wednesday to a Presbyterian Church in Mt. Tambourine, about 1.5 hrs. away to lecture on comparative worldviews. About 45 people came on Sunday and 50 on Wednesday. The second night a local pastor brought a Zen Buddhist woman, who began the evening with a very severe expression and was laughing by the end of the lecture. She came up and we had a good private talk. One of her questions was "Do you think one can have both Jesus and Buddha Mind?" I took this as an indication that she is seriously considering the claims of the Gospel. It was a joyful time. The students here are taking a lot of new ideas and concepts on board quickly, which makes them tired, but they are very patient with me and full of energy.

Next Friday I will fly to Sydney for a 5 day visit at Australian L'Abri. We will have 3 lectures on Saturday, I can preach in a Church Sunday morning and have a University lecture/discussion meeting on Tuesday evening. Then, home.

I have a viral infection in my head that keeps me awake at night, but the jetlag and culture shock are almost over. It is quite a change to come here from Norway, where I did my last 2 weeks of teaching. Mary is fine in Basel and we talk almost every day on the phone. It is a long way from home and our Church and neighbors and garden, but God is blessing and keeping and using me here. Thank you very much for your prayers.

God bless and keep you.

Yours in Christ,


Australia 2

Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

Greetings (again) from Australia. From Sydney this time. We moved the YWAM school south to Byron Bay for the second week of teaching and lived all together in one house with one toilet as a community of 25 people with 6 children under 5 years. It was a lively community experience and something of an introduction to some aspects of family life for the single people. The teaching was done in a Church in the town, where I could give a public lecture on Thursday afternoon for about 40 people. Byron Bay is a tourist/hippy/arty/drugy/New Age beach town, the greatest concentration of alternative life styles and philosophies in Australia. I enjoyed connecting with the various people and several of the leaders made friendly noises about inviting me back.

Part of the plan of the YWAM school was for me to lead a beach evangelism effort. This was a new kind of project for me and they let me do it my way. We worked through 12 Apologetics Considerations and I gave them 2 goals for the times in the town and beach:

1. To meet people and develop such a contact that they would see them AGAIN.

2. To raise in the minds of people they met the questions that can only be answered by Jesus.

In the feedback papers and discussion several of the students said they had always dreaded and feared evangelism because it was mechanical and an exercise in selling. This time they really met people. One woman said she talked for 90 minutes with a Krishna Consciousness woman and really enjoyed her. They seemed to get a new enthusiasm and positive outlook on evangelism. God is good.

Friday evening I flew to Sydney and was immediately immersed in a L'Abri atmosphere and discussion that felt very much like home. Saturday we had 3 lectures for about 40 people with lunch and supper amazing provided by Heather Stootman and crew. The discussions were lively and people were encouraged. Sunday morning I could preach in a really fine Presbyterian Church, after which we had a big L'Abri lunch and discussion. Today, Monday, I will be a tourist. Tomorrow evening there will be a meeting at a Church where lots of Hindu and Buddhist seekers come. Thanks for praying.

My head infection is almost gone and I should come home in reasonable condition. Mary is glad.

Thank you all for your prayers, friendship, encouragement and financial support.

God bless and keep you.

Yours in Christ,


Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

HAPPY EASTER! Please join Mary and me in thanksgiving for the evidence the Resurrection gives of the power of the Crucifixion to pay for all of our sins and defeat death and destruction.

We are fine here in Basel where Spring is bursting out all over. My mother is doing well in her retirement home in California. A friend of mine stopped by to bring her Easter chocolate. This is a great comfort to me as I am so far away.

Spring is the busy travel season. The trips to Slovakia and England are over. Norway and Australia are next. My hearing aid is adjusting to me and me to it. It takes time, but I no longer have a "good" ear and a "bad" ear.

While there is so much trouble and bad news in the world, evil and injustice and cruelty, let me share with you some of the joys of my work. After a lecture in Trnava, Slovakia, an American student came up and said he had been in great doubts about his study of philosophy but now his way forward was clear again. In the past I have done too much travel alone. Now God is providing me more and more with travelling and team teaching companions. In England at the Word Alive conference they allowed me to call a four part seminar "Jesus and the Cosmic Reality Check". An average of 100 people came each day for the 75 minute sessions. One woman said to my colleague, Dr. James Paul, "I came in pretty depressed and uncertain about everything and now I am full of joy." In my small "Impact" group at Word Alive (see photo below), one man said on the first day "I have decided to believe in Christianity but not to think about it." On the last day he asked for information about going to L'Abri to clear up his thinking. Another man, from Singapore, who studies Law had been trying to decide whether to become a pastor or a politician. The last day of the conference he decided to become a politician. After a lecture in the Synagogue of Nitra, Slovakia (see photo) a young Zen Buddhist engaged me in conversation. Because of my own Buddhist background, I could speak to him about the Christian Truth in the "Zen" style, which he could receive. This was a very moving reminder of the time I was a Zen Buddhist and God provided Christians who took me seriously and made the effort to speak in ways that made sense rather than in slogans.

As a cautionary note about our assumptions in the Christian sub culture a young man who had grown up in a Church and a family of Christian leaders asked me "I hear this all the time, but what is 'the Blood of the Lamb'"? He could recite many Sunday School slogans and phrases but had very little understanding of what any of it meant. Our theme verse in the small group in England was "In understanding be men."

The Church in Lausanne and I have decided to try an interim part time pastorate for 6 months and see how it goes. The idea is to go 2 weekends/mo., but my travelling schedule doesn't allow this to fully begin until July. I'm really happy and thankful about this possibility and pray God will make me a blessing to these people.

Thank you for praying for us and encouraging us and participating in our finances. The Lord is always providing what is needed through many channels including you. The local government has accidentally overpaid Mary's retirement benefits and wants us to give back several thousand francs. God's long-term faithfulness makes this a cause for curiosity rather than alarm. It can be confusing to live as foreigners in another country or in this fallen world, but God is never confused. We can always look to Him for stability, sense and Peace. May the Lord bless you, enlarging your life and giving you His Joy and Peace.

Much love in Jesus,


Daily "Impact Group" at Word Alive in England

Teaching in the Synagogue of Nitra

Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

I hope Christmas and New Year were both blessings for you. We were quiet. I'm having a break from travelling for a couple of months. It is good. After Ukraine I was in Bratislava and other places in Slovakia for a week and then flew to the US for Thanksgiving with dear friends in Dallas and my mother in California. My mother has moved into a retirement home and is happier, healthier and safer than she was living alone. Everyone is thankful. While with her I could get my Dad's large, old Bible with all the beautiful illustrations and study helps, which I spent 100s of hours pouring over as a child. It was falling apart a bit but is now beautifully bound in black leather and gold letters by a Swiss craftsman.

Soon after coming home from the US I went to a YWAM base in Germany for a week of teaching on worldviews. The classes are open for discussion and we came to the issue of Biblical Anthropology - what is the image of God? Many students have been taught a tri-partite division of the human into "body", "soul", and "spirit". I questioned the Biblical accuracy of this understanding and we had quite some discussion. It seems to me this system does not include "heart", "mind" or "will" and regards the supernatural part of God's creation as more real and permanent than the natural part. It also is a description of the individual and the Image of God is clearly "them" in Scripture and must include relationships. Any truly Biblical Anthropology should express the relationships instead of only the identity - should be "other-referential" rather than "self-referential". It was a challenging and worthwhile week, as usual.

Before and after Christmas people came to visit us, instead of me flying all over the place. Antonio Halitchi from Romania who works at SEN in Bratislava came for a week and Tim Dale came from England for 5 days. It was great to have visitors. Even the cat was glad.

We continue to be very glad for our Church involvement here in Basel. Usually I only contribute teaching to the community but at the Christmas feast I could play the recorder in a little Renaissance quintet of 2 Gambas, Lute and 2 Recorders. It was great fun and not bad.

Some friends near Zurich have begun having formal meals in the style of L'Abri - 3 so far. We are hoping to do one every two months for 2007. They invite people, choose a topic, someone primes the conversation pump and we eat and talk together for the evening with about 12 people. It is a wonderful ministry by these people and the guests really seem to be blessed and eager to do it again. I love to go and support this activity.

The web master for the EER website has found more space and says MP3 files of lectures should be available soon. Check it out.

Please pray for a possibility of working with a Church in Lausanne. They have no pastor and someone they hoped could come from the US cannot do it. I have offered to go to them 2 weekends/mo. We will talk about it when I go there to preach on 4 February. Mary and I have known this Church for almost 30 years and visited them more or less often over the years. Recently I have preaching there a bit more often. We all want God to show us clearly the way forward on this.

In early Spring when the travelling picks up again I hope to be in a YWAM base in Switzerland for 10 days in February, 2 weeks in Bratislava for their new Open House program, which will be similar to a L'Abri term (with DTY in Vienna, Banska Bistrytsa, Nitra and Zilina), in England for the Word Alive Conference and some teaching at English L'Abri, 2 weeks in Norway at a Worldview School, 3 weeks in Australia (!) with YWAM, a conference in Kiev in June as well as the European Leadership Forum in Egers Hungary, an Arts Conference in So. France. In July and August there is only 1 week at an Arts Festival in Wroclaw, Poland and a week in St. Petersburg. After that there are no bookings abroad, but that could change. The schedule will be on the website.

Deteriorating hearing in my Right ear has become annoying, perhaps more for others than for me. Now we are working toward getting a device to help, hoping to find the effective device for the effective price.

May the Lord bless and keep you now in the beginning of 2007 and throughout the coming year.

Yours in Christ,


Dad's Bible rebound

Preaching in Zhitomyr, Ukraine Evangelical Church

View From Window in Zhitomyr

Short Report on the week in Ukraine:

It was a brief introduction to an Eastern Slavic culture and very interesting. Steve Seibert organized and facilitated the whole trip and all the events. Several things happened in and around his Church. His pastor, Dema, was very welcoming and helpful with translating some of the meetings. I could preach in the Church on Sunday and after the sermon a young man decided to be a Christian. It was very precious. On Saturday we had a 3 hour teaching on Apologetics for the Church. I saw some lovely relationships and fellowship in the Church.

Posters attracted 45-50 people to two public meetings on worldviews in a room rented by the Church and one in a public library. Mostly non-Church people came, which was encouraging. 2 Orthodox priests came to the first meeting. Many of the people were committed to nothing and vaguely interested in everything ( as in Athens as visited by Paul?). The Orthodox Church is hardly one Church, with four Patriarchates functioning in Ukraine. They vary in practice and tolerance. There seems to be a rather widespread folk religious underlying the surface culture. In it women use eggs for healing, praying and causing the sickness to enter from the person to an uncooked egg, which when broken open is black inside, showing that it has received the evil. Some Patriarchates seem to tolerate this kind of thing more than others. There are many waiting for my next visit, which should be, Lord Willing, in June.

The economy is a bit poorer than in the West, but there is a wealthy class with big houses, big cars, beautiful fur and leather clothing. The culture functions on relationships rather than on any concept of Truth, law or objectivity. It is East enough that people do not say "no" to keep from losing face. "Yes" must serve for "yes, no and maybe" and so is overworked and suffers a severe meaning fatigue. For example, we called a taxi for 6:30 and the dispatcher said "yes" although all the taxis were booked. We waited until 6:45 and a taxi pulled up to the curve. The driver was someone who knew Steve, had heard his call on the radio, knew no one was available and came to take us himself, probably abandoning another and unknown client. It was the relationship with Steve that made the situation work for us. This way of living requires a certain amount of adjustment, which I'm not sure should be made. Many questions.

In 30 minutes I will leave for Bratislava and a week of teaching there with side trips to Nitra, Banska Bistrica and Budapest. Thank you very much for your prayers.

Yours in Christ,


Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

Here is a quick window of opportunity in the 20 hours I am at home between Slovenia and the YWAM base in Hurlach, Bavaria.

Thank you for praying for the time in Slovenia. The oral surgery stitches, swelling and bad cold were a bit bothersome, but everything got done and I am doing OK.

Slovenia is a surprisingly beautiful and varied country and quite wealthy, clean and orderly compared with other former socialist countries I've visited. The Brezhnev period apartment blocks were cute and charming compared with those I've seen elsewhere. The wealth is in family and social capitol. People's money is in real estate - the farm, the house, the owned apartment (or 2 in the family). Salaries are very low and only work if mortgage or rent is not paid. Married and professionally employed people typically live with their parents or in housing belonging to the family. Most people are Catholic or atheist/humanist with a few Protestants (16th. century reformer Primos Struba), and quite a few interested in Easter mysticism and the New Age.

The IFES is having a series of lectures in the "Why Not?" series: Why not Islam, Buddhism, Christianity and Atheism. I gave the one on Buddhism, of course. We had the lecture 3 times: for the IFES staff and friends as a rehearsal/discussion, in a public library conference room in Murska Sobota near the Hungarian border ( a 2.5 hr. drive) and in a downtown Ljubljana cultural center. 25 people came in Murska Sobota and over 30 in Ljubljana. Please pray the IFES people will be able to have continued contact with the new people. About 75% were new faces at both public meetings.

Ljubljana has a healthy cultural life. The National Gallery was having a cultural exchange exhibit from Sienna, which was very well done, plus local and European art from the last 6 centuries in the permanent exhibit. The Philharmonic hall showed a list of very interesting concerts. The special surprise was an advertisement at the Opera for a combination of the Requiems of Mozart and PREISNER performed as an Operatic Ballet on 24 and 25 Oct. I am tempted to go back just for this.

IFES has been active in Slovenia for at least 10 years, working mostly in Ljubljana and a few other cities. They steer people to local Churches and hope to do some publishing in the future. My hosts were the Hribars, a lively Australian family with 3 children, who have been in Slovenia for 10 years and doing a lot of good work and service. Nenad Vitorovic, the General Secretary of IFES in Slovenia organized my trip and did some of the translating. We met at the European Leadership Forum (ELF) in Hungary, which helped finance my travel.

Our neighbor upstairs is a Christian professor of dentistry, who came to take my stitches out this evening. What a relief!

A surprising number of you have responded to the discussion about Self-referentialism. Some have contributed elements, some have been glad for new terms of polarity by which to measure various aspects of life. My thinking on this continues:

The devil is Self-referential (SR). God is other-referential (OR).

Much advertising works on our tendency toward SR.

Sin is basically SR.

Love is OR. Hate is SR.

This discussion shows why we should visit museums and galleries.

A painting, sculpting or a life can be SR or OR.

The humanist understanding of personality tends toward SR. The Biblical understanding is OR.

To be continued. Participation welcome...

So, I'm off to Germany tomorrow morning. God bless and keep. Thank you for your prayers and support.

Much love in Jesus Christ,


Lutheran pastor in Murska Sobota, me, Lee Hribar from Australia and Nenad Vitorovic - General Secretary of IFES in Slovenia

Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

Here is a short report on the time in England.

Alastair Gordon, the UCCF worker with Arts students in London proved a very gracious and generous host for a weekend in London. Ally is a painter and took me round to museums and galleries. In the Tate Modern we began an ongoing discussion on "self-referentialism" and "other-referentialism" in art, society, Theology and the animal kingdom. These terms are growing in my mind as very useful ways to express a fundamental polarity in reality. Our cultures seem to me to be moving in the direction of a pervading self-referentialism, concentrating on authenticating and expressing myself in terms of myself. The character of God and the nature of the Gospel of Jesus Christ seem to be in the opposite direction. This is discussed in my lectures called "The Three Circles". Now there is a new way of expressing things and relating them to the art world. Many thanks to God and to Ally for this very worthwhile weekend in London.

Sunday evening Ally and I drove down to L'Abri in Hampshire, where Marsh Moyle of SEN in Bratislava and I did a week of team teaching. At first the students were rather uneasy and critical partly because they were not hearing things they expected to hear. After a couple of days, we adjusted to each other and many had a very profitable time. It was a joy to be in a L'Abri community and environment again. A great variety of people are deeply blessed there. At the Friday evening public lecture I could give the lecture on Preisner's "Requiem for my friend" called "Music faces death". It is basically a guided listening. We had a rich time together and I became more convinced of the value of this composition.

All during this time I had an infection in my jaw and needed a bit of emergency oral surgery the day after getting home to remove a pea-size abscess and one of 3 roots from a molar. Now I have stitches in my mouth and a bad cold and am trying to get in shape for flying to Ljubljana on Sunday. Thank you if you remember to pray about this. I am trusting God to provide the money to pay for the surgery.

May the Lord bless and keep you.

Yours in Christ,


Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

Fond greetings in Jesus from Switzerland, where I am for a few more days before beginning the following travel and teaching program:

22 September - 2 Oct. England, London and L'Abri

8-12 October - Ljubljana

15-20 October - Hurlach/Augsburg Germany - YWAM

22 October - preaching in Lyssach for 500th. anniversary.

25 Oct. - 1 Nov. - Bratislava and Wien

3 Nov. - 9 Nov. - Kiev

12 Nov. - 18 Nov. - Bratislava

19 Nov. - 30 Nov. - USA

4 Dec. - 8 Dec. - Hurlach/Augsburg YWAM

Recently my preaching in Basel and Lausanne has been a series on I Peter. This has been a very interesting study, at least for me, and I have discovered some new things. After I Peter, I hope to start a series on the Gospel of Mark, Peter's student. It will be interesting to compare the two books.

My computer has been ill and some friends and brothers have been doctoring it. The web master is still in various forms of transition but hopes to get the website in better order soon.

Mary is doing well and seems to become more and more independant and confident. We are thankful. My mother has moved to a retirement home and her house is up for sale. It will be good to visit her in November for her birthday and for Thanksgiving.

I have accepted somewhat greater teaching and planning responsibilites for some sections of the work of SEN in Bratislava. Please pray that I will fulfill these responsibilites well. Thanks.

The wedding in Lugano, mentioned in the last letter, was wonderful! The couple have been on the honeymoon, are back and well and involved in the Church.

My brother has finally come to Europe. His wife has Swiss family and has been before. It was great to see them. The visit brought a question to me: Has my brother become a more thoughtful, enjoyable, reasonable person or has my perception of him changed. Both possibilities are encouraging. It was a good visit.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. May the Lord bless and keep you.

Yours in Christ,


Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

I'm just back since last night from Hungary, England and Norway and will leave this evening for Italy. An American couple with whom I have worked several times in Bratislava will go with me for 8 days to Florence and Assisi. They have never been there and I look forward to the roll of tour guide.

This letter will be short, but I wanted to let you know how the travel and teaching have gone over the last 3 weeks, especially you who have been praying.

The Hungary visit was to a Baptist Church of Veszprem, whose pastor I met at the European Leadership Forum in Sopron, Hungary a couple of years ago. We began with a lecture on Spirituality on Friday evening, followed by an all-day conference on Christians relating to the Arts on Saturday. On Sunday I could preach in the Church and then go with the pastor and his wife and brother to Budapest for a rally of the pro-family and Christian values political party. There were 1.5 million people in the square and it was pretty exciting. On Monday evening the church sponsored a lecture on comparative worldviews in the University. About 80 people came and 60 of them were not from the Church. The pastor had never seen most of them. The lecture began at 6:00 in the evening and the discussion ended at 10:30. Then we drove over 2 hours to Budapest to sleep at the pastor's parents' house and get an early flight to England. I won't mention the burst water pipe in the pastor's kitchen and some other special events of the visit. I would love to go back.

In England I was driven from the airport to the Word Alive conference in a seaside resort. There were 7000 people including 2000 young people. This was the first time L'Abri had been invited to the conference and it was an exciting privilege to be on the team. We gave 5 lectures and had lots of group and one-on-one discussions, including an amazing talk with 2 mainline Chinese students with no Christian background. One of their first questions was "If you are a religious person, can you actually change your religion". Please pray for Ling and Yarming. After the conference, we drove 5 or 6 hours down to L'Abri, where I did not teach, but rested and had great fellowship with Marsh and Tuula Moyle from SEN in Bratislava, who are there on Sabbatical. Their son and parents were also there. Jim and Merran Paul, who work at L'Abri hosted me in a very loving and restoring way.

From England I flew to Trondheim in Norway and was driven to the YWAM base in Eintroa. The School of Biblical Christian Worldviews was in its second week and I could be the teacher for the week. Although it was a very international group of students and staff they all could understand English, which was a great help. The Lordship of Christ is over all of life, rather than only over private experience and religious activity is a central issue for these students and for a great many Christians. The scope of teaching on this issue is very broad and there is a great need for people to apply themselves to it in a variety of areas.

After 3 flights homeward, I met Dean and Arlene Johnson in the Zurich airport and we took the train together to Basel. Mary is enjoying their visit very much. Tonight we will take the sleeper train south, looking for Spring, which is very late in coming.

Thank you very much for your prayers, which sustained me in this recent busy time, for your friendship and your financial support. May the Lord bless and keep you and restore the joy of Easter for you daily.

Yours in Christ,


Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

Tomorrow, I will be leaving on the trip to Hungary, England and Norway and want to write something to you before being away. The rest of the schedule for the next 3 months is on the website - address in the signature at the bottom of this letter.

In the last 2 months I've only been once in Eastern Europe, but reasonably busy in the West. The one trip was to Vienna to visit some dear friends for the weekend to cook a Swiss Fondue for them and on to SEN in Bratislava for a variety of things. On Monday morning I took an early bus and taught 2 classes at the C.S. Lewis High School with Dusan Yaura, formerly of SEN. This was my second time teaching in the school and we are hoping to have further meetings with students and faculty. Then came the first in the series of "Monday Evenings at SEN" lectures. This one was called "If there is Truth, can it be shared?" and was about apologetics. It is based on 12 Apologetics Considerations I've used over the years, which are available on the EER website. The other main event in Bratislava was a lecture for the Lutheran student group of the University on "Comprehensive Spirituality". They expected 40 people and over 100 came. A teacher from the C.S. Lewis school came and several people showed a lot of interest. The rest of the time involved lots of private and semi-private meetings with people in and around SEN. As SEN goes through changes like most missionary organizations, pray that God will be the stability for everyone involved.

I could preach in the English speaking Church in Lausanne as well as the Methodist Church in Hombrechtikon with lunch after at Rolf and Eveline Wildhabers', great friends and supporters of EER. For almost 30 years we have been friends of the Free Brethren Assembly of Basel (EFG) and I have preached there several times a year. This most recent time to preach there was very special because Mary and I have decided to join the Assembly. This decision is perhaps overdue, and it is wonderful to have a Church home. Even though I travel so much the people at EFG know me and pray for EER. In August I will perform my fifth wedding in this Assembly, so we have a strong connection with the families there.

The visit to Abidjan didn't happen because of political uncertainty in the country, logistical and financial questions. Perhaps this will happen later, but the idea is not so simple to realize. A week of teaching in my home away from home in Germany, the YWAM base in Schloss Hurlach, did happen and was an encouraging time, especially the Monday evening meeting in the local Lutheran Church.

Something very exciting happened very nearby as I was invited to lecture in a German Gymnasium (High School +) on Buddhism. Preaching is not allowed in public schools, of course, so I prepared just to present Buddhism. When I got there it was a double class with two teachers who asked me also to compare Buddhism with Christianity, so I did. There were many questions and the students stayed into their break time to discuss. The last question was one of several from the teachers: "Should people just choose the worldview that seems to suit them best?" This was an invitation to political incorrectness, which I accepted, of course. I thought this would be the end, but the teachers said they would like me to come again. When I told about this in our Assembly some Swiss Gymnasium teachers got excited and said this should not only happen in Germany. Perhaps there will be such opportunities in Switzerland as well. We could pray about this.

Mary continues to do well with her walker. Her body feels the coming of Spring in an encouraging way. The new cat is growing up and settling in well.

An encouraging word about finances: As you know, we live by faith. My recent surgery was covered by insurance but they have a new deductable of CHF3000 ($2000) and there were questions, but no worries, about where this money would come from. In the Lord's provision, all the money has come in and we are able to pay the hospital, the income taxes, rent and everything for this month. This encourages me to accept teaching invitations from people who cannot pay anything. We are thankful for your generosity and the Lord's Grace in our lives.

May the Lord bless you and keep you and lead you forward in your lives.

Yours in Christ, Ellis

YWAM School in Germany

Wilhabers in Hombrechtikon

Monday Evening at SEN, Bratislava

University Chapel, Bratislava

Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

Fond greetings from cold Switzerland. I am back from Scotland, where it was warmer. The purpose of the trip was to speak at a Navigators' Weekend Away. My last contact with the Navigators was in 1963 when they were mostly a work among High School students in America. The Navigator work in Scotland today is only among University students. There are some very fine people doing some very fine work there. The first evening I was a guest personality at "Thinkers Corner" at a local cafe/student hangout. The idea was to get Christians into the local society and make contentful contact. There was a subject to the evening; "Can Truth be Found?" and we just had open discussions at various tables about the question. At our table there were an American woman working with Navigators, an English philosophy student, a young Israeli woman now living in Australia and 2 arts students from England and Ireland. The discussion was wide ranging with lots of speculative thinking and supposing. Occasionally someone said "I believe...." in a very heartfelt way as if speaking out the foundations of their life. After a question or 2 about their belief, they tended to say "Oh, well, I guess I don't believe that after all." The Christians present could encourage these people in the possibility of stable beliefs that really do form a foundation for life. Thinkers Corner is a great program, taking a lot of energy and courage to carry out. In England there are Christians having such conversations in pubs called "Pints of View". This is really grass roots, Acts 17 activity, which I hope can become regular in many places.

80 students and some staff came to the weekend near the English border in a rural conference center. The students were studying medicine, philosophy, art, engineering and education mainly and were very bright. They asked a lot of questions and kept me awake. It was a joy to be with them and I look forward to further possibility of working with the Navigators in various places. Several students and staff wrote encouraging thank you notes at the end of the weekend. To give you some idea of the kind of work I do and its effect, I will put a few quotes here: "We had many dreams for this weekend and we imagined many possibilities. We're so grateful for you exceeding, challenging, stretching and expanding these dreams and possibilities. Thank you for blessing us so richly with your words that urge us toward a new and whole Christian life and apologetic lifestyle. The answers have been a great help but, of course, the questions even more so." "I don't think I've found a weekend more interesting" (from a young non-Christian Indian woman). "thanks for helping us think outside our boxes." "I study philosophy and this weekend has really reached me." "Lots of things now seem to make more sense than I thought they could." "Thank you for showing the value of art for Christians. I study Art History and it was a real encouragement to me to hear from a Christian point of view that it's not pointless as so many say!" Perhaps you can tell from these snippets why I love doing what I do.

Today I will go to Bratislava for 5 days. The main event is curriculum and methodology discussions for the teaching program of SEN. There will also be many meetings for discussion, mentoring, encouraging. I hope to be a blessing there. The next week I will be teaching the staff at a Youth With a Mission base here in Switzerland. In February I will preach at our favorite Church in Lausanne and for the Brethren Assembly here in Basel where we have many friends. I am working through I Peter.

Please pray about a commitment I have made to teach in a large Church conference in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, 6-11 March. There is a lot of instability in the country and I am hoping for clarity about the situation and the finances of this trip. Thanks.

Our finances remain above the water line, thanks to God and all of you who participate.

Mary has the flu, but is generally fine and gets around with her walker, even over the ice! My umbilical hernia surgery is healing nicely and it is wonderful to be able to move around more easily and vigorously (causing a bit of needed weight loss).

May the Lord bless and keep you.

Yours in Christ,


The "Breakfast Club" group in a Baptist Church

Lincoln and Sheena - Navigator workers

Some of the students listening

Teaching at the weekend

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.


Jesus Christ came to earth to fix all that is broken. If we let Him fix the broken bits in us, we will be truly blessed in 2006.

It was a busy Autumn with EER - lots of travelling and teaching. The time in Slovakia with SEN was diversified with a personal project called "Make friends for SEN". This involved going out to various cities and speaking in Churches, Universities, Campus groups, Youth Groups, a large Catholic Renewal Group, a Lutheran Lyceum and the C.S. Lewis School in Bratislava, as well as making some of my lectures at SEN open for the public. The Lord seemed to give some fruit and it will be fascinating to see how it ripens.

I continue to teach for YWAM quite a bit and always am blessed in each of the various school I visit. In Germany it was a special moment to be prayed for in Arabic. Some students stay in touch with ongoing questions.

Mary is doing very well, partly due to her new walker, which has been a great and therapeutic blessing. We load it in the car and go anywhere.

On 27 Dec. I will go to the hospital for a surgery on an umbilical hernia. They should send me home after 4 days, if all goes well. Then I need to stay quiet for 2 or 3 weeks before beginning the travelling again with the Navigators' leadership conference in Scotland.

Because of the gracious provision of God and the generosity of friends of EER, all our bills are paid as we enter 2006. This is a small but clear miracle for which we are thankful to God and you.

The Spring schedule is filling up rapidly. Please pray that God will give wisdom about what to do and what not to do.

May the Lord bless you at Christmas and throughout the coming year. We hope to have contact with you in 2006.

Yours in Christ,

Ellis & Mary Potter

Ellis and Mary

Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

We are very thankful for you who follow our lives and the work of EER with prayers and support. It is good to be able to send you news of the recent activities.

PAST: The German L'Abri mentioned in the last letter was a very good experience in Eastern Germany. Old and new friends from Dutch L'Abri came to help with the teaching and tutoring. The team organizing it made an amazingly good community of themselves and worked through several snags with a good heart. The two weeks had a real L'Abri atmosphere and everyone was excited at the end to do it again. I will also hope to be involved.

English L'Abri was a real joy for me. Marsh and Tuula Moyle from SEN in Bratislava were there. We lived in the same flat at L'Abri and went for a weekend together to their home Church and the home of Marsh's parents in Hinckley (the center of the universe, as they say). L'Abri was packed with students and visitors with a great variety of backgrounds, needs, hopes and plans. The community is very healthy. A woman was there whom Mary I met at Swiss L'Abri 27 years ago.

This has been the L'Abri season for us and we also went to Swiss L'Abri for their Arts Week, where I gave a couple of lectures and got to know the students at long meal conversations. The branch was very full and lively and they are making a valiant effort to keep the old buildings in good repair.

The Swiss Reformed Church in Gossau/Zurich invited me back to give a lecture on evil. 50 people came and all stayed until after 10:00 for the discussion. I could stay with my dear friends, the Faehs, who hosted a formal meal for 13 on the Saturday which involved one of the most worthwhile conversations in my experience. I hope they are encouraged to continue in this kind of activity.

We are close to 2 Churches; the International Church in Lausanne, where I could preach the last 2 Sundays and the Brethren Assembly of Basel where I gave a public lecture on Spirituality last Wednesday and will preach tomorrow. Contact and involvement with these communities is a rich part of our lives.

PRESENT: Mary enjoys her new walker very much and is much more active with it. She still gets dizzy if she does too much and needs to be careful. A new cat has come to live with us. This is the right one. Her name is Tanuki and her photo is below. David Richter, whom I met at German L'Abri visited us twice from Heidelberg to help me get a Palm. This thing keeps all my files and photos, 25 hours of music, makes sound and video recordings, gets and sends emails, goes on the web and contains 3 Bibles with study helps. It does not make coffee, but is still a great help to me, especially while traveling. I needed a lot of help to get it and learn to use it. The new mobile phone number is in the signature at the bottom of the letter. After being mostly at home for 3 weeks I will be taking off again for Bratislava and the

FUTURE: 6 weeks of Learning Community in Bratislava, broken by preaching in Vienna and a week of teaching in YWAM Germany. After coming home in early December there will be a week of teaching in Swiss YWAM. Then comes a break from mid December to 19 January, which will include a surgery on an abdominal hernia. Plans are shaping up for a University student weekend houseparty in Scotland in January, a large Arts Conference in London, Church and student conferences in Hungary and Slovenia, daunting teaching responsibilities at the European Leadership Forum in Sopron, Hungary, a weeklong Church conference in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in March, and a week in Norway YWAM. The Spring schedule is filling up. There was a possibility of going to Australia, but that has been put forward to the next year, perhaps for the best.

May the Lord bless and keep all of you. Please let us have your news.

Yours in Christ,

Ellis & Mary

Tanuki 2

English L'Abri-Greatham Manor House

Plenary Session at European Leadership Forum, Sopron Hungary

Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

Greetings from Switzerland. This will be brief as I am on the run, just back from a month in Russia, a week at Youth With A Mission in Switzerland and taking off tomorrow morning for 2 weeks of "German L'Abri" near Berlin. Most of you know I am not very conscious of media or corporate images, but some friends have spruced up EER. See the new signature at the bottom and visit the web page.

Russia is both Europe and Asia and so, rather difficult to understand. In my experience 70 years of Communism have left some scars. Cooperation and engagement are feared and cynically avoided. Freedom is understood individualistically. Trust is almost impossible. Bribery is increasing. We know of only one Church or seminary that is not almost totally dependant on foreign money and direction. The young people are bright, creative and full of potential but not of hope. It is long and hard work to establish enough credibility for them to learn from you. I love them and want to go back.

During the whole month of July in St. Petersburg, it did not get dark for one minute. The weather was generally perfect. While there I read Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" which brilliantly and horribly shows the chaotic depravity of people with the love of God as the only possible stable reality. The book was written in St. Petersburg and mentions many of the places one sees while going around the city.

Our school was in a Lutheran Seminary funded by nearby Finland. It is in the village that has been home to the research laboratory of Pavlov and his dogs. The town has many dogs and they are actually very well behaved. The rural atmosphere reminded me of my childhood in California almost 50 years ago. During the month my friend and colleague, Marsh Moyle, director of SEN and I went to Moscow for a weekend Church retreat with the people I served in May. In the Church is a 9 year old cerebral palsied boy named Ben who has won the heart of Mary from a distance. She sent his mother a very good book about caring for him at home and we hope to go together to visit him.

After coming home I taught for 6 days in a YWAM school of worldviews. This was an intense experience with students discussing 2 hours after the lecture and asking questions during every coffee break. We struggled and found some very good ways forward together. God blessed us all.

Some invitations have been coming in to teach in Slovenia and Scotland and other places from people I met in Hungary at the European Leadership Forum in June. I hope to accept some of these and return to the Forum next May.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. Both are vital. God bless and keep you.

Much love in Jesus Christ,


Bakyt and Sultan from Kyrgyztan and from Moslem families.

Teaching on Spirituality at the Church retreat in Moscow.

At the Pilaw feast prepared by the Kyrgyz.

Students on the bus. A Russian bus ride is difficult to describe.

Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

Now it is the 2nd. of July already and I will leave tomorrow morning for a month in Russia. Most of the time will be in St. Petersburg at a SEN Gospel in Society Learning Community, but I will go with a colleague to Moscow for a weekend with the Church I met last month. It is encouraging to have continuing contact and build relationships with the same people. There will be about 15 people at the Learning Community in St. Petersburg. Most of them come from rather far away, so it should be an interesting mix of backgrounds.

A question that struck me in Moscow is: "Is life what happens to us or what we do?" Different cultures answer this question on different sides. It seems to me that the Biblical answer is that life is fully both what happens to us and what we do. Most people and cultures have a natural tendency to choose one side or the other because that is simpler. Perhaps a more spiritual tendency is to understand life at its fullest. I'm looking forward to thinking this through more, especially in Eastern Europe.

It was a joy and an honor to be invited to do a little teaching at the European Leadership Forum in Sopron, Hungary 11-16 June. They always have an amazing team of great and famous teachers and very interesting participants from ALL over Europe. I worked in the "Christians in Society" department (or the Art Department, as I called it) and also gave a workshop in the Apologetics area. Liviu Mocan, a sculptor friend of mine from Cluj Napoka, Romania was there with his wife. He brought a group of sculptings on the theme of Bezalel from Exodus. It was a great honor for me to give a little speech at the Vernisage we organized for these works. At a science workshop on my free afternoon, the professor helped me to solidify the understanding that "chance" or randomness is sometimes part of the way things happen, but it can never be the cause of things happening. In the question of whether reality is created by God or developed by "chance", it is very helpful for me to understand that things can happen functionally by chance, but not causally. In the ordinary sense that people mean when they say "happen by chance", meaning without design or will, nothing can actually happen. Perhaps this misunderstanding is partly caused by the fact that the biologists never have much contact with the mathematicians in the "Universities", but are often in competition with them over funding, etc.

Mary is doing better. Thank you for your prayers. She has a new Lotus Formula One rollator that should have flames painted on the sides and a new fold-up walking stick. She is getting more exercise and her muscle tone is better with better posture, etc. We are very encouraged and thankful. A woman in the Church in Moscow has a handicapped boy and because of Mary's expertise in therapy we were able to order a book for her on how to care for handicapped children at home.

Most of my teaching in the last 3 months as been in places where they cannot give an honorarium or sometimes even pay the travel expenses. We are very near zero with the finances, but amazed that God keeps us afloat and we have paid all the bills. God continues to open up doors of service. An invitation to Abidjan, Ivory Coast for March seems to be solidifying as well as one for 3 weeks in Australia from the end of May. The Lord will show us. Some Christian leaders I met in Sopron are interested in having a visit from me. They came from Novosibirsk, Zagreb, Lubljiana, Hungary and Slovakia. It would probably would be wise to travel less next year, but saying "no" is very hard.

Thank you for your support in prayer, friendship and finances. May the Lord bless and keep you all.

Yours in Christ,


Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

Here is a very rushed note, just before taking off for several points East. Since you last heard, the major efforts of EER have been in Moscow and Norway. You should get more details about these trips, but for now here are some photos. The time is Moscow was intense and very significant. A leader of the SEN work in Bratislava, Miro Jurik, went with me. I was very glad for the company and feedback. He also got a lot done. The Churches in Moscow would like more teaching and we are working on further visits. I should see some of them in Sopron next week at the European Leadership Conference.

Norway was beautiful, but it never got dark the whole week. There was a 3 week seminar on Worldviews for the leaders of various schools of YWAM. My part was the kick-off week and I pray they got a good start. We covered a lot of ground with 6 hours of lecture and some small group and private meetings each day for 6 days.

Mary has had some nerve degeneration in her legs. This makes her unaware of where her feet are and very unstable in walking, especially outside. She has organized various kinds of therapy and transportation and in managing pretty well. I need to schedule 2 or 3 weeks at home for an abdominal hernia surgery. Perhaps Sept/Oct.

Thank you, each one, for your prayers and support. The Lord keeps our finances above the water line. It is always an adventure. Someone gave a gift via PayPal and I could make it work. That seems to be a very easy and quick way.

God bless and keep you all.

Yours in Christ and for His Kingdom,


Midnight near Trondheim, Norway

Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

"God alone is God, but God is not alone."

This couplet has been a major theme in my teaching in various places and contexts recently. The God of the Bible alone is our source of Truth and only the God of the Bible is the foundation of human relationships.

Where has this teaching been? Right after the lecture in November on Buddhism in Cambridge for Christian Heritage a week of evangelistic meetings was held by the Czech Brethren Assembly of Nitra, Slovakia. The theme was "Spirituality" and the venue was the beautiful old Synagogue. This was my first teaching in a Synagogue and an emotional experience. About 50 people came and the Church members met several New Age, Naturalist, Humanist and Pagan neighbors who were interested in Spirituality. We had very interesting discussions. Then back to Basel to preach in the Brethren Assembly before taking off for a week in Hurlach, Germany at the YWAM base.

December was a bit quieter with a sermon in the Basel Brethren Assembly, a weekend conference for the Vinyard Church of Landsberg, Germany and teaching 2 groups of 80 teenagers about epistemology and spirituality at the Basel Explo. The Explo was another first time experience for me. It was out of my comfort zone, but the teens were great and I would gladly do it again. Keeping teens engaged for 105 minutes is a challenge. Working interactively helped a lot.

In January the Brethren Assembly of Basel organized an outreach of 2 Wednesday evening lecture/discussions and 2 connected Sunday sermons. It was an experimental effort, but the response was positive and we are all encouraged to try it again sometime. At the end of January the SCALD school of Arts invited me for a week in Germany. The first 2 weeks of February I taught at the YWAM base in Switzerland. It is much better to teach for 2 weeks as we can go more deeply into issues and get to know each in a more personal and relaxed way. Between the 2 weeks at YWAM the Swiss Reformed Church of Gossau in Kanton Zurich had a weekend seminar; lectures Friday evening, Saturday morning and afternoon and a sermon on Sunday. Our dear friends Jurg and Anne Faeh hosted me for the weekend and Anne translated all the teaching. This was the first time I had been priveledged to preach in a Swiss Reformed Church and a real joy to me.

Tiredness and the flu caught up with me in mid February and I am improving just in time to take off for 6 weeks teaching at the Gospel in Society Learning Community of SEN in Bratislava. During this time there will be a week of teaching at YWAM in Germany, a Church seminar and Easter sermon in Vienna and...

Mary has recovered very well from her broken back and is encouraged. The new cat, Timothy, is a great blessing and loves Mary especially. Our best friends and neighbors, Martin and Christine Berendt, whom I married, are moving to Zug, which makes us sad.

Please pray for my mother, Kathryn, who is alone and wanting to move.

Only God could explain our finances to you, but we are OK. Thanks to you through whom God blesses us financially and in other ways. We know several missionaries in Europe who should have collapsed financially because of the weak dollar, but God wants them where they are so they manage. This is a witness and encouragement.

Please let us have your news. May the Lord bless and keep you.

Yours in Christ,

Ellis & Mary Potter

SCALD school in German YWAM

Church on the hill in Gossau, Switzerland

Discipleship Training School, Switzerland

Timothy and Friend

Teaching in Nitra Synagogue

Nitra Synagogue exterior

Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

Spring has finally come to Basel! Today we planted the traditional red geraniums and white petunias in our window boxes. This is very Swiss. Later we put a blue lobelia or two in between to add and American touch. We want to do our civic bit. Recently, our town "Riehen" has been declared the highest rated town in Switzerland for amenities and quality of life. It is a gift from God to be living here. Riehen has a new Philharmonic orchestra. We went to their recent concert and were so impressed, we have decided to be sponsors of the orchestra.

Since our last letter, Ellis has been in Bratislava for 6 weeks of teaching at the SEN Gospel in Society Learning Community. Each student had a life changing experience and at least one became a believer in Jesus. During the Learning Community Ellis was in Vienna 2 weekends for teaching and preaching (at Easter) and a week in Hurlach, Germany to teach for YWAM. In Hurlach a friend took me horseback riding. This was a first and I'm hoping very much to do more of it next week when I am there again. Last week a former student, Fritz Hinrichs, who teaches home schoolers over the web, brought 22 students and parents here for an afternoon of teaching and discussion. It was a very special time and a joy to see Fritz doing such a wonderful job.

April 15-17 saw Mary and Ellis at a retreat for 60 students of the Strategic Life Training program of the Institute for Biblical Reform in a WMCA conference center above the lake of Neuchatel. Mary had a wonderful time. (see photo) The students were a varied group and it was a joy to be with them and teach them.

Tomorrow I will take an early train to Lausanne and preach in a Church there. Then back on the train to Augsburg, Germany and a week of teaching for YWAM. After one day back at home, I will fly to Bratislava for the SEN Staff Retreat and then on to Moscow for 12 days of teaching/training/preaching for some Russian Churches. Preparing for the Russia trip has included reading "Natasha's Dance" by Orland Figes, which I recommend.

Mary has developed some sort of nerve degeneration and is being dizzy and having trouble getting around. Please pray for this. Thank you, each of you, who pray for us and the work of EER and who participate in the finances, which are still, thankfully, in the black.

May the Lord bless and keep you.

Yours in Christ,

Ellis and Mary Potter

Teaching at SEN in Bratislava

Mary at the SLT Conference

Christmas 2004

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

Here is a quick report made between England and Slovakia.

In Cambridge they let me give a lecture to about 75 people in the Round Church, built in 1130 (!) on Buddhism. Some members of the Cambridge Buddhist Society came and there was a good discussion. The Lord gave us a good contact together. The next day I went to English L'Abri in Greatham where they let me have an evening with the students, which went from 8:00 until 11:30. We had a very good and open discussion of many things which I hope was a blessing to some of them.

Several of you wrote to ask which films we had seen in Romania. In Iasi we saw 'Simone' about identity and cyber identity, 'National Security' a comedy with themes of race relations (this was the least good film and produced the best discussion - it seems lots of people see low grade, brain candy films and can relate to them in important ways if guided a little), 'Black Cat, White Cat', a Serbian comedy about Gypsies (this was in Serbian with Romanian subtitles so I was a little lost) and 'Pay it Forward', a very emotional film about a boy who effects a redemptive scheme in society and dies trying to make it work. In Cluj Napoka we saw 'Gattaca', a science fiction futuristic film with similar themes as 'Brave New World'.

Tomorrow I will take the train for Vienna and go on from there to Bratislava and Nitra in Slovakia where I will give four evenings of teaching in the Old Synagogue. They expect many non-Christians to come. Please pray for the Lord's help in this project. I'm way out of my depth and comfort zone.

Thank you all for your prayers, friendship, moral and financial support. Travelling alone a lot, it is very comforting and encouraging to know there are partners behind me. God bless and keep you all.

Yours in Christ,


Round Church, built in 1130


Dear Friends of Eastern Europe Renewal:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you.

In his first letter, the Apostle John maintains he is not giving new teaching, but clarifying old teaching, which is always new. It is similar with the lectures and sermons God allows me to give in various places in the world. Students still are hearing about comparative worldviews, the nature of Truth and how we know it, the meaning and function of Art and Film and what it means to be "spiritual".

The longest teaching time for me since the last EER letter was in Bratislava at SEN, where they let me come for the whole 6 weeks of the Gospel in Society Learning Community. One of the highlights of that time was being able to help organize new glasses and a new wheelchair for Oleg, a great guy from Ukraine who works with orphans. (see photo)

An unexpected teaching opportunity came suddenly for the "Christian Artist's Seminar" near Toulouse, which was excellent. Several professional artists came together for refreshment, discussion, encouragement and they flew me down to "stimulate" them. One woman said she had never been so tired after 3 days as the discussions were moderately intense.

The Brethren Assembly here in Basel has asked me to preach 4 times a year for many years. Their elders recently met and decided to ask me 8 times a year. This is a great encouragement and Mary and I know many of the people quite well. I married 3 of the couples in that Church. We usually have lunch with folks on the Sundays I preach there. It is a very good contact and mutually encouraging.

The Youth With A Mission base in Wiler, Switzerland allowed me to test an experimental interactive learning program with their students in August. The subject was Church History which is traditionally a bit boring. The students got so excited, they forgot the coffee breaks and came in the evenings to do research. The program is available on request.

On 12 Oct. I will go to Romania for 8 days to help with the Film Festival in Iasi and give 2 days of teaching/training for the staff of the Quo Vadis Cafe in Cluj Napoka. Then we go 1 week to Centro Paladina. In November I should lecture in English L'Abri and in Cambridge on Buddhism, give 5 days of lectures in Nitra, Slovakia, and a week in YWAM, Germany.

My nephew, Rex, a Marine Lt. was wounded in Iraq and hospitalized in Germany, not far from us. I was able to drive up to see him for a couple of days. He is a strong, dynamic young man and dealing amazingly well with one blind eye and a painfully injured right hand. Please pray for decisions concerning his future. Thanks. He is a believer.

After many years of trying, a new possibility to give tax deductible receipts for gifts has come about with SEN. They have offered to take me under their tax-free umbrella and will send out the receipts for me. If more than $1000 a month comes in they take 10%, which is fine with me as I would tithe to them anyway. Here are their banking data: Bank One, 66 Main Street, Hobart, IN 46342 USA Routing number 074000010 Account number 616531380 They also take donations by VISA card and need card number, exp date, and exact name as on the card. They recommend sending the card number in two separate mails for safety. Please visit the SEN website at Mary has been dizzy and fallen a few times. We have a handicapped sticker for closer parking. Otherwise, she is in good health. A new cat named 'Henry' is tearing around our house.

God bless and keep you all. Please let us have your news.

Much love in Jesus, Ellis and Mary Potter

Oleg with New Glasses

Meal Fellowship at SEN

Group Work at SEN

Ellis and Mary at Centro Paladina

To contact Ellis please use the following email address: ellispotter@live.com