Dear Friends of Swedish L’Abri
It is now more than 6 month since we moved to Lund from Mölle. During the autumn we enjoyed having people around us on a daily basis. We rented a Christian Café in town, one day a well and had an open house with lunch discussions. After a modest start with a few people after a while there was a steady, good size group showing up on Thursdays. Ellis Potter spent a few days with us in September and he spoke in various context, partly about his book, Three Theories of Everything. It was much appreciated.
People we have met here in Lund have found some kind of comfort in the fact that there is work like L’Abri. Some perceives it as radical to talk about Christian life as including all of life, all of reality. For many are of the opinion that the Christian life should be a constant joy ride and when they get to hear ”another version” there is a sort of relief, especially when life is not always that merry.
During the autumn, Stefan has, besides L’Abri, had two part-time jobs and worked on his doctorate in philosophy of religion. Lois has taken an introductory course in theology /Religious Studies, which has added a little to the household economy as Sweden is a country with benefits (pun intended). It has proved a well-needed stimulus after several years of mostly domestic life. After a while we found that it was too much for us to keep up the Thursday lunches at the café so we decided to have evening conversations in our home instead, which worked better.
The autumn has also been a time of reflection on our work in Swedish L’Abri, its past, present and future. After prayer and many conversations with each other and our colleagues in England we have come to the conclusion that we cannot see ourselves in this situation any longer. We have therefore decided to leave our engagement in L’Abri.
It has been a very difficult decision to make. However, since we took it we have in several ways had confirmations that it is a good decision. It is not sustainable for us as couple and family to continue with the work under the present circumstances. As much as we have found a joy in this work, it has had its costs and taken a toll on us. In all probability, the prospect we would be facing for the next few years would not change drastically: temporary living situations with no salary from L’Abri and hence the need for other part time jobs to keep afloat. Perhaps the strongest cause for our decision is that after four years of prayer and work we are still the only workers in L’Abri in Sweden.
Obviously, we realize that our decision will have big consequences for Swedish L’Abri as we are the only workers. The first of March the board have invited friends of Swedish L’Abri for a day to talk about the future and pray together. Naturally, this invitation is made for those who are at close distance, but prayers can always be effective at a distance and we would love to hear more from international friends.
The future for us as a family is in some ways open. We have to continue to trust in the providence of God also when we are not L’Abri workers. In the midst of all the hard thinking, and the decision, we have during the last months felt that the provision and care of the Lord has been remarkable. It turns out that we can move to a place whish is not new to us as my father and his wife are moving and we are moving into their house (outside of Oskarshamn in Småland) After having worked for eight years as missionaries it is a great gift to be able to settle in a house with a garden, especially after the three last years of temporary arrangements. Lois has already got a nursing job and Stefan will try his hand at academia (philosophy and theology) and is working hard to complete his doctoral diss. during the spring. All the details we have to leave to the Lord. We see great needs a quite lost Christianity in Scandinavia. Our hope is that what we have learnt during our years in L’Abri would be of some kind of use in His Kingdom. Although we are sad and grieve the fact that we will leave the international and Swedish L’Abri work, we also feel a deep gratitude to our Lord for what we have learned during these years from the Lord and all the people who have been in our home. It is a deep fragnance, which does not merely pass by but fills our inner being.
Warm Greetings/ Stefan and Lois Lindholm