Monday, 15 September 2014

News Update

Holiday evenings in lounge

 It's been a busy summer in Haus Barnabas and before we, Phyl and Len, take a little break in our camper van, heading south to find more sunshine, we want to give a little report on the season.

Setting off on the 2.9 km mountain coaster in Todtnau


The first four pictures show those who came with the Pitsea Family Holiday enjoying various activities.

At the top of the Belchen, approx 4,600 ft
There was strong Christian element to the holiday with morning devotions for those who managed to get up, a children's programme after breakfast during part of the fortnight when the theme was the Biblical story of Daniel and occasional evenings for discussion on a particular subjects with the adults.

Steam train on the 3 lakes line from Titisee
    Because of the size of the group twelve needed to be accommodated in village rooms which makes us long to be able to begin our deveopment project in our large roof space which would provide more guest rooms.

     Immediately following the Family Holiday we had another large group from the Christian Walkers Club anda this too was a great success. 

Phyl with Charlotte from France
     We are deeply thankful to God for providing willing voluntary helpers during the summer and so grateful to them each for their diligent work.

We conclude this brief report with a few pictures of some of those who have given of their time and  talents to serve God in Haus Barnabas with us thius year. Apologies if your picture is not included..

Kate and Charles

Andy & Henry working in our forest

Daily Manna: Bible readings with meditation

Scripture readings
He will not be afraid of evil tidings.
       He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."
       Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;  For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught. The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?
       Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?
       And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord
       And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Psalm 112:7 - Ps 91:1-2 - Prov 3:25-26; Ps 27:1 - Ps 56:3-4 - 2 Kings 19:14 - Rom 8:28-29.

Suggested additional reading:  2 Kings 19 14-20; 32-34

adapted from C.H. Spurgeon's 'Morning & Evening'
He will not be afraid of evil tidings. -  Psalm 112:7
       Christian, you don't need to be frightened by bad news. If you are, what's the difference between you the unbelieving world? Others don't have your God to fly to; they have never proved His faithfulness as you have, and it is no wonder if they are bowed down with alarm and cowed with fear. But you profess to be of another spirit; you have been born again unto a lively hope, and your heart lives  in  heaven and not on earthly things. Now, if you are seen to be distracted as other men, what is the value of that grace which you profess to have received? Where is the dignity of that new nature which you claim to possess?
        Again, if you are be filled with alarm, as others are, you are in danger of being led into the sins so common to others under testing circumstances. When unbelievers are suddenly confronted with bad news they often react against God. They murmur, and think that God deals unjustly with them. Will you fall into that same sin? Will you provoke the Lord as they do? Moreover, unconverted men often run to wrong means in order to escape from difficulties, and you will be sure to do the same if your mind gives in to the present pressure. 'Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.' (Ps 37:7)  Your wisest course is to do as Moses did at the Red Sea, “Stand still and see the salvation of God.” For if you give way to fear when you hear bad news, you will be unable to meet the trouble with that calm composure which nerves for duty, and sustains under adversity.
        How can you glorify God if you play the coward? Saints have often sung God’s high praises in the fires, but will your doubting and desponding, as if you had no one to help you, magnify the Most High? Then take courage, and relying in sure confidence upon the faithfulness of your covenant God, “let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:1)
         O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see;
         O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone.                                                                   2 Kings 19: 15-16;19

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

News Update

Todtnau Chairlift up Hasenhorn mountain
 If you have holidayed with us in Haus Barnabas you will have appreciated the wonderful provision of the Konus Guest Card. All guests staying in the area are duty bound to pay the local 'Kurtax' which for Utzenfeld is now 2.40 Euro per night. In exchange you receive a guestcard and a number of tokens for free or concessionary use of local tourist attractions and entry into museums etc.
    Your guestcard acts as a bus and train pass for free use of public transport over a very wide area of the Black Forest. In fact it will take you as far as Karlsruhe, 170 km north of us, all for free as long as you don't use intercity trains.
     The good news is that in 2014 there are added concessions. Now in addition to free entry into our
Mountain coaster (2.90 km) back down mountain
open air swimming pools and use of mini golf as often as you like you, there is a token for a free ride up the Hasenhorn mountain by chairlift and free ride down the longest mountain coaster in Germany, (2.9 km). See pictures. Other tokens give FREE entry into a local amusement park  (Steinwesen),  the cable-car and tower on the Feldberg mountain, two different thermal baths as well as several museums.
   Guests of all ages enjoy these facilities and many have expressed astonishment at the German efficiency and regularity of the bus and train services and the consideration and helpfulness of most of the drivers.

Guests arriving at top of Hasenhorn mountain

Group photo at approx 3800 ft

Friday, 16 May 2014

News Update

At long last more news from Haus Barnabas

The above picture shows some of us at our Easter Conference. Peter Ninnis, who has recently retired from his pastorate in Truro, Cornwall gave us five extremely helpful talks on the subject of 'God's Providence' having himself been much blessed by the puritan John Flavel's book The Mystery of Providence in recent years. Our resident guests over the weekend came from a wide area, Yorkshire, Huntingdon, Cheshire and the Alsace region of France and we were pleased to welcome more local visitors from Switzerland and Germany to a few of the meetings.

The week after Easter was also eventful with a visit from a Malaysian Christian couple with a Chinese background who are currently teaching at a Bible school in Malaysia. 'Joey' is also working on a doctorate at Spurgeon's College and they were visiting Europe before returning home. It's a tremendous blessing for us to meet Christians from all over the world and to hear how God in remarkably wonderful ways has called them to faith in His Son Jesus. Also immediately after Easter we had a 'Fellowship and Prayer Weekend' for 'Friends of Haus Barnabas'. Spurgeon commented that prayer can be likened to the moon! The moon moves the tides, and the full moon, reflecting the full face of the sun, has the greatest effect, causing the greatest movement of the waters. As we prayed for the Black Forest, for the witness of Haus Barnabas and all future developments, i.e. in regard to staff and projects, including the proposed extension into the roof with more guest rooms and a seminar room, we can believe that asking in the name of our Lord Jesus, our heavenly Father will move in power and do what seems Him right for our blessing and His glory.

There are always many jobs to do the house and grounds and the enthusiastic, practical support of guests and friends who see ways in which they can help and arrange to come back specifically to combine a holiday with some works thrills us. Here in the picture it was our Easter guest-speaker who stayed on to exercise his practical skills.

There are exciting new developments taking place in 2014. A new couple Jonathan and Ruth join us next week with the possibility of a longer term involvement in the ministry. Also building plans for a small apartment, adapting a loft room over the double garage for Len and Phyl's partial retirement, have now been passed by the local authority. There are indications that much of the work on this can be carried out by voluntary helpers! Your continued interest and prayers are so much appreciated. Please also find the opportunity to come and spend time with us. The income from our guests together with financial support from like-minded friends keep the work going and we are humbled by the testimony of those who have found encouragement and blessing in Haus Barnabas and some for the first time brought to a living faith in Christ.

Len and Phyl with Tim and Deb Brooks and Tom and Esther.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

News Update

Our, (Len & Phyl's) UK trip in November took us up the eastern side of the country. It was good to meet up with our friends in Basildon.  David and Christine Barnes had arranged a reunion for those who have come to Haus Barnabas for the Pitsea Family Holidays in recent years. Richard and Michelle whose conversion dates back to a week in Haus Barnabas in 2009, cooked us all a roast dinner.
It's so encouraging to see this couple growing in the Christian faith and to hear how God has been working in their family and particularly in their oldest son Ricky. David McCann who with his wife Liz have led the Bible programmes during the holidays, came up from Southampton and organised a number of activities for us. We also were able to talk with several who were expressing interest in coming to HB in 2014! On the Sunday Len preached at   Fryerns Baptist Church in the morning and gave a report of Haus Barnabas at Kingswood Baptist Church in the evening. We spent two very comfortable nights in our campervan in the Kingswood Church car park by kind permission.
During the following week we enjoyed visiting and catching up wtih friends in Cambridge and  Norwich before arriving in Durham on Thursday evening. It was very interesting to revisit Ripon on our journey north and to drive by our old haunts of thirty years ago!
We were wonderfully entertained in Durham and Phyl's birthday on the Friday was celebrated in style with a meal out in the evening. On Saturday we motored down to Otley in Yorkshire for our 'Northern Reunion'. This is the fifth year we have held this and was the best attended ever with a large contingent from the Yorkshire Christian Ramblers Association and friends from the Yorkshire Dales in the north, and from Derbyshire further south.  We are pleased to have an enthusiastic organiser from the Ramblers Association promoting holidays with so much interest for a 2014 holiday that we are already needing extra accommodation outside the house. 
On Sunday morning Len preached at Langley Park Baptist Church, Durham and it was good to renew fellowship with our friends there, several of whom have holidayed with us in past years.
We made a number of calls on our way back south including a brief visit to a longstanding friend in Braintree who was delighted to show us how her grandchildren had grown. The campervan enables us to be independant. We can as necessary overnight in motorway stops or secure parking places, cook ourselves a simple meal on the two burner gas stove, deal with any emails needing attention and sleep comfortably in our double bed with its memory mattress. Although very compact it's real luxury camping, even in winter with a heater blowing hot air around and a boiler for hot water.

Our next call was Horley, near Gatwick airport, where we had our first home and our two sons were born. It was wonderful to visit another longstanding friend who had been a young teenager in our youth club there in the early 1970s, going on with the Lord and now Church secretary in Horley Baptist Church.

So back to our UK base with our kind friends in Ashford where I'm allowed to use the dining room as an office and we could spend many hours printing and stapling our 2013 news report to get into the post before we returned to Germany.
To read the annual news report you can find it via the following link to our website. 

Friday, 18 October 2013

News Update

This autumn's reformation programme in Haus Barnabas included for the first time a day's visit to the city of Geneva. The photo shows us in the university park by the 'reformation wall' in front of Theodore Beza (1519-1605), John Calvin (1509 -1564), William Farel (1489-1565) and John Knox (c.1513-1572).
    The majority of our group were from Scotland so, in addition to John Calvin himself, there was a special interest in the Scottish reformer John Knox!
   Dr John Glass who pastors a reformed church in Geneva showed us around the Calvin sites of the city, giving us many interesting facts about the reformer and the influence of his Biblical preaching and writings not only in Geneva but throughout many surrounding countries in 16th century Europe.
    Our programme this autumn had John Calvin as its main emphasis and our guest speaker, Ian Jemmett, gave us four sessions on the man Calvin himself and then warmed our hearts in directing us to the teaching he expresses in his famous Institutes on the nature of God as Trinity and also His providential control of the world and of each of us as individuals.
   We aim to give time for more relaxing moments in our programme and in visiting Ulrich Zwingli's birth place in Wildhaus we took the opportunity of a lovely October day to take a cable car up the surrounding Swiss Alps. Our photo shows some of us picnicing 'on top of the world' at well over 7,000ft!

    Once again in 2013 we are offering charity Christmas cards and this year all profits will help the building fund in Haus Barnabas.
Click for full details and order form


Monday, 2 September 2013

News Update

We apologise for lack of news for so long. The summer has been a busy time for us in Haus Barnabas and we have been glad to welcome guests from a wide area of the UK ranging from Yorkshire across to North Wales and down to Frome, Southampton, Ashford and Basildon in the south.

 The Basildon Family Holiday group above were with us for 10 days. David and Liz McCann led an evening programme for both the children and the adults based on some of Jesus's challenging words in His sermon on the mount. The group photo above was taken after an enjoyable BBQ in the garden on their last evening before we saw them off on the bus to Basel from where they travelled by train back to Ebbsfleet and home.

Following on from this large group from Essex a further group came to us for a different type of holiday. Seventeen members of the Christian Ramblers Association mostly from the Yorkshire branch descended via Basel airport for a walking holiday. They expressed great appreciation for the Christian family atmosphere in the house and most entered enthusiastically into our morning devotions. Here are a couple of pictures of them enjoying the Black Forest.

   We have been extremely grateful for voluntary help during this busy season and the students and young people who have devoted part of their summer in assisting us have entered well into community life in Haus Barnabas. Most have spoken of the spiritual benefit of their time with us and are returning year after year as long as their circumstances allow.

We look forward now to providing a reformation programme in early October when our house accommodation is once again insufficient for the number of participants booked and we are needing to use additional rooms in the village, as we have already had to do several times this summer.

Marilyn Baker, the blind singer and song writer, together with her companion and co-worker Tracy Williamson are due to be with us again in the New Year (8th - 14th January 2014), God willing. We are only just beginning to advertise this so there is still room availability if you  are interested.


Len & Phyl and team