Tanja and I returned a week ago from our trip. Thank you to the many of you who prayed for us! The road from Ukraine took us through Poland, Holland, and Germany before ultimately arriving in Switzerland and it required multiple buses, a plane, and a car...but we made it. God was good to protect us and to provide people along the way to help us. I wasn't sure how driving in foreign countries to unknown destinations might go, but God blessed us and our rental car came equipped with a GPS which helped immensely in navigating the many miles we covered.
The primary objective of our trip was to attend a working conference related to the integration of people with spinal cord injuries across Europe. The conference took place in the beautiful little town of Nottwil. Most of the attendees of the conference, including the 4 other participants in my group, were people with spinal cord injuries. My group is focused on the topic of mobility, which suits me perfectly as a physical therapist. I had the opportunity to describe the situation in Ukraine related to tops such as poor access to mobility devices (wheelchairs and walkers) and lack of accessibility to buildings and transportation for wheelchair users. Our working groups continue for the next 2 years and I am hopeful that we will have some solutions to offer in these areas when we complete our work. I am also praying that some of the contacts we made with people from other countries that have more resources than Ukraine will be beneficial in some way for the work we are doing in Lutsk.
The view from the conference center in Nottwil
Before the conference, we were blessed to spend almost 3 days sightseeing in Switzerland with a friend of mine, Amanda Volkman. The pictures should speak pretty well for themselves on the beauty of this country:
Good morning Switzerland!!!
Looking over Lake Neuchatel
Grindelwald and Interlacken:
The Reformation Wall
Lake Geneva - see the Alps?
Swiss countryside - vineyards everywhere!
Good night Switzerland!
Heidelberg, Germany (on our way back to the airport after the conference):
On the last night we were staying in Aachen, Germany and while searching for a dinner spot we happened on to this little bakery. Like the name? So do I! Their pastries are pretty delicious too!
Hope you enjoyed the pictures! I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to witness the majesty of God's creation in other countries and to get a small taste of other cultures. We serve a big and mighty God!