I have been out of the blog habit for a few weeks now. No real reason aside from the many conflicting priorities of life. For example, right now I am on business travel sitting at an outdoor cafe in old town Basel, Switzerland enjoying a freshly poured cola by a nice waitress while listening to street musican Tribela classically exhibit his cello skills. I have been in Switzerland all week and it has been a challenging combination of jet lag, a mild illness, and long corporate meetings. But that is not necessarily an excuse for not blogging — it just hasn’t happened.

And that’s not to say that there hasn’t been anything worth blogging. There were stories in my meeting Gary, a morning with Joe, an Abraham lesson, and a side of the road hat trick. We’ll see if I retrospectively go back and blog each of those experiences, but for right now I am going to focus on the one God placed right in front of me today. It became the highlight of my week. And it was my encounter with two of God’s servants on earth – Elisabeth and Ruth.

My meetings for the entire week were finally completed. I was not lucky enough to be invited to the 1pm-4pm final meeting (which I say tongue in cheek), so I decided to abandon my hotel room and fast internet connection for the slower pace of Swiss life — slower connectivity-wise as well as pace-wise. I relocated to the scene described above – Restaurant Schlusselzunft on Freie Strasse — a Troy Aikman football throw away from the Marketplatz in old town Basel. My intent was to actually get some computer work done on my laptop but for once blogging has actually become a higher priority than what I was planning (I guess blogging ranks higher than work).

Across from me is Tribela who I had met earlier in the week playing cello at this same location. He was so good that I bought his classical music cello CD for future enjoyment. And now I am enjoying his live concert while I imbibe in a cold-ish drink which cost way too much in Swiss francs…..and even more in U.S. dollars. However, I substantially tipped the waitress so she wouldn’t kick me out of the outdoor cafe while enjoying this very European atmosphere.

But I am digressing from my story. I made my way down the main street from my hotel to catch the local tram. Basel has a very nice, clean and efficient streetcar/train system that allows you quick access to most parts of the city. I sat down to wait for the #6 line which was due to arrive in 4 minutes. And knowing the punctual Swiss, it would only take 4 minutes. The day was perfect — sunny, warm around 21C (70F for you stateside), and early afternoon with boundless possibilities. Soon enough an older lady approached me and said something in German while handing me a brochure I could not read. When I said that I did not understand German, she reached into her bag, gave me another brochure and switched to English. Knowing now that I could not fein inability to communicate (since she switched to English), I prepared a defense for whatever she was peddling. However, when she mentioned Jesus and I caught a glance at my now-English brochure, I realized she was a fellow believer obediently spreading the Gospel. We engaged in a delightful conversation and I was impressed with her fortitude and willingness to put herself out there. She had literature material in 70 languages and while she could not communicate in all those languages, she had the necessary road signs to direct people in the right direction — to Jesus. She said she carries those materials with her so she can give them away while on the train. But when she goes out in public to specifically do what she was currently doing, she always goes with a fellow believer because of the command Jesus gave to go out two by two. In fact, her fellow sister in Christ was on a bench behind us praying and managing the literature.

Somehow we got onto the topic of small cards and I showed her my “business card” that I use to connect people with Jesus. It seems Elisabeth uses the same company I use to get the cards made inexpensively. She had some cards made specifically for Muslims. It is in Arabic and points them to a website created by a guy who used to be a Muslim but converted to Christianity and is using his conversion as a tool for others. The websites are www.hayatfudla.org and www.enjeely.com. I have not yet been to them but if they are at all like what Elisabeth is doing in spreading the Gospel, they are God’s tool.

NOTE — Tribela has just packed up and unfortunately my beautiful cafe atmosphere just went down a notch.

Elisabeth took me over to her friend for an introduction. Her name is Ruth and together they are Christ’s disciples in Basel spreading His Gospel message of salvation. I was, again, impressed with their obedience, humility, and service.

NOTE — no sooner has Tribela vacated than an accordian toting man shows up 50 meters up the street peddling his fare of tunage.

Before I departed, I asked Elisabeth and Ruth to pose for a picture. We also prayed together and I left them with some resources that I hope will continue their printing and distribution mission here in Basel. With our goodbyes, I let them know that, coindicentally, it was National Day of Prayer in the U.S. My meeting with them was also the highlight of my week and I will continue to keep both of them in my prayers. What a great example they are for all of us. And I love writing about all the other servants of Christ who are out in our midst.

What a wonderful surprise it was to bump into Elisabeth and Ruth and even more, wonderful, what surprises God has for us during our days if we are open to them.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net


  1. Christine says:

    Glad you found some Jesus in Basel! 🙂 Have a safe trip home!

  2. LSatt says:

    Dan, this is an amazing story. Since is far more than a personal experience of your travels I have been enlightened today. Thanks for blogging this story. Just a fitting note. Those two spiritual warriors are just as fortunate as you for the meet-up!

    I’m praying for you to have a safe and pleasant trip back home to your loved ones who have missed you.

  3. Mrs. Aslowerpace says:

    Are you being a flirt?

  4. Caroline says:

    What a lovely and uplifting story