Checking Out and In

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This is another rooftop sculpture near the UNESCO site.

Today I had to check out in order to go to the prayer conference for Moms in Prayer, just a short distance away.  Yes, the distance is short, but not convenient without a car.  What to do?

In the meanwhile, I decided that since I had time, and since God hadn’t told me not to go, I went back to try and find the UNESCO World Heritage Site called Palafittes.  The address I had for it was closed on Sunday, but today I was sure that it would be open, and indeed it was.

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My encouragement!

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This book was in the window of a bookstore near the University.

On the way I got my encouragement in the form of a Jewish restaurant sign.  It doesn’t look like the restaurant is there any more, but since the sign was etched in stone on the building, they haven’t bothered to try and chisel it off.

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This is a primary example of masonic witchcraft architecture.

When I got there, it looked like it was just the archaeology library for the University of Basel.  But hold on!  When I stepped inside the door I saw that there was a Masonic staircase leading up to the library.  You might look at it and say that it’s just artistic or whatever.  The staircase consists of two curving stairs held apart by two columns and encased in a large cylinder with an opening.  Light shines down from above to represent moving up into greater illumination while also entering a womb.  Needless to say, I took the building’s back stairs instead.

Turns out that it was the archaeology library.  While I was there, I decided to ask about Helvetia[1].  After all, they didn’t just pull that name out of thin air.  There had to be a root, and where better to find it than in the archaeology library, right?  The librarian was very helpful, but had no knowledge about Helvetia.  She first led me right to the same Wikipedia page where I had found an image of Helvetia.  Eventually, she found something about how the early Swiss tribes.  I was fascinated as she read:

The Helvetii were a Gallic tribe living on the Swiss plateau at the time of their contact with the Roman Empire in the first century BC.

Interesting timing: just before Jesus shows up[2].  And about the Swiss plateau: from my train rides yesterday[3] I could see that Basel and all the area around it is pretty flat.  I said, “So they must have lived here.”  She agreed.  Now I had something specific to pray about that name[4].  As she turned to help another person, I turned to leave, praying and blessing her as I went out.

Just down the street I had seen the crazy fountain that I remembered from my first trip to Basel in 2007.  So on the return trip I took a video of it (which unfortunately doesn’t seem to have uploaded to my computer).  Then I returned to the hotel.  I had already checked out, but had left my luggage there.  I had also gotten permission to make and eat my lunch there in the communal kitchen and dining room.

After lunch I washed my dishes and called an Uber.  I really like Uber because you don’t have to pay in the local currency.  In much of Europe you can’t pay a taxi with a credit card, but the Uber is already paid online.  My driver didn’t speak much English.  He said he’s learning English.  But he really wanted to talk to me, so using all the English he knew, he told me that he’s Kurdish[5].  When his GPS took us the wrong way, he apologized profusely and promised that I wouldn’t need to pay the excess.  I told him it’s OK because I know he didn’t do it on purpose, but he insisted, and when the app wouldn’t let him refund me some of the fare, he pulled a ten franc note from his pocket to pay me.  I really didn’t want to take it, but he insisted, saying that it would shame him as a Kurd to take my money like that.  So I took it, praying a blessing over him which he didn’t understand at all.  Never mind, God understands.

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I just love my cozy little cell.

Then I checked into the conference center.  This is a great place.  The bedrooms are on the floor above the conference room, but the dining hall is a short walk away.  In my opinion this is an ideal setup, allowing for rest between sessions, but a nice walk to and from meals.  When I saw my room, I was thrilled.  It’s a lovely little monastery cell of a room with a sink in it.  The shared bathroom is just outside my door.

I had missed most of the first day here, but joined the others for dinner and the evening session.  I am the only one here who doesn’t speak German, and all of these kind women immediately switched their speech to English in order to include me.

When I got back to my room and had a chance to look at the materials they gave me, I was surprised to see that the focus verse for our prayers was:

Rise during the night and cry out.  Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord.  Lift up your hands to Him in prayer, pleading for your children, for in every street they are faint with hunger, (Lamentations 2:19).

I was surprised because I had just read that verse in my morning Bible time, and this was a powerful confirmation for being here.

I also got another confirmation for being here: on my first Faith Trip the first place God sent me was to a conference[6] in Budapest, where I met Kathryn, the leader of Moms in Prayer Europe.  With a start I realized that the first place God sent me on this Faith Trip was to this conference, where again I see Kathryn.  When I told her about this confirmation, Kathryn was surprised and delighted to be used by God to encourage me.

That’s the thing, God uses us to bless and encourage each other, but often in ways that we couldn’t have planned for.  Go out and bless one another!  God is good!

[1] See My Day on the Trains.

[2] Actually, most experts agree that Jesus was born between 6 and 4 BC, based on the appearance of a slow-moving comet that was recorded in China in the year 5 BC.  His crucifixion was between 30 and 33 AD.

[3] See My Day on the Trains (link above).

[4] And I admit, I was very happy to know that the name was a tribal name and not a Nephilim name.

[5] The Kurdish people are the only Middle Eastern people who have stood with Israel, despite being mostly Muslim.  Perhaps it is because they sympathize with Israel’s situation, being themselves a marginalized people group with no homeland of their own.  Kurdistan should be in the mountainous region straddling the borders of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Armenia.

[6] Hope for Europe.

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