In 1972, my dad lived and studied at L’Abri. L’Abri is a Christian community that was founded in the Alps of Switzerland by Francis and Edith Shaeffer (Edith wrote one of my all-time favorite books called “The Hidden Art of Homemaking“). The purpose of the community was to be a refuge for those wanting to learn more about God. From it’s inception in the 1950’s until present day, many people have wandered through it’s doors to question faith, study, and live in community.
My whole childhood, I heard my dad’s stories of L’Abri. Of his time living in a cozy chalet, working with his hands in the gardens, listening to lectures at the feet of Francis Shaeffer, meeting others on the faith journey, and just soaking in the majesty of the Alps. L’Abri is where my dad made his faith his own, and for that I am am ever grateful.
On our European Christmas vacation, we realized that L’Abri was only 30 minutes from our Chalet. It soon found itself on our itinerary of places to visit. After an insane car ride filled with icy roads and scenic views, we made our way to Huemoz, a town so small we actually drove past it the first time and had to turn around. Whoops!
From the minute we arrived, the magical place that filled stories in my childhood materialized around us. We ducked into the library, a two story building that was a central place of study. The top floor was warmed by a wood stove, and was dressed in comfy chairs and breathtaking views out huge windows. The bottom floor was where you could check out books and audiotapes to listen to lectures on all sorts of subjects.
We then walked up the hill to visit the chalet’s, and then just sauntered around the tiny town. Dad showed us the restaurants he used to frequent, and how one day a group of guys all played football in the churchyard. Lots of nostalgia was going on for all of us! haha!
I truly hope that sometime in my life I can spend more time at L’Abri. It is a life changing place for so many, and I would love to study and soak in God’s word in such a scenic environment. Maybe one day…but for now, i’m glad I got to visit. If you need a bit of a spiritual retreat or are wanting to study more in depth and are interested in possibly staying at L’Abri, you can find more information here.