The miracle of Trachselwald

Personal thoughts of Walter and Susanne Wieland

On Tuesday evening – ten days bevor the Openair started – the rain stopps when the brassband starts playing in the shelter of the castle farm. Monday after the Openair, late at night, when the 30t stage and the wooden highway are cleared away, the rain starts again with thunder and lightning. During the “three days with the Sermon on the Mount” there is warm, summery weather. Thousands of people from far and close, a grand total of over 10'000 people, come together at the castle of Trachselwald. Everything flows smoothly. The mood is undiscribable, friendly and joyful. The steep hill turns out to be the perfect arena thanks to the original tribune. Everyone feels comfortable, stays for hours, singing along joyfully, lifts the hands to the heavens or just enjoys being still and listening. Dancers and colorful flags of every kind bridge the gap between stage and audience. The LED-wall projects bright images, lyrics and the words of the Sermon on the Mount for the audience. The technician, who usually drive with it to international festivals ask; “where is the police? Why aren’t there beer bottles all over the place?” Children dance, sing and play in front of the stage, dogs bark,once in a while one can hear the church bells from the village. Surrounded by the gentle Emmental scenery, one can see the beautiful sun rise and set, the stars twinkel, the dew come and go. A group of pastors of the reformed state church and many more pray through the whole night. Sometimes, the traffic holds up till Ramsei, so that many rub their eyes in unbelief. To the biggest newspaper in the Canton of Berne, the whole is only a picture with a caption of a few lines – even that has to be this way. The initiator of the Year of the Anabaptists expresses his astonishment over what fruit has come from his idea. A retired state church pastor from the Canton of Zurich managed to show the Bernese people what feast they prepared for Jesus with this Year of the Anabaptists, and that the radicality of the Sermon on the Mount can only be fulfilled through Jesus in us. The visiters donate a five-figure for the family whose farm burned down. Helpers from many churches work day and night. Many sacrifice one or more weeks of holidays. Not few don’t get anything from the program because they are cleaning the toilets, regulating traffic or being another part of the impeccable organisation. In the court of the castle, people stand in line to see the installation to the Sermon on the Mount as well as the prison cells. The impressive stage design illustrates in an excellent way that the dicipleship of Jesus means sowing in tears as well as reaping with joy. A radio station airs three hours of interviews and parts of the program into the Bernese Oberland, while thousands of visiters of the Openair as well as the Hochfest on the Engstligenalp bless each other with joyful shouts and inquire about the weather. The stage is shared by a brassband from the Emmental, bands from the Oberland and Bern as well as famous worshippers from Canada. There is no trace of competition. Everyone just wants the one thing; that Jesus can recover lost spance and that the original strong faith of the Anabaptists will live again in us. The owner of a threshing company from the Emmental describes impressively what his faith means to him and asks God to send workers to the great harvest. A prophet passes on words of insight, so that God touches individual lives – also through the cards with Bible verses from the Sermon on the Mount that are handed out by helpers at the North/South gate. All these thing, that’s something only God can do, and that is why all the glory belongs to Him!

 

Pieces from the countless feedback mails we got. Thank you so much!

~

This morning, I could be part of the Openair when I listen to the radio. It tourched me and made me glad. I grew up in Trachselwald and I always suffered from being “religious”. It makes me glad to see what it possible in the Emmental with God’s help, and how much He is working there!
- H.F.

~

Friday evening when I came to the Openair, I was already kind of sick. I managed to get through the whole evening and part of the night in the prayer tent. After a pretty short night, I was back on Saturday. I was part of the Ad-hoc choir, and I experienced a lot of attacks. Saturday shortly before the performance I could hardly talk, but then when I sang (with many prayers), I was without pain and my voice was clear. At 11.00pm, I had to go home. I had a good night’s sleep, but then in the morning, I felt very sick. Everything hurt, my voice was gone. I started praying again, proclaimed the name of Jesus over the attacs. In the middle of this spiritual warfare I realized that I had not thanked Jesus for the miracle the day before. When I did this with great joy, I could feel a deep warmth in my body, my airways opened up an the pain in my body stopped instantly! Praise the Lord!
- M.M.

~

Today, we all left the Openair changed. We are amazed and thankful for all the things that God has done in these three days for us, in the visible as well as the invisible world!
- B.M.

~

My wife and me went home with such a blessing from God. The presence of the Spirit was already noticeable when coming on the grounds. Everything so peaceful but still so powerful. I would like to mention especially the perfect organisation. What a testimony! What a dedication of all those many Marthas and Marys!
I would also like to mention that my feelings of inferiority, that I have suffered from since my childhood (now I am 54 years old) are gone!! Praise the Lord!! In every part of the openair, tears just streamed down my face and there was nothing I could do about it. God just loved me and I loved Him. It was amazing! The community with Jesus grew so much deeper. The couscouisness, that He wants to be LORD of my life, had grown.
- H.S.

~

Great great great…. (on and on) –weekend!!!
This weekend really brought us again a step closer to Jesus. We want more, closer, bigger steps.
- R.W.

~

It was simply awesome what happened. First of all, all praise and thanks ro such an awesome God, who stands to His promises even today and who has blessed this event richly. But then, also highest respect to the organisation and the helpers! To not consider the idea of an openair beneath the castle of Trachselwald as a crazy thought and to go on, that takes a lot of overcoming, courage, trust and confidence. What has been accomplished in the last weeks is impressive! Thank you so much! Certainly, signs were set for the visible and the invisible world. I am looking forward to seeing the effect of those sings.
- T.vE.

~

We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the wonderful days we could spend in Trachselwald, we felt God’s presence so strongly. We are part of those mennonites who think that this openair definitly had its place in the Year of the Anabaptists and we are thankful that we could be part of it.
On the way home to the Jura we thought about all the Anabaptists who went this way by foot and made this for them strange land a home also for us. On this way home we also took the liberty of taking one of the wonderful posters in order to bring it to the Jura as a memory. We will hang it the backstage of the Bigboss Festival (www.bisbossfestival.com), which takes place on our farm. We are ready to pay you something if that’s what you intended.
We were touched very deeply by the bernese worship songs, maybe because, as a child, we talked like that to our parents. We also felt a deep unity during the worship. We were never bored: the appealinig testimony, the reading of Scripture, the short impulses, the inspiring and meaningful sermon by Geri Keller, all of that was simply encouraging and invigorating for our daily life and our walk with the Lord.
- G.G.

~

I would like to express my joy! Many thanks to your courage and your trust to make a christian openair. The peaceful athmosphere and the many joyful people were a testimony for Jesus Christ, who lives in us. Gladly I think back to those days on the mountain! God’s word will stay forever.
- M.F.

~

We were simply hooked and finally, we were there every time except Saturday morning, even though we didn’t plan it. But one could just feel the presence of the Lord so deeply, and everything was prepared so carefully, there was no hectic rush, only quietness and peace. We were especially happy that it was for free, so that even people who don’t have a lot of money could come.
- E.K.

~

"Trachselwald" will keep living in us. We were always there with a whole bunch of people from our church and I have heard so many good echos that I want to thank you in their names.
We will take up the whole theme also as a church. God encouraged me to look up and walk His way with big faith. It’s not about a direction or something man made, it’s just about Jesus taking His space in our daily walk.
- M.H.

~

The Openair was balm for the soul! It motivated me afresh to walk consistent with the Spirit of the Anabaptist. The music from Brian Doerksen and CLZ were just perfect, the sermons encouraging, the scenery paradisiac!
- T.M.

~

I was in Trachselwald Friday evening and Sunday.
I really want to thank you for the fine way of Paul Veraguth, Walter Wieland and Geri Keller talked in their addresses, clear but inviting. It was deeply moving to see the love with which the message was spokedn. They understood not to stay on one point, but to focus on living with Jesus and His yearning for us. I would like to thank you for that.
I was also touched by the honest and ready-to-receive attitude of Erich Reber. Very great were also the songs, especially the bernese songs on Friday evening. But also the wonderful and simple songs of Brian.
But again, in all this is was the most impressive thing to see how we can be glad in Jesus Christ and everything else and all people and names just move to the background. That is a wonderful gift for which I am extremely thankful. Here, the source and strength of my faith has been renewed and strengthend. Praise the Lord for this.
- M.H.

~

I am still filled with the days in Trachselwald. A dream – but not a dream, but God’s real holiness to touch, noticable, visible, even just the background of worshipping people...! Glory in your church, in the Emmental, in Switzerland, Glory... M.H.
I enjoyed all three days extremely. The many times in worship were so good and the imputs motivated me. God has shown me two specific areas where I want to move forward, and He has also encouraged me and shown me that where we sow with tears, we will reap with joy! I am looking forward!
- C.S.

~

We are deeply moved by what God has made possible through you. You are God’s heroes! We can only guess what it must have costed you, and this is and stayes endlessly valuable and precious. Our hearts have found peace which strengthens us and fills us with faith. God is building His church!
- V.S.

~

Halleluja!
- WebM