On Living in the Desert by Jacob Marques Rollison


This guest lecture examines what we may learn from looking at the theme of desert in the Bible. To do this, Dr. Marques Rollison presents a look at a newly published essay by the late french theologian Jacques Ellul. (Q&A at end of talk).

You can subscribe to our podcast at https://anchor.fm/swiss-labri or
listen to it here

You can also find it in your podcast app.

Imagination and Hope by Aaron Fortune




Our imaginations are things that we talk about a lot, but sometimes its hard to take them seriously. We will look at how they are important to our lives and their role in our ability to see hope or despair in situations. Also, there a discussion about Hume, Kant, and some assorted poets if that’s interesting to you.

You can subscribe to our podcast at https://anchor.fm/swiss-labri or listen to it here

You can also find it in your podcast app.



Irony, Cynicism & Hope by Richard Bradford

Swiss-Labri-podcast-logoWe live in a society that many of us feel leaves much to be improved. As we are trying to imagine a better world, we can get trapped and discouraged. We can become cynical and even hateful. This is all the more frustrating when hatred is one of the things that we are trying to fight against. There are no easy answers to this, but the ideas in this lecture can be helpful reminders when thinking of these things.

You can subscribe to our podcast at https://anchor.fm/swiss-labri



You can also find it in your podcast app.

Describing Joy by Amelia Lind


What is the meaning of joy in our lives, and how does it differ from happiness and pleasure? Could it be more? Amelia Lind explores this question and works towards creating a description of joy, something which so often escapes words.

You can subscribe to our podcast at https://anchor.fm/swiss-labri/episodes/Describing-Joy-efp8fh or listen to it here


You can also find it in your podcast app.


Coping with Depression by Prisca Sandri



This episode is the personal reflection of former worker Prisca Sandri on her depression and how she advises others who also struggle.

You can subscribe to our podcast at https://anchor.fm/swiss-labri/episodes/Coping-with-Depression-by-Prisca-Sandri-efeitq  or listen to it here


You can also find it in your podcast app.

Resources for Grappling with Suffering (Interview with Katrina Fortune)



In this episode we have an interview discussing the topic of suffering. This includes reviews of a couple of books on the topic and also a discussion of things that can help or not help when times are tough.

Listen here or subscribe to our podcast at: https://anchor.fm/swiss-labri/episodes/Resources-for-Grappling-with-Suffering-eem1h8


A Sociological Approach to Doubt/De-conversion with Dr. John Marriott



This week we are pulling out a lecture that was given last summer by one of our  guest lecturers, Dr. John Marriott. Professor Marriott teaches at Biola University and has done some very interesting work on the sociology of religion. This lecture addresses what he has discovered through studying the reasons people have left the Christian faith. For more info about Dr. Marriott and his work check out his website https://www.johnmarriott.org/.

You can listen here, subscribe to our podcast at https://anchor.fm/swiss-labri/episodes/A-Sociological-Approach-to-DoubtDe-conversion-eeduuj or check it out in your podcast app.

If you are curious about the discussion episode mentioned in the launch post, we are shelving that for now. Feel free however to discuss in the comments below.


Podcast: Boredom by Richard Bradford


Submit discussion questions for our next episode in comments below.

Why are we so bored? What does this mean for us spiritually? How do we respond to boredom and where does it come from?

In this lecture we begin to try to grapple with answers to these questions.

Please leave questions and comments below so that we make them part of our discussion of the lecture in our next episode. More info.


Listen here:

L’Abri Podcast Launch


Hey everyone,

We are starting a podcast for Swiss L’Abri! Also, during this time where we are not accepting students due to COVID-19 issues, we are using the podcast as our lecture and discussion platform. So stay tuned for lectures and talks that we will be releasing in the next months. These will be mentioned here on our blog with a comment box for discussion of the lecture. We will then select some of the questions and comments that listeners make on our blog page and we will record our discussion of them to be released as our followup episode on the podcast.


Podcast home page: https://anchor.fm/swiss-labri


Episodes should also be available in most podcast stores as well as on Spotify.

Newsletter January 2020

January 2020

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”.

Dear friends,

We recently said goodbye to another wonderful group of students, including nearly twenty long-termers who spent two months together. 

Many of the rhythms and characteristics of L’Abri stay quite consistent, and yet each term, the particular combination of students, helpers, and workers provide a unique personality and flavor. And in profound as well as subtle ways we are impacted, maybe even transformed, as we engage our minds, hands, and hearts together.

Ideas: Intense discussions and deep conversations continue to reverberate throughout the campus of L’Abri, interwoven amidst our daily activities – whether during formal lunches or while preparing meals, after thought-provoking lectures or while weeding in the garden. I’m thankful for this safe space to ask the hard questions about life – questions about God’s character, about what following Him really looks like, about our place in the world, and about how to navigate through the pain, adversity, and complexities of life.We don’t always come away with clear, succinct answers, but we can glean insights through studies and conversations which can provide a larger scope and a helpful framework from which to continue to grapple with these issues.Sometimes it’s helpful simply to know we’re not alone in wrestling with all of this.

Work: Not only are our daily tasks necessary to keep our living spaces welcoming and our bodies nourished, they also provide the opportunity for personal growth, experiencing the challenges and joys of team work, and finding resourceful solutions when faced with adversity.  It’s a chance to offer our strengths or be stretched by new experiences. Working on meals together, I was repeatedly grateful for the collective team effort, proud of those taking on tasks outside their comfort zone, and encouraged by how meaningful and grace-infused even a cooking shift can be.

Community: Such a key underlying piece to this whole experience is sharing life together. Sometimes it’s difficult living constantly in such close proximity, and we can easily bump against each other’s inner wounds and insecurities.  Other times we can more directly see the beauty in community life – drawing out creativity, adventure, vulnerability, and even playfulness from one other. I appreciated a variety of student-initiated activities this past term which contributed so much to that. During creative writing evenings, students crafted pieces that ranged from the profound to the ridiculous, and revealed skill with words but also tenderness of heart.  Poetry evenings were a great venue to share these with others – prompting laughter and tears.  I was touched by the trust and courage demonstrated by poignant writings revealing raw pain, honest anger, and even the re-discovery of joyful child likeness.  

Here is an update on members of our team:

Richard lecturing on “Doubt”

The Bradfords are doing well.  They have had a great Christmas with both kids around.  Alexis is entering her final semester of a Creative Writing degree in Galway, Ireland.  She has loved her experience there and is looking forward to doing some different things once she is finished.  Simon has kept very busy making music with his two bands, one of which is releasing their first album at the end of January.  In a week or so he will be starting his Swiss military service which will last 4 and a half months.  This is mandatory for all Swiss males and so he is looking forward to getting it done.

Amelia and Per-Ole are enjoying the current age of their kids while struggling to balance warm (but firm) parenting and encouraging good manners.  Juggling work and family life continues to be a challenge.  Amelia is active within Rena and Peter’s classmate community in nearby Villars — getting to know parents and making connections in the area (and often making attempts to use her French).  She continues to thrive off of a meal shared with students, conversations over coffee, and hearing people’s stories.  PO has been spearheading a redesign of the new LAbri.org international site, due to launch in April.  He’s also been encouraged to consider working his Word & Image series on Revelation and Albrecht Durer into book format.

This January marks the beginning of the second year that Aaron and Katrina have spent living in Chalet Les Mélèzes, with heavier tutoring and teaching roles which has been great. Aaron’s written new lectures on a theology of technology, sanctification, and metaphors, and has been supporting Catherine as she does our finances.  Katrina has enjoyed meeting with a greater number of students for tutorials and learning to care for the yard and garden. She has taught several Bible studies on the Psalms as well as teaching students how to study the Bible inductively.

Marnie’s daughter Brier in New Zealand only has 12 weeks left until her baby boy is born. They’ve decided on the name Elijah.  Marnie and her mum are looking forward to meeting him at the end of this term.
Marnie has provided a consistent presence in Bellevue this past year, while a variety of us have joined her throughout the year: Lee and I in winter term, Lee and Steve in spring term, Ana in summer term, and Melody Hoppe (it was a delight to welcome her to the team in October) and I in fall term.  Steve also helped out for several weeks this past term before returning to the US for the arrival of his first grandchild.  

Many thanks to our guest lecturers in recent months. This fall term we had Luke Martin and Dick Goodwin sharing their time and thoughts with us.  Dick also lectured in the summer term along with Jessica Todd Harper, Jon Callow, and Matt Bohlman. We’ve begun having evening lectures once a term so it is easier for people in the surrounding area to join us, and the response has been very positive.  In November Richard lectured on doubt, which also sparked discussion amongst the wider expat community.

As we wrapped up the fall term, we celebrated Thanksgiving followed shortly after by a day of prayer and fasting, prompted by our financial struggles.  It was a reminder of the rhythms of feasting and fasting in life, of seasons of abundance and of lack, experienced personally but also as a community. May we look to the Lord with gratitude for His many good gifts and with trust in the midst of our every need.  

Winter term 2020 is just underway, and we need the Lord’s continued provision and equipping for this good but difficult work.  Thank you for your support and partnership with us.

Blessings to you all in this new year!
Cindy Saum