by Shazia 

My First Visit To Europe

In summer 2011 I finally managed to visit my brother who had lived in Holland since 1998.  It was my first time to go out of my country. Being a Pakistani female my parents would have never allowed me to go anywhere alone. When I got married in 1996 my husband never allowed me to go anywhere without him. My heart always desired to go around the world but I never had that opportunity when I was unmarried. But, as I said, in 2011 it was the year of opportunity for me and I availed it happily to enjoy my time for freedom.

So, on my first time out of my house, I travelled by air. Everything was new for me and I felt so proud. I had a nice time in Holland stayed with my brother, his wife and two lovely kids. In July I flew to Switzerland to visit my Swiss friend and her family for two weeks. Mr. and Mrs. Marcus - my Swiss friends - were missionaries in Pakistan. I met them in my home town church, at that time they were blessed with one daughter and this little girl attracted me towards herself. She was sitting on the bench in front of me in the church and she is looking back at me all the time smiling and waving. I still remember that Sunday all my attention was towards her instead of the Sermon. After church I met her mother and father for the very first time and found them such lovely people.

As time passed, we became closer and became nice family friends and then Mrs. Marcus and I had a good friendship. To me she is my elder sister, my friend and a good companion who always uplifted my spiritual growth and refreshed my faith. They have lived in Pakistan for 20 years and served the Lord and returned back to Switzerland in 2006.

Mrs. Marcus knew that I was visiting my brother in Holland and she invited me to Switzerland because it was not only my dream but was hers too. When I arrived at the airport, she was there to welcome me with beautiful flowers in her hand. I saw a big smile on her face and she said, “Finally you made it.” My friend was so enthusiastic that she wanted to show me all the parts of Switzerland in two weeks. She planned a new programme every day and chose a place to visit with me. Even though I had heard a lot about Switzerland from her and seen its beauty in pictures to see it live was a totally marvelous experience for me.I could write the story of my two weeks, but I will minimize all my visit and try to share my most exciting experience with you.

One day my friend took me to a beautiful lake called Seebergsee. It was a lovely sunny day, the sky was clear azure, I could see the lush green grass, the freshness in the air and beautiful flowers blossomed everywhere with colourful butterflies hovering over them. It seemed to me that they were not only dancing around merrily but giving thanks to the Creator. On the hills I saw cows grazing in the meadows, producing a rhythmic sound with the big heavy bells hanging around their necks as they moved. This sight was really a worth seeing; the memories are still living with me and cherished. 

After parking the car we walked up to the lake with all our picnic stuff such as camera, drinks and edibles. When we reached at the lake surrounded by high mountains, I saw some people swimming in the lake, some sitting on the bank praising the beauty and some sitting on the big stones enjoying weather. There were also some painters trying to capture the beauty of nature on their canvas and some bike-riders came there on bikes.

We spent some time sitting on the bank of the lake viewing everybody, had our picnic and sang a song. My friend took many photographs of me and I asked my friend if we could go to the peak of that mountain which was behind us. First she laughed and she said, ‘Do you surely want to go there?’ I said, “Yes”. The second question was “Why do you want to go there”? I answered her, “I want to check if I am still young enough to go up there and say my prayers on the top of the mountain so that all my prayers reach God very quickly.” She looked at me and again laughed. I said, “Do you know Jesus Christ also went on the mountain for prayer so I also want to go onto that mountain for my prayer.” When she saw the strong determination in my eyes, she agreed to go up.

So we started our journey to the top, and at last we reached our destination. The view on the top of the mountain was marvelous. We saw a chain of small and high mountains, and, from the top, the view of the lake was also nice. The lake and the people around looked very tiny! We sat down and prayed there and afterwards again we praised the Almighty God for his creation. Very loudly I said, ‘Thank you God’ I heard the mountains echo too. In short, there is a lot to share with you, but I will finish it by telling you that my friend gave this mountain a new name: “Shazia’s Mountain”, and she said "I came here many times but never climbed up to that mountain. I really enjoyed my day with you."  




Date last modified: Wed 9th December 2015