On our recent trip to Europe, we had three visits that were overwhelmingly encouraging for Dennis and me. Dennis shares, “The time over more than twenty years spent in Switzerland teaching worldview and its practical applications to each life is among the most gratifying of our ministry. Seeing the fruit produced over these decades was extremely meaningful. We saw many alumni of our schools; what Christ has accomplished with and through them over a period of more than twenty years was such a joy to our hearts.”
YWAM Base at Wiler, Switzerland
It was in Switzerland that the term, “Transforum,” was birthed. For over a decade, we met there every summer with a focus on our schools and were so blessed by the changes brought to so many lives.
Looking back on how it all started, Dennis reflects, “Walter Duerr and I began our ministry together at the YWAM base at Wiler, Switzerland, reviewing materials that Walter had created around Christian worldview so that when we introduced Strategic Life Training, the fit was perfect. The same thing occurred when we introduced the Business Leadership School there some years later. The wonderful thing that Walter did was to inject both schools into the heart of the local church, Jahu, which was flourishing around these Kingdom-based materials. Leaders from all over Europe brought their leaders to the Transforum events.” Indeed, it has been incredibly rewarding to see the lasting fruit in many congregations both Protestant and Catholic.
At the begging of our recent trip, we were picked up at the airport by Thomas Kunz and met his wife, Elizabeth, to celebrate their 35th anniversary over lunch. Thomas had overseen BLS and SLT in Switzerland for many years.
Dinner that first night was at the Wiler YWAM base where it all began. Jan reports, “It was filled with old friends, so it was an intense experience both relationally and spiritually having had so many of us and our families formed as we experienced truth together. Memories from the slide presentation they gave brought tears of joy for me.”
Südtirol/South Tyrol, Italy
Later in the trip, we were in Südtirol (South Tyrol, German-speaking Italy) where once again we shared life with another congregation deeply connected with Walter and Katrin Duerr and the Jahu congregation. Many people here go through the schools together. They testified of the practical applications and how the schools have brought lasting change to their lives. Nearly a dozen men and women shared how these truths deeply affected their Christian walk both personally and socially. It is a small, lightly populated mountainous area and the schools drew participants from well beyond Schlanders, the village where the church is located.
For those who appreciate geography, we learned that two gentlemen, one the operator of a helicopter service in the Swiss Alps and the other an opera producer from Bolzano Italy (north of Venice), had made significant drives from their respective locations to participate in group meetings when they were enrolled in the schools.
Such a pleasing aroma of diversity. What a wonderful experience it was to see how the Holy Spirit has used our relationships together around biblical truths to bring a common depth to our lives. We look forward to whatever lies in front of us all both here and in eternity.
Currently, the Business Leadership School’s courses are available annually to German speakers through VITAperspectiv, a Swiss-German business-consulting company which has based their methodology of professional business analysis around the BLS materials. We met with them one evening.
VITAperspetiv Director, Stefen Jakob, shares, “In our meeting in Biel, Switzerland with about 60 graduates and current and potential students of BLS, Dennis encouraged us and shared some of The Ten Master Principles. He especially pointed out the importance of Transcendent Values and the Bridge of Trust.”
These teachings have now spread into many nations since our early years together in Europe. Once again, it was so encouraging to share life with these men and women who are changing numbers of lives and businesses in Switzerland and beyond with our school materials.
Slide Presentation in Wiler, Switzerland:
Memories of Past Transforums
IBR Conference in Biel, Switerland (2000)
Transforum 2001 – The First One!
Dennis Peackocke & Walter Duerr (2004)
Dennis & Jan Peackocke and Walter Duerr (2004)
IBR Transforum 2004 Attendees
Dennis Peacocke and Water Duerr at Transforum 2002
Dennis, Jan, and Attendees at Transforum 2006
Dennis Peacocke & Daniel Ellenberger at Transforum 2006