I enjoyed a few days with Frank & Heather Stootman and their son Jon recently at L’Abri (French for “shelter”).
L’Abri was originally founded by Francis and Edith Schaeffer in the Swiss alps as “a spiritual shelter for those seeking the answers to the basic philosophical problems with which all who care about finding a meaning or purpose in life have to struggle”.
Fascinated by stories I had heard about Francis Schaeffer and the huge influence he has had on our world, I was interested to get a taste of his legacy.
Frank and Heather have a lovely home in Elderslie, NSW, with a spacious garden and a grand piano (Jon is an accomplished pianist and taught me a few things). They can host 12 guests on their property at any one time. It is clear that they have generously and faithfully used their gift of hospitality for the glory of God.
You will find a rich collection of books on various topics and enjoy stimulating conversation over meals at the Stootmans’ home, situated near a river on the outskirts of Sydney. During the day, there will be opportunity to study and do practical work around the property. Frank and Heather are particularly good in discussing questions like, “Is there a God? How can we know? Is there truth and what is it?”
I left encouraged by the Stootmans’ steady trust in our Heavenly Father, as well as their wide variety of interests and passion for life. In fact, while I was there, Frank was teaching himself how to fly a plane with new computer software!
I am grateful for my short time there. Praise God for kind and hospitable people everywhere – I’ve had the privilege of knowing so many this year who have blessed, supported and encouraged me.