MBA Students Sail for Science
Europe TripThe Waldensian Valleys in Italy and the Museum of the Desert were highlights of MBA’s 2007 European trip. Eighteen students, faculty, parents, and friends visited Reformation sites in three different countries during the tour from September 26 to October 8, 2007.
In Torre Pellice, in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, the group visited a museum whose exhibits trace the history of the Waldenses. The guide explained that the Waldenses observed the seventh-day Sabbath until their leaders voted to join the Reformation during the early 16th century. They also had the scriptures in their own language long before other groups did. The MBA group stayed at a guest house run by the Waldensian church and saw their church, legislative hall, a school, and a cave where these followers of Christ hid from the soldiers of the Duke of Savoy, the French, and the Catholic church.
In the Languedoc region in southern France the MBA travelers visited the Musee du Desert, a museum dedicated to the courage and devotion of French Protestants. Huguenot leaders worshipped in caves and woods to honor God according to their consciences. Many paid with their lives or their freedom.
“My appreciation for what the reformers did to preserve the Bible grew by walking where they walked, worshipping where they worshipped, visiting the caves they hid in, and understanding what they suffered,” states Pastor Bryan del Valle, MBA pastor and Bible teacher, and a trip sponsor.
“Going to the cave where the Waldensees actually hid made their whole experience more real to me,” says sophomore Alyssa Fitting.
Other places of interest visited by the group included the French Adventist College at Collonges in France and seeing 2005 MBA graduate Alicia August, who is studying there this school year. On Sabbath afternoon they climbed the Saleve, the mountain behind the school. “The hike was really intense. I didn’t think that I could make it to the top. But when we did get there, the view was absolutely amazing. I loved seeing the range of the Alps on one side of the Saleve and the whole city of Geneva and the lake on the other,” states Fitting.
Students rode the cable car to the top of the Aiguille de Midi to 12,000 feet to view Mont Blanc the highest mountain in Europe. They drove through the Mont Blanc tunnel that connects Italy and France. They also stayed in a chalet in the Alps.
In southern France they saw the Arena, a 2000 year old coliseum at Nimes and the equally old Pont du Garde, an ancient aqueduct, both built by the Romans. They waded in the Mediterranean and stayed at a four-hundred year old farm house at Anduze. “I loved the place where we stayed in Anduze. Its thick stone walls and rural location were really cool.” says junior Slade Shepherd.
They toured another cave famous for its lacey formations and the fact that the Huguenots once hid there. “I loved when we went in the caves,” states junior Molly Moffat.
The MBA group also visited the medieval Chateau of Chillon on Lake Geneva in Switzerland and the town of Annecy on another lake in the French Alps. Group participants were students: Molly Moffat, Divia Patel, Christina Caratachea, Slade Shepherd, Karissa Torres, Korinna Torres, Jessy Gardner, Selam Melese, Stevanie Daily, Ali Howsmon, and Alyssa Fitting, and Kim Szeto; parents: Duane and Pam Gardner and Diane Moffat; friend, Bonnie Johnson, and faculty co-sponsors: Bryan del Valle and Kirsten Weber, French Teacher.
“I wanted a trip that would provide students with an opportunity to practice their French, learn about history, see natural beauty, and especially receive a spiritual blessing.” explains Kirsten Weber, trip sponsor.