On July 8th, a group of happy adventurers from Immanuel Church' International fellowship boarded the ferry to the small island of Ekholmen. This is the place where long-time church members Lars & Rachel Jerkeby have their summer home. Their generous invitation led to a day of wonderful fellowship.

Photographer and blogger Michelle Job posted a beautiful account of the day. Below an excerpt and a link to her full blogpost. Enjoy!

Archipelago group picture

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Here is an interesting fact I came to know about the Swedish summer houses – There is NO loo or bathroom inside the house!

I always imagined the summer houses to be very extravagant and luxurious with the latest in technology. That day I discovered it is not. The Swedes like to keep it simple in their summer home. Their summer homes are meant to take them back in time and back to nature!

They ate fresh fruits and vegetables grown in their very own garden. While the houses have basic water supply and electricity, the toilet is detached from the house, perched all by itself amidst the trees. It’s a dry compost toilet in the most serene setting.

When it comes to taking a shower, all you need to do is take a dip or a dive in the ocean! This being Sweden, the waters are always in varying degrees of cold, if not frozen!

And did I tell you, there are no shops on the island? The residents must bring all the provisions for their stay from the city when they come. If a sudden need arises, they need to go to another distant island by their boat!

(...) On one side it was the beauty of the island. On the other it was the stillness and the silence that touched me. ‘Silence’ is a very important factor for any Swede. At first I used to wonder why and how can the entire neighborhood be so silent. The dogs don’t bark, vehicles don’t honk and even the most crowded trains are silent. Eventually, I found myself seeking this silence.

There is something very calming and healing about silence. It relaxes a wondering stressed out mind. It has the ability to draw our focus to issues that matter the most. Outer silence often leads to inner calm. I realized it’s much easier to find and listen to Daddy God in the stillness. In being still, I can converse with Him and know Him. In the stillness, I find Him and in Him, my answers!

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Read Michelle´s full account of the archipelago visit and enjoy her stunning pictures.