A holiday gifted to us

The Story behind (Video Link)

5.03.2023 11:00 a.m., Seychelles, Praslin. In the background there is soft reggae music, the water in the pool is splashing. Sunshine, 31 degrees, a breeze is fluttering through the palm trees. I’m sitting with my laptop on a lounger in the shade. How is it that we ended up in this unique, exclusive place?

Autumn 2016. My husband Martin and I, Esther, are hiking along the Greifensee (a lake near our home) in cool weather and depressed mood. We married young, Martin was still studying. After four years, our first child came. After that, our family program was set for many years. At some point we opened a “50 savings account”. The account was planned to help some of our dreams come true when we turned fifty. (Dreams that were not affordable for us as a family of five). For a few years it looked promising. But we had had to raid that very account. Various needs of the family had led to the fact that this savings account existed only in name. This was my wish (Esther): „One day, I would like to paint palm trees surrounded by them. Since my apprenticeship as a graphic designer, I have been fascinated by the pictures painted by the painter Paul Gauguin on a Caribbean Island. I would also like to do a Bible study. Maybe a six-month sabbatical is possible?“ And Martin’s wish was: „How about scuba diving, surfing or paragliding in Hawaii? Or we could buy our own rubber boat with a small engine? But, the way we’re saving right now, we’ll have our “50 savings account” filled up again in about 30 years.“ Esther: „Great, then we’ll be eighty. I can kiss my dreams good bye.“

In the fall of 2020, our third grandmother, whom we had adopted into our family, fell seriously ill. Loni and her husband Kurt were involuntarily childless. They rejoiced in our children. Loni celebrated many a Christmas with us and we spent time together. Loni was a bright, witty, articulate, and enterprising person. She worked as a grape grower at Landi, a local garden supply chain, and lived modestly in a small apartment. When I met up with her in Zurich, I always invited her to dinner. Her husband Kurt had been a bus driver and unfortunately died soon after retirement. With her modest pension, we thought that Loni could not afford much. At some point we learned that there was a relative on Kurt’s side. Together with this woman we took care of Loni. On the phone I was sometimes allowed to pray for Loni. Her sudden death from Covid affected us all very much. Our family came to the funeral. What happiness to hear that the young reformed pastor from Veltheim had formed a deep relationship with Loni. He told us that despite her Covid isolation, he was able to join Loni in the hospital room and prayed the „traveling blessing“, the transition from here to eternity with God in heaven, with her. At the funeral, Lon’s life story was read aloud. She had written it herself. In it, Loni thanked the Hunziker family for their relationship. I was touched, delighted and grateful! God even sends angels to Covid patients that are isolated from us! And Loni thanked us. What a blessing.

Winter 2020: Covid prevented us from going on vacation this year. So, it was a special moment when in December, for the first time in our lives, we were able to donate a large sum instead of going on holiday: 5,000 Swiss francs to Christian nonprofit organizations. We were overjoyed and felt very rich.

We were very surprised in January 2021 when we received an official letter from Winterthur. We were heirs to one seventh of Loni, and inherited 50’000 CHF! Until now I had only read about such things in books. Loni had been a wealthy woman. It thrilled me to experience that it pays to invest in people. In this exceptional case, it paid off in money. Often it pays off in other forms. For example, in satisfaction, happiness and joy. We paid taxes, donated ten percent to the church and gave some to our children, who could use it very well right now.

The first wish we fulfilled in spring 2021 was a rubber boat with an engine. With it we chug on the lakes of Zurich and Walen or in the Mediterranean.

And this year, we fulfilled my wish: Painting a real, live palm tree on location. Like Gauguin on an island. Thirteen days I painted on La Digue, Seychelles. It was like a dream. These colors, these shapes! I was blown away. I would have loved to stay a year and paint houses next and then the beautiful people. Together we dived and photographed.

I am overwhelmed and deeply grateful. God has fulfilled a desire of my heart. He is generous, faithful and good through and through. A loving Father. In two hours, we will be on our way. Back to Switzerland. I will cherish this memory for ever. Esther Hunziker