About Suzanne Tanner
I was born and raised in Switzerland. I have a twin brother Mike. Before our birth my father spent nearly 10 years in London UK, where he met my mother. In my early childhood I only spoke English at home and when I was ready to go to Kindergarten I started to learn Swiss German.
My childhood was pretty much normal, except that I always saw myself as a rebel and I was also proud to be one. My family was catholic and so every Sunday we went to church. I knew there was a God somewhere in the clouds and if I made a mistake I knew God would punish me sooner or later. So I had an awareness of God and I knew about Jesus as the one that had suffered a lot.
My parents found it difficult to raise me and so at the age of 15 they sent me to the French part of Switzerland for one year, mainly to get a relief from me, but also that I would learn the French language. I didn't stay there very long, only 3 months, because I was so home sick. Coming home and having nothing to do (I had left school) I decided to work for the nearby Hilton Hotel as a chamber maid. There I learned a lot about cleaning rooms and making beds. The Management somehow saw my potential and offered me an apprenticeship as a waitress. I worked for them for two years and learned all about serving people. After that I worked in a few 4 and 5 star hotels as a Receptionist, Food & Beverage Assistant, Conference Coordinator, and Assistant to the Hotel Director. I left the hotel business because the computer industry offered me more money. I worked for the sole Apple Computer distributor and various consulting companies.
During the years of trying to prove to my parents that I wasn't a bad girl, I got married. This marriage only lasted for 1 year. The road I was walking on went slowly but steadily downwards. In 1994 I was working for a consulting company where one of the owners was a believer. By this time my life had gone pretty far down hill. I had worked for this company for one year when one day I was talking to my boss Willi. He gave me his testimony which stirred up in me this one question: "What do I need to do now?" Willi said, Go and buy yourself a Bible, read the Gospel of John and Psalm 23. He didn't lead me at that time to the Lord, but I went to the store the very next day and did what he told me to do: began to read the Bible. One night in bed I finally understood that God is love. I then said to Him, If you are love, then I have been seeking love in the wrong place. I need a new life. I need You to come into my life. From that point forward, my life changed. Shortly after that, the Lord led me to find true earthly examples of His character in Daniela and Claude Widmer. Although much younger than me, they showed me unconditional love and acceptance and stood alongside me in my walk with Christ as proud spiritual parents. Today I am happy to call myself their spiritual daughter.
The Lord took me by my hand and led me on my new path. I had much learning to do since I was already 35 years of age when I gave my life to the Lord. For 13 years He trained me on the shepherd's field. In 1998 I took on a position as PR and Marketing Assistant for Hermes Sweeteners, Ltd., and nearly from the beginning I told my boss that I was going to stay perhaps 2 or 3 years, because I was called to go to the mission field. To my great surprise I eventually stayed 9 years and the Lord indeed took me to the mission field at my workplace!
Since my conversion in 1995 I had been single and this was quite troublesome for me, since I wanted to be married. I had heard God's promise to me for a husband, and so I cried many times in the waiting. Year after year would pass by and I still hadn't met my husband. People would prophesy and release my husband through prayer, but he was nowhere to be found! I just had to let it go and trust the Lord over and over again. During this time I learned a lot about God and how things work in His Kingdom. For many years I dedicated my Friday's to the church where I was working voluntarily. I was appointed an Elder and Head of Deacons and put in charge of a small home church group of perhaps 10 or 12 people. Everyone admired me as a great leader, but I had done everything through my own strength. My positions and the recognition gave me my strength rather than finding my source in the Lord.
I guess I had struggled all my life with the issue of sin. I realized one day that I hadn't seen myself as a sinner and therefore it was difficult for me to accept deliverance from myself. The Lord took away all of the positions which had made me so strong, and I was then left with nothing to do on a Friday. It was hard for me in the beginning, and so I had to press in and seek His face. But the Lord knew what he was doing! He stripped me of my self made strength and started to become my friend, helper and source of all strength. In 2007 I was unexpectedly placed into the office of Pastor.
I know I have a Pastors heart and I just love to serve people. Just like in my teens when I cleaned the hotel rooms and waited on people. Today I love having a home church, helping my husband in our ministry, cooking, and beautifying the home (I never owned a home, always lived in apartments). The Lord has now opened the way for me to speak on the local radio station. In 2008 I have been given the opportunity to air twice a day one of my devotionals for a period of 26 weeks.
Getting back to my promised husband, I have to tell you that in 2007 I had just returned from an inspirational weekend with my friends Claude and Daniela. I was once again encouraged to pursue seeking out my husband. I signed up on a Christian website in Mid November 2007, and after 1 week I met Mark online. We chatted and talked for a while and then we both cancelled our profile online together. That was nice. I then had some free miles from the Swiss Airlines and took that opportunity to fly to Chicago on December 24, 2007. It worked out fine, I missed however the connecting plane to Des Moines and had to stay another night in Chicago.
The following day then I finally flew to Des Moines and about at 10:00 AM I saw Mark for the first time. Up until then I had only seen pictures of him. When I stood in front of him and looked into his eyes, I knew that there was something familiar and good about him. I just felt comfortable with him. On December 31st, Mark washed my feet, presented to me my beautiful engagement ring, and proposed.
My first visit lasted 3 weeks. I flew back to Switzerland in Mid January 2008 to get back to work again. My present employer knew about this love story and when I explained to him that I was going to leave the company sometime in 2008, they told me to hand in my resignation right away! I wasn't expecting this, but by the end of February 2008 I wrote my resignation. I still had some vacation left, so I flew back to meet with Mark at the end of February 2008 for another 3 weeks! We started to make plans for our 21st of June wedding. I flew back tear down my tent pegs. On May 30th of 2008 I left Switzerland for good. Three weeks later we were married! What a story! And it is not over yet! It has just begun! Praise be to the Lord alone for His wonderful plan!