have changed churches!
When I came
back from Paris, I put all my energy into my church (Free Baptist
Church) to contribute to the body of Christ with the gifts He's
given me. Somehow I felt all the time that that's not really possible
and by the time I became more and more dissatisfied, also by the
way certain things are done and understood. Nevertheless I tried
to glorify God through what I was going there. After the mission
in England, I was sure that I couldn't stay any longer. First
I thought I would go to a charismatic church in Vienna, because
the Lord spoke to me about this area quite clearly this summer.
But when I attended the service there (it was even a baptism with
several Non-Christians), I didn't feel comfortable because they
are drifting away from the biblical basis. Their emphasis on "charismatic
things" is much too big. So I thought, maybe I misunderstood
the Lord and I'll try once again in my church. We were talking
in church about our weaknesses and what to do next year. Once
again I did the effort to contribute in the musical area. They
all agreed with my propositions, I tried and failed again because
of th elack of motivation and good will. I've put so much energy
in church during the last nine months without any results so that
I felt exhausted and dissatisfied. Additionally, meanwhile nearly
every Sunday things were said I couldn't agre with or which made
me angry (e.g. the repeated sentence "if there were any Non-Christians
in our service"). I've always felt restricted and not being
able to be used by God effectively by our activities, I also wasn't
able to grow and wasn't built up. Please, don't misunderstand
me. I don't want to judge my church or anybody in it! It's just
not the right place for me. (When I look back I realize that I
wasn't really glad at any time.) I love to show my joy by clapping
hands and to really worship the Lord during the service. I also
love to be with people from other countries, the variety there
is e.g. in the international church (Vienna Christian Center -
Assemblies of God) I'm going to in the evening (since April).
That's also why I got more involved in the VCC during the last
months. But now back to what I wanted to say. While I felt more
and more that I couldn't stay any longer in my Baptist church,
the Lord heard my prayers and graciously put one coindicence after
another to lead me to the church I'm in now: During the ÖSM-Hochschultage
I got to know Stefan better who also works with the ÖSM.
I als met the pastor of his church who helped us with the organisation.
After the mission there happened to be no service in my church
but a big service for several churches and somehow I didn't even
think about going there although now I think it could have been
interesting. I decided to go to Stefan's church (23rd of October)
which is English-speaking, the name is Grace Church. The service
was really great. It's also an international church with many
Africans, Filippinos, Americans etc and their joy about the Lord's
love is so visible. The sermon was very challenging and at the
end he also challenged people to give their lives to Jesus. After
that Sunday I thought that it would be nice to be in that church
but I still tried to cope with my church. So I didn't think about
Grace Church any more, I just prayed what to do and where to go
if I should leave the church. Then the turning point came. It
was Monday the 6th of November. I felt rather miserable after
the service the day before and didn't really know what to do.
Somehow I was afraid of the idea of leaving the church where I
knew everything and everybody and where it would be comfortable
to stay, maybe without contributing anything, and of having o
start from the beginning somwhere else. So that Monday I had to
copy some sheets after a lesson and so I went to another building
of the university. I had to go to the toilet and decided to do
that before making the copies. On my way back I happened to meet
the pastor of Grace Church, an Italo-American called Al. We were
chatting a little while the desire to speak with him about my
church situation grew stronger and stronger. I couldn't continue
like that any more. So I asked him if he would have some time
to speak with me and we fixed a date for Friday the 11th of November.
I happened to phone with Stefan and having to pass by to get something
I needed (why this day?). When he gave it to me, he told
me that they would have their Bible study that night and that
they would watch a film about the Mormons. He invited me to come.
That night was the first after a long time without an appointment
I didn#t really have the intention to go anyhwere but I was truly
interested in that film because I need to know more about sects
to be more effective in evangelism. So I went there. It was a
great evening. We finally watched a film about the Jehova's Witnesses
which made me terribly sad thinking about all those people (over
50 million!) who are going to hell without knowing it. Anyway
what I wanted to say is that I really enjoyed the evening and
what God wanted me to teach by that evening, I think, was that
I will find new friends and that I can feel at home in this church.
He took away the fear of being alone if I leave my church.
The next morning
Iwrote a short letter to someone I hardly know (I'll write more
about that later) and I still wrote (hesitantly) that I'm in a
Later on this
morning I talked with Al for one hour and while I was explaining
him the situation I became more and more convinced that I couldn't
stay in my church. I appreciated that he said that he didn't want
to draw people from other churches but that he would love to welcome
me. He prayed for me and said that he would continue praying for
me. After this conversation he knew more about me than my pastor
at the Baptist church who I hardly know.
I told somebody (who I hardly know) that I'm in an international
English-speaking church. Surely, the changing doesn't go that
quickly. In the morning Iw rote to a catholic who may understand
"Baptist Church" better, in the evening I talked with
my pupil whom I'm giving English lessons and who would have to
do some conversation. That's why I said that. Anyway it shows
me when the decision fell although I wasn't absolutely sure yet.
The next day
we had our Youth Group from the Baptist Church again. I went there
with mixed feelings and could hardly wait to tell them the news.
Finally I did and was glad that their reactions weren't too strong.
One girl said that she had realised that I didn't feel well a
long time ago. Another one said that it's okay. I have the inteion
to continue going to this group.
The next day,
Sunday, I went to the Baptist Church where the service starts
at 9:30. That morning the service was different. I looked at the
people and at the room as if saying good-bye. Actually I will
attend one more service next Sunday to sing a song as a good-bye.
The service ended at 11:00 and I immediately left, after having
fixed a date with the pastor for Tuesday to tell him, and went
to Grace Church were the service starts at 10:50. Thank God that
I have a car, so I arrived at 11:15 and "just" missed
the worship time. During that service God gave me the full conviction
that I'm in the right place now. He gave me such a joy that I
was totally euphoric and I nearly cried out of gratefullness for
our Lord. How I love Him! (Besides, in the evening I attended
the third service at the VCC.)
What I forgot
to mention are the possbilities I have in Grace Church. There
I can serve the Lord effectively because the doors fo the two
areas I expecially am interested in and have a burden for are
opened wide. That's music, an area wher ethe Church is very active
in, and then they have the Evangelism Explosion Program. This
program trains you to be more effective in evangelism and to train
other people the same. I can't await starting this program (not
before spring unfortunately) so that the Lord can use me better
in His work.
So, that was
much more detailed than I had the intention to be. Now I want
to welcome you especially if you are German-speaking. I usually
wrote the "News from Vienna" first in German for Non-Christians,
then the extended version for Christians and in the middle of
the month the English version. Last month I realized that I can't
manage to write three versions any more. On the one hand because
of the time, on the other hand I would have had to rewrite the
German News for Christians completely because that Lord has done
many great things in October that I had to write about Him all
the time. So I hope that every German-speaking friend feels okay
with the English version.
happened during the last month? In "News from Vienna 2"
I mentioned a student sitting at our table one night of ÖSM-mission
who was very interested in the gospel, who knew everything about
it but who was afraid of giving his life to Jesus. He was looking
forward to joining a Bible study group and he is now in our group
that Amy and I are leading. We had our first study the 9th of
November 4:30 p.m.. I prepared John 4:1-30."Unfortunately"
he was the only student who came. His name is Ansbert. We had
a very good time together. The following six weeks we'll study
passages from Luke's gospel. Please pray for Amy and me and that
many more people join us. Yvonne also wanted to come that day
but she then changed her mind.
At the VCC
they have just started a course about the foundations of the Christian
faith, mainly for the new believers of "Heaven's Gates &
Hell's Flames". I asked the leader what he'd think about
bringing a non-believing friend. So Yvonne and I went there at
the 30th of October instead of doing our course "Basic Christian
Training". She said she liked it (rather I said it and she
agreed) and the following week we participated again. She never
says anything, she's just listening. Yesterday she said she couldn't
come and so we missed one lesson. I hope she'll come next week
again, especially because there will be a water baptism after
the course. I hope she can stay for it. Maybe she'll come to our
ÖSM-Bible study group on Wednesday.
the 7th of October, was a special evening for me. The topic of
the ÖSM-talk was "Healing of hurt Feelings". I
felt that the Lord wanted me to give my testimony and so I obeyed.
I decided to rely totally on the Lord as I had already experienced
it before. Last summer during the evangelistic ÖSM-camp,
I gave my testimony. I spent the thirty minutes before in prayer
with the Lord, handing over to the Holy Spirit. It was a marvelous
experience. It was really the Holy Spirit talking through me and
not me. It was amazing how He guided my words and how He made
me shine through His love. One of the ÖSM-staff workers told
me afterwards that it was one of the best testimonies she had
ever heard. It's all God's glory! That evening I decided not to
read my testimony any more, but to be totally dependant on the
guidance of the Holy Spirit.
So that evening
again, I didn't have any notes of what I wanted to say and I spent
the thirty minutes before in close prayer with the Lord handing
me over to Him. This time my testimony should be different. I
didn't want to tell how I became a Christian in Millstatt but
how the Lord transformed my life. I told them about my youth that
when I was twelve my mother's partner came to live with us and
that the darkest years of my life started then. That he was violent-tempered,
abusing me all the time and quick with his hands, that I cried
every day and that I considered whether to kill him or myself
daily, never having the courage to commit suicide, that I hated
him from the deepest of my heart and that the weekends were the
worst when he was drinking alcohol all the time. I told them that
I learnt loving him through the love of Christ, that there are
still difficult situations but that Jesus did this miracle in
my life that I can say today that I love him.
I was so
grateful for the leading of the Holy Spirit who really had taken
over so that I just had to open my mouth. As I write these lines
I again become so grateful for all the Lord has done in my life!
There is another
wonderful thing that happened! The 26th of October is the national
holiday in Austria. Traditionally my grandparents, my parents,
my brother and I went to visit some graves of relatives in the
country. I had been praying for a possibility to talk with my
grandparents about their faith and to propose them reading the
Bible with me, especially concerning that particular day. After
having been to the graves (where my grandfather prayed to Mary
for the dead - terrible!!!) we went to a restaurant and then to
a "Heuriger" (traditional kind of Austrian restaurant/bar/cafe/pub).
When we left the restaurant, it was slightly raining. My brother
had driven my grandparents with his own new car. So my parents
decided to drive to the Heuriger and my brother, too. My grandparents
wanted to walk and so did I. So now I had the possibility to talk
to with them, probably the only one. I couldn't have talked with
them in front of the rest of my family. So I prayed for courage
as we were approaching the Heuriger. Finally I asked them if they
would like to read the Bible with me to discuss about it. They
agreed! Then in the Heuriger I had a long conversation with my
grandfather about the Christian faith. He is very catholic but
not going to church on Sundays. My grandmother is a nominal protestant.
That day I learnt that my grandfather believes that all religions
lead to God (like the pope does!) and that he even believes in
Saturday, the 29th of October, I met with my grandparents for
the first time and we started doing "Basic Christian Training"
By Jean Gibson (what I also did with Yvonne), a panorama of the
gospel. We couldn't finish the first lesson, so we met again on
Tuesday, the 8th of November. My grandfather is mainly talking
while my grandmother is listening. He is always referring to the
catholic church and I always tell him, that the Bible says something
different. Once he asked me, "Is there anything right in
the catholic church?" I gave my grandfather some texts that
show the catholic doctrines in the light of the Bible.
So we had
a really good time together. The sad thing is that they always
agree with what the Bible is saying but they are still blind.
We will continue our Bible study weekly now, tomorrow we are doing
"Your Word is Truth", next week The Person of God".
we are doing in our family is celebrating name day. I gave my
grandfather a book called "And the other religions?"
by Werner Gitt. He has started reading it but hasn't come to the
point yet. When I gave him this book in front of my family, they
started discussing about me again while I was just around the
corner and I could hear their conversation. At that time we had
met once. My mother said that I knew to whom to give such a book,
Heinzi (her partner) still thinks that I'm in a sect and that
I'm forced to do all I'm doing while my mother replied that I
love to organize things (that's right). They all agreed that I
am a poor girl whose life is passing by.
we celebrated my grandmother's birthday. We had the problem that
my grandparents only had one big Bible consisting of 5 big books.
So my grandmother had my Bible, my grandfather was always changing
books and I had my small one. So I decided to give my grandmother
a Bible in current German. I also felt that she was really open
to hear more from God's word. I think she liked my present. My
parents already knew before what I would give her and didn't say
anything. Heinzi and also my mother and my brother were shocked
when they heard that we are reading the Bible together.
the situation at home isn't very pleasant. My brother is still
aggressive and I also have problems with Heinzi and my mother
although I try my best to please them. I really need a flat for
my own soon. I have heard about possibilities. Please pray that
my family situation is getting better and that I soon find a flat
I can afford.
On the 25th
of October I finally had the first meeting with my lawyer. I thank
you for your prayers. The Lord gave me his peace and joy when
I went there so that the lawyer must have considered me crazy.
The Lord also answered our prayers in the way that the lawyer
didn't try to make me lying. He just always said "for you
want the truth" or "if you say the truth" in an
accusing way. This is the situation now: He said that he hardly
has any hope to win the trial by saying the truth. All the things
that I thought would count for me have no importance. So it's
quite certain that I'll have to pay (and just because of inexperience!),
it's just the question of how much and that depends on the two
who wanted to travel with me. If they both say the truth, it will
be probable that everyone of us will have to pay one third. That's
from 10 000 ATS/ 1000$/ 560£/ 5000 FF upwards because the
costs of the trial are added to the amount. But it's very easy
just to say something else and not to pay anything so that I have
to pay 30 000 ATS plus the costs for the trial. One of those two,
Thomas, is a friend of mine but I hardly know the girl Ulrike.
I don't know yet what Thomas will say. He just said that he would
make some inquiries. Please pray that their moral will be high
enough to say the truth (actually it's mainly Ulrike's fault that
I have these problems now). For God nothing is impossible. So
please pray also concretely that I won't have to pay anything
for God loves concrete prayers. I believe that He will answer
my our prayers when we pray with a genuine heart. I have to admit
that I wouldn't know how to pay that money for. I even have to
live at home because of my financial situation. But I know that
the Lord cares for me and that He provides what I need. So that's
why I'm not desperate but still rejoicing in the Lord's love and
I met an old friend I haven't seen since my conversion. His name
is Gregor and he had been the man of my dreams. We have been writing
to each other during the past two years and I could share the
gospel with him. He is thinking a lot and searching for the meaning
of his life. He then called me to tell me that he's single now
and that he wants to see me. Two weeks later, I went to the party
of the student residence where he lives. Some time after my arrival
his new girl-friend came he had been together with for one week.
She told me that she is still living with her boy-friend but that
she is going to leave him soon. I didn't have a real possibility
to talk with him. We were sitting in this room full of smoke,
they all had bottles of beer in their hands and were talking about
girls and sex. I was so sad looking at all those young students
who have no goals, no meaning in their life, even no life itself.
They are fleeing to the alcohol to have some fun.
I could just
share a little bit with Gregor, his girl-friend sitting between
us. He said that my letters are so full of life and I told him
why. I invited him to a special evening about abortion on the
28th of November and I hope he'll come. I wish we would have a
real opportunity to talk.
When I saw
those people on Wednesday I became so grateful that I don't have
to live like that any more. Amazing Grace! I'm also glad that
the chapter "Gregor" in my biography is definitely finished
I visited my former school where I spent 8 years of my life (from
10 to 18). I wanted to give my written testimony to my former
teacher for religious instruction. I wrote a short letter (that's
what I mentioned at the beginning) that I added. On one hand she
is very catholic, on the other hand we watched the film about
Joni's life and so on. I'm curious what her reaction will be.
I'm coming to an end. I forgot to tell you that I left the roman
catholic church last Thursday, the 10th of October. I wanted to
do that much earlier but finally a book I read made me leave the
catholic church as soon as possible: It's "Global peace and
the rise of Antichrist" by Dave Hunt. You have to read that
book, it's fantastic!
I wanted to mention: Please pray that I soon find a good friend
to pray with. I have so many friends but no very close one. Sometimes
I feel rather lonely when something great happens or when I have
a problem and there is no one I could phone. I'm missing the time
I spent in prayer with a good friend.
I think I’ve
now told you the important things that happened during the last
weeks. I hope you don't find it too boring to read all the details.
What is going
to happen in the months to come? My parents will have three dancing
competitions where I will accompany to film them. Then I will
be in Salzburg for one day where we have ÖSM- meeting for
all the Austrian groups. On the 6th of December will be the trial.
So next time you will hear from me after that.
From the 27th
to the 1st of January I will be in Germany at a conference about
world mission. I'm really looking forward to those days with the
Lord and especially to a changing of the year as I want it to
be. I'm expecting the Lord to work in my heart in a special way
during that time. I have the intention to go there by car. So
if there are any Austrians who would be interested to participate
too, I would love to take them with me.
will be a horror month. In addition to all I’m already doing
I'll have to pass more time organizing the ÖSM-camp in February
and especially the ÖSM/CU-exchange visit to England after
the camp. Yes, I'm coming to England from the 13th of February
to the 22nd (or 24th)!!! I wish we had February!
2nd to the 5th of May there will be a worship festival in Arnheim/Holland
with many well-known musicians. I'd love to go there. It depends
on my financial situation. If any Austrian is interested to go
there, it will cost 2000 ATS plus transfer witch would cost about
2000 ATS divided through the number of people who are traveling
with us. That's why I look for people to accompany me. Remember
that I can't take more than two people with me in my car. So tell
me if you are interested and I'll send you further information.
- that I
quickly settle down in my new church
- that I
soon find a close friend to pray with regularly
- for my
family situation and that I find a place somewhere else to live
- for our
ÖSM-Bible study group, for more people, for Ansbert, for
Amy and me
- for Yvonne,
Gregor, my grandparents
- for the
trial the 6th of December, that I don't have to pay anything
excited about what I'll be able to write you next time.
thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures for ever."
bless you and make you shine as His light in the dark world!
All the best,
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