This newsletter was written using a Commodore 64 machine, then copying, literally cutting and pasting the pictures into it. It was then photocopied (explanation for bad pictures) and mailed by postal service.

The original wording has not been changed, nor English mistakes been corrected.


News from Vienna 3

I have changed churches!

Vienna, 14.11.1994


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.

On Thursday 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 Baptist Church.

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.

That evening 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.

What else 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.

Last Monday, 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 reincarnation!

The following 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".

One thing 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.

Last Saturday 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.

Generally, 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 faithfulness!

Last Wednesday 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 now.

Last Friday 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.

So, slowly 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!

Another thing 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.

The January 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!

From the 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.

Please pray

  • 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

I'm already excited about what I'll be able to write you next time.

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures for ever." (Ps 136:1)

The Lord bless you and make you shine as His light in the dark world!

All the best,

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