is coming nearer life in my family is getting harder and harder.
So it might be possible that my newsletter sounds not so positive
First a little
correction to the timetable in "News from Vienna 3".
The service at Grace Church starts at 10:50 a.m. and ends at 12:45.
to mention: Please don't be surprised when you see a "5"
or a "%" somewhere between words. This key is broken
and I can't control it.
A short review
of what has happened last month: I had three more Bible studies
with my grandparents. It's so encouraging to see how the Lord
is working especially in my grandfather's heart! I gave him some
copies about catholic doctrines and what the Bible is saying.
Later he came up to me and said that he had looked it up the verses
and that it's true what is written there. He also said that he
is reading different passages of the New Testament himself. Once
I felt I could be totally open with them. So I told them my reasons
to become a missionary and why I know I can totally rely on God.
Immediately they said I'd have to distinguish between the tough
reality of life and "our" faith. They said they would
pray for me that I would stop being so fanatic! My grandfather
recently told me that he really appreciates that I'm taking the
time to show them what the Bible says. On the 22nd of December
is my grandfather's 77th birthday. I will give him a Bible so
that he can read in his own one.
The 3rd of
December there was an evangelistic breakfast in a big Viennese
hotel, just for women. I was singing there with the VCC international
choir. That was a good reason to invite friends. I was glad when
my grandmother told me she would come. First we had breakfast,
then we were singing two songs (one was an international Christmas
Medley and I had the privilege to sing two lines solo in French),
and finally there was a short message: "Christmas giving
and the perfect gift". My grandmother became rather nervous
and rejecting when she heard the gospel. Then she immediately
left at the appointed time of end.
finished reading the book "Too Busy Not To Pray" that
led me to start again writing a daily journal. I'am very glad
about that because it's always a pity not to record what God is
doing in one's life. So I can look up now if there was something
of special interest for you during the last month.
of November I passed at my church to speak with my pastor and
to tell him tat I would leave. I was quite nervous. I began by
saying that he probably already knew why I wanted to speak with
him. He didn't. So I told him that I would leave the church. He
asked me why and I explained him everything, about the way I feel
in this church and how the Lord had led me to Grace Church. He
was obviously moved. After half an hour we finished our conversation
and he prayed for me. He was hardly able to pray and I thought
he would start crying at any moment. The main focus of the church
is growing and now I left! After this conversation I felt guilty.
I didn't want to hurt anybody! But I knew it was God who wanted
me in Grace Church and who had been leading me in all things.
My new pator then rang up my former one who had whished that what
comforted him a little, just to know more about the church I'm
of November I was quite nervous before going to Baptist Church
for the last time. I had prepared the beautiful song "Step
By Step" to sing back-up. Before I sang, the pastor said
about the following words: "We want to grow as a church but
the Lord leads people to other places like XY e.g. who has just
left Vienna or Claudia whom the Lord has led to another, English-speaking,
church. She is going to say good-bye with the following song."
I hadn't realised before that the words of the song were so convenient.
Chorus: "Step by Step you show us the way. It's not the norm
we know it all as you lead us on. We're looking forward to what's
ahead as we live in the now." At the end of the service I
said good-bye to everybody. Some of them told me their opinion
as I expected it, others supported me fully. Then I quickly drove
to my chruch. I can't tell you how glad I am
to be in a church now where I can identify with the teaching,
where I can worship the Lord form the buttom of my heart, where
I can grow and where I can serve in evangelism. When I came to
Grace Church, I got rid of a big burden and I discovered a new
freedom in prayer. The Lord really worked in a mighty way in my
life since then by giving me such a compassionate heart for the
world that hurts so much. One night e.g. in our house-group we
watched a film about New Age. These 100 min. were simply too long
for me. At the end I couldn't say a word, all I wanted was to
cry, to cry to the Lord for mercy and His power to come. I myself
really can't understand how any Christian can stay indifferent
by watching such a film. I think it would be good to show this
film to all Christians.
I think more and more about not finishing my studies again although
everything is going well; I like the courses I have and they are
interesting. But I feel so limited in my possibilities to serve
the Lord. I always feel discontent because I don't serve the Lord
a hundered per cent. I can't study 4/5 more years. That's impossible.
At the moment I think of studying two more years while growing
as His child and in experience, serving among my family, my friends
and in the ÖSM. I think I'll never be happy before being
on the Bible college. Anyway, it's all lying in God's hand and
he'll lead me the way it is best.
my heart is really burdened for the ÖSM. The 26th of November
all Austrian groups met in Salzburg. I was the only Viennese besides
two IFES-teammebers, and Fred, the "boss". We werer
talking about the different situations in the seven cities with
universities. In Vienna, Graz and Innsbruck we have very strong
groups and it was encouraging to hear what the Lord is doing there.
On the other hand it was sad to hear about the situation in Klagenfurt
(possibly one student after Christmas), Salzbrug (an IFES-couple,
one student, no regular activities), Linz (4 believers) and Leoben
(no believers known). Somebody made the joke that we should send
People form the big cities to study there but Fred picked up this
Idea earnestly. Since then I've been thinking and praying about
the possibility to study a semester in Klagenfurt (where I could
study French). I don't know yet if that would be possible without
any problems. I just feel that would be something I'd love to
give, supporting the Christians there and serving the Lord in
this way. I would have much more time for the Lord there.
The 4th of
December we had a prayer and fasting day for these groups in all
of Austria. Some were already praying for them during the regular
prayer meeting on Saturday but I had to organise a special prayer
meeting on Sunday. So we were four people and intensively praying
for the ÖSM. I would love to continue these meetings and
so I announced a prayer meeting for the following Sunday again.
The day before that day I fell ill (caused by lack of sleep).
I decided not to leave in the evening because i has 39°C fever.
But it couldn't prevent me from going to Grace Church. i just
decided to be reasonable and to leave out at last the prayer meeting
in order to stay in bed for some hours. Then I left for the service
at VCC, followed ba choir's practice for the Christmas service.
The next day I learnt that nobody had come to the prayer meeting.
It's my prayer that the Lord would pour out His Spirit to revive
His church again an dto fill all ÖSM-workers with new love
and zeal to preach the gospel with boldness.
look around, there is so much need in our cities! Some weeks ago
I was attracted by a homeless person lying behind a warm ventilation
flap in a park. I felt compassion for him and thought what I could
do. So I went into the nearest shop and bought two sandwiches.
Then I laid them together with a tract beside this poor lonely
man who needed Jesus so desperately. I was glad to have followed
this urge to do that although it was just a drop in the ocean.
The next day I passed again and the food was gone, he himself
was sleeping again. One week later I again brought him sandwiches,
an Austrian kind of cake and a chick-tract ("Somebody loves
me"). My heart contracted when I saw him lying there shivering
all over his body. I could just picture in my mind his reaction
when finding the food. I've never liked giving money to the homeless
because they either spend it for alcohol or drugs. It's much more
useful to give them food. I think especially now during the Christmas
time we shouldalso think about all those needy people while we
are buying one present after the other and having big meals.
In my family,
Christmas Eve is the most important day in the year. It's a tradition
that my grandparents and Heinzi's mother are coming to celebrate
with us. It's also a tradition that I'm preparing the Christmas
program. We are singing several songs with piano, recorder, guitar
and eventually viola (my grandfather is in the Viennese Philharmonic
Orchestre). Then there is a story or a poem and a solo, something
classical etc. Las year I read out of Matthew's gospel about Jesus'
birth (everybody is familiar with this story - it's nothing special)
and I had an evangelistic story. Heinzi always started talking
with someone when I was reading and spoiled the whole program.
I was sad last Christmas about the meaning Christmas had for my
family and longed to celebrate together with brothers and sisters
in worshipping and prayer.
I already have an evangelistic Christmas story but the rest isn't
planned yet. Please pray for the preperation and that the Lord
would open the heart of each of the listeners, especially my grandparents'.
Please also pray for me for the Christmay time till I leave the
27th. The last month was very hard and it's getting worse. Tears
were flowing sometimes and I had to leave home hastily some days.
Sometimes I'm nearly desperate and don't know what to do. I'm
still looking for accomodation but it's so expensive. Additionally,
I've recently neglecting my quiet time what makes it even harder
to cope with the situation. But I'm so glad that I can always
come to the Lord, that He understands and comforts me! Another
thing that makes it more difficult is that I still have no prayer
partner and no very close friend in Vienna. So when I onve left
home desperately, tears running down, I didn't know whom to call
although I have so many friends in Vienna.
Back to November:
In the afternoon
of the 20th of Yvonne and me, we again went to "foundations
of faith"-course at the VCC. The topic was: "What has
God done for us?" Again she heard the gospel very clearly
and again I didn't get a feedback. Unfortunately she "couldn't"
stay for the baptism right afterwards. The following day she came
to the ÖSM-evening, as she did the following and the following
Monday and she will this evening. Today's topic is "Hope
and fulfilment of the Advent". She is also going to come
to the ÖSM-Chrismas Party on Thursday. Possibly she is also
coming to the "English Club" on Saturday and to the
Christmas selebrations on Sunday although I can hardly imagine
that. On Sunday, we w'll first have our Christmas service in Grace
Church. We'll have a special program and I'll sing in the choir
(that's the reason why people would come). In the evening we have
the Chrismas celebration at VCC. Our international choir is going
to sing the two songs we sang in the hotel, that means also my
solo again and a good reason to invite people. At the moment,
Yvonne intends to come to both services as she has never been
to any of the two churches. It's a pity that you did't receive
my letter in time but it's my prayer that this Sunday will be
life changing for her and that she will truly celebrate Christmas
my brother, my mother and Heinzi went to the catholic church because
my brother's girl-friend was singig there. that made me very sorry
because they would never come to see me singing. That's also what
I told them. My brother and Heinzi admitted that. That day I had
given my mother three roses. I had just seen them and thought
it would be nice to bring her some. Then, in the evening, she
indirectly said she would maybe come next Sunday. I pray that
she will, and Heinzi and my brother too! Unfortunately my grandparents
already have a Christmas party and are not able to come, neither
in the morning nor in the evening.
is there to say about the last month?
night I had to translate the whole ÖSM-talk simultaneously
form German to English. I was suprised how easy it was and really
day, the 29th of November, I saw the musical "Grease".
The music and the performance were greate - I love this music
and dancing. Nevertheless I left the theathre rather depressed.
The message of this musical is simply terrible - and when I think
what impact the musiacal and the film had!
The 7th of
December the people of our final class at school met again. We
were just 10 people in our final year and nine that day. I realised
that there is nothing we have in common any more.
also there. She has been living with the father of her seven month
old son for two years now. Her boy-friend Peter is a drug addict
who can't get rid of it. Petra is supporting him in every possible
way but can't stand the situation any longer. We recently had
an ÖSM-talk about a Christian drug ministry in Vienna. I
immeadiately told Petra about it and that I believe it would be
the only way out. Although she usually doesn't want to hear anything
about my faith, she somehow saw anything else didn't work. In
January they will meet with people there and hopefully he will
soon be in the program.
study group meanwhile disabanded because of the numbers of participating
students. So we put three groups together and it's not possiple
for me to come that day at that time. Ansbert, our only faithful,
was very glad about that. He was really excited about the real
discussion with more people. Tomorrow we'll have lunch together.
At our last Bible study Ansbert couldn't come. Instead we had
a member of a sect, the "true Christians". She had come
to evangelise us, so it was quite hard to discuss with her. We
haven't seen her since then. We were so grateful that God had
What is going
to happen in the time to come?
no new date for the trial yet.
Christmas holiday wil start. Then I'll have to prepare the Christmas
program and to study for university. I also want to visit my father.
I'll just go there by chance. I hope he is in Vienna. The 27th
I'll leave Vienna for the conference in Germany. Unfortunately
I didn't find anybody to travel with me. So I'll drive 900km there
and the 1st/2nd back alone. The conference is about world mission
and I'm looking forward to the Lord's working in my heart.
back I'll have some more days for studying before the courses
start again the 9th. January will then be a horrible month! I'll
have several exams at university, the preparations for Mittersill,
an ÖSM-evening to lead, special music in church the 22nd
(my grandparents will come!) and so on. At the moment I really
can hardly imagine that I'll have the time to write "News
from Vienna 5" (althogh- knowing myself I'd say I'll take
the time). So if it lasts longer this time, don't worry. From
the 4th to the 11th of February I'll then be at the ÖSM-week
in Mittersill (topic: freedom). The 13th I'll leave Austria to
come to England again! We'll be about 11 Austrian students and
we'll be travelling from city to city to participate in CU's activities.
The 22nd the Austrians will return but I'll stay till Saturday
the 25th in London and if you are also near London at that time,
I'd love to see you!
how much time it takes to write the newsletter. I've been writing
for about 7 hours (two sessions) to be able to present this detailed
newsletter. By your reactions I believe it's worth. Now it will
take about another hour at university to make all the copies (meanwhile
only about 35 because I don't send it anymore to those who have
never reacted), then addressing the envelopes, writing personal
lines and all together it will have taken me about 11 hours and
a lot of money. So I hope you will take the time to write some
of prayer requests:
- my situation
at home, my grandparents
a flat for my own
- the ÖSM
- new fire and groups in Klagenfurt, Salzburg, Linz and Leoben
- my consideration
of going to Klagenfurt for one semester
conversion, Ansbert's conversion
- the time
in Germany, strength in January
I hope you
don't feel forced to pray or anything else by reading all my prayer
requests. I would be glad if you just pray for one thing the Lord
lays on your heart.
know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to
herm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call
upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You
will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
I woll be found by you." (Jer 29:11-14)
May the Lord
bless you through this time of thinking back to the great day
when Jesus left His glory to give us life.
Christmas & a happy new Year!
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