Well, here we are. It’s just about a month and a half before we leave for Vienna. Half our furniture is sold, our plane tickets are bought and we know about 1/128th of the German language. I’d say we’re just about ready.
These last couple of months have gone by so fast. It seems like only yesterday we were actually deciding to go. Ever since then, we’ve started our HIM (Helpers in Missions) class, began learning German, and started our fundraising. Of the 60% of funds that’s our responsibility to raise (Memorial Road Church of Christ helps with the other 40%), we’ve raised about 35% of that – a good start. Please continue to pray for us as we raise the other 65%. We’re leaving May 16th, so the deadline’s coming up fast.
A brief rundown of what we’re actually doing: Holly and I are participants in the HIM program, which sends out young couples to established missionary fields all around the world. We will be joining two young families who have been in Vienna, Austria for over four years now, planting a church in one of Vienna’s growing districts. As Holly and I have both visited Vienna as part of study abroad programs, we’ve always had a special affection for the city and its people. Vienna has one of the highest quality of life ratings in the world, which means its people are well off; but at the same time, it is the very definition of a “post-Christian” Europe. Only 54% of Austrians in 2005 said they believe there is a God – above most Scandinavian countries, but far below countries like Portugal, Poland, Italy and Ireland, and especially the U.S.
The current Vienna team has been very successful, with a body containing two separate house churches and over 30 members. Because of the growth, the two families – the Hensals and the Haskews – requested some HIM workers to help with some of the work…and here we are.
While we don’t know every facet of what we’ll be doing, we do know we will take on a lot of the responsibilities of English Kids Club, a great outreach tool. We’ll also most likely start an adult English program, as well as focus on outreach for high school and college students as well as young adults, all missing demographics in the church. And basically, we will just help the current missionaries in any way we can, hence the “Helpers” part of HIM.
Holly and I plan to take turns updating this blog, both in the lead-up to leaving and over the next two years. Please, follow us to hear more about the ministry. This isn’t just the efforts of a few of us over in Europe; this is also the combined efforts of all our friends and supporters back home. Please continue to pray for us and the church in Vienna.