Re-Building the Church

In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Our Ministry

We need to re-evangelize Europe. Many young Europeans were baptized as babies and then never visit a church again. Even in rural areas where traditions are stronger, people no longer feel connected to their grandparent's religion. Most people don't own a Bible and have never read the Bible for themselves. At the same time, we sense an openness that wasn't there even fifteen years ago. There is a longing for spiritual depth and for inner peace. Mostly people assume that churches of any kind won't have the answers they are looking for, but when

We are partnering with local Christians in a rural mountain valley in Tyrol, Austria. Together we are re-building the local church in this Region. This is the only free church in a county with over 30,000 people. In 1982 a group of Christians started a congregation in Reutte, Austria. The church grew through personal evangelism and Bible study home groups. But, due to various factors, the community shrunk until it was only a few members. This is a microcosm of Europe on the whole. We want to reverse this trend, through teaching the Word in a relevant way that modern people can understand, and by being personally available for people in practical ways.

One of the ways we serve is through Royal Rangers, a Christian scouting ministry. We offer a safe, fun environment where kids age 4-12 can play outside, learn about God's creation, and build relationships with Christians. Our two boys join us in this ministry. They look forward to the Rangers meetings and to earning their next badge. Rangers is a way that we can serve the community. About half the participants come from families who otherwise don't attend the church.

We are also committed to migrants and refugees. We provide a welcoming place where persecuted Christians and Muslims interested in Jesus can receive spiritual care and enjoy Christian fellowship. We are building relationships with Afghans and Iranians living in the region and have welcomed Ukrainian families who have fled the war. We also continue to support churches across Austria to develop their holistic refugee ministry and provide leadership training for refugees so that they too can go out and invite others into a relationship with God. We have current and former students serving in churches in Vienna, Linz, Salzburg and Innsbruck as well as several smaller towns.

You and your church can join us in this vital ministry. Will you partner with a regular gift so that we can continue to bring Jesus to all the people of Austria?

Everyone should have a church where they can worship God and grow in their understanding of Christ.

That is the reason why the ministry in Reutte, Austria is so important. The next Austrian free church is an hour away over a narrow mountain pass. The people of Reutte deserve to hear the Gospel where they live.

Our vision is to build up the local believers, and encourage them to serve through their gifting. Share the Gospel in the surrounding valleys, and start home groups in each of the five valleys of Reutte. Eventually, our goal is to empower the local church to lead and support itself without support from outside churches.

There are no shortcuts to local church ministry. By grace, the church will grow through long term faithful ministry. This is a process of years of work and prayer. We are very thankful for your partnership in this ministry, and for your faithfulness over the long term.

We have already followed this model in Salzburg. Together with a local church, we built up a Christian community where Farsi speakers worship and study the Bible in their own language and enjoy Christian fellowship. This is the only Farsi language congregation in the province. People travel from over a dozen towns and from over 100 km to attend.

We emphasized discipleship and learning to follow Jesus in our daily life. Our Farsi language discipleship courses bring us to Jesus and teach us what it means to be a follower of Jesus. We discipled hundreds of new believers and trained dozens of people to serve in the church. In 2019 after 10 years of investing in the church we were able to officially hand the ministry over to the next generation. Since handing over this ministry to the young Afghan and Iranian leaders, the congregation continues to flourish and now has an online ministry serving Farsi speakers in over ten countries.

Leadership Development and Support

One of our goals is to continue to support refugee leaders who will serve other refugees and be an impact for Christ in Europe.

Milad* arrived in Austria shortly after we began our work in there. Already then he was interested in Christianity, but his focus was on starting a new life in Austria. When the immigration officials denied his asylum application, he was devastated. We appealed the decision, but for months he was angry with God for letting this happen. Every week we prayed and studied the Bible together, and eventually he learned to accept his situation and to trust that God loved him and would provide for him.

The appeal process lasted two years, and during this time Milad grew in faith. As his German improved, we asked him to serve in the church by translating the Sunday sermon. Finally, he was granted religious asylum.

Milad once shared that he was thankful that his asylum application was initially denied, otherwise he may have never had learned to trust in God. Milad is now serving in a church in Vienna and is leading on-line Bible studies to students around the world.

When we left Salzburg we handed our ministry over to trustworthy friends who had served together with us. One of these key people was Payam*. When he came to our church, he was already a believer and had attended a discipleship school in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was one of our closest co-workers for several years. He then helped to plant a church in Innsbruck before returning to Salzburg to take over the ministry there. He and his family are now stepping into full time ministry. They will continue to serve in Salzburg, but are also traveling to refugee camps across Europe ministering to Afghans.

Elia* is leading an online church for Iranians scattered around the world. Already before the pandemic, they were meeting weekly for online church services. In recent years they officially registered their church and are growing more and more.

We provide support for church leadership, recommend teaching videos and books in Persian and developed an interactive discipleship course in Farsi that can be implemented even without any mature Farsi speaking leaders. We also started a Farsi language discipleship school which meets every six months for an intensive study and encouragement.

If your church would like us to visit you contact us via the contact page.

* names have been changed for privacy and security reasons

Practical Help for Refugees

Over the years, we have assisted hundreds of persecuted Christians from Iran and Afghanistan with their asylum applications. Gordy studied refugee law in Austria and is authorized to represent asylum seekers. We provide information explaining the asylum process to asylum seekers already present in Austria. We help them to document their evidence and testify on their behalf. It is important that refugees do not have to do this alone.

Through your generosity, we have a fund with which can support new arrivals and families with non-bureaucratic practical help. There are so many needs that aren't provided for through government programs. We've provided bus and train tickets for refugees traveling to appointments with a lawyer or to visit family. We have donated good quality toys for local schools with immigrant children, and we've helped new families with welcoming a baby into their lives.

Thank you so much for your generous gifts!

The single most powerful thing that we can do is pray. Pray for the next generation of Christians. Pray for the traditional churches. Pray for refugees who are fleeing war and persecution. Pray for us that we will have the words to share Jesus' love and that we will be a bright light in the darkness.

Imagine what God would do if you were to regularly pray for those who haven't heard the Gospel. How would the world change? How would you change? Would you join us in a spiritual challenge of praying for the lost, for unreached valleys and for people fleeing war? If you have decided to pray with us would you send us a short note to encourage us? It’s good to know that we aren’t praying alone.

If you don’t feel comfortable praying or don’t feel you know how to pray, you are not alone. After listening to Jesus pray, his disciples asked him to teach them how to pray. Interestingly, it’s not recorded that they asked him to teach them how to preach or how to serve. How many of you think that being close enough to hear Jesus pray might make you want a lesson or two? Jesus patiently taught them and he will teach you too, if you ask him.

Lord teach us to pray!

Your gift makes a difference. Your gift ensures that Gospel will continue to be proclaimed in from the mountain tops of Reutte, Austria.

We are amazed how God provides for this work. We are honored that you trust us with your finances. We are challenged to use each gift to come alongside lonely, hurting people and point them to the source of peace, hope and love.

By giving you are sharing in God’s work. You are making an investment in a person’s life. Jesus said, “The one who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, but the one who sows bountifully will reap bountifully” In other words, you get out what you give in. Could it be that we get what we give? Could it be that we have as much of God as we are really seeking.

Please invest in the church today.

You too can serve directly. That could be in a different country, but if you look around you will likely discover that in your community there are unreached people, refugees and new arrivals from other cultures that need your love.

Practical ways you can engage with those near you:

  1. Get connected. Ask your local church or a community center if they know of any groups working with refugees or migrants in your area. They can also introduce you to people who are looking for help. Ask us about coming to Austria yourself and working alongside us.
  2. Volunteer your skills. A friend of mine fixes bikes for free another fixes computers. We have many volunteers who have taught German classes. A doctor in our church volunteered with the Austrian Red Cross to see refugees without insurance. Law students in Salzburg volunteer to offer legal help.
  3. Do a Bible study. Jesus said that he had been anointed to proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, to heal the blind and to set the oppressed free. Wouldn’t it be great if your small group talked about the poor, prisoners, the blind and the oppressed?