I grew up attending church and believing in God, but I wasn't a follower of Jesus. After my university studies I moved to Minneapolis and began working full-time and that was the first time I sensed something was missing in my life. The woman who trained me into my job lived out her faith in God and had a real joy for life. While talking with her and her friends I realized that God was what was missing. I began to attend church, read the Bible, and talk to people about what it all meant. Finally the Lord made me aware of what I needed to do and I made a decision to follow Jesus. I got involved at Wooddale Church, and had the opportunity to get training and to experience and discover what were my strengths.
A few years later at a missions conference at Wooddale the Lord began to open my eyes to missions and show me the different ways I could be involved. The more I exposed myself to what God was doing around the world the greater my interest became. God used some specific verses during my devotions to speak to me about going overseas. He used friends to encourage and pray for me during the process. I took the counsel of two different pastors to proceed ahead in taking Bible classes, since I had gone to a secular university, and to go on a short-term missions trip. The Lord used that missions trip to show me the importance of evangelism and discipleship and upon my return I got more training and began to serve specifically in those areas at my church. I was working for a publications company at the time in the area of customer service. I liked my job and I had opportunities to share the Gospel with others and even lead a BIble study in my department. Then God called me to go overseas. TEAM was one of the mission agencies I looked at and I had the opportunity to attend their annual conference that was being held at my church. I saw the people serving one another, sharing their stories and praying for one another and I knew that that was the mission I wanted to join. They were working in Europe and concentrating on starting churches. That is where God led me to go back in 1985 and I am still working in Austria.
Upon arrival in Austria I studied the language and culture, and even attended a 3-month Bible school in Germany. I then got involved in a new church start. Three couples were sent out from the first church started in Vienna by TEAM and that was the start of the Evangelical Church of Liesing in the southern part of Vienna.
My focus is mostly with women to share the Gospel and help them to grow in their faith and to serve God in our church in the 23rd district of Vienna. The Evangelical Church of Liesing has a strong focus on outreach and developing a discipleship ministry as well. I have been involved with the children's ministry over the years, but it has been a more organizational role in the last few years. I have an English conversation group for the purpose of getting to know people outside the church. I have been involved with the leadership team since the beginning and now we have a group of Austrian elders leading the church. My desire is still to share the Gospel and help others to grow in their faith; the church desires that as well.
Primary Prayer Request:
Pray for me to know the plans God has for me for this next year.
Pray for the church people to be bold in sharing their faith and helping others to grow in their understanding of God.