Where are you going?
I will be going to Vienna, Austria.
What is the climate like where you are going and will you need to adjust to it?
Austria gets all four of the beautiful seasons. July is the height of the summer, where it gets about 90 °F (32 °C). While in the winter it can descend to a chilly 10 °F (-12 °C). The Spring usually begins in March and goes through to May. I think the most I will have to adjust to the cold winters. I’m not quite used to such a cold winter, but I’m sure I can get used to the beautiful landscape that comes with it.
What is your time frame to be in Austria? How long will you stay?
My desire is to be back in Vienna by the beginning of March 2019. I am committed to a two year stay but the plan is to stay indefinitely.
What mission’s team and/or organization will you be ministering with?
I will be serving with Vienna Christian Center located in Vienna, Austria. It is a multi-national church that was started by missionaries and continues to be led by missionary staff after 30 years.
What will you specifically be doing within the group?
My general responsibilities will be in the areas of discipleship training, worship service development and church planting. But these are just some of the responsibilities I will undertake.
What will your day to day look like in the mission field?
Still too early to say, but there are some things that I do know will always take place; weekly staff meetings to plan and pray over the operations of the church ministry, worship practice and service set-up, life group and Weekend Worship Service. The one thing they always encourage me is to remain flexible in the field because no matter what you plan, God may have something else in store.
Do you have a family and will they be there with you? What work will they be doing?
I do not have a family going with me into the mission field.
What luxuries from home do you think you will miss the most?
Probably too many to list here such as Chick-fil-a, Jiffy Peanut Butter and Popeye’s buttermilk biscuits just to name a few. Honestly there are so many things we can get around the world from home thanks to the internet that it’s like you never left home. And truth be told there are some things in Austria I enjoy more . . .starting with the chocolate!
Did you need to have specialized training to accept this position?
No. I didn’t need any specialized training for this position. Just a heart that was willing to serve and be open to learn. There is some cross-cultural training I undertake and language study to be involved in but for the most part a lot of my training will be done in the field.
What tools do you need to do your job? Do you have all of them?
There are several tools one needs for this work. One needs a heart of compassion, a knowledge of God’s Word, a desire to self-motivate, flexibility and a spirit of humility. These are all tools I have but they are also tools that I am learning to sharpen up and fine tune them as I grow in ministry. Even though I possess all these tools if they are not centered in Christ, then these tools are useless.
What is the major belief system where you are going? Will they accept you readily or must you be accepted?
The major belief system in Austria is Roman Catholic but not all are practicing the religion. There are many other religions that exist within the country as well Islam, Jehovah’s Witness, Buddhist and etc. For the most part other religions are tolerated so long as you don’t push you beliefs on anyone.
Can you tell me a little bit about the organization, ministry and leadership you’re serving with? Do they have a website?
Vienna Christian Center, or VCC began in 1987, when an Assemblies of God missionary, Bonnie Mackish, answered the leading of the Lord and started an English-speaking service in Vienna. In the years to follow, God sent different leaders to pastor, ignite new ministries and launch outreaches into the city as Vienna Christian Center began to take shape.
In the early 1990’s, Omar and Pat Beiler continued leading VCC and established the small group ministry. This resulted in the expansion of the different language services and fellowships, such as the German Fellowship (known as Jesus Zentrum), the Filipino Fellowship and the French-African Fellowship.
Since that time VCC has expanded to 9 congregations, and 13 services, meeting on 5 campuses, with an average weekend attendance of about 2000 people. Pastors Larry and Melinda Henderson have been leading VCC since 2011 with the vision of further impacting Vienna, Austria, Europe and the World!
For more information on Vienna Christian Center you can also go to their website at: Viennachristiancenter.at
What are the goals of this ministry and are they effective reaching them?
The main goal of Vienna Christian Center is to impact Vienna, Austria and Europe by making disciples for Jesus Christ. The have been very effective in doing this for the last 30 years and growing from one campus to five and ministering to 13 services a weekend.
Does this ministry use its resources well?
They believe in being very wise stewards of the resources that God has given them. Their desire is to share them freely and wisely with those in need as they spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They practice reminding each other that what God has given us is to be used for His glory.
How will you keep in touch with us? Will there be a website or social media page set-up?
Thanks to modern technology you won’t have to wait for months to hear from a missionary who is on the other side of the world. I will stay in close contact with all my partners through E-mail, social media and my website. But also expect the occasional written letter because I do love writing.
What prompted you initially to become involved with this ministry?
I originally got involved with this ministry when I went on a 10 day missions trip with 4 others from my church back in 2017. The purpose was to come and do some work projects slated to help some of the refugees the church had been ministering to in Vienna. It was here that God spoke to my heart to come and minister in Vienna.
How did the Lord bring you to this place in your life to now go into the mission field?
First let me say that missions have always been a part of my life. It has always been a major emphasis in my personal ministry before this calling and I would still be involved in missions to the day the Lord takes me home.
What really brought me to this point in life to go into missions is a long story, but what I can say is that my heart was primed to be ready for full time service to the Lord again. I was ready to go where he wanted me to go and when he placed Vienna on my heart I answered with a resounding, “Yes, send me!”
What makes you believe God is leading you to do this versus personal desire?
I believe God has called and empowered me to EQUIP believers to be visionary leaders who EXTEND love through SERVICE to a world in need of hope. He has given me specific gifts and talents geared towards training and encouraging people in a multi-cultural environment. Every experience up to now has been to prepare me for this moment in ministry.
Personal Connection to Ministry
Tell me about the time you spent with this ministry previously.
It’s like being at “Home”. Every time someone ask me about this ministry all I can say is it’s like being at home. They are the best part of being with a family. It’s a touch of heaven when you get to fellowship with that many nations in one place at one time and words cannot describe it. You know the Holy Spirit is there.
Why do you want to be a missionary?
I don’t want to be a missionary. I want to be a life changer! I want to challenge and influence people to greatness in God by realizing their gifts and utilizing them to the fullest and advancing His kingdom. I am partnering with God to empower people to rise up and make change. You can give the titles to someone else.
Why is this specific ministry important to you?
This specific ministry is important to me for several reasons. First they are hungry for the Word of God and want to grow. Second, I just love people from all walks of life and really love learning from them and challenging them to grow in their walk cause it challenges my walk with the Lord. And finally, this ministry has the greatest potential to impact the world. They are located in the center of Europe and these people go back into their countries infecting an affecting their countries with the truth of God’s word. Imagine how we will shape the world for God’s Kingdom. That’s why this ministry is so crucial.
What does “success” look like to you in the work you are endeavoring to do?
Success looks like someone who has received the truth of God’s word and is impacting other lives with that truth by making more disciples for the expansion of the Kingdom of God.
Have you had any early encouraging success that you can share?
I do not have personal stories of success but the church has a 30 years of stories detailing how God has overcome and blessed in this community. They recently had a young man who came to them from Nigeria to go to the University of Vienna to become educated. During his time in Austria he came to Christ and was discipled at the church and will be going back to Nigeria to lead discipleship ministries there.
What are you most passionate about in this upcoming mission work?
What I am most passionate about in this next season of work is beginning new relationships. The opportunity to open up new doors in another country and see God at work through me is very exciting. It’s in these relationships that God does his most amazing work on a larger scale impact.
What are your personal goals for this ministry?
I have a couple goals I’d like to accomplish in my time there. First I’d like to see a new generation of Worship Leaders come up and start training the leaders behind them. Second, I would also like to see a Young Adult ministry that really targets the inner city of Vienna. They are the most jaded in their society and I believe the ones who can win the nation back.
What would you like to see accomplished within this ministry?
I would like to eventually see the nationals take ownership of the ministry, so that we can then go into other countries and build churches there someday. Alas we are not at that day yet but some day we shall be.
What do you feel you are bringing that is unique to this ministry?
I feel I am bringing multiple perspectives into this ministry both sacred and secular. From my sacred background I have been blessed to work in both urban and suburban churches and have a broad understanding of ministry that will assist me in this unique church environment. But my secular business background gives me a creative knowledge base to think outside the box and be flexible in the scope of missions field in which I have to minister. Plus I am very personable and I know how to bring groups together and work even in stressful situations. I think I will bring a balanced view of life others may not have coming to the table.
Are you being sponsored by a church? How is the church supporting you financially and spiritually?
Yes, the Worship Center will be my sending church. My church will not be fully supporting me financially at this point but they are playing a major role in processing financial support that comes in for me and holding me accountable in my spending. They are also my spiritual tether outside of the ministry leader I answer to in the field.
Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes, your donations are tax-deductible.
How will the money raised be used (supporting you, supporting others on the team, going directly to the mission work)? Is there accountability regarding the donations?
The money raised will go to supporting me the missionary first and indirectly the ministry through tithing. The funds raised make up my basic cost of living expense for the year. I am kept accountable regarding the donations on many levels: first through my church that receives and distributes the funds to me and the second level of accountability is through the government by way of taxes. I have to give an account of everything received. And finally the ministry also does a great job of challenging each of their missionaries in the area of biblical stewardship as well.
Do you need support just once, or continuous?
Financial support is welcomed both once and continuous. It really depends on how God moves you to give.
How is the money raised allocated throughout your stay?
The church will deposit the funds into an account that I can withdrawal from when needed.
Is your approach to fundraising God centered or self-centered?
My approach to fundraising is very much God centered. I go into fundraising first seeking God to speak to the hearts of people to release back to him what He has already given. Second, I go expecting already that God is going to bless the work for which He has called me to so I must be faithful in inviting others into the ministry.
Can I buy supplies instead of just handing you a check?
At this present moment the ministry is not looking for any supplies and as far as getting supplies for me, it’s better if I purchase them overseas. It can get rather expensive trying to ship supplies overseas or carry them on the plane with you. But as soon as the need arises I will let you all know.
I cannot give monetarily. What ways can I pray for you? What are your greatest needs (spiritual, physical, etc.) in thinking about your upcoming mission work?
There are many ways you can continuously pray for me and the teams in Vienna as I will send out prayer updates regularly. The biggest prayer request is for spiritual protection. Vienna is spiritually dark and we have to be on our guard.
Are you aware of the positives and the negatives regarding this ministry and missionary work?
Yes, I am aware of the positives and the negatives of this work. It is the very reason why I must stay prayed up daily and take very specific precautions for my safety and the safety of those I minister with.
What are your concerns?
My concern at this time is that I will fail at my assignment. Every leader goes through that thought at some time in their work. No matter how much you plan for success you fear that you will let someone down. But I know that greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world. God reminds me that I am not alone in this and that it’s not on my shoulders alone. We are all in this together and I know you have my back in prayer so I do not allow this concern to weigh me down or deter me from what God has called me into.