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Thirteen participants from five different nations along with three partnering churches participated in four street outreaches, four evangelistic concerts, four church services, five Bible studies, five worship sessions, four training sessions and gave out more than 200 pieces of cake so that over 600 people could hear the message of Easter.
After two similar outreaches in Vienna, it was a privilege to bring the joy of Easter to the people of upper Austria through music and testimonies. God enabled the team to compile a colourful programme of gospel, classic and pop music with singing, piano, German flute, oboe, English horn, violin, guitar, cajon and ukulele!
When the choir sang quiet songs like “Do You See the Lamb” and “The Power of the Cross” some residents in an old people’s home had tears in their eyes, and they clapped along to “Oh Happy Day.” Even the young caretaker helping the team with the technical equipment was moved. New perspectives opened up for him when a young woman from a partnering church shared with him about Jesus and invited him to church.
The team really appreciated the hospitality and abundant provision of food from partnering churches. An afternoon concert in a church served to dedicate the new premises, as well as enabled the team to contribute to a dynamic church service. Some team members interviewed pedestrians on the street about their thoughts on Easter. A church member made a great video from the interviews that was later used in several concerts and church services.
At another church, the team had the opportunity to provide the musical part of the services on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The Easter Sunday service was packed. Some guests were there for the first time, including a student from Mongolia. It was such a joy to see a team member’s former employer and her daughters excitement over the clear message of the resurrection.
Special highlights included the evangelistic outreach on the streets, and a concert in a smaller town. While walking through the sunny streets, the team met many people who were open to talk about Easter and Jesus. A spontaneous concert on the main town square with Gospel Magic and a short message from an Open Air Campaigner completed the afternoon.
Two days later, about 20 new visitors, together with many Christians, enjoyed a multifaceted concert at the church and clearly heard the gospel. The guests learnt about the concerts in a multitude of ways: through friends, the newspaper or even through the weekly programme of the local rehabilitation clinic.
Walter *, who expected a rather lonely birthday, was overwhelmed after being sung “Happy Birthday” as well as getting a cake and prayer. “I will hang (the birthday card) in the kitchen”, he promised. “When I die that card shall be buried with me!”
Who would have thought a few years ago that out of the small beginnings in this town, God would grow such a dynamic, loving and inviting church? Truly, our labour in the Lord is not in vain. He is building His church. The challenge is to continue to be faithful in labouring.