Sunday, February 14, 2016

German Classes for Those in Need

Imagine being forced to flee your country because of war, other dangers or religious persecution. Imagine taking with you only the things you can carry and the clothes on your back. Imagine, then, arriving in a foreign country that will be your "new home", without any support or connections and not knowing the local language.

This is the position that thousands of refugees are in when they arrive in Austria. They are attempting to integrate into a new culture with no tools or support at their disposal. Some come alone, hoping to pave the way for family members to come later. How do you begin life in a new culture, if you don't even know how to communicate with the people around you?

 Because language is such a crucial tool and one of the greatest needs of the refugees coming to Austria, the evangelical church there, in partnership with a Christian non-profit, is now offering free German classes. It's a tangible way for us as a church community to reach out to our new neighbors, showing them the love of Christ by offering them the help they need.

The current class, being taught in our new church building in Vienna, has 70 refugees registered for 4 different language levels. The refugees enjoy coffee, cake and good instruction while they are there. We pray that they come to know not just the language, but why Christians of all people are offering to teach them for free. We pray they would sense a difference (the Holy Spirit) when they enter the building.
Please pray for this new outreach. Pray for enough teachers and help to make these classes possible. Pray for God to work in the hearts of the refugees who come. Pray for God to be honored as Austrian Christians seeks to love their neighbor, just as Christ loves them.