Grace Extends in Austria
Late last year Ryan King, leader of Grace Baptists in Europe, and his wife Uliana visited Austria to check on the work there. Here is a report of how grace is extending in Austria.
Five years to the day from when we first met Steve and Katrin Missios and discussed supporting a church plant in their house, I was able to teach at their midweek Bible study from Romans 6. Those who gathered constituted a mixture of old and new faces, some who are faithfully following Christ, others who profess faith but have not been baptised, and others whose commitment is unclear. It was great to talk to such a group about regeneration, unity with Christ, baptism, and holiness!
The church now has use of an English language school’s building and the next day we assisted with an Advent outreach in the car park they share with a shopping market. Gospel conversations and leaflet distribution were accompanied by free punch, refreshments, gifts, and face painting for children. This was the first time the church used the large car park in this way. They were pleased with the response and hope to make more strategic use of the space in the future.
The spiritual outlook in Austria is among the bleakest in Europe. Traditionalism on one hand and liberalism on the other makes churches utterly inactive and ineffective at reaching their city with the gospel. The city’s prevailing secularism makes typical Austrian people fairly apathetic to those like Steve who are seeking to share the gospel. But Steve, his family, and the church are persevering and despite a number of disappointments over the years, seem to be in a season of relative encouragement and growth.