Austria (MNN) — Throughout the month of June, almost 200 believers were
involved in "Kickoff2008," Operation Mobilization's outreach at Euro 2008, the
European soccer championship.
120 members of eight local churches were involved in the outreach, as well as
70 helpers from other missions. They
were allowed to set up a stage on the fan mile, where they held daily programs
for children, youth, and passersby. The
teams shared their faith through conversations, music, drama, testimonies,
dance, face-painting, a climbing wall, and literature.
Although only four people accepted the Gospel at Innsbruck, the outreach
planted seeds in the hearts of many people, as well as provided an opportunity
for local churches to work together.
"All eight evangelical churches in Innsbruck, from Brethren to Pentecostal,
worked together in this outreach," one team member commented. "I think we made history!"
Volunteers in Klagenfurt
were allowed to set up the Scripture Union Bible bus and a local church's tea
bus in a park near the football stadium. They were able to converse with thousands of football fans from Germany, Croatia,
as well as many local residents.
I think we did more for the local residents than the visitors," one team member
said. "Many felt threatened by the noisy
crowds and appreciated the chance to sit in the tea bus and talk."
The team in Klagenfurt
believes God can still work in the lives of those who heard the Gospel but did
not respond to it.
"It was great to sit with Polish and German fans in the tea
bus and share about God with them," reported one team member. "Although half were drunk, I still believe God
sowed seed in their hearts."
OM is thankful for the
increasing unity among these Austrian churches and asks for continued
prayer. Only one percent of Austria's
8 million people are evangelical Christians, making it one of the most
unreached Roman Catholic countries in the world.