TEAM missionary captures young imaginations with the Gospel

By September 2, 2013

Austria (MNN) — Do you think LEGOs and the Gospel have much in common? They make a perfect mix for outreach in Austria.

According to Operation World, evangelical Christians make up only 0.5% of Austria’s population. Most evangelical churches in this country were planted by foreign missionaries, and are often still dependent on their leadership.

Chris Rogers has served in Austria for 28 years with The Evangelical Alliance Mission, or TEAM. Her congregation, the Liesing Evangelical Church in Vienna, recently joined with Scripture Union for play with a purpose.

“Over a Friday through Sunday experience, we invite kids, especially like 6 to 12 years old or so, to come and [the Scripture Union field worker] talks about what a city is, what a community is,” Rogers explains.

“Each of these three days he does a devotional that talks about it from God’s point of view, and then they set up a city.”

Around 40 kids, along with parents and church members, snapped colorful plastic bricks together into dream houses, skyscrapers, a stadium, an airport, a police department, a church and other city buildings.

By Sunday, a giant LEGO city filled the room. Stretching nearly 50 square feet in size, it was a project admired by the children, their families and neighbors. As everyone toured the mini-city, kids shared what they learned about Christ during each building phase.

Then, the Scripture Union field worker brought it all together as community members gathered to hear God’s Word.

“He preached the sermon on Sunday and talked about being a part of the city of God,” recalls Rogers. “It was a great experience for us as a church and for the community.”

She says the Gospel is slowly gaining ground in this spiritually-hungry land.

“The kids haven’t started coming on a regular basis, but they’ve been back for other events,” Rogers says. “They’re kind of, ‘tasting’ us, you know, checking us out to see what we’re like, what we’re about.”

Earlier in the year, the Liesing Church partnered with Scripture Union for another event called the “Bible Mobile.” It’s a truck containing ten computer stations with video games, multimedia presentations, and video clips that share Bible stories.

“As we’ve done these different events, we see less of a reluctance for kids to come out,” she shares. The events are also softening adult hearts toward the Gospel in Vienna.

“They were open to what we were doing, and that’s because [Scripture Union] made it fun and gave them an opportunity to see [the Gospel] from a different perspective,” says Rogers.

Pray more people in Vienna come to faith in Christ.

“When we talk about God, we’re not talking about this church or that church,” says Rogers. “We’re talking about you and God and what He’s done through His son, Jesus Christ.”

Ask the Lord to open hearts and minds to understand this Truth.

“The whole concept of a relationship with God is missing [in Vienna],” Rogers shares. “Many people do not have a good experience or a good taste in their mouth as far as what the Church is, and what it does for people.

“It’s our burden that the Austrians continue to pick up this burden and that they grasp the Gospel and let it transform their lives.”

Do you feel a call to serve in Austria? Click here to see opportunities with TEAM.

“The work is still great, and so are the needs,” says Rogers.

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