I thought that our time in Vienna would be focused on ‘helping’ the refugees there. Instead, God used the time to teach us about how others are already serving the immigrants, refugees, ex-pats, students, and residents of the city through Vienna Christian Center. This church has 9 different congregations in 8 different languages with a total of about 2,000 Christians in worship every weekend. We got to attend for Celebration Sunday, when all the groups worshiped God together in multiple languages. And, we got to eat International Food before celebration service!
We also got to spend time with local missionaries Monica and Lisa, both from the US, on 2-year assignments to Vienna. They each work with refugees each week. Their primary responsibilities are teaching English classes and meeting women for tea and snacks. While neither of these activities are overtly evangelical nor humanitarian, they’re both part of the goal to fully welcome refugees and migrants with radical hospitality – by treating them with dignity and respect. Check out more about our time in Vienna by watching my video summary: