Austria Report 2016 by James Han
Fix our eyes on Jesus
Key verse: Hebrews 12:2 – “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.“
I thank God that he sent his only son Jesus Christ who suffered on the cross and revealed the glory of God, to give me new life and his kingdom newly. In the beginning of 2016 my heart was burdened by a lot of work and many crosses. But God gave me his Word from Hebrews 11,2. My God has reminded me the entire year of this word, to fix my eyes on Jesus who endured suffering on the cross and then received his own glory after his resurrection from death. May God bless the historical 2016 annual to reveal his wonderful works he has done in Vienna, Austria.
I. The ministry of God’s word
We have studied the word of God from Luke in 2016 after we after a long journey of studying the books of Isaiah and Hebrews. Through studying from the New Testament we wanted to learn of Jesus newly. Missionary James Han delivered the Sunday message after one to one bible study and group bible study with the missionaries. M. Sarah Han, M. Daniel and Daniela served their second-generation children and their sheep with 1:1 bible study. M. Sarah Han supported the University students (Lydia Han, Sarah Han, Sarang Yang, Sarah Wieland, Anita Moso and Naomi) at 7 p.m. every Tuesday. We have major prayer topics for the CBF Children, who were in danger of exposure to the sinful world of computer games, smartphones and European humanism. We made a decision to gather all elementary school age students to study the Bible and have them share Bible testimonies. Missionary Lydia Han and Sarah Han were entrusted with the spiritual responsibility of the children by the support of M. Sarah Han. One of the elementary students Jooyean Park who is 13 years old was greatly encouraged through the Bible studies and overcome her depression and difficulty with Austrian school life
- Bible Conference and Bible School
On January 2nd 2016 we prepared the New Year by beginning the long journey of the faith with Bible study in the Vienna UBF (I) center. We prayed and received the new direction from the word of God (see table below), by dividing into two separate groups (Adults & Young Leader Team).
On April 8-10th the Spring Conference was held in Gutenstein with the title, “One thing I do know!” based on John 9,25. We found that most of the Bible students and the 2nd Gen. children had neither personal faith in God nor God´s touching in their lives. In the quiet place of the conference we leaned two lectures from John 9,1-41 and John 6,22-71. The first lecture was delivered by Shepherd Epaphroditus Kim with the title “One thing I do know”. The second lecture was delivered by M. James Han with the title of “Lord, to whom shall we go?” (Peter’s confession). We wrote the life testimony and shared them in the group bible study. Especially in this conference I got the special night to make a personal confession by the free style form, for example, poet, song, power point, presentation, dancing and so on. Sister Anita Mose who was the high school classmate of Lydia Han attended this conference and received the grace of God. After the conference she has kept the bible study with M. Sarah Han.
M. Daniel Yang and M. James Han attended the World Mission Report in Korea on June 1st, and the Missionary Conference. They were spiritually encouraged and comforted by the working of the Holy Spirit with the word of God from Deuteronomy and with the life testimony. On November 4-6th we held the Autumn Bible Conference in the Bible house, in Vienna with the title “Jesus’ Blood.” This was the first conference after the pioneering of Vienna UBF II by M. Daniel Yang´s house church. We met together and we had a special time of the cleansing of our souls by the blood of Jesus. In this conference three university students were raised as messengers; Lydia Han, Sarah Han (Little) and Sarah Wieland from cologne UBF. The spiritual conference direction was focused on the yearly prayer topics in Vienna UBF, that personal salvation may come to each coworker. Sister Sarah Wieland who grew up in Cologne UBF Germany and begun her art major in history and education, delivered the beginning message from John 3,1-18 with the title of “You must be born again.” Sister Lydia Han delivered the message from John 23,13-56 with the title, “The cross of Jesus for you.” The main lecture was delivered by Sister Sarah Han who entered Vienna University this year, delivered the message from John 22:7-23 with the title, “The Last Supper.” After the last message we celebrated the Last Supper with the wine (Jesus blood) and the bread (Jesus body). At this conference sister Sarang Yang shared her life testimony and showed the grace of God which came down on her.
On December 18th we held the Christmas Worship Service by inviting our sheep and friends. We chose Luke 2:1-20 as the Christmas passage. We learned that the Birth of the Baby Jesus was God’s will and desire to send his one and only son to this world revealed to the shepherds out in the fields. We heard this joyful message with a thankful heart and confessed our need as sinners to be saved by Christ Jesus.
Throughout the year we regularly held the monthly Genesis Bible school. The newly invited students could receive the word of God and meet Jesus personally. It was the vessel of the Holy Spirit to invite the new sheep and also to spiritually train the growing young shepherds. Shepherd Epaphroditus Kim delivered the Sunday worship service with this word of God on last week every month. We also regularly held our monthly bible fellowship based on the gospel of John. Therefore the new sheep could receive the word of God and meet Jesus personally. Lea and Anita attended this meeting on a regular basis and this awoke their interest in the Bible. Especially Little Sarah Han received God’s grace through this bible circles ever since due to her growth in faith. Her high school life was difficult. Her classmates and teachers prosecuted her every chance they had. Despite her problems she prayed for her class and friend with faith and through God’s grace. Five of her classmates attended the bible study. Therefore we continue to pray for her friends that they may come to bible study and accept Jesus personally.
III. Discipleship training
This year we found that the sheep and the 2nd gens have a weak spiritual foundation and no personal calling. Most of ministry’s direction were focused on God´s work in each of us. Every Thursday M. Sarah Han served the university students with the word of God from Genesis. She supported them to grow as the people of God. Lydia Han, Sarah Han and Sarah Wieland were used as messengers in the conference. God blessed the spiritual struggle of Little Sarah Han in her high school and helped her to finish it and to enter Vienna University. We pray that she will become a good shepherd and Bible teacher for Austrian University students. Among the middle and high school students in her class, she helped student Ju-Yean Park with the word of God regularly.
In June Vienna UBF sent the family of M. Daniel Yang to pioneer a new chapter. This family served the Austrian ministry since 2004. M. Daniel and his children worked hard to to preach the gospel in Graz, which is the second largest city of Austria and in Vienna continually. God blessed their mission life that M. Daniel got a job in the Korean embassy in Vienna. They began their own ministry by studying the word of God from Matthew. They seemed like the Israelites in the desert. But God is with them and use them as the mission pioneer in Austria.
In June M. James Han received a master student named by Hyungil Chang from Hanyang University in his research company. Chang has been faithful in 1:1 bible study and in Sunday worship service. He was a spiritually a weak sinner, who suffered from depression and autism. But he met Jesus as the savior who healed and saved him. He will return to Hanyang University in middle of Feburary 2017. We pray that he may continually grow in faith in Korea UBF as a man of God.
Prayer topics for 2017:
- Luke gospel Bible Study.
- Raising Jesus’ disciples.
- Fishing new sheep through monthly bible school.
- Austria may be a holy and priestly nation.