Frequently Asked Questions

From time to time we receive letters and/or emails from students of all ages requesting assistance with school projects. On this page we have listed a compilation of the most frequently asked questions about our ministry and personal lives here in Austria. We anticipate that this page will increase in length as new questions are posed to us.

If you are a student working on such a school project, please feel free to use any of the information here to complete your project. If you have additional questions feel free to contact us via the contact page on this site. Also, if you have found this information helpful in completing school project, please let us know about it. It is an encouragement to us to know that we could be of help.



Main religion practiced in Austria

Roman Catholic 73.6%, Protestant 4.7%, Muslim 4.2%, other 3.5%, unspecified 2%, none 12%

Language spoken in Austria

German (official nationwide), Slovene (official in Carinthia), Croatian (official in Burgenland), Hungarian (official in Burgenland)

All the above information was copied from the CIA World Factbook.


Population

8,316,487 (estimated)

Capital City

Vienna (pop. - 1,674,595)

Other Important Cities

Graz (pop. - 250,099), Linz (pop. - 188,968), Salzburg (pop. - 150,269), Innsbruck (pop. - 117,916)

Type of Government

Federal Parliamentary republic

All the above information was copied from Wikipedia.


Current leader of government

Chief of State: President Heinz FISCHER (since 8 July 2004)
Head of Government: Chancellor Werner FAYMANN (SPOe) (since 2 December 2008); Vice Chancellor Josef PROELL (OeVP) (since 2 December 2008)

Main source of income for people living in Austria

The economy features a large service sector, a sound industrial sector, and a small, but highly developed agricultural sector.

Climate

temperate; continental, cloudy; cold winters with frequent rain and some snow in lowlands and snow in mountains; moderate summers with occasional showers

All the above information was copied from the CIA World Factbook.


Wildlife found in Austria

Lippizaner (Lipizzaner): pure white horse, named after its place of origin in Lippiza, Slovenia. They are trained at the Spanish Riding School of Vienna.
Ibex: a mountain goat with huge curved hornsp
Chamois: horned goat antelope related to goats but having antelope-like features
Marmots: cute little furry creatures

Wildlife information was copied from: http://www.atozkidsstuff.com/.


Currency

The Euro

How are kids educated?

Austria has a very good education system. Children here attend school very much like you do.

Sports played by kids

The most popular sport in Austria is fußball (the game we call soccer in the States).

Interesting traditions

Austrians celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve.

When you come into someone's house in Austria it is customary to remove your shoes. In most cases the host will provide you a pair of slippers.

When greeting a couple, it is polite to greet the woman first and then the man.

It is always polite to bring a gift with you when you are invited to someone's home.

There is a quiet law in Austria. It is against the law to make noise after 10:00 PM. Also you are not allowed to operate loud machinery after 7:00 PM during the week, between 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM or after 5:00 PM on Saturdays or anytime on Sundays.

Almost all stores close at 7:30 PM on weekdays and at 6:00 PM on Saturdays. There are very few stores open on Sundays.

More Info (Including Points of Interest)

http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/europe/at.htm

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Could you tell me how your missionary life has been?

We arrived in Austria in July of 2004. We began language school that fall. From the time we arrived we attended an already existing local church. This gave us an opportunity to learn Austrian customs while we were learning German. I was also given the opportunity to preach often in that church. From the time we arrived we have also worked in a ministry to Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers. We saw about twenty people make a decision for Christ through that ministry. Since the Fall of 2006 we have been focusing on planting new churches in Austria. Our strategy has been to invite our unsaved friends to study the Bible with us. We know that as people read God's Word, God will keep his promise from Isaiah 55:11. It reads, "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." We are currently working on our second church planting project. We initially partnered with two other families to help start a ministry to the international community in Graz. Our family is currently leading a German language church plant north of Graz, in the community of Stattegg.

Have there been any hardships and is there anything we could do to help you?

We have not had too many hardships since we have been here. The most difficult experiences we have had have been adjusting to a new culture and learning a new language as well as being away from our family and friends back in the States. We could always use your prayers for our family and our ministry.

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How did you know that God called you to the mission field?

After hearing the testimonies of several missionaries, I began to understand that God could use me in this way too. After I surrendered to serve God where ever He wanted to use me, I no longer had a peace about ministering in my homeland. Because of that lack of peace I knew that God wanted to use me elsewhere.

How many years did it take before you really obeyed the Lord to be a missionary?

The Lord began to burden me for missions as a freshman in Bible College. I immediately changed my major to Missions and began preparation to be a missionary. I surrendered to move to Austria in December of 2001 while serving as a Missions Intern at my home church in Texas.

Who motivated you to continue in the mission?

Many people motivated me to continue toward the goal of becoming a missionary. The pastor from the church I attended while I was in Bible College had a great impact on my choosing to minister in Austria. The pastor from my home church was instrumental in helping me set and achieve goals that actually got us to the field.

How soon did you start?

Immediately! From the point I surrendered to be a missionary I never backed away from that goal. At times I had doubts, but I never left my course.

What is your strategy in order to gathered people?

We meet people where they are. We focus on reaching people socially and then attempt to share Christ with them once we have built a relationship.

What is the first thing you did in your ministry?

The first thing we did after we arrived on the field was to enroll in language classes. Learning the language is vital to ministry. Without it you will never really be effective.

What things have discouraged you or tempted you to quit?

Learning the language has been difficult and, at times, discouraging. It has also been difficult to be away from our family and friends.

What words of encouragement do you say to yourself to help you move on?

God is faithful and He brought us here for a reason. Until He accomplishes that purpose through us we will not leave.

How did you manage to survive in spite of hardship on the mission field?

When we first moved to Austria we began attending an already existing local church. Though we have left that church and are now ministering on our own, it was encouraging to be in contact with other christians from the moment we got here.

What is your specific need on the mission field?

We need more people who are willing to sacrifice there own life plans in order to move to Austria so others hear the Message of the Gospel.

What is your advice to me to follow the steps of God?

I would encourage you to pray and ask God what He wants you to do. Once He has revealed that to you I would encourage you to trust Him to fulfill that purpose through you. I would also encourage you to be faithful to God, His work and His Word.

What is your advice for me to move on toward the calling of God?

If God is calling you to ministry don't run from that calling. You will never find peace or happiness in anything else.

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Do Austrians speak English? If not, is it hard to speak to them in a different language?

Many Austrians do speak English because they have learned it in school, however German is the official language in Austria. In order to effectively communicate we have had to learn German. Learning German has been a difficult process but it has also been a rewarding process.

What city in Austria are you in?

We live in Graz. It is the second largest city with about 250,000 residents.

Graz is divided into 17 districts. They are:

Graz

I. Innere Stadt (3,302)
II. St. Leonhard (12,377)
III. Geidorf (19,119)
IV. Lend (22,369)
V. Gries (22,658)
VI. Jakomini (25,808)
VII. Liebenau (11,556)
VIII. St. Peter (12,809)
IX. Waltendorf (10,782)
X. Ries (5,789)
XI. Mariatrost (7,403)
XII. Andritz (16,316)
XIII. Gösting (9,227)
XIV. Eggenberg (16,467)
XV. Wetzelsdorf (12,225)
XVI. Straßgang (12,212)
XVII. Puntigam (6,248)


Map and Map Key were copied from Wikipedia.


What is it that you do in Austria?

We are church planters. It is our job to start new churches in Austria.

Do you like being in Austria?

We do enjoy living here very much. We miss our families and friends back in the States, but God has given us many new friends here.

How could I pray for you?

Pray that God would guide us and that we would be willing to follow His direction in our current ministry. Also, pray for our kids as they strive to learn the language.