Day 3 and the adventure is only beginning. Today the Associates in Missions, Whitney & Sarah, joined us for breakfast and then took us on a tour of the city center here in Vienna. Navigating Vienna is much easier with these ladies helping us; we are extremely thankful for all of their help and hospitality. During the tour, we were able to see the Opera house, Kärntner Strasse & Graben shopping streets, as well as the beautiful St. Stephen’s Cathedral. For lunch, we stopped at Chattanooga in the city center and tried some of Vienna’s classic meals. If you are curious, we can assure you the food in Austria is not disappointing. After lunch, Whitney and Sarah knew we American’s fighting jet lag needed a pick me up before we headed back to get ready for classes, so they took us by Starbucks for a “taste of home.” No one was mad about it.
This evening we headed to the church around 4 pm to practice with a music team put together by one of our students that graduated in May with her Bachelor degree in Christian Music, Brooke Roberts. Every evening the church serves dinner at 5:30 pm for the Apostolic Ministry Training Course team and students, then classes start at 6 pm and go until 10 pm. Most of our staff and a couple of our students are serving by teaching in the classes, while other students are involved in childcare and assisting the kitchen staff. This is what a typical weekday evening will look like for us while we are here. We are grateful for this opportunity to serve at AMTC and look forward to all that will unfold.
For the next two weeks, ninety-two instructors from North America will be partnering together with twenty-four missionary team members and 8 missionary kids all working in unity to serve twenty-two Apostolic Ministry Training Center campuses with an estimated three hundred and fifty students across Germany, Switzerland, Belgium & Austria. It was nearly two years ago that Texas Bible College was invited to teach and serve at the AMTC campus in Vienna, Austria and here we are today, having accepted the invitation, traveling across the globe with a group of twenty-two people that include staff members, students, and alumni who plan to put into action what has been taught and learned in the classroom.
We will take some time and share what we have been up to since we arrived. We made it to Vienna on Tuesday, May 14th, after a 9-hour flight from Houston, Texas to London, England and then a 2-hour flight to Vienna, Austria. Upon arrival, we were met by the sweetest Associates in Missions who took us to our hotel via train. We had a couple of hours to settle into our rooms and then we were off to dinner before classes started at the church. Many of us did not make it through all of the classes that evening due to 11 hours of flying with only a few hours of sleep. However, those who pushed through the fatigue were the real winners. At the end of Brother Gary Carter’s lesson, he allowed for a time of prayer where a young lady who had been seeking to receive the Holy Ghost for over two years was filled with that wonderful gift. There was not a better way the first night could have ended.
Wednesday morning everyone met for breakfast where orange juice was served in a cup about the size of an orange cutie; this dilemma is the biggest culture shock we have experienced so far. We had a quick briefing and then everyone was eager to start exploring the city. Two groups went out exploring and both came back with many stories to tell of how they learned to navigate the public transit system, interacted with the locals, and experienced some of the Viennese culture. At classes that night, 4 more students were filled with the Holy Ghost and one was baptized in the name of Jesus! This particular night, Brother Charles Robinette, the Superintendent of the German-Speaking Nations, was teaching. We asked for 5 minutes of his time to have him speak to our students and he was more than willing to give that. Then he went the extra mile and asked us to join him at his favorite Kasekrainer stand for a midnight snack. To say we were honored to spend time with Brother Robinette is an understatement. We are thankful for men of God like him that are excited and willing to expose young students like ours to the mission field.
We are excited to see all God has in store for this trip and invite you to follow us on this journey as we post daily updates on our social media platforms throughout the next two weeks. If you have supported a staff member, student, or alumni to be on this trip, we thank you for your support. Experiences like these would not be possible without people like you.