Newsletter - July 2019

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Philippians 4,4

For the past years, our family has enjoyed a beautiful holiday in Italy. It’s where our children learned to swim and, in the midst of many traveling assignments (often to new and unknown places), it is simply good to go back to the familiar and quickly slip into vacation-mode. Even though I love everything about the mountains, there is something about being at the beach, at least for a few days each year, and - as my wife would say - to bury my toes in the sand.

It was just a few weeks ago that I was sitting on this ever-so-familiar beach on the Adriatic with a view of the open sea. Since we are quite close to a port, I love to watch different boats each day, leaving the harbor and sailing away in all sorts of different directions. Fishing boats, small yachts, and best of all, little sailboats.

Although I have been aboard the “Encounter” (our King Fisher Project sailboat) in Greece, I still have no idea about sailing. But as I watch these sailboats I do notice, that it is not necessarily the wind but the set of the sails that determines the direction in which the boats sail. Some sail East, others West. Some sail with the wind, others against it to reach the harbor. Incredible how that’s even possible!

It remains a mystery to me how the apostle Paul, imprisoned, could encourage the Christians in Philippi with the words rejoice in the Lord, always!
How is it possible that a man, sitting in his prison cell, could ever encourage those living in “freedom” to rejoice? How can it be that King David looked death in the face and still never stopped praising God with song (Ps. 13)? How can I rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 4:4) when life often looks different than hoped for?

Aristotle said, “We cannot direct the wind. But we can adjust the sails.”
The course and current of life often have nothing to do with us. But each and every one of us determines how he will set his sails. Paul set his sails towards Jesus Christ, Rejoice in the Lord always! “Always” means with or against the wind.

Whether you can rejoice in Christ and the life He’s given you, or not, does not lie in the direction of the wind (life) but rather in which direction you’ve set your sails.
I want to learn to set my “spiritual sails” (my thoughts and my heart) daily towards Jesus Christ and HIS truth - God’s Word - no matter what direction the wind blows!

I wish each and every one of you a blessed summer - your Martin

Spring Bible School 2019

On June 22nd, 2019, our Spring Bible School came to a fruitful end. 60 students from all corners of the world found their way to Tauernhof for 8 weeks to live in community and read God’s Word, to study, to hear and to experience. The curriculum was full of a wide range of biblical themes, as well as intensive modules on various books of the Old and New Testament. We were able to learn much of what God is doing in these young students lives through times of testimony, hearing how they came to a saving knowledge of Him, and how He led each one of them to Tauernhof.

Eight weeks is certainly not a very long time, but it is always an unbelievable blessing to hear students’ testimonies and learn how God is encouraging and strengthening them in their faith in Jesus Christ, even during such a short time.
Among the many outreach opportunities presented throughout Bible School, we were especially excited to bring to life a brand new English Cafe with our students. Through this newly launched program, we were able to support local students with their English homework while sharing a cup of coffee and a slice of cake in the beautiful, new Tauernhof Bistro.

Once Bible School is over, many of our students return to rather challenging life circumstances back home. It would be such a joy if you would join us in prayer for these young lives, and ask Jesus that the good seed sown in their hearts would not only be preserved, but that it would also be fruitful in their lives, and so in God’s Kingdom.

David Hines, Bible School Principal

Jubilee Project - Finances

It is with great thanks that we look back on a blessed year 2018. We are simply amazed by the privilege of watching Tauernhof’s new building being put to full use since December. It is also wonderful to see how much our guests have enjoyed the new house, and how much delight it brings to so many.
We are richly blessed financially, as well, and deeply grateful to each and every one of you who donated and supported the building project.

If you are interested in helping us cover the remaining costs, we would be ever-so grateful and thank you in advance.

Here are the options to help

USA may be made indirectly online or by mail payable to Torchbearers International, a 501(c)3 tax-deductible charity, designated for Tauernhof - Jubilee Projekt, via: (click on the “Austria-Tauernhof (Jubilee Projekt)” link on the drop-down list) or, by mail in the form of a check made payable to Torchbearers International, designated for Tauernhof-Jubilee Projekt, to:

Torchbearers International
P.O. Box 2620
Estes Park, Colorado U.S.A. 80517

***Required US tax-deductible donation receipts will be provided as legally applicable.

Bank Transfer within Austria and other EU countries:
Missionsgemeinschaft der Fackelträger – Tauernhof  Schladming e.V.
Bank: Steiermärkische Sparkasse
IBAN: AT252081517400007708

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Outreach to Serbia

Dobrodosli u Sribiju!
“Welcome to Serbia!” is exactly how we were greeted on Monday, June 26, 2019.
After wrapping up our Spring Bible School, Ute and Heinz Spindler - along with 11 students - embarked on a 7-day short-term mission trip to Serbia. It was a real joy to witness these young people’s motivation (one South-Korean, six Germans, one Canadian, one Austrian, and two Americans) to put the spiritual truths they had been learning in their previous weeks of Bible School courses into practice. And there were certainly many wonderful opportunities for them to do so, in a variety of different settings.
We were invited, for example, to organize an afternoon program of games at a camp for families of children with mental and physical impairments. We also had the opportunity to experience a city tour of Belgrad, including short stories about Serbia and its historical developments over the past decades.

During the week, these young students were divided into small groups and sent out with a Serbian-speaking person to ask passerbys about their perception of God. This particular day ended with an open evening, themed “Why does God allow suffering?” It was there that we witnessed one bystander become overwhelmed with the concept that we walk with a living God
and treasure a real, living relationship with this living God.
To this, all we could say was, “Slava Bogu” - Praise the Lord!

On Friday, we drove to the South-Western city of Prokublje, where we met with a Gypsy pastor and his family (Marijan, Slavica, Andrea und Filipe Stankovic). After hearing some of their personal family story, the students were able to ask many questions about the culture of the Gypsy people. We then drove together to a small mountain village, a good 50 kilometers from Prokublje, where the students had the chance to spend an afternoon with Gypsy children. Songs were sung, testimonies shared, candies and sweets enjoyed, and all sorts of figures were shaped out of balloons. Saturday morning was all about, “I carry responsibility for my city.” We were divided into teams, along with friends from “Emaus Crkva,” to clean up the streets of New Belgrade. And finally, on Sunday morning, we attended a church service.

Looking back, we are filled with joy to have experienced such a trip with these young people. As God wills, we would love to make these trips regularly during our Bible School season.

Heinz and Ute Spindler

Good bye Christina

Christina Langhans began her employment with us on the 1st of May, 2017, as our cooking assistance.
Alas, we find ourselves bidding her a warm farewell as she leaves Tauernhof for personal reasons (of a manly nature) and begins her new work. We are very happy for Christina and the adventures that lie ahead of her, and are deeply grateful for her tireless and loving service at Tauernhof. Despite a fair share of challenges, Christina was always in good spirits and was a consistent encouragement to us through her friendly nature and trust in God.

We wish her all the best as she steps towards an exciting future, and are thrilled that she will be staying in Austria.

New in our Team

Lilia Fandrich

My name is Lilia Fandrich, I am 39 years old and was lucky to enjoy a wonderful childhood in Kazakhstan, for which I am very grateful. When I was 12 years old, I moved to Ludwigsburg, along with my family. I completed my secondary education receiving a degree as a Geriatric Nurse.

My 18 years in elderly care have certainly shaped me. I was allowed to grow, learned to navigate an incredible variety of personalities, to laugh and even, occasionally, to shed some tears. I was very often faced with the reality that life on earth is not eternal. But at the same time, I learned that there is someone who leads, guides and provides.
I have learned more and more about this Someone over the past 6 years, and how to better love Him.
And even more importantly, I have been able to experience God’s love for me. Since I love sports so much, and love to be in nature, I was always encouraged by various people to go to Tauernhof. And so I went, in 2016! I experienced a marvelous Summit Week full of sunshine everyday. Later, I would also attend a couple Ski Retreats through which I began to build relationships, making Tauernhof all the more familiar.

It was a terrific privilege for me to help in the building phase of the “Jubilee Project.” If someone had told me then that I would be cleaning the very steps I had helped build with my older brothers, or that I would clean the Sauna, where my brothers had laid tiles, then I probably would have laughed. But now here I am, doing just that! As the new head of housekeeping, I am responsible for the cleaning of the rooms and buildings.

Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go…  For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you (Gen. 28:15).
This verse flew out of my locker at the Retirement Home as I was cleaning it out. God does what HE promises. That is exactly what I am experiencing right now.

Lilia Fandrich (Head of Housekeeping)

Lilli Friesen

My name is Lilli Friesen, I am 48 years old and am a housekeeper by trade. I gave my heart to Jesus at a young age. I lived with my family in Bönen (Germany) since 1997, but after separating from my husband, I moved with my two children to Hamm, in May 2009.
Meanwhile, the two grew up and became independent. Once my children moved out, I had a deep desire to change my life. It was during a week-long retreat at Tauernhof, at the beginning of the year, that I found out they were searching for a new cooking assistant. The Lord showed me that HE wanted me at Tauernhof. And so, it was with great joy that I accepted the position and began working on the 1st of July.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Kingfisher Project - Greece

Short term discipleship courses, feature during the Spring and Autumn of our season's program.  Mikayla, a recent Spring course student writes:
"Throughout this trip, God has been showing me the joy of dwelling in and on Christ.  No matter how tempted I am to obsess over my past or my problems, I am called to dwell on what is true and lovely. When I dwell on Christ, conviction and rest comes.  Philippians 4:8 has been a great help to me.  Through meditation, prayer, fasting, submission and more, God made it so clear to me, that in all things, I must dwell on Him.  The restful and focused environment of the “Kingfisherproject” has helped me come to this realisation….."

The first days in April our crew of three sailed for the shipyard.  The bi-annual below waterline maintenance work was due.  Following this was 7 weeks of Impact (discipleship) Training. Then 5 weeks more with Moody Bible Institute, "Study Abroad" program.  The studies being on the Trinity and the book of Acts.  A focus in general has been on the letters of Paul.  We then visit the places he traveled to in Greece.
Scheduled this summer are 6, week long, sailing retreats.
One with FCAP (fellowship of Christain airline personal). Another with the Liebenzeller Mission (a German based mission organisation). The rest are open groups with a mix of participants from all over the world.  Fall Impact (discipleship) Training course will then take us to the end of the season.
We'd love to have you aboard.  Places are still available on our Summer and Fall programs. Check out our website!

As a sailor I appreciate lighthouses. They warn of dangers and lead one to safety. We need more "lighthouses"!  To signal that our only hope is to change our self destructive course and follow Christ.

Pray with us for these island people and help us do what it takes to establish a "lighthouse", whatever form that might take.  I’d love to hear from you.  To share with you our burdens, our concerns and our joy.
Pray for Dimitry and Meta, our shore based team.  Particularly for Meta's youth club, called "Skopelights" and the impact that is having on local youth.

Theo & Sandra Goutzios

NEW as of Summer 2020

E-Mountainbike - Camp

The journey is the destination!
Enjoy beautiful alpine excursions by E-Mountainbike around the Schladming-Dachstein region.
Participants will be divided into 3-4 groups. All tours will start at Tauernhof in Schladming and lead us along bike paths, mountain roads and forest trails to some of the most beautiful places in our region.

Dachstein-Tauern Hiking Week

The Dachstein Tauern Week offers you the possibility of choosing daily between 3 different hikes/mountain tours: The Cozy Crew, the Sporty Group and the Summiteers who will make their way up to the highest mountains in the region.
The various tours will be presented every morning, so that each can decide on his own which group he will take part in that day.

Men's Retreat

You are cordially invited to come reflect on the adventure of “Being a Man” in the 21st Century in an honest, challenging, enlightening and wholesome way.
An encouraging and challenging program awaits us, filled with a variety of activities.  The beautiful Dachstein-Tauern Region offers us many possibilities for an unforgettable week.

You can register here for our 2020 camps

International Week 2020
Bible School and Upward Bound
CAMPS 2020 - brochure

Praise & Prayer

We pray and thank God for...

  • God's provision and protection for staff and guests during a busy summer season
  • Future of Christina Langhans
  • Our new staff members, Lilia & Lilli
  • Encouragement and strength for the Kingfisher Crew
  • Future Mission Trips to Serbia
  • Itinerant ministries                 (Heinz, Martin, David, Cor)
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Photo:, Tauernhof

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Tauernhofaustria - Missionsgemeinschaft der Fackelträger
Coburgstrasse 50, A-8970 Schladming

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