April 2020

And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” Mark 15,39

No execution had ever caused such a stir as that of Jesus Christ.

Not only was the multitude of people gathered under the cross outstanding, but the drama of Jesus' crucifixion itself was beyond compare. After draping a purple robe over Jesus' shoulders and placing a crown of thorns on his head, he was publicly ridiculed. Passing numerous onlookers, Jesus was led to Calvary to be crucified. With him, two robbers hung on crosses, one of whom was carried away to join in the mockers' choir. Passers-by shook their heads and blasphemed about Jesus. Even those who were authorities in religiosity and rulership, Pharisees and scribes, scoffed at Jesus. Many hours were marked by laughter, mockery and shaking of heads at the One who claimed to be the King of the Jews. Until suddenly, the sky darkened. Jesus, who had been hanging on the cross for hours, cried out in a loud voice: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!" He died. The king of the Jews was dead! The drama had ended. The mocking voices fell silent. The onlookers made their way home, satisfied.

Only one - a Roman centurion who faced the crucified man and carefully observed what had happened - only he realized: "Yes, this man was really God's son!"

In the drama and chaos of our lives, in the state of emergency we are currently experiencing, it can be easy to overlook the most important things.

We are too easily carried away by general opinion. We join the pull of those who claim a right to a perfect life, a right to freedom, to independence, to unlimited consumption. Stories are broadcast in the form of pictures, videos and caricatures. We mock with the mockers. We criticize with the critics and, with fresh humor, somehow try to maneuver through this chaos of fear, uncertainty, newness, and constantly changing regulations. But despite all of this, we must not overlook one thing: Jesus Christ is really God's Son!

Of all things, a Roman centurion, an enemy of the Jews, whose king was crucified by the Romans, challenges us to face the Crucified in the chaos and to take a closer look. The kind of look that you take when you want to get to know a loved one intimately. The kind of look that takes your gaze toward the sky, looking for a new star. Or perhaps a painting by van Gogh, that keeps you staring for a long time, trying to understand the emotion behind his artwork and his perception of the world.

Stand in front of Jesus and look closely. If we do, Jesus' death on the cross will take on a whole new meaning for us. If we take a closer look, we will not confuse the Resurrected One with the gardener - as did Mary Magdalene at the empty grave. Instead, we will realize that Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God, my Redeemer. 

That is Easter!

Your Martin

End of Season

During the International Week (March 8-14) it became increasingly clear that the ski-lifts would probably close on Sunday, March 15th. On Friday the 13th, the official announcement came in the late afternoon that the ski season in all of Austria would end on Sunday. The International Week would be our last ski camp of the season and come Saturday, March 14th, we not only said goodbye to our guests, but also to most of our volunteers.

In the following weeks, the situation around the world changed dramatically, and we had to cancel our 8-week spring Bible School due to travel restrictions. Students from the USA, Canada but also from European countries would no longer be able to enter Austria.

Up until now, we have had to cancel 5 weeks of fully-booked ski camps and 8 weeks of Bible School. It is currently still unclear whether summer camps, such as Upward Bound which would start on June 28, can take place at all due to travel restrictions. We will have to wait a few more weeks before we get clarity from the government.


All of our employees are currently registered for a short-term work model. This will probably be the best solution from now until June. If some or all of the summer camps are canceled, we are faced with a new challenge with regard to our employees.

I thank you for your prayers, 
your Martin

Thank you Doro!

Dorothea Callhoff


After our cook, Lothar, had been absent for a long time due to health reasons, we were looking for help for the winter season.

At just the right time, God has provided us with a wonderful, competent person. Dorothea worked as a cook & kitchen manager at Klostermuehle (Torchbearer Center, Obernhof/Germany) for many years before she moved back to her home in northern Germany. Through God's guidance, she became aware of our need and decided to work in our kitchen during the winter season.

We would like to thank Dorothea very much for her service, which she has done with great care and competence! It is always nice to see how people allow themselves to be called by God and thereby bless others.

We wish our Doro all the best and God's blessings for her future!

Please pray with us...

  • We are grateful to our Lord for His protection and blessings throughout this last Winter camp season.
  • We are thankful for our team and for the possibility to encourage and strengthen each other in exceptional and challenging times like the ones we face right now.
  • We pray for wisdom regarding any decision-making, such as when to reopen our doors here at Tauernhof, and that guests and students alike will encounter Jesus.
  • We are also very thankful that Lothar is doing much better already and that he has been responding well to the treatments he underwent. We will continue to pray that all the follow-up examinations will confirm that everything is perfectly fine and that Lothar will very soon be able to swing that wooden spoon again!
  • We pray for our speakers, Martin, David, Heinz and Cor. May that time of semon preparation be greatly inspired by God.

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Photos:, Tauernhof

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