Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14,27
Fear, worry and above all a certain helplessness that overcomes many of us is probably omnipresent. After a concerned person asked me for advice on the development around COVID and the accompanying measures, I take this as an opportunity to share my thoughts with you. After all, this person is certainly not alone with their worries.
Many weeks and months have passed, in which we have thought again and again about how it will go on. When will we finally be able to meet other people again without major restrictions and when will we regain our "freedom". How long will the topic of corona continue to determine our daily lives?
In my sermon preparation for Sunday, I wondered again how it could be that the scribes and Pharisees had misjudged Jesus as the Messiah? They knew the prophecies and promises about the coming Messiah and yet, when He was there, they did not perceive Him as the Son of God. (John 5:31-47)
I have to discover again and again how quickly it can go that you miss the main thing. Especially when worries and fears pile up.
What is the main thing? The main thing for me is not that I am always healthy, escape persecution or interpret the signs of the end times correctly. The main thing is also not to resist the "signs of the times", to expose the Antichrist or to try to prevent the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus, on the contrary. What must come will come – one way or another. The main thing for me and my family is and will always be that we learn to live in the peace of God who is already given to us in Jesus Christ! (John 14:27)
Something that is very difficult for me personally is the feeling of helplessness when I have the impression that something wrong is happening and I cannot do anything about it. The only thing I have left is to trust God. To know that no matter what happens to us or our children, we are in His hands! But, isn't that exactly the main thing? My and our responsibility is not to fix the injustice of this world, but to live rightly with God and other people, to love Him and to trust Jesus. Because ultimately, I have to account to God for my own actions and for how I live with God and my fellow human beings. And all those who make decisions about us, will have to do so one day, and I am glad that it is not I who is the judge, but God Himself.
Satan's goal is to turn us away from God, to stir up disorder and disharmony among our brothers and sisters, and to destroy as many relationships as possible. Well, here he is quite successful at the moment, it seems. Be it in one's own families, church communities or at work. However, neither the virus, nor politics, nor the threat of compulsory vaccination, nor science can be held responsible for this, but only the fact of how we humans deal with it.
That Satan wants to provoke fear, strife and disharmony is clear. But it is also clear that God Himself, His love, and the Holy Spirit are stronger than all demons combined. So the question will always be: Who do we allow to rule in and through our lives? Who determines our thoughts, our words and our actions?
The apostle Paul encourages the church to Ephesus: ... be careful to keep unity in the Spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, just as you also were called to ope hope of your calling; Ephesians 4:3
The love of God, from which nothing can separate us (Romans 8:39) and unity among brothers and sisters in the Spirit, are the two most important pillars that can carry us now through these challenging times.
Let us leave no room for Satan. Let us exercise the peace of God, in our own hearts and among our brothers and sisters. And let us trust that all of our lives are in God's good hands.
Therefore, we too: because we have such a cloud of witnesses around us, let us put aside everything that weighs us down and the sin that surrounds us. Let us walk with patience in the battle that is destined for us, and look up to Jesus, the beginner and perfecter of faith, who, although he could have had joy, endured the cross and disregarded the shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
With this in mind, I wish you and your families God's peace that surpasses all reason. And serenity in the hope and trust that Jesus Christ is with us every day, until the end of the world.
All the best and a joyful Advent season,
NEW STAFF MEMBERS
I am the daughter of a Bavarian captain “on high seas,” a northern German painter,and I married to a Swiss! What a crazy story!
It all began with a dog bite, which provided a monetary compensation that eventually financed my year at Bible School in an Austrian Castle. The domino effect continued when, during my time there, I grew more and more distracted from my dream career in acting, and received a calling into full-time ministry. After spending four years studying theology in French, as well as music in English at a Bible School near Paris, I returned to Austria to first serve as the Dean of Students, and then become part of the preaching team. I found that, similar to my experience during outreaches at the Moulin Rouge, I couldn’t keep silent - be it in church on the pulpit or at youth camps alike. After teaching music and helping unemployed people, God is now sending me to Tauernhof. He must have some humor, I’m quite unathletic.
I hold people close to my heart. It is important to me that I listen to them, that I show them Jesus, and, together with my ex-skiing-squad husband, I expect the unexpected.
When an apprentice carpenter follows his master, he will often be surprised. I grew up in Switzerland and attended the Schloss Klaus Torchbearer Center in Austria in 1990, where I found not only a new home and vocation, but also my wife! Surprise!
We now have four grown children and, for almost 30 years now, have been part of the team at Schloss Klaus. During my time there, I had the opportunity to point people to Christ, teach about His goodness and love to the youth, at camps, conferences, seminars, the Bible School, through experience-based learning and training courses, both at home and abroad. Through these experiences and my own personal studies, I, too, was able to cultivate my own theological craft… and low and behold, we are once again surprised by our Master Carpenter: with the call to Tauernhof.
The task remains the same: to proclaim the Living and Present Lord, now in a new environment, with the rest of the Tauernhof family!
Website of our rental apartments in Molln
(our “old” home: www.ferienappartement-molln.at)
Josh, Rebekka and Aaron Friedrich
My wife, Rebekka, and I have been living for the past few years in the Heilbronn area of Germany. For quite some time, we’ve both had a growing desire to be more involved in ministry. We often prayed that God would show us if He wanted to use us somewhere else. Rebekka attended Tauernhof’s Fall Bible School in 2012, and ever since, has been receiving their newsletter. Last May, as she read through the update, she noticed a vacancy for a Facility Manager, and immediately thought that this would be the right job for me. We decided to visit Tauernhof together, and after many prayers and conversations, took the step and moved to Schladming.
We are now here, at Tauernhof, together with our 6-month old son, Aaron. We are very excited about this new challenge and opportunity to serve God, as well as be part of such a great team - let alone the beautiful scenery!
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
FALL BIBLE SCHOOL
English Methodist preacher, John Wesley, once said, “Praise God for all that you have. Trust Him with all that you ask for!”
These are rather fitting words of encouragement for our 55 Bible School students, as they wrap up their 12-week Fall semester.
It is often difficult to sustain a spirit of gratitude in the midst of life’s circumstances, and yet, as children of God, we have so much to be thankful for. As a Bible School Team, we rejoice over each young life represented in the Student Body. What a fantastic group of motivated students from all over the globe, and what a joy and privilege to have been entrusted with their spiritual formation over the past few months. From daily Bible lectures to breath-taking summit hikes, from wild snowball fights to personal counseling sessions. There certainly are 10,000 reasons for our hearts to sing.
But from summit-tops came valleys-low. From concussions and broken bones, to the inner-struggle with sin. From the death of a beloved family member back home to yet another Austria-wide Corona lockdown. There certainly were 10,000 reasons for our hearts to cry out to God as well. Yet one thing is certain: Lives have changed, faith has grown. Some can already sense the heart-shift taking place, others will only see the fruit ripen a few weeks from now, as they return to life back home. But we, as a team, will continue to pray for them. We pray that they will keep growing in wisdom and strength. That they will cheerfully praise God for what they have, and expectantly ask Him for what they need. And above all, that they will seek the Kingdom of God in all things, with great joy and diligence, as they trust Jesus with their lives.
We are pleased that, despite current circumstances and restrictions, our winter camps are well-booked! We are also quite confident that our programs will run more or less as usual. There will be no restrictions at Tauernhof, other than those that currently apply to the general population. Skiing, singing, listening to God's word, having fellowship in our bistro, and relaxing in our sauna will once again be part of our camps.
All lifts can be used only by guests over the age of 13 with a 2-G certificate (vaccinated or recovered). This certificate can be uploaded via an online portal after receiving your skipass at the reception. It is obligatory for everyone over the age of 14 to wear a FFP2 mask in all closed gondolas and lifts, as well as in common areas.
We therefore ask you to bring your own FFP2 mask.
For more information regarding the entry to Austria and your return journey. Please visit: www.austria.info.
We are grateful
for God's work in the hearts of our 54 students and that we were able to run the Fall Bible School despite Covid.
for the steps of faith of our new Staff members who left their homes to serve here at Tauernhof
for a motivated team that looks forward to meet the guests of the upcoming winter season.
for all prayers during this challenging time
that the winter camps can take place
for wisdom in all planning for our leadership and
for opportunities to share God´s love with locals
for Lothar and that the immune therapy would work and that he will be healed