April 20, 2019

Pentecost for Muslims in Austria

Gerhard Krassnig

God is using Gerhard Krassnig, a missionary in Vienna, Austria, to reap a harvest of souls among Farsi-speaking refugees from Iran and Afghanistan.

Sponsored by the Hillcrest Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas, Gerhard started working with refugees in September 2016.  Since then, by the grace of God, he has established four churches of Farsi-speaking refugees in the Austrian cities of Klagenfurt, Salsburg, Traiskirchen, and Vienna.  

Last year alone, 103 refugees were baptized into Christ, 92% of the Muslims.  The goal this year is to plant two more refugee churches.

Gerhard says, “So far, we have had 50 baptisms since the beginning of this year. The Lord is adding continuously, and we keep teaching continuously.”

Most of these refugees are baptized into Christ within three weeks of their initial contact with Gerhard and his team.

Gerhard Baptizes Muslim Refugee

Many of the refugees are disenchanted with Islam and are looking elsewhere for spiritual guidance. Gerhard says, “People who come to Austria and Europe are wide open for Christianity.  We literally just pick them up like ripe apples fallen from the trees and teach them what they are starving for. It’s Pentecost for the Muslims, a one-time opportunity.”


How Is WEI Involved in this Ministry?

Gerhard believes our Living for Jesus course (with its thirty-nine lessons drawn from the Sermon on the Mount) is ideally suited for teaching the essentials of Christianity to former Muslims.  He writes, “They [the refugees] gave up everything they have, even their country, to become citizens of God’s kingdom. So they are eager to learn how to be a Christian and what that means.  So the beatitudes are a great start for many reasons. This [WEI course] is perfect.  This is more in-depth, and I like the question section as well.”

Gerhard has decided to have the Living for Jesus course translated into Farsi.  He intends to use it for teaching the refugees in weekly training classes. He will also use it for teaching them through a weekly newspaper that he and Habib (his Farsi-speaking translator) have started in an effort to bind them together in Christ.

Looking into the future, Gerhard also plans to have the Living for Jesus course translated into German.  He says, “As the refugees get more integrated [into the Austrian culture] and [more proficient in] speaking German, I plan that they can use the course for teaching Austrians.”   

The cost of translating the course into both Farsi and German will run about $4,000.  If you would like to help these Farsi-speaking brothers and sisters grow toward spiritual maturity and give them tools to help them ignite an evangelistic fire in the refugee community, please fill out the coupon on page 7, earmark your check “Refugees,” and mail it to the WEI office in Gresham.   

If you prefer, you can mail your check directly to the “Austrian Refugee Fund (Vienna),” Hillcrest Church of Christ, 650 E. Ambler, Abilene, TX 79601.  

Gerhard needs to get these WEI materials translated and into the hands of the refugees as quickly as possible.  They are needed NOW.

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

– Romans 10:14

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