A Place to Call Home
“They need to know why Adventism exists, and what I learned here. God really told me the truth, and now I can also tell them.”
When Yuxin (YOU-shin) left home to study piano at the world-famous Prayner Conservatory in Vienna, Austria, her mother gave her some important advice—“Find the spirit of home.”
Yuxin and her mother attended an evangelical church in China for ten years, then one day as Yuxin’s mother was reading the Bible, she noticed that the seventh day of the week was God’s holy day. As she shared what she had learned with her daughter, Yuxin was surprised.
“I had never even noticed that before,” she recalled. Deciding to pray about it, Yuxin pled, “Please God, tell me if this is really true or not.”
Not long afterward, Yuxin found a Seventh-day Adventist church and decided to visit. Later, as she met with the pastor, she had many questions about the Sabbath and what Adventists believe. Patiently, he answered Yuxin’s questions from the Bible.
But Yuxin wasn’t convinced. “Maybe this is right,” she thought, but she wasn’t willing to make a commitment. At the time, Yuxin was also eating pork, and wasn’t ready to give that up. Nevertheless, after arriving in Vienna, Yuxin found the International Seventh-day Adventist Church on the internet and contacted Pastor Felix.
“When I picked Yuxin up from the metro station and brought her to the church,” Pastor Felix recalls, “it was clear that she was excited to be here.”
“It was really good,” Yuxin recalled. “I didn’t understand about Adventists, so I came to listen. I attended the worships on Friday evenings, and church on Saturdays.”
After just a few weeks, Yuxin felt at home at the International Seventh-day Adventist church. “It’s so warm. You can finally take a rest and feel so good,” she said. “And then on Saturday you listen to the words of God and have a wonderful feeling!”
As Yuxin kept coming she continued learning more about the Bible, and about Adventists. “The preaching really touched me. It was a wonderful experience for me. God gave me the power to give up a lot of things—like eating pork, and going shopping on Saturdays. Now I understand and I gave them up.”
Last May, Yuxin was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church and is eager to take back to her home country what she has learned in Vienna. While she’s been in Austria, Yuxin’s family has moved from the north to the south part of China. There are no Adventist churches in the area. When she returns home, Yuxin plans to share with her family and neighbors the Bible truths she has learned from the Adventists, and hopefully start an Adventist home-worship group. “They need to know why Adventism exists, and what I learned here. God really told me the truth, and now I can also tell them.”
Yuxin is one of several international students who have found their way to the International Adventist Church in Vienna. Abigail, from Mexico, is studying classical singing at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna.
“When I first started coming here, I felt really welcome and could identify with others,” said Abigail. “We’re all foreigners, and we have similar problems. We come here to heal. People are so warm, welcoming, and caring. It’s like a family—a family in Christ.”
Lorenzo, also from Mexico, is a Ph.D. student in the physics program at the University of Vienna. He enjoys coming to the international church every week and says that it’s not just the weekly potluck that draws him to church, but “it’s also the spiritual food that we receive here. The sermons, the Sabbath School lessons—they always give me strength to continue. I came here alone, but now I’m not alone anymore.”
Yew is studying in a post-doctoral fellowship in pharmacy at the University of Vienna. He’s from Ghana. “Because I’m a researcher, I like to compare, so I looked for a church that would suit me, and I felt at home here,” he said. “I met some other Ghanaians here, and sometimes if you miss food from home you can find some here. It’s like a family and everybody smiles.”
That warm and friendly international church family has grown over the years and it is now in need of a new church building. Part of the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering this quarter will help this church family to have a larger building, closer to the city center.
“This place, it’s rather small, but it has touched so many lives,” said Abigail. “It has touched so many people in so many ways, and it’s spreading. That’s why we need this help [for a new building]. We need to be in a closer place to the city center, a larger place, so that more people can come. We need this help.”
Thank you for giving generously to the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering.