My name is David, and I work as a pastoral assistant and prospective church planter with a Baptist Church in Vienna. In order to financially support this, I work bi-vocationally offering web design and front-end development to various clients.
Austria is a really interesting place to work – a stronghold of the counter-Reformation, it still has a lot more cultural contact with Catholicism than many Western European countries, but with precious little evangelical witness. Indeed, evangelical churches have only been legally recognised by the state for the last year and a bit. The Baptist Union in Austria has seen dramatic growth in the last few years (we are now up to nearly 1500 members from 700 members in 1990!). I am really passionate about seeing the growth of Christ’s Kingdom in Austria and seeing lives transformed through encounter with the Living God.
I first came across Eddie about three years ago on Twitter – I was aware of Wycliffe from living close to their UK headquarters for a few years, and knew that they were a great organisation full of really nice people (seriously – I don’t think I’ve ever encountered so many nice people in one room before). So I started following Eddie and reading his blog articles here on Kouyanet – partly because I found them theologically fascinating and partly because I am a linguistic nerd and love to follow other language nerds.
What I really appreciate about Kouyanet is the way in which Eddie distills current missiological thinking and makes it accessible to the wider church, as well as drawing out its implications for the way in which both local churches and national bodies think about doing mission. Sometimes this is an uncomfortable experience – it is always a little painful to find yourself geographically and historically relivatized, and to realise that your way of looking at the world is not the only one. Sometimes I disagree: I think I would put up a fight for the importance of dead Germans, for instance (though maybe Eddie isn’t counting the Swiss Karl Barth in that statement…). But I always find myself provoked, challenged and enriched by the content. It is a treasure trove of missiological thinking.
As a footnote, it was a lovely surprise last year to finally meet Eddie and Sue as they came up with a team from Wycliffe to lead a church weekend away for my then church in St Andrews, Scotland. The team ministered to us powerfully through a series of workshops, and Eddie preached a compelling sermon on Sunday, rooting the call for Bible translation in the doctrine of divine accommodation (“God talks to us in baby speak”…). It’s always an odd experience meeting Twitter acquaintances in real life, bit it was a privilege and a pleasure to get to know Eddie and Sue a little more ‘in the flesh’
It isn’t unusual for people to ask me why I am on Twitter. A large part of the reason is that you get to meet and interact with people like David.
Don’t forget, I’m looking for other kouyanet readers to share a bit of their story, too.