If there is one thing that I have been learning on this trip it is to appreciate the simplicity of the Jesus. There are complications to the way we do church in America. We busy ourselves with many things, things that can prove to be distractions to what is really important. As I reflect on the week of ministry at the conference in Austria, my heart is drawn to the conversation between Jesus and Martha.
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 (ESV)
The trip leading up to the conference was rather challenging to say the least. The heat and humidity at times were almost unbearable and had some pretty debilitating effects on Jenny. She was a real trooper through it all and pressed through it amazingly well. I suppose that the enemy loves every opportunity to distract from what the Lord wants to do.
The week of the conference really started with Sunday service at City Chapel Klagenfurt (Austria) about an hour from the conference site. It is a new church plant and the Lord is doing some exciting things through their pastor Alex Lindsay. I loved the simplicity of everything from the worship to the fellowship afterwards. It was a blessing to share a meal after the service in the back yard area of the church. It reminded me of the early days of our church when we shared meals in one another’s homes. I miss the simplicity of those days.
Spending time with the Lindsay family was delightful. They are a wonderful family, faithful to the call of God on their lives to serve Him in Klagenfurt. We never grew tired of listening to their children’s English accents. Both Alex and Laura were born in England. It is evident that they are called and fully surrendered to His will. It has been very encouraging.
Life in Klagenfurt is rather laid back, at least from my limited perspective. As for me, the simplicity of just riding your bike through the walking trails by the canal was quite enjoyable. I risked the lives of others to take a brief video of my view. As you can see…it is a beautiful area. At the end of the video, you will see the Lindsay family leading the way.
One of my favorite things to do when visiting our missionaries is taking the family out to dinner. They chose a Mexican restaurant “Salud!” which they had not yet eaten at. One of the highlights of the meal was discovering a unique way of providing hand towels for after your meal. My assistant, Caleb Lindsay, and and I demonstrated “Only in Klagenfurt!” and what could easily have been mistaken for an after dinner mint…which, as you will see, would prove to be quite hazardous to your health.
Needless to say, the food was very different from what we would normally think of as Mexican food, but very good. I was engaging our waiter in a playful manner as I tend to do and I wasn’t sure if he was getting irritated or not. We were eating outside in the hopes that it would be cooler. Unfortunately, that was not the case and the sun was slowly creeping in on us. We knew that by the time we got our food it would be beating right down on us making the meal quite miserable. As we blessed the food, I asked that the Lord might cool things down. I kid you not, no sooner than closing with an “Amen”, our waiter showed up with a portable umbrella adjusting it so that it shaded our table.
Oh the joy of knowing Jesus…His love and concern in even the simplest of things!