Excerpt from a congregational email to the English-Speaking United Methodist Church of Vienna
Last night we hosted 26 refugees in the Sechshauser Street Church. As people are free to go, several refugees left the church today, seeking to continue their journeys in spite of the closed German border. Some refugees who departed the church later returned in the afternoon. We have continued to be a place of welcome and hospitality; we welcomed a small refugee family from Iraq this afternoon.
This morning the Austrian military brought food for breakfast. People in the ESUMC and Fünfhaus congregations have prepared midday and evening meals.
We are preparing to host 50 refugees this evening. While we are prepared to receive 50 refugees as we have in the past several evenings, we are unsure if the government or Red Cross will send refugees. Thank you to all who have volunteered and are ready to respond at a moment’s notice.
On a personal note, I am extremely pleased to see how our congregation has continued to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading on the refugee situation during these past two weeks. There is no greater gift to your new pastor than to see our congregation engaged in mission in the world. What we have done together in Christ has been done without hesitation. Thanks be to God.