I was raised in a Catholic family in Austria, Europe. Austria is a very beautiful country, but unfortunately, the spiritual condition there is very dark. Less than one half of one percent of Austrians are believers in Jesus Christ. This breaks my heart. As an altar boy, I went to church on a regular basis, but from what I can remember, I never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached. As I recall, church was only about traditions, not about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
My youth was a very rebellious time in my life. I smoked, drank, sometimes did drugs, and on weekends I was hardly ever at home. Certainly, this time was a very difficult time for my parents, especially for my mother.
After graduation from high school and doing my military service, I began working at an electronics company. I lived my life and thought that I didn’t need God.
But God worked through different circumstances and people in my life to bring me to the knowledge that I needed Jesus Christ as my personal Savior from sin. Several people shared the Gospel with me, but I was so stubborn and prideful that it took more than two years for me to finally accept Jesus as my Savior.
I grew up on a little dairy farm in Austria with my parents and my three older siblings.
Every Sunday we went to a Roman Catholic Church service which I did not enjoy very much. Ever since I was just a little child, the traditions of the Catholic Church felt unreal to me. I remember watching a movie where a man talked with Jesus just as I would talk with my friends. I recall thinking, “It would be amazing if that were real ….talking to Jesus and having Him as my friend!”
When I was 19 years old, Harald’s uncle and aunt invited us to an evangelistic evening service for the first time. We went there a couple of times until, one night, I felt as if someone had suddenly taken my blindness away. It was as if I had not understood the gospel until then, but all of a sudden a blindfold was lifted from my eyes and I realized that Jesus Christ died on the cross for me, was buried, and rose again, and that by believing this, I would be saved and wouldn’t have to spend eternity in hell, but in heaven. I was so excited because it sounded like the best thing in the whole world!!!
The next day I found a nice, quiet spot in the woods. I brought my whole life … all my possessions, my relationship with Harald, … everything to Jesus. After this prayer I knew I was a child of God and when my time on earth comes to an end, I will be in heaven with Him.
God’s Call to Ministry:
Our hearts have been burning for evangelism and missions for a long time. We are saved, but what about all the others who are not? Through different passages in the Bible, God made it very clear to us that He wants us in full-time ministry.
A few years after we were married, Helga and I started praying about whether the Lord wanted us to attend a Bible college. In 2009, God brought us all the way from Austria to Frontier School of the Bible in LaGrange, Wyoming to prepare us for ministry.
For a while we thought that we would probably go back to Austria after finishing school. In 2012, though, I felt more and more drawn to minister to Mormons. After a while, Helga started feeling the same way. We prayed and sought the Lord’s will: whether to return to Austria or to remain in the U.S. and minister to Mormons. The Lord Jesus made it undoubtedly clear through His Word and different situations that He wants us to minister in St George, Utah.
Our hearts’ desire is to show God’s grace to a lost and dying world. God’s Word tells us that He does not desire works. In fact, God says that we can only come to Him by grace (an un-earned gift) through faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We want to demonstrate God’s grace through every aspect of our lives to attract those who think that they have to work for their salvation.
God clearly showed us that He wants us to plant a church in the St. George, Utah area. In the beginning, we will try to establish relationships with people so that they will trust us when we share the “good news” with them. We will start Bible studies in our home where people will be able to ask the spiritual questions that are on their minds. We trust that the Lord, in His timing, will grow these Bible studies into a church where His name will be glorified.