Reaching "All Souls"Europe
In 9th grade, I was on a bike ride when I heard the Lord speak to me, “Nicole, I want you to be a missionary.” When I graduated high school, I knew He was leading me to serve in Cairo, Egypt. I served there for over three years. One thing I was taught by my team leaders was the concept of “All Souls.” What this meant was that we were not in Egypt to only reach Egyptians, but every soul that crosses our path, no matter who they are or where they are from. While we reached many Egyptians, we also reached people from all over the world!
Near the end of my time in Egypt, God led me to Vienna, Austria. This mission of reaching “all souls” has become even more real here.
What I have learned serving in Europe is that reaching souls for Jesus is not a “one size fits all” strategy. Entering into missions, we can easily look at the country we are going to or the largest people group, learn about that specific culture, and then feel we are ready to communicate the Gospel. What I have learned is that doing missions in Austria calls for more! While learning Austrian culture and how Austrians think is extremely important, we cannot stop there.
People from all over the world and from completely different cultures are living in this great city. I am discipling a woman from Turkey who was previously a Muslim. There is a woman who attends our church who used to be part of a Filipino cult. There is a family whose dad is Egyptian, mom is American, and their kids are growing up in Austria. Our church is full of people who have this beautiful blend of cultures and backgrounds.
While the Gospel is the same in every culture, language, and country. People understand and communicate this Gospel differently. I am learning that in order to reach all souls with the Gospel effectively, I have to lose my idea of what I thought missions was. Instead of boxing one place in one category, I need to look at each soul. Every person has their own story and their own experiences that have affected how they see Jesus. This has challenged me to truly put in the effort to understand each person deeply and who they are individually.