Kirsty Parratt tells us her story of taking time out after studying to life out the mission of Jesus in the heart of Vienna.
“I was born in Hungary but grew up and went to school in Glasgow and studied Biblical Studies at St Andrews. I lived briefly in Oxford and Istanbul before moving to Vienna in June 2017 to join the Project:Vienna team. I love coffee, languages and anything involving cooking, eating and telling stories with other people.”
To find out more watch the video.
More about Kirsty’s experience.
What drew me to Project:Vienna initially was the combination of so many of the things I love: theological study, church work, living overseas, interacting with people from other cultures, foreign languages, refugee ministry with a long-term commitment to integration and so on and so on.
I visited Vienna in March 2017 with a view to being a participant in Project:Vienna and a few months later found myself back there for a 2 year internship with part of my role being to help facilitate this program. It’s safe to say that I pretty quickly fell in love with the church and its values and love of projects. Project:Vienna is a pretty unique combination of Bible School with church internship. As an intern in the church there are of course a lot of the everyday mundane jobs: cleaning and preparing food and setting up for services and conferences.
But there is also a lot of trust and responsibility given to interns. Project:Church is very much a community that seeks to empower others and help make their ideas reality. Project:Vienna is itself the fruit of that sort of empowerment of interns and former interns.
As someone who has felt drawn to ministry and church work in some capacity since before university, to be able to spend a year or two in a community like Project:Church trying out different areas of service and seeing first-hand the blessings and challenges of being such an ambitious, intercultural church is incredible. I’ve had the opportunity to preach in our Spanish, Farsi and German services, to gain more experience in kids ministry (in multiple languages), to travel to various Austrian Baptist Union and EBF conferences, to sit in on leadership meetings and have a say in significant decisions. But it’s also been important to experience the unglamorous parts of church work: the toilets that need to be cleaned every week, the never-ending recycling that needs to be taken out, the difficult conversations and the little frustrations with other people. And to see and experience a certain kind of living by faith – when you don’t know if the church finances will be balanced at the end of the year or what to do when increasing numbers of your Farsi congregations receive negative answers at their asylum interviews, or where you’ll house all the interns that keep showing up. To participate in 3 services every Sunday with worship in 4 languages and who knows how many different nationalities represented.
To see that this is what church can be: a place where anyone is welcome and accepted, where fun is definitely a priority, where eating together is valued highly, where no question is out of bounds and any ideas and contributions are welcomed and listened to, where you know and experience that the church really is your family. It’s pretty special.
AGED 18-25 or KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS?
If you’d like to do your internship in a church in Scotland or even with us at the BUS then we have lots of exciting opportunities. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If you are reading this and know someone aged 18-25 then why not forward to them and who know perhaps they end up serving God in an internship in Austria, Scotland or even further afield.