Update from Will & Holly Kooi

Todd Williams - Monday, February 03, 2014

The Koois are missionaries in Vienna, Austria - a beautiful city in a beautiful country filled with coffee, pastries and sausage, which happens to be a few of their favorite things.That “Sound of Music” reference was not intentional.



January was (very) cold, with snow finally visiting us a couple weeks too late for Christmas. We were both happy to actually celebrate our birthdays in Vienna this year. A great start to the year!


The first English Kids Club of the semester can be a bit of a gamble. Sometimes all of our kids return, and sometimes we’re down by sev- eral. Whichever scenario we end up with, we adjust quickly and press forward, and the beginning of this semester was, for us, a welcome change to the norm.

On our first day back, we had a record-breaking 17 kids! We were
in no way expecting kids to pour in like they did, but they arrived and were ready to play.The original lesson plan went out the win- dow in order to adjust to the numbers and try our best to suit the new reading levels. We were slightly worried that our materials and

German word of the month: “Schnee” - snow

snacks weren’t going to stretch enough to meet the new numbers, but actually all the plans turned into a 5 loaves of bread/2 fish situ- ation.The snack somehow fed everyone, there were enough word searches to go around, and the games were neither too hard nor too easy for all 17. It was an amazing, surprising, non-stress-inducing event. Since then, our numbers have evened out to what we con- sider “normal” which, speaking honestly, is a relief! But we’re ready and glad to make some alterations whenever necessary. One of the absolute most important lessons we’ve learned here on the mission field is to be flexible with our ministry and welcoming to every single individual. If God wants our plans altered, switched, or thrown out completely in order to make room for His own, we will strive do so. While feeding the 500 with just 5 pieces of bread and a couple of

fish is something only Jesus can achieve, we’re so thankful to have the opportunity to feed, teach, and have fun with those who walk through our doors. Everyone has a place and the chance to belong, no matter where they’ve come from.

We’re continuing our study of ecosystems while adding in a few les- son plans that include several of the books you all helped to provide us with last year.This week is a winter break of sorts for the kids so we won’t have EKC this week, but we will start up again with a Valen- tine’s Day addition of EKC next week!


The last couple of months have been especially important to us as the number of contacts we’ve made has skyrocketed, and all of these new contacts are within our age group. We are thrilled to have met so many new friends, most of whom just sort of abruptly appeared in our life and have stayed.

We now have what we call “Coffee Group” almost every Sunday

Austria is slightly smaller than Maine. And a lot more interest- ing.

with a diverse group of friends whom we met throughThomas. Our Coffee Group is currently in the midst of a coffeehouse and cafe tour of Vienna, so if you ever need to know where the best coffee in town is, we’ll certainly be able to help once our tour is complete - though it will probably take us the next 3 years to visit every coffeehouse and cafe in the city! We have also been invited to be part of entirely separate group of friends who love to get together for game nights. Delicious coffee and games aren’t the only things that have procured from our meetings - from these we have been able to participate in deep and interesting conversations, some of which have even led to discussions about Jesus and a Bible giveaway.

If you would, please keep our Coffee Group and Game Group friends in your prayers. Many of them are in phases of search and discovery, and we want more than anything for God to be part of their discover- ies.


  • Prayers for our spring semester of programs

  • That we are able to further minister and become better friends

    with our language partners and other new friends we have met

    these last few months

  • For our decision on what to do after the end of our HIM program

    this year

  • Continued prayers for our 20-something Bible study that includes

    some new or struggling Christians

  • Thanksgiving that our friend with marital problems seems to be

    doing better, but further prayers are needed

  • Church member Hermine, as she has many struggles and prob-

    lems with her daughters at home, and her daughter Karen is still

    in the hospital

  • For a new friend who is searching and wanting to discover God,

    and has asked lots of questions but is currently unsure

  • For a safe trip for Will as he goes skiing for the first time!

Twice as many people are buried at the Zentralfriedhof (Central Cem- etery) than actually live within the city limits of Vienna.




@willkooi @hollykooi

Will and Holly Kooi Molkereistrasse 4/3 1020 Vienna, Vienna Austria


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