Reports about the
pre-practical training in Imst
Testimonies, Experiences, Stories about the preparation time in the "House of Life" in Imst/Tyrol (Austria)
Teresa, December 2016
My time in the House of Life
In November/December I was in the House of Life in Hochimst (high-Imst) for 7 weeks as preparation for my time in Uganda.
Already before my arrival I had heard that there would expect me a time of much work, little sleep and great fellowship. But what eventually really expected me, was more than I had hoped for.
Already at my arrival I was warmly welcomed by other volunteers and the staff members, so that I had no doubt about adjusting quickly.
Already on my first day of work I had to experience that saying goodbye to some volunteers whose 7 weeks had been over, belongs almost to the daily life in the HdL (House of Life).
The tasks of the volunteers consists mainly of breakfast service, buffet service, washing and drying dishes and everything else to do in the kitchen (the Highlight was always the flooding of the floor every evening :D), cleaning toilets and of course cleaning and preparing guest rooms. Even if there is something to do all the time, it is mostly not that tiring as it sounds ;-)
During lunch breaks or in the evenings, when everything was done, we got the possibility to go to the House of Prayer to take part in seminaries, or, if currently there was no seminary, to have a private devotion or worship time there. And of course we also used any time available to go outside into the beautiful nature (hiking, sliding, walks, torch tours, etc.).
Because most of the free time you spend with the other volunteers you get to know each other within a very short time, which of course makes the final goodbye in the end even harder. The fellowship that I was allowed to have with the other volunteers was really precious, because sometimes we had very deep conversations and we always knew that we had a similar conviction and also similar moral understanding, which we can not take at all for granted in such a colourful group and which shows that this constellation has been made up by God.
Also in discipleship we were getting to know us better and learned much from each other. Discipleship is every Monday evening on the program and is being led by the leaders, Christian and Rahel. There we discuss a topic which we meditated on the previous week, meaning, reading the bible verses and asking God for revelation. Most times it is not done with this topic but ending up in a longer talk also about things that somebody was thinking of the last days which also sometimes leads to being convicted by the Holy Spirit... ;-) But exactly through that I have realized at the end of my time in the HdL that I have spiritually grown during these 7 weeks and that my relationship to Jesus has strengthened. Also in our worship together which usually took place once a week I could recover from my work and my daily life.
All in all I can say that my time in the HdL has really formed me positively and I am very thankful that I was allowed to get to know such great people and to experience how great and wonderful our God is!!!
Lisa, Jessica, Deborah, Jana, Teresa, Alexandra, Melissa, Valerie, Julian, Sophia, November 2014
High up in the mountains of Austria, far away from WIFI, mobile network, telephone, radio, telegraphs, public transport, shopping facilities and post office there is somewhere, outside of any civilization the guest house "House of Life".
Staring at mountains for eight weeks, meeting not a single living soul, scrubbing the toilet with a toothbrush, hunting spiders in the cellar-vault and going to early morning prayers at decent monks' time – that is the kind of imagination we had about the 8 weeks in Imst that lay before us.
But somehow then everything came "a little bit" different than expected:
Hoch-Imst is situated pretty high, as the name announces already. If the car really manages coming up the tight and curvy road from Imst to Hoch-Imst, when you arrived up there, you can enjoy a mountain panorama deluxe. Mountains, valleys, forests, rivers – and in the middle of all that is the "House of Life". While you are enjoying the view, some curious volunteers come already towards you, apart from the situation like Sophia's who came one day too early – then it is more kind of a "surprised" joyful meeting.
The group of November 2014
Teresa, Dezember 2016
Four weeks Austria were before me, which I was very much looking forward to, because I love the nature, the mountains and this time I even got the possibility to live on the mountain, because Hoch-Imst lays somewhere up where you would not expect any village anymore.
Arriving in the "Haus des Lebens" I got to know the other 4 practical training volunteers which whom I shared a room from that day on (at least with three of the girls) and who then also came with me to Africa and also here we shared again a room.
The time in the House of Life in Imst I consider as precious because you can get to know each other very well. We all got along well with each other and through similar interests we spent the free days together either rambling about the city Imst or hiking in the beautiful nature of our Lord. A very special experience was for us the 7 hour hiking tour on the house mountain "Muttekopf" (2774m), because we have been on tour with a few staff members of the HdL, so the fellowship was great and God has carried us also through the difficulties of the hiking tour and took away all fears (fear of hight, fear to slip out in the boulders) so that eventually we really made it all to the summit cross at the top where we enjoyed the amazing view.
Those were the most beautiful moments in Imst but also the work was mainly fun because of working in a team we always had fun, because cleaning a room together, preparing breakfast for 100 guests or for example things like cutting cold meat, preparing ham and cheese platters and all that is fun in the group and also with the guests from the seminaries we had good talks while washing the dishes.
Even if the work consumes most of the time, I now remember much more the hours in the deckchair in the garden or at the lake of Hoch-Imst (about 400m walkway), at finding out about african culture through Susanne (staff member with a heart for Africa;)) who made Chapati (a kind of flat bread) and Rolex (rolled eggs) with us, while watching a movie which was sometimes very emotional ;) or also while our worship times.
The time that I had in the House of Life has pushed me forward in my dealing with people and my relationship with God because especially one topic was keeping my mind busy, "listening to God". About that I took a lot with me from Ist and made personal experiences that made me grow.
I am thankful to God rfor the wonderful, experience-enriching time which I was having in Hochimst and for the unique people that I was allowed to get to know.
Thanks goes also to the staff members for their opennes and honesty, which made the arrival very easy but of course made the goodbye even harder. :)
Jule, August 2008
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1. John 3:1
From 1st of July to 3rd of August I did a practical training in Imst, in the House of Life (HdL).
Because my sister has worked there already since a longer while, I knew the leaders and some of the staff members already. That was surely an advantage because I didn't feel like a stranger there and felt comfortable soon.
During this practical training I got to know Sarah and Jule who also flew with me to Uganda. We liked us from the very beginning and were looking forward to the time together that we will have soon.
But now to my work in the HdL.
My schedule was to work in the kitchen and in the guestrooms. The day started with preparing breakfast, then cleaning the rooms and it ended with cleaning the kitchen. The work was very tiring. I was much on my feet and surely I also got some good muscles in my arms from making all those many beds. :J
Exhausting was also the constant change of working times. Once you get up early, then a little later. Once you have 2 hours lunch break, then you have only one hour. One week you have Monday and Thursday free, the other week Saturday and Sunday. But I have learnt to cope with it which is surely a good preparation for the time in Uganda, that is ahead of me.
It was wonderful to work in a team and getting to know the "collegues" not only during the work but even to live with them. Also from the guests we have always gained very much. It not like a hotel there, but everything is a big community like a family consisting of people who all have the same goal: to become more like Jesus and to follow Him.
We also had beautiful prayer times together or were allowed to join the seminaries going on. I got to know God again better and I am amazed how much He loves me!
All in all the time has really positively changed me. I have learnt how to handle my problems int he right way; yes they occur when you sit on each other the whole time! And I have learnt how I can let Jesus master everything.
I miss all those lovely people which I got to know there and I hope to see some of them soon again, either in Africa or in Imst or wherever I do not expect them..
Thank you for everything!
Sarah, August 2008
II came for one month to the House of Life because this practical training here is required for the work in Uganda at Vision for Africa.
I saw the time more like a transition period which I just have to do. When I familiarized with the thought I was looking forward to the girls I would fly to Uganda with and to thew hole time which I wanted to spend with God after all the school stress with A-leves and final exams.
fter only short while I found out that things would be different here than I had expected. Totally tired I arrived here in the House of Life and already the next day I had to prepare the breakfast at 6:45 o'clock! The work was not the one I would have chosen and often it was not easy with so many women in the kitchen...
But what I have learnt here nobody can take that from me. I have learnt a lot about humility. What was difficult for me, is to focus that I do not work for the people but for God. Apart from that I got to know so many great people whom I will miss a lot. I had less time than at home to sit down with my bible and yet I have gotten to know God again much more, very directly and personally for me. So much, that by the end of my time there, I got baptized. I will not forget the time here and I believe that it was a good preparation for Uganda!