written by Rachel Olney 

How are you feeling during these unusual times?

Restricted and constrained. That is how I was feeling when the COVID-19 measures were first introduced in Austria. During the prayer time of a YouTube service from my church in Vienna, I told the Lord this. Suddenly, I realised that He understands what I’m feeling! He willingly restricted Himself far more for us when He became a human and even let Himself be nailed to a cross – all out of love for us, to save our lives.

Later, I asked God to show me who could help me to make a video on this subject, as I had never done anything like that before. By the time I had finished praying, my colleague Leon had already got in touch with me! Two weeks followed, where the Lord brought everything together smoothly: Santjie as Graphic Designer, Leon as Producer, inspiration for poems in English and German, feedback on them from three friends, and a speaker for the German text.

Here are the videos:

Freedom restricted: https://youtu.be/M8u-dZOTZD4

Eingeschränkt? https://youtu.be/-m2_zY4Y0tA  (German version)

My prayer was that these videos would encourage Christians to talk to our Older Brother and compassionate High Priest (Hebrews 4:15-16), and that not-yet-Christians would find life in all its fulness in Jesus!

It is very encouraging to see the Lord answering that prayer. The video has been viewed thousands of times by people all over the world and shared on YouTube, on various Facebook pages, in church services in Austria, the UK, and the US, and even in Serbia (with Serbian subtitles).

Praise God that several Christian friends said it helped them re-focus or encouraged them. “It brings a lot of light,” wrote one probably not-yet-Christian student, and another: “It’s very beautiful with wonderful words.“ A friend of a friend wrote: “This [is a] very special, wonderful video… It is so pure, so clear, gets to the essence without any froth. It sits purely and clearly with deep consolation on my heart. It is just what I need at the moment.”

I met one older Austrian lady on a park bench a few weeks ago. She shares her poems with me, so I shared the video-poem with her. She found the text “authentic and memorable,” but could not accept that Jesus’ death on the cross is enough to make us right with God. “But we can talk more about this topic in a personal exchange if you like,” she said. We are still talking about this, and I pray she will soon accept that the Good Shepherd willingly laid down His life for her to save her life!