What does it take to be a missionary?

By Sandy

What does it take to be a missionary?

If you had asked me that question one year ago, I would have told you prayer, knowledge of the Bible, and a little courage. I have now learned from experience that it takes lots of paperwork, more paperwork, and some more paperwork!

It probably depends on where on the globe God calls you, but for us, the paperwork to live in Austria has been our biggest challenge and faith project so far.  Obtaining visas to legally live here has been an adventure to say the least. We have spent hours filling out applications, obtaining and turning in apostilled documents, waiting, waiting, and more waiting.  I think I now dream about birth certificates, marriage certificates, a meldezettel (Austrian address registrations), proof of income papers, passports, student cards, public transportation cards, e-cards (Ausutrain health insurance), and well, the list goes on.

Oh and did I mention that we moved to the mission field in the middle of a world-wide pandemic?  COVID-19 has thrown a huge “wrench” into our plans. In March 2020 it was determined that Americans could not even enter Austria.  The paperwork that we already had to do was multiplied due to COVID-19, including multiple medical tests proving we did not have the virus.The fact that we are here is truly a miracle of God, and there is no doubt in our minds this is His will for us. 

Josh and Sydney had to learn and pass an A1 level German course in order to get their visas.  These two had never spoken a word of German before entering Austria. I watched as they went to a class at a local college 2-3 times a week at night for hours at a time.  They studied, practiced, and laughed – laughed at themselves making mistakes or saying something incorrectly. They faced the challenge of learning the basics of another language, and they overcame!  As our friend and missionary, Jim Puhr, said to Josh, “The hardest language to learn is the one you are trying to learn at the moment!”  Sure some languages are probably harder to learn than others, but when you have to pass a language test to get your visa, the intensity definitely increases. While most of the time learning a new language is for fun, or for a school class, learning a new language for Josh and Sydney was tied to obtaining visas and the ability to stay in our new country.  That fact multiplied the pressure a hundred fold. Josh told me that before he went in to take the test he read a text sent to him from a beloved mentor and prophet.  The text said, “this is God’s will for you and do not despise small beginnings.” 

While the paperwork and language class seem so insignificant compared to what God has called us to do here in Europe to reach souls with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we know that it is part of the process.  We have to put our faith into the paperwork and into learning the language in order to be here to reach those in need. While it doesn’t feel very “spiritual” to fill out applications, get an apostille, or make another appointment at the immigration office, it truly is our worship right now.  We are honoring God by giving effort to do what He has called us to do. We are not despising these “small beginnings,” but rather seeing every moment and everything we do as an opportunity to bring glory to God.

By the way … we now ALL have two year visas to live in Austria!  Praise God for His faithfulness!

Getting ready!

Preparing and Expecting for HIS Glory in Europe!

By Sandy

We are preparing for a big move overseas. Until we were right in the middle of this type of preparation, we really didn’t know how much was involved!

Apartment in Vienna – check.

Airline tickets purchased – check.

Video created about our mission and sent out – check. (Thanks to our talented daughter, Sydney!)

So much still to do – check.

What we already knew, but in a new season learned once again, is that God is faithful. He orders our steps, gives us supernatural wisdom and strength, and even helps us with our emotions.

That is something I didn’t expect – the emotions that come with a move like this. Leaving friends and family is NOT easy, but when we felt the call of God, we said YES, and He comforts us like only He can with the ups and downs of such a big decision. He also gives us the peace to know that when we surrender something to Him, He is faithful to work miracles. God can turn the very thing that worried us or concerned us the most, into the biggest blessing. It’s all about trust.

Today, I meditated on Acts 17:28. In HIM, I move, and live, and have my being. That is my focus as things get busy and the list of things “to do” grows by the minute. I am living in Jesus. I am moving in Jesus. I am being in Jesus.

We are Believing for 80 Partners

This is a very exciting time as we step out in faith to do what God has put on our hearts! We are taking our family to the mission field! We will need partners to help us get there and to fulfill the outreach and evangelism that He has called us to.

Sandy’s teaching salary will cover our housing and health insurance, as well as pay for Sydney, Annie, and Claire to attend the same school that I will be teaching in, but we will have additional household expenses as well as travel expenses while in Europe.  We will also have financial need for outreaches, crusades, and ministry to pastors and churches.  In addition, we have set a goal of sowing into the school where Sandy will be working monthly! The school raises funds every year to pay teachers and cover operations.  We are committed to giving a faith seed every month into the International Christian School of Vienna.  We believe in the mission of the school and what God is calling us to there.  Your donations will also help us meet this goal.

The Siratt Family

We are believing for at least 80 monthly partners (individuals or churches ) to sow between $25 to $100 monthly. We are asking you to prayerfully consider becoming a partner with us. If you feel led, will you fill out a partner card and sign up for contributions by going to http://bit.ly/sirattgiving 

Josh will officially be a missionary under Rhema where he attended Bible College.  Rhema will be able to send all donations to us directly while in Austria, and will send you and all of our partners a tax deductible donation letter at the end of the year. With Rhema’s years of experience and oversight for hundreds of missionaries around the world, we know we are in good hands!

We also need partners that will consider sowing one time gifts now and throughout our time in Europe.  You can do this at the same link.

Know that your financial gift is a seed planted in good soil as we reach the lost and empower the believers in Europe!  

Matthew 9:35-38 in The Passion Translation says, “35 Jesus walked throughout the region with the joyful message of God’s kingdom realm. He taught in their meeting houses, and wherever he went he demonstrated God’s power by healing every kind of disease and illness.36 When he saw the vast crowds of people, Jesus’ heart was deeply moved with compassion, because they seemed weary and helpless, like wandering sheep without a shepherd. 37 He turned to his disciples and said, “The harvest is huge and ripe! But there are not enough harvesters to bring it all in. 38 As you go, plead with the Owner of the Harvest to thrust out many more reapers to harvest his grain!”

Will you be a part of our team of pray-ers?

Also, and most importantly, we need prayer partners!  Will you take our family picture and lift us up before the Lord in prayer daily, weekly, monthly….anytime the Lord brings the Siratt family to your mind?  We know that prayer and intercession covers, protects, and sustains us.  We also know that prayer will break down barriers and destroy the hindrances of the enemy. Prayer clears the path for us so that our mission is accomplished!

For all of our partners we will be sending out monthly updates about the ministry we are doing here in Europe.  Anyone interested in the work we will be doing can subscribe to our YouTube channel – Siratts Going Global to follow along with us on our journey.  Here we will share our daily activities and the changes that we encounter by living in a different nation.  We will share the ministry opportunities and what God is doing in us and through us.   You can also read about our mission through this Blog.

Thank you for taking time to listen as we shared our hearts and for considering becoming a partner with us both financially and in prayer. 

The Siratts are moving to Austria!  We are so joyful about the vision that God has given us and the many, many people who will be saved, healed, delivered, and strengthened!  Our hearts are so full with the love of God for the precious people of Europe.  We cannot do this without you!  Please link arms with us and help us get the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who need to hear!

One of our first assignments…

One of our first assignments is to come alongside Mark and Valerie Zechin in Slovakia.  The Zechins have been in the field for over 20 years.  They have a tremendous ministry to the Roma Gypsy population living in Slovakia.  Through evangelism and church planting they are raising up Roma pastors and churches. Valerie has founded the Jireh Center in Slovakia bringing hope, provision, education and services to Roma Gypsy children and their families. 

Mark and Valerie tell us that Roma Gypsy families are rejected by the majority population and often live in impoverished ghettos without basic services such as water, sewer and electricity. 

Their children attend segregated schools and adults face an unemployment rate of 95%. They desperately need God’s hope and an opportunity to experience the love and goodness of Father God.

We were able to minister in the Roma churches this past fall, and we felt a definite connection to this ministry.  We desire to help the Zechins with camps and events for young people as well as minister healing and deliverance in crusades and outreaches!

The International Christian School of Vienna

By Sandy Siratt

As an elementary school teacher for 14 years, I knew that education and children would be part of my call, OUR call on the mission field. Once we knew that God was calling us to Europe,  I applied for a teaching position in several Christian International schools throughout Europe.  I was offered a job at the International Christian School of Vienna, Austria!  With all my heart, I accepted the position, knowing that this was an open door to the nations!

Our family will be moving to Vienna, Austria this summer in July of 2020, and I will begin teaching in August!

The International Christian School of Vienna is a special place and definitely a God-ordained connection.

The school has a rich background. Vienna Christian School was founded in 1986 by missionaries coming to Austria. At that time, Vienna served as a staging ground for missionaries who were targeting communist bloc countries before the Iron Curtain fell. VCS was focused directly on educating the missionary community. All teachers and staff were also fully self-supporting missionaries themselves. 

In 1991, when the borders opened, most of the missionary community moved on into the Eastern Bloc countries. In 1995 the school board made the decision to change the vision of the school. The original vision of “meeting the needs of missionary families” was expanded to include the international community of Vienna. In 2010, Vienna Christian School changed its name to the International Christian School of Vienna to embrace the international community.

Throughout the interview process with ICSV I heard over and over again the strong missions focus of the school!  ICSV reaches diplomats, international business people, and families from countries all over the world. In fact, there are over 60 countries represented in the school today. The students come from many different religious backgrounds. The school’s dual purpose is to serve and support missionary students and to share the gospel with unbelieving students.

This rang true with my heart for both teaching and educating the whole child – intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.  

I would be able to use my gifts and experience for teaching and have the opportunity to minister to unbelievers.  The nations would literally be brought to my classroom!

The Legacy of Nations

By Josh Siratt

From 1980 to 2018, my father, Dr. Roger Siratt travelled the world preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to people of all backgrounds, cultures, and languages.  Australia, Albania, Portugal, China, Poland, Italy, Mexico, and Honduras were among the hundreds of nations that called his heart to come. To come and proclaim the life-giving love and mercy of Jesus. Through his ministry, “Miracle Ministries International,” needs were met, lives were changed, bodies were healed, and many, many were saved.  

As a child and a young man, I had the great privilege and honor of travelling alongside him.  I witnessed first hand the miraculous, healing anointing of God. It did not matter the language we worshipped in or the location of the meeting, if people were gathered in the Name of Jesus, His presence ALWAYS came in and touched the hearts of men, women, and children. 

This was the best missions training and discipling I could possibly receive – to stand side by side with my dad and lay hands on the sick, lead people in song, and preach the Word of God, learning how to hear from God and minister with His heart.  I also witnessed the challenges and the faith it takes to overcome the enemy and receive the resources, open doors, and favor to fulfill an assignment.

My father moved to Heaven in December of 2018. I knew the mantle for nations had been passed to me, long before he moved home, but now I knew that it was time to answer the call that my family and I had been hearing for years.  The Lord spoke to us that we, the Siratt’s, are a missionary family.  That we would live overseas and minister on foreign soil.  We all know (even our teenage daughters) that we are called to this as a family. 

We began to pray and ask the Lord, what country?  What assignments do you have for us?  We want to continue the legacy of my Dad, Roger Siratt, and do ALL that you have called us to do! What is it that you have for us?

In His faithfulness, He answered our prayer!  My wife Sandy and I travelled to Central Europe this past fall on a mission trip to Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. While there, it was undeniable!  This is where God is calling us.  Not just one country, not just a region, but to the continent of Europe!