The House of Hope
Bringing the hope of Jesus to asylum seekers and refugees in Linz, Austria.
What is the House of Hope?
International Teams Austria is acutely aware of the struggles asylum seekers and refugees experience. Its workers and ministries are passionate to help them. The House of Hope is a centre providing assistance to those seeking asylum and refuge in and around the city of Linz, Austria. It is operated by International Teams Austria, a partner ministry of International Teams Australia.
Why is the House of Hope needed for refugees in Austria?
The perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea is one made out of pure desperation. People seeking asylum and refuge from war and persecution are glad to arrive in a peaceful country like Austria. However, relief is only temporary. Thousands bear terrible scars from the trauma they suffered in their homeland. Finding a new way of life in a new location brings many of its own difficulties. The initial scars of trauma can be compounded by feelings of rejection, isolation, grief and marginalisation.
Austria’s cities, towns and rural communities host many who are without a home. Refugees, asylum seekers awaiting the outcome of visa applications, and those who have been denied permission to stay, but cannot yet return to their country of origin all live among Austrian communities. At the end of 2018, there were more than 38000 pending applications for protection status for people from places like the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa.
What can the House of Hope do to help?
The House of Hope seeks to meet the needs of refugees and asylum seekers; Linz’s most vulnerable people. Teams help in practical ways with housing, furniture, food distribution and translation at appointments. They run excursions and two weekly cafés to tackle ioslation and loneliness. They facilitate programs to teach German and create a sense of belonging to community. Regular bible studies, counselling and pastoral care offer emotional and spiritual encouragement.
Linz is Austria’s third-largest city. Finding a way to belong is extremely difficult. For refugees and asylum seekers, all that is offered through the House of Hope creates pathways to building relationships and connection to people in the local community. The work of The House of Hope aims to see asylum seekers and refugees understand that, no matter what their present circumstances are, their lives can still have hope, found in the eternal love of Jesus.