The excitement was palpable as the trailer full of LEGOs arrived at Liesing Evangelical Church in Vienna. Colorful crates containing thousands of LEGO bricks and instruction booklets were lined up in neat rows along the wall while tables were set up throughout the room.
Around 40 children, along with parents and church members, got to work on a Friday afternoon building a giant LEGO city that would be almost 50 square feet in size when completed. They snapped piles of bricks together into dream houses, skyscrapers, a stadium, an airport, a police department, a church and other city buildings amid laughter and chatter.
A key part of the building process was learning several stories from the Bible that correlated with different parts of the city. “With every time of building, the leader talked about God and His relationship to us,” said Chris Rogers, a TEAM missionary who has worked in Austria for 28 years. “It was a great time of drawing in kids to hear about the Bible.”
When the mammoth project was completed a few days later, children invited their friends, family, and neighbors to Liesing Church to admire their handiwork, worship and hear more about the Bible. Children eagerly shared what they had learned about Jesus as everyone toured the city.
The LEGO city event was provided by Scripture Union, a missionary organization that focuses on children and family ministries. Liesing Church also partnered with Scripture Union earlier in the year in hosting another outreach event for kids called the Bible Mobile, a specially equipped truck that was parked in a plaza near the church for four days and then moved to a local shopping mall. The truck contains ten computer stations with video games, multimedia presentations, and video clips that share Bible stories. Kids and teenagers can also play outside the truck on unicycles, skateboards, and stilts. Called “God’s Word on Wheels,” the Bible Mobile also has a Bible exhibition, Christian bookstore, and a stage for Christian speakers.
A church member contacted schools in the neighborhoods around Liesing Church and invited teachers to bring their students to the truck. In Austria, the school curriculum includes a religious studies class, and the Bible Mobile is one way the teachers can fulfill that requirement. “By inviting the schools, we had over 200 kids in a period of five days,” Rogers said. “It was a huge success and the kids loved it.”
-Written by Lisa H. Renninger
-Photos courtesy of Leo Hudribusch, Liesing Evangelical Church