The Words of the Reihl Family

HARP Austria Winter Workshop

Elisabeth Riehl
March 2004

68 participants arrived in Seebenstein in the late afternoon of December 26th. We were also happy to have guests from Finland and Hungary among us. So as you can imagine we were a mixed bunch of HARPies, more or less eager to hear about our "Seeds and Deeds" the motto for this WS. During this time we heard testimonies about the first years in the Austrian Movement from Albert Heitzinger, Peter Zöhrer and Gertrud Koch. We tried to give the HARPies an impression of how it was like to hear the DP for the first time by holding a 2 day seminar with lectures by Manfred Hauser, Siegfried Klammsteiner and Andreas Bauer. For Hoon Dok Hwe we read the testimony of Paul Werner, the first Austrian missionary who came in 1965. All of this gave us an idea of what our parents experienced, because usually they don't tell us those interesting stories. On top of that a few HARPies shared their experiences about their journey to Israel and also their efforts in Austria.

Well, we spent God's Day in Vienna and the entertainment programme was hilarious and lovely. The parents enjoyed it a lot and also the HARPies were happy and proud of each other. In the end we went to see 'The Lord of the Rings' in the cinema. It was a really enjoyable God's Day for everyone, including staff. How did I get so far without mentioning that, of course, God's Day started - after the reflections with the Midnight prayer, Mansei and a lot of fireworks.

To give us a little break during the WS we had one day where slept longer, played sports competitions in the morning and had game competitions in the afternoon. We had a rock out, a movie and one evening programme was the air guitar concert. Because we had good prizes for everyone, many HARPies participated and made a fool of themselves by jumping around, along a song they had chosen beforehand. We had great performances by Blur, Jimmy Hendrix, Guano Apes, and many more with a good MC and capable judges. Even kitchen staff participated. It was great.

At the end of the year we also elected a new committee. In this manner the WS was a very successful closing of the Committee 2003. There was a great support and unity among the staff. And again we could realize the precious help of our WS mother Erni Loos.

Looking back, it was a nice WS with a good atmosphere, many funny moments, but also serious and tough at times, but surely exciting and something to remember.

Many greetings from Austria!

Elisabeth Riehl Austrian HARP leader

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