Scottish Mission Youth Cultural Trip to Vienna

Scottish Mission Youth Cultural Trip to Vienna

Scottish Mission Communication with Pastor Claudiu Popescu, Photos by Jordana and Lucas Machado

Twelve young adults from the Scottish Mission and two from further afield have returned safely home after a memorable cultural trip to Vienna, Austria. The journey of exploration was organised by Pastor Claudiu Popescu, Scottish Mission Youth Sponsor, and almost every account of the event by the participants includes words like, “amazing,” “one in a million,” and “remarkable.”

“The aim of these cultural trips is to encourage youth of the Scottish Mission to develop meaningful and authentic relationships out of their comfort zone,” says Pastor Claudiu. “They provide an opportunity to get a deeper understanding of our world in which we live and of our faith, by interacting with a different culture and learning that there is a world out there beyond Scotland that needs to be discovered.”

The trip felt extra special because, the experience of the last two years has been really challenging. Almost every event planned by the Scottish Mission Youth department had to be cancelled or postponed due to Covid. Pastor Claudiu is delighted that “this year finally brought the right circumstances to successfully visit an important historical city in Europe namely Vienna.”

“We were a fine group from across Scotland and a further two young adults from London churches who joined us. We had the privilege to visit some very fine sites related with the rich history of Europe like Schönbrunn and Hoffburg palace the residence of the Habsburg dynasty, the birth place of some of the biggest composers and musicians like: Mozart, Strauss, Haydn, Schubert , attending a concert in the famous and iconic St Stephan cathedral build in Xll century.” In addition to these high cultural experiences there were opportunity for indulging in some rather trivial, but just as enjoyable, experiences like having an Apfel strudel or a Wiener schnitzel, an experience that excited the taste buds even of the few strictly vegan among the group. “All-in-all we thank God for the privilege we had to be there and for His protection.”

Reflecting on the trip, Lucas from Edinburgh church states: “It was a such great to experience! A highlight of this trip was meeting a friend from boarding school whom I hadn't seen for more than fourteen years. It was lovely to meet him and his family. I loved visiting the castles and museums, attending concerts, and going out to eat with the guys we were travelling with! Vienna allowed me to experience the world's history more vividly. It's been a few days since being back in the UK now, but I still miss that nice whether! I'm very thankful to God for this privilege to travel in such good company and create so nice memories!”

Jordana, who is also from Edinburgh reports, “My time in Austria was remarkable. I got to experience so many beautiful things in the company of lovely people. We were blessed with sunny and warm days, and I enjoyed every moment there. The wonderful nature landscapes of Salzburg, the amazing architecture, music, food, and history/art of Austria impressed my heart in many ways. During this trip I was reminded that God is almighty, and his hands have always sustained the world. I feel blessed for have lived such precious moments in that country.”

Vali from Irvine was bubbling over with enthusiasm, “My experience in Vienna was one in a million. I had such a great time learning about it and seeing so many various places and it was very enlightening to me. I have met lovely people and enjoyed myself thoroughly

Kevin, who returned to his home in London messaged to say, “I very much enjoyed our trip and time together, getting to know each other and learning about a culture for the first time together. The schedule was well organised, and I have to say that the highlight of my trip was going to Salzburg and visiting Schönbrunn Palace. I also enjoyed learning and gaining a closer relationship with God through the daily devotionals and very thankful for the amazing weather in Austria allowing us to enjoy our trip to the fullest!”

Theo from Irvine was also full of enthusiasm “I really enjoyed the trip and had an amazing time! The schedule was very packed, but this gave me the opportunity to understand more the local culture and to enjoy the traditional food! Loved the weather and our daily devotionals, which brought us closer to God and to each other!”

Pastor Claudiu is already thinking of the cultural trip for next year and information will soon be available on that. With these positive reports from those who have gone, chances are that spaces will be at a premium. Watch this space!