„I was actually the type of person who didn’t believe anything. I believed more in psychology but nothing spiritual.”

Lisa attends an Alpha course with us and has a moving story to tell – one that shows how life-changing an authentic role model can really be. If you had asked her a few months ago what she thought of everything she was currently experiencing at Alpha, she would have dismissed it as ridiculous. After all, nobody in their environment is one of these “Jesus people”.

Lisa comes from Graz and has many interests. She spends a lot of time with her friends, you can often see her smiling at events. At some point the time came for them to move to the capital – in the hope of a fresh start and an exciting future. So how is it that this young woman who “didn’t believe in anything” is taking our Alpha course?


„I was looking for something and needed help. But I’ve always been skeptical of all these Christians trying to tell me something.“

Lisa’s friends were not necessarily Christians. „I’ve had friends who were more spiritual. I also talked to my best friend about spiritual things, but it wasn’t in the Christian direction. I didn’t believe in anything, I was more on the side of therapy and psychology.“

That’s how she started learning about the „law of attraction“ and getting involved with manifesting things and changing ones mindset. „During this time, I happened to meet my former elementary school teacher, who alongside her husband unexpectedly gave me free tutoring, which was incredibly helpful for me!“


„I didn’t know they were religious at first… and I’ve usually been skeptical of people trying to tell me about faith. But they were different, they just talked about their lives.“

This time was very chaotic for Lisa, a lot happened around her. She dealt with many topics, one was love – and she started talking about it with her teacher and her husband. „I admired them so much as a couple and just asked their story. They mentioned that faith was incredibly important to their relationship. They asked me, quite relaxed, if I was a believer, to which I hesitantly replied, ’no… maybe…‘.“

Lisa says that people who tried to teach her the faith up to that point made what they said rather inaccessible to her. It often sounded forced or unnatural, but with this couple she could have „put it all in.“

“The two said that faith is a guiding principle for life that can also help with problems. Faith is a personal protection for them as a couple and for many people. Then I could only say: ‚It’s really cool, but how do I get that?‘. Then I got the recommendation from them to take a look at the KHG in Vienna. And I was just wondering if it’s a cult and what they’re doing there.“

Lisa likes to dance and to be around people. It was ideal for her that the KHG offers so many events. „The only doubt I had was whether I’d get there as a total impostor. They all believed it… but I didn’t.“


From the Bible Study to Prayernight and Alpha

But Lisa found her way to the Bible Study, which she was interested in but also skeptical about. “What really grabbed me is that the bid also included not only an invitation to read the Bible, but also something about hope and loving and accepting other people. And the people there were really totally „welcoming“, we had really deep conversations! I’ve just noticed that it’s not all that strange when something is preached to me, it’s really just about life.” In the course of further events, Lisa made friends that not only provided deeper insights into the faith , but with whom she could also share her experience.

„When I was on my way to the semester opening, I didn’t even dare to actually go there. I had the feeling again that I didn’t fit in and that I didn’t know my way around… A girl came towards me and I thought that she didn’t look like she belonged at all. ‚She looks cool, she’s definitely not a Jesus person‘. But she was the one who motivated me again to go in with her and assured me that I would fit in well. As the evening progressed, she answered a few questions very authentically and showed me different perspectives.”

So Lisa had an accompaniment for the prayer night. “I really had to make a decision at the time… right next to Prayernight was another event I was tempted to go to. But then it all worked out, the prayer night was super nice and I drew a very suitable passage from the Bible for myself. But what really hit me again was that I was super surprised that the people there really knelt, with their heads down and everything, and meant it really honestly. I had never seen that before, and certainly not expected it to be the case with young female students!”. At this event, she was invited to Alpha.


This one question – and more questions at Alpha

„There was always one question I asked everyone through all of those moments, and that’s their take on queerness and the LGBTQ community. It was important for me to have people’s opinions on this topic. That was actually always something that set me apart from Christians – in the past I often had the feeling that people were talking about an acceptance that wasn’t there. Sort of like, ‚We love and accept everyone, but when you’re like that, it’s not okay‘. But I felt comfortable with the people I talked to about it in those circles. They were accepting and appreciative. There were occasional moments where I would encounter thoughts that I was in conflict with, but then I thought to myself: I’m seeking healing from past hurts and it doesn’t depend on my opinions.”

Lisa describes her current path as one of seeking clarity, strength, healing and help, not necessarily a change of mindset. Alpha goes well with this process. Lisa explains that all of these factors played a role, but that her path was primarily shaped by meeting people. Individual people would have made a difference, step by step.

“It is important that you get involved! You should see what you can take with you and help you. As everywhere, you will meet people with different opinions. But it is important that you are aware of what questions you have and what you are looking for – then it can grab you more. Then I recommend Alpha to you. People are often really nice and it’s exciting for me to talk to people with different opinions. Another point is that the John Paul II Center is simply beautiful and you feel at home. You can just be who you are and you feel safe. I was touched to learn that when I pray, I am heard. It’s not like a manifestation – it’s heard. There is a someone listening.”