Johannes Rebmann Foundation
Zeitung - Strohgäu und Umgebung" July 11, 2012:
A Missionary in Austria
Mission is still a current matter in Gerlingen, says Jürgen Schilbach, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Rebmann Foundation
Translated into English from the German text of Klaus Wagner
We are attempting to keep the memory of the old missionaries alive. This memorial should also be a sign that missionary work begins at home. Different people associate mission with very different things, on the good side people think of aid work for instance, on the bad side people think of subordination, etc. Here we wish to portray the positive side of mission.
What role does Gerlingen still play today in world–wide mission?
We still have serving missionaries from Gerlingen,
for example Hans–Georg Hoprich who has been in Burgenland since 1998.
That means Herr
Hoprich is working as a Protestant in Catholic
It’s not about being Protestant or Catholic, but about Christian values.
In ‘Holy Korntal’*) missionaries are still being trained. Shouldn’t Gerlingen also be seen as ‘pious’ in view of its missionary history?
We are labelled ‘pietist’ and ‘pious’. For us the church is part of the wider community.
On the other hand the significance of the church is diminishing in our society. Is a missionary museum still relevant?
Precisely so. For us, the question is how we can still win people for Christ. The history of mission is part of the history of the town. Even the 125th anniversary of the Gerlingen YMCA being celebrated this year is important. Each has its place.*) Korntal is not far from Gerlingen. More missionaries have been sent out from there than from any other place in
A Gerlingen Man in China
Visitors from Hong Kong come to the Strohgäu*) - to find the roots of their church which has 10,000 members
Maisch from Gerlingen and Thomas Tsang from
Maisch from Gerlingen went to
are looking for our roots,” said
Thomas Tsang, “Through Wilhelm Maisch we have become an
Tsung Tsin Mission of Hong Kong was one of the
very early churches established in
The visitors were impressed not only with the Rebmann House and the missionary room but also with the history of Gerlingen especially with regards to missionaries. This part was undertaken by Imanuel Stutzmann who knows every nook and cranny of Gerlingen. On the subject of mission he didn’t go back to Adam and Eve but started with the Basel Mission House which was set up in 1815. Many farming lads were sent there to become missionaries. Among them were several Gerlingen men – and a forefather of Wilhelm Maisch by the name of Jakob was one of the first.
Christian name links him to Thomas Tsang and the
Strohgäu is the name of the wider rural area around