Johannes Amritzer was born in South Austria in 1973. He was raised by an alcoholic mother while his father was in and out of prison. By the age of 16 Johannes had lived at 22 different addresses. Fights, alcohol, rejection, and rebellion marked his childhood. Life changed abruptly however, after a man twice his size locked him in the basement of a little church and forced him to pray a salvation prayer.
Not long thereafter he found himself in Teen Challenge, a faith-based drug rehab center. He was given a Bible, instead of the knife he slept with everyday under his pillow. There, his hear began to heal and a child-like love for Jesus began to grow. The journey had begun! From these humble beginnings he received a powerful calling to reach the unreached and, unbeknownst to everyone, a missionary movement like no other would soon be birthed.
In 1996, Johannes traveled with Maria, his wife of two years, through the jungles of Kenya to preach at what became the first of many festivals. "I was called as an evangelist in the end times to preach the Gospel to unreached people groups, to help bring restoration of the Book of Acts in my generation, and to see the early church being geographically re-established." - Johannes Amritzer
What Johannes and Maria started grew like wildfire. They were pioneering a movement that reached across Europe and were preaching the Gospel to unreached tribes in South America, Southeast Asia, India, and many countries on the continent of Africa. Johannes and Maria would do whatever needed to be done to see a festival happen. They sold their belongings to generate finances; they preached from platforms that were wooden tables tied together with rope. There were many obstacles to overcome on their journey, but one thing was certain: signs, wonders, and miracles followed them wherever they went.
Today, SOS is an unstoppable movement authored by Jesus Christ himself. Since Johannes' first festival, hundreds of thousands of people on five continents have heard the Gospel. SOS has sent over 150 full-time missionaries, more than 600 churches have been planted, Bible schools and church planting centers have been established. In 2015 alone, SOS preached the Gospel to a quarter of a million people, sent 373 short-term missionaries to the mission field, documented 1774 healings, saw 148 people delivered from demonic spirits and led more than 57,000 to a devision to follow Jesus. It has been an incredible, Holy Spirit-led adventure!
There are still over 6,000 unreached people groups scattered around the world who have not yet heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, many of them are in the African capital cities we have yet to reach. All that means for us a SOS is that our job has just begun...
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. - Matthew 24:14