I’m heeding the nudge of the Spirit to chronicle My husband and my and now OUR family’s story of calling.
I am choosing this for Tuesdays because of some of the special women at Jen’s (Jen, of course, and especially Amy) that I have been getting to know, and I feel that you and any other consistent readers (especially dear Cherry, who is a co-laborer and beloved bloggy friend) might be the most blessed to hear this story.
But, truly, I know I need to do this for myself and my God as we continue this unique journey that will, prayerfully, land me in Budapest, Hungary as a long-term missionary within the year.
Trusting all who read be blessed with a touch of Him…
35And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples,
"The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;38therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."
Can I really be at Part 6? And feel like there’s so much more to say? Isn’t there always?
Well, before I begin today, I have such an incredible video to share with you. It features Hungary, with a catchy title from a clip from ‘Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader?’ when a young woman asks, ‘that’s a country?!’ but then launches into the story of what God is doing through Youth at the Threshold of Life abbreviated YTL in English and FEK in Hungarian. It also features Zach who I’ve shared about that is heading up this new initiative.
Warning! There is graphic content when it walks through the Contrast (Kontraszt) Exhibit. It will probably be graphic for you, but I DEFINITELY wouldn’t want any young eyes to fall on it.
But it is SO worth the watching!!! Please Do!!!
And would you PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE join us in praying earnestly that the LORD OF THE HARVEST WOULD SEND US TO THIS HARVEST? We’d LOVE to be there when this exhibit hits Budapest in September, 2011! (Yes, very soon…but we BELIEVE HE CAN DO IT!)
Now to the next chapter in the story:
I will talk about one group of girls, especially two sisters, that made my STINT year and since! Here’s a picture of them and me:
from left to right: Meli, Eszti (Esti), Nori, Me, Anita (On-nita)
This story begins with Anita who I would say has ‘the gift of faith’. She found herself at the Speakout English Camp in the summer of 2005—right before we came for STINT. During her week long camp experience, the Gospel was shared with her in a variety of ways (as it is with all of the campers) primarily through an English-speaking tutor (most are from the U.S.). There comes a point when each camper is asked if they are ready to trust Christ as their only hope of salvation. THIS IS WHAT ANITA DID!
Now, here’s where I come in. One of the reasons that we love this ministry is how intentional it is. When we arrived for STINT and got settled, one of the first ministry things that we did was to gather as staff, STINT team and student leaders. We prayed for blessing and were each given stacks of the evaluation forms that each camper filled out during Speakout as well as their tutors filled out for each of them. This included their contact information and the tutors’ assessment of where they were spiritually through their one-on-one time with them.
On my stack…you guessed it, ANITA!!! We were to call or sms (texting in Europe is called this and I most definitely needed a tutorial and PRAISED GOD for this amazing invention to communicate across language barriers!…IT WAS 5.5 YEARS AGO!) Anita was the first to respond positively and WANTED TO MEET WITH ME! Then, along came Nori, her sister!
During this first visit, my teammate and I went through the Gospel very clearly with her to make sure she understood and did indeed place her faith in Christ. We were confident she did and had the bonus that Nori, who barely spoke a word of English at the time and wasn’t at Speakout in the summer, could hear the Gospel too! Much of it translated through her sister who was then expressing her own new found faith.
We continued to meet weekly with these sisters and at some point Meli and Eszti on the left joined. Meli was Anita’s classmate (meaning they had the same form class at their high school which becomes a very close group doing activities and having many classes together) and Eszti her best friend. So, often with my teammate Stephanie, I taught foundational elements of lifelong faith in Christ such as assurance, sanctification, the work of the Holy Spirit to English learners and seekers. We got very creative and often employed charades in some form to make certain that there was understanding.
Every time I would pose the question to Nori if she had made the decision to trust Christ? At some point in November she said that she had! Anita didn’t even know it! Honestly, with the language barrier, I was unsure, but I am very happy to say that she has taken amazing faith steps and was a Hungarian staff for Speakout one summer—sharing her faith daily! When she came for a week this summer, she went out every day in the afternoon to share her faith with other student leaders! Isn’t God amazing?
By the end of the year, Meli and Eszti had also trusted Christ! Meli’s dad was dying of cancer that year and so with what I had gone through with my mom, I was able to minister to her…though being quite private people, I didn’t feel like I did very much, but I gave her the best I could and the joy that comes from Him even in the darkest places during my time with her. Meli is living as a prodigal now, please pray that she comes back to the Lord and this life that I believe she truly found in Him.
I prayed for these girls every day after I came home and still do…though not as often
They are each very special, but it is definitely with Anita and Nori that God has knit my hearts to theirs. They are my little sisters, spiritual daughters and family. We left STINT believing God would call us back, but even if not, I KNEW these two young women would always be a key part of my life.
With the exception of one faithful great-grandmother who has since passed away, they have no blood relatives (other than each other) who believe. Their story is so common. Their original family broken while they were young and secondary families full of confusion and amorality, a culture where. anything. goes. they are a part of a vast sea of crowds on whom He has compassion and sent us to care for the harvest of their lives.
It is amazing where they have come in five years. Originally timid and secretive with their faith, they have gained great boldness both within their families and with their classmates and peers. Anita heard clearly just this past fall from the Holy Spirit to share about her faith in a speech she gave in a university class! She also believes the Lord is calling her to be staff at Speakout English Camp which I am praying fervently happens, will you? Nori has a well-used Bible and has strong friendships with the Hungarian student leaders—mature believers that encourage her deeply.
We serve an amazing God, don’t we? He is faithful and loves this whole wide world and shepherdless sheep in a small nation that some have never heard of…but He has! and He sends us (and we pray more, many more!) to this harvest that remains abundant!
God has been renewing my heart through His love alive in me that flows into His heart for these young people. this nation. I wrote this poem prayer that I would love you to read if you didn’t already:
Be blessed SDG Sisters…you are a BLESSING TO ME! Thank you for the gift of sharing in this story. Our Story. Their Story. God’s Story.
Thank you Jen the hostess with the mostest! Come join us if you haven’t yet!
And newly linking to Laura’s ‘Playdates with God’