At the end of World War 1, the borders of Hungary were redrawn. Hungary became much, much smaller and a lot of people who had been living inside Hungary were suddenly living outside Hungary in different countries. Today there are still some places where there are sizable Hungarian populations outside Hungary and one of these is the Transylvania area of Romania.
This summer, like many years past, Hungarian students and staff went there to share the gospel. Here is a great video about the project. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for my non-Hungarian speaking friends to get a good feel for what the language sounds like. (Don’t worry there are subtitles.)
Here’s another great video about the same project.
The Global Prayer Movements prayer journal for June is focused on Eastern Europe. It has lots of great photos of our coworkers here in Eastern Europe and many great ways you can pray for the countries in our area this month. Pleas download a copy and refer to it throughout June or any time that you’d like to pray for the ministry we are doing in this part of the world.
Well – I see that I haven’t posted since last November. We are a bit more active at our Facebook page, so be sure to drop by there if you use Facebook. I’ll try to keep things more up to date here as well.
Our newest newsletter went to the printers in the US today – but you can read it right now. It is right here.
There are two pages. The first has some updates and the second some photos. The group photo is the Global Technology Leaders group. These are all folks involved in working with technology all over the world. A number of them have the same job that I do, just for other regions of the globe. A few faces are blurry – it’s not a mistake just a necessary precaution.
I travel, usually at least a couple times a year, to various conferences related to my ministry. This year I’ve been to meetings to coordinate with other technology leaders and a large meeting for everyone in our organization who works in an operations role. That’s all the finance, communications and technology people to give a few categories. I’ve been to a number of countries and I can tell you a little bit about each but what I have a stronger sense of is that conference rooms are pretty much the same the world over. I catch myself sitting in meetings and it strikes me, “Behind those curtains could be a window looking out on Thailand, Ethiopia, Turkey or the US and this room would be just the same.” Function drives design. I have a pretty good collection of name badges that I’ve built up over the years.
Of course the best thing about the meetings is the people and the opportunity to work together. Here’s a little sign on a table from my last conference. I had to blur one name out for security reasons but they represent people I’ve learned to appreciate on so many levels.
I’m not crazy about the logistics of getting from one point on the globe to another. Flying is amazing in what it can do, but it’s tough on the body and mind. And being away from the family is never fun or easy. But at the end of the day important work gets done and I get to do it alongside some amazing people. Sometimes it’s people from all over the world, sometimes it’s coworkers from the part where my efforts are focused. I don’t have a ton of exciting pictures when I do one of these trips. Who wants to see a bunch of people sitting around talking? And it’s usually impossible to get a photo of more than a couple people without catching someone who shouldn’t have their picture on the web. (God’s doing amazing things and the enemy is active trying to fight it. It’s a great time to be in missions, but great care is required.)
Thanks for being a part of putting me at the tables where all this work happens.
Keszthely, Hungary is the control center if you will, for huge amounts of ministry going on in various parts of Hungary and a number of other countries this summer. If you aren’t familiar with Hungarian pronunciation, your first question may be how to properly say Keszthely – or maybe you aren’t asking but just saying it wrong :)
In Hungarian the letter “e” is always pronounced like a short e in English. K is the same. “sz” sounds like an English “s”. “T” is the same as well so the first half is pronounced “Kest” No sweat.
In Hungarian “J” and “LY” are pronounced like an English “y”. The “h” is the same – so the second half sounds like “hay”. Run that together and we get “Kest-hay”. (The second “e” sounds different because it is in front of the “ly” – this is the only case (vowels in front of “j” or “ly”) that I know of where a letter’s sound changes.
If you want to know more about the town itself, Here is a link to the wikipedia article on Keszthely. It is a very nice town right on Lake Balaton, a major summer vacation destination for Hungarians and many other people from all over. Tourism is a big part of Keszthely though there are also many people who live here year round. We hold our English camp at a catering, tourism and commerce school – VSZK.
The English camp happens right on the campus with campers and most staffers living in the dorm. We have classes here, and use the field and basketball courts outside. The beach is a short walk from the school and so is the downtown of Keszthely. It’s a great location.
At the same time the English camp is happening (with primarily American’s working) many of our Hungarian staff form up teams and head out into Keszthely and other towns aroung lake Balaton to share Christ with people that they meet. We’ve also sent out other teams to help run similar camps in Slovakia, Albania, Romania and Siofok, Hungary.
All 5 of us are arrived in Keszthely, Hungary on the 28th of June. We will be here until the 29th of July. We are participating in the Speak Out! project that is being run by the Hungarian ministry. It is a huge project that involves many staff from a number of countries. Keszthely (say it like kest-hey) is a sort of central command for a number of activities. We have people who have come from the US (and Americans who already live in Hungary) to work the English camp. The camp takes place over 3 weeks with about 120 new Hungarians coming each week to learn English from native English speakers. Each of them will hear the gospel multiple times.
We also have a large number of Hungarians here working as staff. They will be going out to the beaches and town to share the gospel. They will also visit other towns around Balaton, including another project that will be run in Siofok. Other Hungarians will be going to Slovakia, Romania and Albania to do outreaches there. It’s an exciting time to be a part of this huge evangelistic opportunity.
Since we’ve arrived we’ve been focused on getting ready. Ingrid and I each have groups of young people that we are discipling. We are helping them learn how to share their testimony and share the gospel. Once campers start to arrive, we will help them be English tutors and witnesses to the Hungarian campers. We covet your prayers as we take part in transforming Hungary and by extension, the world. Here are a couple short, rough video clips (I just grabbed them with my phone) of our worship time together.