January Newsletter – Our church on TV

Our January newsletter is in the mail but you can read it now. Just click on this link to download the PDF.

A couple weeks ago a local TV station did a piece on young people and faith in God. They filmed parts of services and interviewed people in three churches. The second church was ours and in if you watch closely a few time you can see us.

You can click here to watch the video.

The first segment was done in a Baptist church and some of our friends with our Hungarian ministry are in it and were interviewed. The second was our church and the third is a Roman Catholic church. The majority of Hungarians identify as Roman Catholic.

The Pecks at church

Global Prayer Movements June Prayer Journal

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.

Eastern Europe Prayer Journal

Speak Out! 2012

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.

Moldova

I spent just a few days in Moldova last month. I was there with two of my co-workers to help the Moldovan staff set up software to aid their ministry through leading with information. The visit was brief, it did not take us long to configure the system, train the staff and turn everything over to them. I look forward to seeing how God uses this tool to help them be more effective in ministry and ultimately to see more people come to know Christ.

I’m going to guess that many of our American friends don’t know a whole lot about Moldova. It is a small country and one of the poorest in Europe. You can read a lot about the country at Wikipedia. It is safe to say that their years under the Soviet Union were not good, as was the case for many countries in our area. They have struggled to recover since the people once again regained the ability to have a say in how their country is run.

While Moldova is not a rich country, the people I met there were very warm and kind. Our training time was a lot of fun, being around young people who are very motivated to reach the world with the knowledge that God has a plan for their lives.

The video below is a little old – but the content is still very relevant and it should give you a good idea of what is going on with New Life Moldova.

If There’s Discretion That You’ve Not Abandoned

I run into things that turn my mind towards God’s truth all the time in all kinds of places. I was at the gym, sweating and in general feeling miserable. I heard a song that contained the following line,

If there’s discretion that you’ve not abandoned, now’s the time.

I really have no idea what the idea is that the song is trying to convey, but that one line just jumped out at me. In most situations it would be inappropriate. I’m all for discretion, Ingrid would back me up on this. I’m that way to a fault at times. I really like when everyone has a decent sense of propriety.

But there are times when discretion isn’t just unnecessary, it’s counterproductive. I’ll go as far as to say that there are situations where discretion is wrong. And I doubt many would disagree. I can remember a time talking with my brother and father in my parent’s back yard. The three of us were chatting near the pool while my niece ran around us. As she orbited our legs, one circle went wide and she went right into the pool. I can picture her hair spread out like a halo in the water. She was in well over her head.

My brother didn’t pause to think about if it was proper (or even smart) to get into the pool. He didn’t empty his pockets or think the situation over. He hopped straight in and had her up and out of the water in a second, maybe two. He beat dad and I to it by a breath and by virtue of having been closer to the pool.

Good for him (and my niece) but what does this have to do with God’s truth?

There are a number of emergencies taking place in the world right now. They are on-going but the window of opportunity, from an eternal perspective, is short. Imagine my brother looking at his daughter in the pool and then stating, “That’s not good at all. I ought to do something about it and as soon as I feel prepared I will.”

Sometimes people tell me I’m brave or imply that I’m good on some different level because I serve as a missionary. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Everything I do that has significance or weight is because God is awesome, good and loving. On my own I’m incapable of real good. That’s important to convey because we are all of us, every follower of Christ, in the same boat. None of us is inherently right and it was our realizing this that was key to our entry into the family of God.

That same God has given us all the Holy Spirit. When we live our lives walking in the Spirit, we are everyone of us capable of serving as conduits for God’s kingdom work. None of us are somehow more spiritual or better in some way that makes us more valuable in His work.

This means external circumstances are not what matters. I’ll go live in and work in Eastern Europe. You’ll live and work wherever God has put you. Both of us will be in the middle of a world full of lost people who need to hear the Good News. And it’s nothing to sit and think over, spending years of our short life waiting for some sign or breakthrough before we get engaged.

Might we look foolish or stumble? It’s almost certain.
Do we know enough to answer all the questions or how to fix all the problems? No.
Does it matter?
Now is not the time for discretion when it comes to passionately following our Savior.

When it comes to living a life that displays Christ to a dying world I would say, “If there’s discretion that you’ve not abandoned, now’s the time.”