Prayer Update 1 - June 11, 2007
I hope my letter finds all of you well. I have been in Debrecen, Hungary for nearly a week and things are going well. We have not begun the bulk of the evangelism and bicycle tours just yet because we have hit a few snags and are still having to tie up a lot of loose ends. This week has been a lot of preparation. We currently have no internet or phone connection in the apartment in which we are staying, but we hope to have it in a couple of weeks. Right now, we need prayer most for the preparation process and that our contacts in the cities surrounding Debrecen will come through for us. Also, continue to pray for the Hungarian people as a whole and that God would prepare the hearts of those we are yet to meet this summer. Personally, I need prayer to stay encouraged and for boldness to share my faith. I know this is where God wants me, and I know He wants to use me. I just need to trust Him completely, but that is often easier said than done.
I had a request for some Hungarian lessons, so here are a couple of words for the day:
Szia! (see-ya) - familiar greeting for hello or goodbye (like aloha)
Kösönöm szépen (kuh-suh-nuhm say-pen) - thank you very much
I have used both of these quite a bit since I have been here! Your continued prayers are much appreciated. I will send another update when I can.
Áldjon meg az Úr! (May the Lord bless you!)
Prayer Update 2 - June 17, 2007
Jó napot kívánok! Hogy vagytok? How are you all?
I am doing very well in Hungary. Tomorrow we will leave for Balmazújváros. We are bicycling there and staying for one week. The idea is that bicycle tourists are non-threatening since their popularity in Europe is growing. Since Hungarians are naturally closed off people, this one of the best ways to enter a city and begin making friends. The specific ministry I am participating in is called "Connecting for Friendship," and it means just what it sounds like. The goal is to connect with Hungarians through friendship and witness through "friendship evangelism." A big key to success of the ministry is the fact that there are four college age people on our team. The people our age are the most open to outsiders and new friends as well as the gospel. Gary Bácsi (Uncle Gary) says that just our presence opens the doors for the entire team to be invited to events and places.
We have also just completed out three days of intensive language training. Surprising though it may be, I am not quite fluent in Hungarian, yet. I am planning to make some flashcards because there is so much I can't remember! I am really enjoying the language, though, and we are all functioning quite well. I am excited about what is to come!
This week our team needs prayer for safety. Pray also for the hearts of the people in this town. There are only five known believers living there, and even though it is a small town, that is still an astonishingly small number. It is clear that the enemy has a tight grip on this community and he will not like us invading his territory. Please pray for safety and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. Please pray also for divine appointments to make friends and share Jesus with the residents of Balmazújváros. On Thursday night of this week, a friend of the Miller's is hosting a dinner party as an evangelistic outreach. He will be inviting all the lost people he knows as well as some believers and we will be there. We will also be inviting the people we meet throughout the week. We are sponsoring the party and we will be there as well. Please pray for this event as well as the rest of our time there. Pray that the people who need to be there will find out about the party and come.
I will hopefully be able to e-mail again and update you after this week, but if not please keep praying for the week after. The interns will be in Debrecen working without our leaders and plans are still up in the air, so please be in prayer for that week.
Thank you all so much for your support. Last night I was privileged to sing "Somebody's Prayin'" at the International Church here in Debrecen. I enjoyed singing it so much because I can feel your prayers and they are so appreciated. Please add the people of Hungary to your regular prayer list and consider continuing to pray for them after I am no longer here. If you would like to be added to the Miller's official updates or prayer list, let me know.
Áldjon meg as Úr!! (the Lord bless you!)
Prayer Update 3 - June 23, 2007
Hello again everyone. I can't thank you enough for your continued prayers and donations. They are invaluable to the work of this ministry and to me personally.
We just returned to Debrecen from Balmazújváros yesterday. It was a wonderful week. We prayer-walked every street in the city and got to meet some wonderful Hungarian people. The first day we were there, my prayer walking partner and myself met this wonderful Hungarian old woman who tried to give us directions and talk to us for about 15 minutes even though we could hardly understand one another. We ran into her again the next day and she invited us in, introduced us to her husband, fed us cherries from their cherry tree until we were about to pop, and gave us a tour of her house. It was wonderful to meet them and so unusual for Hungarian people to be so welcoming and hospitable to strangers. We don't think they are saved, so please pray for the "D"* family.
The dinner party on Thursday night went wonderfully as well. There were many lost people and believers all together having fun. Stephen, a fellow intern, and myself led a time of singing as part of the evening as well. One woman accepted Christ at the party. Praise the Lord! The gospel was also shared with many who needed to hear it. Both were the main purposes of the party, so it was a success. We also wanted lost people to see that Christians can have fun. It was a blast!
This week the four interns: myself, Jessi, Stephen, and Jalaine, are in Debrecen while our leaders, the Millers, are in Greece for an annual mission meeting they are required to attend. The plan for the week is somewhat up in the air, but we know we will be prayer-walking three specific sections of Debrecen as well as continuing to build team unity through Bible study, worship, and prayer. Later today, Stephen and I will help lead worship at the International Church of Debrecen. (We also helped lead worship at this church last week.) I am so excited that the Lord is allowing me to use music to minister in Hungary. I had no idea I would find so many musical opportunities here.
For this week please pray that we will be faithful and consistent in completing the prayer walking as we are setting our own schedule (you know how college students can be...) and for safety and guidance from the Lord for what to do and where to be the rest of the week. We know the Lord is watching over us in the absence of the Millers, but it is still a little scary to be without our leaders. There is some possibility of us working with the pastor of the International Church and his wife this week in various ministries. It may just be to help some Hungarians practice English, but pray that the Lord gives opportunities for friendship and ultimately sharing the gospel. We are also praying for divine appointments to meet, make friends, and share with strangers in Debrecen.
I am sorry these e-mails keep getting longer and longer, but the Lord is doing so much here! I realized after I sent my last update that I forgot to include a Hungarian lesson, so here you go:
Szomjas vagyok. (som-yash vadyok) - I am thirsty.
Éhes vagyok. (ay-hesh) - I am hungry.
Hány éves van? (han ay-vesh vahn) - How old are you?
Hány óra van? (orah vahn)- What time is it?
You have to be careful not to mix up éhes and éves because you might end up saying "I am years" instead of "I am hungry." I have already made that mistake. :) Thanks again for your prayers and support. I will be in touch.
Áldjon meg az Úr,
Prayer Update 4 - July 1, 2007
Áldjon meg az Úr!
It has been so good to hear from some of you through e-mail and e-cards for my birthday. Thank you so much! What a blessing to have friends and family that are so easily missed. I can't tell you enough times how much I appreciate all your love, support, and prayers. Don't stop praying!
Here's what's happened this week:
As I told you in the last update, the four interns were here in Debrecen without our team leaders. However, we were not abandoned, though it may sound like it. The pastor and his wife of the International Church of Debrecen were only a phone call away should we get into trouble. This week we prayer walked in three different sections of Debrecen. One area was a neighborhood of around 40 apartment buildings with literally thousands of people in them all. We made sandwiches and distributed them to people on the street, to homeless and/or needy people. That was an amazing experience. We also went on a couple of long bike rides and to a water park in town. A lot of this week was team-building for the four of us just because we had to rely on each other so much. It has been great. Please continue to pray for team unity, especially as we reunite with our team leaders.
Something else interesting also took place this week. As a team, we have been considering and praying about fasting from something this summer, either individually, or altogether. I have been in prayer and the Lord has asked me to fast from singing. I don't know for how long, but He has already taught me so much through this. At times it has been very difficult, but I rejoice in being obedient. Please pray for my endurance and patience during this fast.
This coming week our team will travel to Nádudvar, Hungary. There we will do a project similar to the one in Balmazújváros. We will be prayer walking all the streets and have an evangelistic outreach toward the end of the week (possibly another party, but we are not sure yet.) Nádudvar is about half the size of Balmazújváros, so the ministry there may be quite different. Just pray that we will follow the Holy Spirit's leading about what kind of outreach activity is needed and the other needs of the people in this city. Please continue to pray for the Lord to move among the Hungarian people as a whole, but the more specifically you can pray, the better. Our team leader, Gary, shared with us that when they were in Nádudvar this time last year, they just had the feeling that the town was ripe for the harvest. We feel the Lord preparing to move in a big way in Hungary and in this city specifically, so please pray that we will not hinder that work, but join it.
Alright, here is your weekly Hungarian lesson:
Jézus Krisztus (yay-zush kreestush) - Jesus Christ
élet (ay-let) - life
Isten (eesh-ten) - God
Jézus Krisztus az Út, az Igazság, és az Élet! (ahz oot, ahz eegahz-shahg, aysh ahz ay-let) - Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life!
Igaz (ee-gahz) - true
Thank you all once again for all your love and prayers. I hope to hear from you soon!
Jó éjszakat! (Good night!)
* Full names are not given in order to respect the privacy of our new Hungarian friends.