November Photo Newsletter

Hi friends!

I have been trying to take more photos of life happenings here in Hungary, so I thought I would share some of this months snapshots with you!

“NOW – Night of Worship ” Event

Our church hosted a worship event.  It was a great evening lifting up praise to God.  We sang, prayed, and a few individuals in our church read out verses that God had put on their heart. There is something so powerful/transformative in gathering to lift up His name and exalt Him together. Pray for those who came who do not yet know Christ, that they would be drawn to Him.

Thanksgiving

I had the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving with some awesome friends, old and new! It’s not easy being away from family during the holiday’s, but I had a great time with these friends enjoying good food and reflecting over the past year and giving thanks.

I had the girl’s make a “Thanksgiving” book, writing/drawing things they are thankful for. The two photos on the right are of Esztie’s. She wanted to write “God is our only Savior forever and ever” 🙂  (I suggested adding spaces between words but she didn’t like that idea! Lol!)

More opportunities with young women and language study

We’ve continued our Monday night girl’s bible study and I’ve also enjoyed other opportunities to connect with girls over cooking food together, making music, and just chatting.  I’m continually encouraged seeing how God is working in their lives.

I took the photo on the right a few days ago during a rainy walk to my language school (there has been very little rain the past few months (at least for a Washingtonian gal) so I was thrilled by the rain! 🙂

PRAYER:

  • PRAISE!! Esztie read her first words this month! Woohoo! After months and many hours working on letter recognition and sounds, I was so encouraged to see her cross this milestone! She’s continuing to make progress and I love hearing her sound out new words and read each new page in a book. Please keep praying for my work helping teach the kids, for wisdom and strength to best help them and also point them to Jesus. 
  • WOMEN’S CHRISTMAS TEA event happening at church December 8. This is one of our biggest outreach events during the year.  Women in our church have been inviting friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, classmates.. and there will be many who come that do not yet know Christ. We will have treats, songs, a short sharing time, and crafts (we’re doing a pottery craft this year). I am leading the singing time with a few other young women. Pray for us as we prepare for this event, pray for preparation of hearts even now, and pray that those who come will learn of God’s grace and love towards them and that hearts will respond to Him! 
  • Continued prayer for the young women in my life here and for language learning 

And on the note of thanksgiving, I want to say how thankful I am for all of you.  Your continued prayer and support means so much. I’ve also been super encouraged to hear from some of you this past month! Thanks for keeping in touch!

Love,

Brenna

October Update

Hello friends,

It was the beginning of September when I last sat down to write, and now, as October already comes to a close, I thought I’d share a few photos to give you a glimpse of life these past weeks:

Outreach event in one of the city’s main squares. Our church had the opportunity back in September to lead the closing music event of the all-day outreach. It was a neat time partnering with other Pécsi churches to share the hope of Christ with our city.

Many mornings spent helping teach Eszti and Lizzie.  I spend most of these mornings with Eszti. We are currently working on letter sounds (building up to the point where she can learn to read) and numbers. There’s a myriad of reasons that make learning (and teaching) extra difficult and even though progress may be slower than normal, I can look back to when we started in September and see that she has made progress. It’s exciting the days when I see her understanding or doing something that she was unable to do/grasp a few days before!

The girl’s love having “art time,” so as often as possible we try to fit in time for art. We’ve spent time drawing, painting, and my personal favorite, creating masterpieces with nature supplies (leaves, sticks, etc.). Lizzie made a moose out of leaves and sticks that was all too cute, and you should have seen our leaf crowns! It’s very possible that these art times are just as fun for me as they are for the kids… 🙂

Lots of fun opportunities connecting with young women. Monday night girl’s fellowship at my flat has been a highlight each week. Every week it has seemed to be a source of deep encouragement and refreshment for each who come.  Coffee dates and other times getting to know girl’s individually has been another highlight.  It’s a privilege having the opportunity to invest in so many girl’s lives, from all different cultures and backgrounds. God is doing some amazing work, both in the lives of those who already know Him and love Him and in drawing some who are still searching for truth. Pray for these young women, that wherever they are at in relationship to God, they would take steps closer to Him.

A fun visit from my sister and cousin Naomi, along with her family. It was sweet to see familiar faces from home and I enjoyed the opportunity to show them around this beautiful place I get to call home.

Monthly Women’s Bible Study. I had the opportunity to teach our monthly women’s Bible study (different than the girl’s fellowship I host on Monday’s) this past Friday. We are doing a study through the minor prophets and October’s book of study was Habakkuk. Some of you prayed for me as I prepared and prayed for our time, THANK YOU!  My sharing time went well and we ended the evening with some really great, honest discussion. Each woman who came shared of how they were touched in some way by our study through Habakkuk.

I too, was personally deeply encouraged by this study through the book of Habakkuk. The past six weeks have been the most difficult I’ve had since coming to Hungary. When I first began to study Habakkuk and prepare to share at our Bible Study, I was feeling a sense of despair and deep pain over some things and, like Habakkuk, had troubled questions. What struck me as I studied through the book of Habakkuk was seeing how Habakkuk moved from a place of despair to a place of hope, trust, and confidence in God no matter what. Surprisingly, it wasn’t because he came to fully understand what God was doing and why (Habakkuk honestly expressed his confusion and dislike of God’s plan). Rather, through a process of honest complaint and listening to God’s response, he chose to humble himself (letting go of what seemed right in his eyes) before God and put his trust in God.

How freeing and life-giving it was for me to be reminded that the way forward in the place of troubling questions and despair is to come honestly before God with these things, recognize that He alone is God and remember His past faithfulness, and then to humble yourself under His mighty hand. We may not fully understand, we may not like a circumstance that God has or will allow, but we can choose to live by faith and, like Habakkuk, say:

Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet  I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

The Lord God is my strength;

He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills. 

(Habakkuk 3: 17-19)

PRAYER POINTS:

  • Wisdom, strength, and inspiration for my work with the kids. Prayer for patience and grace.
  • The young women I have the opportunity to invest in. Pray for deep work of the Spirit in hearts. Pray for trust to be built in relationships and that our time together will guide them closer to Jesus. 
  • We are beginning our Women’s Christmas Tea event preparations. This is a special outreach event in December with a craft, goodies, music, a short sharing time. Pray for us as we plan and prepare.  Our theme this year is from Ephesians 2:10 – we are His workmanship (masterpiece, work of art).  Pray that God will be preparing the hearts of those who will come even now. 
  • For our church and leadership, prayer for wisdom. Our church has grown a lot in numbers this Fall and we need God’s wisdom and direction in how to proceed with the new challenges and areas of need that come with more people to care for (a good “problem” to have!). For our leadership, please pray against the enemy’s attempts to accuse and discourage.

 

As usual, I continue to thank God for you all. Thank you for your prayer and support that makes it possible for me to be here. Thank you for “linking arms” to see people of all nations and tongues know the God who created them and died for them so that they could have restored relationship with Him.

In Christ,

Brenna Lynn

Welcoming September & Newness

“Though the seasons change, your love remains”

August was incredibly busy and fun and exhausting. It was filled with the everyday things like cleaning and laundry,  the usual weekly times of language lessons, Wednesday night Bible studies, worship practices, girl’s nights,  etc. and also special opportunities with people. Here are a few snapshots!

A camping trip to Lake Balaton with friends from church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We swam, built sand castles, had meals together,  talked, laughed, and it was altogether a great time getting to know some of those who I now get to share life with.

Cleaning and moving into my new flat

This is a photo of my new apartment building. I’ve been fully living there for ten days now and loving it! God has been so kind in His provision!

The first few hours in my new “home” space were spent with one of my new Hungarian friends. We sat and talked and had such sweet, life-giving conversation about life and God. It was a wonderful glimpse of what I pray this space will be—one where life and truth and grace may abound.

Time with friends from home

It’s always sweet when here and “home” collide! I got to enjoy a wonderful few days soaking in mountain peaks, rivers, and fresh air with good friends.

Changing seasons

September means the return of university students and the start of new roles and areas of ministry for me here. It’s exciting to be on the cusp of a new season, praying and seeking God for what He might want to do.

My new flat is located next to the medical university here in Pécs and September’s arrival brought a flood of new faces and activity to my neighborhood. Every day the sidewalks are filled with people, and the wide variety of languages I hear just walking down the street is a fresh reminder that God has brought the nations to our doorstep here in Pécs. When I count the faces and languages and religions that make up the lives of those around me, it can seem overwhelming and impossible. So many lives with so much need! Yet, because of God, there is hope for every wilderness. How good it is to remember that this is God’s work. He is actively working and pursuing hearts, and all that we do depends not on us but on His Spirit!

To all of you, my friends and family, who are reading this, I can’t say enough how thankful I am for you.  You are living proof of God breathing life into dead bones. Thank you for believing God and seeking Him with your lives, and thank you for standing in prayer. I thank God for providing others who can come alongside his work here and the battle and fight and persist in prayer. Will you join me again now in..

  • prayer for these students, that many would encounter the God who loves them and gave Himself for them. Pray that their lives will be transformed during this time in Pécs for their studies, such that they will go on from here (in a year, or three, or five) a new creation, set secure in Christ.
  • prayer for our church, for the wisdom and leading of the Spirit to reach more people for Christ, and for the love and wisdom to care for those already in front of us.
  • prayer for my work with the pastor’s kids. Beginning Monday, I will spend four mornings and one afternoon each week with them, teaching arts, music, and whatever else is needed.
  • prayer for the women’s bible study that I will be starting up in the next couple weeks
  • prayer for the Hungarian people, that they will encounter their Creator who desires relationship with them.

Sitting next to me during a recent trip to Budapest was a clearly-in-the-mood-to-chat person. Honestly, my first thought was to close my eyes and sleep and not talk to this random stranger, but a persistent nudge wouldn’t let me rest. When I finally opened my eyes, what I found was someone who was open and curious about spiritual matters, who knew next to nothing about a God who wants relationship with him. His English was limited, and my Hungarian even more, but even still he engaged in conversation, trying to express what he believes, speaking of auras, colors, and dimensions, but then asking question after question of what I believe. I don’t know what he will do with what he heard, but I pray that he will seek to find out more about this God who comes close.

What an incredible gift that we have a God who wants relationship with us, who invites us to come to Him, and extends not just help and salvation.. but Himself.  I’m praying for you, dear friends, that you will behold God’s goodness and beauty today. May you see Him, enjoy Him, and find rest and all that you need. As we welcome September, these simple lyrics, sung by United Pursuit, ring true: “Though the seasons change, your love remains.” He is truly matchless!

Much love and God’s peace!

Brenna Lynn

He Answers Prayer

As I look back on the past month, one of the things I see again and again is answered prayers—my own and others around me. I don’t have space to share them all, so I will share those in answer to last months prayer requests.

I found an apartment!  I will get the keys next week and have a few weeks to put the apartment together before I move in at the end of August.  God so graciously answered this prayer in every way–the cost, location,  a kind landlady, and even such a small detail as “white walls.” I am excited to soon begin making it “home” and settle in there for as long a season as God will have me there.

I now have a language teacher who I meet with 3-4 times each week. She’s amazing! This has been a two-fold answer to prayer, as it has provided both further help with language learning and the opportunity to begin building a new relationship here in the Pécs. After our last lesson this week, she invited me to have a cup of tea and we ended up spending another hour chatting. I left so encouraged and amazed at God’s provision of a teacher who I can learn from and also hopefully build friendship with. God is so kind. There’s something about knowing and being known that is so right and good. It’s a reflection of our deepest need to know and be known by God, and evidence of how God has made us for meaningful relationships. I am seeing this with fresh eyes as I experience the sweetness of growing friendships in a new place. Praise God that He has given us this gift of relationships!

Outside of language study, God has been answering this prayer for building relationships in other ways as well. In the few weeks before they left for a visit to the states, I was able to spend a lot of time with the pastor family I serve alongside here. Here’s a photo from a birthday celebration I had with their sweet Lizzie. She’s a fellow art lover and we celebrated with a fun-filled crafty afternoon! I’m not sure who had more fun.. me or her! 😀

Last week I was able to have a few international students over for a “girl’s night,” it was sweet connecting with them through games and conversation. I love how God has brought the nations to our doorstep here. It’s incredible to be together in one room with people from different tribes, nations, and tongues. Hungary, Angola, Nigeria, Kenya,…

As I meet and connect with more Hungarians and more of the international community here, I am struck anew by the vast opportunity and need. At times I see the great need and wonder, “where do we even start?” And then I’m reminded, this is God’s work. We must look to God, “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). It is need too great for man, but not too great for God. Where to start?   With prayer.

Prayer for each and every day, for God’s wisdom and leading in the things in front of us today. Prayer for the multitude, that God will pour out His Spirit on hearts and draw many to Himself. Prayer for the ONE, that God will heal and comfort and restore and save the one. Prayer for God’s guidance and help today, and for a mighty work of His Spirit.

I am ever thankful for your prayers for God’s work here in Hungary! They are not in vain. Would you continue to pray for me as I continue forward in life here, for the church to be strengthened and built up in the love of Christ, and for hearts to encounter the goodness and grace of God? 

I thank God for you! Do you have any prayer needs? I would love to hear from you and be able to pray for you.

Much love in Christ,

Brenna Lynn

June Recap!

Hello friends!

I’m currently writing while on a bus home to Pécs. The sun is shining and it is truly a beautiful evening to be driving through the Hungarian countryside. Sunflowers are in full bloom at present and I can’t get enough of the fields of gold glowing in the sunlight! My four-week intensive language course in Budapest concluded on Friday and now it’s time to finally jump into life in Pécs! I am excited!

The last four weeks in Budapest were wonderful overall. I loved every bit of the language course and found it to be extremely helpful, not to mention fun! I’m aware more than ever how much there is left to learn (which is very daunting at times), yet so far I have found myself excited over each new bit of learning. It is exciting when more of the pieces come together! Of course, it always seems simpler in class than when I am out in the real world fumbling my way around, so please do continue to pray for my language learning!

Through a not-so-fun sickness in the middle of the course that caused me to miss a few days of class, I was reminded to entrust this learning process to God, as He is the one who enables me to comprehend and understand.  I was afraid missing classes would cause me to fall behind and not be able to keep up through the rest of the course.  God was so kind to speak truth into my fear and remind me that He is Lord over every area of life. It’s neat to experience God’s peace in the midst of not-so-fun circumstances and see evidently that God is not hindered by earthly circumstances. His continual promise remains, “not by [human] might nor power, but by my Spirit.” 

Cara, my language buddy and roommate in Budapest

Along with enjoying the content and process of the language course, another highlight was the people I had the opportunity to connect with. My new friend Cara, who also recently moved to Pécs, was also doing the course and we were roommates for the month, thanks to our dear friend who so graciously loaned us her apartment!

Sometimes together, sometimes separate, we had some awesome opportunities to connect with people outside of class. After class lunch excursions or walks through the city, it was really neat to get to know a few of our classmates. We spent a lot of time connecting with one girl in particular. She was very open with us and we got to share a lot about our lives and faith. We are praying that she will encounter the God who loves her and gave Himself up for her.  

It was also really sweet getting to connect with a few of my old friends who live in Budapest!

Ice Cream date with my sweet friend Kristen

As I mentioned already, God has been continually reminding me: “Not by [human] might nor power, but by my Spirit.” This is my heart’s cry as I look forward to getting settled in Pécs. With transition and change come new unknowns and areas that are beyond me. I am comforted knowing that every bit of life and ministry here depend on God and not on me having all the answers or knowing every step. Please pray for me as I begin to figure out life and ministry roles, invest in relationships, and figure out the practical details. In these next few weeks, I will be looking for a language helper, begin looking for an apartment and be focusing on building relationships. Will you pray with me that God will guide each step of this?

PRAYER:

  • Finding a language teacher and this process of language learning.
  • These new friends in Budapest, that they will be drawn to God.
  • Transition to life in Pécs: apartment, language teacher, life &  ministry roles, etc…
  • Boldness and discernment as I begin to build relationships with young women. A huge desire is to begin a weekly Bible study with some of the women. Many have a hunger for the things of God and there is a great opportunity/need to go deeper in this way. Pray for God’s leading and wisdom and how to best structure and go about this.
  • With the unexpected loss of a cousin and her unborn daughter, it has been difficult in a lot of ways to be away from family these past couple weeks. Please pray for my family, especially for her husband and 16-month old daughter, her parents, and siblings. I am comforted knowing that God is holding my family, pray that I will be able to entrust them to God and His care continually during this difficult time.

Much love and God’s peace!

Brenna Lynn

Hello from Hungary!

Hungarian Countryside

Where to begin?! My last few weeks home were filled with so many sweet moments with people. It was not easy to leave so many that I love, yet I left encouraged and strengthened by the abundance of love,  care, and prayer that I received from friends and family at home as well as from afar. I thank God for all of you!

Over a week has passed since I arrived in Hungary.  That God has gone before and prepared the way has been continually evident. Day after day I have sat in awe over it all! Even now there are unknowns that remain and new things  much bigger than me on the horizon, yet I rest assured knowing that God will continue to go before and prepare the way. His continual promise in recent weeks has been “not by [human] might, nor by power, but by my Spirit.”  I can rest in this, that it depends on God.

Monday we began working on my residence permit process, not expecting to have everything taken care of that same day. By God’s grace, it was. We are still amazed by this. God provided just the right people to help us properly apply for a work visa and truly, without their help, it would have been nearly impossible to have everything we needed. If my application is accepted, it will allow for some great opportunities that I could not otherwise have.

Leah and I were able to sit down on Tuesday and talk more about how the summer and fall will look. There is so much that could be done! Just Monday, there were thirty international students waiting ahead of us in the visa office–students from Mongolia, Syria, the list goes on… Leah and I were both hit anew with the tremendous opportunity in front of us here to reach the nations, to share the love of God with these students, many of whom come from areas where they are not free to hear the gospel. We are dreaming of ways to get connected at the University and engage more with students than we are already.  Please pray for us in this, that God would lead us in the ways He wants us to go.  Pray that these students will encounter the God who loves them and gave His life for them.

One of my main roles this Summer and continuing into the Fall, will be investing in the young women in the church. This is a dream come true for me, as I have long dreamed of having the time and ability to invest deeply  in young women and point them to Jesus. There are young women in the church who are hungry for the things of God and there is tremendous opportunity to come alongside them and go deeper with them. I am excited!

Amazing dinner with Kecia on her balcony!

Tuesday I took a bus to Veszprém to visit my sister Kecia. I enjoyed the 3 hr 20 min bus ride as it meant I got to soak in the beautiful Hungarian countryside on my way! It’s extra special having a sister on this side of the pond  and we have been enjoying a few days together.  Tomorrow I will head to Budapest as my four-week language intensive course begins on Monday (June 4). I’m thankful for this opportunity to press into language learning and excited (as well as a bit nervous) to jump in!

PRAYER REQUESTS

  • Pray for fruitful language study, for the ability to understand and comprehend Hungarian, and for patience as I learn! 🙂
  • Pray that I can find out which students will remain over the summer so that I can connect with them. Pray that I will be able to build relationships with these women and that God will be known and loved.
  • Csebény, a village about an hour outside of Pécs, where a new body of believers is growing. God has been working in this village, a place where there are many who have never heard of Jesus. The Stanzel’s and others from the church have made frequent visits to the village to build relationship with and study the Bible with them, as there are new believers there who are hungry for the things of God and have had no church or person there to teach them. They are hungry to learn more of God and want to meet regularly, but their previous meeting place is no longer an option.  Pray for a meeting place that will be a healthy spot for these new believers to meet.
  • Praise God for His abundant faithfulness, provision, preparation, and favor!

Together in Christ,

Brenna

Go Time!

Hello friends,

I am pleased to share with you that I have acquired plane tickets and will be leaving May 22 for Hungary! Amazing, right?! I am sitting here, on the cusp of returning to Hungary, blown away by God’s kindness and provision. It’s amazing and reassuring to see evidence of how God has prepared the way in His perfect timing.

Looking Back

I see God’s wisdom and care in this now-closing season. His hand and preparation are undeniable in this year-long time of waiting and now I see that He has done it, just as He promised. He has strengthened, helped, and upheld me such that I can say with confidence that it could only have been Him who has done it.

Looking Forward

God’s hand and preparation are also evident as I look forward. I arrive in Hungary May 23, with time to get started on the visa process and hopefully see my sister for a few days before starting a four-week beginner’s intensive language course in Budapest on June 4 (through a dear friend, God has already provided me a place to stay during this time–praise God!). As ready as I am to get settled in Pécs, learning the language is an invaluable piece and I am hopeful that this time in the beginning, given to this intensive beginner’s course, will give a solid foundation to build on as I go forward.

Invitation to Pray

  1. Praise God for His abundant provision and faithfulness!
  2. These past few weeks I have been reminded that the work of God is resourced by God. In Zechariah 4, God spoke to Zerubbabel of how the work of rebuilding the temple would be accomplished, saying, “…not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit.” It is not resources of human might and power that we need, it is the Spirit of God. God has provided such that His supply and our reliance on the Holy Spirit can/should be continual. This is one of my biggest prayers right now, for the Spirit to empower me for the things set in front of me. Pray for this work to be resourced by God, not by human might or power, but by the power of the Spirit.
  3. Pray for this transition to Hungary, for the remaining days I have here and the next few weeks and months as I begin the visa process, jump headlong into language learning, and get settled in life and ministry in Hungary.
  4. Pray for 100%. Currently at 87.5% with the go-ahead to step out, I am taking a step of faith in going, trusting God’s provision of the remaining $200/month. God has already shown His provision and I am excited to see how He will carry this to the full.

Much love and gladness,

Brenna Lynn

Getting Close!

Hello friends! I hope this finds you well! God has been exceedingly faithful and I am excited to share with you where I am at in the process of moving to Hungary.

Life in the Waiting 

I’m glad to say that I can look back on the last ten months, even the trials and challenges, and see God’s wisdom and kindness through it all.  Through everything it has remained true that God is worthy of praise in every season. Truly, God is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works (Ps. 145:13)!

These past few months have been full ones, marked by abundance as I have experienced God’s provision and faithfulness in ways that have far exceeded any expectation.  I have continued working at my job (coffee & flowers… a fun combination!), enjoyed time with family & friends, and had many great opportunities to meet with people, new and old, and share about the mission of God in Hungary. This has been one of my favorite parts!

It is a privilege and joy to meet with people, looking together at the bigger picture of God’s heart for the world and zooming in on one valuable piece of that, this movement of God in Hungary, and the invitation to be a part of it. There is a sweetness to this togetherness, this shared gratitude and gladness over the goodness and grace of God extended to us and to all people. It has been my prayer that God would stir hearts to join the work, that He would provide a team of people who, having a heart for this ministry, will faithfully pray and intercede on our behalf, and He has been answering this prayer.  Praise God!

Support Raising

I am at 73% of my monthly support goal! Praise God for His abundant provision so far! In the times when I have not known what to do next or how I will get to Hungary, God has continued to light the way and raise up new individuals and families to join in this valuable work. So many of you have encouraged me, prayed for me and the movement of God in Hungary, and given generously of your time and resources. You are a vital part of God’s work in Hungary and I am thankful beyond words for all of you. Thank you for answering God’s call to see the good news of Jesus made known to the unreached.

I will be able to purchase a plane ticket and step out to return to Hungary once I reach 80% of my monthly support goal (just $115 more/month)! I have been  praying for an end of May launch as I am hoping to be in Hungary for a three week language intensive course in Budapest that begins June 4. Pray that God will provide the next 7%, but even more that He will provide the 27%.  If God is leading you to partner financially, you may click on this link for more information.

Prayer

I need God’s grace and strength every day. Please pray that in the days when I am exhausted and unsure of how to continue forward I will continually find rest in the Lord.  Pray that God will prepare the way in His perfect time and that I will cling to Him in trust each and every day. 

I am again reminded of God’s promise from Isaiah 41, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand… For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you’ …that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.”

Today I see that I have come this far in the process of returning to Hungary only by the hand of God and though I may not know how this final stretch will go, I know that God will strengthen, help, and uphold me, and that it will be God who has done it. There’s great freedom and joy in this, my friends. I pray the same for you as you walk in the calling God has set before you. May you be able to look back and see that God has carried you, helped you, and been undeniably faithful.

Much love and God’s peace,

Brenna Lynn

See the source image

View looking over part of Pécs, Hungary

 

Hope for the Wilderness

In recent weeks God has been whispering to me about hope. Hope that is eternal and hope that is alive. He gave me an image of sprawling wilderness. I look up and all I see is wilderness—dry, desolate, lifeless, hopeless—and for a moment I am overwhelmed by grief and hopelessness and threatened to despair. That’s not the end, however, as the image of wilderness begins to change into a canvas of life. Life begins to appear in the wastelands and dry places.

“When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water…that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.” Isaiah 41

There is hope for the wilderness.

In the picture, the wilderness begins in Pécs and stretches beyond the confines of Hungary to other parts of Europe and on to Africa and the Middle East and beyond. The image widens and I see that it also includes wilderness in me and in people I dearly love, both near and far. It’s the broken, hurting, lifeless places that seem hopeless for life to ever enter in. It’s heartbreaking.

Hopeless… except for the reality that God can bring life where there is no life and the stunning truth that He wants to. He sees the wastelands and stands to speak life into that which is desolate and lifeless. Hope. What a sweet Savior He is.

What wilderness surrounds you? Do you feel hopeless, thinking it could never change? There is hope for every wilderness. Don’t lose heart.

Wilderness in Pécs, in Hungary

Hungary is a country that has little to no hope. It is a place where people are used to things getting worse and in this do not often hope for better times. Too many have settled for this hopeless life—broken, hurting, and empty.

Wilderness stretching beyond

God has also brought the nations to our doorstep in Pécs. Being home to the oldest university in Hungary, there is a large number of international students who have come to study in Pécs from places in Africa, the Middle East, other parts of Europe, and more. Because of this the church in Pécs has a unique opportunity to literally reach the nations.

God has given Golgota Pécs, the church I will be serving alongside, the vision and call to pour into these students during the time they are in Hungary with the hope that they can go home and be vessels of change in their own nations.

There are so many young people ripe to be poured into, both Hungarians and non-Hungarians. The vision and hope is to grasp hold of the young generation, to lead them to Christ and help and encourage them to love and follow Him wholeheartedly. That they would encounter the transforming love of God and learn to walk with Him daily. We have the opportunity to disciple and equip people of all nations to know and love God and to in turn reach their own people with the gospel.

There’s no limit to what God could do through a few changed lives: in Hungary and beyond. Hungarians, Kenyan’s, Jordanian’s…

There is hope for every wilderness because Jesus came into the world to save sinners. He came to bind up the brokenhearted and set captives free. He came not to condemn, but to save. His invitation extends to all people, as His desire is for all people to be saved.

Oh, that many more would encounter the hope of the gospel and meet the God of all hope who changes lives.

The Lord has been graciously flooding my heart with a greater realization of the God of all hope and I pray the same will be true for you. May we encounter the God of all hope who willingly enters into broken, desolate places and brings life. May we not settle for defeat, thinking the areas of wilderness in our lives or the lives of those around us are cut off from hope, unable to be healed or brought to life.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

In light of all of this, I am excited to return to Hungary and see God bring life into wastelands and deserts. A huge thanks to all of you who have so graciously loved and encouraged me, prayed for me, and supported me. I have been touched by your kindness and care and amazed at God’s faithfulness and provision. I am presently at 60% of my monthly needs, which is amazing, and I look forward to seeing how God continues to provide and pave the way!

Much love,

Brenna

Grace in the Waiting

“…Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand…When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water…that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.”

The Lord has brought me to these verses many times during the last year of my life. This present season in the “waiting room” has been a difficult one. I’ve found it to be extremely unsettling. It feels like the ground beneath my feet is completely unstable, constantly shifting and moving. Think days of endless, pounding waves threatening to overtake you, or a ship, battered and beaten by the storm, sure to sink at the next wave. Think hard-pressed; intense, uncomfortable, incessant squeezing. In all honesty, the best way I know to explain it is that it has felt much like death.

Recently, God has been showing me that He has been stripping away false anchors and false layers of identity. There’s a painful tearing in the removal process and truly, it feels like a death. What I’m finally beginning to see is that this painful, dying experience is one that is making room for abundant life. It’s the grace of God allowing me to be stripped of these false anchors and identities so that real life can be produced in their stead.

Six years ago I felt strong and ready and able. Even then, I sensed God calling me to cross-cultural ministry, and at that time everything in me wanted to jump right in. I was rearing and ready to go (or so I thought), but God said, “not yet.” Now, years later, God has said, “Go. Now is the time.” The only thing is, I feel more weak and unqualified than ever before. On a human level it doesn’t make sense. I’ve proven over and over again that I am not strong enough, that I have nothing to offer; nothing but a hungry, willing heart. This, I’m continually learning, is right where God wants me. He chooses the weak and foolish things of this world. And, it’s here in the face of my great need that the last verse of Isaiah 41 is realized in greater measure:

“That they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.”

There is a sweetness to the reality of knowing there is no way any of this could happen apart from God. This way, when it does happen, I will know that it is be because the hand of the Lord has done it. I’ve known all along that this season of waiting, with all its challenges, is necessary and good. But, I’m beginning to appreciate it in a much bigger way. Through the trials and suffering, I meet the glorious grace of God, and for that I am filled with thanks. He loves me. Weak, needy, exhausted, unqualified—He loves me.

As I encounter the grace of God in greater depths, the longing in my heart for others to encounter the same amazing grace grows deeper, as well. Even though I am halfway across the world, I see, perhaps more clearly now than I did six months ago, that God’s desire is for the people of Hungary and He is actively pursuing hearts, moving powerfully by His Spirit. The work in Hungary is the Lord’s. It begins with Him and is carried by Him. Through His grace, He invites us to join in His love-venture, bringing light to the darkness and setting captives free.

I long for the day when I can return to my Hungarian home and jump into life and ministry there. But, for now, I can wait in peace because I know my God. I know that He loves the people of Hungary more than I ever could, and I know that He is doing great and mighty things. I know that He is working for their good, just as He is working for my good. I know that today and tomorrow, even if they include more challenges and more “dying,” are purposed by God. And I know that God will be faithful to fulfill all that He has promised.

The stretching and the challenges are just marks of a gracious and generous God who has laid some amazing opportunities in front of me—the opportunity to entrust my life and the lives of those I long to return to, to the Lord; the opportunity to encounter His abundant grace and faithfulness; the opportunity to share with others about an amazing work that God is doing in Hungary, in Pécs; the opportunity to continue to find people who want to partner with the Gospel going into all the world, who will come alongside me in prayer.

Truly, this season is a gift.

Presently, I am still in the middle of raising monthly support. If the Lord has placed the work He is doing in Hungary on your heart and you feel led to give, you are welcome to click here to become a financial partner. My monthly needs (including rent, food, transportation, language study, insurance, etc.) are $1600/month. I will be able to head back to Hungary once I have enough monthly support raised. I am praying for a May launch!

If you would like to receive my monthly email updates, you can click here to sign up for those! Feel free to contact me anytime if you have any questions or if you need prayer for anything. I would love to connect with you!

Much love,

Brenna Lynn