Greetings from snowy Vajta, Hungary! Thank you so much for all your prayer support, notes of encouragement, and timely gifts as we welcomed in the New Year of 2012. Our family gathered together with the other students and staff from the Bible College on New Year’s Eve for a special time of fellowship, where we played some fun games and enjoyed snacking on some homemade baked goods. As we celebrated the start of a new year of opportunities for ministry in the Lord, we paused to pray and thank God for what He was about to do in each of our lives in the coming year. (Picture: Michael ( in red) playing tackle football)
In early January, we traveled back to the States for a family emergency in Ohio and got to spend what was to be our last week with our mom, Ruth. It was a precious time for us to be with our family, to have Mom recognize us, and to know that she was able to enjoy the company of all her kids by her side one last time. It was early in the morning a week later on January 17th that the Lord ushered our Mom into heaven to be at home with Him. During this time we felt the presence of your prayers and wish to thank you for lifting up our family and for all the beautiful cards and emails that you sent to us. (Sam with his sister and brothers)
We returned to Vajta, Hungary on February 3rd to begin our second semester in the Missions Training Program (MTP) at the Bible College. We are privileged to be enrolled in some dynamic and foundational courses in evangelism, discipleship, and missions leadership. We are also studying the Pastoral Epistles (I and II Timothy, Titus), continuing our language studies, and learning how to teach English as a second language. Upon completion of this course, we will receive a certified document that will prove to be a valuable tool for us in opening the door to be able to enter the local schools and teach English. Our goal is to establish relationships with the youth, so we can eventually share the gospel with them and get them plugged into church.
The second week of February we celebrated Michelle’s birthday! The kids surprised her with an adorable cow cake that they were able to make and decorate with the help of a staff member. The celebration took place in the corner of the coffee shop where our family, the other students, and staff quietly gathered before shouting “SURPRISE!” and then singing, “Happy Birthday”. (Picture: Happy Birthday, Michelle!)
On February 10th we assisted our MTP Intern in leading a team of students to Csantavér, Serbia for a weekend outreach. While there, we were able to reunite with some friends and also demonstrate some practical ways of ministering to the local families by cutting firewood for them, preparing some meals, and lovingly sharing the gospel. We had an amazing group of students with us who went above and beyond anything that we could have taught them. It was very exciting to watch the unique purpose and plan that the Lord had for each student unfold during this outreach. For example, when one student was sent to meet Michelle at a small house that had a dirt floor, a collapsing roof, and no electricity to minister to an older man, the Lord directed him down into a farmer’s yard just two houses away. The farmer was filled with joy when he saw this young man that was 6’4” tall and built like a football player enter his yard. He waved him over and began speaking to him in Hungarian. Although the student did not understand Hungarian, he did speak a little Russian, which is very similar to the Serbian dialect. The farmer quickly asked the student in Serbian to help him get a young calf off the barb-wire fencing that he had been tangled up in for hours. Together, they were able to lift the young calf off the barb-wire fencing and untangle him. The farmer was so overjoyed that the Lord had sent the student when he did and that his calf was saved. This was no accident, it was the specific work that the Lord had prepared for this student to walk in (Ephesians 2:10). (Picture: Map of Serbia and surrounding countries)
It is our family prayer that you all walk in the specific work that the Lord has prepared for each of you. Stay faithful to your calling and committed to the service where He has you involved. We believe that the Lord has exciting things planned for our family this year and we consider it a privilege to be partnered with you in ministry as we serve in Hungary and the surrounding countries in Europe. Thank you again for your faithful support! Together we can reach the Nations, one soul at a time! (Picture: Sam sharing with two Hungarian speaking Serbian men in a coffee house)
May the Lord continue to richly bless you!
The McCartney Family