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!