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)
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.