“A Vision to See the Unseen.” That may sound like the latest Netflix special or supernatural horror movie, but not when it comes to this year’s iGO, Awe Star’s annual missions conference.
The theme for 2019 refers instead to seeing in the natural what God has given us in the supernatural. To catching a vision for God’s kingdom—the already and the not yet. To seeing as through a glass darkly, yet face to face.
As we’ve traveled to the nations this summer, we’ve gained vision. We’ve seen joy in the faces of the downtrodden and oppressed. We’ve seen love bloom where circumstances and society sought to stamp it out. We’ve seen peace flood the lives of the broken. And we’ve seen the seeds of the gospel bear lasting fruit—over and over again.
At this year’s iGO, we want you to catch our vision: A vision for the nations. A vision for multitudes coming to Him. A vision for becoming gospel-focused in a self-focused world. A vision for truth. A vision for justice. A vision for building relationships that count for eternity. A vision for what God intends for your life. A vision for hope. A vision for joy.
Seeing the unseen, as you may have realized, doesn’t just come through the eyes. It comes through the heart. Register yourself or your youth group for iGo at Evergreen Baptist Church in Bixby, Oklahoma, this November 8-9 and prepare to have your heart changed, your eyes opened and your life inspired. Prepare to change. Prepare to grow. Prepare to find yourself never the same again.
Check out the details at this link and learn about our Early Bird registration special!
The team has returned to Budapest and continued to engage in ministry. The train ride from Romania to Hungary allowed us to share stories about the name of Jesus and maximize our last day of ministry.
Many of the students mentioned wanting to do one more drama, and we had the opportunity to go to a correctional facility. We were able to let the gospel shine in this place, knowing our time here is coming to a close for now. The team sought out one more place and found the Budapest Eye (Giant Ferris Wheel in Deak Ter) and a large crowd of people. The students poured their hearts into engaging with the drama one last time with so many people from different nations in this place. We know the name of Jesus reigns here as the seeds planted will one day reap a harvest.
The team will spend our last day in Budapest seeing the sites and preparing to make the trip back home. Your prayers have been invaluable, and we cannot wait to tell you the great things Jesus has done!
Team Eastern Europe woke up this morning again to a hot breakfast at the Charis House followed by time in worship, teaching, and prayer. The team has been learning about walking in the power and favor of the Lord. We set out with gusto—ready to push back darkness for the glory of God.
Arriving at Oradea, we were able to use a different tool to evangelize: street evangelism. Many deep conversations with people began with the simple action of giving them a “cadou.” We learned the word “Cadou,” which means “gift” in Romanian, so we could tell people that the tracts that we gave out are gifts for them.
After we walked the streets of Oradea, we had the opportunity to do the drama at an orphanage. As soon as we climbed out of the bus, we could feel an instant connection with the children. After dancing with them for a few songs, the team did the drama. The children's attention was captured. One of the team members got to talk to a girl who poured out her heart about how her best friend had passed away a while ago and many other things. She said she knew that God loved her, but she didn’t think Jesus was with her. She seemed hopeful that the gospel would be true and almost decided to accept Christ. She is so close. We are thankful that seeds were planted, so please pray for her and all of the other children with whom we were able to engage. We ended our time there with music and a time of playing soccer. After a full day of ministry, Team Eastern Europe came back to where we are staying. The Charis House brings hospitality, refreshing scenery, homemade meals and a heart to serve the Lord together. Our giant tiny family seems to be stretched across the world as we meet more and more brothers and sisters in Christ.
Thank you for your prayers! We have one more official day of drama ministry before we prepare to head home. Please be praying for miracles to happen tomorrow!
Driving into the countryside led us to a place where people have experienced change. The walls were tall and bright yellow, but as we passed the gate to enter, the plaza was full of flowers, vines on fences and a gazebo. A line of wheelchairs could be seen, but the team met a group of people who receive help with their disability or amputation or even just need a place to stay. The team sat and talked with these people today and met people who are often forgotten.
This place is simply known as the yellow house. We traveled to Dumbrava to meet a family who takes in homeless people no one else takes in. Not even the district is willing to help these people, and even if they could afford the price of home care, the conditions are not as favorable as in the yellow house. More than 700 people receive care in the 15 yellow houses in this area.
The amazing thing is, they call the people they care for "family." The district cannot try to take over the operation of these houses, because they are not a foundation or business. This family just states they will take them in and feed them. How do they feed all of these people? The owner told our team that he heard clearly from God that if he took in the people, the Lord would provide all food, shelter and needs they have. The Lord brings semi-trucks from all sorts of places, even other countries, loaded with food. Even while we were there today, a truck from Austria came. Teams have come from all over to help build these houses which started with a heartbeat of obedience and two rooms.
These places were significant to the team as they engaged today, as this is also one of the last times these people may hear the gospel. We saw salvation come for one man who was searching for answers at the end of his road. Now, he has an answer and a home for eternity in Christ.
The team only has one day left in Oradea before we travel back to Budapest to finish our ministry in Eastern Europe. We know the work we have seen happen here is reaping the harvest and laying down the foundation for others to hear the best news ever in Jesus Christ. The Lord is doing a mighty work in Eastern Europe.
Your prayers matter and mean the world to us. Thank you for following us this summer to hear the great things God is doing!
Waking up this morning in Romania was filled with blessings and community as we continued to meet with the workers of the Charis House. The team was encouraged by going to church this morning and worshipping with brothers and sisters in Christ while engaging in a new language. These students have learned some Hungarian and Slovak, and now Romanian, as they keep saying "thank you" in different languages!
The team is traveling to a gypsy camp outside Oradea this evening and has prayed over the bondage we may face in this place. As we traveled here, we came worshipping the Lord in our travels. As we arrived in Telechiu, the small building was quickly filled with women, children, and men as the team began to sing songs. In Pécs, our Hungarian contact, Bella, taught our team "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus" in Romanian. As the team sang the first phrase, all voices were heard in unison declaring Jesus together.
Even as we shared the drama, the Lord brought the people who needed to hear. Two men accepted Christ tonight and now have new life! The team celebrated these salvations together in awe of what God has done! Even some of our ladies tonight were able to fellowship with the older ladies and bring encouragement. God heard our prayers. We have been so encouraged and in awe of what He has done!
Tomorrow, we continue to minister in Oradea, and we look forward to sharing about the great things God has done!!
#TeamEasternEurope has traveled across the country today to Oradea, Romania! Not only did the team wake up in Pécs, Hungary, but we are now are settling in Romania after a full day of traveling by train.
Tomorrow, the team is attending church and will be engaging with a gypsy community tomorrow as well. We are excited about staying here at the Charis House in Romania, and the people here have extended such encouraging hospitality. Thank you for your prayers, and we look forward to sharing more!
Because the rain from yesterday was gone, the streets of Pécs were bustling with people as Team Eastern Europe headed out to do ministry today.
The Lord had so many divine encounters in store for us. At a park where we did our first drama, one of the students had just sat down on a bench as an elderly lady who spoke English came and sat next to her; this led to such an encouraging conversation. At the same time, another group of students was talking to a deist. They got to show Christ’s love to him and ask some good questions to lead him closer to the truth.
At our next drama site, God did something miraculous. Yesterday, a group of our students had talked to a woman in a purple shirt and a man who had come to Pécs to stay with family but ended up on the streets. The students led the woman to the Lord, but the man seemed resistant to the gospel.
Before we left, our translator was able to tell them about a few places that could help. Today, we saw the same lady in the purple shirt again! She was bursting with joy when she saw us! She could not wait to tell us that 30 minutes after we left, the man found a job, somebody offered them a cheap place to say, and somebody else did their laundry for them. The Lord provided for their needs. God is faithful!
As the team headed back home, we stopped to get fagy (ice cream), and sitting on the bench across from us was the same man from yesterday! We got to show him Christ’s love and give him some fagy . God let us see His work come full circle.
Besides these crazy miracles, one of the sweets moments of today was dinner time. Music floated through the air as the team gathered to eat garlic bread and spaghetti. We all felt like family whether we were passing the garlic butter around, singing worship music or washing dishes. This reminded us of earlier today when one student said that he was so thankful for our "giant tiny family."
We push back darkness together every day. We celebrate victories together every day.
We eat together every day. We worship and pray and laugh and read Scripture together every day. We really are a "giant tiny family."
Thank you all for your prayers. Please be praying for our travel to Romania tomorrow. We cannot wait to see what divine encounters God has in store for us!
What a full day of ministry the team has experienced today! From the beginning of the day to where we are now, only God could have done such great things!
This morning, the team stepped into action, growing stronger in worship together here at the hotel with windows open and hearts singing. Even though it was raining in the city, the opportunities nearby began to fall into place. Buildings all around us in Europe have several stories of decorative walls and windows, and we are thankful for this for many people opened their windows to hear the greatest news of all. The students pray for rain to come during drama ministry as they love to display the gospel through this, wanting people to be transformed by what Christ has done at the cross. Several times today, the team experienced God placing people who needed to hear the gospel at bus stops, parking garages, and even in shops in the local mall where we ate our lunch.
The team began to prayerwalk and engage people in the mall here in Pécs. We gathered together to hear stories of their divine encounters, but the team ultimately asked for more time to pass out tracts. Our team's desire to engage in this place has been contagious to those around us, as several in conversation today have been attracted to the beauty of the gospel. Hungarian businesses prohibit religious topics from being discussed publicly, but security guards remained in their places as the team traveled throughout the mall. God had a purpose in sending us to a place where many would not share Jesus. We saw person after person begin discussions about who Jesus is, and the seeds planted today have been bountiful.
Large public squares abound in cities and towns throughout Europe, and the team entered into a place today where the seeking souls were evident. We have seen people walk away at the sound of the name of Jesus, but today, we saw many people stay and listen. We know divine encounters were awaiting us today in this place as Muslims, church people and even those who have been hurt by the church were present in this place. Ministry has been plentiful and so encouraging as the team began to ask deeper questions about who they say Jesus is.
Tonight, the team returned home to worship and experience the presence of the Lord while we grew stronger. As we began praying for one another, we had a visitor come to join us whose name is Agnus. This young woman heard the team earlier this morning worshipping in the hotel before leaving for ministry, and she knew the songs we were singing. Agnus came to simply join us. She encouraged the team by sharing her heart for worship and that she is a coordinator for day camps in Pécs but is leaving tomorrow. As we prayed over her, she prayed for the team, and we left encouraged but blessed as a team that the Spirit of the Lord is moving in this place.
We are praying big prayers and expecting God to move as we have one more day of ministry here in Pécs. Saturday, we leave by train to travel to Oradea, Romania. This is our third country to minister in, and we are stepping into faith, seeking God’s purpose in each place we go.
Kaposvár has been home this week as we have been living with our family in Christ. The team traveled to a town nearby to minister to the gypsies of Vése. Gypsies here in Hungary are a community of people that others may try to ignore, but when people are important to God, they are important to us as believers. The team was encouraged by the people here as they were seeking truth and prayer. Many have recently come to know the Lord, and the joy they had in seeing the drama displayed was overwhelming for some of these. These villages usually are quiet and filled with several families, but today, the streets were filled with dancing and the news of the gospel. Itsel, the pastor's wife, told the team that people they have not been able to reach out came into the streets and saw the drama to ultimately hear the gospel. They were so encouraged and excited about the opportunities here!
After lunch, someone asked the students, "How many times have you done the drama?" Several answered with various numbers such as 30, 100s or too many to count. The next question was "How many times have the people of Vése seen the drama?" Once.
As believers, we never know when we share the gospel will be the time God ordained for someone to hear the call in their life. We know in Revelation 3:20 (NIV), Jesus calls out to us, saying, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me." We may share Jesus with someone for a long time, and although we are obedient to share, it is Jesus who saves. This reminder was good to remember as Galatians 6:9 (NLT) says, "Let us not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time, we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up."
This afternoon, the team was blessed with an open door at a nursing home in Kaposvár. Our contact had not been able to reach anyone for a while here and wanted to call just one more time. Thankful God is in control, because someone from the nursing home picked up the phone and answered with a yes! The team engaged with the people here and the students were able to share with many who may never hear the gospel again. The ministry here is rich, and we are sad to be leaving this place.
Please join us in prayer for workers over this place as we have seen the need here. Tonight we leave by train for Pécs to continue ministry. Thank you all for keeping up with us and praying for us this summer!
Crowds of people gathered today around Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Hungary. What better place for Team Eastern Europe to present the gospel? A man from the United States named James opened up his home for us to have a place to set up camp for the day. James and his wife used to take the “Jesus” film into closed countries to share the gospel and have been in Europe for over two decades. He has a heart that beats the same as ours—we want the whole world to know that Jesus is Lord. The team did the drama a few times in different places for different people along with walking up and down the shore of the lake, handing out tracts and engaging in prayer and conversation with those we met. After engaging wholeheartedly in drama ministry, the team was able to have some time to exhale and fellowship. We were able to swim, play some games and eat some Hungarian chili hot dogs! We are excited to engage with a gypsy community tomorrow as we close our time here in Kaposvár. It is amazing to see how just a few days makes family in Christ to grow closer. We have been not only grateful but inspired by our church family here with Pastor Jury, Itsel and Olag. Please pray that the people hearing the gospel will have open eyes, open minds and open hearts! —Eastern Europe Leadership