Sziastok, Family and Friends!
#TeamEasternEurope has been traveling around the city and has had a full day of worship, prayer, teaching and fellowship. We call these the Awe Factors as we unite as a team in Jesus ministry. These factors help us grow deeper, more focused, stronger and closer as disciples. We are so grateful for this team in Eastern Europe! As the team caught up on laundry and began packing for our upcoming travel to Kapsovar, we spent time in a local wash point (laundromat) and engaged in God's Word in small groups while discussing what it means to persevere in running the race.
As the team came up the long escalators from the depths of the metro to Deák Tér, we then engaged in drama ministry to reach the depths of the hearts of the people surrounding us. In Hungary, speaking about the Lord can either lead to an in-depth conversation or a quick "nam" (no). The team has experienced compassion this week and was vastly encouraged. Many of the students tonight met seeking souls seeking truth and were able to point them toward the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) tonight. Some believers even stopped in their travels to encourage the team and pray for the ministry here. God knew the encouragement was perfectly timed in this place, for God charts our course.
You may be wondering about ur blog title, "Jesus and Dr. Pepper." We have been sharing Jesus to so many around us that we were reminded of another area of ministry within the borders of Hungary: each other.
This team has an important member in our ranks here in Hungary, and she is our country contact. Elissa Bella Joy shared with the team her testimony of accepting Christ from the "Jesus" film while under socialist rule in this country, as she is Hungarian. Elissa Bella expresses her gratitude for accepting Christ. Though she has never seen the Christians who brought the video to Hungary again, she prays for them every day. This captivated our hearts as a team to encourage us to keep planting seeds as the Lord is the one who harvests; we are the workers who are obedient to sow.
Not only does Elissa Bella join in the work here in Hungary, but she saw a need for our team of finding Dr. Pepper here. Elissa Bella met the team this afternoon with her backpack and umbrella to protect from the sun, but as the students engaged in ministry, she had a Dr. Pepper for each person to just love them today. Jesus sees the need for each person and provides just what they need—even if it is Dr. Pepper.
Thank you for joining in our journey through prayer!
—Eastern Europe Leadership
What amazing things God is doing here in Budapest.
The students have experienced God's power as they are obedient in sharing Jesus through the gospel. Our team has gone out into parks and plazas without translators this morning. The students were ready to engage in conversation with the language barrier as they were looking forward to ministry today. We were reminded that God is bigger than any barrier, and we just want to celebrate with you how great God is in His provision! Many students experienced conversations of sincere heart with the people of Budapest to talk about what they believe in and point them to the truth.
One of our students was sharing how much this trip means to them as they are growing in truth and what it means to share Jesus with people through conversation. This student was hungry for the next step in their faith and was thankful that God called them to Eastern Europe to grow deeper in the Lord. Jesus calls us to "Go and make disciples" in Matthew 28 and that "People will know you are my disciples by how you love one another" (see John 13:35).
We are so proud of this team and love seeing their heart in worship and in sharing the gospel. These young adults have been willing and ready to go each time we engage the people, and you can see their hearts growing in compassion for each person they come in contact with. The team has asked and prayed to see with Jesus' eyes and love with His heart to the people we encounter. Please pray for continued opportunities as we share!
The team will be going to several plazas in the city tonight as we begin to find any opportunity to share Jesus in the capital of Hungary, the city of Budapest. Our time here is about to transition to two more cities, Kaposvar and Pecs. These cities are further away from the capital, but would you join us in prayer for the people of these cities as we wish to be good stewards of the time we have left in both of these places? It is hard to believe we have been here almost a week and how much the Lord has grown us here.
Looking forward to sharing what God is doing in all of these places, but we thank you for your kind words, encouragements and prayers always!
—Eastern Europe Leadership
Today, the team took time out to learn more and engage with the culture and history of the city of Budapest. We visited the site that was once an underground church that began in the time where Christianity was rejected by the government. Today, the church still conducts services and is a place where people can come and learn of the rich history of Hungary.
We also visited the castle wall, built in the 1800s. The view was so impactful because we got to look out onto the city we have been praying for. We also got to climb the steps and experience the wall that surrounds the castle. This is a visual reminder of the walls and strongholds of darkness we are fighting against together. It is also a reminder of how great our God is!
Yesterday, the team almost did the drama at a site right outside a mall, but somebody else was already performing there. Because of this, we just spent time praying over the site rather than performing. Our God does amazing things! As we mentioned before, we met another team doing drama ministry in Deak Ter. Today, we saw that team doing drama ministry in the exact spot we had prayed over yesterday. It is so exciting to see how God uses every part of the body of Christ for His glory!!
Tomorrow, we will jump back into drama ministry. We are excited to see what miracles the Lord does tomorrow! Please continue to pray for the team, the translators and every person who will hear the gospel!
—Team Eastern Europe Leaders
Isten Hozett (God has sent you),
This phrase means so much to this team as we continue to encounter the people of Hungary. The students have seen basic conversations grow into conversations with people seeing a need for God. One of the students today was expressing joy at just being able to pray for a man from Scotland. He was thinking about God in his life but choosing to live the way he had planned. As the team began sharing about how God sends people into our lives to bring us back to Himself, what are the chances that man from a completely different part of Europe would be in Budapest, Hungary, at the same time as a group of students from the United States who could help answer this dilemma? This man admitted to needing to seek truth in his life, and the team prayed fervently for him to come back to the Lord. We are thankful for this team of students and their willingness to share!
Over and over again today, the students have talked about the power of the Holy Spirit and how He intercedes. As conversations continued throughout the day, the students came back and expressed how amazed and in awe they were at the words God provided in conversation as the people responded. Team Eastern Europe began to share with people in a park near Forvam Ter and engaged with families, bike riders and dog walkers enjoying the day but was also able to share the greatest news today! One student wanted to share with a woman in the park. She did not understand English but watched the drama performed to a Hungarian track. The team went back a second time to talk to her, even with the language barrier, and gave her a tract to read. As the team was leaving the park, this woman was reading this tract but was also inspired by the team's commitment to come back and encourage her. We know that God's Word does not return void, and we are thankful for your continued prayers for divine encounters.
Thank you for supporting these willing witnesses of your students to come to Eastern Europe to engage with the seeking souls here from all over the world so Jesus' name will be proclaimed.
Please pray for our team as we will be leaving Budapest, Hungary, to begin traveling to Kaposvar and Pecs in southern Hungary in a few days! The team wants to continue in strength, being servants to the people of Hungary for the sake of the gospel.
Thank you for checking in with us and for your continued prayers. We love hearing from you all!
—Eastern Europe Leadership
"Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:18-20, NLT).
God is moving in Hungary, and His purpose is evident in this team. Today, we experienced the nations coming together to proclaim the name of Jesus. What are the chances of bringing Awe Star alumni to a train station in Budapest? When planned by the Lord, 100%.
The team began ministry this morning in a square where there were many who speak English. The team engaged with many people as we shared the greatest news of all. After lunch, we recited memory verses but also learned why it is important to get our hands dirty for Jesus: Jesus did the blood, so we can do the mud. This teaching focuses on Jesus' ministry and why it important to deny yourself and take up your cross daily to make Jesus known. The team engaged in meaningful worship together as we spent time in small groups to continue ministry for the afternoon.
The team then met a man from Nottingham, England, named Terry, and a former military officer, Laury. These gentleman work with Youth with a Mission and engaged the people of many nations in Budapest. As the team joined to engage the people, you could hear about Jesus loving everybody from the banjo playing in the square. It was powerful to see people stop and engage in conversation, and the team has seen the brokenness of people struggling to believe God is true and exists. Today, the team saw God draw a man closer to the Lord through salvation. The team rejoiced and celebrated this man's decision, as he is now a child of God.
The Lord wasn't done yet encouraging the team as Isaac Valdes (Panamanian translator/contact and Awe Star alum), his wife, Ingrid, and daughter, Janna, who serve in missions in Barcelona, Spain, came to see the drama and encourage the team. The team then met another Awe Star alum, Jason Teboe, who serves as a missionary with his family in Budapest from Germany. Jason prayed over the team and shared his heart about reaching the nations no matter what comes your way. The team traveled the metro to practice engaging the city but is amazed at how God is answering prayers.
Would you join us in asking for more prayers to be answered in salvation? The team has grown more excited to experience what God has planned and cannot wait to tell you more of the great things God has done!
Your prayers are cherished,
—Eastern Europe Leadership