Friday, March 6, 2015

Music, Drama and Videos - Hungarian Style!

Today was my last day teaching here at the Bible Institute of Word of Life, Hungary. I've been teaching through interruption, I'm mean translation (an Hungarian intern has been translating for me and she has been wonderful)! In the second session of the three I had today the students had the option of presenting 2-4 verses of 2 Timothy in a creative fashion. I wish you could have been there! Serious songs, humorous videos, exciting dramas by students from different cultures and countries all lent a very creative application to what we've been learning from 2 Timothy. As you
can see from some of the pictures the stage in the meeting room where I teach is under construction but that didn't seem to affect the creativity and insights that the students produced. I was blessed.
I concluded my teaching with a challenge to the students to be faithful in the presence of difficult circumstances and difficult people. I realized as I was speaking that many of these students are from countries where it is much more difficult than in America to live courageously as a believer. I prayed for them as I finished.
Each evening I have had the privilege of being hosted for dinner by one of the staff members here at Word of Life. Usually they have invited a few students to join me for dinner at their home and I have been blessed. To hear stories from staff and students about how God has worked in their lives is always encouraging and often challenging. This week I have been struggling with a cough and a little illness but that seems so small a concern when I hear the testimonies of God. If you have a young person who is looking for a place to spend a year learning God's Word and getting to know God's people from around the world, then they should consider coming here to Word of Life, Hungary for a year.
The staircase up to my room!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

31 Pizzas!

Tonight the 62 students (along with many staff and some guest from the Czech Republic who were here visiting as potential students) had lots of pizza, soda and dessert due to the generosity of the members of Waterbrook Bible Fellowship ( On my last Sunday before coming here I was preaching at WBF and offer to collect any money our church members wanted to give so that the students here could have dessert one night. Not surprisingly at least to me, the generous people of Waterbrook
filled my pocket with bills and so tonight it was not just dessert but a great meal for everyone!

I wish you could have been there to see the excitement and to hear the words of thanks from these students. They were crowded into the foyer of the "castle" some time before the pizzas ever arrived! Once it did arrive there were many expressions of thanksgiving and joy. Over and over again I was told to thank the people of my home church. So Waterbrook Bible Fellowship thank you! You don't realize how proud and honored I am to come from a generous church - generous in so many ways.
They ordered 11 large pizzas  
from one company and 20 medium pizzas from another company, both from nearby towns here 40 miles east of Budapest. Along with dessert from a local bakery the night was delightful.

I had a long but wonderful day of teaching here, with a late night devotional still to come. I taught 3 sessions of 2 Timothy followed immediately by a chapel message to the staff and students. My translator was a former student from my first time teaching here back in 2002!

I hope some day some of you will have the joy of joining me here to see God at work in some very fine Christian young people who I believe are going to make an impact for Christ, now and in the years to come.


Monday, March 2, 2015

Why have I returned 10 times to Hungary since 2002?

Tonight I, along with 5 students and one intern, had dinner at Monca Rakossy's apartment. Monca was a student that Sharon and I met back in 2002 when I first came to Hungary to teach at Word of Life Bible Institute. Since then she has become the Dean of Women and is a delightful Christian lady that I look forward to meeting each time I return. She loves the Lord and the women under her care (Monca is on the top right with the Word of Life hoodie).
As we ate dinner tonight I looked around the table and realized that there was a person there from Romania, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Poland, Slovakia, and a young married couple from Macedonia (the husband Tony had to leave before we took the picture above). Mark, an intern from Slovakia is taking the above picture – I just wanted my good friends to know that I wasn't left there as the lone male (see the pics to the right with Mark! 

Why do I return almost every year? To teach young people like this who will have an impact for Christ around the world in the next few years!
For the next week I will teach 62 young people the book of 2 Timothy. They are from 15 different countries and speak well over 15 different languages (they each have to speak either English or Hungarian to be admitted to this Bible Institute)! I'd appreciate prayer that I will be filled with the Spirit and used by the Lord in teaching His Word.
The street in Tóalmás leading up to the gate of the Word of Life property (through the gate seen at the end of the street).
The young lady from Kazakhstan mentioned that her country is 70% Muslim and that being a Christian in this former Communistic country that is close friends with Russia can be "hard" at times. And I remembered that sometimes I complain about some of my "difficulties." The young couple from Macedonia wants to go back and plant a church in a country with very few churches (mostly Charismatics) and only a few thousand registered evangelicals in the entire country – and only a small number of these are ready to share the gospel with others. And I think of when I complained at the difficulties of planting a church!

Why do I come back year after year? So that I can learn and be challenged by the lives of these young people who are prepared to sacrifice for the Lord in ways that I have never been challenged to do. 

If you'd like to be a student here, or be part of serving here in the the summer camp ministry, check out the opportunities at:

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Preaching in Hungary 2015 Brethren Church

This morning I left at 8:15 am (I arrived here in Hungary at Word of Life, Tóalmás at about 10:30 pm) for an hour and half drive to a village of about 10,000 people called Biatorbágy. The Brethren Church in this village was founded just after WWII in the late 1040's. 
The gate into the Church (held in the basement of the house at the far right). 
Today it meets in the basement of a home (in the picture the home on the far right, behind a landscaping business; the white sign to the left in the picture is the church information) and consists of a large room for the main service, a nursery, kitchen/Sunday School room for kids and restroom.

This morning the main room was almost filled to capacity (maybe 70-75) and the singing just lifted my spirit. Led by a keyboard and 5 guitars, the people sang in parts and with real spirit. When prayer was announced everyone stood as the praying took place and then returned to their seats. 

The Lord's Table (communion) was celebrated with two pieces of sliced bread (each person broke off a small piece) and then two cups of wine were passed. Before the bread and wine were prayed over, something was said in Hungarian and only those desiring/ready to
take communion stood. We remained standing until we had received both the bread and the wine and then were seated again. Not everyone stood.

My sermon on Trusting God in the Testing Times was translated and after I spoke I greeted the people, a few of whom could speak English with me – especially the younger people. The Lord seemed to bless His Word as I shared it this morning from some of the gracious comments.
After church we spent lunch and fellowship with the Csikós, Mihály (Michael) and Kati. Mihály is one of the elders at the church and though retired still works with Child Evangelism of Hungary. (His son is the President of Word of Life in Hungary.) We had a wonderful time around a meal of cold fruit soup (super), chicken, baked cheese, potatoes, mixed vegetables, and onions. Followed by dessert pastries and hot tea the time with the
Csikós was a real blessing. Before I left I had the honor to pray for Kati's 90 year old mother who was resting in bed.
Tonight I'm off to have dinner with Paul and Jill Weaver (Paul was one of my students at DTS and is the Director of the Bible Institute). Then off to bed at about 11 pm (that's 4 pm Dallas time) and up for a great week here at the Bible Institute.