Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dear Friends and Family,

We are back!  Matt and I had an amazing trip to Hungary!  After we got back to the States, we had to get over a bit of jet lag and really process all that we had been through while at camp.  We have gained so many fond and memorable experiences that we would love to share some of them with you here. 

Our team of 18 traveled to Balatonfenyevs, Hungary to help lead a summer camp for about 130 Hungarian orphans, ages 3 -18.  Many of the kids actually have parents still, but for various reasons they are unable to live at home.  For many, the orphanage “home” is truly a better place to stay.  We had 13 Hungarian interpreters to assist us throughout the week.  There were several other people from the States who came to help with the worship music, as well.  In the mornings and evenings we had a worship time filled with singing and a Biblical message.  We divided the kids by age in to small groups after the morning worship time.  After that, the kids were free to do crafts, play games, or go swim in the lake (which they did every day since it was so hot).  There were a few “surprises” that Csaba, the Hungarian camp director, planned for us.  One night everyone at camp took a catamaran cruise on Lake Balaton.  The scenery was beautiful, but this trip was also designed to give our team time to chat with the kids and get to know them better.  There were also bounce houses, a disco, a magic show, and my favorite – a fireworks show on our last night.  We had missed the 4th of July holiday while we were away, so that was a great ‘Thank You’ from the Hungarians.    

Matt and I got to personally connect with many of the kids at camp.  Some of the older kids knew a few English words and we knew a few Hungarian words.  With some help from the interpreters, we became close friends with a good group of kids.  The first few days we were all getting to know each other.  Then, we could tell the kids were opening up to the message of Christ and His love for us…and I’m sure they were also thinking of what’s going on in their own lives.  A 3 year old was dropped off at a home just 3 weeks prior to camp.  His mother’s boyfriend made her choose between her son and him….  Some kids had burn marks, some had scars…  A 14 year old girl was scheduled to have an abortion after camp.  The baby’s father was her father.  The pain and grimace you’re feeling after just reading that wasn’t what we saw on their faces though, not at first anyways.  These kids just wanted to be loved…have a good time for a few days, and make some friends.  But you would not believe how open and accepting they were to hearing the Gospel!  I wrote a little note once we got back from camp that said:

I had no a/c, soft TP, hot showers, outlet in our bathroom, ice, drinking fountain, money, internet, car, elevator, or snacks, and barely an understanding of the Hungarian language for one week...but I felt so much more fulfilled!  Maybe that’s why it took me 10-15 years to come to the Lord and a Hungarian orphan just two days.  They don’t carry all the distractions and excess baggage that we do.”                

The first child that got saved was on day 2, and about 52 more followed that week!  This is why we went to Hungary!  Brett Bartlett, the president of the Hungarian American Fellowship, told us he strongly believes the next great revival will come from Hungary / Central Europe.  Could this be just the beginning?  The very fact that the Hungarian government has let the HAF in to the country and allows people like us to share the Gospel is amazing and miraculous!  Only God can open doors like that, and create possibilities like these…changing lives for all eternity.     

So, what’s next?  Matt and I, as well as many other members of our team, have been able to keep in contact with several kids online.  A smaller team of us plan to go back to Hungary in December to disciple the older kids who got saved at camp.  It is very likely that Matt and I will be part of that team who goes.  The Hungarian American Fellowship is looking for many more churches to host a week of camp next summer.  Our church, Hope’s Point, is planning to send another team next year.  There are several new people who have heard our stories about camp and they want to join us!  Maybe you, or other members of your church, would like to go?    If so, we urge you visit http://hafellowship.com/ to learn more about HAF.  Matt and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have as well. 

Our team, at Hope’s Point, is also raising funds to send the kids Christmas boxes this year.  If you are interested in providing a child in need a present this year ($40/box), or donating to the general Team Hungary fund for future mission trips you may do so, as well.

Hope’s Point Baptist Church
1703 S. Miller Ave.
Shelbyville, IN 46176

(In the memo line add “Hungary”)

We thank you again for all your prayers and support!

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