Update from Shaun and Söndi in Hungary

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Shaun and Söndi moved to a small town west of Budapest called Tapolca, for the purpose of beginning an evangelical church where there is none. They use English classes and camps as a means to reach the community.   “We hadn’t been able to find accomodation for Ron and Lynn Gamache who were arriving on a short-term mission to lead weekly Bible Studies,” Söndi recalled. Ron and Lynn would assist in helping connect students to English clubs. Two days before their arrival God provided a beautiful apartment for rent!

“When the owner heard we were going to hold English clubs, she asked us if we wanted to see the empty pub in front of the house on the street front. We checked it out, painted inside and used this area and the apartment to hold English clubs each week! God blessed us with a wonderful answer to prayer”.

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We were blessed to have Ron and Lynn here for three months holding two small English Bible studies each week.  They did a fantastic job connecting students and helping the English club grow. In the fall semester 35 kids, 12 teens and 30+ adults were enrolled in the clubs.

There are five students coming with different levels of openness. One of the students attending enjoys the English but tells us the Bible is a book of fairy tales. We’re praying for all of them and we’re very happy they are open to reading and talking about God’s Word.

You can read about the Gamache’s time here and see pictures on their blog:     www.lynngamache.blogspot.com

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With the help of some members from Kelenfold EFC, we were able to host an Advent wreath craft time on December 1st.  We held it at the Hegyesd village hall. We invited people from the village and also from the English clubs. We were pleased to have 50 + come make wreaths and to hear the Christmas message. On Dec. 13th, we had quite a few students come for the English Club Christmas party. They enjoyed the program and we shared about the amazing events of Christ’s birth and the hope He brings.

We’re very thankful to have Hannah Lawson, a university student from St. Peters, MI coming to help us with English clubs from January 10 – 25th.  We also thank God for leading David and Virginia Fairbrother from Vernon, BC to serve in Tapolca with the clubs from February 1 to March 15th.

We praise the Lord for two youth teams coming to serve in the Kids and Teen English Camps in July. Please pray for Pastor Daron from Salmon Arm and for Pastor Kevin from White Rock as they form and prepare their teams.

Short-term needs in Tapolca for 2013

We have need of an individual or a couple who’d be able to come teach in the Tapolca English clubs from March 16 – April 30, 2013. We’re also looking for short-termers who’d be able to help with the English clubs in the 2013-14 school year starting from mid September. If you know of anyone who might be interested in a short-term ministry opportunity like this, please let us know and we’ll be happy to send more information.

Prayer Requests

  • Praise the Lord for the growing number of English students we have contact with. Pray for the Lord to be at work in hearts of the students.
  • Praise the Lord for those coming to serve short-term in Tapolca this year. Pray that the Lord will lead others to join us in the work short-term and longer term.
  • Pray for the small number of believers in the Tapolca area that we are meeting with. Pray that God will make us a bright light! Thank you for praying!

with Christ’s love, Shaun, Söndi, and family.

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If you would like to support Shaun and Söndi, you can use our donation page, and add in their account code:
2-2070

You can also get in touch with them directly by using their e-mail address:
shaunsondi@yahoo.com

A Team Blog From Hungary

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This is pretty cool! Shaun and Sondi serving in Hungary recently hosted one short-term team. That’s not that unusual for them. What the team did is though. They kept an online journal (a blog) of their entire experience. You get a play-by-play of all the things that they saw and did, and they’ve also provided some great pictures of their group.

Visit it by clicking here (then scroll down and click ‘newer post’ to go through it day-by-day).

It would be great if every team did this, but of course that’s just one person’s opinion. :-)

How Will they Hear if they Really Can’t Hear?

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It’s safe to say that Michelle is a theatrical person. She loves the various ways we can use our bodies to communicate, and she is appreciated for her creative capacity. She has taught American Sign Language with music, choreographed, and led sign language -oriented evangelistic youth teams throughout Hungary (where she serves with her husband, Norm). This emphasis has taken on a whole new level of significance as she’s been invited into a community theatre for the Deaf.

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This group is exploring their artistic aptitudes and performing their work in both the Deaf and hearing communities. Michelle says: “I think the residual effect of public performances is definitely a greater awareness of the Deaf community and their capabilities.” That is important because there is a natural “us-and-them” perception that exists between hearing and Deaf that needs to be dispelled. Deaf don’t want to be isolated — they want to be connected! This tension was explored in their adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, where they portrayed Romeo’s family as deaf and Juliet’s as hearing. These plays are performed for minimal ticket prices in small theatres open to the public.

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It’s a little challenging for Michelle to determine her role in all of this – she feels a little out of her depth as a foreign hearing person in a Hungarian Deaf culture.  Hungarian sign is not the same as American Sign. But she feels it’s important to be where the community is, and she’s been given a whole-hearted welcome. Initially invited to join because of her gifts in signed music, Michelle has  been able to introduce Christian music to this group. One of the theatre members who is a sister-in-Christ, is eager to explore this creative outlet to share Christ with those who cannot hear. They work as a team to translate music from English into Hungarian and then, most importantly, into Hungarian Sign Language, with the help of the entire Theatre group.

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What purpose does all of this serve?  Keeping in mind her goal is to perform music with a Christian message, let’s give Michelle the last word: “Bottom line: if you want  people to respond to music the way the writer intended, they have to hear it in their Heart Language.  For Deaf, this means,  let them see it, and let them feel it.”

New World of Hope Project (1 of 2)

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biblesfortheworld

As the most widely translated book in the world, the Bible is a valuable tool for learning a language. It fits really well into an ESL classroom, and students can follow a translation in their language and in English simultaneously.

Shaun, serving with in Hungary, told us that Eva (pictured above) received an English/Hungarian New Testament as a gift.  She wanted to learn more English so she began to read the New Testament in English and also the Hungarian text at the same time.  By receiving this gift, Eva was encouraged to read the Bible in both languages.  She really hadn’t been reading the Bible before even though she and her family had a Hungarian Bible at home.”

You can help to ensure get we get a Bible into the hands of eager students and members of English camp, not only to learn the class content and gain linguistic skills, but also to explore the truth that the Bible contains. To contribute follow this link to our donation page, and when prompted please enter project account 2-4290.

Whether the Weather Warms or Withers…

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I’ve often thought about the weather as I fly above it in a climate-controlled jetliner. The sun always shines at 30,000 feet. (Provided it’s not a night-flight…) Generally things are pretty calm, stable and predictable. It’s only when you get outside on the ground that you’re really affected by the weather. Hmmm….I bet there’s a sermon illustration in there somewhere. :-)

I recently returned from a week-long vacation on the USA’s East Coast. (My absence is why this blog has been so slow recently, but I’m about to fix that!) It struck me how significant the weather’s impact is on us. Myrtle Beach is a typical ‘snowbird’ destination for eastern Canadians, but to be honest, the temperatures there weren’t much different than seasonal expectations than here in the Lower Mainland. That is to say unpredictable, and often chilly. And yet there were several Canadians down on the beach, building sandcastles, playing sports, and even swimming in the ocean! The water temp was easily lower than our cold water tap at home…maybe people were confused by the Fahrenheit/Celsius conversion? Well, uh, not me! :-)

There are two stories that arrived in my inbox while I was gone that related to weather.

John and Naomi are missionary associates closely connected to Christian education in Panama. Their e-mail made it clear that it is hard not to gloat about their weather. It has been consistently hot, with very little rain, and there’s a cool enough breeze reaching their apartment to keep it comfortable. That’s a nice break for them, because I’ve heard often enough how mercilessly hot and humid Panama is. During the summer, you never dry. Even right out of the shower, you always sweat.

On the other hand, Norm and Michelle in Hungary, have been facing cold temperatures, and their house’s heating system isn’t working properly — they have to pick between heating the house, or the hot-water tank. And even if it was working properly, their gas prices prices have spiked to prohibitive levels. So in their words they “continue to layer”.

I’m grateful for all of our missionaries serving diligently and faithfully in whatever weather they’re facing. John and Naomi are working with school administration and teachers to improve their capacity and ability. Norm and Michelle liaise with a number of missionaries, and will be hosting a big conference in Hungary in August. As well, Michelle is fostering ministry among deaf people in Hungary which will participate in an upcoming drama club to sign a song. It’s humbling and uplifting to be working shoulder-to-shoulder with so many of such strong faith. Please remember to pray for their strength and stamina no matter what season they find themselves in.