Sarah McWilliams Missionary to Hungary International Messengers
Missionary to Hungary
. . . . Current Prayer Letter . . . .
Boldog Karacsonyt! December 13, 2000
Here in Kaposvar, the lights are hung on Walking Street; people are busy preparing for Christmas. Today I hope to get a tree; my very own Christmas tree! Hungarians have different traditions; the tree goes up on Christmas Eve, the parents or the older ones only decorate it while the young children go to their rooms; or are taken for walks by grandparents. Then, when they return; the tree is up and decorated; the baby Jesus brought the tree. Here, Santa Clause is not known like he is in the states; St. Nikolas brings candy and puts it in a shoe outside the door on the 6th of December; and Christmas day is reserved for Jesus. But, I also can see the times changing here for many Hungarians; Coca Cola had a huge Santa display in the Tesco (Hyper Market) parking lot; and new stores are showing up everywhere. I am sad to see all these "conveniences" coming into Kaposvar. But, God is teaching me more about Him and leaving the riches of this world behind. I still find that it can be so easy to look at this world as the most important; but this lifetimes is short compared to eternity.
12-15-2000 Today; Ron and Verna left Kaposvar to head to the U.S. I am thankful for them and the ministry that we have together. They have been teaching me so much and being an incredible encouragement. But, the next six weeks, I'll be once again "on my own." These next weeks are an exciting time here in Hungary; and so I don't mind or don't feel "alone or abandoned" here. I have several gatherings with friends and families around the holiday season. Last night we (Ron & Verna and I) had a wonderful gathering and Christmas dinner with "the boys": Zolt, Joszi, & Emoke. It was a wonderful time of food; singing and the reading of the Christmas story. Gifts were given and exchanged and needs were met. Many memories were made last night. I am still filled with joy thinking about the blessings of last night.
Let me tell you a little about "the boys;" Zolt is 24; an ex-cowboy and is heading to Bible school in February in Austria. He was raised in an orphanage and has a great heart for the Lord. But; he doesn’t have much; and doesn’t seem to need much. I am amazed at how simply people can live if they never get into the "I need this or that"- materialistic time. Joszi is another one who also is a believer; raised in an orphanage and Ron has a great 1 on 1 ministry with him; Ron co-owns the garden where Joszi lives. Joszi goes to school and is working to complete his high school requirements. Charlie; attends Word of Life Bible school; has a tremendous ministry with his old friends from the orphanage also. These guys have become friends and are always around somewhere. It is a blessing to see them serve others and take active steps in their faith; and to see Ron firmly and yet lovingly work with them.
Iharosbereny: Lot's has been happening in that small village and Bruno and Attila are making a huge difference in just four weeks. Last week we had over 60 people in the one room church; over 45 children. Parents came last time; and they looked like they were at ease. We had a clothes distribution where they either had to pay 10 forints an item; or work for Bruno and Attila at a later time. We also had a birthday party for Jesus; and gave presents of toys are hats for the children. There are a few youth who are taking up responsibility and also getting more teaching. Each week it is so cool to go and see new people there; and the regulars. Continue to pray for the discriminations to decrease; for the love of Jesus to penetrate the hearts and lives. On Sunday; they will have an adult evangelism at 2 o'clock. So, if you get this over e-mail; please pray for those who are working out there; and for the children too. There won't be a program for them right now; but there will need to be some sort of attention and love given to them.
Other activities within then next month; New Years Eve party (30th-1st) in Albertirsa. Please pray that those God's want there will be able to come. Right now we have around 35 people registered. We need 64! People seem to be busy and unable to come. Pray for provision of funds; and that the programs will still continue and be blessed! Then; on the 12th, I am heading down to Romania for 10 days with my best friend Chrissy, who will be coming back from the States right after New Years. I am looking forward to making new friends; and meeting up with old contacts from my time there last March. More gatheringss and a lot of one on one time during school breaks also.
Well, I know that I wrote; but so much has been happening with our IM Thanksgiving party; and Christmas party along with Christmas caroling on the streets of Kaposvar last weekend. Also, the closing of the patchwork kiallitas.(I and my quilt even got a picture in a local newspaper!) More friendships built and grounded. Praise God for the continued ministry and encouragement!
In Christ, Sarah McWilliams
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Kaposvar (Somogy County), Hungary: