Sarah McWilliams and Bruno Balogh Missionaries to Hungary International Messengers
Missionaries to Hungary
. . . . May 5th, 2002 . . . .
What a year!! Since our last prayer letters a lot of things have changed in ministry and in our personal lives. Both Sarah and I are writing this letter together for you guys, and we would like to share our current situation, our near future and some of our dreams.
This is good news for both of us. But, it also makes us to think about the future as well, and to examine our current circumstances. But first, we want to share some on our personal ministries with you.
Sarah's ministry update: THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR PRAYING!!
The team from Washington arrived safely with all their luggage in hand. The next morning we woke up to rain, but managed to have a safe trip to Kaposvár, after some indoor sightseeing. We arrived and the meeting began with making tea-cozies (lots of fun - they make interesting hats!) and we had about 25 ladies there from Kaposvár. The next two days we had 160 ladies come for the weekend. The gospel was presented both days, and during the weekend much sewing was accomplished. To close the weekend at the Baptist church, the Americans shared at the church service. This weekend was exciting personally because on Saturday I helped three girls with Raggedy Ann dolls, and did some translating for my mom. I was involved in running some errands and making sure that things were going smoothly. I felt that God was present in giving peace, joy, and patience for the work to be done. I believe that this event helped me to feel more comfortable within the Baptist church. God enabled me to share some things that I have learned about Him through sewing, how mistakes can be forgiven; and how we are His perfect creation being completed by His grace. It was on Saturday night that Bruno took my mom and I out to dinner, and proposed. It was a wonderful end to a wonderful weekend.
Sunday we took the team to Hajduböszörmény (Eastern Hungary) for a Raggedy weekend. We had 33 ladies come on Monday and Tuesday evening. Several dolls were completed (or very close) and the way that they worked together was such a blessing to see. They are very interested in patchwork and quilts also. So, next year we are praying about taking a team to eastern Hungary to work on a patchwork weekend. So, as I.M members, we need to work on organizing a mission statement with the quilting included. The goal is to build relationships to share Christ. IT WORKS! The host family I stayed with at the end of the weekend was asking questions about Christ. Praise God for the Hungarian language, because I was blessed and enabled to share about our separation from God because of sin, and because of Christ we can walk with him. (All we communicated was in Hungarian… a first for me). Then, on Wednesday we went to the staff conference in Zakopane, Poland. This provided many blessings with worship, and getting advice and encouragement from the Word and from friends. The response from the team members, they also see that these two weekends were successful and went well. Give ALL praise to God for His mercies and love. And please continue praying for the ladies who heard the gospel.
What is next for me? Travel to the states on MAY 2- JULY 4 2002. Why? Visa, work, wedding planning, and raising support. I am going to try to apply for a visitor's long-term visa. I have an invitation from Bruno's landlady until the end of this year. I am not sure how this will work, but I am trusting God with the results. I could have problems, but also see that there could be another option after the camps this summer- to apply in Slovakia for a visa that will allow me to stay because I will be married to a Hungarian. Praise the Lord! At a time when the job market has been tight in the Northwest, I just got an ideal job as a receptionist in the afternoons. So, His timing and ways are perfect.
On 6/17 Sarah got her Visa! Bruno's still needs prayer.
6/26 Sarah will be flying back to Hungary a week earlier than planned. This will give her and Bruno some time to prepare for the weddings there before the summer camps start.
Bruno's ministry update: Since the beginning of this year I have had to face some problems what came up that were unexpected. BUT before I share them, I want to say thank you for all your prayers. And I want to encourage you to please keep praying for us because prayer works and is valuable. Sometimes I feel that God directing my life with good things just as well with bad things, or what I see as bad for me, God uses it to teach me.
Iharosberény: One of my main ministries, where I like to go out to work and teach the gypsy kids on Sunday afternoons. It is about an hours drive west of Kaposvar. In this year we had a serious talk with the team that I work with. It seems like maybe this will be the last year of ministry there because of "no fruit" and no financial base for two of my coworkers there. After we had the meeting, we decided to wait for the end of this year, which is the end of August. A month later, after the IM Europe Conference, Ron and I sat down and had a talk about it. And I had a feeling that God does not want us to finish our ministry out there. We now have a way to continue ministry out there and financially God is providing. So I believe God has answered our heart desire. Now we have an opportunity to keep going on this year. Here is a picture of the Iharosberény children at a bonfire.
Kaposvár: I'm still involved many small ministries here which are sometimes changing by profile. We still are working with the Coffee house, and it is slowly but surely growing. I have a Monday Bible study with 4-5 young students who are coming and want to know more of the answer and purpose of this life. I have a new "job", I looked for a window guy who can make my aquarium and I found a workshop where I started to talk about my fish. Just a couple days after we invited them for dinner and had a good talk. By the way he asked me about God and I was answered him with a lots of joy. Now every week I'm going to visit him and sometimes I work for him as a friend. (God has a way for me to serve)
Serbia On March 24-25th, Sarah, Jay and I made a trip to check out possible camp locations in Serbia. We had good contact with four families and found a suitable facility in Cantavir, which is near Szeded in Southern Hungary. The people there speak Hungarian. IM has a team for this camp, it's first in Serbia!
New opportunities: Since we have a good relationship with the Methodist pastor and his family, God has opened a new ministry for us here in Kaposvar among gypsy kids. This is Monday is going to be the first Teen Club. I am going to be leading the youth in both teaching, and also some games. Please pray for me as I start to discover ways to teach these kids about Christ, with an out-reach approach, instead of a Bible study approach.
This will be a busy summer for us with Three camps:
Our future and ministry together!!
With counseling, wedding preparations, visa preparation, and then the camps we will have a lot to do. Right now, we are planning the weddings - for those in Hungary, we will be wed August 28th in Kaposvar; and August 30th in Toalmas. Then to the USA on September 4th for a wedding on the 7th of September in Everett, Wa. Why three? So all our friends and both family can share our joy! Why so quickly? Well, both of us feel that God is allowing this time so that we can start ministry strong together in October. With Kata moving to Pécs, and Jay heading to the U.S., we feel it best to begin together a new chapter in our lives. But with us two continents apart for May and June; and so busy with camps in July and August - getting ready for a lifetime together will be a challenge! So, we are going to be relying on your prayers. One possibility is that we might spend the fall getting further training at Mountainside Training Center in Libby, Montana. Please pray about this - that the Lord will provide the means and the "much needed" governmental permissions for us to do this. And that Sarah's passport will be returned in time for her flight to Hungary on July 3rd.
We want to encourage you to continue or even increase your support for Sarah (and now Bruno as well). With our marriage, Bruno will now need to raise support for his work with IM just as Sarah has had tol. Because we are now "teaming up" together for "better or for worse", you know that we are committed to serving the Lord here in Eastern Europe. This will be our home and place of ministry for the next few years.
Some of our goals are to develop a good follow-up program. We desire to be involved in the Methodist church some, and help with the gypsy ministry that is beginning there shortly. We desire to continue the coffee house and weekly gatherings, and also develop more relationships within the community. We are praying about how to restructure and make the ministry more of our own. This will take time and much prayer, but God is in control of this ministry.
It also looks like many opportunities will be opening up with teaching English in Kaposvar. Sarah is praying about starting English lessons in the gypsy village the first year, and then possibly teaching someone one-on-one. Then the next year she could possibly work in some of the High schools for English conversation hours. Pray for and with Sarah as she sees if God is leading her to teach English.
Another prayer request is for the car. We are working to getting the car fixed so that it can be running. This, of course needs $. We are estimating about $400 needed by the end of June to fix the car for emissions. Both of us are learning how to better budget our finances, but with travel to the states, and both of our rents to pay, money is tight right now. Please pray with us that God helps us to manage better, and that we trust in Him to provide for this car, travel arrangements, and everything.
Several substantial gifts were received towards repairing the car
How to Contact us?
E-mail Sarah at: [email@example.com] E-mail Bruno at: [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sarah's Address: Ka'posva'r, Pázmány Péter u. 50- Hungary, EUROPE
Bruno's Address: 7400 Kaposvar, Nyar u.13, Hungary Europe
Sarah's Phone:  36-82-526-237 - Cell Phone: 36-20-354-4829
Bruno's Phone:  36-82-315-392
Fellow missionary to Romania Chrissy Graham's Page and some Romanian links
Or for the International Messengers Home Page.
Please Send Response Forms and one time and/or regular support to:
P.O.Box R, Clear Lake, IA 50428-0618
Please make checks payable to "International Messengers" for Sarah McWilliams. Funds will be credited to my account and will be given to me through the office. All donations are tax deductible.
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