Archive for life on the field

Bakers in Hungary: April 1 update from Budapest

Budapest has heart shaped lights shining through the building windows to show support to those involved in Medical Service.

From the Bakers in Budapest:

We have been able to spend time talking to people, listening and praying with them. Many have lost their income. Some just want to talk and share their difficult experiences. We have an opportunity to point them to God and encourage them with truth.

  • Pray that internet Bible study groups would start, and book clubs, reading books and meeting on line to talk about them as we read.
  • Pray for a men’s online Bible study group to start next week, and that the people invited will join, and that God would add to the group.

We are thinking of everyone back home and here abroad. We hope all are doing well. May God bless you with His Love and His Peace during this time and always!

Monte Baker
April 1, 2020

Bakers in Hungary: people starting to take this seriously

For those who were wondering more about the situation here, schools, clubs, sports, etc. closed March 16. Large groups are banned from meeting but some small church groups are still meeting. Most people are working from home. Stores and restaurants are still open with limited hours. Public transportation is still operating but they are cleaning everything, even the paper money is being quarantined and cleaned by the Hungarian bank. No one is required to wear a mask or gloves, and people are still allowed outside. Hand sanitizer is out of stock, masks are for sale at the pharmacy, and there is plenty of toilet paper. We chose to start self-quarantine March 12 because of possible exposure. There was a panic rush at the stores last week with many items running out of stock – mostly the fresh meat! The border is closed to foreigners, and we will not be going anywhere for awhile. Hungary’s rate of infection is still very low, but wide-spread testing isn’t being done. I think people are getting over the shock and are starting to take this seriously.

 Hungarian flag  Hungarian flag  Hungarian flag Hungarian flag

Pray for Hungary! 

April Baker
March 21, 2020

Signs of Spring

The end of March brought some really lovely weather to Hungary!  Trees and flowers are coming to life, people are out and about with no more than a light jacket, and we are reminded of how much we have  to be thankful for as we look back over the last months, as well as what’s on our calendar for the days to come.

We’ve been dealing with some illness, so please pray that the Lord will give us strength and energy for each day’s work, and that we will continually be reminded to live in His joy and to share it with others.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Carolyn with spring buds and bushesIn the picture above you can see the blossoms on the tree in our front yard and the neighbor’s flowering bushes across the street. You can also see how the still-cool, gusty wind has turned my selfie into a real….glamour photo!

Some adventures we’d rather forget

I usually avoid talking about health things – they’re always more interesting to the teller than to the hearer.  But this situation has really impacted life and ministry, and it’s not over yet.  For years I (Carolyn) have had knee problems which always resolved with a little care, but while down on the Debrecen main square mingling with folks at the big August 20 holiday celebration my right knee suddenly gave notice that I was DONE.WALKING.  Pain was so intense that I had to call Gary to come to my rescue in the car (he was working at home that day.)  Not an easy task for the poor guy to reach me since the streets were still blocked for the parade. It was one of those days full of adventure and excitement we’d rather forget!

Here are some photos of the more pleasant part of the day:

 August 20, “St. Stephen’s Day,” commemorates the founding of the nation and its first king. The Flower Carnival in Debrecen includes a wonderful parade. Here we see the float with the royal crown, some Hungarian people in their native dress, and a pony cart displaying the sunflowers which are so prevalent in our part of the country. The parade includes groups from all around the world – the 4th photo shows a flag team from Narnia, Italy. Yes, my friends, Narnia does exist!

Sunset by the Adriatic Sea in CroatiaThe pain gradually eased off some but there was obviously a problem, so Sept. 3 on our way to a vacation in Croatia we got it checked by a well-recommended doctor in Zagreb.  He advised meniscus surgery for that same afternoon.  Things got a little complicated and what normally would’ve been an outpatient procedure turned in to several days in the hospital.  Our vacation was a little shortened, but we did still have four lovely days on the coast (Gary bought a nice folding chair so I could sit by the water and prop up my leg.)  The photo shows the beautiful sunset on the Adriatic Sea that we enjoyed our last evening there.

Back home the knee slowly improved, but then I re-injured it at the end of September and had to start all over with the recovery.  Praise God, this last week I’ve been able to tell that it’s getting a lot better!

  • Pray that the knee will continue to heal properly so I can get back into more of my regular work.  Gary has had double-duty over the past months since I’ve not been able to shop, cook very much, etc. I’ve missed being on-site with him for quite a few ministry events, providing what support I could from home.
  • All of this has really messed up my sleep patterns and aggravated some other pain issues.  Pray that God will grant peaceful sleep and pain relief.
  • The doctor recommends an additional surgery for both of my knees to help put off eventual knee replacements. (Yikes! Guess I’m really not a teenager any more!)  Pray for wisdom for us in making decisions about treatments.
  • Thank the Lord for how He brings us through difficult times, showing us that who we are in Him is more important than the things we can do for Him – this can be a real battle for someone like me who loves to feel useful and productive!  These last months have been an opportunity for me to ponder the fact that it’s about Him, NOT about me or what I can accomplish for Him.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

Quite honestly

It’s not easy to admit, but Sunday morning we didn’t feel enthused about driving to Karcag for Gary to preach. We both felt tired, and neither of us felt like getting out and going, but we had agreed to serve…and we do love the people. Most of all we wanted to be obedient to what God had for us that day. As we drove down the road, we also reminded each other how so often in the past negative feelings have tried to pull us down as we prepared to go to ministry events — and how many times these ended up being times when great spiritual impact and blessing took place! (We call this “coffeehouse syndrome” since we experienced this feeling of oppression pretty regularly before a particularly wonderful evening of gospel sharing at the outreach coffeehouse we had for many years.) We have an enemy that would love for us to stay home…for ministry to go by the wayside….for blessings to be missed.

Gary preaching in KarcagLooking back on the day, we can say – once again in all honesty – that we are so thankful we went in obedient service rather than giving in to feelings. The message that Gary shared was impactful for us as much as for the people there that morning (Scripture has a way of doing that!) During the service several people got up and shared encouraging testimonies, and a small group of us lingered in the building talking afterward.

  • Pray for the Karcag church, that they will be encouraged, will grow, and that more leaders will be raised up to help in the ministries and mission points they are involved in.
  • Some really difficult and tragic things were shared with us. Pray for the people and their families, that God will give them wisdom, would provide for their needs, and bring them through life’s trials.
  • Pray for us and other Christian workers, for health, strength, and encouragement when times are hard.
  • Praise God that He gives strength to go on serving even when feelings/emotions tell us to give in!

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (NIV)