Archive for life on the field

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)

Paul & Tena Brock prayer update

Hi All,

We wanted to give you a prayer/praise update.

  1. We asked you to pray for someone to come take our 2nd apartment as one couple said they were not able to come. Bless God, they are now coming. Their doctor said they are good to go. And believe it or not, even after canceling their flight, the airline allowed them to reinstate the tickets at no additional charges. Only by the grace of God.
  2. We asked you to pray for a young lady who had to have surgery. She did have it and is now out of the hospital and moving around. Though a bit slower than before. She was finally able to get involved in some of the last days of ministry with her team. We thank God for her quick recovery and flight home later this week.
  3. We are still looking for a place for our dog, Mason. Please pray God will be extra gracious in finding a loving person who will let him stay with them.

Thanks for your prayers.

PS: Just wanted to let you know to be praying for “R.” She prayed to receive Christ last Thursday. Pray for her growth and rooting.

Again Thanks,

Paul

Paul & Tena Brock
Team Leader
Western Hungary Team

Hungary 4 Him: Katelyn’s June update

Where have the last two years gone? It seems just like yesterday that I arrived in Nagykanizsa! Since my first day, I have had a blast. God has shown me so many wonderful things about myself and more importantly about Him. At this point, I still have no idea what is next for me, but I have learned that even when I don’t know what’s happening, God is working behind the scenes and has a plan.

In 20 short days, I will be arriving back in OKC! I can’t believe I have less than 3 weeks left here! This place has captured my heart and I am in no way ready to say goodbye. I love these people with my whole heart! It is especially hard to say goodbye to those who are not yet believers! Please pray with me and for me in the upcoming weeks as I have to leave this place that I love so dearly!

Love,
Katelyn

Hungary 4 Him: St. Stephen's Basilica, Budapest

Where do I begin? This update might be a little longer because I have so much to share with you! To begin, Kaitlyn, Sarah, Leanne, and Andrew arrived 2 weeks ago and have been amazing! God placed them here at the perfect time and they have worked hard since day one!

Secondly, the team from North Carolina arrived and literally jumped in feet first! Sunday (June 24) at 5 pm, we rode to Nagykanizsa and arrived at 10 pm, and started camp Monday morning at 8 am! They have been so awesome with the students and such an encouragement to me! Thirdly we just finished English Camp. Man, do we serve an amazing God! This week was phenomenal! There are so many students that we met this week that are seeking after more. It was so good for me to have this week before I go home. I was able to reconnect with some students that I haven’t seen in months and strengthen relationships with students who I have been teaching this last year.

July 3-6 we have had another camp. This is a more in-depth, conversational English through the Gospel. We have averaged about 8 students all week. It has been great to see God working in this people group!

PRAISE!

You have been praying for “T” for quite some time now! This week, I had some one-on-one time with her! During our discussions, she really opened up to me! She went from believing that there isn’t a God, to believing that there is a God. She’s just not sure if it’s the same God that I, and many others, have been talking to her about. This is a step in the right direction. I am continually sharing with her the love that Christ has for her! Continue to pray that the seeds that have been planted will soon sprout and she will become part of the family of God!

PRAYER REQUESTS

  • Pray for the students who have attended our camps in the last two weeks! God is moving in this city and I can feel it!
  • There is a lot of spiritual warfare going on right now. Pray for our team as we are preparing for the end of summer and heading back to the States.
  • Pray for me as I prepare to come back to the States. Nagykanizsa has been my home for the last two years and I am extremely sad to leave this place. There is still work to be done here and I believe God is not finished here!
  • Pray that I would cherish the time I have left and that I would have good goodbyes.
  • Pray also for my students as I tell them goodbye. Some of them do not understand why I came for two years and am leaving. I am so grateful for each one of them and the love they have shown me while I have been here.
  • Pray that God would bring them peace and understanding! I recently found out that the couple who was coming to stay in my flat can no longer make it. Now, I have to move everything out of my flat, not just my personal things. We still have a busy schedule until I leave so also pray that I would use my time wisely and get things packed up!
  • I am very nervous to come back to the States. As much as I am ready to be home and see family and friends, I don’t want to leave this place. I ask that you would be patient with me as I return. Pray for me as I go through reverse culture shock.

Thank you for your prayers and support over the last 2 years! Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today! If there is any way that I can pray for you , please let me know! ????

~ Katelyn, IMB Western Hungary Team ~