Archive for university

Month of Prayer Day 15: Gardening Outreach Training

Today’s prayer request is for the gardening outreach training group in Debrecen.  Patterned loosely after the US Master Gardener program, it’s being developed to work through local churches rather than state universities.  In addition to training laymen in the art and science of horticulture in order to become community volunteer “master gardeners,” the Hungarian program also includes evangelism and discipleship training.  As “the Master’s Gardeners” volunteer in their communities and among their neighbors, they will be equipped to use gardening and nature topics to “bridge” conversations to the gospel.  Spending time together in nature and gardening lead very easily into discussions about the Creator of it all!

Now in its second year of development, the current group is meeting twice monthly at Debrecen Baptist Church and is taught by Hungarian university teachers, research scientists, and gardening industry specialists; the evangelism component is taught by IMB worker Gary Miller.  The creation of the Hungarian manual for the program is now in progress to keep future classes on-target with high-quality academic articles as well as guidance for keeping the program’s purpose and missional vision in focus.

  • Praise God for the program’s development so far and for all those who have been helping: US advisor Dr. Curtis Smith, the Hungarian teachers and trainees, and the new Hungarian program coordinator, “Miss Judy.”
  • Pray for the continued development and spread of the program to other communities, and for the translation and creation of the program manual.

Past posts about the gardening program

 

Conversations that matter

The first full week in March we were blessed to have David Knight with us in Debrecen serving as a volunteer through Bob Hartman International Ministries. David’s had many years of experience pastoring and working with young people, and is currently a PhD student in apologetics. Some things that we’d thought he might do during his time here didn’t come together, but as the days went by we could see that there was a better plan than ours! It’s always exciting to see how the Lord puts things together in ways that we never could on our own.

Debrecen University main building

Debrecen University main building

With David’s background and current studies, it was a very natural thing for him to spend time on the Debrecen University campus meeting students from around the world and dialoguing with them about their belief systems and views on life and God. He found the students very open to talking, and across the week some of them came back for more discussion…bringing friends with them! We’re so thankful for the contacts that were made and the conversations that took place.

We had a wonderful time on Saturday afternoon visiting the English Fellowship, an interdenominational group that meets monthly on campus. David preached, then most of the group stayed to eat and chat. What a blessing to worship and spend time with brothers and sisters from around the world!  (Visit the English Fellowship’s Facebook page.)

 

  • Pray for the young people who took part in important conversations during the week, that God would continue to work in their lives. Ask that the Lord will bring more believers across their paths and open up further opportunities for dialogue.
  • Lift up the English fellowship group, as they will soon be losing access to the facility where they’ve been meeting. Pray that God will guide in what comes next for the ministry, and that He will use this transition to expand the work among the substantial number of English speakers in the community. Ask God to guide and bless as English-language ministries are used to reach further into the lost community.

A time of fellowship

We had a wonderful time the past couple of days with a young man we had the privilege of hosting during his visit to Debrecen. A native of Alexandria, Virginia, James is a student at Judson University; at the age of 19 he already has a lot of missions, teaching, and leadership experience under his belt. He stopped over with us while waiting to connect with Commission to Every Nation missionary Clinton White to head on to Uzhgorod, Ukraine.  Among other ministry opportunities, James will be sharing the gospel with refugee and at-risk youth at a youth camp in Lviv, Ukraine.

Last night was a special treat for us, as our Hungarian friend Adél came over to join the three of us for a Tex-Mex dinner (well, our version of it!)  We enjoyed hours of fellowship…time talking about life, the Lord, and our favorite Scripture passages. A huge “thank you” to James for playing the guitar as we sang worship songs together!  The evening ended in laughter over some goofy YouTube videos before we took a group photo by the tree and said goodbye for now.  We look forward to a day when we can fellowship together with no more partings!  But in the meantime, there’s work to be done….

For more about James and how you can join in his mission through your prayers, check out his latest update. Thank you for praying for him and those he’ll be sharing the gospel with over the coming two weeks in Ukraine.

“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.”  Psalm 96:3 (NIV)