Starting: from September 2017.

Dear Praying Friends,

Two years ago we’ve sent you a little devotional booklet titled: “Future Direction of the Gresz family” with spiritual insights from our journey of seeking God’s will to expand YTL beyond the borders of Hungary. (Click here to re-read it.) We’ve shared with you the thorough process we went through seeking God’s will on how to move forward in pursuing our vision, mission and personal stewardship responsibilities.

During that process, the Vice President of Cru, Greg Lillestrand has challenged us to take YTL to a global level and help lead new strategic mission innovations for city ministries with Cru. After two years of prayer we said yes to assume the ministry responsibility of YTL Global Director & Strategic Innovations Director for City Ministries for Cru (Cru City). Our new assignment will start in September 2017. Before that we help the transition of the new leader of the Hungarian Cru after he takes our position in January 2017. This challenge requires us that for the next few years we join a team that has seasoned missionaries with decades of multinational ministry experience, has the capacity to take YTL to the next level and to start new ministry initiatives/innovations focusing on building City Gospel Movements. The team we will join already leads ministry teams in 26 cities around the U.S. and the Globe. That team now is located in Kansas City and is led by our dear friends, Dave and Karen Robinson with whom we co-authored & co-founded YTL and also co-authored “The Outrageous Promise” book. Part time we’ll serve with this team and part time we’ll serve with the VP of Cru for City Ministries.

Please, take time to watch this VERY INSPIRATIONAL VIDEO. The VP of Cru and the National director of Cru explains why this next chapter in our mission is key for the future of Cru, for us and how it impacts even our ministry in Europe. You’ll be greatly encouraged!



1. This move is strategic for the future of the ministry in Hungary.

God has blessed the ministry of YTL/Cru in Hungary beyond our dreams. The next step of growth is to plug into the bloodstream of global mission. Our nation got so much from the global church that now it’s time to give back what we can. More blessings will come to our country as we start giving to others. What God gave to Hungary through YTL was not given to Hungary, but to the world. This move will position Hungary’s contribution to the global mission very strategically (see below why). Also, as we leave for a time, we create adequate space for the new leadership in Hungary to grow and own the ministry. An 80-years-oldveteran missionary said it very well: “What you will do next will have a positive impact on your country down the road.” 

2. This move is strategic for the future of YTL.

God has given us a model in YTL on how to break into the most influential infrastructure of the society which is the education domain. Us joining a team where we would work together again with whom we co-founded and co-authored YTL, Dave and Karen Robinson, would give the opportunity to build new capacity for YTL, new strategies around it serving Hungary, other nations and the U.S. better.

3. This move is strategic for the frontier of mission of the 21st century, which is the city.

The future of mission is urban. Every study shows that in our changing world, the powerhouse of this century is the multicultural, very diverse, innovative city. D.L. Moody way over 100 years ago saw this: “If we reach the cities, we will reach the nation: if we fail the cities, they become a cesspool which will infect theentire nation.” Ray Bakkee, the well-known Chicago pastor and author says: “The frontier of mission is the city. Mission today is to, in, and from all six continents.” Cities are more complex then jungles and we never send missionaries to jungles without preparing them. The churches and mission agencies need working models to prepare missionaries to enter in to this new missional space. Urbanization is a game-changer for mission. As the missional space of this century is changing, is the global church equipped to boldly and clearly represent the gospel? This new challenge of urbanization requires collaboration, requires expertise from around the nations to build models, to build new strategies, to bring best practices together and to build capacity to make those models scalable. Cru recognizing the changing phase of mission made key strategic decisions to build teams to focus on cities and to pull together best, proven practices (like YTL) into “incubators” to learn from them, to make them scalable, to build capacity for them. Cru also brings together expertise from around the nations to build new ministry strategies that will accelerate gospel movements in the cities. It’s an incredible privilege for Hungary to be invited to that round-table and help shape the future of city ministries. Us being invited to learn and help lead this strategic segment is not only a privilege, but a hugeopportunity long term for the ministry in Hungary and in Easter Europe, too. 

4. This move is strategic to build effective team-models.

We know from the ministry of Apostle Paul that team-work is critical for the sake of effectiveness in mission so much so that at one point Paul left a “door that was opened to him by the Lord” because he couldn’t find his team-mate, Titus (2Cor 2:12-13). We are joining a team that not only has seasoned missionaries who have spent decades of full-time ministry in multiple countries and proved to be very effective, but with whom we have built strong friendships in the past. Wes Lane, author, Prosecutor of the Year, 2003, former Vice-President of the National District Attorney’s Association writes in his new book about our YTL team: “The victorious stories coming out of this now two decade ministry are legion. All because two Christian leaders were willing to think outside the box and meet an entire government at its point of need. Many Christians would have shunned the opportunity at the mere utterance of two words: sex education. Because Dave and Gábor did not, untold numbers have come to a savingknowledge of Jesus Christ. These two men pressed into God’s willingness to do something great if they were willing to step out of their comfort zone and into a leadership void. They did and He did.”

5. This move maximizes our personal stewardship.

We’ve explained that in great details in the “Future Direction of the Gresz family” we’ve sent you two years ago.


“...battles on the outside and fear on the inside.” 2Cor 7:5. 

In the past 30+ years of our adult life and ministry we have faced many hard decision, countless tribulations yet unimaginable blessings, fruitfulness and progress. This decision to make this move at age 50 comes with a greater personal price than what we have ever had to pay to follow Jesus. Leaving behind 50 years of friendships, networks, influence, culture, “fame and name” and move into a new one is more then risky. Leaving behind our staff whom we saw coming to faith, growing in Christ and dedicating their life to mission is hurtful. Leaving our daughter 6000 miles away (as she starts med-school in the U.K.) and our middle son 8000 miles away (as he most likely will go to college in Hungary) and only being able to hug them once or at best twice a year puts much tears in our eyes. Taking our youngest with us into a new culture where he will go to a public high school, he will have to learn the language, get new friends and face the challenges of a difficult adjustment is more than fearful. Leaving Gabor’s mom and Edina’s parents as they are getting older and seeing their tears is heartbreaking. Going through all the red tapes (legal stuff, paper works, move, finding schools, housing, renting our house in Hungary, selling cars, etc..) and leaving our house we love are not small challenges either. But we know that “greater love is required from us”, because Jesus deserves all what we have and all we can give out of love and faith. While this decision is the most costly decision for our whole family to follow Jesus it was wonderful to see our children’s reaction and how they’ve journeyed together with us as we were so diligently seeking God’s will together. Here is what they’ve said about this change:

Rahel (21): “I can’t imagine how hard it must had been for Abraham to leave his security and then sacrifice his son. God always demands the impossible from his followers. Daddy, God is asking this from you now, to give up everything: your security, your children, your fame, your influence, your relationships. It’s very costly. It’s gonna be very hard when you leave and you will be so far away. It’s gonna be so hard that I will hardly see you two and my brothers. It’sgonna be hard for all of us. It would be so much easier for you all just to stay. But is there anything more beautiful then this sacrifice? The eternal reward that is awaiting for us makes it worth the price we pay. God will bless this! Your faith is such a great example for me.”

Renato (18): “We are missionaries. That’s what it means to be one: willing to leave behind everything and follow God regardless, trusting him to provide.” 



Gergo (14): “Dad, if God opens a door, He will provide everything we need to go through that door.”



No matter how excited we are about the Great Commission, about taking YTL to the globe and to the U.S. and about helping a team effort that is going to bless cities around the world, AND no matter how willing we are to leave everything behind, to give up everything that is important to us, THIS IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN IF YOU ARE NOT HOLDING THE ROPE, the rope of prayer and the rope of financial support. Nobody likes to talk about money, but we do it boldly as we step out by faith risking so much that is dear to us. Our new assignment represents for us not only tremendous emotional, relational and physical challenges, but also comes with significant financial needs. Our new ministry assignment with Cru will require us for the next few years to live in the U.S. where the living and insurance costs are much higher and we will have to travel to the cities we are going to help lead. Right now we shortfall the minimum of $3000/monthly support. Our most important need is monthly or annual ministry partners. Since you have expressed concern in the past for our ministry and partnered with us, we thought you’d like to know of these crucial needs. Would you consider praying about giving in any of the following ways? 1) If you are not partnering with us financially would you begin giving a new monthly or annual ministry investment? 2) If you are already partnering with us financially would you consider increasing what you currently give monthly or annually?  You do not have to change the way your donation comes to us. (We’ll have a new staff account # but the old one will still be functioning.) Our employment - due to some visa reasons - will switch from Cru Hungary to Cru USA later next year. Whatever you decide, our appreciation for you is unwavering! 

If the Lord leads you to help us financially – here’s how you could. First, email gabor.gresz@cru.org to mention the gift amount specifically so we will know where we stand in relation to our goal. There are two ways you can give: 1. By check: Please make a check out to “Cru” and mail it to our home address: Gabor Gresz, Aradi utca 54, 2040 Budaors, Hungary. The check would then be mailed to our Headquarters in Florida and they will send you a tax-deductible receipt. 2. By online: you can give online at give.cru.org/0636800 Please, read the letter next page from the Vice President of Cru and watch the video mentioned above. You can imagine how many prayer-requests we have with this move. Most importantly pray for health and all the details that needs to be worked out.

Further Advancing the Kingdom of God together,

Gabor & Edina

Letter from



to our partners about our new assignment

Dear Friends of Gabor and Edina and Partners in the Gospel,

A professor friend recently said, “God seems to be urbanizing the world. Do you think He has an agenda?” From the countryside and villages, over 5 million people migrate to cities every month! Yes, we do believe God is up to something! This represents an incredible opportunity for us in missions today.

When we talk about taking the Gospel to the “ends of the earth”, the urbanization of cities is redefining what this looks like. It requires us to think creatively and strategically, and it requires collaboration within the Body of Christ. It also requires expertise from people of all nations and all nationalities. In fact, the curriculum Gabor and Edina have been so critical in helping to develop, Youth at the Threshold of Life (YTL), is a perfect example of taking someone’s expertise and relevant approach and using it to spread the Good News of Jesus.

Gabor and Edina are critical to our mission to reach entire cities. Their knowledge and creative strategies in developing models of how we enter the education domain is invaluable and so necessary. I’m reminded of Luke 8:8 where one seed produces a crop one hundred fold. The principles and models they will be working on will be replicated in cities all across Europe and America. Producing a crop well over a hundred fold! Because of the day and age we live in, the things which are figured out in Warsaw, or London, or New York, or Kansas City, or Shanghai, can quickly have application to cities all around the globe.

This is quite a journey the Gresz family is embarking on. I would encourage you, if you are a prayer warrior, pray for them. If you are partners investing financially with them, not only would I ask you to keep giving, but spread the word and invite others to join with them. This family is worthy of your investment and the ministry they are doing is impacting lives literally all over the world.

2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors” and this absolutely defines Gabor and Edina.  I no doubt believe what they are about to embark on will not only have an eternal impact on people’s lives in America but this will be of great benefit to the spiritual condition of all of Europe. Thank you for standing with them, praying for them, and financially investing in this Kingdom work they are doing.


Greg Lillestrand

Vice President, Cru



“The disciple simply burns his boat and goes ahead. He is called out and has to forsake his old life in order that he may “exist” in the strictest sense of the word. The old life is left behind and completely surrendered. The disciple is dragged out of his relative security into the absolute insecurity, from a life which is observable and calculable into a life where everything is unobservable and fortuitous, out of the realm of finite into the realm of infinite possibilities... No other significance is possible, since Jesus is the only significance. Beside Jesus nothing has any significance. He alone matters.“
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The 3 aspects of our stewardship:

1. Personal Stewardship: who God made me to be?

2. Ministry Stewardship: what God gave me to do?

3. Vision Stewardship: what God wants me to pursue?


Our Dear Praying Friend,

We would like to invite you into the journey of our past three years. You are our highly valued co-journeyer in advancing the Kingdom of God. We are sharing our heart with you in this very personal document.

What you are going to read is extremely holy, serious, deep, personal and life-changing for us as it represents the summary of a dedicated, God-searching process which was full of prayers, seeking godly wisdom from multiple sources and reflects dozens of sleepless nights crying out to the Lord. The outcome of this process is a giant leap of faith for us. We hope, as you read this, you’ll see that in no means we took this process lightly, because we fear the Lord more than to dare to take it easily to discover His future will for our life and ministry. We’ve never went through a more thorough process at a key decisions in our life, but during this whole process we understood not just ourselves much better in a more objective way, but we also became more convinced on how God wants to use us in the future. 

Please, come with us and walk through this very personal document as we share our journey along with some devotional insights for your personal reflection. We believe God is taking our ministry to a new direction. Before you turn to the last pages of this document, we want to assure you that we do stay on the mission-field with Cru, but God is taking us to a new direction in that field so we would be able to maximize all what we’ve learned in the past three decades and take YTL beyond our borders.

We hope you’ll enjoy this little personal confession. It means so much to us that we can honestly share with you our heart!

Nothing is meaningful without a context. The journey we went through provides the context for the direction we are pursuing. 

Let us quote to you Cru’s Senior Carrier Coach, a 78 years old missionary veteran, who led Gabor through a 7-month-long, unbelievably deep process which helped him objectify his gifting. He said the following at the end of this process:  

“I have done this kind of process with hundreds of people over the past thirty-plus years.  I know of no one who has done such a unique, thorough application effort to gain maximum insights from the data to identify where God might be leading.”

Dan Allender says: “If we are willing to study our life, God will give us signs and clues to our calling.” In order to discover more fully the story God wants to write through our life we were asking the following questions from ourselves:

  • How God spoke to us through HIS WORD?
  • Who God made us to be? Objective study of our GIFTS &
  • MOTIVATION, mainly focusing on Gabor’s.
  • Who God shaped us to be? Our story, our EXPERIENCE BANK we are responsible to utilize.
  • How God made us to be seen by others? ADVICE, COLLECTIVE WISDOM.
  • What is the VISION God planted in our hearts for many years and how He provided an OPPORTUNITY to pursue it?


How God spoke to us through His Word? In 1981 God gave Gabor a life-verse. That verse, Isaiah 54:2-3 became a light beam in our life:

“Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nationsand will people the desolate cities.”

Our whole life-story is about “enlarging our tent and spreading abroad”. God always “forced us” to step beyond our “borders”, limits, comfort-zone. Nations and cities—plural, as it’s written in this passage—became our passion and vision. Our calling was always to go beyond our country’s border to the nations. We often said to our staff that “We’re in Hungary not only for Hungary”.  A decade later another verse spoke to us profoundly: Revelations 5:9: there will be people around the throne of God from every nations, every tribe and from every language. A passion started to burn in our hearts: contribute to this magnificent multicultural, multi-ethnic, multinational worship written in Revelations. We both felt a strong global calling, going beyond the borders of our country and we knew that at one point of our life we want to pursue living abroad. In a sense we were able to “spread abroad” with YTL because it went to more then 60 countries. But we are still commanded to look ways to “enlarge our tent”, spreading abroad and awaiting for the fulfillment of that promise to go to the nations and to the cities.

We are called to live on the borders and help expand the borders of the church. Everything we did in ministry and life reflected that calling: pioneering, experimenting and stepping beyond our borders into unkown territories.

There are many, many other key passages that we don’t have time to cite here now that pointed and confirmed us in this process. We could mention Mark 8, The Feeding of the 5000, through which passage God called us 11 years ago to say yes to be the National Director in Hungary for Cru and told us to “do the impossible with the nothing we have”. Rev 3:8 another significant passage of our life where God has promised an opened door for us. Or Mt 25 where God warned us that we need to maximize our gifting, because faithfulness is productivity – producing 5 more or 2 more talents. In order to produce those extra profit on the talents given to us, we need to take risks. There are no safe risks. The one servant in the parable who didn’t take risk, but only preserved the talent given to him was called evil and unfaithful. Fear paralazied this third servant.

But we have to mention one special promise and confirmation of the Lord we have received recently in this God-searching process.

This past summer we have spent 9 days together dedicated to prayer seeking God’s will for our future. Independently from each other we read the same passage on the same morning and we both were deeply touched by it. Isaiah 43:18-19 and 45:2-4 was that promise (which by the way  is the same passage William Carrey preached on in 1792 which led to the launching of the modern mission):

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
“I will go before you and level the exalted places, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron.”

Through these passages God profoundly spoke to both of us separately.  Confirmed what we have felt in our heart for 2 years: He will lead us to a new path, to an un-walked road and he will prepare the road, we just need to follow Him. God encouraged us to pursue another un-walked road (just as we did so many times in our past).

There are common concepts and recurring words in those life-changing passages in the past 30+ years. They are the following: 



{ For Your Personal Reflection }

God wants all of us to live beyond our comfort-zone and He wants to do the impossible through us, because that’s the only way to experience who He really is: unimaginably powerful and infinately resourceful. Fear holds us back. The opposite of fear is love. Love trusts. Trust takes risk. Risk is needed for victory. Only those will win who love more the God they know than fear the things they don’t know. One day we all will have a little personal conversation with Jesus. He’ll have one question: were you faithful, were you full of faith, did you leave behind your comfort-zone, did you take risks, what was the impossible you did for me? Is there any sign in your life that you are following a supernatural God?


Learning who God made us to be was a significant part of our journey. As a result of a professional 7-months-long carrier-coaching with Cru and non-Cru experts resulted Gabor with an objectified 34 pages long description of everything he is good at, what motivates him, what should he pursue and avoid. It was an extremely helpful tool God used in our life which included interviews, writings, counseling. We’ll just share 4 key things that we’ve learned is essential in who Gabor is and what will always motivate him.  His key motivations and gifting that supports these motivations are:

  • Make global impact, help shape the world / influence.
  • Overcome – strategize, organize, conceptualize, cast vision.
  • Create, pioneer, experiment, be on the cutting edge, ideation.
  • Learn, teach, write, communicate.
  • The key, recurring words in this evaluation were: 


God created Gabor with these kind of motivations and gifting for a purpose. Although he has received several challenges, opportunities to become a local pastor or to take an organizational leadership role, this process made it very clear that regardless of his abilities that would qualify him to function in those roles, his motivation, passion and mainstream gifting is pushing him toward seeking opportunities that come with global, broad impact-potential, pioneering, cutting edge type of ministry where he can use his creative, teaching, writing, overcoming, pioneering gifts.


{ For Your Personal Reflection }

You are carefully and wonderfully made with God’s special, unique care. Your gifts and talents are given to you for purpose: to use them for His glory. We are obligated to maximize them. We can’t maximize them if we have never discovered them. Discovering and utilizing our God-given gifts and talents requires intentional effort. Do you know yours? Do you like yours? Do you like who God made you to be? Where do you see God using the gifts given to you but not owned by you? What is the risk you are taking to maximize your talents given to you? We all had been created for the image of God. If we don’t like the “image” than we have an issue with the “Original” that the “image” was made of. If we have issues with the “image of God” we carry and represent than we will have problems with other “images of God” who had been created to reflect the “Original” as well. We must love the “Original” in order to be able to love the “images of the Original”. If we don’t want our life to be a “broken record” which plays the same tiring and irritating tone over and over again, but we want the heavenly music composed by God played in and through us than we need to view God as who He really is and we need to view ourselves as who we really are.


God gave each of us a unique story. Our experiences shaped us. They carry a certain message and a certain responsibility. “In our story God shows us what he’s up to and what he wants us to be about. When I study and understand my life story, I can then join God as a coauthor…” – Dan Allender.

The road we walk is part of the message God wants to deliver through us to the World. It is very interesting how both of our family background prepared us to be ready and willing to live beyond our borders. When we got married we started to talk about one day going to a foreign mission-field.

We did many different things in the ministry over the years. Among those are: innovation, pioneering, solving thousands of problems, building organizations, building teams, teaching, preaching, writing, authoring curriculums and books, planting churches, casting vision, creating strategies, mobilizing thousands, raising funds, creating systems, developing materials, leading changes, managing many crises, hiring and firing, etc. all in a multicultural environment.

In the past 30 years we had been most effective and satisfied when we’ve launched YTL (creating the strategy, writing the curriculum, experimenting with the symposiums, etc.); when we coauthored the book “The Outrageous Promise” and when we could be in a multicultural environment meeting with new people mobilizing them. We were most satisfied and effective when we had the opportunity to pioneer, create things that takes us beyond our borders and could work with people with whom we could become close friends.

If we look for the keywords and key concepts in our “experience bank” than we find the following: 


Of course, other’s advice and collective wisdom had a great influence on us during this process. We’ve tried to search the advice of people we respect, who has lengthy history of faithful ministry and doesn’t have a direct interest for us to be recruited to somewhere, so they were able to objectively look into our situation.

We’ve asked our Board members, those who led our carrier-coaching process, some close friends and also professional counselors. All came down with the same wisdom and advice.

Although some are embarrassing, I will have to quote some opinions as a confirmation of our future direction:

“You need to go to the World, because that’s your passion. You need to speak, teach, write and lead. You need to be with peers who wants to dream big. You need a global role. You need complexity.”
“You don’t get a chance to use all what you have learned in the past 25 years if you stay at the same place for the next 25.”
“You are not growing now. You need a good aggressive environment. You need to be in the cutting edge of the ministry.”
“You are intellectually wasted now. You got a mind that is amazing. You like global problems.”
“You are an artist, you need to create, you need to move to a bigger arena”

There are dozens of other advice that all urges us to change. One counselor said to me that “nobody can’t live a life when he is not true to who he is without causing major damage in him. You don’t live a life that is true to you.”

Two and a half years ago, when we’ve started this process we also took a few days off with Edina praying. At that moment God revealed a truth to us that the professional advisors confirmed with us: for us it is not important WHERE we serve, but with WHO we serve with and WHAT we do. We don’t have a LOCATIONAL call, but a VOCATIONAL call.  Apostle Paul didn’t have a locational call either – he went from city to city, from country to country and finally he had to go to Rome. (Of course we don’t dare to compare ourselves in any means to him.) 

It was also very revealing that we’ve asked our kids how they see us and what would their advice be for us.

Gergo, our 12 year old son said this: “You are painting the background on the canvas when you should be painting the rose.” Wow! What an insight from a child!

Renato, our 16 years old son said this: “You are always telling us to maximize our gifting, but you don’t do it.” An honest warning from a teenager. 

Rahel also very strongly encouraged us to pursue a change and sent us the passage we’ve read in Isaiah 43: God will create something new. It’s very interesting that she has sent the passage we read few months prior as a promise for a new direction.

We’ve recorded 7.5 hours long collective wisdom we have received during this process.  As we’ve listened to them over and over again we’ve heard the following concepts and words being repeated: 



{ For Your Personal Reflection }

God is not a lonely God and He doesn’t want you to be lonely either. In a closed system (isolated people) energy is decreasing. Energy only can come from outside sources (other people around you). Without each other we are falling apart. Do you have people around you who can speak into your life?


The Word of God, the gifts, the experience bank, the advice all had common concepts and recurring words. These are: 


The summary of these made it clear to us that in our future direction we need to pursue areas where the following things need to be true:

  • We need to go beyond the borders of Hungary.
  • We need to be involved in things that require innovation, pioneering, creativity.
  • Communication, teaching, writing, impact needs to be part of what we do.
  • With who do we serve with is key for our future.

Even before we’ve started this process we knew that the time when we will have to lay down our responsibility as a National Team Leader is getting very close. But we were still seeking the answers to the WHO and to the WHAT questions as well as WHEN.


Parallel to the process of seeking the direction of our future, God brought us into a new arena and planted in us a growing vision for the global challenges of the Church. Every once in a while God interrupts the Body of Christ. Such moment is written in Acts 15 where leaders had to come together and recognize that God is doing something new by extending His Grace to the Gentiles. The Body of Christ needed to change in order to actively pursue this opportunity. The history of the Church had several of these moments. A recent example of that  is when the Body of Christ came together and recognized the importance of the 10/40 Window. That “Acts 15 moment” has shaped the mission of the church world-wide.

Today we are at another “Acts 15 moment”. God is changing the game. There are overwhelming evidences of the gigantic urbanization and cultural, societal, behavioral, moral, structural changes that come with it. In a migrating, multicultural, innovative, fast-changing, urbanized, global environment where the world is facing never seen mega problems, the church is a static, mono-cultural, rigid, slow-changing, suburban, closed entity driven by small, narrow visions focusing on shamefully ridiculous issues and on micro problems, not even dreaming about helping and collaborating to ease the pain of the mega sufferings of the world. The church got paralyzed by these gigantic problems, instead of getting empowered by our magnificent God who is bigger than these problems are. We talk about a big letter GOD, but our action, vision and life reflects a small letter god. Our action reflects our vision. Our vision reflects our view of God.

The 1st century church was a multicultural, migrating, moving, fast-changing, city-centered, innovative, radical, Spirit-filled community of believers who turned the world upside down led by 12 + 1 Spirit-filled, apostolic, radical and empowering leaders who took seriously who Jesus is and their calling to go to the whole world. Their view of God was reflected in their actions. Such is ours. The difference is embarrassing.

The Global Body of Christ needs the following:

  • SPIRIT-FILLED, COLLABORATING, VISIONARY, PROPHETIC, EMPOWERING LEADERS WITH WORLD-VISION. The Church throughout her history had been mobilized and empowered by such leaders. Nothing substitutes the envisioned, mobilized, empowered, Spirit-filled multitudes of believers. That always happened under the vision and models of such leaders.
  • INNOVATIVE LABORATORIES. We need to form “laboratories”, think-tanks, with people who will do research, try new things, experiment, fail and succeed, etc.. We need to accelerate the “Acts 15 moments”. We need more of this moment that God is doing something “new”. If we don’t expand the borders of the church now than the world will expand his.
  • DIVERSITY. Culturally and ethnically diverse teams need to be put together with the best innovators, who already built new models and are called to be on the very front line of the ministry. These teams need to have members who truly embrace this multicultural world and are willing to become “Greek for the Greek, and Jew for the Jew”. Apostle Paul built a diverse team which was very innovative, fast, and led a major paradigm shift in many ways.
  • CITY-FOCUS. Such teams need to be placed into potential and influential cities - that is influential in education, media, economy and arts and which cities are diverse.  The church needs to collaborate to put those teams together. Apostle Paul went to the key cities of his age.

The Body of Christ is now starting to recognize the importance and significance of that process. In the past two years Gabor had been a part of the Lausanne Global Urban Leadership Committee along with 25 other leaders from all over the world. This group had been entrusted by the evangelical leaders’ of the World to come up with strategies that aims the most important global missional challenge of the 21st century: reaching the diverse urban world. Whatever happens in that mission-frontier is going to change many things. God has given us a tremendous strategy, tool and experience with YTL that can greatly serve cities around the world. We have something to offer to this new missional challenge!

Cru, our mission organization has recognized the significance of this moment along with some major ministries in the U.S. and they went through a deliberate process to radically reorganize everything to serve the city ministries under the umbrella of Cru City with Greg Lillestrand’s leadership, who serves as the VP of Cru. Cru City is in an innovation stage right now and whatever can be pioneered could become a model and a blessing for the big cities of the world. 

We can’t make the “present world from a place of pilgrimage into a permanent city satisfying the soul of man” (C.S.Lewis), but we can ease the pain, heal the wounds, meet the needs and point people to the permanent city where they will find ultimate satisfaction.



With who do we pursue this vision is key to us. One advisor worded the importance of the WHO question this way: “The kind of people you long to work with is critical for your future. The WHO is your biggest question.”

It is well-known for many of you how significant our relationship—both as friends and co-workers—were and is with Dave and Karen Robinson. You could read about our unique relationship with the Robinsons in the book that we coauthored: The Outrageous Promise. You know our history how we know each other for 30 years and became close friends. But even more importantly how God used this friendship and work-relationship to be extremely effective in the ministry. If we look back to the past 30 years since we’re involved with Cru, we were most effective and were utilizing our gifting the most when we have worked together at the beginning of YTL. Creating a new, pioneering strategy, writing the curriculum, experimenting with the symposiums, launching the High School strategy, etc. was when we both were at our best. This unique, multicultural and very unusual friendship and work-relationship comes with two obligations:

  1. While our gifting is different, we create a special blend which together with the relationship and community we’ve built with each other made us extremely effective. That effectiveness is such a gift that comes with a stewardship obligation.
  2. The future ministry models, especially in the growing multicultural city-environment, are the multicultural, multi-ethnic teams. We’ve experienced how to build one in a way where it was not just extremely effective, but modeled how the Body of Christ should live in community and love regardless of our cultural or other type of differences. If the Church wants to be effective in this very diverse, urbanized world, models like ours have to be transported.

Although we didn’t have the chance to work together in the past 11 years, both the Robinsons and us always felt that one day we will need to pursue an opportunity working together again. It might sound very subjective to outsiders, but it is very biblical, too. Matter fact it is a Biblical mandate for some—especially those who have an “Apostle Paul” type of calling—to pursue this kind of unique, multicultural relationships. Paul couldn’t become Paul and fulfill his calling without Barnabas (Acts 11:26-28). Timothy (a half-Greek) couldn’t become Timothy without Paul (a full Jew). Paul turned down a ministry opportunity, a great evangelistic open door because he could not find Titus: “When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.” 2Cor 2:12-13.

Meanwhile, we had this growing inner conviction over the obligation to work together at a point in our life, none of us pursued this because we were waiting on God to answer our prayers by giving us a specific DIRECTION through an opportunity that fits our passion and gifting.


God has answered our prayers. Greg Lillestrand, the VP of Cru has challenged us and invited us to join Cru City to work with him and Dave & Karen Robinson on developing new ministry strategies and tools for City Ministries to help build models that could be taken to other parts of the World as well. Potentially what we’ve learned through YTL can be taken to other parts of the world!

Why are we planning to join Cru City?

  • The team responsible for Cru going to cities to encourage evangelism, leadership development, innovative strategies, theological development of leaders, mobilizing for cities and global partnerships is asking for my help and wants to employ all my experience, strengths and skills to help develop ministry models that could be taken to other parts of the world. They need people from different nationalities with different experiences.
  • That's the right team, where most innovation and pioneering happens that focuses on Global and US cities.
  • YTL could be taken to the World as the two co-authors would be working together again.
  • Stewardship of effective history: walking with colleagues in absolute unity, locking arms together, working hard to push back darkness and evil in the cities of the world, bringing Christ and His community there.

In the next 12-16 months we will turn over the leadership of the Hungarian Cru ministry to a qualified leader God will raise up. We have a team of 42 very sharp, God-honoring missionary staff. We strongly feel that God has prepared us for thatmoment over the past 30 years and everything and much-much more details in our story points us to this direction. 


We will need your friendship, prayers and support more than ever before. We are taking a gigantic faith-step. Please, continue coming with us in this new exciting phase of ministry where—we are convinced—God will do even greater things than we’ve experienced so far. We stay on staff with Cru as we pursue this new vision and opportunity as this is just represents a reassignment within Cru. 

We can’t express how thankful we are for you that we can share the story God is writing in and through our lives together!

Further advancing the kingdom of God together,

Gábor & Edina




President of Leader Formation International,
Senior Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Ministries and Adjunct Professor of DMin Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary

about our future direction:

I have just finished reading through your new direction and your vision statement.  What you wrote is challenging, exciting, more than demanding, sacrificial, beyond risk, and faith stretching.  It couldn't possibly be much more.

Your decision is well thought through with qualified counselors and a clear decision structure.  And you communicate it very well.

It's amazing what lurks in a man when Christ is in Him, and he will pay any price to be what Christ has called Him to be.  Who knew what was in you when you drove us to the airport on what I recall was a snowy morning after our time with the Eastern Europe team in January, 1996?  

You have fulfilled Christ's call to this point in your life and your passion is to fulfill it even more completely in the years to come.  And the Lord has given you a wife to match your dream and help you complete your vision.  You are a wonderful couple who now head into the unknown white water of God's will with its moments of still and peace, its rushing currents of out of control demands, and its sheer terror of the unknown.  Nothing could be more overwhelming or more rewarding.  

I am personally challenged by your courage, your passion, your commitment, and your willingness to risk all in Christ's purposes.  It may cost you all, but it will gain you eternal fruit, and nothing can match that.

I pray God's strengthening presence, God's empowering grace, and God's constant and continuing faithfulness in all  you do through the Holy Spirit.

God's best,