OUR NEW MINISTRY ASSIGNMENT WITH CRU
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!
5 OBJECTIVES MAKE THIS CHANGE STRATEGIC:
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.
THE PERSONAL IMPACT OF THIS NEW ASSIGNMENT:
“...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.”
YOUR PART: WOULD YOU HOLD THE ROPE?
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 email@example.com 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