Grasshopper or Giantkiller

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Vision Dinner - 10/20/17 - KC

Dear Praying Friends,

Facing the "giants" of our age comes with a personal challenge: are we going to be grasshoppers (Num 14:32) or giant-killers (1Sam 17:46ff)?

Gabor had the privilege and responsibility to address a group of 80 believers about the missional challenges of our age in the U.S. and talk about our unique responsibility and opportunity that comes along with those challenges. It is always difficult to address a group when you see yourself as an outsider. Although we might be considered as distant strangers, we are also grateful and concerned friends of the U.S. In a sense we are further down the road in Europe and if the trends in the U.S. continue and the number of people who leave the church keeps growing 4% each year, than in a few short years the majority of Americans will be considered unchurched and non-Christian. Our history in Europe proves, that leaving God will never remain a private act, it will have significant ripple effects. The challenges ahead of the church to stand firm and reach people for Christ is gigantic. We can face that challenge as "grasshoppers" (like the spies in Numbers 14) or as "giant-killers" (like David in 1Sam 17). To take down giants we need 3 things: 1. a big God, 2. a small stone and 3. bold, trusting risk-takers.
Perhaps you'll find it encouraging to watch Gabor's talk (16 minutes) here: 

Starting in Schools

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We've started to build relationships with schools, civic organizations, school district leaders and superintendents. There are already 3 schools who would like to utilize YTL once it's translation is completed.
While we work on that we also go in to schools and take part in mentoring programs. At the mentors' kickoff it was encouraging to hear the vision of Dr. Yolanda Cargile, superintendent (picture on the left) of Hickman Mills C-1 Schools District speaking on building resiliency together: "One day at a time, one child at a time makes a difference." Her own example is the living proof that. She grew up in a fatherless home, in poverty, in the same underprivileged school district of which she is the superintendent now. Having a personal mentor caring for her helped her break that cycle. In this 2-minute video a cute little girl explains the importance of volunteering as mentors in schools:

PRAYER-REQUEST

  • November 5-9 :: "The Changing Face of Evangelism". Our team in Kansas City will be hosting a very important evangelistic training for Cru City staff. About 40 staff will join us from 23 cities. We bring a staff even from Hungary to get trained on city evangelism.  Pray for us as we prepare for this training and as we deliver the content!
  • November 11-13 :: Gabor will be in Memphis. He will be preaching at Collierville Bible Church and also hope to meet with some potential partners for our ministry.
  • YTL translation - working hard on that, but it's an incredibly difficult job.
  • Adjustment - we are still just so, so new here and the learning curve is huge.

FAMILY:

  • Gabor's mom has some significant health-challenges and she is facing a spinal surgery. She is in a home. It's very hard on us emotionally that she is not doing well.
  • Rahel is doing well. She found a church. Her studies are progressing well. 
  • Renato continues to seek his future, pray for clarity and direction for him.
  • Gergo found a great youth-group in a church and adjusting well in school.

Encouraged & Burdened

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As I'm sitting at the Global Alliance for Church Multiplication meeting where 65 organizations came together to partner to help multiply churches and missional communities around the world, I feel greatly encouraged and burdened at the same time. I'm encouraged by the reports I'm hearing from the Middle East to Latin America, from Africa to Asia: there are rapid church-growth in all those regions. Even in Europe the decline of the church has stopped and there are new church planting movements everywhere. The only region where the church is decreasing by 2.5 million people every year is North America. This greatly burdens us! Many reasons led to this point, but the only way out from this is having true repentance where millions of believers turn from the many idols we worship and follow (i.e.: money, success, consumerism, our children, our entertainment, our pride, etc..). The task is bigger than any organization or church, but not bigger then our God! He is ABLE!

In the short 3 months since we’ve moved to the U.S. the amount of things have happened didn’t give us much time to process the changes and lament over the losses. Being away at my 4th trip now (currently in Minneapolis at the Global Alliance for Church Multiplication conference) in such short time and being immersed into the depth of the ministry both locally and nationally comes with a huge learning curve for both of us.
Edina is mainly focusing on helping the local Cru City team’s ministry (going to schools to help after school educational programs and through that share the gospel, organizing events & staff trainings, meeting with women, etc.). My main focus is helping the new nationwide initiative of Cru in which we “partner to saturate the city with the gospel in Word and deed” by creating and expanding gospel engagement strategies and tools. Here are just a few examples of the strategies we are using and we are training believers to use: 

  • YTL - we are working on getting it into English (HUGE project). Already 3 schools in our region have opened their doors for us to use it, not to mention the request we got from China, Germany and the U.K.  
  • Story of the Soul - another strategy developed in Hungary and widely used in other countries. More here: www.storyofthesoul.org
  • Life in the City - it’s a simply survey we can use to initiate gospel conversations. If you want to learn about that survey, send the text message “wellbeing” to the number 85005.
  • The Changing face of evangelism & the well-being of the city. - An interactive evangelistic training.
  • CoJourners - A proven approach to conversational evangelism. More here.

Becoming a "dandelion”

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Occasionally we will share with you some simple ways you can initiate  evangelistic conversations and help people to make the next step on their spiritual journey.
Here is one example. This is my business card below. On the front is my contact information, on the back is a QR code. If you scan that code, it will take you to a webpage with my personal testimony. 

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I give that card to everybody I meet with. You can also do that. Here is how:

  1. Write your personal testimony in less then 500 words - it took that many words for Apostle Paul to tell his, so ours shouldn't take more, too.
  2. Go online to mystory.me and create a profile and upload your testimony.
  3. Follow the instructions and order your business cards. 
  4. Give it to people as you meet with them. And you just became a "dandelion", scattering the seed. Some will grow, some won't, but you might helped someone to take the next step.

FAMILY-UPDATE

  1. Rahel - although it is very hard for her and for us all that she is so far away, we are constantly amazed by her maturity and walk with God. There are difficult moments and tears. She loves her school and found a great church. Also, she is very actively involved in the Christian Union. Pray for her to find great, strong Christian friends around her.
  2. Renato took a trip back to Hungary to explore his future. He is puzzled about the direction he should take, but in the meantime he has a great job that he likes.
  3. Gergo is doing very well and embraced this change with an amazing intentionality. He is performing very well in school and has plugged in to a great Christian youth-group in the church we’ve joined to. Even in his school he found some Christian students and they come together every Thursday early morning for prayer and worship.
  4. It was a highlight for us to reach out for our neighbors and we've invited them for a Hungarian meal. Also, we became members of a church close to our home. It was awesome to learn that  30 years ago the lead pastor came to a summer project to Hungary with our ministry.

Prayer-requests:

  1. I’ll be the keynote speaker on a Vision Dinner that our team organizes in KC on October 20th. Pray that God would bring many people and would give me wisdom as I prepare my message.
  2. November 5-9 our team will host close to 50 staff (one from Hungary) from 23 cities to train them on city evangelism. I have to prepare a lot for that.