In our prayer-letters & emails we are focusing on giving you updates about our ministry, but in this year-end-summary we would like to share about our family.
We’ve started the year by turning over the leadership of the ministry in Hungary and helping transitioning the new leader into his role. As we’ve prepared for our international move, we said good-bye to the church we’ve helped to plant, to the staff we’ve led for 13 years, to many friends and family members, gave dozens of good-bye talks at different places and had 3 graduations - Rahel graduated with summa cum laude in King’s College London, Renato graduated from high school and Gergo graduated from middle school. Arriving to our new ministry assignment and location, and moving into a new culture at our age, at our kids’ and parents' age challenged us in every possible way. Finding a home, buying cars, getting familiar with new systems (from insurances to banking, from buying groceries to paying bills) while we had to help our kids to adjust to their new realities and to start help leading in our new ministry responsibilities was way beyond our capacities. Yet, God has sustained us even when we’ve felt under tremendous pressures and were in an emotional turmoil! Looking back to the past 6 months and to all we’ve went through we only can praise God! While after arriving we’ve immediately got immersed into our new (and very exciting) ministry responsibilities, we also were able to settle in our new home, found a great church where we start leading a group, found the right doctors for our medical needs, found High School for Gergo, helped Rahel to make another international move back to Europe, helped Renato to start to work, etc.. And while we miss friends, family and all what have surrounded us for 50 years, we are learning to carry our roots in our shoes and the reality that we are the citizens of Heaven came very close to us.
After graduating, she has moved with us to the U.S. before in September she started medical school in Dundee, Scotland. This is the 3rd culture in 4 years she needs to adjust to, find friends in and get plugged into a church. We are amazed to see how she embraces the challenges of academia, new cultures, new friends, the distance of her family, loneliness and keeps her walk with God fresh and strong! She has found a great church, shares her faith with other students, invested into new friendships while maintains old ones and loves studying to become a doctor. It’s very hard that we only can see her at best twice a year.
Since he is an introvert, our move was probably the hardest on him. He had a very challenging time to leave friends and his community. He decided to take a gap year as he has finished high school. He is looking into several options for his future including options going back to Hungary or Europe for college or studying something in the U.S. Right now he is working and also attending an online school getting an AA degree in computer and graphic design. He is taking part in a program our ministry is doing where we go to public schools and are mentoring kids. It’s great to go with him weekly and do this ministry together as a family. He is also going to the same church we are going to with Gergo and loves the teaching.
With trembling legs he entered to his new public high school in August: new country, new language, new educational system, new people. It is amazing to see how intentionally he pursues relationships, embraces new situations and seeks opportunities to join a youth-group in our church. While he greatly misses his friends and longs to go home, at the same time he shows tremendous maturity for a 15 years old. His English has improved a lot and performs really well in school. His elective is Debate, which is hard even for a native speaker. In several tournaments he achieved 1st place and at the recent county school district tournament he finished at 4th place. (BTW- now we call him Gary.)
As parents of our kids, children of our parents (Edina’s parents are still alive, Gabor’s mom is alive) and as leaders in the ministry this year has marked us in every way and impacted us in every one of those roles. Gergo said to us a few times: “I had the perfect life, at the perfect place with the perfect people around me - it’s hard to see why we had to give that up.” This is exactly how God works sometimes: He calls us out from our “perfect” world to unexpected places - that’s the example we see so many times in the Word of God. When we’ve started this journey and by faith excepted the challenge of the VP of Cru, we were very concerned that the fact that our family is living in 3 countries on 2 continents will have a negative impact on our kids and their faith in God will stumble. We are learning that if God calls us to something, He will not forget about our children regardless how far they are from us. This is what our daughter wrote to us: “Dear Daddy and Mommy, It’s unbelievable what God has accomplished in the past 5 years in order for us to be here where we are now! Thank you for being an example! It’s an incredible privilege for us to see how you sought the will of God and how you trust in Him! Thank you that I could be a part of this stormy journey with you! But most importantly I want to thank you that you’ve trusted all three of us into the hand of God, we are at a much better place in God’s hand than if you would have been holding onto us and demanding me to be physically close to you. Even if it means that I’ll be on the other side of the Ocean. Thank you for your love and faith! Isaiah 42:16 - Rahel.” All we can do is to bow down in worship and praising God for His mercy through the challenges! He always provides what He demands!