In the past few days the story of Joseph was the topic of our family devotions. It was encouraging to remind ourselves that “God was with Joseph” in the midst of his multiple unplanned and unwanted “transitions” while he was grieving over significant losses, was facing loneliness and betrayel and went through quite a lot of “cultural stresses”. In the midst of all of that he was completely in the will of God and was faithfully devoted himself to anything God brought into his life.
The word adventurous is not adequate the describe our past 3 weeks since we’ve arrived to the U.S.. Although our new team was awesome how they’ve welcomed us, yet arriving to an empty house, sleeping on borrowed mattresses on the floor and trying to figure out life to function in a basic level when everything is new, is quite an adventure. Even the simplest thing can take much more effort and time and can be stressful in a completely new environment. The little things of life - like not finding the same products we used to use for decades on the shelves of a grocery store or not knowing where to go when our daughter has an ear infection (which she had right after we’ve arrived and we ended up in the ER), or not knowing how to fix a garbage disposal (we don’t use those in Hungary), or trying to figure out how to register a car and get it insured or changing the locks on the door, etc. - can become big things in a new world.
After we’ve arrived we knew that our container will not be here for a few weeks - but we certainly hoped that by this time we will have our furnitures. We’ve decided that instead of sleeping on the floor, we’ll go to Chicago - that’s one of the city where CRU has city ministries. We’ve arranged a very cheap housing through Airbnb. Well, we got what we’ve paid for :). On the way there, Renato’s friend texted him a crime-map of Chicago. It turned out that our housing was in the middle of the most dangerous area of Chicago. His friend texted this to him: “It was nice knowing you!”. When we got to the place, it turned out that it had shared bathrooms which you couldn’t even lock. The place was dirty and scary. Rahel asked: “Dad, is this really our family vacation? Next time, could we just plan this together?”. Visiting the city was a great experience. On the last night in our visit in Chicago as we were walking home, two guys were on the street and one pulled out something from his pocket, but the other guy held him back saying: “Don’t hurt them, they are a family.” Well, we’ve learned how desperately the gospel needs to impact the lives of city-dwellers.
As we’ve started to explore KC we’ve discovered how important art is for this city. There is a whole district devoted to it. Art has the ability to touch people at the heart-level, it’s the language that expresses deep pain, wounds, longings or joy. “Story of the Soul” © (a tool we use in YTL to share the gospel, developed by Dave Robinson) utilizes pieces of arts to identify basic longings of the soul. We hope to expend more and more initiatives like that to get the gospel to the lost.
Visiting the art district we came across this piece of art, titled: Healing Wounds. It’s beautifully expresses the wound, the longing and the process of healing as we think about the many wounds in people’s hearts and relationships. This kind of healing is what we long to see as people’s hearts and relationships are touched by the gospel.
Still much needs to happen for our family to get settled, but slowly we’ve started to discuss about our future ministry responsibilities, opportunities and needs with our friend and team-leader. Currently we are working getting the YTL curriculum into English, too. The translation is a huge work, but also getting the right legal protection for the end product is something we need to work on with CRU’s legal department. The vision, the opportunities, the needs and the partnerships in the City ministries with CRU are so broad that our number one priority for this coming year - beside of an enormous learning curve - is to be able to focus on the most strategic elements of the City Ministries.
- When everything is new and even the smallest thing requires intentional learning and attention then we need extra strength and physical capacity. Pray for that.
- Our container would arrive safely and we would be able to unload and assemble everything very quickly.
- Pray for our kids as they all start in a new culture, (Gergo in a new language, too), trying to find new community, new friends, new church-home. Everything is new around them while they are grieving over the loss of old friends, missing grandparents and relatives, trying to understand this whole new world around them and they are also struggling finding their own future. Adds to this emotional turmoil the fact that from the fall, Rahel will be 6 timezones away in Scotland.
- Renato is applying for the Johnson County Community College and is looking for a job - pray that he would find a community quickly. He doesn’t know what his future should be.
- Rahel and I’ll be flying back to Hungary between July 18-27. I have some speaking assignments, I’ll be at _SpeakOut _camp and also Rahel will have her graduation at King’s College London.
- Gergo’s enrollment in the local public HS is on July 27th. Pray that they would accept him there without any problem and that his English would improve significantly.
We are thankful that we have many opportunities for our faith to grow. Control is an illusion, faith is the only reality. Faith honors God and God honors faith.
Thank you for striving with us in this faith-stretching journey as we seek to further advance the Kingdom of God,
Gabor and Edina