Sunday, November 11, 2012

What Do You See?

There's not too much down time in my life right now...was there ever? My sisters will never let me forget a segment of one of our family videos when I was about five. I was kneading bread for my business that I had back then while reciting all the things on my very "grown up" to do list. There was the bread to be delivered to my costomers and then amongst a couple other things there was my scrapbook. My scrapbook?!

 Oh that the pressing things of life were still that simple:)

But I wanted to write a few things I have been thinking about due to some of what I've read as of late and also some of what life's experiences has been teaching me.


Trails and afflictions are the lot of ALL. Everybody has them. The way in which they show up is different, and perhaps, even the heat of the furnace has varying degrees for everyone.

Most of my trials originated with mySELF. Pride, selfishness, guilt...yes, I've had  my fair share...and it's brought with it, it's heartache. BUT. It makes grace that much more beautiful to me. Grace that can overcome a child's hardened heart. Grace that can transform, change, renew. That's a grace I love.

 I know mirriads of people, though, going through pain right now, and I'd never say that's so simply their fault. It's not. Suffering is a result of a sinful world. There's no other way to say it.

For some the fire embitters. For others it shines, it purifies, it sparkles.

I've written about my grandma before... but as I've grown I really have come to appreciate her for way more than just being my traditional hug me, love me, give me "wet ones" kind of grandma.

If anyone has gone through trials, she has.

When she was a young girl, her father came to America from England and was preparing to move his family over there. Grandma still talks about that day when she waved good-bye to him all those years ago. She never saw him again. He died of a stroke or brain tumor shortly after he left.

Being one of many children, she knew what poverty meant. Life was not easy for her widowed mother.

Grandma and Grandpa lived in England during WWII. Later they married in Africa and experienced war there, also. They knew danger. They knew hardship. Eventually, they had to escape the country to go back to England with their first child.

Grandma was a nurse. (Nope, I'm not just following in my daddy's shoes:) She worked long nights while raising her five children.

Later, she faced fierce stresses at home because of her love for Bible truth.

She fought cancer, had strokes, been run over by she's survived all of it...that's partly attributed to her stubbornness but more than that it's faith.

With 90 years (next month) of facing the battles of this life, you could expect discouragement, scars of hurt, something to be there. BUT there isn't.

There's joy.

Grandma will tell the stories.

And if you've ever had the privilege to hear them, you have heard her say: "The Lord always provided for us", "The Lord is good", "He always takes care of His children..." .

For Grandma, the difficult things in life were just an opportunity to prove the faithfulness of the God. She won't ever recount anything of life without praising Him. Why? Because He's the one who has carried her through.

When you review your past, if you're like anyone else that I've met, you've had trials. Maybe you are going through the most severe ones right now.

When I look back, what do I see? Do I see the beauty of grace in every trial? And when it's been 90 instead of 19 years, will I still see His faithfulness?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Thank You, Jesus..."

Has been the title sitting in my draft box for almost a week.

Has been the prayer whispered again and again.

I'm home. Hungary, one of the most incredible, unforgettable experiences of my life, is over. Even as our plane landed in *Sea-t*c, my heart, though crying to have to say good-bye,  whispered thankfulness.

Thank you, Jesus for teaching me through pleading, through tossing from bed to floor, through open computer and shut eyes, through laughter and silence, through burdens shared without words, through prayers that only God could understand, and tears of joy in victory gained.

 Time and time again when I recognized those victories, I fell to my knees recommitting my life. "Lord, wherever, however, whatever the battle is that I'm called to fight, I'm willing. Just let my every-breath be for souls won to Jesus."

But victory does not come without a fight...and some are lonelier, harder, and perhaps more terrible (yes, I know that not every post of duty is like FJT). It's okay.

Victory is beautiful.

Sabbath Evening.

 If you could stand with me by an above-ground, 4 ft tall tank on the seminary grounds in Pecel, you would understand- something of my joy. If you could see the souls, for whom you prayed late and early, leaving their old lives and starting new, if you could see your friends slip out of the choir and walk up close to take their stand, if you could hear the whisper, "Two more visitors from Ujpest, Vanessa, two more", you would know my joy- right now.

All I can say is, "Thank you, Jesus".

Somehow, joy is indescribable. 

Sabbath Night.

Visitors are driven back home. It's somewhat quiet at the seminary, our Hungarian home. There's only the FJT team left. Good-byes have to be said...staying up all night is a voted for alternative.

But there's one more story that has to be completely unwound. I've not been sure if we should go there, but they should know, and really, I should say something. (I'm really bad at saying the right thing as far as "congratulations"...I mean, what do you say?)

I have one more good-bye to say(1st round:). 

Me: "I'm not very good at saying what I want to say..." (Yea, that's why I just finished a evangelistic series!).

Richi: "Me neither- and then in English...."

Me: "But I want to say..."

Richi: "Just a second. translator?"

It's me, my sister, Richi*, Jenni*, Kamill*, their mom, and other dear friends. We laugh, share, realize that this has been God's working for all of us together.

Me: "We were praying for you since the beginning -praying that you would make decisions for Jesus. While you Mako* kids were meeting in your little prayer group (unbeknown to us until part-way through), we were praying in our room- Goosey girls and Ford girls together -pleading that you would stay-- just long enough to make a commitment, asking that you would give your lives to Christ."

Ms. Roszica: "At the same time, I was praying too- on the other side of the house".

Me: "When I found out that you were have no idea how I flew into the sermon-prep room where Goosey girls were finishing their sermons. I knew God had a purpose. We continued to plead for you, and you can't imagine what it was watching every step and every decision that you made- when you checked the card, when you said 'near future', I was was thankful, so thankful, but I prayed that we could be here."

Jenni: "I didn't know that you were doing that!"


Ms. Rosica: "Continue to pray for the rest of the kids in Mako* who haven't..."

I know. There are eight more out of eleven beautiful siblings plus wives, most of which witnessed the day. And there's a mother's heart longing for them to find home.
And I do. I pray. And not just for them.

I lay in bed and wish for sleep. The jet-lag always sets in on return trip.

I think of the young people in Hungary- young people standing in a very different world than mine, a world with different challenges, a world where so many stand so alone.

Now, mingled with my thanks is a continued plea- a plea that they would stand and be faithful. This work is not over...

I look through pictures. I remember blessings. I remember joy. I remember friends and good times.  But I remember most of all, the faithfulness of my God. 

Sunday morning 4 AM

We hug good-bye to sleepy-eyed, but sweet, sweet friends one more time. I tumble over the back seat and squeeze my hand through the crack of the van window. Good-bye Hungary. Good-bye FJT.

This experience is never to be forgotten!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

About the Driving

Just an add on or maybe a my sister's news feed:)

No one died. It was fine. It was fun. I had a great driver sitting next to me. Seriously, I've been driving automatic for 3+ yrs. Well maybe that's laughable to most of you who have been driving for who knows how long. But really, I sort of get the hang of the driving thing. Just had an itch to drive- missed it the last month (me seriously miss driving?!) But anyway, no automatics here.

So yep, I've added it to my resume of new skills aquired in Hungary.

1. Ping-pong
2. Meta
3. Semi
4. manual driving

Just for the record:)

Sad this time is coming to a close, but my sister at home is already counting the hours. Miss everyone there.

But Stina-bee and I have brothers and sisters here that we can never forget. Brothers and sisters that will always have a place in hearts. Brothers and sisters that we hope to, no, we must meet in our Father's house.

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's a Gift...

 for me to be here.

It was at the very beginning. Today, it's a double gift.

One that I would never dare ask for...but really the fact that I'm here today is the best birthday/Christmas/(any other reason to get a gift) present ever!!!!!!!!!!

And I'm thankful- so thankful to be here to witness the decisions being made even now.

Today, one of the people who has been near top of my prayer list decided that this Sabbath was his day to make that public commitment to Christ in baptism. It is so amazing to have a little part in people's decisions to give their lives to God. It's so amazing to see your prayers for souls being answered. It's so amazing to watch God work in ways you couldn't orchestrate.

Sabbath was a full day. I had the presentation on Spirit of Prophecy in the evening. I only found out I was doing the presentation a couple days before, so I was once again working at every possible min. to pull the thing together. Finally during church on Sabbath morning, I finished putting my outline together. There was six baptisms in the afternoon- one of those experiences I will never forget. But it took ALL afternoon. So with 15 min battery power and 20 min to the site, I finished putting my slides together. Told the girls at my site, "God is going to have to preach this sermon".

It's crazy how completely helpless I feel to be able to present truth clearly so that people can understand. God is so faithful to show me what my abilities and anything else I think I might have are in their true light. I know I've said it before. But it's so true. It's only God- only God who can do anything here that will make any difference.

God did preach the sermon and somehow He let me be apart of it. You can't imagine how much I've been blessed through this series, how much I've been learning, how much I've grown. This is why God gives us the awesome privilege to be co-workers with Him in this work. He knows that WE, that I need it.

After I get done preaching I feel like I've run a marathon. Esp. Sabbath night I was completely drained. As soon as I finished preaching I could hardly think, remember where I put stuff, remember that there was NOT going to be mtgs the next few days ect.  I was soo hungry. You get the picture:) But I realized so strongly that God had given me clearness of thought, energy, everything I need until the message was over. It was a miracle! There was only one instance where I had a brain "switch off" during the meeting. That was when I couldn't figure out where Amos was:) I'm the kind of person that has to sing through the alphabet to figure out where letters go (you know what I mean:). Unfortunately I'm like that with some of the books of the Bible too. So I was saying in my head, "Amos, Nehemiah, Esther, Job..." Anyway, I eventually got it together.

Where I am deficient God is ALL sufficient.

Keep praying for our visitors. Many of them are struggling with different things...

Yesterday, we had a lovely off day. We went up into the mountains and did some hiking (right up my alley:). It just makes me feel so at home, and you can't help but have fun with these kids. The great thing is that not only the FJK kids but also the church members and visitors come on the outings. After, we played Meta- a game that I think is similar to base ball but different and really enjoyable for everyone (including me- now that's somethin'!) Actually, I'm acquiring a couple new skills is table-tennis. Me hit a ball... ever? But I actually really like playing around the world table-tennis, and I'm not the only bad player who likes to play.

Today is a national holiday. We will be climbing a mountain tonight to watch the fireworks.

And...Ms. Leasa is arriving in two hours! Everyone's excited. 

Four more meetings to go. One more presentation for me. Time is ticking by too fast. Taking every moment as a gift cause that's what it is!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

This Battle

is called the GREAT CONTROVERSY.

Can see it happening on every side.

Decisions for Christ are about to be made and the devil is angry about it.

Our God is stronger. He will gain the victory.

Please pray for us tonight! ....All I have time to write for now.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I'm in Hungary

This is for real.

I just have to remind myself of that fact once in awhile.

It's better than I could have ever dreamed up.

Just to see the God working is good enough for me.

It's even more of privilege to be able to be apart of this work.

There is an army of youth. It's not limited to any country or continent. Something special, undeniable, perhaps never seen in such force before IS happening. An army is being raised around this world- an army to preach this gospel.

This is for real.

And if you are alive to be reading this post you, yes you, are called to be apart of this work.

Count it a privilege!

Preached on the state of the dead yesterday...was a harder topic for me somehow..

God always, always, always shows me right before the meetings that I am absolutely incapable of presenting truth to make any difference in people's lives. It scares me to death, but I learn to lean on Him, to trust Him to teach.

Last night I started out really rough. But after stumbling through my beginning, I felt God taking over the whole thing, and I believe that the people understood. But the amazing thing was: the first person that came and talked to me at the door said how much she enjoyed the presentations. She said what she liked most about my speaking was that it was not rough, that I didn't stutter, and that it was smooth and clear...
I was shocked. Just to let you know, that was not me last night. I had had the worst time with those specific things.

All I can say is, "Thank You Jesus. Thank You for using a girl like me. Thank You for the privileged of working for souls. And thank You that this is Your work. Thank you that You speak, above all my imperfections, to men's hearts."

Saturday, August 11, 2012

God is Good

So good!

That has been the phrase that ever resounds in my mind. It has tried to make it on at least two other blog posts, but, due to the fullness of this life, they never reached completion.

It is true. God is so good.

I see it again and again.

Understanding comes in moments of desperation- when I realize that God and God alone can teach me what I have strained my brain to get but never completely did. (i.e. 2300 days:)

Trials come. And I am so thankful, oh, so thankful.

This is only because God is good.

 He knows my human heart, knows that I must again and again realize my nothingness, knows that I must recognize my utter dependence on Him that any thing be accomplished.

He is faithful.

Despite the fact that I begin each meeting with fear and trembling  I see Him work. What a privilege!

I wasn't speaking last night so I was assigned to pray with Eniku during the meeting. All that filled my heart was praise- praise that God would give me this opportunity to be apart of this group of Youth for Jesus, praise that God would allow me to be apart of an amazing work of bringing souls to Him.

Pretty much all the young people at my site were from the same area of Hungary. They all had obligations of work, preparing for school, extra, so they were planning on leaving on Monday. It has been top on my prayer list as I see that these kids are on the verge of making decisions for Christ. Besides that, they are the most awesome group of kids to work with, and their presence would be sooo missed. I've been praying that some kind of miracle happen not specifically that they would stay but that, somehow, God would break through.

The other day their group came together and decided that they really needed to pray about this. They did (all was unbeknown to the rest of us). Next morning, one of them was reading his Bible and found 2 Chronicles 15:7, "Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded." It was like God was speaking directly to their situation. Their plans were completely changed. Should of heard the cheering when the announcement was made yesterday that they are staying. My heart could not be more thrilled! But this is a test of faith for some of them...we pray that God will provide for their needs as they are faithful to His call. 

God IS good.

Our meetings are blessed. I've come to love the people at my site so much. I look forward to seeing them every night. I didn't see them tonight though -went to Christina's site to do special music. The two of us share a very strong sense of loyalty...we're not the kind that like to visit a new site every night:) But I did it tonight. Afterward, I realized that God arranged it for a purpose. We met a neat family that was visiting from a neighboring church. The husband spoke English so we were talking with them. He asked, "you know fountainview?"...we were like, "Of course, we love fountainview". He said, "I was there once -only three weeks, but it was one of the best things that ever happened to me." He started listing a few names that he remembered. Besides the Luchaks I didn't recognize any except "Mr. Ford". He said that he had a boy...and that he lived in the "new red house nearby". 

25 years later, on a totally different continent, most random country ever, at a little tiny evangelistic series, this guy was talking to the daughters of Mr. Ford's boy (Yep, that would be my Dad:). So do you remember George? 

Spent the afternoon singing in the little seminary room with a few of the other girls, so much fun. Homemade cake, and I mean, homemade from the grinding of the wheat, seems to be a mid-afternoon Sabbath treat. Our cook is awesome. I really like Hungarian food. It's definitely different from the food we have at home, but good stuff!

I start preparing for my next leg of the marathon of meetings tomorrow morning. I'll try and get Christina to keep you updated. I think I will be out of bloggy world again for awhile. 

But just know: God is good.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Driven to My Knees

We are gaining a new appreciation for many things in life. I already love the simple, the casual, the spontaneous. And if anyone out there has not figured it out, I love people.

There is no exception in this country.

Most of the conversations that I engage in here are a mixture of broken English and rapid fire Hungarian. We get the general idea of some of  the conversations. Many times we don't. But I'm learning to enjoy what I can't understand and to truly appreciate what I can!

Everyday the other FJK students' English improves. Those that couldn't say anything before are trying out basic conversational phrases. Those who spoke a few words here and there are now engaging in deep conversations. It's amazing. What's also amazing is that this language that has sounded like one continuous string of noise for the past week and a half is now sounding like words. We are even venturing on saying basic phrases ourselves.

Still, we have some challenges in communicating, but we are embracing them.

Sabbath morning. I'm sitting by my new BFF (yes, I have many!). Chella is my co-speaker and just a beautiful, beautiful girl. Her English has improved a hundred percent since I've been here, and she's doing a lot of casual translating for me. It's still a challenge to translate stuff like sabbath school. You have to understand: our church here has a ministry for the blind- absolutely remarkable, but anyway...a blind girl was brought in and set by Chella. She lifted Chella's hand and examined it. All of the sudden, she brightened up and grabbed Chella. She absolutely knew who she was just by feeling her hand! Che-Che turned to me and explained that this girl spoke very good English and that she could interpret for me. She did. Amazing. Translation was incredible. She is one of the most intelligent people that I have ever ever met. Not only did she have great linguistic skills, she already knew the historical examples that were up on the screen. She knew the scientific terms for the the pictures that she couldn't see.

After the services, we had casual conversations about education, extra, but I soon realized this was no casual girl. She has education in political science, journalism, English, history and maybe psychology or sociology. It sounds like she's going on to get a doctrite in a specialized area of communication. Alot of it went over my head! More than her educational achievements, this girl loves and is loved by soo many people. Friendships don't take long to build and they are strong with this girl. I realized as she was translating everything for me that I'm more handicapped than she is. Nothing inhibits her.

This same girl brought her twin sister and her mother hiking with us today. Spent a lot of time with her- "leading" her. But she doesn't really need "leading". She is strong, athletic, and has won metals and awards in marathons. She climbed a tree in front of all our astonished eyes. She has very strong senses. She knows when there is a tree in the way. She knows when I am standing by her. She knows the difference between my hand and everybody elses. She even explained how she can sense the difference between different colors. "Red is very warm. Blue is cold. Yellow and... maybe green are in between." She told us why she and her twin are blind. Born three months early, they spent the beginnings of their lives in an incubator. Other than being extremely premature, they were fine. But the oxegen levels in the incubator were not kept where they were supposed to be - 99%. It was kept at 99.5%.  This is what completely changed their futures. They live in darkness but not hopelessness. Andrea only emphasised how grateful she is to be able to have her mental functions undisrupted. Apparently most kids who go through this end up with severe delays. She says, "I don't know what I'd do without my brain."

She told me her story of finding God. Very touching. She was soo excited to learn that I keep a journal of prayers or as she says, "letters to God". She thought she was the only "weird" one. But she shared how it was so encouraging for her for to look back at these entries. She found truth by "reading" the Bible for herself. She realized that the Catholic church was missing truth, and at fifteen years old she quit going to church and worshiped God according to how she found Him in the Bible. These were lonely days for her. She said it was very, very lonely. The local church here, though, reached out to her through their ministry for the blind. Today she is a Seventh-day Adventist. She stands alone. Her family was very upset when they found out that she wanted to be baptized, but she stuck with her commitment.When she asked me about my family and learned that they were Adventist, she was like, "Do you pray together before meals? Do you do activities (think she meant-family worship) together?" Yes, we do. But how can I explain how for so long I took these things for granted? How I, despite all the blessings of growing up in a Christian home, was a rebellious little girl? All I could say was "Yes, we do...but I still had to find Jesus for myself".

Standing alone is what so many of the young people here do.

Their stories are unfolding as they get more confident in their English. There are very few who have a mom and dad who both love Jesus. There are very few that get to go to church with their whole family. But there are many who live in divided families, broken homes. Many who are the only Christians in their families. There are many who stand absolutely ALONE with only God at their side.

I can't even blog the stories.

But know this. If you are one of my friends back home, if you have a family who has loved you, guided you, prayed for you, brought you to church, YOU are blessed beyond measure. Do not, for a moment more take any of it for granted. You have no excuses. Do you love God? Are you willing to stand for Him in the face of rejection or loss? Face it. There are people here who have been given much less yet their faith is beautiful.

One of the students had worship for us the other morning. He step by step shared from a chapter in Isaiah the Love of God. It was awesome. After, he explained how this was what inspired him to share Christ. He said that since he has found the love of God he can't hold it in, and that he must share it with everyone. The words are evident in the way he works for souls. Very blessed to have him and a couple siblings at my site! Praying especially right now for his older brother - here and such a blessing, but has not yet made a commitment for God, only here for about a week more, than heads back to his contracting job. This time is short. Praying for a miracle.

Actually, I find myself driven to my knees more than ever before. There are so many people making eternal decisions right now. I plead that they would be reached. We have a good attendance at our sites so far. Wish I had time to tell you more of the stories, more of the experiences, the challenges, and the victories we have already seen, but I'm really busy just living them. I'm thankful for a small room, though, all to Christina and me. We are blessed to be together...yes, God is working in our lives too. But more than just our late night chats, I'm thankful to have a quiet place to pour out my petitions to God. Ms. Leasa promised us that we would feel an urgency to pray like never before, and it is so true.

If you have read through this blog post, you, perhaps, have too much time on your hands. (Joking.! I'm sure my mom will read this and no, she has no spare time with all the kiddos:) But please, you've had, maybe, a glimpse of the work here. You know there are people here who are deciding whether they will follow God or not.  Please take a moment and pray for these souls. You shall meet them very soon.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


That is the abbreviation for Youth for Jesus (hint: this is Hungary).

Busy, busy...

Ever since all the kids arrived.


We're starting to get into a routine though.

Making friends with a bit of a language barrier can be a challenge. It takes effort. At supper last night, we decided the Americans could not sit together. The other kids couldn't understand it. They were all moving over to make spots where we could be together:) That's what I mean when I say sweet...very thoughtful and everything. We finally got through to them that we were trying to break a habit. They accepted.

Our conversations, our jokes, our laughter is over the simple stuff.

The food processor is will forever be the food professor.

People here have a last name and a Christian name....(until you find out that was a miss translation). They have a completely normal first and last name.

Hungarian kitties don't understand Hungarian "t-t-t-t-t" . You see, cats speak English because they come when we say, "Here kitty-kitty-kitty".

Only understood if you were here.  But these are the beginnings of friendships that I pray will last for eternity. Never want to forget these beginnings.

Culture-wise. At first glance, everything seems to be fairly close to US culture.  But there are alot of really neat things in this culture that are different than we've know.

I thought I was getting well trained every time we'd pray to stand up, but Charissa had to jab me this morning to remind me get on my feet.

Song services here are lovely. The girls have very beautiful, true voices, but only one other pianist. Christina and I play alot. We've had to adapt our tempos. Music here is pretty classic. They were a bit overwhelmed with all the instruments too. We are doing more with just one or two instruments. The voices here are the important part.

Food is scrumptious. Hopefully, I can learn to replicate some of the Hungarian dishes to try at home. There's no food lines here. We set the tables for all of the people -glass dishes, everything. Washing station is outside the eating tent and everyone does their own dishes. Actually most people do their own dishes ++. Work ethic here is impressive. These kids are not slackers at all. It's so fun to work with them. It's easy to sense a real spirit of service and a willingness to go the extra mile to help out.

Miss Leasa's classes have been excellent. She has challenged everyone to either start or deepen their devotional life. That is the theme for this month, but it is a new challenge for many of these kids. It makes it all the more beautiful to see them, Bible in hand, going out to find a quiet place with God in the morning.

Talked to my other me yesterday- actually my sister. I'm inspired by the testimonies. God is at work in His army of youth. There is no denying it. We are going home soon. Please pray for us here in Hungary. God has plans for FJK. I believe it!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Can't explain

Life the last few days has been the kind that a blog post just can't describe.

It's so full.

How can I describe the learning process, the joy, the spirit of our "preaching sessions" as Goosey girls and I rotate, critique, and pray with each other up in our little chapel room?

How can I tell you what it was like tour this ancient city in Hungary, show you with words what we've seen (no, I'm not a photographer!) , replay the experiences, mimic the spontaneous?

Started at Ambrus' house 10am on Friday.

Eniku was guide. This girl maneuvered us past guards, on trains, buses, around the city, here and there, to lunch, back home. Unbelievable- not a glitch. Absolutely enjoyable!


Memorial tree with engraved names in the silver leaves of thousands lives taken in the Holicost.

This place is rich with history.

But it was more than just seeing these places, and that's what I'm having trouble writing in words.

Crammed busses
Sweat (I'm pretty sure I'm too young for hot flashes but I am almost convinced I'm having them at times)
Just sharing the moments

Yesterday, we split up for two churches. Christina and I went with Joshua and Andras to the site that I'll be preaching at. We were attacked with kisses at the door. Took me a minute to figure out what to these people though.
Ms. Leasa and Eniku try to warn us in stories about this kind of stuff -very much appreciated. But we still have to figure it out for ourselves.

Joshua's message -excellent.

Potluck-good...but I'm pretty sure that they literally wanted the four of us to finish ALL the food on the table. We had to explain again and again that we were FULL and couldn't eat anymore.

Church here is an all day thing. After potluck they have another service. We asked them to combine afternoon services, so we had music, testimonies, and GYC and YFJ reports.


These are the hours treasured in our hearts. Beautiful. Unforgettable. Yet I can't explain them.

Sitting on the floor at the lovely Ambrus home. Being family. Sharing stories.

Until that chapter of our Hungary trip was closed.

Nebblets and Alonna took the train back home.

YFJ kids arrive today.

Only wish I could transport myself to help my mom, give her a break for a little bit....don't like being so far away I can't do anything. She's the so strong, so brave, so amazing.  Love you, Mom. Thanks for all you're doing right now.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

We're here!

Hungary. Beautiful. GREEN. Damp. Moist. Warm. 

We are staying at the Adventist Seminary. It's small. It's quiet. And there's LOTS of room to run.

I ran and ran around and around the property this morning. Just wish my sister and running buddy was here. Miss her soooo much! But Stina~bee and I are having a blast with the Goosey girls and Ms. Leasa. We're just sitting around listening to Ms. Leasa's old YFJ stories this morning.

Rest and quiet is a blessed thing after yesterday.

Left at 7am. Got to the airport and our gate just in time. Only a half hour flight. Really wondered why we did this.! 

The GPS said 11:45 for arrival time in Budapest for Leasa. That was when we left the car. 

Things, of course,  are always different than we foresee. We had discussed where we would meet at the airport. But apparently, airports are not all the same. Weren't sure where to go...eventually found this stairway outside that reached from departure to arrival. Christina stood at one end and I stood at the other watching for the gray little car that we left in Vienna. Funny thing is: over half the cars here are little and gray.!  
Cell phone doesn't work. No internet available.

People are kind of interesting- come and stand right in front of someone's face and smoke- somehow normal?! I move down the stairs a couple steps and then someone else moves over right in front of me again. I try another spot and someone comes and stands right beside me. Give up!

I literally had the idea as a little kid that if I ever smelled anyone's cigarettes I would have these disgustingly black lungs and probably die. I took the Janice attic lessons very seriously:)

Hopefully, such will not be my fate. 

By about 4:30 we were climbing into the car.

Poor Ms. Leasa had some major trials. Thankfully she realized that it was a diesel-only car before she started the engine. But what a rollercoster ride to get the gas out. 

Now we're here and we're happy! 

Every step of the way we learn lessons of trust. 

Our confidence is God. No problems, no surprises can overcome us as long as we know that He is in control.

Every difficulty is an opportunity for character improvement. Let's not forget it! 

Monday, July 23, 2012


If I lived here I would seriously wear a watch. There are NO clocks- except the one on the GYC stage...and since it represents the time in which we live, it is continually almost 12. 

Other than that GYC is GYC and it's awesome! 

Seminars are great. Lots of stuff on Revelation- I soooo appreciate it. Trying to take lots of notes. Also went to Justin's leadership meeting this morning. It was unbelievably practical. A must hear for every young person.

Testimony yesterday was amazing....and we just so happened to have Jesse's parents as our small group leaders. So after we heard the story from Jesse, we got the other side of the story. It was great! 

We are having a great time with Ms. Leasa and Kimberly (she left with her parents this morning). We stayed up late last night...but my body is okay with anything because of time zone differences. 

Meeting many wonderful people from all over the world. Went door to door with the sweetest German girl. She spoke German, English, French, Japanese and a couple other languages. I'm forced to the realization that our culture back home places so little value or emphasis on learning languages. But what a blessing to have the ability to talk to people pretty much anywhere! 

We were surprised to find Ariane here. Having a great time catching up on everything. Goosey girls came for a couple days. They decided that Zach needed help promoting LIFE at the booth. They got Christina to help and me a wee bit, but really, I'm not a natural. LIFE has been a huge blessing in my life I am willing to share that. We had a YFJ reunion picture with Goosey girls, Zach, Andy and his brother and us at the life booth. So Fun! 

The evening devotional last night was great...was the message that has completely changed me. At least given me reason and purpose for every moment- of the rest of my life. It wasn't preached to me in one sermon. It was everyday for a month last year. We had almost an hour and half drive to and from our site in California...and it was then, I learned what the GOSPEL meant. It changed my Bible study,  changed my prayer life, changed my life-outlook, changed my self-conscious personality. Now I live for this Gospel.  

The sermon last night was based on the book of Acts and one quote that was drilled into my head on those long, traffic filled highways..."Hanging on the cross, Christ was the gospel..." He is the heart of our every message. He is the reason for our every breath. We could do everything right but if we miss Him, we miss everything! 

I get so excited when I here this message. It just resonates within me. Because it's power has changed me. I do know that last year may not have been the first time I've heard it...but somehow, it just reached a deeper level in my heart and I got it. 

Oh, I pray that Jesus would be uplifted as we prepare for YFJ and the evangelism in Hungary. I'm afraid of myself getting in the way. But I believe in the power of God to work with our absolute nothingness to magnify Him. 

Well, I can't think of too many more things to write. Note for my family: We are flying to Budapest, it was too expensive to cancel it. We are well fed. Not really too tired. Alive and blessed. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

On our way...

 So I think our 'before trip' story has been well documented. It's been interesting...but...

I think we are on our way for real! Should be boarding the plane soon:) I'm thankful that we will make it to our destination the same day we planned! God is good.

Having fun already! Yep, we can have fun in an airport;) Already been asked if I speak Dutch and if I'm German. Sorry, neither.

I'm still giggling about the security guard bending down to the dear lady in front of us at the checkpoint where we were showing our ID, and asking "We're going shopping are we?!" Of course she cracked up with the rest of us as she tucked her credit card back in her purse and pulled out the right thing.

There's lots of stuff that is striking us funny... or as our friend Mary would say 'gives us the giggles'. Maybe we're tired?:) Don't feel it right now. Will soon. Many hours yet to go...cause we are still in Seattle.

It's our little cousins birthday today. Happy birthday, Shiloh! We love you. 

Okay we are getting ready to board! Yes!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Acts continues!

I have a few more minuets before I head home.

Peggy and Lui and the Tall's new place is beautiful. I'm enjoying the Friday evening sky. The view is one of the best I've seen in town here. I've been the house girl while Peggy and Lui were gone today. It's a job I like, and I don't mind that it's not just down the street from school anymore.

The week has been crazy. A few notes have been jotted down in my journal. A few have been written on scratch paper and are stuffed in a binder or crumpled in my backpack. Some are still lingering in my brain. One of these days, I'll get time to turn some of these thoughts into a post. 

But just now...I've been memorizing. And though I admit to being behind schedule, I'm hooked!

The book of Acts was the first book I sequentially began reading through on my own. Don't ask me why it wasn't Genesis or Matthew or John. I was about eleven, and I distinctly remember laying in my bed flipping through my brand new Bible. Somehow, it was Acts that I decided was my first project.

The stories were thrilling to me. Now, more so!

Nothing has made me slow down and really understand the connectedness of these passages, the details, the implications like now.

Verse by verse I'm seeing God working through His agents fit for service by the Holy Spirit's power....The work of Acts continues today, and I pray for that work to continue in my heart.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Quarter

Warning: I am experiencing a severe case of boredom which, for me, is an extremely rare occurrence. Symptoms apparently include chronic rambling and a deviation from the principles of brevity. I apologize, in advance, to those who endeavor to read this post and succumb to the same disorder.

It's been almost two months exactly. A quarter has come and gone (as of yesterday).

And though I never meant to slow down at all during spring break, sickness has had its way with me, and I am currently curled up on the couch with the bad stomach thing. But God is good and got me through all my finals before any symptoms started showing.

Choir party is happening now...I love all those kids and was so hoping to be there.

I still have next week free, and hopefully, we'll be able to start on our canvassing project. We'll see...

I always learn something during the quarter. I know that it sounds like a "dah" statement because that's the whole point of going to school, isn't it? In a way. But will I, ten years down the road, remember everything about the different theories of psychology? Will I remember all that terminology that I have drilled into my brain? Some of it maybe...but just now, I can't even remember anything detailed enough to use as an example. (Symptom of the flue? not sure).

But I have had my forever Teacher in every class I've gone too. I truly believe that He's the one that has taken me from an insecure, wimpy high school student to what I am today. (I really appreciated my friend Cami's blog post click here. Her story is very much like mine, and the desire of my heart, she puts so well.

This Teacher has not only enabled me to "learn" the trivial. He has enabled me, through it all, to learn the lasting. These life lessons I pray I will never forget.  Every quarter the lessons are just a bit different, but usually they have alot to do with faith, trust, determination, boldness, and making Him first in everything. This quarter it was all this plus more.

Psychology has been one of those subjects that I have deferred to the end. I actually love learning about the brain how it works extra....but so much humanism and every other way the devil can divert our minds from the only true source of power is presented. And there's nothing, nothing at all about the only Source of true strength.

It has exposed me to the problems. They are far more than this homeschooled girl has ever imagined even though my circle has embraced a few and called them our own. I guess it's just that I haven't realized that so many everyday-looking people that sit with me in class struggle to a degree that so many do. The sad part is that most of the time, the problem stems from a "self something" and it's trying to be fixed with a self something. Don't get me wrong. I understand that there are such a vast amount of contributors to the pain that so many go through, and I ask, "Why?".

  • I've learned why I'm not judge, and I've seen why only God who sees that heart is.
  • I've begun to pray that I would see this world through His eyes.
  • I've grown more tired of this old sin experiment than ever before
  • I've learned how closely the deceiver tries to mix truth with error
  • I've learned, more than ever before, that He is my only strength and my only safeguard
  • I've seen how important it is that we be in touch with God- that we let Him work through us despite our fears to at least show people there's a better way.
 In another class, I've also discovered the preciousness of the literal six days of creation. Because the Bible says it, I've believed it and I figured that all other "firm" Christians esp. my teacher believed it too. Apparently, that is not the case. So I had to figure out why the days were not symbolic ++. I've realized that this is a real pillar to our faith. Let us never forget it.

Taking another biology class has confirmed, for me, that I am fascinated with anatomy and physiology. I'm getting close to A &P classes and closer to the nursing program. I'm elated! Some of you will remember that nursing, I up until I started college, was the farthest thing from even a consideration of a career path for me. I think it was my narrow perception of what a nurse does and then also a pride thing that made me so adamant that I would never be a nurse. Okay, I'm far from being done, but I'm enjoying the process and I'm excited that I'm going into a field where I may touch the physically needy for God's glory.

That's what this life is about folks. It's short. It's fragile as my dad would say. And it's only for one purpose: the honor and glory of God. I know I've heard sermons about it, but I've never grasped what that glory really is. My answer came through the book Mount of Blessings pg. 31."Through trials and persecution, the glory- character- of God is revealed through His chosen ones." When I look at promises of future and present glory, it fits! And we have the weighty responsibility of displaying that glory. That's why David says, "Oh magnify the Lord with me". We are to "show up close" the character of God to the world. It makes me tremble. Peace with this work can only come as we realize that He is the one that does it through human vessels.

One more thing I've learned or been reminded of  is how fearful this vessel is. I've wanted to talk to some of my psychology classmates about the amazing strength of God -ask them to give Him a try. Opportunities are few though, and I (even though many may protest) am far to shy for my liking. But if given the chance, to refuse to share what trusting in Jesus is all about would be more than a shame. I had a small chance in an essay for my teacher and I, thankfully, took it. Though not a Christian ( I think) her last word to me on the email with my grade was, "Don't ever compromise who you are and what you believe in." She knows what I believe and what makes me who I am. I'm amazed that God can show a little  bit of his glory through a quivering heart like mine.

This is why I shoot for excellence in school: that He may be glorified. His faithfulness has been shown time and again through this journey. I have no reason to doubt or fear, because this education is in His hands. My prayer this quarter has been that if someday His leading brings me to a place that I don't deem as success, that I would still trust and follow and live for His glory and not my own.

The Fords are still plugging away at Acts two. We've put some of it to song- songs that I, as a lover of great music, can't boast about. The point here is not to have any magnificent composition ( it's far from it). We're just doing what ever we can to dig these words into our brains in an unforgettable way. We're not afraid to go to extremes of creativity to learn esp. verses nine through eleven:)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Just a Phrase...

...that has kept me going: "Beauty for ashes". That's all.

Of course this has been amongst other things that continue to inspire this heart -memories that seem so distant...GYC, songs, prayers, answers....but weren't so long ago.

Through the running around of the first  couple weeks of the quarter, the everyday life, the week that started with an interesting, normal, but not my kind of normal episodes (i.e. read my Mom's blog)...I lie in bed thinking, praying for a promise.

And this is it.

He gives beauty for ashes -

The ashes of my life.

The ashes of broken lives...hurt minds.

His beauty.

That imputed to us is a miracle.

A miracle promised.