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.
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.
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 staying...you 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!"
Me: "GOD IS SO GOOD!"
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!