Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Teaching English

Summer is always a convenient time to branch out of my “Bible Institute Bubble” and minister in new and exciting ways. This summer I volunteered as an English teacher in two of our Word of Life Camps. I spent one week in the Czech Republic WOL camp and one week in our very own Hungary camp. What a great experience! While I do not necessarily feel like I have the gift of teaching, I had a great time getting to know the kiddos and serving the Lord!
The Czech Republic camp was a bit of an adventure, in more ways than one. First of all, I had to get there by public transportation. Paul drove me to Budapest where I boarded a bus that took me and a couple other WOL’ers directly to Brno, Czech, close to where the camp was held. It was such an experience to be in a foreign country, not knowing the language or my surroundings. I felt like a new missionary, all over again! The camp went well. We had about 10 campers who took English lessons, and by the end of the week, they were reading Shakespeare in English (just kidding). The most awesome part of the week was the fact that 12 campers got saved! Praise the Lord! They tell me that Czech Republic is one of the most difficult countries in all of Europe to reach with the Gospel. In fact, less than 0.05% are born-again Christians. It was so exciting to see the campers go forward at the camp fire and make a decision to trust Christ. What a blessing to witness it all! Another exciting aspect of the week was the fact that one of the campers decided to come to the Bible Institute! She was a camper who rededicated her life to Christ the week before and had a strong desire to grow spiritually and get grounded in the Word. She made friends with one of our current Czech students and he encouraged her to apply for the Bible Institute. She is coming as a student in September! 

At the end of my week in the Czech Republic, I boarded the same bus and headed home to Hungary. I had one day to recover, and the next day I began teaching English in our own WOL Hungary camp. This week I was terrified… I was teaching teenagers! Teenagers?! Will they think I’m lame and boring? Will they make fun of me? Funny how those old insecurities from high school days seem to creep up when you least expect it. The Lord blessed me with a teaching partner, so together we were able to think of some fun and interesting lesson plans for an older group of campers. Surprisingly, I think I enjoyed my week of teenagers over the younger campers. In the end, several of them invited me to be their “friend” on Facebook, so I guess I wasn’t too lame. 

It was fun to minister in a new way, and stretch myself like never before. The Lord certainly likes to put us in uncomfortable situations for a reason… what a blessing it is to see young campers hear the Gospel for the first time and get saved!  One of the pastors who taught this summer in Hungary said that he recently held a baptism, and at least half of the church members being baptized had gotten saved at Word of Life Camp. That’s what it’s all about!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Castle Renovations!

Many of you are aware that our Bible Institute is located on a beautiful 77-acre castle property. While we are incredibly blessed to have such a treasured, historic, and beautiful castle, it is gigantic responsibility. It takes a lot of work, time, and money to keep up a 116-year-old castle. Word of Life Hungary is undergoing a huge renovation of several aspects to the castle, including many of the guest rooms, the glass atrium, and most recently, the hardwood floors. The Hungarian government will only allow certified restorationists to complete many of these renovation projects, however, we were able to save Word of Life about $2,500 by tearing up the old hardwood floors ourselves. Several of the WOL Hungary staff got involved with this effort, including Paul and I. As missionaries, we wear many hats: counselor, teacher, administrator, cook, chauffeur, etc. Never in my life did I think to add demolisher to the list! But now I can! 

Check out these before and after pictures...

The gold ballroom before the demolition.
As you can see, these floors have been through a lot!

Isn't he a cutie?!
Underneath the hardwood was a layer of subfloor.

The castle floors as they stand today. Not bad for a day's work!
After tearing up the subfloor near the castle stairs, we found out that there was absolutely no base holding this gigantic staircase! The stairs were simply resting on the dirt beneath and the hardwood on top. It’s amazing that they never collapsed! The guys got busy setting a brick base below the stairs so they would have some kind of support in the meantime. God has been so good to protect us all these years. Can you imagine if they had buckled?!

Please pray for WOL Hungary as we follow God’s leading on many of these restoration ventures. Pray that the Lord would provide the necessary funds from supporters and government grants. Pray that we can be a testimony of Christ’s love to the many workers involved in the restoration process. And pray that when it’s all said and done, we can give God the glory for a job well done, and a facility that can be used as a means by which to spread the Gospel through our many visitors, campers, and students.