Leigh-Ann and I made it home safely from Budapest this past Monday evening. I think we are both pretty well adjusted back to the Central Time zone and living in America. Clearly we missed our kids, family and friends, but we had such a great time.
I have shared with several others that it was amazing for us to participate in the harvest from the fields that had so much labor invested into them before we arrived.
That sounds so churchy….here is another way to put it: We got to see God move!
Last weekend, there were about 160 public school teachers (the majority of them did not know Jesus) that attended a symposium. At the end, 44 of them communicated that they would like to know more about Jesus and 4 of them made decisions to follow Jesus.
As a result of last weekend with the teachers, more than 10,000 public school students will see the Jesus film in a classroom this year.
Over the past 17 years more than 295,000 students have seen the Jesus film and thousands have made professions of faith. We listened to teachers share firsthand how they had already been impacted.
One shared that her son was a senior in high school and had been in trouble for abusing alcohol and drugs. He took the class and saw the Jesus film and accepted Jesus into his life. His mom who is a teacher shared that the change was so dramatic that she wanted to know what had happened. When she learned that he had become a Christian, she accepted Jesus as well and was now attending the symposium in order to teach the curriculum in her classroom.
This happened because 17 years ago, Gabor Gresz who was raising support as a missionary to his own country, sent a support letter to the National AIDS coordinator for the country of Hungary. Dr. Banhegy read about the ministry to young people and asked if Gabor and his boss would be willing to write a curriculum for the public schools.
It was a bit bizarre for missionaries to be writing AIDS curriculum, but they believed that God was opening a door and so they went through by faith. The curriculum is packed with Biblical principles and suggests that students watch the Jesus Film as a part of the class time. Since then the curriculum translated as, “Youth at the Threshold of Life” is now being used in classrooms in 62 countries including China.
This all was born out of a time of extreme difficulty in a country that had been dominated by communists. Shortly before the letter was sent, the entire missionary team decided that they should take a break from ministry and pray for God to move. And the rest, they say is history…except for the fact that it continues to challenge us today.
This story can be read in detail from the book written by David Robinson and Gabor Gresz entitled, “The Outrageous Promise: A story of God’s love beyond the Iron Curtain” (http://www.outrageouspromise.com).
This story may be inspiring, but it is not the first and will not be the last about God moving in unexpected ways. In fact, this Sunday we will look closely at the church in Philadelphia from Revelation 37-13. They were not afraid to walk through open doors and were brave enough to stick with their calling even in tough times.
God is still on the move and we have an invitation to join in…