We are now a few weeks into the new year and reflecting on last year as we set goals for this one. We arrived in Hungary on April 1st (no joke, we really did!) and have had a wonderful year here. We have spent approximately 6 solid months in language study. We have had an opportunity to visit and minister in a couple of villages, through translation primarily but our Hungarian is getting better and better, and this last time I (Taylor) held a few conversations on my own. We rented a house and bought a car (thank you all so much for your prayer and giving in that).
A few weeks ago, on a Sunday after church, a young Roma man came to our door. As soon as I opened the door he spilled out a great long string of words about as fast as an auctioneer at horse market. I thought "Well, here is a language test for you!" After asking him to slow down, he explained he was asking for money for bread to feed his little brother (he had to explain that fast before people just shut the door on him). I gave him some money and my blessings. As a kid, growing up in Croatia, this was an almost daily occurrence but we were a little surprised to meet someone begging door-to-door where we live in Hungary.
He came again on the following Sunday and has every Sunday since then, about 4 or 5 times. He's a nice guy, a few years younger than me, named Mózes (Moses). Not married, but takes care of his mother and brother. He asked me if I had some shoes he could have, because his were no good. I laughed and said no, knowing full well this tiny guy isn't going to fit into my size 13 shoes. You can't even buy that size here, you have to go to a specialty shop in the capital! He asked again and again for my shoes and when I gave him one to try, his eyes got really wide and he said "maybe something smaller?". I'm going to try to get some shoes for him for the next time he comes, and hopefully continue to build this friendship! Please pray for this guy. Each time we have a small conversation and I'm really enjoying finally being able to use Hungarian on my own a bit, and Mózes is patient enough in talking. Pray for his heart as I love him as Christ loves him. He lives nearby, and this may open more doors for us to minister to the local Roma community.
I want to write on our finances entering the new year, as we do need prayer here as well. I'll quickly give you the numbers so you can get a picture of our needs going forward. We raised about 80% of our needed monthly income before we left. Since then several of our supporters, whether through personal crisis or job losses, have had to stop supporting us. In addition we saw the exchange rate value of the dollar plummet over the summer, meaning some months (including this one) we are seeing as much as a 14% loss in our monthly income.
Our target for support is 4,000/month. Currently our support level is about 2,800 per month. So please pray for us as we continue to raise funds from here. Whether it is through supporters increasing their giving, or by finding new supporters to join us to raise that additional 40%, we do need to see the funds come in. We wanted to ask you to personally to pray if God would enable you to start giving, increase your giving or share our work with others who may join us! Feel free to write to me, I can answer any questions!
As we celebrated Advent and rang in the New Year (ok full disclosure, we fell asleep on the couch at 11:00PM) there was a definite realization- 2018 will be our first full calendar year away from the USA. We look back fondly and remember all of you, our friends who sent us off with your blessings and prayers. We miss you all and miss the States, but it is with a real sense of adventure and excitement as we look forward to God will bring us this year. May this be a year of great growth in the Lord for all of us, and may our work here bring sweet, sweet fruit for the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Also, if you somehow missed it, click here for the quarterly magazine put out by our organization, RBU!
The Lord bless and keep you,
Here are some more pictures from our UNA Clubs and other outreaches: