Lenka and I have been in Hurbanovo for a week and a half now, and we are starting to get settled in and feel like we are at home. So far we have not taken a leadership role in church activities, but we will begin soon. We met with the pastor and went over the different expectations of the internship. It will be a challenging year, but it will be very fulfilling, and I know that God will help us grow in many different ways, and will place before us things which we are not even able to imagine now!
As part of our internship we are required to read through the Bible in on year. Since I also need to learn Slovak I am trying to read in both English and in Slovak. I read one chapter in English and then the same chapter in Slovak. It takes a while to go through my daily reading, but I think that it is worth it. Hopefully this will help me learn more Slovak.
This weekend we had a revival in our church. A missionary who lives in a city near to Hurbanovo came and led the revival. I had met him the week before when I was playing soccer with the youth group, and he knows English, so I was able to talk with him for a bit. We had revival on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening. Lenka and I were able to go only on Friday and Saturday, since we were going to another church on Sunday afternoon.
On both days the building was pretty full. Each day we would have a brief introduction followed by songs, a testimony, the message, and then a time for anyone to either renew their life with Christ or become a new believer. On Saturday I was able to give my testimony, which Lenka translated. It was especially moving for me to think back on how God had taken me, a rough piece of clay, and has molded and formed me.
Even though the service was in Slovak, and I was not able to understand a lot of it, I could still feel the presence of the Lord there. The Holy Spirit is always alive and can cross language barriers. This is even more evident when you are in a place where you do not understand the language.
One of the topics of the revival was about Jesus as the gate, from the passage in John 10. The pastor talked about the different ideas presented in the passage, as well as the historical meaning. In the passage Jesus tells a parable about a sheep pen, in which the shepherd calls his sheep and they obey his voice, and enter through the gate. However those who do not enter through the gate are thieves and robbers. Jesus then proclaims that He is the gate, and that all who enter through Him will be saved.
The historical context of this story is that shepherds would have an enclosure for the sheep, a wall made of rocks without a gate. The sheep would only enter by stepping on or over the shepherd. He connected this to the passage where Jesus says, “I am the door” It was a very powerful message.
On Sunday afternoon we went to the Nové Zámky church for the first time. We will be working there in a new church plant. There is already one Baptist church in Nové Zámky, but there was a need for a service in Hungarian. The new church has a service in Hungarian and another in Slovak. They meet inside the town culture house, which is a place for special events. The room is only big enough for maybe 30 people to meet in.
The first service that they have is in Hungarian, and has more people than the Slovak service. We arrived and met a few people, and then the service began. They started with some worship songs in Hungarian. Since I do not know any Hungarian I tried to sing along in English when I knew the words.
The missionary who was preaching (Jerry Hamann) is actually from the States, and not just that, but their family is also from Cary! So, we did not meet in North Carolina, but in Slovakia! Such a small world! He gave the message in English, and the local missionary (Who we will be working with as a part of our internship) translated for both the Hungarian and Slovak services.
In between the two services there is a time of fellowship, in which the people from both services can meet and get to know each other. Most of the members of the church are new Christians. It was interesting to see a new member of the faith in worship. It reminded me that we should all keep that same passion that we had we we first gave our lives to Christ.
After the Slovak service we were able to meet the missionary (Pál Fazekaš) who we will be working with, and he gave us a tour of the town. It is a really nice town. It was night when he showed us around, so we do not have any pictures yet, but hopefully soon we will take some and put them up so you can see how it looks.
Thank you for all of the support that you have been giving us, as well as emails. It has been encouraging for us to hear from you. Please continue to pray for us that God will give us strength, that the revival this past weekend will bring new people to Christ, and that the ministry here will continue to grow.