As I spent a week in Hungary this summer, I got to experience a change I have never seen before in all my travels. I was privileged to see a community that would not even look at us and say good morning last year change into a community that surrounded us with their presence as we worked on the chapel in their town again.

Eight kids from the community helped us work and multiple adults stood around to talk to us. There was so much joy and appreciation from all of the people that came to join in the building of the chapel. It was a transformation that I didn’t expect to see in just a short year. On the last day, the town held a going away service for us. There were over 60 people in a chapel that holds just over 30 people. They loved on us with multiple prayers of gratitude and gifts for each one of us. That evening, the mayor decided to have a fireworks send off for us. Again there was so many smiles around the table as we joined with the Hungarians in a wonderful time of fellowship.

I also had a front row seat in watching two of my daughters on this trip to Hungary. I got to see one of them grow into a teaching role that she was very nervous about. She was teamed up with two senior boys on the teaching team for the Vacation Bible School we did. Each time she taught, she was challenged with how to share the gospel with three different age groups of kids, with the last being a group of her peers. It was great to see each one of them grow in their presentation and teaching of the Gospel.

My other daughter I got to see be challenged to be herself. She stepped through the open door God gave her and by the end of the week, she was shining the light of God in all she was involved in. She went from being the quiet girl in the group to being the true fun-loving girl that I know and love. Watching each one of my daughters get stretched and challenged every day really gave me a new appreciation for how short-term mission trips can truly change a person. I have seen a lot of growth in their 15 years, but this trip was a life-changing and life-giving trip for them. I love how God can use a VBS and a chapel construction team in Hungary to train and equip the next generation of disciples of Christ in a very tangible way.

For me personally, it was another step in the direction God is moving our family and myself. I have a comfort in the present calling in my life, but I know God isn’t done yet. I am excited to see where God is leading us; there is a deepening of the soul that leads to a deepening of personal discipleship. I learned a lot from our OMS team in Hungary as well. I saw what a team of loving individuals can do when they are committed to a common goal. I saw the future of OMS in Hungary and it’s strong, young, powerful, and committed to seeing disciples making disciples. I was tremendously blessed by the week I spent there.

By Keith Smith, OMS Men for Missions Ministry Team Director