God does amazing things. There is no question about it.

If you are like me, though, you don’t always see or recognize these things happening because you are too caught up in the day-to-day. This has been my journey over the past two and a half years. During support raising and being on the field the last 15 months, a lot has happened. But for me, it wasn’t always clear because I was living my everyday life. It was easy to get lost.

In December, I finally went home and visited friends and family for the first time since moving to Hungary over a year ago. This was a great time because I was able to see a lot of people and be home for my birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s. I had a few realizations while I was there that allowed me to return to Hungary ready to dive into a new year.

While home, I had the opportunity to speak at two different churches. Normally, this is seen as the missionary coming to encourage the church, but in reality the church is just as encouraging or more encouraging to the missionary. At the first church, I had just five minutes to share for each of the three services, which felt like the perfect amount of time to me—as someone who doesn’t love public speaking. As I thought about what I was going to say, it occurred me that a lot has happened in 15 months and it was harder than I thought it would be to distill it all into just a five minute highlight reel. God is really doing so many great things in Hungary when you step back look at it.

In between the services, individuals came up to me to tell me about something that I had written in my newsletter months previous and how awesome it was, which in turn encouraged me so much and made me want to continue in these ministries.

The second church that I shared with gave me their Sunday School hour to share. This meant I had 45 minutes to speak. This was a pretty daunting thing. As I started speaking that Sunday though, words just started flowing and I remembered things that had happened the previous year that I had forgotten about. After I was done, I had several people share with me how they were praying for me and loved hearing about how God was using our team in Hungary. Anytime I heard this, it helped fill the parts of me that felt drained.

God does amazing things, but sometimes it is hard to see what they are, especially in the moment. Being home forced me to take a step back and recognize a fraction of the great things He has done. Because of this opportunity to reflect on God’s goodness and faithfulness, I arrived back to Budapest encouraged—encouraged by what God has been doing, encouraged by people I spoke with back in the States, and encouraged by everything we as a team will be doing this next year. I hope this year I remember to take a step back and see all that God is doing in me, in Hungary, and around the world as it is happening.

 “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

– By Madison Atkinson, OMS Hungary Team Member