This coming spring, Jonathan and I will have served with OMS for nine years. Over the years, there have been many changes—where we live, what the ministry looks like, the make-up of our team. The process has taught me a lot about ministry and how God works. It has also taught me a lot about myself. One thing I have learned is that I simply cannot do all that God has called me to do alone. I have come to recognize my own limitations. As independent as I would like to be, there just comes a point when I must rely on others to help.
God has given our team a big vision for ministry in Hungary: “Transforming lives in dynamic communities.” This vision excites and energizes us. We have many opportunities and ministry ideas available to us. But this can also be a bit scary because we know that as individuals, and even as a team, our time and resources have a limit.
Fortunately, these last nine years have also shown me that God provides in amazing and creative ways. Just as He provides the opportunities before us, He also provides the financial resources for each expense. Perhaps more importantly, He provides the people to do the work.
Each person on our team has a specific role. I love serving in hospitality, and God has gifted me in administration and finance. While those roles are important in the work we do, there are also many other roles that I cannot do. I am not an English teacher, a musician, or a builder. Despite those limitations, in the past year, our team conducted three English camps, led worship, and renovated a ministry center. Our team members were able to fill some of those roles, but these ministries would not have been possible without our volunteers, people who chose to raise funds, get on a plane, and serve.
God brings uniquely gifted people to Hungary. Each person comes with a different story and a different background, but a common thread: a desire to serve God and to serve others. What you come to do doesn’t matter as much as why you come to do it. Whether you’re 15 or 55, an interior decorator or a pastor, God can use you to bless others.
That is what makes my role as hospitality coordinator so amazing! I have the opportunity to welcome you and to serve you. I learn a bit of your story and how your obedience to God brought you to Hungary. I hear about your excitement and fears, your successes and cultural faux pas. Through that process, you minister to the Hungarians you meet, and you bless our team.
So as we focus this month on the things we are thankful for, I want to say “Thank you!” Thank you for coming. Thank you for being obedient. Thank you for the sacrifices of time and finances, of vacation days and creature comforts. We are so grateful for the way that you have invested in the things that are dear to our hearts and the things that are dear to God’s heart. You have also invested in us, encouraged us, and uplifted us. Whether you brought bags of chocolate chips and Twizzlers, left us thoughtful notes, or prayed over us, you have shown God’s love and provision to us.
Don’t underestimate what you can do when you come and serve. Don’t underestimate what God can do through you. Don’t underestimate what God can do in you. We pray that in the future that many more of you will have the opportunity to come and serve. Thank you.