Additional "From Further Afield" Articles

 

Milestones
Published: 2/15/2013 2:47:42 PM

 

I teach at a Lutheran school in Hungary that  includes a preschool and grades 1-12.  I am blessed to be able to teach students from almost every class (2, 3, 5-12), and I am often amazed and proud of my students, and the school itself.  This year, the school celebrated a big milestone: the 20th anniversary of its re-opening.  You see, when Hungary was under Communist rule, nearly all the religious schools were shut down and the buildings were used for other purposes.  In 1989, communism fell and the buildings were given back to their rightful owners.  Therefore, in 1992, the school was re-opened and Lutheran education began in Hungary again.  It was also about this time that the school began to forge partnerships with other Lutheran entities, two of those being the LC-MS and Concordia University Irvine.  In that way, missionary teachers came over from the States and taught here for one or two years, and I am now continuing in their footsteps.  A huge celebration took place on April 13th that included songs sung by our students in English, as well as German and French.  Alumni spoke and stories of the past were shared.  While the main celebration was about the school, those who founded the school and helped to realize the dream of Lutheran education in this country also recognize that it is only by the grace of God that we are still here.  We are entrusted with the building, the place, the founders, the students, and each other to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus.



(Photo - Hungarian students singing during the 20th anniversary celebration of the re-opening of their Lutheran school. Photo by Stephanie Jones)

For me, this month and this year will be filled with milestones.  I?ll be turning 27 in a couple days, and though it?s not a "big birthday? like 30 or 50 or 80, I feel like it?s the start of my late twenties.  I almost feel like I?m finally an adult, on my own.  However, I?m not completely on my own.  In a couple months, I?ll be celebrating my first wedding anniversary.  Again, it won?t be our 10th or 25th or 50th, but it?s significant nonetheless.  

I have a feeling that many of you have experienced more and greater milestones than I have, but I also know that a majority of you reading this blog can look back on an even greater milestone: the day we became part of the family of God.  For me, this was when I was baptized some days after my birthday.  We can remember this time and be comforted; we can know that we are a child of God and we can live every day in that reality.  Moreover, this year we commemorated roughly the 1979th anniversary of the resurrection of Jesus Christ!  
On Easter, we gather as a family of believers to celebrate the greatest milestone ever ?  that Jesus Christ was ?crucified for our sins and raised for our justification? (Romans 4:25). It is on this that we can depend, no matter what kinds of things life throws our way.

Life wasn?t always easy for those who took a step of faith to re-open a Lutheran school, to send their children there, or to attend themselves.  They were sometimes ridiculed and asked questions about why it is important to learn about the Bible and God.  But I am thankful that God gave them the strength to endure and keep going, so that today, the school can continue to declare the message of saving faith in Christ.  

Just last week, I had one student ask me about when I started learning about Jesus and the Bible.  I told her that I grew up learning and believing it. Then I asked her, and she told me that the first time she heard about Jesus or the Bible was when she started attending our school as a small child.  Now, I am proud to call her a sister in Christ.  
May Christ be with you in all your milestones, and may we not stop celebrating the greatest milestone of all: Jesus? death and resurrection!

Ers v?r a mi Isten?nk,

Contributed by Sarah Berta-Somogyi

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