Additional "From Further Afield" Articles

 

Two By Two
Published: 6/24/2013 10:17:11 PM

 



I attended Lutheran schools from pre-school through college, and I was blessed to be in an environment where the Word of God was preached on a daily basis and where I was discipled by Christian teachers, many of whom I still keep in contact with to this day.  I also had a nurturing home environment where prayer, Bible reading and praising God through song were all present and done together as a family.  As I was preparing to strike out on my own and move to a country half-way across the world to be a missionary, I felt very little fear, knowing that the Lord was with me and that I had so many people behind me.  I knew this was what God was calling me to do.  But the realities of living in a different culture and place, where there are fewer people who share my values, sometimes gets the best of me.  It has become very obvious, very fast, that I need to stay grounded in the Word.  I need to be a part of a local congregation with whom I can worship, praising the Lord through song and praying in every circumstance.  Being part of a congregation was the most difficult; I couldn’t understand Hungarian well enough to worship with other believers and sometimes it was entirely too easy to "forget” to read my Bible every day.  I kept praying for strength to stay in the Word and in worship, and I began to understand more and more and read more and more. 

It was helpful for me to listen to my father’s sermons on YouTube.  The other day, I was watching one in which he talked about the sending of the disciples.  The story comes from Mark 6, and the point that struck me the most about the way the disciples were sent is that they were sent out two by two.  After being in a nurturing community together, where the very Word of God taught them, it was time for them to leave for unknown places.  It reminded me of when I was sent to Hungary.  Although I had a team of missionaries to work with in Eurasia, I feel like I just recently "got” the reason for the two-by-two.  Last year, another missionary came to Hungary, and we began to work closely together, even though we live about an hour away from each other by train.  We talked to each other regularly, shared our problems, prayed for each other, and began planning how we can better share Jesus with our students and encourage those who are Christians to fan the flame of faith which is in them.  Now that we are two working together, it makes working in this place a little easier.  It’s not that I’m back in the safe Christian community of Concordia University, but it is nice to have a fellow worker who shares some of my struggles, hopes and joys. Someone who can encourage me and be encouraged by me. 

Not everyone is called to leave their homes to travel to another country in order to share the Gospel of Jesus, but we are all called to be missionaries right where we are.  That may require going out of our little bubble to connect with people where they are.  As you look outward, stay grounded in the Word of God for strength is found there.  I have learned not to go alone because even the best of us will fall, especially when no one is there to steady us.  God places people in our lives with whom we can partner and work to further His kingdom.  What a gift!


Er's vár a mi Istenünk (A mighty fortress is our God),
Contributed by Sarah Berta-Somogyi



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