Additional "From Further Afield" Articles


Church Family
Published: 10/15/2013 4:40:11 PM


While most of you will realize that mission work entails building relationships with people in a new country or place, what may come as a surprise is that I also get to form partnerships with many people in many parts of the States. As I look over the hundreds of names that receive my newsletter each month, I see people from Delaware to Hawaii, from South Dakota to Texas, from Virginia to Colorado, and many places in between. I see retired people, high schoolers, pastors, teachers, and engineers. I see one name, and I recall when we met: on an airplane, on my way to Hungary. We struck up a conversation about why I was wearing hiking books (they were too heavy to pack) and from there moved on to why I'm going to Hungary. A Christian herself, she was hugely supportive of sharing the Gospel wherever God leads, and was eager to stay in contact with me. Other names put a smile on my face and gladness in my heart; some who had no idea where Hungary was before they met me, others who've been to Hungary on short-term mission teams. When I take the time to really think about it, I realize how blessed I am. More than perusing those names, this summer my husband and I got to see many of those familiar faces and also got acquainted with hundreds more as we traveled. We got to present information about Hungary and tell stories of the family of God there.

You may know how my students in Hungary feel as they struggle to find Christian friends. What a blessing it has been for me to see God's people spread out before us. The church is a family that helps and supports each other, that rejoices and mourns with each other, that proclaims the grace of Jesus to one another. I see this, and it makes me realize that I have the opportunity to connect these parts of God's family together. I find immense joy when I hear one my my students proclaim a new-found faith in Jesus as his or her Savior, and I also get to share that joy with others.  

When I first went to Hungary nine years ago as part of a short-term mission team, my eyes and heart were opened to the reality of God's people all over the world.  We share a common faith and a common purpose - to glorify God and love others, especially by proclaiming to them the Good News of Jesus Christ. Sometimes it's awfully easy to get caught up in our own situations or our own problems, even in the church. Things cloud our view, and we start to dwell on questions that have nothing to do with true faith and true witness. Thankfully, we know that :
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
 (Lamentations 3:22-23)

He forgives us and put us in this huge world-wide family with whom we can work and live.

Eros var a mi Istenunk,

Contributed by Sarah Berta-Somogyi