Monday, July 26, 2010

God Calls Anytime, Anywhere... (Adkins Complete 3 Years)

Ask Glen and Clista Adkins, CBF Global Service Corps, about their call to Hungary. They were empty nesters ministering in a local church in the USA where Glen worked as the music minister and Clista taught Sunday School, one of several volunteer ministries for her. They came twice to Pecs, Hungary with a volunteer team to teach English at the Gandhi Roma High School. The details are a beautiful picture of how God calls us to minister on His timetable. They answered yes to His call and soon found themselves completely changing their lives to live among the Roma students.

That was three years ago. Their term of service has been completed and they have returned to the USA. Words seem inadequate to describe the impact they have had on the students of Gandhi. Glen built a very talented choir and more importantly built relationships through the universal language of music. He encouraged the students to express themselves and to teach him about their style of music. Clista taught English and served as a resource/tutor for many of the students and staff. She loved the students and was known for always being ready with hugs for all! Both Glen and Clista accepted these students for who they were and constantly reminded them through their actions that they were important and valued. They arranged choir tours (the most recent being an ensemble to the US this summer), helped open doors for advance education, bought school supplies and clothing, secured volunteer teams for fun weeks at school, continually offered words of encouragement, and so many other things. Their ministry was to love these students and if this can be measured by the tears shed as the Adkins said their good-byes, they were very successful.

The Gypsy Team of CBF would like to say thank you to Clista and Glen for being open to God’s leading to serve for three years among the Roma of the Gandhi School. We will miss you and pray for God’s continued leading as you transition back to the USA. Ralph and I would like to add our personal thanks. We have appreciated your friendship and enjoyed working closely with you these three years.

God calls anytime, anywhere. Could He be calling you?

For a more comprehensive look at the lives of Gandhi students go to: - DVD ministry of FBC, Greenville, SC.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Just for Fun - Hairdresser Saga Continues...

I thought I said, "Give me a nice summer color." She thought I said "Give me a punk rock look!" The result is I now have Ronald MacDonald red highlights in my hair. Just another chapter in the "Living Crossculturally" book I will write in my retirement. This one will come under "Really Funny Things" that happened that I didn't plan.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gandhi Ensemble is Home!

Ralph and I were at the airport to greet a tired but very happy to be home Gandhi ensemble. They eagerly told us bits and pieces of their whirlwind trip around the USA. They were ready to head to Pecs to see their families.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this trip a reality and a wonderful memory. Your prayers, opening your homes, contributing financially, providing little gifts, cooking food, and oh so many things, assisted in making this the trip of a lifetime for this group of students. I'm sure they will be talking about it for a long time! Join us in praising God for their safe travels.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'm Too Old For This...Well, Maybe Not...

Hanging out with three college students for three weeks has its advantages. They are energetic and enthusiastic - it's easy to feed off of that and believe you can once again do anything! On the downside they are energetic and enthusiastic and I'm not a spring chicken anymore.

While touring Budapest with Nina, Caitlin, and Kolby we stumbled upon a free, yes, FREE, Rod Stewart concert. Noting their excitement I found myself agreeing to hang around to see the aging rocker (note: I knew ALL the songs he sang - what's that say about me and age?) We stood for three hours with thousands, and I mean that literally, waiting. Then we showed our "American-ness" by clapping and singing along. (Evidently this is frowned upon by most Hungarians)

One added bonus was the opening act, Caramel. He is the latest winner of Mega Star, the Hungarian equivalent to American Idol. Caramel, nicknamed because of his skin color, is Roma. He has openly stated he wants to use his new popularity to bring attention to the plight of his people. He is a very talented singer and we enjoyed his music.

All in all it was a terrific evening.

Hanging with college students: energizing & tiring
Standing on cobblestones to hear Rod Stewart: exciting & achy
Fostering the Next Generation of Mission-Minded Young People: PRICELESS!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Just for Fun - Meet Dori

Dori is the newest addition to the Tamas and Orsi Revesz family. Tamas was our ministry partner during our days in Derecske. He and Orsi are very special to us and it has been a pleasure to see them grow their family. Dori joins David, Hannah, and Samuel. They have made their home in Mikepercs, Hungary and are very active in a new church start that is growing by leaps - literally with 6 new babies since the first of the year!

Great to meet you Dori!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

English Teaching in Vacegras

"Be Flexible, go with the flow, adaptability" all terms our Student.GO team heard over and over during their orientation and from us. This week they put it all into practice and smiled through it all!

We understood this camp would be ESL (English as a Second Language) for middle school and high school students and prepared lessons for that level. Surprise! The camp was attended by mostly elementary age children. No problem! With a little re-planning and re-vamping, our team stepped up and provided a great week of English learning, games, and crafts.

Most of this children had never experienced anything like this. They do not regularly attend church so the Bible stories were new to them. They basked in the attention and enjoyed the crafts. By the end of the week they were able to ask and answer simple questions such as "How are you?" or "What is your name?"

We ended the week with an Independence Day USA party and a hot dog cookout. We used this as an opportunity for the students to talk about their culture. The biggest laugh came when they asked us to sing the US national anthem! We muddled through, high notes and all. They sang the Hungarian national anthem and three of the girls sang the Roma anthem.

Truly a good time was had by all and we pray the seeds that were planted will take root.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Gandhi Ensemble Mid-Tour Update

The Gandhi Ensemble has taken the USA by storm. They've only been in the States for a week and a half but they have been singing their hearts out with eight concerts! The venues have been packed with supporters eager to hear this talented group. The standing ovations have been a great encouragement to these seven young people. The group not only sings, they also teach about the Gandhi School and their Roma culture. They've been reunited with many friends that have visited their school over the last 10 years. At FBC, Greensboro they sang with their new friends from the youth choir that visited this past spring. In Virginia they were reacquainted with the Latino friends they went with to the Baptist World Alliance Youth Meeting in Germany two years ago. Don't worry though, they are having fun too. Among several things, they've enjoyed the theme park, Carowinds, and touring Washington DC. Please continue to pray for them as they travel, sing, and teach others about their unique culture. Check out for information on the rest of the tour and the new DVD just released about Roma culture in southeast Hungary. Thanks for your support!
(Thank you Elaine Sarratt, FBC, Greenville, SC for the photo)