Mandi’s Mission Musings
He [Jabez] was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and extend my lands! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request. 1 Chronicles 4:10
INTRODUCTION The theme of this month’s newsletter is prayer. God is working hard in Sopron and this month I’ve had the opportunity to see many of our prayers answered regarding my mission here. That’s why I’ve used the prayer of Jabez as this month’s verse. His prayer was so powerful and earnest that God answered it abundantly. I feel like Jabez in Sopron. Everyday I pray to our Heavenly Father and I know that I have your prayers with me too. The greatest thing is seeing God’s power in action and seeing Him answering our petitions. I feel so blessed and yet so unworthy of such blessings, but I also know that God loves us a great deal. God wants to bless us and He can bless us because He has unlimited resources and power. So let’s keep asking and let’s watch Him do amazing things in the hearts and minds of the people of Sopron!
FRIENDS ARE GOD’S WAY OF TAKING CARE OF US Each month I’ve asked you to pray for me to meet people here, to find a place here, etc. This month brought with it a host of opportunities, social gatherings, festivals, etc. that have certainly made me feel a part of the Hungarian and Central European way of life. At the beginning of October I was fortunate enough to have my Mom and stepfather, John, come and visit. They spent a few days in Sopron whereupon I introduced them to some of my Hungarian friends; it was wonderful to connect my two worlds of America and Hungary. Before Mom and John came I could pretend that I would spend a year here and go home living my life. Now I realize that my life back in America will be forever interwoven with my life in Sopron. Other highlights of our time together included a walking tour of historical Sopron (religious and political history), a scavenger hunt for the elusive ATM, and many games of Sheepshead. This month I’ve also been fortunate enough to travel with Hungarian friends, The Logans and The Von Fuchs, to Koszeg and Agfalva, quaint Hungarian villages. Koszeg is a very old, beautiful, and interesting town complete with an ancient castle and a large cathedral. Agfalva is a small village about 3 kilometers from Sopron and is the site of the annual Chestnut Festival. At Christmas we always sing about roasting chestnuts on an open fire, but here in Hungary they do it all the time in the fall! They also have a yummy chestnut puree that’s considered quite the delicacy. The festival included a parade, a chestnut queen, an orchestra of accordians, and traditional dancing...among other things. These two outings gave me the opportunity to become better acquainted with Marina and Kimo Logan and their three children. I also spent quite a bit of time getting to know Edda and Richard Von Fuchs and their son, Max. They are all wonderful people and have been a Godsend to me as I’ve begun my year in Sopron. Kimo and Richard, both originally from America, have lived in Hungary for over 15 years after marrying wonderful Hungarian women. I believe they have been an answer to our prayers as they and their families have shown me around town and given me tips as to the ins and outs of Hungarian culture. However, my friendship with them does bring another prayer request...when I first met Kimo and Marina they professed that they were not Christians and were not interested in church. However, I recently found out that they have been attending church together for the past few weeks! It’s my hope that, with our prayers, God continue to work in their hearts. It would be such a blessing to see them and their children become a part of His kingdom!
YOUR FRIENDLY HUNGARIAN LANGUAGE LESSON I will be the first person to tell you that my Hungarian is sadly lacking. I’m trying, folks, I promise! But the grammar is, well, difficult. Each week I have my students teach me something new, so it’s coming along. In the box below are some of the handy phrases and words I’ve learned so far. I’ve gotten by a with combining my broken Hungarian with sign A Few Handy Phrases language, but I’m going to start taking language lessons Beszél angolul? = Do you speak English? Szia = Hello/Goodbye from a Hungarian woman and hopefully I will improve. Bocsánat = Excuse Me
Nem értem = I don’t understand
köszönöm (szépen) = Thank you (very much)
Jó napot = Good Day
Mennyibe kerül = How much is this?
Azt kérem = I’ll have that please
To redeem myself, however slightly, I must admit a certain feat was accomplished this month. That’s right, Mandi bought a train ticket all by her self. Using my
vast Hungarian vernacular (as shown in the box) I succeeded in my proudest rite of passage to date. I started with, “Beszél Angolul?” and received a resounding, “Nem,” for my efforts. Not to be deterred I plunged on with, “Egy oda-vissza jegy Budapestre,” which amounts to, “One round-trip ticket to Budapest.” This received a nod in understanding from the ticket lady. From thereon I was a guppie swimming amongst sharks. Luckily I had planned ahead and wrote down my desired train schedule which I then handed to the woman. Not two seconds later (and 5600 forints the poorer) I had tickets in hand and was gleefully skipping back to the kollegium. Go me.
THE BEGINNINGS OF OPPORTUNITY God has given me an amazing opportunity to share this mission with supporting churches back home through the idea of Overseas Penpals. I was practicing letter writing with some of my classes and as I was fumbling for a topic they could write about I thought, “Hey, why don’t they write about themselves and Hungary so I can learn more about them?” Then my brain took off from there (with some Spiritual promptings I’m sure) and I thought, “Hey, why don’t I have them write to people in America and I can connect them with the youth groups of my supporting churches. They can become pen friends and maybe continue even when I leave Sopron.” Thus the idea was born. I had my students write some letters and I sent them off to America. Not only do my students get to practice their English, but they become connected with believers in America and that connection will hopefully continue even when my time here is finished. Thank the good Lord for such an opportunity and let’s pray that he use it to His glory!
LYRIC OF THE MONTH I guess I should say “Song of the Month” as this is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard. Listening to it I can feel the humbleness of the singer as if it’s a tangible thing. God is so amazing and worthy of our most fervent praises, we who are imperfect and unworthy to be in His presence, yet He was the one that bridged the gap between us with the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ. What an amazing gift! Hearing this song I feel the author admitting that Jesus has saved him from the terrible fate of death and in his gratefulness he is laying down his life and praise to his Lord and Savior. Let’s hope that we may be daily reminded of this grace and do the same in our everyday lives.
Lyric of the Month Oh refuge of my hardened heart Oh fast pursuing lover come As angels dance around your throne My life by capture fare Your own Not silhouette of trodden faith Nor death shall not my steps be guide I’ll pirouette upon my grave For in your path I’ll run and hide. Chorus: Oh gaze of love so melt my pride That I may in your house but kneel And in my brokenness do cry Spring worship unto Thee When beauty breaks the spell of pain The bludgeoned heart shall burst in vain But not when love be pointed King And truth shall thee forever reign Chorus Sweet Jesus carry me away From cold of night and dust of day In ragged hour or salt worn eye Be my desire my well spring lye Chorus Artist: Jars of Clay
• The God-planted seed/idea of Overseas Penpals, let us pray that Song:Hymn my students make long-lasting relationships that may lead to fulfillment in Christ • A prayer of thanksgiving for the opportunities to see more of God’s amazing creation with friends LCMS World Mission and with brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s such a blessing to be overseas and able to share with you a with “In Support of Mandi Lindner” different view of His amazing world in the memo line • A prayer of thanksgiving for the ways in which our Holy Father has already answered our prayers for this mission. Prayer is a powerful part of ministry and it is so encouraging to see Him working through Send Gifts to: our words and petitions LCMS World Mission 1333 Kirkwood Ave. PRAYERS St. Louis, MO 63122 • Courage, wisdom, and spiritual guidance as I take advantage of opportunities to share the good news of Jesus. I pray for discernment and that God lead me to the people who need Him and His mercy • That I continually spend time in The Word, in daily devotion, and in prayer so that I may stay spiritually fit CONTACT INFO • Please pray that I continue to find the motivation and energy for teaching now that the “honeymoon” Mailing Address: stage of my time here is over. We’re starting to work the students harder in preparation for exams and Mandi Lindner it can be a struggle shifting their minds from “Fun English Time” to “Serious English Time” Szechenyi ter 11 • A prayer for The Logans as they search, pray that I can be a light to them and that the Holy Spirit H-9400 Sopron work in their hearts HUNGARY • Please send a fervent prayer to the Lord on behalf of my students, specifically my 12 year Wednesday class. This week I caught a glimpse of their religious beliefs during a speaking exercise Email Address: and was alarmed by what I heard. Some of them view Christianity as a joke, the others are merely Mandi.Lindner@lcms.org complacent and simply uninterested in what the church, the Bible, and their religion teachers have to say. Attila Katana, Gabor Szalai, Tamas (Thomash) Borocz, Zoltan Fazekas, Attila Szollosi, Daniel Online Journal: http://www.livejournal.com/users/ Szatmari, and Judit (Yudeet)Wesztergom magyarmandi If you or someone you know would like to support my mission please make gifts payable to:
Photos (from Left): Rachel and I in Budapest, visiting Dutch choir at the Lutheran church in Sopron, a window in Matthias Church in Budapest, the view of the church from the Chain Bridge in Budapest, friends in Koszeg (Patrick Logan, Kevin Logan, and Edda Von Fuchs)