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March 2006

Mandi’s Mission Musings “I have not kept this good news hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness.” Psalm 40:10

First of all, I must apologize for my tardiness in getting this newsletter out to you. Many things have been happening since I last wrote to you and I’d like to share some of that with you now. At the threat of shattering any preconceived notions you may have about missionaries, our hearts, our faith, what happens in an overseas mission, etc, I must tell you that this newsletter is going to be a bit personal. When I decided to join LCMS World Mission and began to take my part in the Great Commission, I envisioned that this ministry would be transparent and that I wouldn’t hold anything back...even if it was embarrassing (see Stupid American Moments) or personal as is the case now. I can’t speak for all missionaries. I know God works with us and through us is many different ways, but I can tell you my story and share with you my experiences. Hopefully you can get a glimpse of what God is doing over here and how His ministry works through us in other parts of the world. These past few months I’ve been experiencing something interesting. I wasn’t positive what it was at first, but as time went on I became more sure. It was Silence. As Christians we all experience ups and downs in our faith, and I’ve certainly had my share of the roller coaster’s drops, but this was something different. This wasn’t just a lull, this was Silence. Even during the slow (read: boring) parts of a roller coaster you still hear the grinding of the wheels on the tracks to remind you that you’re still on the ride. But this was Silence. Finally I realized that God wasn’t speaking because there was something He wanted to teach me that couldn’t be taught with words. I read an article by a woman named Verla Gilmore. She speaks of a time in her life when God was silent. In true Job fashion, she lost many of her earthly possessions and was crying out to the Lord for comfort and solace and answers. After months of silence, she finally received her first word in a long time and she realized that God had been at work in her life the whole time even though he seemed far away. It’s easy to be faithful and on fire when God is visibly working in your life. And I’ve found that it’s easy to get discouraged when it seems like nothing is happening, especially when you’re a missionary. I’ve heard the same sentiment around the world (literally), that it just doesn’t seem like anything we’re doing is having any effect. But I’ve come to realize that we need to trust God to finish the work He begins in us, and that we need to trust Him to finish the works He’s beginning through us. That is a promise He’s made to us and, I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to go on a little faith. In hindsight I realize that the silence from God was his way of teaching me about faithfulness. During the period of Silence, the usual activities of going to church, reading the Bible, and praying often felt useless and uninspired. Where was the Holy Spirit? The answer is that I was not alone, but God was with me the whole time, teaching me and, I believe, training me for the future He has planned for my life. And I’m sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.” Philippians 1:6

Be My Escape by: Relient K

I’ve given up on giving up slowly I’m blending in so you won’t even know me Apart from this whole world that shares my fate This one last bullet you mention Is my one last shot at redemption Because I know to life you must Give your life away And I’ve been housing all this doubt and insecurity And I’ve been locked inside that house All the while You hold the key And I’ve been dying to get out And that might be the death of me And even though there’s no way in knowing Where to go, I promise I’m going because I gotta get outta here I’m stuck inside this rut that I fell into by mistake I gotta get outta here And I’m betting You, I’m begging You To be my escape I’m giving up on doing this alone now Cause I’ve failed and I’m ready to be shown how He’s told me the way and I’m trying to get there And this life sentence that I’m serving I admit that I’m every bit deserving But the beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair Chorus I gotta get outta here Cause I’m afraid that this complacency Is something I can’t shake I gotta get outta here And I’m begging you, I’m begging you To be my escape I am a hostage to my own humanity Self detained and forced to live in this mess I’ve made And all I’m asking is for You to do what You can with me But I can’t ask You to give what You already gave

To continue on that note, from talking to other missionaries I’ve come to conclusion that God has specific plans for each of our personal ministries. For example, some Chorus missionaries are obviously meant to reach the students, some are meant to reach the I fought You for so long teachers, and so forth. I believe that the main purpose of my time in Sopron is to reach I should have let You win people back in the United States. As funny as it may sound, I think that God has sent me Oh how we regret those things we do halfway around the world so that I may be a better witness to the people I meet at home. And all I was trying to do was save my own skin But so were You, so were You Since I began my work in Sopron, I have prayed that God show me opportunities to build relationships here and to witness to people in Hungary. And he certainly has done that, but even more I’ve been given many ideas on how to reach people and share my experience once I return to America. God has given me a great desire to, not only share His good news with others, but to lead other workers to the mission field. With that said, I must tell you that my students, LCMS World Missions, and my school in Sopron have asked me if I will be staying another year and I have decided against it. I don’t believe this will be the last time I do mission work overseas, but I believe that God wants me to use what I’ve learned here to help others make the decision to join


His work in reaching the lost. So I will be traveling home in June to look for employment, and hopefully beginning a long career in helping God recruit more workers for the harvest.

SONG OF THE MONTH I couldn’t decide which song best fit for this newsletter, so I’ve included them both. They both speak of feeling inadequate and how, as sinners, we are so often tempted by the sin of this world. But the hope we have in the salvation of Christ is that we are not lost and the world cannot keep us from the love of God. No matter how badly we screw up, God does not stop loving us any less. And no matter how far we stray, God is constant in his faithfulness. God is unfailing, and it is such a blessing to share His love and salvation with others. “I have not kept this good news hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness.” Psalm 40:10

PRAISES • Every day my relationship with the students solidifies and grows deeper. I love these kids and it will be incredibly difficult to leave them at the end of the school year. I thank God every day for this opportunity to meet them and get to know them and I pray our relationship can continue even after I return to the States • That God has given me such clarity toward what He wants of my life. His Silence was such a blessing as He made clear what this mission means for me and my future. I feel such an excitement and desire to come home and begin new work for Him

Constantly

by: Monk & Neagle Somedays I wander Other days I find myself at your feet Somedays I slumber Others my heart’s complete And one I’m running And two I’m crawling Up and down as my heart Falls short once again I know that you are constant Steady and unchanging So take this broken heart And do some rearranging Cause I lose some of my senses My heart’s walking fences I wanna be more like you Constantly Some days I got it all together Other days I can’t find my head Some days I can brave the weather Others I’m weak instead And one I’m standing And two I fall flat on my face I’m still up and down as My heart falls short once again Chorus (x2)

• Spring is finally here and along with it comes my favorite holiday: Easter. I’m so excited to tell you about the amazing celebration I experienced in this region and look forward to another newsletter within the next couple of weeks! • Thanks be to the Lord that after weeks of writer’s block I was finally able to get this newsletter to you! In hindsight, I realize I could’ve done a really nice tie-in with the Silence I experienced from God to the silence you experienced from me, but alas...the letter is written and my backspace button is being uncooperative SUPPORT If you or someone you know would like to support my mission work in Hungary, please make gifts payable to: LCMS World Mission

PRAYER REQUESTS • Please pray for the record breaking flooding Hungary is experiencing along the Danube River. The rains and snow melt have created the worst flooding this region of the world has seen in over 100 years. In some parts it’s becoming extremely destructive and I pray that the damage is not long-lasting (i.e. loss of life and/or livelihood)

with “In Support of Mandi Lindner” • The Hungarian national elections are upon us I pray that the voters may be given all the information in the memo line necessary to make an educated, informed decision. There is a lot of dishonesty surrounding the campaigns and conduct of the current government so join me in praying that all may be laid bare and Send Gifts to: the best decision be made for Hungary’s future LCMS World Mission • My seniors are graduation in 3 weeks, after which they will study for their final examinations. 1333 Kirkwood Ave. Please keep them in your prayers as these examinations may very well determine the course of their St. Louis, MO 63122 future: which university they can attend, what they can study, etc. It is very important to them and they are under a lot of pressure to perform well ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

CONTACT INFO Mailing Address: Mandi Lindner Szechenyi ter 11 H-9400 Sopron HUNGARY Email Address: Mandi.Lindner@lcms.org Online Journal: http://www.livejournal.com/users/ magyarmandi Website: http://blogspot.magyarmandi.com

My 12d class. This was taken during their Ribbon Ceremony which is when they are recognized as graduating students and given ribbons denoting the years they’ve attended Bérzsenyi. It’s a huge coming of age moment for them. I was invited to attend and this was the end of their skit they prepared in honor of their teachers. First there was the skit, then their form teacher gave a speech, then they were given their ribbons, and last was a teacher appreciation. By the end of the night there was not a dry eye in the room!

March 2006  

Newsletter published during my time as a missionary in Sopron, Hungary. This month's issue covers faithfulness and what it means when God is...

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