Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Try Your Hungarian Pronunciation

Last week I started Hungarian lessons. They call the language Magyar. Here is a pronunciation drill on the GY and TY sounds. The GY is used a lot (Magyar), It is somewhere between our DY and GY. You can listen to this Mp3 file online to get an idea of the challenge. My problem is that I don’t need to speak Hungarian with anyone during the week, so you can pray for opportunities to try out my new vocab. --Dennis

Friday, February 15, 2008

Partner in Bulgaria

Would you be interested in making a difference in Bulgaria?
Check out what God is doing through Toncho.
January 2008 LetterToncheviJan2008.pdf (259.82 KB)
November 2007 Prayer_letter_1107_ENG.pdf (1.43 MB)

October 2007 prayer_letter_10_2007ENG.pdf (3.89 MB)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Remember Olga with the abusive husband?

Sergei & Lena with our Family Life ministry in Siberia and Russian Far East sent this update ---

We are grateful to you for you prayers about Olga and her family relationships. We were trying to think of a good way to help her and invited her to the music practices of our church worship team. That was a good opportunity to talk and pray with her. We have met 5 times with her in the last two months. We’ve had some difficult conversations, but we relied on God because we could not rely on our own strength. She made the decision not to fear physical abuse any more and tell her husband about her feelings. God has made a huge change in her consciousness and has brought peace and strength into her heart. She has taken responsibility to protect herself and her daughters from her husband’s arbitrary behavior. And even more: she is asking God in prayer to help her trust in Him.

She began practicing Biblical principles in the relationship with her husband. She has told him recently: “I won’t let you hurt me and the children!” when her drunken husband decided to have a fight with her again. The husband looked at her surprised and went to bed. After her older daughter saw that she came up to Olga and said: “Mummy, you did well! I am proud of you”. It’s great joy to see that Jesus is acting through Olga and is growing in her heart.

These events gave us a chance to talk with her about her personal relationships with Jesus. Many years ago she heard about Jesus and even prayed the prayer of faith. Now she is ready to revise and renew her relationships with Him. Please, pray that God would come into her heart.
We decided to change the strategy of ministering to married couples. We noticed that husbands in Ulan-Ude are less willing to come to seminars and Homebuilders groups. In order to invite new married couple to Homebuilders groups we started separate small groups for men and women where issues of being a husband/wife, father/mother would be discussed. We realized that men were more open at those kinds of meetings than if they had been at the meetings with their wives. At those meetings we discussed what it means to be a husband and father and we were able to invite non-Christian men who were planning to get married soon. Many of those men became my friends and friendship helps to overcome many difficulties in relationships. I am expecting God to change many of them and He is already changing their attitude towards marriage, the wife and women in general.

For example, Alexey said in one of the meetings: ”Why doesn’t anyone speak about that in church?” Many men started taking an active part in the lives of their families and ask their wives about their needs. And now many women come to us in order to bring their husbands to the meetings because they see changes in their friends’ husbands.

And one more thing: earlier we saw wives bringing their husbands to conferences and Homebuilders groups, now we see husbands looking for opportunities to help their wives have some free time from family cares in order to be able to attend Homebuilders groups.

Please pray about God’s break-through in the lives of those people, pray that He would make these men real leaders of their families. Today 12-20 men attend the men’s group in Ulan-Ude.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Outstanding Messages to Hear Again and Again

Rolland from Sweden asked, “Is there beauty? Why?” Often we assume the existence of God in our gospel presentation, but people here start with evolution. You can’t explain beauty with evolution.

In preaching on the activity of our triune God in missions he pointed out the great commission says in the "name" not "names" of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Consider Acts 10:42 "And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead." Notice who is speaking. The God and His Judge are already mentioned. Notice He isn't suggesting but ordering. Earlier Dr. Erik Thoennes pointed out that sharing the good news isn't optional for the disciple. The option is being obedient or not. Being a silent witness isn't enough according to Romans 10:14-16 "How will they hear without a preacher?" "How will they preach unless they are sent?"

We needed to hear that! Even though proclaiming Christ is central to CCC, we need to hear it. The other topic that hit home was a message on suffering. "What is our blindspot in America?" Erik asked an Asian pastor. "You Americans have a great theology of church growth but nothing on church groaning." Erik went on to point out that we are not suffering alone, all creation is groaning with us (Romans 8:18-25). Maybe believers suffer more, not just because we have an adversary who loves to destroy, but because we suffer from homesickness. "But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells." 2 Peter 3:13

You can download the messages with the links.