Included at the bottom of this post are pictures we meant to put up with our last post. Also thanks to CC Budapest for some of the great shots of the Worship Leaders Conference.
Our time on the local radio went really well. We have never been in a radio studio before, so it was all new to us. Upon arrival, we, with the rest of our worship team, entered a specified room where we would be talking and playing a few songs. The host for the station was sitting in an adjacent room, so we had to look through a glass window to see her. We waited, practiced, talked and then at 5:00PM, the “On Air” sign lit up, and we were live. We were pretty nervous for the interview questions that took place in between songs, but the Lord gave us the ability to sufficiently understand and respond accordingly (afterwards everyone who had listened to the broadcast said that I [Ben] did well, but Emily was excellent. Good job, Em!). By the end of our time, we were surprised and blessed as to how much we were able to speak about our faith, testimonies, what being a Christian is about, why we follow Jesus, etc. What a great opportunity! Anyone who was listening heard the gospel message, and we pray that the Lord would bring the increase from the seeds which were planted.
Regarding our language studies, we seem to be on a constant roller coaster Sometimes we experience an all-time high, where we find ourselves successfully using what we have learned, and then other times we seem to enter a new valley with an even greater mountain ahead of us to conquer. Thankfully, we are progressing, and the Lord continues to give us ability and understanding. The other week, I got the opportunity to share the whole gospel with someone for the first time, all in Croatian (very exciting for us!). It was mid afternoon after we had finished lunch, and we heard someone ring our intercom from the front of the apartment building. I picked up the intercom phone and heard a man asking for help (he was in a rough financial situation). So, I grabbed some Kuna (Croatian currency), went downstairs and began talking with him. We talked for about an hour, and I had the opportunity to take him through the gospel message. We pray that his eyes were opened to his ever present, realistic, eternal problem, far greater than material needs: his need for Salvation. Please pray for this man, that His heart would be convicted and that He would accept Jesus as His Savior.
Finally, it’s looking like this Summer, I will begin to teach the Friday Bible Studies in Croatian. We are finishing up Colossians soon, and then in May we will start meeting two times every month through the summer. I will alternate the teachings with someone else so that I will only be teaching once a month, to take the extra time to prepare in Croatian. This is a big step, one that we have been praying and thinking about for a while now. I was really encouraged by a good friend and former missionary who said, for learning language, what helped him most was simply getting out and using it. For example, he started to teach in a prison, three times a week, all in the local language. That is where his ability to communicate excelled. So, we decided we are just going to go for it. We are in a spot where we can generally communicate, and fine tuning our grammar and speaking abilities is starting to take place. We have all the information in our heads, but the challenge just trying to get it all out correctly when we are speaking. In our position, we constantly experience a lot of trial and error, learning as we go. The great thing about our Friday studies is the fact that it’s a small group of friends, where I have the opportunity to stumble and learn, knowing that my listeners will be gracious toward my efforts (as opposed to a Sunday morning setting which is more “official”). Please be praying for us in these things. It is very exciting to be in a spot where, even though it’s not perfect or fully matured, we can start communicating God’s truth in Croatian. Praise the Lord he has given us understanding and such a loving body of believers who care, help, correct, and teach us their language!
As a side-note, for those who are interested, I saw this great five minute video showcasing the beauty of Croatia. Here is the link!
Blessings to you all!