Hello friends and family,
It’s technically still autumn, but we are experiencing Jack Frost nipping at our noses a little earlier this year! The days grow short and the evening comes earlier these days, although this is quite normal since we are so north. We hope it is not too cold where you are, but if it is, we hope that you are enjoying it.
At the tail end of October we had the privilege of spending four days in the literal winter wonderland of the Vysoke Tatry, or High Tatras, of Slovakia as well as revisit charming Zakopane, Poland. While the cold and snow was overwhelming for Natalie, originally from Florida, it was hard not to be in awe of the beauty of the peaceful, snowy scenes straight from a Christmas card. Addie enjoyed it immensely, yet it took quite a lot out of her. We also had the fortune of again meeting with Ruth and Atti and their children, believers based in Miskolc, Hungary, close to Kosice.
Our Sunday morning attendance has grown, and we anticipate the average will be artificially higher in December with all the former Kosicians living abroad coming back home for the holidays to visit. Jordan has decided to pare down his one-to-one Bible studies to three individuals twice per week; the weekly evangelistic group study, however, now has up to 14 “outsiders” attending along with former members. Jordan continues to teach 50+ students at the local high school eight hours/week, and for him it has been exciting to introduce many of the students to biblical concepts for the first time in their lives.
Peter Halustok, an aforementioned brother in the church, led a very successful conference with 90+ attendees called “Finances God’s Way” last weekend. We’re hopeful that at least some of those in attendance will have more interest in studying scripture. Peter also continues to lead two personal Bible studies weekly with Gabi (Addie’s Hungarian uncle) and his cousin. It seems Peter's cousin is quite close to making a decision to be baptized.
Our dear friend whom we mentioned was baptized in July is hoping to return to Kosice next month. Please continue to keep him in your prayers as his life and the lives of his family have become more complicated since his decision to follow Christ. Yet he remains faithful and is eager to see us all again.
Addie continues to blossom and run around in circles, full of life and curiosity and a love of dancing, and striking up conversations we don’t fully comprehend yet.
Encouraging the Brethren in Poland
In the middle of November, Jordan spent 4 days traveling through Poland with Jaro Marcin of Eastern European Missions. They visited and encouraged congregations in Krakow, Warsaw, and the seaside towns of Gdansk and Sopot. EEM’s mission is to not only aid congregations with properly translated Bibles and biblical materials, but to help in any way possible to keep these churches strong. The elders of the Sopot church, which also has a Bible school inspired by Sunset Bible School, asked Jordan if he would be interested in returning to teach a course at the school for a few weeks; this is a distinct possibility as Jordan enjoyed his trip up north (way, way up north) very much.
While Jordan was away, Natalie stayed with a sweet friend who used to attend the church in Kosice but grew busy with life and a child of her own. Natalie first met her last year, when the preacher and an elder from our overseeing church came to visit. They knew her from previous visits several years prior and introduced the two. When she learned that Jordan would be away, she immediately invited (insisted even) Natalie and Addie to stay with her and her child. It was a wonderful time of fellowship in motherhood and for Addie to be with kids her age. Natalie hopes to stay good friends with her and encourage her to return to church.
December will be busy. We’re hosting a singing when Jaro arrives from Poland, expecting 50 or so to attend. We’ll be celebrating Christmas with the Halustoks, who have always embraced us as family, and plan a day trip to Budapest for the Christmas market. In Feburary, Jordan will be teaching three classes at the Advanced Bible Studies Series in Germany. In the springtime, we’re expecting visitors from the a supporting congregation in Texas for a few days. In the summer, some supporters from west Texas plan to stop by for a visit for a week or so.
We pray you have a wonderful Christmas season full of love and good tidings. God bless you and keep you.
For our recently baptized brother, for Natalie's friend, Gabi and Peter's cousin, for Addie, and for the Church.