Sunday, December 13, 2015

Calling all prayer warriors!

I just received a message from a national partner back in Hungary who's in need of massive prayer support.  She said Satan is attacking their family.  In addition to some other things, they just found out that one of their sons is in big trouble in a way that greatly effects the whole family.  Please lift up these dear friends, that they will truly lean on the Lord in all of this and find wisdom, peace and help for the trials they are going through.  Also pray that this will be a major turning point in their son's life as he gets serious about his need for the Lord, and that God will use this whole situation to His glory.

Our family also appreciates your continued prayers for Gary's Mom, who is currently in the hospital in a very weakened state after many rounds of chemo.  This has been extremely hard on Gary's dad, and he needs a lot of prayer also.  We'll be getting some news from the doctors on Monday re: the current state of the cancer and what should come next.  Pray for her healing and for wisdom in any decisions that need to be made.

Thank you!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Alive and well

Hello to all of our friends.  Yes, we are still alive!

PTL the trip to the US went fine--thank you very much to all who have been praying for us. We've been enjoying some special time with family, settling in to the mission house in Lee's Summit, MO (a huge thank you to Lee's Summit First Baptist Church for the wonderful hospitality!) and trying to get into some work routines in a very different environment.

Please pray:
  • For family members' health issues, including Gary's Mom's ongoing chemo treatments
  • That we can soon get our much-needed doctor's appointments
  • For our team members and friends on the field & current volunteer teams
  • That I can soon get a laptop to do my work.  There was a problem with the one I had ordered, and now they're telling me delivery may not be until Nov 20.  
  • For Gary as he works on his dissertation.

Thanks and God bless!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Goodbye to Hungary for nine months

Chaos has taken over our home as we pack and say our final goodbyes...tomorrow we leave for Budapest, and early the next morning we start the long journey to the US.  This will be the longest Stateside Assignment we have ever taken, and it feels strange to know we'll be gone for so long.  Please pray for the people and the ministries that we leave behind.  We have tried to pass on responsibilities to others, but we know that ultimately all of these friends and ministries belong to God and not us - and they are safe in His hands!

Here are some photos from this past month:

Gary helping young "Sandy" find a Bible passage
"Susie" is earnestly seeking. Please keep praying for her and her daughter "Tina"

Some of the church plant group

One of the waitress friends that we will miss very much

Carolyn wanted one more picture with our friends at the restaurant Sunday

Gary and our friend T.B., who keeps saying that one day he will come to Bible study

Passing the baton to Sanyi, who has accepted the challenge of teaching at the church plant
Thank you for your prayers and your support!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Calling all prayer warriors!

Europe is in the midst of extreme change, and people are looking for answers...fearing what tomorrow (or even today) holds.  Now more than ever, Europe needs to be lifted up to the Throne!  Join with us in 40 days of short, strategic prayer in preparation for the upcoming Day of Prayer for Europe on October 18.

Download the 40 Days of Prayer pdf from our Google drive folder.  More information will be coming soon on the IMB European Peoples website regarding the October 18 Day of Prayer.  

Monday, August 31, 2015

Unsettling times call for renewed trust, fervent prayer

The International Mission Board is in the news, as our leaders announced a plan this week to deal with revenue shortfalls and "reset" the organization.  “We must get to a healthy place in the present in order to be in a healthy position for the future,”  IMB President David Platt said. “We want to move forward with innovative vision, wise stewardship, and high accountability to the churches we serve, the peoples we reach, and the God we worship."

The reality of the situation requires that we reduce the number of missionaries and staff by up to 15%.  One part of the plan will be voluntary retirement incentives.  We don't yet know exactly how all of this will affect us and our colleagues, but major changes are in the works.  Pray with us as IMB personnel and for the organization as a whole, that we will be very sensitive and obedient to how the Lord leads in this process, that He will be glorified and the Gospel will go forth stronger than ever.  (More details are in the IMB website article.)

Thank you so much for your support and prayers!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Migrant crisis in Hungary is very real

It was a surreal feeling this Monday as we were passing through the train station and subway areas of Budapest.  These places that are very familiar to us are now like scenes from a refugee camp...we saw men, women and children of all ages lying on blankets packed into every available space.  It was heartbreaking, and we saw before our eyes the enormity of what we've been hearing about in the news.  We realize that there is no quick, easy solution, but we know that God is able to move and to work in this situation as He can in anything that comes up in this world--He is able, and He has a plan. 

Pray for these people, for the governments and leaders involved, and for wisdom from God for all of us as we act in obedience to Him.

The BBC News report on the situation provides a lot of insight into what is happening: Migrant crisis: Hungary station 'feels like a refugee camp'

Here is information in English about an organization of volunteers that was formed to help; some of our colleagues and friends in Budapest are working as volunteers with them:  Migration Aid Website

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Heat wave

Fountain in the Püspökladány city center
August is blazing hot here, with heat exhaustion warnings out on the local news; TV stations are showing video of kids playing in city-center fountains around the area.  Normally the police would chase them out of the water, but when the temperature reaches certain levels the rules are relaxed!

Ice cream venders are staying busy
Most people don't have air-conditioning, and many don't even have electric fans, so a lot of people are truly suffering.  Pray for relief, especially for the elderly, the very young, and those with medical conditions. Also pray that tempers will not flare and aggravate family problems and abuse, which are unfortunately common even in cooler weather.

On a more pleasant note, ice cream sales are doing fine!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A lesson in grace

Pray for 14-year-old "K," who recently took part in an English camp.  Good-hearted, with boundless energy and potential leadership qualities, K has unfortunately never learned impulse control.  She was constantly in trouble, interacting with too much enthusiasm.  Once a playful kick resulted in a shattered touch screen on another camper's precious tablet, and later an attempted prank led to a child falling painfully on her back.

After multiple reprimands, K sat alone on the steps trying to hide her face.  Gary went to sit with her, and they talked about life at home and at school.  She said she got good grades but was in trouble because of her behavior.

"I am bad.  I am always so bad..." she said through her tears. 

"Do you know what grace is?"  asked Gary.  He gently explained that we all do bad things, but grace is when someone else pays the price for it so that we don't have to.  She had broken the tablet, but the church said that they would pay to have it repaired.  He went on to say that we have all sinned, but Jesus paid the price for us.

Pray that "K" will soon come to understand and accept this grace that Christ so freely offers, and that in Him she will find the love and acceptance that she is looking for.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tiszafüred camp update

Thank you for praying for the kids' Bible camp in Tiszafüred last week.  Fewer came than we had hoped (we are discussing how to reach more next year) but nevertheless a great time was had by all; PTL, gospel seeds were sown in the hearts of children and even a few adults, too!  Grain Game worker Luke Higdon did a wonderful job of teaching bite-sized biblical truths, illustrated by hilariously memorable games and activities...lots of shaving cream, water (which was very welcome in the blazing July heat), bubbles, beach balls, etc, etc.

Here are some photos from the week.  As you share in these fun memories with us, pray for each child and the families they represent, asking the Lord to use the truths taught to transform lives and to impact families and the community for Christ.  Pray that the little church plant will be encouraged and continue to grow, glorifying God and spreading the Good News all across the area.

Table football
Table "football" (soccer) was a favorite games, generating a lot of competition.

The gate game
The "one gate" game involved dousing each other with water -- aaah!

Our very helpful translator, Dodi, bonding with a precious new friend

Fun in the sun
Fun in the sun

Beach balls photo
Beach balls - you've gotta be filled to be what you were created to be!

Luke and friends
Luke and young friends

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Grain Game camp coming soon to Tiszafüred

This little park in Tiszafüred is empty and quiet now, but next week there will be shouts of hilarity and bodies in motion as kids aged 10-15 take part in a Grain Game Bible camp!

Please start praying now, while camp invitations are being circulated, that young people will come whose hearts are already being prepared for the gospel message.  Pray that camp workers will have the energy--in spite of exhaustion and July heat--to creatively teach and lovingly share their lives with the kids who come.

Thank you for interceding for us and with God be the glory!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June prayer update

A note from the Millers:  the IMB Eastern Hungary June update has been sent out, with current information, prayer requests and photos.  If you aren't receiving it and would like to opt in, use the sign up form on the Heart for Hungary site.  On the same form you can also choose to receive the Hathcock family's weekly prayer updates.

Thank you so much for your support, both through praying and giving!

The gardens in Debrecen are a beautiful sight this month, very green with lots of flowers

Monday, June 22, 2015

Catch-up time

Whew--it's good to be home again after being out and about a lot over the past two months!  We've had a great time, both in ministry, training conferences, in meetings with team members and ministry partners, and also in precious days with visiting family members.  Now we are busy looking through emails and catching up on to-do list items.

Please pray with us:

  • Gary's mom has started chemo treatments, and she, Dad, and all the family appreciate prayers very much.
  • Lift up Curtis Smith, who is here right now teaching about container gardening.  Ask for many opportunities for him to share his faith as well as assisting people to know how best to grow food for their families.
  • Lift up a national believer and friend who is in urgent need of a new job that will pay enough that he can reunite his family.  He is currently working long days, 6 days/week, but it is not enough to support the family.
  • Pray for the twice-a-month Wednesday night discipleship group members to live out what they are learning & to pass on the lessons to others, as well as sharing Jesus with lost friends and family members.
  • Ask for wisdom for us re: the brand new discipleship group started on the alternate Wednesday evenings; should we keep it on this night, or change to Sunday evenings - ?  Pray this small group will grow both in numbers and in spiritual understanding.
  • Pray for the Tiszafüred church plant to be encouraged and move forward in spiritual growth, obedience and outreach.  Ask that the lost friends coming will soon become followers of Jesus.
  • Every day we are seeing new opportunities for ministry open up, and we need wisdom from the Lord as to which things to do, which things to pass on to others, and which things to say "no" to.  This is very hard!
  • Lift us up, as we are feeling very tired, that we would live each day in the grace He gives: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9)
We appreciate your prayers very much!   Also a huge "thank you" to those of you who give to support missions around the world through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

Carolyn with Danny, Nicole and Clara
Carolyn in the botanical gardens in Debrecen with our son Danny, his wife Nicole & little Clara

Paula and Erik visit Tiszafured
Carolyn's sister Paula & bro-in-law Erik visit at the church plant

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Thank you for your continued prayers

The update from Gary's Mom and Dad in Missouri is not what we had hoped, and we are all still processing the news. The doctors have found a large, apparently malignant inoperable tumor in her abdomen.  We are sustained by the knowledge that she and the whole situation are in God’s hands, and also by the love and prayers of our friends.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pray for Gary's Mom

Please pray urgently for Gary's mom, who is having very serious medical problems and is getting rapidly worse.  They still have not found the root cause of her problem. Pray for healing, and for wisdom for the doctors.

This is one of those times when it is hard to be so far from family!

Thank you for your prayers.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

May month of prayer

With May comes our annual 31 Days of Prayer for Eastern Hungary.  Please join us in this month of focused prayer!  This year we'll feature primary ministries and events; individual friends who don't know the Lord; strategic towns and regions; and Debrecen University students.  Since so many international students study here, we will be praying for them by countries, listing some of the largest people groups represented.  We're excited to think that when these young people come to Christ they could carry the gospel message to the far ends of the earth as they return to their homes!

The prayer calendar and an accompanying prayer topics information sheet are available as downloads.  Be sure to check out the virtual prayer walks linked to on the info sheet.

Printer-friendly versions can also be downloaded and printed front-and-back.  Feel free to share them with prayer groups, Sunday School classes, or use as a bulletin insert.

Thank you for praying with us throughout this month!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sad news about J

As we drove back from Budapest yesterday we got a very sad message.  Church plant friend "J," that we have been asking prayer for, has passed away.  He had heard the Gospel many times...our hope is that in his final moments he did realize his need for Christ and turn to Him in repentance. 

Thank you for praying for J for the last couple of weeks.  Please pray now for his family and friends who don't know the Lord; ask that God will use this to bring others to think seriously about where they are in life, and that they will acknowledge their need for the Saviour and put their faith in Him.  Also lift up the believers at the church plant, that they will not be discouraged or overcome -- there have been several other deaths in the circle of friends there -- but that they will feel the comfort that the loving Father gives and will be even more courageous in their witness to their lost friends and family members.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

An encounter

Last week I had to really stretch my legs to make it to a weekly appointment about a 10-minute walk from our house...this week I decided to leave early so I could enjoy a more leisurely pace and still not risk being late.  As I headed off down the tree-lined street I saw one of the neighbor ladies coming from the opposite direction.  We had greeted each other many times before but had never really talked. 

Today as our eyes met and I smiled at her, she immediately approached and started pouring her heart out, telling me all about health and family issues and other trials in life.  I didn't get to say much, mostly nodded and made sympathetic noises.  Then she stopped talking, and I saw that I really did have to go.  I told her that I am praying that the Lord will help her in the situations, and then we parted.  Was this the beginning of a new, deeper relationship with the neighbor lady?  I pray that it was, and that God will use it to open up many opportunities in the future to share the Good News.

I had to laugh as I hurried on toward my appointment, scurrying down the street to avoid being late.  Leaving early hadn't kept me from having to rush, but it had made it possible for an encounter to take place that otherwise wouldn't have happened.  May the Lord guide us in even the small things of life, using us to bring hope to those we meet.   

Pray for this dear neighbor lady and others that we encounter as we go about daily life; ask the Lord to speak to hearts and draw people to Himself.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Planned visit to "J"

Two of the church plant members are planning to go see "J" in the hospital on Sunday after our special Easter celebration --- they want to visit for a little while and take him some food and other needed items. In Hungary, family and friends often take food and other items to patients since not a lot is provided.  The hospital is in a different town from the church plant, and since these ladies don't have cars at this point they asked if we would be able to go with them in our car before we return to Debrecen (we live an hour away from the church plant.)  We are so glad to hear of the plan, and we are more than happy to go with them,  see our friend, and supply the transportation. 

Pray that we will have the right words to minister to "J," and that in this time he will experience the physical and spiritual healing that he needs.  Also pray that as church plant members reach out to him, that they will be encouraged to keep growing in their own spiritual walk.  May the Lord get glory in all of our lives!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pray for "J"

Sunday we found out that Hungarian friend "J" collapsed several days ago and was taken by ambulance to the hospital in another town.  He has been attending the church plant meetings off and on for quite a while now, is willing to talk about spiritual things to some extent, but has not committed his life to the Lord.  The last we heard was that they were doing tests to determine what is wrong with J, and that he is extremely weak.

Please pray for our friend's healing and difficult situation in life, but most of all that this medical emergency will be the catalyst that brings him to the spiritual decision-point; pray that J will give his life to Christ and follow after Him in joyful obedience.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Update to urgent prayer request

Praise the Lord, our friend is doing much better now and has been allowed to go home.  Thank you to everyone who has been praying!  Please continue to lift him and his family up, that they will have a good restful night tonight and peaceful day tomorrow as they process the day's happenings together.  Next week there will be more tests looking for the cause of the problem, so pray that it will all go well.

Thank you again!

Urgent prayer request

A co-worker/friend is having a medical emergency right now --  the ambulance is on its way.  Please pray for him and his family, for the medical personnel, for good communication across language barriers, for the peace of God and His healing hand to be very evident to all.

Thank you!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

There's an elephant in my coffee!

OK, it was actually a cappuccino, but somehow I just wasn't expecting to see a foamy Jumbo on top of my java--I had to smile and applaud the barista's artistry!  

Coffee and cappuccinos are both a big part of friendships and ministry here in Hungary, both in malls and at the wonderful little sidewalk coffee shops that are so common in this part of the world.   It's amazing how God can use these times of casual conversation ...we just have to take the time to sit, chat, and let Him love people through us.

Please pray that the Lord will use our coffee-time conversations to encourage, uplift, and to draw new friends to Christ.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Important preparation

We have been meeting as often as possible recently with "A," a young friend who will be leaving this weekend for a semester of study in a country very far from here--a place where sharing your faith is not allowed. A is a new believer, and we want her to be as grounded as possible in the Word before she goes.  We don't know if we or other believers will be able to communicate with her, so it is very important that she be able to stand firmly and know how to study the Bible for herself. 

Pray for provision for A's needs--at the last moment she is discovering fees and charges that she was not told about before--and for safety as she travels.  Ask that she will not become discouraged or led astray, but that she will continue to grow, coming back even more committed in her walk with the Lord.  Also pray for her family, especially for a seriously ill aunt, that God will take care of them while she is gone and that they will soon come to Christ.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Native English speakers needed!

Are you a native English speaker?  God can use you on mission in Hungary!
Carolyn with adult beginner English class from several years ago
On the first day of English camp the Hungarian pastor warned us that one of our students was known in the town as a strong atheist...and at first she did seem closed.  Even her face had a hardness about it.  But throughout the week, as the love of Christ was shown and Christian testimonies shared, a visible change took place.  By the end of the camp she was leaning forward in her chair, tears in her eyes. No, she didn't come to faith that week, but soon she began attending the church's seekers' class.  The following summer at camp registration my jaw almost dropped at the change in her -- she hurried to greet me, her countenance softer and a new twinkle in her eye.  The Gospel was working in her life in a powerful, transforming way....

All across Hungary similar stories have taken place as English as a Second Language  (ESL) is used to open doors for sharing the Gospel.  There is a huge need for this kind of outreach--Hungarians of all ages are constantly asking for English language help from native speakers.   

Who is qualified to come minister using ESL?  If you are a strong believer and speak English (which I assume you do if you are reading this!) then you could come provide conversation practice or teach at a camp, coffeehouse, school or in many other venues.  Formal ESL training is helpful but not required.  We are also looking for certified teachers who could come to teach a semester or year in the public schools.  Pray with us that God will raise up many volunteers to come help with this exciting ministry!

Interested in learning more?  Contact us

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Out and about again

We are so thankful to be out and about again after several weeks of a terrible attack of the flu! 

Today being Wednesday, we drove to Nádudvar, one of our favorite towns in eastern Hungary, for Bible study with our good friend "T."   Pray for this new believer and his family as they deal with some really difficult things in life right now.  Pray for the town of Nádudvar, where we would love to see a church planted.  If you are interested in coming to prayerwalk the streets of this town with us or in doing some other creative outreach there, please let us know!