English: An Avenue for Faith

English Camps: Hungary

By Clarissa Hunter OMS Hungary

English can have a significant impact on someone’s future. In many places, whether or not one can speak English could affect their ability to travel, get jobs, or study at the university. Knowing English expands possibilities for Hungarians.

For a long time in Hungary, we met a real need—the need for English—with the ultimate goal of building relationships and sharing the good news of Jesus with the kids we come in contact with during camp. However, our focus as a team has been shifting more and more to discipleship and helping churches establish discipleship movements in their communities, which then pour out to meet that community’s needs. God has called us toward this goal, and yet, we have struggled to reconcile how English camps, though still a thriving ministry, continue to fit into this vision.

Staff volunteer passing out drinks
Staff volunteer passing out drinks during a group activity.
This struggle was on my mind during our debrief of camp this year. As we discussed the camp, we began to see unanticipated ways God is working through our camps that fit well into our overall team goals. The Lord is using English camps in the lives of our Hungarian staff who don’t need to “learn” English but do need Him. Each summer, we have Hungarians who volunteer with us as translators, partnering with our foreign staff to lead conversation groups at our camps. Many translators we worked with the last few years have been struggling with their faith, nominal Christians, or do not believe at all.

As we read the year-end reviews, we could see the way God touched the hearts and reignited the faith of several of the volunteers. One of our volunteers began to help us with the English club and has contemplated starting a discipleship group. Two volunteers joined with a few of our team members in a weekly discipleship group, and a few others visited church services with us and are considering what a relationship with Jesus involves.

We hope that the discipleship movements we want to see in the church can also work in reverse. In other words: the camp pours into the lives of our staff, and they pour into the church, instigating the church to pour back out.

English Camp water game
Water wars are always a huge hit with campers and staff.
Our foreign volunteers from around the world have a significant impact on the lives of our Hungarian staff members. They consistently share a picture of Jesus as they live out their faith here in Hungary. MFM has a vital role in facilitating and sending these volunteers. As they assist teams and work out logistics, they may not know the impact of their work, but they are influencing the faith of our Hungarian staff.

We look forward to seeing what God continues to do in this area, as English becomes an avenue for faith in a whole new way. English can have a significant influence on someone’s future, but not always in the way we expect it!

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