MFM Building More than a Church in Hungary

By Keith Smith MFM-US Ministry Team Coordinator

Hungary church team
MFM team at work on church in Hungary.
God can lead you into a time and place that deepens your faith and challenges your daily dependence on Him. Two weeks in Hungary was just that in May. God humbled me in a place where I did not know the language or understand the culture.

Our team went to build a church. We left knowing that we would build into a community something far beyond the significance of a church building. Many people (including Americans) have come and gone and promised many things to the people of the small, quintessential village of Szentmargitfalva (Saint Margaret Falva Village). There have been many empty promises made for a gas station, a small store, a hospital, and a retirement home. Yet, there is no economic development to speak of in the village. The little village is what you think of in the middle of Hungary’s country side.

OMS-Hungary and the Methodist Church personnel had talked about building a church in Szentmargitfalva for the people to have a place to worship. The area Methodist pastor, the Methodist superintendent, and OMS missionary Jonathan Long made the agreement to start building this spring. They talked to MFM about sending teams to build the church. The idea has now come to fruition, and many people from all over the U.S. and Hungary are coming together to be the hands and feet of Jesus to build the church.

I was challenged by all the empty promises that were made to the village when Jonathan told me the above story. Jonathan didn’t know that in Greenwood, Indiana, I was working with over twenty-five people who were joining teams to help build the church. I have not an ounce of disrespect; however, all of these people, one-by-one, had legitimate and valid reasons for not being able to go and help build the church. So, I prayed about my involvement, and if I should even go without a team. Within this time of prayer, my family and I went to an MFM Council meeting, and I had a great conversation with Corey Rose. His counsel solidified not only my involvement but his as well. Corey said, “What if we don’t go, what will happen to the church?” “What will this village do without a church?” I understood exactly what he meant.

Hungary church
Unfinished church already being used.
Now, back to the previous conversation with Jonathan about the empty promises made to this village. We, as OMS-Hungary and MFM, would have been labeled as another American group of people to make empty promises and lose the trust and faith of the Hungarian people in this village. Praise God that didn’t happen!

I leave you with the thought from, Matthew 5:37 from the Message translation, “And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This council is deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.”

I am on this journey with you, and by God’s grace I said, “Yes.”

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