I’ve been a slacker since we arrived here in Hungary. We do have an internet connection, albeit slow at times. I simply have not pulled away to write. Tasha is doing much better about writing on her blog. Nonetheless, here we go:
It’s been an amazing trip so far here in Budapest, Hungary. We’re actually about an hour and a half outside of the city (not sure exactly where), at a little place called Villapark. We’re here with missionaries who are scattered abroad all over Eastern Europe with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. This is one week out of the year they all really look forward to, to come together, have fellowship, give testimonies of what God is doing in their respective cities, to sit under some biblical training and teaching (by my good friend, Jeff Long
) and to worship together in English, which they never get to do–a small commodity I take for granted back home.
We met one couple, Wes and Tamara Banks, who gave up a comfortable lifestyle in Atlanta, Georgia to come to the mission field of Eastern Europe to interface with the gypsies of southern Romania. Wes left his job with Delta after 16 years of climbing the ladder, and gave it all up for the cause of Christ, to answer God’s calling on their lives. They have 2 little boys, Wesley and Colter (8 and 6), whom they are seeking to raise in the admonition of the Lord, and with the understanding that the American Dream is just that–nothing more than a dream–fleeting–a chasing after the wind that only leaves you more empty than when you first began the chase.
The gypsy culture that Wes and Tamara are working in is unique, to say the least. Gypsies have a culture within a culture. They are drifters–roamers. They have their own hodge-podge of religious belief borrowed from numerous currents of religious thought mixed together with superstition and family tradition. But nonetheless in need of the light of the Gospel. They are loyal and committed to their family traditions, whether it be circus bear trainers, musicians, metal workers … whatever. They stay true to their traditions. The Light of the Gospel is the only hope for gypsies. Pray for Wes and Tamara as they seek to find in-roads for the Gospel.
I’m doing a study of 1 John while I’m here in Hungary. Here’s some things the Lord has shown me so far.
1. THE REASON – v. 4 – “…that our joy may be complete…” – The world is looking for sincere joy – not fabricated.
2. THE MESSAGE – v. 5 –
A) God is Light
B) There is no Darkness in Him
Cross-Reference – Ps. 119:105 – “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
3. THE WARNING – vv. 6, 8, 10 – “If we say we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we are lying … If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves … we make Him a liar.”
I would never make these claims verbally, but I think sometimes I speak them with my lifestyle. My actions take the place of my mouth. Actions become words.
4. THE REWARD – vv. 7, 9 –
A) Fellowship – (koinonia) – this is not coffee and doughnuts fellowship – this is genuine fellowship. Fellowship that holds each other accountable. Walking in the light means exposing the truth to one another in love. It means sin confrontation, weeping with each other, etc. It involves holding the blacklight of the Word of God over our lives and exposing the nasty sin that is hidden.
B) Cleansing/Forgiveness – means genuine change – Isaiah 1:18 – “though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Ps. 103:12 – “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”