Budapest, Hungary – September 2008

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 16:34

This is an excellent response to Sandra’s trip to Budapest. Her report follows.

I’ve been back three weeks and the excitement of the Lord’s unfolding plan is still with me. Thank you for your patience in waiting for this report. The developing situation in the Czech Republic caused a delay in my being able to share as fully as I intend to now.

The sweetest part of the entire trip was the Lord’s hand over every detail. I travelled alone for the first time in a while and it was a bit odd. From travel mercies through schedule changes to excellent times of fellowship our Father cared for me with grace and power. Words cannot express my gratitude.

The three main areas where I saw God’s hand were: 1) at Greater Grace International School (GGIS), 2) with the international families, and 3) in getting to know my Hungarian hosts. As you read through these points, please praise Jesus with us for His hand of mercy and ask Him to continue to unfold His perfect plan in this place.

1) The meeting at GGIS was my first one as the official Homeschool Coordinator for their Umbrella Program. It was a wonderful time of fellowship with true brothers and sisters committed to serving our Savior. We enjoyed lunch together as Jim Schirmer, Principal and my previous contact, introduced me to Marcia Merriman, the new Academic Dean who is my current contact.

It was a working lunch and I got goose bumps more than once as I realized how marvelously God had prepared the way. There was a tone of mutual respect and a wealth of common understanding that was divinely granted. We covered several potentially difficult topics with ease. We closed in prayer that was so powerful and unified I simply did not want to leave the room.

The Lord then topped off our meeting by having Brian Quirk, Director, and Brian Lange, one of the board members and a founder, join us. It was a treat to get a glimpse of the camaraderie among the administrators and staff. It was also a blessing to hear about the original vision for GGIS from one of those involved at the beginning. God expressed His sovereignty in arranging people, setting the time, and coordinating hearts to accomplish His will in this particular outreach. Hallelujah!

2) Another area where God showed Himself was in the gathering of the homeschool families. The Umbrella Program calls for two annual meetings, in the fall and spring. All but one of the families were represented and the day was rich in every regard. We reviewed test scores from the spring, discussed the details of the developing program, and set our sights for the year ahead. Our goal was to arrange our lives and homes from the inside out to the glory of God.

One added dimension of the time together was that we were joined by a new Hungarian mom. She and her Canadian husband are interested in homeschooling and she came to hear how it’s done. When we sat down to lunch she began to ask questions and although I answered one or two, I was practically superfluous. The veterans took over the discussion and shared their experiences. They understood the Hungarian education system far better than I and were able to offer meaningful information and encouragement. It was a deep joy to my heart.

3) The last area of my report is the joy of getting to know my Hungarian host and hostess. Luke* and Grace* welcomed me into their home for my entire visit. Luke acted as my chauffeur and logged many miles in carrying me to meetings. Grace was a warm and gracious hostess, preparing meals and caring for me amidst her demanding responsibilities as wife and mother of four. She also acted as my cultural advisor and sister in the faith.

The Lord has provided this sweet couple as my “on the ground assistants.” Getting to know them up close and personal was more than a glorious gift. I see it as more of God’s perfect arrangement of the details to provide protection for families who wish to serve Him with their whole hearts and lives. Our precious time of growing closer in Jesus is the foundation He’s building for what’s ahead. We continue our relationship over the internet and it is sweet.

There were some difficult parts to the journey as well, but they pale in comparison to God’s glorious oversight. Please do praise Him with us for His ongoing encouragement to stay the course and ask Him to provide the direction and power to do so. Amen

*all names have been changed for privacy purposes

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