Dan and Katy Beth Searls are missionaries serving in educational ministries in Hungary. In their latest prayer letter, they highlight some awesome things God is doing in and through His followers. Read more to learn what God is doing, and click the link below to see a slideshow of great pictures documenting their story.
“In one of the industrial suburbs of Budapest is a family. The father is a pastor. The mother prays. Their children have grown up loving Jesus and following Him. They are part of a small fellowship that has a love for God and a heart for others. One of the daughters is a music teacher at a local high school. Szilvi has reached out to her students outside of class pulling together an orchestra that plays in concerts as well as at the small church fellowship on Sunday afternoons. The other daughter plays the piano and leads worship at church with the orchestra. Their investment in the students and their siblings and parents, as well as wanting to reach out to other children led to the start of a day camp that met in a local park the past several years. The prayers of the mother and father as well as several other older ones in the small church supported the outreach.
“Last year, Nazarene missionary, Carol, was invited to come and help teach the English portion of their day camp. The campers and the church fellowship fell in love with her as she loved on them and not only taught English but had Jesus central to all her English activities at camp. She and Szilvi, the music teacher, started a follow-up English Bible Club on Friday nights that continued throughout the year.
“Now in a small town outside of Budapest lived a missionary family who were asking Jesus what He had for them in the summer of 2016—where did He want them to plug in? The wife prayed with her friend Carol and they lifted up the English Club, the little church fellowship and the upcoming English Camp in their prayer times. One Friday an invitation was given to Katy Beth, the wife, who was free to go and took her youngest girl with her. They loved what Jesus was doing with the English Bible Club kids and started praying by name for them. They went back as many Fridays as they could and loved what Jesus was doing through Carol and Szilvi in the lives of these students and the joy of getting to know them and see where Jesus was working. And then…the invitation came—could their family help do English Camp this year?
“Invited to preach in their service one Sunday, the family went and met this group committed to Jesus, prayer and outreach. What joy to be a part of their dream for the first English Camp held in a campground at Lake Balaton—not just a day camp but a real old fashion-type camp! Wonderful Szilvi and her husband arranged the details and particulars. Spirit-filled Carol was the bridge from what had been happening from last year’s day camp and the English Club to this year’s camp. Dan and Katy Beth and their team of girls (3 of theirs + a niece) made up the planning team! Prayers from the older generation in the church carried the hours of planning and preparation.
“Finally, the opening ceremony of camp Sunday afternoon at church…Jeremiah 33:3 was the theme verse of this year’s English Camp call to me and I will answer you…. What fun to get to be a part of lives in which Jesus was already working and where so much prayer preparation had already been invested. Our family loved being a part of the team and leading the English program as well as the God-Time in the evening (although Jesus was central in every part of the day) with a fun game of “Our Version of Life”: a team game made up of silly games, points and group decisions with immediate and long-term consequences. What joy to work as a family (minus Susannah who has been right where Jesus wanted her this summer serving Him in Clarkston, GA with Global Frontiers Mission) alongside Szivli and her husband and Carol.
“One of the older campers, who has set her face to follow Jesus, was in Annie’s group which had the youngest ones. Annie asked her to pray over the little ones. She was afraid, having not ever prayed over children out loud before, but she did and oh, the joy! She said she could not even brush her teeth that night she was so happy that she got to pray for children for the first time! Stepping out for Jesus and finding His joy!
“Early in the week, Katy Beth asked one of her students how she could pray and the response was ‘I have a little bit of Jesus that I don’t want to lose.’ She prayed not only that they wouldn’t lose Him but that the little bit would grow. On Friday night Jesus came to camp in a special way and was talking and this one heard His voice. The next morning when asked what Jesus had done/said the night before, the answer was, ‘I called and He answered me!’ When asked how we could pray at the end of camp, ‘That Jesus would shine through me!’
“Saturday after Jesus had come on Friday, we told The Prodigal Son story and acted it out, retold it, dissected it, and then applied it and WHOOSH! Jesus was there again—speaking, convicting, loving, drawing them to HIMSELF! 15 minutes of ‘Go listen to Jesus alone’ became 30 minutes of absolute quiet all over the camp as He spoke and they listened.
“How do you put the sacred into words? How do you quantify the eternal? How do you explain God-toward steps taken?
“…bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry. Luke 15:23-24 September 16 is the start date for the follow up English Bible Club. We look forward to seeing what Jesus does in their hearts the rest of the summer and how He will grow them in the fall. We are praying for these ones that God protects them and that the seeds sown grow deep into Him and grow fruit; fruit that will last. Please pray with us that nothing can steal, distract or wither the seed that God’s planted at camp. ‘…For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.’ II Tim 1:12b Thank you for praying for us, with us, fighting for us and with us for these ones—loved by God Himself, drawn to Himself. Our God speaks. Our God saves! Pray with us that as they continue to call to Him, He will answer them and show them great and hidden things they do not know. Jeremiah 33:3”
In Him with joy that we have been chosen to be a part of what He’s doing here,
Dan and Katy Beth Searls
Annie, Sadie, Abby and Mattie Kate Albertson, Susannah (in her spot from Him for the summer) too
World Gospel Mission-Hungary
“We head to Poland on Sunday July 17th to be part of an evangelism team that is working at the World Youth Day in Krakow! Please pray for God’s hand of protection, for open hearts, that He will lead us to the ones He has for us to share with and for boldness to declare the goodness of Jesus Christ!”