In preparing to come to Hungary I was willing to sacrifice my comfort, being close to family and friends and wonderful ministry partners, the known and financial stability. However similar to the rich young ruler who approached Jesus and told him all of the sins he hadn’t committed and all of the good things that he had done, Jesus wanted all of him, his whole heart, not only what the rich young man was willing to offer and give to know God better. Jesus offered the young man that which was ultimately the best for him, to surrender that which his security and soul ultimately rested in, whether this was cognitive or subconscious. In the case of this young man in Matthew – it was his wealth.Similarly, in coming to Hungary Jesus was preparing me by allowing me to shed those things that I thought took my eyes off of him. However in arriving in Hungary as I prayed and asked others to pray that our family both together and as individuals would be truly listening to Jesus’ voice, he revealed to me other areas in my heart and life needing to be surrendered to him.
At this point in my faith journey I find that the hardest things that Jesus’ asks me to give to him is my full trust in his love and provision for my children. Even as I write this tears come to my eyes as I pray for them. In the same way that I know that Jesus was offering the rich young ruler the very best, himself, as well as freedom from his security and trust in anything other than Jesus. So Jesus offers me the very best in offering me himself, Jesus to be enough for me, and to provide for all of my needs.
In coming to Hungary Eric and I hoped for these ultimate good things for our children, chances for faith to grow, and areas in our lives where as a family we would be ultimately dependent on Jesus. Also important to us was the opportunity for all of us to see and know and love the impoverished and realize that there is more to life than the pursuit of materialism as we would live cross-culturally. However, as God lead, opened doors and paved the way for us to come to Kalocsa, filling us with his peace, it never came to my mind that there was even a possibility that we would be living approximately 8 miles from the only nuclear power plant in Hungary, one of the things that I am the most fearful of. Whether it was because of the age in which I grew up, media representation, Chernobyl or for other reasons I have been deathly afraid of anything nuclear for as long as I can remember.
Flying, meeting new people, speaking another language, sharing life with the impoverished, all of these things held no fear for me. Yet living close enough to a nuclear power plant to have to have a monthly siren drill in our city to make sure that the emergency system is working has held fear over me. Not personal fear for Eric and I, but fear for Calvin and Muriel and the implications of what a malfunction at the power plant could mean for them.
So this is where I am at in my faith journey right now. Jesus once again is saying to me “are you willing to follow?” As I have reflected on my life over the past few months one of the things clear to me was that I didn’t want my life to be ruled by fear, and that I didn’t want to say “no” to Jesus in any area of my life or fight against his will in my life. There have been many significant times in the past where I can see that Jesus’ answer of “no” to me was the best gift that he ever could have given to me. Even as I desire to grow in my faith, I admit that it is the times of most difficulty and when I am at the end of myself that Jesus works the most in my heart to draw me closer to him and make me more into his image.
So as Eric and I are in full accord that this is where Jesus has lead us for at least this year, and as we have experienced his peace that surpasses all understanding in so many ways, please continue to pray with me that I will be faithful to saying “yes” to Jesus and fully trusting his purpose and plans and love and provision for Calvin and Muriel’s lives as well as my own. I don’t want to miss out on the gifts and growth and ministry that Jesus has for us this year in Kalocsa because of my fears of living so close to a nuclear power plant. Thank you for standing with us in faith, in love, in prayer.
FYI: Kalocsa is a town of approximately 20,000 people who live and have raised their families for generations in no fear of this power plant. The nuclear power plant is located in a neighboring city, Paks. Also, the power plant is of so little concern that I wouldn’t even know about it except for the monthly siren emergency broadcasts. Other close Hungarian friends, one who has worked in the non-nuclear power industry in Hungary for 30 years and another an environmental engineer has said that it is as safe to live in Kalocsa as anywhere else in the country. Also when I did a study online I discovered that all over Europe and in many places in the U.S., especially the East Coast, there are many communities located close to nuclear power plants. So you can pray with me that as I have all of this analytical proof that I am not doing anything dangerous for my children that I would experience Christ’s peace in my heart regarding this fear.
1 John 4:16-19
“And so we know and rely on the love god has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.”