The Poster Child for Communism

The missionaries I came to meet with, Ted and Carol, picked me up at Budapest airport and drove me to their home about an hour and a half away.  They live in a former mining town in Hungary.  Their town’s people were the “poster children” for Communism because the workers were miners.  Miners have big muscles, so they were celebrated in pictures and sculpture shirtlessly embodying the Communist ideal.  The Communist dictators treated them very well because they were the poster children.  So the town’s infrastructure was far better than most of the rest of Hungary.

This is the pretty town square viewed from T & C's window

This is the pretty town square viewed from T & C’s window

When Communism collapsed, there was joy all over Hungary—except for this town.  They had lost their celebrity status and all the perks that come with it: the finest housing, cars, the best food, good schools for their children, etc.  For them freedom meant learning how to scrape their resources together, working at whatever jobs they could find when the mine closed.  Many in this town are nostalgic about the “good old days of Communism.”

Having arrived Saturday night, I had missed the gypsy Bible study (see Six Hours Late).  But I did get to hear Ted preach.  Over breakfast this morning I had mentioned the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-6) in conversation about how God is moving among the Italian Catholics (see Touching the Hem of His Garment).  Ted said, “Guess what scripture I’m preaching about!”  Yup!  John 5:1-6.  His sermon was really good, teaching me something new that I had never considered before.

Jesus had approached the paralytic and no one else.  Why?  Perhaps because everyone else had someone there to help them into the waters when they rippled.  Ted said that it was strange that this man was alone.  Jesus asked him a strange question, one I had always wondered about: “Do you want to be healed?”  Of course He knew the answer, but it gave the man the opportunity to reveal something about his own character.  He complained that there was no one to help him into the water.  And even when he had been healed, he “blamed” Jesus because He had told the man to carry his bed home—in other words, to work on the Sabbath.  And after he saw Jesus again, he ran to the authorities and told them that it was Jesus.  Not one word of gratitude for his miraculous and life-changing healing.  This guy had some definite character issues, which is something I had never really thought about before.

After church we walked around town a bit, returned home, and prayed together.  Ted and Carol mostly work with gypsies, doing CHE, Community Health Evangelism.  The CHE concept is great.  It involves health, but not only the health of the body, but of the whole person: body, soul (mental/emotional), and spirit.  I love the holistic approach, and it is so desperately needed in the gypsy communities of Europe.  The gypsies are the most receptive of all Europeans when it comes to the Gospel message.  They grab it with both hands.  So we prayed together for them, for their family, and for their ministry.

And I pray daily for the Lord of the Harvest to send more workers for this mission field.  The harvest is ripe, but the workers are few.  If you are interested in missions in Europe, whether with gypsies or not, check out GoMissions.

God is good!  Working with God is great!  He’s the best Boss ever, and the retirement plan is out of this world!

He is Risen!

Day Fifteen

Jesus is risen, Oh praise His holy Name!  Um, make that Names!

Elohim – means God, and refers to His power and might, Genesis 1:1

Yahweh – (spellings differ) means The Lord, the proper name of God, Genesis 2:4

El Elyon – means God Most High because He is above all gods; nothing and no one is more holy, Genesis 14:17-20

El Roi – means God Who Sees because God oversees all creation, and the affairs of people, Genesis 16:13

El Shaddai – means God Almighty because God is all-powerful, Genesis 17:1

Yahweh Yireh – means The Lord will Provide because God will provide all our needs, Genesis 22:13-14

Yahweh Nissi – means The Lord is my Banner because God helps us, He is our standard in battle, Exodus 17:15

Adonai – means Lord because He alone is head over all, Deuteronomy 6:4

Yahweh Elohe Yisrael – means Lord God of Israel because God made the nation and people of Israel, Judges 5:3

Yahweh Shalom – means the Lord is Peace because God gives us peace, so we need not fear, Judges 6:24

Qedosh Yisrael – means Holy One of Israel because God is perfect and holy, Isaiah 1:4

Yahweh Sabaoth – means Lord of Hosts, and refers to His leadership of the Heavenly armies protecting us, 1 Samuel 1:3

El Olam – means the Everlasting God, God is eternal, and He exists outside the confines of time, Isaiah 40:28-31

Yahweh Tsidkenu – means the Lord is our Righteousness because God is our standard and only He can make us righteous, Jeremiah 23:6

Yahweh Shammah – means the Lord is There because God is omnipresent, Ezekiel 48:35

Attiq Yomin – means Ancient of Days because God has always been from the foundation of the earth and before, so He alone can judge the nations, Daniel 7:9

More Names for God/Jesus

My Witness – Job 16:19

Bread of Life – John 6:35

Comforter in Sorrow – Jeremiah 8:18

My Hope – Psalm 71:5

Wonderful Counselor – Isaiah 9:6

Defender of Widows – Psalm 68:5

The Strength of my Salvation – Psalm 140:7

Faithful and True – Revelation 19:11

Our Father – Isaiah 64:8

A Sure Foundation – Isaiah 28:16

My Friend – Job 16:20

God of All Comfort – 2 Corinthians 1:3

God My Avenger – Psalm 18:47

God My Savior – Psalm 51:14

Our Guide – Psalm 48:14

Our Head – 2 Chronicles 13:12

Head of the Church – Ephesians 5:23

Our Help – Psalm 33:20

My Hiding Place – Psalm 32:7

Great High Priest – Hebrews 4:14

Holy One in our Midst – Hosea 11:9

Righteous Judge – 2 Timothy 4:8

King of Kings – 1 Timothy 6:15

Our Life – Colossians 3:4

Light of Life – John 8:12

Lord of Lords – 1 Timothy 6:15

Lord of the Harvest – Matthew 9:38

Our Mediator – 1 Timothy 2:5

Our Peace – Ephesians 2:14

Prince of Peace – Isaiah 9:6

My Redeemer – Psalm 19:14

Refuge and Strength – Psalm 46:1

My Salvation – Exodus 15:2

My Help – Psalm 42:5

The Good Shepherd – John 10:11

My Stronghold – Psalm 18:2

My Support – 2 Samuel 22:19

Good Teacher – Mark 10:17

Son of Man – John 6:27

Light of the World – John 8:12

Gate for the Sheep – John 10:7

The Way The Truth and The Life – John 14:6

The Vine – John 15:1

The Resurrection and the Life – John 11:25

By which of these Names has God made Himself known to you?  God is good!