Being a calm and quiet type of guy, few things ring my bell. But when I witness new life, I become like butter in the sun … I melt.
As a kid, I was always fascinated watching a chick break free of its shell or of our horses birthing their foals. Being present at all three of our children’s births was a highlight never to be forgotten. There’s something that captivates my heart when I see “new birth” take place that is like no other experience.
That powerful, unforgettable experience happened again this past Friday in a little town in Western Hungary called Szentmargitfalva. As 33 people filled the new chapel in the center of town, 13 stepped forward to become charter members of this village’s first church after 700 years of waiting. We were witnesses once again of a new birth, a spiritual birth where the divine and the human come together as the bride of Christ. Laci, the Methodist superintendent, has been nurturing the people of this village for the last 10 years to draw near to God.
Over a year ago, plans were drawn up for a small wooden chapel to be constructed. The land was donated by a couple in the community. The town offered to help with the foundation and storage of materials. We all prayed that funds and materials would be available. Donations in material and finances came from Germany, Canada, USA, and Hungary. Men for Missions volunteers (from Canada and the U.S.), One Mission Society missionaries, missionaries from a sister organization, and fellow Hungarians, locally and from far away, all labored over a six-month period to see a “dream come true.”
And so it was, on September 20, 2018, at 3:00 pm, under the light of a crimson cross, the body of Christ in Szentmargitfalva took it first breath. Praise the Lord!
By Chuck Long, OMS "Retired" Missionary