New School Year
I am back in Budapest after a great summer in America. It was good to spend time with family and friends, and to be able to go to the conference in Baltimore. I was kind of nervous to return and start a new school year. There have been some big changes, including a new principal, new classes for me to teach, and also new responsibilities. So far everything has gone great! I was really praying this summer for peace, and ease in the transition, and God has worked mightily in it.
It’s so funny when you expect one thing to happen and God does something so much greater. On Sundays, I have been working with the Korean Church of Budapest’s teen ministry. I had visited them before and spoken a couple times, but just before the summer they had asked me to be their full-time youth leader. It is really amazing. I love the Korean kids I have gotten to know in GGIS, and then by extension their families, so now to be able to minister to other Korean teens regularly… Wow, what a blessing.
This weekend, GGIS had its annual High School Retreat. This is a time when we take all the high schoolers out into the country side for three days. We play sports, have crafts, sing, dance, have bonfires and s’mores, and of course, we have some amazing messages. I was privileged to be able to speak to the whole high school the first night we were at the camp. I spoke about Jacob going to meet his brother Esau and wrestling with God. God touched Jacob and Jacob was never the same. I said that God will speak to us this weekend and we will be changed, however, we can’t rebuild walls. Have you ever kicked an ant hill? (be honest) They immediately come out and start rebuilding it. In the same way, we can have an incredible experience with God, we can have the anointing of the Holy Spirit in a message, and yet as soon as we leave, we start building walls back up between us and God.
God of Today
I think it was a good message for the students to hear. So often at these retreats, I see that kids claim to have had an indelible, life changing time, only to forget the whole thing when Monday rolls around. But can’t that happen to all of us? I think it can. I didn’t just preach it for them but also for me. I have to constantly remind myself of what God is doing in my life. I can’t get overwhelmed by what I think will happen in the future, but I have to live right now, seeing what God is doing today. His mercy is new every morning.
Love and Grace
I have also started teaching a Bible class in school called Theology of Grace. I am really excited about it, but please pray for it. I really want the students to understand the grace of God and thereby the love that God has for them in this class.
A few other things you can pray for: the Korean Church youth group, the changes at GGIS and the continuous school improvement, for salvations among the student body, and also my friends Tim and Myriah who are waiting to adopt a baby. It could be any day between now and … who knows. Thank you all for your continued prayer and support! Love, Jon Cook