From Budapest to Baltimore


God has moved

This is my final newsletter as a missionary and a teacher in Hungary. I can’t believe it’s been almost seven years! I remember being sent out on a Wednesday night along with Nick Groenewold. I said I was only going to be in Hungary for 6 months… shhh, don’t tell anyone I stayed longer!
I have learned and grown so much in my time here. It is so overwhelming that God has used me. I thank Him every day that He has worked through me here, often times despite me. I think you know what I mean.
I guess what I am saying is that I have learned to give grace, not only to others, but also to myself. I think of Psalm 8, “What is man that you are mindful of him or the son of man that you should care for him?” How could God have used me? I see my brokenness, my failures, my insecurities, but what does He see? He sees Himself. Wow. God uses us! I need to see myself as God sees me. Not as a failure, but as His child! When I live in this revelation, the guilt, the fear, the shame vanish in His presence. I John 4:18 says, “God’s love drives out fear.” There is nothing like God’s love. I am so thankful for it.

God is moving

Two weekends ago I attended what was my last GGIS graduation. It was a beautiful, anointed time. All 14 seniors stood up and gave speeches about their time in the school. The thing that impressed me the most was when, one after another, the graduating Chinese students (many of whom accepted Christ during their high school years) shared their favorite verses in their speeches. No one asked them to do this, but it was on their heart. I have never felt God move so mightily in a graduation! There wasn’t a dry eye in the room and even now, as I type this, I feel a little misty eyed myself.
This past weekend, we had a baptism at school. One graduate, who has also been my translator in the Korean church that I work with, asked if I would baptize her. I am so proud of this young lady. I have known her since she was in sixth grade and now, she is going off to college with a treasure in her heart. She said she wants to come visit Baltimore for the convention next year, so please keep that in your prayers! (I’m still trying to convince her to go to Bible College too.)

God will move

While I am certainly going to miss Budapest, I am looking forward to what God has in store in the future. Thank you all for reading my newsletters these past seven years, thank you for your prayers and support, and most of all, thank you for the encouraging words you’ve shared. It has truly been a blessing to live and grow up here, and it wouldn’t have been possible at all without you.  –Jon Cook