Mommy with her three boys
Three brothers before church

Several times, we’ve written updates regarding the refugee crisis to inform you from our perspective over here. It’s so changing and complicated that each attempt was out-of-date before we could hit save. A short synopsis for us here is that since September, the crisis has been literally “re-routed” several hours south of us to Serbia and Croatia. Even so, it is still very real, and many friends in our community are involved with relief efforts. Our church, even before this current crisis, was involved with helping refugees in the city. Within this church community are members who themselves were refugees in recent or many years past, so there is first-hand understanding and wisdom for ministering to people. Pray continually for the situation all over Europe. Honestly, it is unnerving to live in a prominent city in Europe, so pray against fear settling in our hearts and minds. In particular, Jana and Oliver (though he doesn’t understand it all) can have difficulty managing their over-active imaginations in times like this.

LOL Moment … During one of our many doctor’s visits, I was chatting with our Hungarian pediatrician about reliable places to find meat. As she looked online she was talking to herself out-loud in English, “I need the Hungarian word, but I can only think of the English… what is that word? …butcher, what is the word for butcher?” I perked up because it’s actually a word I know!! “Hentes”, I said. She immediately buried her head in her hands, laughing very loudly, “What just happened? What has happened to me?” I laughed with her and said, “I think an American just corrected your Hungarian!” Thankfully, she laughed even more, and so did I …I’m not normally that quick with retorts!

Our family is enjoying the ebb and flow of daily life in Budapest, but routines can quickly change depending on any given thing–Dr’s visits, re-applying for our visas, holidays, etc. Oliver is quite happy being in first grade and has made a few friends. Every week he requests for at least three friends to come over to play; we settled for hosting his class for his birthday over the weekend! Simon misses Oliver during the day, but as soon as big brother is home they run off to play happily together or find something to fight over. He’s also improved in his speech. Thad enjoys reading to the older two before bed most evenings. Milo is very active and determined, giving Jana quite the hand full during the day. He had a period where he wasn’t gaining weight quickly enough, resulting in extra doctor’s visits, but he seems to have recovered and is doing just fine. Jana, though disappointed to have missed the short window to register for a ballet class, has been able to start Hungarian lessons and attend a lecture series at the Hungarian National Gallery called, The Bible Illuminates Art.

Thad enjoys walking and taking the bus to his office every day and continues work on developing a Window’s version of a ministry app for Eastern Europe users. He is also preparing his talks for the upcoming conference in February, but you can pray for some creativity and focused time in this. He’s had some health issues, with not sleeping well and headaches—after an MRI, a neurologist ruled out anything life-threatening and an ENT ruled out sinus problems. It’s likely down to either stress or diet, so we’re planning his next steps in tackling this. Over a period of three weeks, our family was in some way at at a doctor’s office 12 different times. Pray for Thad to have relief from his headaches and for good health for all of us.

Speaking of stress… Did you know that a person living cross-culturally even on a normal, everything-goes-smoothly day, experiences stress levels that are far above normal? For the first couple of years living in a new culture, this is typical and something we’ve been trained to expect. It doesn’t lower the stress level, but it does allow for us to not have more stress worrying about what’s going on. Even so, this is something you can pray for regularly for all of our family.

Thank you for standing with us in prayer. While we mostly feel pretty good, we do have these significant prayer needs right now and appreciate you joining us in
seeing the Lord work through it all.

Sixteen year wedding anniversary!
Sixteen year wedding anniversary!
Three brothers before church
Three brothers before church
Jana at the Hungarian National Gallery
Jana at the Hungarian National Gallery
SEVEN years old & making cottage rolls
SEVEN years old & making cottage rolls