November 2020

The presence of coronavirus in Hungary has been steadily increasing over recent weeks, with record numbers of people passing away because of it. The government is committed to keeping the economy going and so most places remain open (with the exception of many offices). Mask-wearing, social distancing and hand-sanitisers are the main preventatives. 

View from our home office

The Acorn Camps office has not officially closed but we’re keeping our distance so most meetings are on Zoom just now. I think we’ve found a good balance of having 15 minutes of team prayer and bible time on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9am, then another 15 minute catch-up first thing in the afternoon. This helps the more extrovert personalities amongst us to stay sane! Sanyi is on a ‘home office’ working pattern until at least Christmas so we’re both at home together these days.

Graduation evening

We said farewell to our first cohort of CORE students in August, the graduation evening being a good send off! It was excellent meeting with them to support their writing a five-talk series on John 11. That really is an exceptional chapter, with the most comforting good news of how Jesus responds so personally, and the hope he offers, to people in pain and facing devastating disappointment.  

Broadly speaking, Acorn Camps is looking to promote the CORE Training Course more widely across Hungary this next year. It’s been exciting meeting with the nine mentors who are newly involved in the course – a combination of pastors and youth leaders who give feedback to the students on their bible talks. Their enthusiasm was palpable when they realised how their involvement could help impact and develop a bible-teaching approach that focuses on the passage and ‘gives the microphone to God’ in youth groups settings. 

Szilárd joins the Acorn team!

Plans for next summers’ camps are in the mix, with a restructure underway. We’ve been grateful for the various individuals who are helping us along in the planning. It’s meant I’ve had more time to focus on coordinating the production of the Acorn Camps newsletter (with versions for UK and Hungarian readers – if you’d like to get it, sign up on the Acorn Camps homepage), welcoming Szilárd Tam to the team, enjoying some personal contact with volunteers and organising our local Langham preaching club. It’s been interesting trying to follow in Hungarian the nuances of heated discussions about whether/how to preach a Bible book that makes no reference to God (yes, Esther)! 

Anna teaching on Mark’s gospel

 I’ve also had space to consider some additional study and I am very grateful for the opportunity to study the Dynamics of Biblical Change for leaders course from the Biblical Counselling organisation. Starting in January 2021. I’m looking for someone who I can to do this six-month online course alongside, to increase its interactive-ness and my productivity. 

Thank you for your prayerful support of us over the months – and years! It’s a great encouragement to know that there are others alongside us and that others experience challenges and joys along the road too. 

  • CORE Training Course: Praise God that the second year has started well, with nine students, two ‘in-person’ Saturday gatherings, three interactive Zoom sessions, nine enthusiastic Hungarian feedback-giver/mentors and one very pleasant newly refurbished church venue to meet in. Please pray for Anna’s series in Mark’s gospel to be helpful for the students personally and in their teaching, and for patience working with Sanyi on her Hungarian. 
  • Acorn Camps work: Give thanks for times spent with individuals. Pray for someone for Anna to ‘do’ the biblical counselling course with and for courage as she considers and plans visits to teach at youth groups more often. 
  • Language: Give thanks that understanding sermons is getting easier. It’s still a prayer point, if you’ve got patience to pray – again – that Anna would continue to improve in this, having had conversations recently showing it is clearly valued. 
  • Family: Give thanks for conversations with Sanyi’s parents after a family funeral – pray that God would keep nudging them and opening their eyes to his existence. Praise God for a really good four weeks in the UK this summer (just as the first COVID-lull happened) and for time with Anna’s family. Pray for wisdom in handling Christmas plans to come over again. 
  • Church: Praise God that this has felt easier recently, as we’ve got to know people better and had an excellent time on the youth camp this summer. Pray that we would be active in the settling-in process. 

Thank you for your prayers and support,
Anna & Sanyi

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