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IMB DIGEST: Because you give – Hungary, South Asia

A Kenyan student reads his Bible during a worship service at the International Baptist Church of Debrecen, Hungary. The church was co-founded and is co-pastored by IMB missionary Gary Miller. The city’s university attracts students from all over the globe and presented the unique opportunity to plant an English-speaking church in the community. IMB Photo

Editor’s note: “Because you give” is a series of short stories from the International Mission Board designed to show how giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Cooperative Program directly affects lostness on the mission field.

Because you give: Discipling the nations to disciple the nations

By Myriah Snyder

Because you give, missionaries and ministry partners started a thriving church in Debrecen, Hungary.

Because you give, an international church in Hungary is part of solving the world’s greatest problem – lostness.

Because you give, we are truly reaching the nations, together.

In fact, International Baptist Church of Debrecen, a collaborative effort church plant between International Mission Board missionaries Gary and Carolyn Miller, national believers and other Christian workers, has grown to reach 50 people each week.

In this international city, the church focuses on college students and young adults who come to Debrecen to make their home while studying. Around 37,000 students attend the University of Debrecen, which is one of the largest universities in the country. Nearly 7,000 are international students, making the city a ripe mission field. Many are working on graduate programs or Ph.Ds.

Even the leadership of the church is international, with Americans, Hungarians, an Ecuadorian and Nigerians serving together. Each week, the church can count 15 different nations represented in its attendees.

“You look in Revelation and you see that eventually we’re all going to be gathered around the throne,” Gary said. “Well, in our church we get just a little taste of that.”

Thanks to the support of churches, like yours, who give to the Lottie Moon offering and Cooperative Program, the Millers can provide a steadfast missionary presence in this international city.

The beauty of this diversity is that the church can train and equip a missions force to get into places Americans can’t go with an American passport – like the team the church is preparing to send on a short-term trip to help equip believers for special types of ministries in Africa.

“Our vision when we first came to Hungary was equipping Hungarians to go out to the nations,” Gary said. “But then we looked around and the nations are coming here.”

The Millers’ vision for those who pass through their church is lofty. But, with the prayers and financial support of people like you, it’s becoming a reality.

Because you give, South Asians hear the name of Jesus for first time

By Tessa Sanchez

Most people in this South Asian village were afraid to seek medical attention. The closest hospital is 15 miles away, and when villagers traveled to seek care, they never made it back – alive or dead. Not having a body to cremate is a travesty for Hindus because it’s part of their spiritual framework for helping someone pass on from this life.

Cordy Lowe and Lucky share the gospel out of a South Asian family’s home. Lowe is an IMB missionary and Lucky is a Christian doctor. The men partner to share the gospel in rural communities. There are no known Christians in the area — something Cordy is praying won’t last long. IMB Photo

Now, thanks to a South Asian doctor people call “Lucky,” people in the village have access to medical and soul care.

Lucky heard the Gospel from International Mission Board missionaries while studying to be a doctor and committed his life to Christ. He’s attended many Gospel-themed trainings IMB missionaries Cordy and Elise Lowe have hosted and is passionate about sharing the Gospel. The Lowes and Lucky regularly go into communities to talk about their faith.

Because of their friendship with Lucky, the Lowes were able to share the Gospel in areas they would not have had access to otherwise. These communities are accessible to missionaries because of the resources provided through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

As Lucky grew in his faith, the Lord developed in him a desire to plant a church in his home village. He wants to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of people through opening a small clinic to serve his community while advancing the Gospel. He won’t just be serving his community – seven nearby villages do not have hospitals or clinics. These villages don’t have any known Christians either, but Southern Baptists’ faithfulness is changing that.

Lucky recently completed his doctor and pharmacist qualifications and will soon finish his gynecology certification. He is actively working to open his clinic.

The world’s greatest problem is lostness and the world’s greatest need is the Gospel. Meeting medical needs is one way for gospel access to happen. You’re a part of making Gospel access happen.

Thank you for giving. Gifts to LMCO make it possible for the Lowes to provide medication and supplies to support Lucky’s efforts.

The Lowes and Lucky have hosted medical clinics in the neighboring villages. At the clinics, they get phone numbers and follow up with patients. They receive many invitations for tea. In South Asian culture, people are quick to extend an invitation to host guests in their homes.

One of Lucky’s favorite things to do is walk through the villages and invite people to his home or a friend’s home if he is visiting another village. He’ll provide a simple meal – lentil stew – for the 20, 30 or 40 people who come. If Cordy Lowe has joined Lucky on the trip, after everyone is seated, Lucky says, “You are now going to hear uncle speak.”

In South Asia, “uncle” is used to respectfully refer to someone older. Since Cordy is a Westerner, people are curious and interested in what he has to say, providing a perfect opportunity to introduce Jesus. Cordy said many people in these areas have never heard the name of Jesus.

Because you give, Cordy and Elise can tell people who Jesus is and partner with Lucky in an area in great need of the gospel. Thank you — you are changing the eternities of men and women in South Asia.

Some names may have been changed for security purposes. Tessa Sanchez writes for the IMB. Myriah Snyder writes and edits for the IMB.

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