Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The journey from GoodSports kid to GoodSports intern: Zoli’s Story


For English scroll down

Gyermekkoromat egy árvaházba töltötem el  3 éves koromtól teljesen 24 éves korromig, ahol isten vigyázott rám, és mindvégig velem volt.  Az evangéliumról  17  éves koromba hallottam, amely nagyon megérintette a szívemet. Soha nem értettem igazán azt a szót, hogy  reménység , és  szeretet addig a napig, amikor   hallottam Isten  gondviseléséről, és szeretetéről. Ekkor  tapasztaltam  meg igazán elsőkként, azt a különös érzést, amit azelőtt sohasem, és ekkor csillant fel igazán az a reménység, amit azelőtt sohasem ismertem. Ez pedig azért történt, mert 1998 nyarán elgondolkodtam,  hogy azok az amrikai misszionárusok akik eljöttek hozzánk az árvaházba miért tettek meg ilyen hosszú utat, és milyen indítékkal tettétk ezt ?. Soha nem fogom elfelejteni azt a hetet, amikor együtt játszottunk velük, és beszélgettünk az élet dolgairól, és azt sem fogom elfelejteni, amikor mindannyian gyerekek együtt sírva búcsúztattuk őket, elmenésük pillanatában. Ekkor tapasztaltam meg igazán elsőkként a boldogságot, és a szeretetet. De hála legyen az Úrnak volt folytatása minden év hálaadásán, és nyarán, hiszen ma már egy misszionárus barátom elhívást érzett a gyerekotthonok felé való szolgálatra, és azon igyekezett, hogy minél több misszionárust eljuttason  hozzánk Isten szeretetének bemutatása érdekébe.  Ekkor tapasztaltam meg rajtuk keresztül Isten törődését, és mérhetetlen nagy szeretetét.  Ugyanis sokszor úgy feküdtem le minden este, hogy egy nap el kell hagynom az árvaházat, és neki kell vágnom a nyagy világnak. És sokszor láttam a  kiköltözött társaim bukását, és reménytelen életét, akikről mai napig sem tudok semmit.  Még ma is  visszatekintve ezekre a napokra, és hetekre, amiket ezekkel a csodás emberekkel töltöttem el szivesen és jóérzéssel gondolok vissza, mert ezekből a hetekből, amit ők adtak nekünk, nyertem erőt, és bátorságot a minden napos hétköznapi küzdelmekbe. Hiszen köszépiskolás, és gyermekotthonos  tanulmányaim során sokszor a félelem, és a depresszió rabságába éltem. Nem volt ekkor még nagyon gyakori, hogy amerikaiak jöttek volna el gyermekothonokba reménységet, és szeretetet adni, de Isten kiváltságba részesített  az Ő szeretetének köszönhetően, hogy megélhettem ezeket a csodás és reményt adó napokat. Jézus Krisztus evangéliumáról egyre, és egyre többett ismertem meg bizonyságtevéseken, és Biblia órákon keresztül a hálaadás, és a karácsony időszakjaiban, és egyre jobban kezdtem meggyőzöődni Isten gondviseléséről, és szeretetéről, de 9 évnek kellett eltelnie, hogy elfogadhassam személyes üdvözítőmnek bünös életemre , hogy bocsánatot, és örök életet nyerhessek. A gyermekotthon elhagyása után nehéz időszakokon mentem keresztül, de Isten megtartott engem az Ő hatalmával és erejével, amikor teljesen kétségbe voltam esve, és teljesen elveszetnek éreztem magma. Soha nem fogom elfelejteni, amikor a nővérem azt mondta, hogy el kell hagynom két héten belül a lakását- azzal az indokkal, hogy nem tudtam állást találni, és sohasem fogom elfelejteni Isten  közbelépést e -napon, amikor rögtön egy perc alatt megoldotta a problémámat, amely során munkát, és szállást bíztosított 4-5 éves időre. Ekkor ismertem fel igazán Isten törődését,  és ekkor fogadtam be az életembe kedves pásztorom segítségével, aki ezek után a szárnyai alá vett, és lelgileg etetett- és  tisztába rakott  Isten igéjével.  Isten ekkor megengedte nekem a jólétet, amely nem sok embernek adatik meg,  pláne nem egy volt gyermekotthonossal, hogy egy hotelbe élhessen luxus körülmények között, és ott is  dolgozhasson. Nem sok idő elteltével ismételten előjött a depresszió, a kilátástalanság, és a teljes kétségbeesés amire utólag most visszagondolva azért történhetett így, mert többre és többre vágytam. Ebben a magányos időszakba  Isten ekkor sem fordított nekem hátat,  hiszen életem során az egyik legrosszabb döntés hozatallal, (vagyis  ilegális munkát válaltam volna Texasba, amire még a repjegyet is megvettem)  Isten közbelépett az utolsó pillanatba a  már jól ismert misszionárus barátom Russell közbeavatkozásával azzal az emberrel, akit a gyermekotthonba  megismertem. Ő neki köszönhetően eljutottam Angliába tanulni egy Biblia iskolába, ahol Isten lelkileg elkezdett táplálni, és megerősíteni , illetve mindezek után eljutottam egy másik  Biblia suliba is   Magyarországon, ahol ismeretet szerezheteki Istenről, amiért nagyon nagyon hálás vagyok, hiszen most utólag visszatekintve elmondhatom, hogy Isten nélkül ma már valahol elvesztem volna, és az Ő tervétől nincs jobb, még ha pillanatnyilag úgy is tűnik, hogy értelmetlen lenne az.  Ma is  Isten csak annyit vár el tőlem, hogy bízzak Benne, mert Ő soha nem hagy el, és nem kell többé félnem, mert Ő mindig velem van.  Az Úr hűséges továbbra is hozzám, mert ma a Goodsposts Alapítvány tagja lehetek, ahol rengeteg lehetőséget kapok Isten igéjének tovább adására reménységül az embereknk. Ma jelenleg a Goodspots Baseballós csapat néhány tagját tanítványozom, akik Isten mellett döntöttek, amely Isten csodálatos munkájáról ad mindanyiunk számára bizonyságot . A Goodsports alapelve szerint szolgálatom során ara töregszem, hogy barátkozzak azok felé, akik felé Isten irányít, és osszam meg nekik az örök élet reménységét, amely során megerősödhetnek a minden napos élet küdelmeibe.  Isten számára minden ember értékes, legyen szó bárkiről, és Ővele lehetséges a kitörés a nehéz körülményekből, mert ebben találja kihívásának örömét.

Isten áldjon barátom Zoli

Ján 3:16 Mert úgy szerette Isten e világot, hogy az ő egyszülött Fiát adta, hogy valaki hiszen ő benne, el ne vesszen, hanem örök élete legyen.

Zoli with the Baseball Boys
I spent my childhood in an orphanage from age 3 until I was 24 and while I was there God took care of me and was with me always.  I first heard the Gospel of Christ when I was 17 years old and the Good News deeply touched my heart.  I never really understood the meaning of the words ‘hope’ and ‘love’ until the day I heard about God’s care and love.  That’s when I really experienced that special feeling I had not felt before and I realized the hope I have which I never knew before. 

This happened because during the summer of 1998 I began to ponder why  those American missionaries, who visited us at the orphanage, made the long trip and what their reason was for coming.  I will never forget that week, when we played together with them, talked about life and how all of us children were crying when we had to say goodbye.  This is when I experienced love and happiness for the first time. 

Praise the Lord they continued coming every year during Thanksgiving and the Summer.  This all happened because a missionary friend of mine felt God calling him to orphanage ministry and he strived to bring many missionaries to the ophanage to share Christ’s love.  That’s when I experienced God’s caring nature and immeasureable love.  I used to go to bed every night thinking that I had to leave the orphanage and face real life in the world.  I frequently saw how others failed at their endeavors after leaving the orphanage, how their lives had no hope and I still don’t know a thing about them. 

Even today I still have fond memories of the days and weeks we had with those missionaries because the good memories of the time we spent together gives me strength and courage to face life’s everyday battles.  During my school years I was frequently a slave to fear and depression.  It wasn’t common for missionaries to visit orphanages back then and share hope and love, but God gave me the privilege, out of His love, to experience those fun, life-changing days. 
I began to learn more and more about the Good News of Christ through testimonies and Bible studies during Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.  I became more and more convicted that God loved me and cared for me but it took 9 years for me to accept Christ as my personal Savior.  After leaving the orphanage I went through a difficult season in life, but God took care of me through His might and strength even when I felt all was hopeless. 

I will never forget that day when my older sister told me that I had to leave her apartment within 2 weeks because I couldn’t find a job.  I will never forget how God stepped in that very day and how in less than a minute I had a job and a place to live for the next 4-5 years.  This was when I really saw how much God cared for me and accepted Christ as my personal Savior with my pastors help.  My pastor took me under his wings and taught me God’s Word. 

After that I believe God blessed me because I was an orphan who had left the orphanage and was living and working in a nice hotel.  Not too long after I became depressed again, I didn’t know where my life was going and I was just totally in despair.  Thinking back this probably happened because I was not satisfied with my life.  Even during this lonley time in my life God did not turn His back to me.  I had made the worst decision of my life.  I had purchased a plane ticket to America where I would have been involved in illegal work.  God stepped in shortly before I had to leave by sending my good missionary friend Russell whom I met at the orphanage.  Thanks to Russell I ended up at a Bible college in England where I saw God investing in my life again and strengthening me.  After I left that Bible college I enrolled in another Bible college in Hungary where I learned more about God and His will. 

Looking back I am very thankful because I know that without God I would be lost somewhere and I know His plan is the best even if it doesn’t seem like it at first.  Today I know that God is only asking me to trust in Him because He will never leave me and I know I don’t need to be afraid because He is always with me.  God is faithful to me because I am now a part of GoodSports where I have many opportunities to further God’s love and give hope to others. 
I am currently discipling a few of the baseball boys involved in GoodSports who have given their lives to Christ which a testimony of God’s miraculous work.  Under GoodSports’ mission of sharing our faith through relationships I strive to befriend those God brings into my life and share with them the hope of eternal life.  I believe this hope will encourage them in the everyday struggles of life.  Every person is precious to God, and He can help anyone break out of difficult situations because He find joy in these challenges.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sports & Ministry: The Inside Scoop!

Josh H. has been working with GoodSports Hungary since January.  Here is his perspective on using Sports as a ministry outreach:

Josh & the Mikepércs Black Sox
A GoodSports Hungary Baseball Team

"One of the hardest parts of doing overseas ministry is having to learn another language.  This is what makes doing sports ministry so amazing, you don’t need to know a language to play sports. In almost every sport there is a universal language that is used that makes communication easy. You may not know what to call certain equipment but you can show what you want done and people will understand. This became very apparent to me when I first got to Hungary. I didn’t know how to talk to the kids but I could show them and they did what I wanted.

Sports ministry also opens doors quicker to talk into the lives of the kids you coach or play with. One of the hardest parts of building relationships with people is finding common grounds to base conversations on. In sports, the common ground is the sport that you are playing or coaching. You already have a framework for future conversation, which can easily tie into the Christian walk. After every game I could easily find a way to tie Christian morals into the game situations. One example was when one of the boys had to make a decision between going to work and going to a game. The situation gave me the opportunity to talk to the other boys about responsibility and being a man of your word.

Depending how involved you are in coaching will depend how much of your time is taken up. But, GoodSports allows you to use your gifts when you do have free time. The first year I was in Hungary I really didn’t get a chance to use my spiritual gifts to the best of my ability. However, the year I have spent with GoodSports I feel my spiritual gifts have been better used. I have had a lot of free time and this free time has allowed me to help others in a practical way. One example is being able to help my landlord by chopping her wood. They would only do it when they needed it, which is usually when it was cold and snowing. Since I have been here I have been able to chop enough to probably last them for at least one winter.

Even though sports ministry is fairly new as a focused ministry, it has proven to be effective just like any other means of sharing the gospel. This past summer we have seen 2 baseball boys get baptized, another come to Christ, and a regular attendance at weekly Bible studies. If you are looking to share your love for sports and the gospel, sports ministry is a great way to do that and GoodSports will give you the ability to do that."

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What does it mean to be a GoodSports Intern?


It is some of the hardest, yet most rewarding work you will ever do.  

LOGOS Language School
Interns join our long-term missionaries for 1-12 months and can have a dynamic impact in that time.  While working to effectively use this time and effort towards our long-term goal, all of our internships are catered to an individuals calling and gifting. 

What does that mean?  GoodSports is committed to building relationships with children.  Our interns come on board and act as a building block in the process of strengthening, encouraging, and securing these relationships within the communities we minister to. 

We have trained musicians working alongside Rugby, American Football, and Baseball coaches.  These people obviously have different God-given gifts and talents.  Each intern uses the skills God has given them to help GoodSports build relationships; to reach out to children who have their own unique sets of talents and interests.

Orphanage Outreach
Each intern’s experience is unique, because each person has been gifted and equipped by God in different ways.  What remains the same is our long-term goal: reaching children with the Love of Christ through sports, English teaching, and recreation activities.

Interested in a GoodSports Internship?
GoodSportsGSI@gmail.com

 Is God calling you into the mission field?  Here’s the advice I can offer you:

Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be broken!

Always remember, that God loves you just as much as He loves the people He is sending you to minister to.  Never allow yourself to become too busy with ministry to the neglect of your relationship with Him.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Abby: End-of-Camp Goodbyes.

Every year people come from all over the world to work alongside the GoodSports team.  The most popular time of the year is, of course, summer during our camp season.  We’ve asked a few of them to share some of their experiences from the time they spent serving with us in Hungary.

Each person, each team-member, and each intern that works with us helps us to build relationships with the communities we minister to.  While these amazing people can only be with us for a short time the energy, creativity, and encouragement they bring to the field is of vital importance to GoodSports’ mission: reaching Children with the love of Christ.

This particular testimony is from Abby, a Cedarville University student.  This was her 2nd summer serving with us, and this year she was actually the student leader for the team of 5 that came from Cedarville University.  

The young lady, Mary (not her real name), Abby refers to is from Hajduboszermeny and has been a part of the GoodSports ministry spectrum for many years.  Mary and Abby got to know each other at the annual English camp held at Dorcas Camping Center, done in conjunction with Calvary Chapel Debrecen.  

Abby and her class at Dorcas working on a poster
Here’s what Abby has to say:


 It’s the worst. Tears. Hugs. More hugs. Promises of communication, remembrance, and returns. There was no way around it: camp was ending and the ritual was coming. My personal resistance toward excessive pathos and over-emotionality prevent me from engaging in the tears. However, I will not begrudge my beloved Hungarian campers of their desired hug. It may have only been one week, but yes, I did grow attached to my students. And Mary was no exception. She’s sixteen going on twenty-two. I’m not sure if she truly thinks that she can take on the world, or if she simply gives off that aura. Regardless, if I had been another camper, she certainly would have intimidated me. I might have even avoided her out of fear and intimidation. Instead, as her teacher/leader, I had a chance to spend time with her all week. She starred in our music video. She helped in class. She led the class in group activities. She even asked me questions (via a translator) about my life, my relationship with God, what’s He’s done in my life. She got baptized the day before. I loved her dearly. I respected her. Mary is strong, even if she can’t see that. And now, at the end-of-camp ritual, I have to say goodbye.

She’s standing by the car that will take her away, take her home. I’m not sure, but she might actually be tearing up. This catches me off-guard; I pegged Mary as a dry-eye, no-nonsense kind of girl. But no, she is definitely crying. I walk towards her, arms outstretched, clearly in pre-hug mode. She closes the distance between us and we stand there, embracing. I rack my brain for something, anything that I could say, in Hungarian, that might offer comfort. Only one thing seems appropriate:

“Szeretlek, Mary.”

[Pause. One of the greatest frustrations in knowing a teeny tiny fraction of a language is that, even if I can initiate conversation, I can never understand the response. It’s infuriating. I feel so proud of myself for saying anything in Hungarian, and my pride immediately deflates when I admit that I understood none of their response, “I’m so sorry, but I don’t understand. Do you speak English?” And so, after telling this sweet, strong, tearful girl, “I love you, Mary,” I simply had to wait, wondering if I would be able to decipher her response.]

“Én is.”

I smile, aware that my eyes are watering. We release each other. Mary goes to the car. We wave, blow kisses, and hold back (or don’t hold back) tears. I love learning Hungarian.

“Én is”—“Me too.”

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Superhero English Camp Music Videos

One of the class projects for the Superhero English Camp (July 7-13 at Dorcas Camping Center in Debrecen) was a “Hero Music Video.”  The kids really got creative, check them out!

Josh’s Class:


Heather’s Class:


Abby’s Class:


Arianna’s Class:


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Teen Talk 2013

This is our 2nd year to do "Teen Talk" in Mikepercs (the Chun's village).  For 2 hours of 4 consecutive afternoons we met all the teens of the village at the church house for English learning fun.  We ran the kids through different scenarios each day:

Day 1 - At The Airport

Day 1 - At The Airport

Day 1 - At The Airport
Day 2 - Dinner & A Movie

Day 2 - Dinner & A Movie

Day 2 - Dinner & A Movie

Day 3 - Luau!

Day 3 - Luau!

Day 4 - Independence Day

Day 4 - Independence Day

Day 4 - Independence Day

Christian Interpreter Camp 2013

A vital, yet often overlooked aspect of the missionary field is the interpreter.  Interpreting and translating is a special skill set that requires training beyond mere proficiency in a second language.  Because this type of training is not prevalent - especially when dealing with the specific vocabulary set used in the Christian world - GoodSports views the Christian Interpreter Camp as a golden investment.  You are only as effective as your interpreter is...

At the request of the camp director, Éva Kriszt, our team from Cedarville University prepared their personal testimonies, devotions and mini-sermons.  The students in the camp were able to practice the skills they learned in class as they translated side-by-side and simultaneously.

Here are some thoughts from different members of the GoodSports team:


"The best part of the camp has been getting to hear people’s testimonies.  Hearing from Christian’s of all ages, and a variety of backgrounds was an encouraging experience." – Josh.

"The best part of translator camp, in my opinion, was that the student’s ability to translate was tested well.  They had no idea what we would say when giving a devotional or testimony, and they rose to the challenge." – Edy.

"I loved the preparation for the camp.  In the evenings we would sit around with our Bibles and discuss what we would talk about the next day.  It was encouraging to hear so many different viewpoints over each passage of scripture." – Courtney.

"I think the best part was that the translator’s had the opportunity to learn, and practice using, the vocabulary of the church.  It’s a specific vocabulary set, and it’s not something you would pick up on the street.  For the speaker’s who are doing missions work it was a great learning experience – working out the timing of giving a devotional or a sermon with a translator."  - Aaron.