When travel due to the new coronavirus comes to a halt, the short term outreach to Hungary goes online.
“The whole trip was just fantastic,” exclaimed Abi from the UK, after participating in a virtual outreach to Hungary. Abi was one of the 20 people who joined together over the internet for one hour each evening from 1-8 November 2020, to hear about how the Lord is and has been working in Hungary and to meet with other Christians who have a passion to share the gospel and care for people who don't know God's love.
“It was such a blessing,” he said. “Now my eyes have been opened to another aspect of our world, especially since beforehand, I knew so little about Hungary. The virtual trip was such an encouragement from start to finish. I also found the information sent out previously helpful, because this enabled me to know a little more and to have information to pray about.”
OM has been running short term outreaches all over the world for decades. When travel was restricted due to the new coronavirus, these outreaches came to an abrupt halt. However, through creativity and prayer, the OM teams in Hungary and the UK found a way to overcome the barriers by partnering in a unique opportunity: a virtual outreach. Facilitated jointly by Short Term Coordinators Meg Meason from the UK and Jill Hitchcock from Hungary, it was the first joint venture of its kind.
The participants, mostly from the UK but including other parts of Europe, received information each day about one of OM's ministries in Hungary, prayer requests and video links. Some days they were given a Hungarian recipe to try, other days an informative short film clip or an audio Hungarian lesson to challenge them. In the evening, people gathered together over video link to hear a more personal testimony from the local ministry leader, having the opportunity to ask questions and pray about the ministry of the day.
Whether new to OM and its ministries or not, each participant expressed the privilege it was to be a part of this unique outreach and its creativity.
Racheal, also from the UK, had in the past been on a number of outreaches with OM in Hungary and even spent six months as an English teacher in a Hungarian school. “I thoroughly enjoyed the virtual trip”, she said. “It was really good to hear about the various ministries going on within OM in Hungary. Usually, if you were going physically, you would be involved in just one, for instance the English camps or the arts ministry. Now, we got to see all sides of the Hungarian ministries. It was great to meet with other Christians from all parts of the UK, Hungary and other countries.
I really enjoyed being able to ask questions and to pray with everyone each evening for the nation of Hungary and for the work that OM is doing there.”
With the difficulties of international travel for the foreseable future, both Meg and Jill are sure this won’t be the last ‘outreach’ of its type. While the participants were not able to physically travel to Hungary nor share the love of God directly with local Hungarians, the information and prayer gave many a glimpse of God’s heart for the Hungarian people.