Each week we send a short list of prayer requests (which appear on our
home page) to
Tabernacle Baptist Church
of Richmond, Virginia. Requests from the previous week are moved
here so that we can recall what has been asked for.
Lea here. Every year, on the first day of school after New
Year's, I give some of my classes a chance to ask me questions. Each
team chooses a representative who tries to predict what I will say.
Yesterday one class asked me, "Do you love us?" and all three
representatives said, "Yes!" I'm grateful that they can see my
love for them, which exists because Jesus first loved me.
Thank you for praying for students for Doug. God has answered
our need in an unexpected way: A Hungarian company recently asked
Doug if he could do regular proofreading for them. He agreed. This
is really good for our English-teaching company (and for future
residency permits). Now, we ask you to pray that both of us manage
our time well.
Doug and our colleague David will meet on Tuesday to make
baseball plans for this year. Pray that they figure out good ways
to recruit more kids. Pray for parents and adult helpers to pitch
in. Also, pray for mutual encouragement and good conversations.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Greetings from un-sunny, cold, wintry Zagreb (Croatia), where
we are spending a week with friends. Please pray that we are
as much a blessing to our hosts as they are to us.
Please pray for Karen, who is at our flat in Vác, holding down
the fort while we are gone.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Doug here. Next week, Lea and I will travel to Croatia (5 hours on
a bus!) to visit wonderful friends who live there. Please pray for rest,
mutual encouragement, and good conversations. (All of our friends
there have children, and they are fun. But "boring adult conversation"
is also part of a good visit.)
In early January, my baseball colleague and I will have a planning
meeting for 2017. I have some interesting ideas that just might work.
Once again, please pray for mutual encouragement and good conversations.
December is one of those months when English students drop like
flies from my calendar. Please pray for a few more students to fill
my schedule, and that my conversations with my students—at
whatever level of English—are encouraging and beneficial.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
This coming Friday-Saturday, Karen travels back to Hungary. In
case you haven't heard, she will be here for the entire spring semester,
studying at the Aquincum Institute of Technology in Budapest
(ait-budapest.com). That's about than an hour from our home. Please pray
for her as she finishes up this semester, says goodbye to dear friends in
Virginia, and moves across the Atlantic Ocean for the *fifth* time (as she
informed us last night). Pray for her roommate Emma to find a good
new roommate for her final semester at William and Mary, and pray
for Karen's singing partner Kelley, too.
Lea here. Yesterday, one of my classes was talking about the
commercialization of Christmas. I asked them how to avoid it. One of
their ideas was, "Go to church and pray to Jesus." Several others
in the class immediately agreed. (Hungarian "Tényleg!" which is
loosely translated "for real!") Then one kid piped up (in English),
"You can pray to Jesus anywhere, not just in church." Several others
murmured their agreement with that, too. Thank you for praying for
my kids, and please don't stop! God loves them like crazy, and it
would be cool if they could know it!
Doug here. I returned to the Deaf School last week, and the
teenagers there were glad to see me. Please pray that I nourish
these kids and that they learn about God's love for them. Please
pray the same for the baseball players, and the Deaf Church in
Budapest, and my private English students, and our neighbors, ...
I think you get the point.
Thank you again for taking the time and making the effort to
pray for us and those around us. May we all live as lights in the
world, reflections and ambassadors of Jesus, who came with "life,
and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in
the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:4-5)
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Doug here, grateful to have had the opportunity to spend a week
in America to celebrate Thanksgiving, visit a few friends, and
attend our niece's wedding. :-) Thank you for praying for us.
We are especially grateful for your presence and influence in
During the winter, we have only one hour of indoor baseball
practice. Please pray that we can maintain interest in the program,
and perhaps recruit new players, too.
Karen is in exams until next Wednesday. You know what she needs.
This weekend Lea will travel to Germany to visit dear missionary
friends. Please pray that her transportation is uneventful, that her
conversations are inspiring, and that God's children are blessings
to each other.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Lea here, extra-happy because Doug is home from the States!
While he was away, Doug had good celebrations with family and
pleasant visits with friends; plus he got to go to our Richmond
church twice! As for me, in addition to doing lots of school work,
I spent many hours alone with God and (to my surprise) asleep. It
was good for our souls, but we're very happy to be together again!
Please pray for Doug as he gets back into life here in Hungary,
and that his jet lag will be mild.
Next Tuesday (Dec. 6) at their Christmas Party, the 9th grade
English students will sing either "Joy to the World" or "Hark the
Herald Angels Sing." Both of these songs contain lots of good news.
Please pray that the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ becomes
real to them and changes their lives into LIFE.
Our Váci church's Ladies' Christmas Tea is this Saturday evening,
and next weekend is the Christmas Carnival for kids. Unfortunately,
I can't go to either one, so please pray along with me that God does
what he wants at these events.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Our visit with our pastor's family was pleasant and fun. During our
time together, the pastor's wife and I got to talk and pray. Like every
pastor's family, it seems that they are under a lot of burdens. In fact,
I bet every pastor is under deeper burdens than any of the rest of us
can imagine. Pray like crazy for every pastor you know. They need it.
My time with God is going well. We're having some wrestling
matches, but the good news is that God is winning. :-) Please pray
that I deny myself, take up my cross daily, and follow Jesus. Pray
that I am willing to lose my life for him.
This coming Friday evening, our niece Hannah Coppage will marry
Bryan Athey. Bryan is a delight, and we're all thrilled that he is
joining our crew. Doug and Ren will both be at the wedding. Please
pray for this young couple, that they will be the family that God has
called them to be, and that Jesus would be the glue that holds them
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
On Friday, we will have lunch with our pastor and his family.
Please pray that God will use us in their lives and that we will
be a blessing to them. Pray that we have a good, helpful
conversation with them.
As we mentioned last week, on Saturday morning Doug leaves
for a nine-day trip to Virginia, where he will celebrate our
eldest niece's wedding along with Thanksgiving. We are very
grateful that he has this opportunity. Please pray for safety,
smooth travel, and good conversations with people there.
Lea's has a lot to do, and in Doug's absence her schedule
will be pretty full. Please pray that she has wisdom in
choosing the important things, not the urgent ones. Please
pray that she and God have a good time together.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Lea here. Thanks for praying for my ears last week! On my
trip to Virginia, one of them gave me trouble for three days.
On the trip back, I had no trouble at all. My time there was
a huge blessing for me and my family. I spent four gentle days
with my parents and a day with Ren in Williamsburg. While I was
there, I got to talk with Ren's BCM family group, participate
in their Bible study, and have a couple of really good
conversations with her friends. Here are this week's requests:
Doug: I purposefully did nothing unusual or extra while
Lea was gone, so I had a nice, calm, restful retreat at home.
Now that Lea is back, and I am calm and rested, please pray
that we find constructive time together, and that I get
motivated to get some things done that need doing.
Doug: I will travel to Virginia for a relative's wedding
and Thanksgiving. Please pray that, like Lea, my visits there
are a blessing to all involved.
Lea: While Doug is gone, my schedule will be fairly
packed. In the next two weeks, besides teaching school, I
hope to have time to see eight (or more) friends, one at a
time. Even more, I need to spend alone-time with God.
Please pray that I am wise with my time.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Doug here, in a quiet apartment with Pascal (our cat).
November 1 is a public holiday in Hungary, and this week is
also Fall Break from school. I have had five good days at
home of (near) solitude and (almost) silence while Lea has
been in Virginia. I do, however, look forward to her return
on Saturday. Thank you for praying for us so faithfully and
regularly! Here are this week's requests.
I have really enjoyed this time of relaxation and minimal
responsibilities, but life must soon return to (so-called)
normal. Please pray that I will be not only diligent, but
pro-active in the (so-called) mundane tasks that are necessary
to uphold and improve our ministry here.
This one comes from Lea, who will travel back to Hungary
on Friday night and Saturday morning: Her right ear has had
problems while flying, during the descents. Please pray that
she has no further troubles with this, and that she can
recover from jet lag quickly. School resumes Monday!
Please continue to pray that we join God in his
continuing work among the people around us, and that we
walk in his ways, see with his eyes, hear with his ears,
love with his heart, and speak with his words.
Many thanks again for your prayers on our behalf. May
we all continue with courage, joy, and expectation our
lifelong journey with Jesus, who has called us out of
darkness into his light.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Lea here. Thanks so much for praying! The Hungarian holiday
seems to have passed without too much of a hitch. I was in
Budapest two days before the holiday, and they were setting up
platforms for speeches and such, and there were lots of
historical pictures, wreaths, and memorials. One
article mostly talks about the prime minister’s speech, and
it said there were a few “scuffles.” Apparently there was no tear gas.
We three are about to enter a few months of increased travel.
I go first: Fall break begins on Saturday, and on Friday I leave
for a week-long trip to Virginia to celebrate my dad's 80th birthday.
Please pray for my health, because there are a lot of
illnesses going around Vác, and my throat feels weird. :-/
Please pray for safety while traveling, especially while
driving on the roads. Pray that my brain handles jet lag
better than it did in August.
Please pray for Ren's travel, too, because she plans to
travel between Williamsburg and Roanoke on Saturday and
For a while Doug has felt the need for a personal retreat,
and my absence would be an opportune time. Please pray that he
and God will have a rich, meaningful time together while I'm
gone. Please pray that he "may have power, together with all
the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high
and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that
surpasses knowledge—that [he] may be filled to the
measure of all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3:18-19)
Thank you for praying!
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Lea here. This coming Sunday, October 23, is the 60th
anniversary of Hungary's 1956 revolution against Soviet rule,
which was put down with tanks within two weeks.
On Friday our entire school will be doing commemorative
tours all over Vác and Budapest. Please pray that the kids
will really be educated about the issues of that time. Also,
please pray for decent weather—which currently doesn't
look very likely.
Ten years ago, on the 50th anniversary of this revolution,
there was unrest in Budapest—demonstrations with tear gas
and police in riot gear. Please pray for peace in Hungary.
Please pray harder for true peace in the hearts of us and the
Please pray that I am wise in how I deal with my students,
so that they become useful and productive members of society, and
so that they learn what they need to know.
Today through Saturday, the college-age daughter of olden,
golden friends will be staying with us during her fall break.
Please pray that we have a good time together, that we can be
a blessing to her.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Lea here. The Wine & Pálinka festival was the tiniest
festival I've seen in Vác ("vahts"). Except for the kids'
rides, it was contained in a small plaza near the river.
Our church's tent for kids' activities often had kids waiting
in line,and the Gospel Chorus from Calvary Chapel in Budapest
had a good audience. Please pray for our town, that people
will see their need for God's love in Jesus, and that "justice
[will] roll on like a river, righteousness like a
never-failing stream!" (Amos 5:24)
Please pray for our Váci church, that we all open our
minds, hearts, and lives for God to work in the best way,
without any hindrance.
Doug: There are now THREE older guys (about 18-20 years
old) who show up at baseball practice. This is unexpected,
but they are enthusiastic and fast learners. :-) Please pray
that our contacts through baseball continue to increase.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Lea here. There's a lot of stuff going on this weekend:
Vác is having a Wine & Pálinka (Hungarian "moonshine")
festival. Our church will have a tent with activities for
kids, and our pastor has been invited to preach—just
like at the motorcycle festival this past spring. A bunch of
people from the Calvary Chapel Bible college are coming up
to help. Also this weekend, the Baptist church in town is
having a big youth conference. Please pray that these events
Please pray for Doug's body. He says he can still do the
same things, but it just takes longer to recover. Plus, he
talks about it more.
Please pray that we pray. Many of our friends are going
through major difficulties now, and we want to hold them up
like you hold us up.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Doug here. My colleague and I have put a lot of work into
the baseball field this autumn, and it is a little disappointing
to have only two or three kids show up. In the last few weeks,
three 20-something young men have unexpectedly appeared. All of
them are very interested, and two are surprisingly talented.
Please pray that interest spreads and that we do what is needed
to recruit more players (and their families), so that we can
share life with them.
Lea requests that you pray what she calls "Dumbledore's
Challenge"—that we do what is right instead of what is
easy. (See Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 37.)
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Doug came home from baseball practice this afternoon
and told me that a young man showed up who knows a lot about
baseball but had never played before. Doug taught him a few
things and thought, "This guy's a NATURAL." I'm wondering
if he is an answer to your prayers! Please continue to pray
that God will send out workers (and players) into the Váci
Thank you for your prayers about whether I should stay
with the expensive and time-consuming procedure on my jaw.
I'm pretty sure the answer is yes, because it has felt better
lately. Please pray that the treatment works quickly (meaning
months, instead of years or decades).
May God continue to do exceedingly, abundantly more than
all we could ask for, or even think of! We ask the same for
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Doug here. In previous weeks we have asked you to pray
about our priorities and commitments and the weekly schedule
that will result from those decisions. Lea's class schedule
this year allows her to sleep later than in previous years,
so I am looking forward to living with a woman who gets
enough rest. :-)
Please pray for our churches, that we are open and honest
with each other. Please pray that God's people become more
like what he wants us to be. Also, pray that we rededicate
ourselves to growing closer to God and submitting ourselves
to serve God and do his will.
I have still made no commitment to the Deaf School this
semester. My daily schedule has not become clear yet. Please
continue to pray that I use my hours wisely, love God first
and most, and love people by serving them.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
My right jaw joint is having problems, and a doctor I
trust recommended a dentist who thinks he can help, but his
fees are high. It takes a lot of time to go to the
appointments as well. I have started treatment and paid a
lot already, but I'm not sure it's worth it. Please pray
for guidance and wisdom as to whether I should continue
this treatment and what I can do to help my jaw behave.
Please pray that our churches are willing to do what
God wants us to do, and not to get stuck in ruts of our
Doug and our friends David and Grace are planning
baseball demonstrations in schools and other autumn
activities. Please pray for more kids to join in the fun!
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Lea here. We're home!! :-)
A couple of months ago, I did some research on airplanes
for a friend who was afraid of flying. I learned (again) how
the invisible air holds up the airplane, which was very
counterintuitive for my friend—but it works. As we were
flying to Hungary yesterday, I thought about how your invisible
prayers have held us up for the almost-eleven years that we
have lived in Vác. It's counterintuitive for those who
don't understand the kingdom of God—but it works! And
we are eternally grateful!
Please pray for us as we start the year off. Pray that
Doug is wise about *how* he volunteers at the Deaf school and
recruits new kids to play baseball. Pray that I plan my school
year well and that I establish good relationships with my kids.
We will spend Saturday with my friend Ildi and her husband.
Please pray that Hungarian quickly returns to our brains after
many weeks of not speaking this language. Please pray that we
can be a true blessing to them.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
As another (school) year draws to a close for us, we
thank you for your continued support and encouragement
through prayer. In all that we have done, we know that
we have not been alone.
Karen left today to serve for two weeks at the
Summer Academy for professional musicians. Please
pray that she serves well, learns well, and grows.
On Friday Doug and I fly to Virginia—not through
Istanbul as originally planned, but through London. Please
pray for a boring trip. Also pray for safety on the roads
as we once again drive cars in the U.S. (Walking and riding
trains in Hungary is a lot less risky!) Please pray that we
accomplish all the business and visiting that we have
planned, and that we also serve well, learn well, and grow.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Our one prayer request is for Karen's health. She has
had a stomach bug (with fever) since last Friday, and today
she says she feels worse instead of better. Please pray
that she gets healthy quickly, and that she is wise about
what she does. It's weird that she's at home and we're not
able to help her. :-(
Thank you so much for praying for our friends' new
daughter! Kensington Grace got out of NICU a day earlier
than expected! They will still be in the hospital for a
few more days. (Hungary is not America...)
We got a cat sitter! She will move to Budapest while the
cat is with them. She says it won't be extra stress on her,
only on Pascal. You can pray for Pascal and his caregiver!
Wednesday, July 09, 2016 Bonus!
One of our missionary colleagues JUST had an emergency
C-section tonight, more than three weeks before their
long-desired baby is due. She's in a Hungarian hospital,
and she doesn't know much of the language. Please pray for
the health of their new little daughter :-), peace for the
parents, good communication, and wisdom for the health staff.
We need a cat-sitter for the month that we're in the U.S.
More on the baseball camp: The weather was beautiful,
and there was only one injury: an enthusiastic kid's ankle
got scraped when he slid into home base on the last play of
the game Wednesday night. We were hoping for more kids, but
those who came had a good time, and the parents really got
I forgot to tell you: I passed my Hungarian language
test! I'm not sure HOW it happened, because on the listening
part I didn't think I answered enough questions. But it's
official. My task hasn't changed: Keep studying until I can
communicate reasonably well with these people we love!
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
Baseball Camp has gone well! Eight kids showed up, along
with several impressive helpers. Doug and Noah have worked
HARD. The last event is a game and pizza party in less than
an hour (11am Eastern time), where the ninth-graders who
played three years ago will coach. :-) Please pray that
relationships that have begun and been enhanced by this
camp will lead to Good and Godly things in the future.
Noah flies back to the States on Friday. Please pray
for safe travel for him between Budapest and Washington,
and then for his family as they immediately go visit
friends in Florida. Please pray that his visit to Hungary
will be useful in his life, as he has been VERY
useful—and pleasant—in ours!!
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Two teenagers who used to play on the Vác Ironmen team
have been helping Doug work on the field. Today one of them
led baseball practice for any kids who showed up. Both plan
to help at next week's camp. Please pray that their relationship
with Doug continues to deepen.
We've greatly enjoyed having our nephew Noah here. He has
been working hard! Please continue to pray for his time here,
his service to people here in Hungary. Pray that he will grow
as Jesus did, in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and people.
Deaf camp seems to be going well, according what I have
heard—which isn't much. That's probably a good sign. :-)
It ends tomorrow afternoon. Please pray for good final
activities and safe travel back home, for all 62 participants.
Please pray for the Váci baseball camp/clinic next Monday
through Wednesday (July 4-6). Pray for Doug's wisdom in planning
it. He would love to have about 20 kids show up (not zero, not
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Our nephew NOAH arrived safely yesterday. He and Doug have
already been out working on the baseball field. Please pray for
Noah as he recovers from jet lag while he works with Doug. Pray
for him as he deals with cultures (Hungarian and Deaf) that are
different from what he's used to.
DEAF CAMP goes from this Friday to next Thursday, and 62
people are registered, including Doug and Noah. Please pray for
the leaders as they prepare. Pray for safe travel for the people
who are coming from several nearby countries. Please pray that,
as they learn and study and discuss Bible stories, they will
BASEBALL CAMP in Vác will take place on the mornings of
July 4, 5, and 6, followed by a game and a pizza party on the
evening of the 6th. Please pray, as Doug did last night, that
at least 20 kids will come. Pray that this will be a seed that
grows good things in the future.
Currently, KAREN is on her way back to Budapest from
Slovenia, where her group's second English camp was held.
Please pray for safe travel and for time to process her
adventures. We're looking forward to hearing about it!
Also, please pray that she spends her time wisely. It's
illegal for her to work for wages here, but she is
contemplating the idea of "shadowing" some of our friends
who work in computer fields.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Karen is currently working among a group of college
students who are leading two English camps for Hungarian
high school students, one in Budapest and one in Slovenia.
As we asked last week, please pray for her as she does
stuff she has never done before. Pray that our introverted
child manages to find time to be alone, or at least manages
to tolerate people in close quarters for ten days straight.
Pray that all of the campers will learn about service,
leadership, and life.
This week, Lea's nephew Noah is at a youth conference in
Montreat, NC. Next week, he'll be here! Please pray for his
physical safety, smooth travel connections, and bravery as he
chooses to go way outside his comfort zone. Pray that he will
experience God this summer.
Also, please continue to pray for Doug as he prepares for
Deaf camp June 25-30 and a baseball camp/clinic in Vác July
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
My Hungarian exams this past weekend were interesting. :-)
There's a chance I passed the written part, although I don't
think it's likely. If I passed the oral part, their standards
are way too low! Either way, I plan to study hard for another
school year, because my real goal is to be able to converse with
these people freely. Happily, my headaches seem to be over for
the time being and my cough is almost gone.
Starting Sunday, Karen will be involved in a 10-day English
camp for high school students from Budapest. Please pray for
her as she does stuff she has never done before. Pray that our
introverted child manages to find time to be alone, or manages
to tolerate people in close quarters for 10-11 days straight.
Pray that all of the campers will learn about service,
leadership, and life.
Please pray for my 14-year-old nephew Noah as he prepares
to come to Hungary.
Please pray for Doug as he prepares for Deaf camp June 25-30
and a baseball camp/clinic in Vác July 4-6.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Karen's mouth (wisdom teeth extraction) and Lea's illness
are both clearing up. Karen got her stitches out on Tuesday.
Lea's cough and headaches have persisted much longer than she
likes, but they’re slowly going away.
This Friday and Saturday morning is Lea's Hungarian
language exam. Please pray that she won't have a headache
then, because it affects her language abilities—even in
English. She doesn't really care if she passes the exam, but
she would like to do her best and (I quote) "not embarrass
This Saturday is "Ez az a nap!" ("This is the day!"), the
annual big Christian concert festival in Budapest. Karen and
Lea will go. Please pray that God works through all the
fanciness and technology to show his truth and love to all who
attend. Please pray that God's will is done in Hungary as it
is in heaven.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
After dealing with a stomach virus this past weekend, Karen
got her last two wisdom teeth out yesterday. Also, I am on my
seventh day of a lung/throat virus and headache. Please pray
for quick healing for both of us.
I will take a Hungarian language test on June 3 (oral) and
4 (written). I don't expect to pass it, but I do want to talk
to these people I love; so please pray for diligence to study.
I haven't studied very much since I haven't been feeling well.
My residency permit had to be submitted for the THIRD time,
because in my eighth year of working here, they decided that I
should have a "work" type of residency permit, not a "family
unification" type. Please pray that this will go through
Please pray for my nephew Noah's preparation for coming here:
physical, financial, and especially spiritual. Also pray for Doug's
preparation for Deaf camp.
In many churches in Hungary and in the U.S., business as usual
isn't working. Last week our Váci church's youth minister and I
discussed how making disciples is not often taught or practiced,
and that people often don't experience God in church. Please pray
for our churches, your church, and every church... that we make
disciples and experience God in true and powerful ways.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Lea here, with good news: Doug got his residency permit!!
The lawyer assumes that I will get mine soon. (My application
went in later.)
Sunday afternoon's preaching event at the motorcycle rally
was an interesting experience. While Tamás, our Váci pastor,
was talking about Jesus' story of the prodigal son, people
drove their bikes and lined them up just in front of the stage.
But one guy was listening over the din; afterwards Tamás talked
to him for a long time, and this guy chose to follow Christ!
It reminded me of the part when Jesus went across the lake,
delivered the guy with a legion of demons, and came right back
to where he was before. Every person is worth attending to!
Ren arrived home yesterday! :-) And she's going away
tomorrow to a retreat for university-aged youth, many of whom
are her special friends. Please pray that this summer will
be a useful one in her life.
Doug could use wisdom in developing a baseball program.
There are a few kids interested, but not enough to make a
team. The women's softball team, run by David and Grace
McBrier, has fizzled out. Please pray that a baseball
program can be developed that will lead to relationships
and life for people here.
If you don't mind, please pray that we figure out how
to get our internet connection fixed. It died earlier this
week. It feels strange and makes life more complicated to
be disconnected from the world!
Sunday, May 15, 2016 EXTRA
GOOD NEWS! Lea's Syrian friend received her visa to
study in the U.S. for a year and a half! When she got
the news (and her passport back) she immediately
traveled back to Syria to see her parents and sister.
Please pray for her physical safety and her preparation
for state exams in early June.
A family we met in 2002 got news a few days ago that
they are being deported from Russia TODAY. Please pray
for them as they fly back to the States, recover from the
trauma of evacuating their home of 14 years, and discover
their next steps.
There's a motorcycle rally happening here in Vác
this weekend. Our pastor was asked by the organizers to
preach (!) at the main concert venue on Sunday afternoon.
Please pray that the true Word of God would be shared,
and for these seeds to land, and then grow, on good ground.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Ren is finished with exams and will arrive in Vác on
Tuesday 17 May. We are pleased that she will spend many
weeks here. (I almost said, "here with us," but that is
only partly true.) :-) Please pray that she has a good
summer, whether working or resting.
Our residency application is complete. We are now
waiting for the Immigration Office's decision. Please
pray that we receive permission to live in Hungary for
two more years.
Monday is Pentecost, which is a public holiday here.
Please pray that Hungarians (along with us) become more
and more awake to God's presence among us as well as
greater possibilities for God's working within us.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
This coming Sunday, our church in Vác will host a
garden party for the neighbors. This is supposed to be an
outreach, so please pray that we all get out of our comfort
zones and reach out—not to get new members for a club,
but to help people find real and abundant life.
Please pray that Doug figures out effective ways to find
and recruit more baseball players.
Please pray that Ren's exams go well this week.
Please continue to pray hard for our residency permits
to be granted.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
We have some important official processes in progress:
Please pray that we are granted residency permits, and that
Ren receives scholarship money from William and Mary.
Doug is learning how to give his days to God. :-)
Please pray that God continues to give him cues about what
to do and when, so that Doug---and others---can grow as
citizens in the Kingdom.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Lea here. This is a long one, because there's a lot of good news!
God has answered SO many prayers lately!!! Here are a few
examples of what your prayers have done:
Last Wednesday you prayed that my computer would be
resurrected. On Thursday it was fixed! The cable to the hard
drive had become disengaged. It wasn't the cheapest, but it
was easy and quick.
Two weeks ago you prayed for workers to be sent out into
God's baseball field in Vác. The following Sunday, our
athletic nephew Noah felt God's nudge to come over here this
summer and help Uncle Doug with baseball. Noah will be here
for about 20 days; during that time they will go to Deaf camp,
work on the field, and possibly do other ministry projects.
The last couple of weeks, you also prayed for my Syrian
friend. Her extended interview at the embassy seemed to go
well. Of course, we won't know for a few weeks what their
decision will be.
We have two prayer requests for this week:
Please pray for Noah as he earns and raises money for his
trip. Pray that he finds the right flights.
Doug has had quite a few new students lately, for which
we are very grateful. However, our little English teaching
business is not yet profitable. The lawyer just informed us
that the numbers probably won't go over well with the
immigration officers. Please pray that we get our residency
permits for the next two years!
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Lea's computer just quit in the middle of filling out Ren's
college financial aid forms. I mean it really quit. It doesn't
boot up; it doesn't recognize any hard drive. Please pray what
you would pray if this happened to you. :-)
The baseball field is in great shape. Please pray that more
kids (and their parents) join into the group.
Tomorrow (Thursday), Lea will go to Budapest. In addition
to taking her computer to the repair shop, she will submit the
last two documents that accompany our residency permit
applications. I know that such bureaucracy is not "exciting
stuff," but it is a *crucial* part of life abroad. Please pray
that we get two more years of life and work in Hungary as
legally documented aliens.
Lea here. My weekend with my Syrian friend was great! We had
lots of good, deep discussions. She has been admitted to four
grad schools in the US, but she can't go unless she gets a visa.
She will have an interview with the State Department on Tuesday.
Please pray that the interview will go well so that she can
continue her studies in a safe place.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
At my English-teaching class last June, I became friends
with a young lady from Syria who is studying at a university
in Hungary. We've been trying to get together for many months,
and this weekend I will finally go visit her. Please pray
that we will have a good time together. Please pray that she
will have a safe place to go when her Hungarian residency
permit expires in June.
We are dealing with residency permits, too. Every other
year we have to apply for an extension, and now is the time.
Please pray that we can get all the papers together (they
want a couple bazillion, it seems) and that the officials
will be in a good mood when they review our application.
This past Monday, Doug delivered letters to the neighbors
of the baseball field, asking if they would allow us to store
baseball equipment in their back yard. Two people responded
within 24 hours! Some Hungarians tell us that this response
is unusually generous. We are very grateful that these folks
see the baseball field as an asset to their neighborhood.
Please pray that more people here will become involved in our
A few kids have come to the first practices this spring.
Please pray that more kids (and their parents, too!) become
interested. Please pray that God sends out more workers
into his baseball field. :-)
We continue to be exceedingly, abundantly grateful for
your prayers, which God uses to do exceedingly, abundantly
more than all we could ask for, or even think of!
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Doug here. Outdoor baseball practices start on Saturday.
Please pray that we have fun with the kids who come, that more
kids will come, and that our work in the baseball program will
foster good relations with players, their families, with the
field's neighbors, and with City Hall.
I recently read a book about the resurrection by N.T.
Wright, and now I am reading it again. Please pray, as Paul
said, that I (we) learn this: "The Spirit of God, who raised
Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised
Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal
bodies by this same Spirit living within you." (Romans 8:11,
NLT) I know that I will not live forever in this body, but I
would like to be ALIVE while I am in it.
Because of a reporting error (using outdated information)
on Lea's application for renewal of her residency permit, our
immigration lawyer told us that she must resubmit her paperwork
from the beginning. Please pray that this process goes smoothly
from now on, and that we will be approved for two more years of
life in Hungary.
THANK YOU very much for praying for us. It is a great
comfort to know that every week many people in many places are
with us as we continue our work in Vác. May God bless you all
with the blessings that you ask for us.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Lea here. During spring break, I will spend some time
with several special people. Please pray that I can
communicate well in Hungarian, and that I can be helpful
in their lives.
Doug here. I am exploring how to live in God's immediate
presence more. (I had to search for a way to say this
without using "Churchese".) Please pray that I learn how to
celebrate God's presence with me and to ask him more about
my life in him and his life in me.
As the church celebrates the overcoming love of Christ,
may you know his love that surpasses knowledge, so that you
may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Doug here. Spring is trying hard to break out in Hungary,
but it still gets pretty cold at night. Although many things
are budding green, we are still wearing our winter coats most
of the time. Plus, due to frequent rains, the baseball field
is a grass-covered mud pit. We nonetheless plan to begin
outdoor practices the week after Easter. THANK YOU for praying
for us as we turn this seasonal corner.
So please pray for me and David (the other missionary
coach). Pray that a good number of kids join up and that
this summer's group learns to be respectful, helpful, and
team-minded. Please pray that FAMILIES become involved so
that the parents also will be exposed to the love and life
of the Holy Spirit working through us. (Yeah, that may
sound corny, but it can have real effect here in Hungary.)
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Next Tuesday 15 March is a national holiday in Hungary
that commemorates their unsuccessful attempt to win
independence from Austria in 1848. A teachers' demonstration
is planned in Budapest, and the union is
preparing to strike
if they are not taken seriously.
Please pray that the education system in Hungary improves
and that all the concerned groups (government, teachers,
students) benefit from this improvement. Please pray for
Lea as she works among Hungarians who have varying
opinions about what should be done.
Spring is almost here. Baseball preparations are
beginning to invade my calendar. :-) Please pray that
our efforts to give demonstrations in the local schools
are successful and that many families will become involved.
Please pray that baseball-loving workers will volunteer
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Lea here. This coming Saturday is an official workday.
While the students watch movies at school for four hours,
about 35 teachers are going on an all-day excursion to a
town southwest of Budapest. Please pray for my Hungarian
language ability and for good conversations.
March 15 is a national holiday that commemorates the
revolution against the Austrian Habsburgs in 1848. This
year on March 15, educators in Hungary are planning
another big demonstration, with the possibility of a
strike immediately following if the government doesn't
"do something" (according to one colleague). Please pray
for Hungary, that justice will roll down like water and
righteousness like a mighty stream. (Amos 5:24) Please
pray for me, that I would know how best to support my
students, my colleagues, and this country.
Doug here. On some days, I run into turbulence
(minor irritations that tend to ruin the day). Please
pray that I learn to trust God no matter what and to
pray and listen while I do my necessary tasks.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
In educational news, many teachers are now wearing
plaid shirts to show their solidarity with those who are
fighting for more sensible educational policies. But one
of Lea's colleagues told her that no one agrees with
anyone else (a typical problem in Hungary), and there are
a lot of factions among the protesters. Please pray for
peace among teachers, especially at her school. Pray that
the government makes wise decisions to improve their
educational policies. Pray that Lea will be a blessing to
Doug is experiencing a regeneration of his faith in a
new direction as a result of reading Surprised by Hope
by N.T. Wright. Please pray that he grows and becomes a more
real person in all that he does.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
The students' Bible group at my school is dwindling.
Please pray for the teenagers who are still going, but who
are discouraged. Pray that God shows them what they should
Recently in Hungary, state control over education has
been getting stronger. Teachers' workloads have increased,
and there are new, time-consuming certification requirements
and inspections, but with fewer benefits. Students'
workloads are also increasing, but with classes that (my
kids say) aren't helpful. Some schools are starting to
protest with petitions, demonstrations, and talk of a teacher
strike. There was a demonstration at Parliament on Saturday.
Please pray that Hungarians solve the severe problems in
their educational system.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Lea here. Even though some of my friends' kids weren't
completely healthy, all of the women made it to our retreat!
It was a really rich time with God and with each other. God
did some deep work in some people's hearts, including my own.
He's cleaning me out, and even though it hurts sometimes,
it's a good kind of hurt. :-) Please pray that God takes
over more and more of my mind and life.
Doug here. Spring will be here sooner than I think.
Please pray that I arrange my schedule to account for all
good things that can be done with baseball in this town.
I could use some "cleaning out" and regeneration, just
like Lea. Lent is a good time to do it. Please pray that we
"do not think of ourselves more highly than we ought, but
rather think of ourselves with sober judgment, in accordance
with the faith God has distributed to each of us."
Please continue to pray for Ren—about school,
friendships, next year's housing, scholarships, and anything
else you can think of!
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Thanks again for taking time to pray for us, with us. In this
way you are very near as we live and work in Vác, no matter how far
away you are when you pray. God's Kingdom is truly amazing! Here are
this week's requests:
Lea here. I had a great time of silence and solitude
with God on Thursday; I learned that
I'm much more of a mess than I thought;
God loves me much more than I thought; and
I need God much more than I thought.
This was cool.
However, two days later, I fell apart. I'm sure I'm not alone
in this, but I feel like I could use 48 hours every day. I barely
keep up with schoolwork; I neglect my family and friends; and many
true "shoulds" don't get started. Please pray for good time
management, for proper boundaries, and that I trust in God no
matter what. I'll be praying that for you, too.
That said, this coming weekend is a retreat (not a
conference) for me and nine English-speaking girlfriends who
live in Croatia, Germany, and Hungary. The depth of love and
care among these ladies is a gift beyond measure. Please pray
for safe travels, for health for husbands and kids (there are
many!), and for whatever God wants.
Doug here. I have just coasted these last few days.
I am sure that I am working from my own strength, not with the
effectual power, perceptive wisdom, and love for others that
God is willing to give. Please pray that I attend to him more,
that I am not distracted by interesting things that do not
really serve my purpose here, and that I spend the day in God's
presence doing his will.
Please pray for diligence, wisdom, and perseverance for
Ren. Pray especially for some computer projects that
are weighing heavily on her.
For all of us, please continue to pray that we hold to
Jesus' teaching so that we will really be his disciples, get
to know the truth, and let the truth set us free.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Lea here. The women's conference this past weekend
was great for all of us. The topic was Godly wisdom,
which we all could use! Doug's visit to the Szentendre
baseball club started friendly relations with them.
Colds are going around here in Hungary; Ren had one
before she left, mine developed while I was at the
conference, and today Doug woke up this morning with a
snucky head. Please pray that no one else catches it.
While at the conference, I spent time with a two-month
old baby and his mama. Please pray especially hard that
they don't get sick.
Tomorrow I plan to spend several hours with God in
silence and solitude. I have a feeling that God wants
to remove a bunch of garbage from my soul, including
hypocrisy, selfishness, and worry, and replace it with
truth and trust. Please pray that I submit to this
spiritual surgery, so that I can live a more abundant
and useful life.
Doug asks that you pray the same for him.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Lea will go to a women's conference this weekend.
Please pray that God's will is done by those who attend,
and that the weekend will be full of truth with minimal
cultural baggage. Pray that they will have a meaningful
Many teenagers and twenty-somethings whom we know
need prayers as they make far-reaching decisions in their
lives. Also please pray that they are wise with their
time, abilities, and relationships.
The Szentendre baseball club (12 miles away, but
across the river) is in a situation similar to ours.
They have American coaches, a field, and only half as
many kids as they need for a team. On Sunday Doug
visited one of their practices and had a good time.
Please pray that we consider a cooperative and mutually
helpful relationship with this group.
Thanks again for taking the time to pray for us
and for the people around us. May the grace and peace
of Jesus Christ be with us all.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Doug here. I just returned from a three-day men's
retreat with pastors and other missionaries from three
countries. It was a good time of rest, prayer, and fun
for all 11 of us. Thanks for your prayers last week.
I have been invited to visit a practice this weekend
at the Szentendre baseball club (10 miles away). The
coaches there are in a similar situation, that is, they
have a field but not enough kids to form a team. Please
pray that this meeting will help to build goodwill, lead
to good ideas, and extend our horizons.
Ren's mouth is healing up nicely, but last night she
came down with a cold. She has several more friends that
she would like to see before she flies back to Virginia
on Monday, but she doesn't want them to get sick from her.
Please pray for her health and for a good end to her time
here during the break from school. Also, please pray that
she has a quick recovery from jet lag after the return
flight, because her classes start Wednesday morning.
Once again, thank you for your willingness to pray
for us and for the people around us. Your involvement in
God's work here is valuable to us.
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Ren got her right two wisdom teeth pulled on Monday
night. Her current condition is rather typical: she's
swollen and in pain. Please pray for a quick and smooth
I (Doug) am teaching one hour per week of baseball at
an elementary school. Four or five kids attend regularly;
they listen well and play with enthusiasm. I wish I had
ten more like them. :-) Please pray that more kids get
involved and that their participation has a good effect
in their lives.
Please pray that, as baseball gears up again, Doug and
our friend David will have the wisdom to know what to do
and the energy to do it.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Every week we tell you that we are grateful
for your prayers, and every week we feel it even more. So
it's hard to put our gratitude into big enough words. For
now, the same old English words will have to do, but we
think that God might have big enough words to express the
value of what you are doing for our little family and for
our little country.
Please pray that we would grow closer to God every
day, trust him with everything, and follow his leadership
in our lives.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
We know many people who are going through a spiritual
wilderness. Please pray that God will show his reality and
love to them in ways that they understand. Please pray that
they will hold to Jesus' teaching, so they can really be Jesus'
disciples; then they will know the truth, and the truth will
set them free (John 8:31-32).
Hungarians' big Christmas celebration will be tomorrow
(December 24). In the afternoon, the country shuts down.
Everything stops. The kids are kicked out of the room while
the parents decorate the Christmas tree, and "Baby Jesus"
(maybe with the help of a few "angels") brings in the gifts.
Then they enjoy a hearty Christmas dinner together. At
midnight many will go to Mass. Please pray that all of us
differentiate between myth and reality. Pray that those
who are called by God's name will do his will, and pray
that Jesus' church will bring God's love and good news to
those who need him.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Ren's last and most difficult exam is from 2pm to 5pm
today. Please pray for her! She flies from Dulles tomorrow
and arrives in Budapest Friday around noon Hungary time.
Please pray for her safe travel and a good month (yay!)
for her in Hungary.
As we asked last week, please pray that we remain in
the vine—in vital union (Amplified Bible, John 15:5)
with Jesus Christ—and by this bear much fruit.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Prayers are welcome for Ren's exams, which started
yesterday. From what I hear, the scariest one is next
Wednesday, December 16.
As people hear stories from the Bible during this season,
please pray that God's word will not return empty, but will
accomplish what God desires and achieve the purpose for
which he has sent it.
Please pray that we remain in the vine—in vital
union (Amplified Bible, John 15:5) with Jesus
Christ—and by this bear much fruit.
Your prayers for us are powerful and effective. Thank
you for ministering to us in this way!
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Our church's annual Christmas Carnival is this Saturday
evening (10am-2pm Virginia time). Please pray that lots of
kids and their parents will come and have a good time. Pray
that they see that there's more to life than what we see with
our physical eyes.
Pray that, in a place where mistrust is pretty common, we
can help build community with people and with God.
Doug's back is still hurting (except for the one hour
each week when he plays baseball with kids). Please pray
that he finds the right doctor / therapy / exercises for
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in America. Here in Hungary,
people don't do thanksgiving. I regularly hear people say
"Thanks to God" in everyday conversation, but more often,
the words they use are not so thankful. For instance, both
God and Jesus are mentioned quite a bit, but it's usually in
frustration or anger—not exactly what God had in mind,
in my opinion.
On the other hand, God is very much here, and he is
working! At least one of my students wrote down that he
was thankful FOR God. We are also thankful TO God FOR
you—more than we could ever say!
Doug arrived home safely and with a remarkable amount
of sleep on the plane. We had a good reunion! Please
continue to pray for his mom as she navigates unfamiliar
waters alone. Please pray for Doug as he gets back to
normal life in Hungary. Also, please pray for his back,
which has been hurting quite a bit—except when he
plays baseball with little kids.
Please pray for all three of us, that we hunger and
thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5); and that we hold
to Jesus' teaching, so we can really be his disciples,
know the truth, and let the truth set us free. (John 8)
We are regularly, joyfully thankful for YOU and your
prayers for us! "Thanks to God!"
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Doug has helped his mom a lot, even though he says that
administration and organization are not his forte. Please
pray for Nancy as (and after) he leaves, because she will
miss him in many ways. Please pray for safe flights and
that he will make his semi-tight connection in Dubai. Pray
that his flights will be sufficiently boring, because boring
flights are much preferred over exciting ones. Also, please
pray for Ren as she travels to Roanoke to spend Thanksgiving
with my side of the family.
At school there are kids who always seem to be alone.
Some of their expressions look like I felt on the first day
at a new school. Please pray for these people. Pray that I
can help others to accept them for who they are. Pray that
they can find the One who loves and accepts him as they are,
and who can heal their broken hearts.
Most of my teenagers don't know what Thanksgiving is.
Please pray that, as I teach them about it next week, they
will learn how important the ACT of thanksgiving is, and
especially that they will learn whom to be thankful TO.
Please pray for our work with young people: at schools,
with baseball, and individually. Please pray that we can
share True Love and Life to the people we meet here in
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
A couple of weeks ago, we asked you to pray for Doug's
safety on the left side of the Australian roads. That prayer
was answered by an injury to his mom's car door, which will
not be repaired until four days after he leaves Australia.
It's inconvenient, but it's safe!
Please continue to pray that Doug and his mom accomplish
necessary tasks, that they can encourage each other, and that
they have patience with each other during a stressful time.
Please pray for her physical body, which is not in good shape
mechanically. He also asks you to pray for "opportunities for
meaningful conversations." He says he would like to be a
blessing to his mom in ways that she may not currently
Please continue to pray for Ren also, especially
regarding decisions about her future. Please pray that
God's presence is very obvious to her. Please pray that
she is wise in her choices.
I'm doing fine, still quite busy with school stuff.
Please pray that I create meaningful lessons, especially
for my three higher-level classes. Please pray that I
will pray for and minister to the young people that God
has brought into my life.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Doug arrived safely in Australia last Thursday after a
36-hour trip, at least 22 of which were sitting on planes.
According to e-mails, he has been doing a lot of official
stuff with/for his mom. Tomorrow morning I finally get
to talk with him! :-)
Please pray that Doug and his mom accomplish whatever
is necessary. Please pray that they can encourage each other,
and that they have patience with each other during a stressful
Ren is having to make decisions about her major and
classes and life. Please pray that God's presence is very
obvious to her. Please pray that she is wise in her choices.
I had a great day of silence and solitude last Thursday,
which added a lot of peace and joy to my attitude. I've had
adequate time (so far) to do most of my school tasks; now I'm
hoping to get to a bunch of things on my "To Do Soon" list,
which currently contains 49 items. Please pray that I am
wise with priorities, especially with tasks and people.
Several people from my Váci church are going through
times of questioning—which is risky, but very necessary
(in my opinion) to establishing their own faith. Please
pray that they find Real Truth. Pray that God will show
them the proper path for each of their lives. Pray that
they will be able to forgive Christians (especially
religious leaders) who hurt them. Please pray that these
times draw them closer to Jesus, who knows exactly what it's
like to be hurt by religious leaders.
We continue to be so grateful for your care for us
and your prayers for us! Feel free to send prayer requests
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Doug is now on his way to Australia to help his mom for
3.5 weeks. Please pray...
for his health, especially that he doesn't catch the cold
I've had this past week!
that he endures 20 hours (6 to Dubai, 14 to Sydney) in
economy class. (Right now: 2 hours down, only 18 to go!)
that he gets over jet lag quickly.
for his safety if he has to drive on the left-hand side
of the road.
for him and his mom as they deal with a myriad of Australian
financial and legal issues. Their first appointment is four
hours after he arrives in Sydney Friday morning.
that they deepen their relationships with each other and
The cat and I are holding down the fort in Hungary. I plan to
take a silent retreat tomorrow, and then grade essays, plan lessons,
spend time with people (including my students!), and do a bazillion
things that need doing around the house. Please pray that I am wise
with my time, and that I allow God to deepen his relationship with me!
Please also pray for Ren. She's off-the-scale busy.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Lea here, with good news! Dad came through surgery fine
and went home last night. There were no complications. Now he's
having only minimal nosebleeds, which is impressive considering
that was on aspirin the whole time. His spirits are good, he has
no pain, and he's feeling much better than he felt two days ago.
Thank you SO MUCH for praying for him!!
Monday, October 19, 2015 - Special Monday Edition
This past weekend CEO held an fantastic meeting of 18
of our partners and friends. The Croatian contingent made it
over the border, and everyone got back home safely, too. Being
with these people was rejuvenating. We laughed, cried, listened,
spoke, ate, played games, prayed, told stories, sang, encouraged
each other, and lots of other things. Thank you for praying for
this meeting, and please thank God with us that we can be a part
of such an amazing group of disciples.
Please continue to pray for all of Doug's family as we
grieve the loss of his father and his stepfather. Please pray for
Doug's mom Nancy as she deals with many different issues.
My father, Clint Hopkins, will have sinus surgery
tomorrow. Because of this, he must temporarily go off certain
medications. Please pray for Dad, for the medical personnel,
that the surgery is a success, and that he has no complications,
especially with his heart or circulatory system.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Just after Doug's dad's funeral in late September, his
mom, Nancy, flew back to Australia, where she has lived with
Frank, her second husband, since 1991. On Monday, Frank died
in his sleep. His funeral is tomorrow (Thursday). Please pray
for my dear mother-in-law as she grieves. Please pray that God
shows her comfort.
This weekend CEO will have a conference in Pécs (rhymes
with "H") in southern Hungary. Please pray that our colleagues
from other countries can cross the border without trouble. Pray
for rest and renewal and laughter. Pray for deep, healing
Please pray that we spend the right amount of time with
people and the right amount alone with God. We are learning. :-)
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Lea here. There aren't words enough to thank you for your
prayers for us, especially over the last couple of weeks. Even
though our trip to America was hard, the timing couldn't have been
better. We are still amazed that we made it through airports in
record time so that we could spend four hours with Doug's dad
before he died. The memorial service was last Wednesday and the
graveside service was on Saturday. We flew back to Hungary Monday
night and arrived home yesterday afternoon. Today I taught at 8am
in Hungary (2am in Virginia), and my brain was remarkably awake.
To me, it felt like your prayers have been a conveyor belt,
carrying us through a hard time. THANK YOU!
Now that we've returned home, we ask for your continued
prayers as we all grieve the loss of Doug's dad. Please pray for
Doug's brothers Dave and Matt. They had to deal up close with
their dad's difficult decline, and now they have to deal with all
the rest. Please pray for Pops's best friend Cynthia. Please pray
that issues will be resolved well and according to God's wisdom.
If November's weather is as expected, then this coming
Saturday is the only field practice until the spring. Please pray
that kids will come out and play. Pray that Doug will have the
energy to do this, plus continue with the Tuesday and Wednesday
baseball programs at the two elementary schools.
Please pray for Ren as she deals with this week's mid-term
exams and projects.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Doug's dad died about 7:30 this morning.
Thank you SO much for praying for us here!
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Doug's dad is still in the hospital, unable to speak, but
yesterday he responded with his eyes to his cousin Harry. We leave
for Virginia tomorrow morning.
Please pray for CONNECTIONS, all of which are very tight.
We have to be on the 04:04 train to another town, where a friend
will take us to the airport. The airport doesn't open until 05:00,
and our flight leaves at 06:30. We are flying from Budapest to
Paris to New York to Richmond, and our layovers are less than two
hours each. The Paris and New York airports aren't known for their
efficiency, either. Please pray that we make it!
Doug's brother plans to pick us up at the airport tomorrow
night and take us immediately to the hospital. Please pray that,
while we are home, we will minister to the family, as well as be
ministered to. Pray for good good-byes.
A couple of days ago, Doug flopped into the living room
chair and told me that he feels a strong sense of PEACE. So do I,
and it's amazing. I attribute this to your prayers and God's grace.
Thanks so much for praying for us!!!
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Doug here. My dad's health is deteriorating rapidly. He is in ICU,
hasn't eaten much all week, and is down to about 115 pounds. He has
been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer with possible nodes in his lungs
and brain, but his fragile condition prevents a biopsy. He might have
tuberculosis also. If he can be stabilized and confirmed non-contagious,
he will be released to hospice care at his home in Richmond, Virginia.
My brother recently sent me the disheartening (but not unexpected)
message saying that we should come home when we can, and sooner might
be better than later. Lea and I will fly from Hungary to Richmond on
Wednesday 23 September. While we are gone, Lea's classes will be
covered by her fellow teachers, and there will be no baseball in Vác.
Please pray especially for my father, Phil Coppage, and for his family
and friends in this hard time. May God give us all what we need.
Our heartfelt thanks to you.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Our weekly school class schedules have been set. Lea teaches
12 hours a week (mostly on Mondays and Tuesdays) and I teach one hour
on Wednesdays. I am slowly recovering private students, and baseball
practices start at schools next week. Please pray for Lea as she
designs the curriculum for her classes (which takes a LOT of time).
Please pray that while we teach English, we teach truth.
We have lost our storage yard next to the baseball field, so
I am moving our field maintenance equipment into temporary quarters
at a fellow missionary's house. Please pray that we find a safe place
close to the field to keep this necessary stuff. Please pray that I
find Hungarian assistants and helpers this semester.
Both of our fathers have health problems. Today my Dad will
enter a rehabilitation center after four stays in the hospital with
lung infections and complications. Lea's Dad has had hearing and
balance problems. Please pray for our parents, that they get what
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Our weekly school class schedules have been set. Lea teaches
12 hours a week (mostly on Mondays and Tuesdays) and I teach one hour
on Wednesdays. I am slowly recovering private students, and baseball
practices start at schools next week. Please pray for Lea as she
designs the curriculum for her classes (which takes a LOT of time).
Please pray that while we teach English, we teach truth.
We have lost our storage yard next to the baseball field, so
I am moving our field maintenance equipment into temporary quarters
at a fellow missionary's house. Please pray that we find a safe place
close to the field to keep this necessary stuff. Please pray that I
find Hungarian assistants and helpers this semester.
Both of our fathers have health problems. Today my Dad will
enter a rehabilitation center after four stays in the hospital with
lung infections and complications. Lea's Dad has had hearing and
balance problems. Please pray for our parents, that they get what
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Parts of Budapest are crammed with shelterless refugees
from the Middle East. This evening Lea went into town with a group
from church to feed some of them. Please pray that—regardless of
the government’s actions (or inaction)—Jesus’ people in Hungary
will step forward and feed the hungry and assist the homeless.
Baseball practices start next week. Our field maintenance
equipment is stored for free in an adjacent fenced-in yard that has
two owners. Last week the *other* owner, whom I have never met,
decided to put a new lock on the gate without telling anyone. No
one else has a key, and no one can contact him. Then today, the
tractor-mower (luckily stored somewhere else) snapped a cutting
deck brace when I hit a hidden obstacle in tall grass. A few pieces
bent, and the left-side blade drive was gouged. I took it to the
shop, and the repairman said that I "did a nice job"…. Please pray
for good relations and good communication in Hungarian with all
involved, for timely resolution of these problems, and in any case
for a good start next week with the kids.
I need more English students so that I can do my part to
pay our way here in Hungary. Please pray for my bravery and my
language skills as I do a little marketing.
This summer my 81-year-old Dad has been in the hospital
four times. Lea and I had to change our travel plans so that I
could be in Richmond to help care for him. Please pray for my Dad’s
well-being and for the rest of the family as they decide what is
best for him. Please pray for me, because I returned to Hungary
tired instead of refreshed from our time in America.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Doug here. Thanks for praying for us. Lea and I are back
in Vác. We are jet-lagged, but Lea has hit the ground running with
preparations for school. I usually return to Hungary refreshed and
set for another year of work, but this summer was different:
My Dad, Phil Coppage, went into the hospital with lung
infections three times in the last couple of months. He is now at
home, but at age 81 with hospital-induced delirium, his recovery
is neither easy nor rapid. Please pray for my father and brothers
and the rest of the family as they decide whether (or when) he
should move to an assisted-living residence. Please pray also for
my younger brother, Matt, who has a heavy burden due to his Power
of Attorney in this matter.
Lea's brother-in-law is the chief computer guy at WDBJ
in Roanoke, where two co-workers were murdered this morning while
broadcasting a live interview. Please pray for them and for their
colleagues as they mourn after this horrible tragedy.
With all of the things in America to think about, I must
now turn to my responsibilities here in Hungary: Deaf school, Deaf
church, baseball, and English teaching. Please pray that I can be
a good student of Jesus, concentrate on the current task, and do
Due to paperwork and new classes, Lea will be doing lots
of schoolwork from now until the middle of October. Please pray
that she stays healthy, sharp, and adaptable during these two
months. Please pray for the other workers and the students, too,
that real education happens.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
We made it safely to Virginia! During our five weeks in
the States, please pray that we spend good time with people whom we
love and with God, who loves us.
Now that I've finished my demanding CELTA class, I have
realized that I still live with a lot of unnecessary stress in my
mind and heart. This often shows up in tightened facial muscles
while I sleep. Please pray that I learn to deal well with stress,
including trusting God and getting outside help if necessary.
About 6 years ago, many of you started praying for a
student of mine who wanted to be a sniper. Recently I had a good
talk with him. He is not a sniper yet, but he still carries some
hateful attitudes. I continue to feel that God wants to do
something big with this guy. Please pray that God will show himself
to this young man, so that he can leave his current futile life and
turn to the Author of Life.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
This Friday-Saturday-Sunday will be the Váci Világi
Vigalom, the Vác World Festival. This is three days of exhibitions,
shopping, musical concerts (LOUD MUSIC), and drinking. Our hearing
church (Calvary Chapel Vác) will host a "Vision for Life" team of
60 young people who will evangelize, serve, and generally minister
to people in town during the Festival. Please pray for this team
and for our town during this very active weekend.
We will fly to Virginia next Tuesday and stay in the US
for almost five weeks. We are looking forward to this, but it is
often hard, because we can't see everyone, and when we get to visit
someone, the time is always too short. Please pray for us, that we
will make the right visits, say the right things, build up the
Church, and travel wisely and safely.
THANK YOU for praying for us. May we *all* be good
ambassadors of Jesus' Kingdom, a credit to his name, and a blessing
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Doug here. At last week's Deaf Camp there was lots of Bible study,
many good conversations, and at the end one baptism. Thank you for
praying! Now there are two weeks to recover from that and to prepare
for the summer trip to America.
Please pray that I continue to grow in Christ and that I
do not "coast" after the spiritual high of the camp.
Please pray that I plan well (that is, that I help Lea to
plan well) for our trip to America. She is much better at it than
Lea here. I passed the CELTA course! Hallelujah! I also got to
know many cool people. :-) Now that my class is over, I need to:
prepare for our trip to the States;
see as many friends as possible here in Hungary; and
plan for my classes before the next school year starts.
I'd like to provide topics that are useful for their lives.
Please pray that God gives me wisdom on how to REST, on
how to pack a lot into the next two weeks, and on what to
teach my kids next school year.
Refugees from the Middle East (Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and
Iran) are entering Hungary illegally in desperate attempts to
apply for official refugee status in the EU. In Szeged (southern
Hungary), where many exhausted travelers enter Hungary, believers
are sacrificing more than usual to treat these people humanely.
In a camp near Debrecen, many have come to know Jesus. On the
other hand, this is a touchy political problem, and the Hungarian
government is planning to build a fence between Serbia and Hungary
so refugees can no longer cross the border.
Please pray for the refugees, for the churches who
minister to them, and for the Hungarian government and for Europe
in general as this situation becomes acute.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Lea here. Thank you SO MUCH for your prayers for us!
My super-intense class isn't over yet, but it looks like I'll
pass! Please pray for God's love to come to my fellow student
teachers, especially my team. They are really special to me.
Doug reported yesterday that Deaf camp was going well.
There are 60-70 people, about 2/3 from Czech Republic and the
rest from Hungary. It sounds like a big family reunion is
going on down there. Please pray that God will make himself
known to them and through them.
We can't express our gratitude for your incredible
support for us!!! But God knows. :-)
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Lea here. First I'd like to brag on my amazing husband,
who has helped me tremendously, done EVERYTHING around the house,
and even prepared stuff for my lessons! His care for me has been
an amazing gift!
Next, I’d like to thank you for your prayers. I feel
like I’m being carried along on them, kind of like groceries on
a conveyor belt. :-)
So... one more hard week, and then it's over. I have
really enjoyed getting to know my classmates. One in particular
is pretty special to me. Yesterday she and I had a wonderful,
deep conversation about religion and reality. Please continue
to pray that I will be a blessing to my classmates, that I will
manage to think and teach with a minimum of sleep, and that I
Now it’s Doug’s turn: Next week, Monday through Saturday,
is Deaf Camp at the Calvary Chapel Bible College in Vajta, Hungary.
At our church meeting this past Sunday, the seven of us marveled
that 40 Czechs and about 20 Hungarians will attend this year. I
will be the baseball recreation director and a general gopher. I
will bunk with the Deaf, eat with them, work with them, learn with
them, pray with them, ... you name it. For me, please pray that my
sign-language skills are sharp. For everyone, please pray that
the presence of the Holy Spirit is keenly felt during the week.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Doug here. Lea's course description warned them that the
course would be intense. They were right. She eats, sleeps, and
breathes English teaching. But we are doing okay, all things
considered. Thank you for praying for us in preparation for this
course, and now...
Please continue to pray for Lea's ENDURANCE: physical,
mental, and spiritual. She can't get her regular exercise, doesn't
sleep as much as she needs, and has no time for anything except
commuting and coursework from Sunday evening until the week's
assignments are finished (usually Saturday afternoon). This will
continue until July 3.
With Lea busy, I thought I might have time for things that
don't get done during the school year. :-) But these days I am just
tired. Please pray that I have STRENGTH for my necessary tasks, one
of which is preparation for this summer's Hungarian Deaf Camp (June
29 to July 3).
Please pray that Lea and I will GROW during this strange
time. Yeah, we're over fifty years old, but we are only
fifty-some years old. There's a lot in the Realm of God we haven't
caught onto yet. Please pray that we order our lives around the
resurrected Jesus and his great love for us and for the people
around us. Please pray that we stay alert for God's signals and
directions—and that we stay faithful to what we *have* heard
when we feel that God is silent.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Doug here. Lea is in her intensive English-teaching course.
She wakes up early, gets ready, eats breakfast, goes to Budapest,
comes home, eats dinner, does her coursework, and goes to bed.
Repeat until Friday evening...for four weeks. So far she has had
no migraines. Thanks for praying for her.
Please continue to pray for Lea as she studies and learns.
She asks for good health, good rest (including sleep), energy,
wisdom, clear thinking, and good relationships with her classmates,
students (guinea pigs, really), and instructors.
I would call last Saturday's Baseball Open House a success.
Six players, four parents, two coaches, and two former Ironmen
(last year's little leaguers) came, and we played two short games
in (for Hungary) very hot weather. The best part was that the
parents played with more gusto than the kids. :-) We need to
decide what to do this summer regarding regular practices, camps,
clinics, fun days, etc. Please pray for good planning, continued
fun, and more recruits.
Please pray that we pray. Our list of people who need
prayer is really long. And please pray that God will use his
people here to help others make wise decisions. (And please
pray that God's people here will make wise decisions!)
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Lea here. As the school year winds down and new projects
crank up, we OFTEN give thanks for your powerful work on our behalf.
Thanks so much for praying for us and for the people we love! This
week, we ask you to pray for...
My intensive English-teaching class, June 8 - July 3:
Brain energy. Ideas. Wisdom. Deep sleep. Reliable trains, buses,
trams, and subways. Relationship with classmates, teachers, and
students. Being light and salt.
Sunshine, safety, and good times for the Baseball "Open
House" at the field on Saturday, June 6. Sunshine, safety, and
enthusiastic students for the Baseball Day at my school on Tuesday,
June 9. Doug and the two softball coaches, Grace and David McBrier,
will be leading my classes that day while I'm at the course in Budapest.
Friends and acquaintances who are dealing with sexual abuse
or (and?) suicidal thoughts. Please pray for our wisdom in communicating
with them and helping them make choices that lead to LIFE.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Lea here. Whenever I read Paul saying things like, "I
thank my God every time I remember you," you pray-ers come to
mind; and then I thank God for *you*. Another verse that
reminds me of you is Hebrews 6:10: "God is not unjust; he
will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as
you have helped his people and continue to help them." We
are so grateful for your work, your love, and your help!
I have had lots of migraine headaches during the last
couple of months. They aren't debilitating, but my head hurts,
my tummy gets messed up, and I often can't think of words—which
is not good for an English teacher. I'm thankful for a good
neurologist and access to as much medicine as I need. Please
pray that I get a break from these headaches for the next month
and a half, until the end of my intensive English-teaching course.
This coming Saturday evening is the "Ez az a nap" (This
is the Day) Christian celebration in Budapest (ezazanap.hu). The
theme is from John 4:14, where Jesus says, "Whoever drinks the
water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give
them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal
life." Please pray for all attendees (including me), that we
will choose this living water, and that the result is eternal
life for many other people, too.
Doug has planned a baseball game for the kids followed by
an "open house" at the field on Saturday June 6.
Please pray that things go well, that no one is injured,
and that people have fun and enjoy each others' company.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Lea has a *LOT* to do in the next two weeks before her
intensive four-week course starts. Please pray that she is
efficient and effective, and also that she is interruptible
"in case my agenda doesn't match God's," she said.
I (Doug) have much to do, but it is manageable ... so
far. Plans are coming together for the Big Baseball Day on
Saturday 06 June. Please pray that both of us finish the year
well at our respective schools, and that I help Lea to get
ready for her intensive course.
Our last dinner-group-Bible-study is this Saturday.
We have benefited much from reviewing the fruits of the Spirit
(Galatians 5:22-23). Please pray that the seeds of faith that
have been planted will grow into fuller life in Christ, that
the roots will dig deep, and that the leaves will help to heal
the Hungarian people (Revelation 22:2).
Thanks again for spending your time praying to God
on our behalf. May you know his presence and love more and
more every day!
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
We were supposed to know about the management of
Boronkay High School (Baptist or national) by April 30, but
they changed the date to May 15. No one would be surprised
if they changed it again. Please continue to pray for my
school, because faculty morale is really low.
Please pray for safety for the baseball players. A
couple of weeks ago, two kids got hit in the mouth. It's a
good sign when they get whacked and then come to the next
practice, but we would prefer that they not get injured at
Please continue to pray for Doug's administrative
wisdom and social acumen (his words) as he plans for the
Big Baseball Day in a few weeks.
We have been talking about how much your prayers
mean to us and how much they DO in the kingdom of God. Thank
you, again and again, for working with us in this powerful way.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Ren could use a lot of prayer. First of all, she has
final exams today (Wednesday) and tomorrow. After that, she
will stay at WIlliam & Mary to take a summer class in computer
science, and she is also looking for a summer job (which will
be her first employment ever, so she is a bit nervous about it).
Please pray for her decision-making abilities during this novel
time in her life. In addition, feel free to pray for grants and
scholarships (or cheap loans) for next year's college costs. All
this means a lot to us, and means even more to her. [Update:
Exams and moving went remarkably well. She has a small job
tutoring in math. Thanks for your prayers!!!]
Lea here. I have been accepted into the four-week CELTA
English-teaching course in Budapest, beginning June 8. It will
be super-intensive, and there's a lot of preparation to do, as
well as keeping up with the rest of life. Please pray that I
prepare well, learn English grammar better, and get my ducks in
a row before those ducks need to learn how to study again.
Doug here. It looks like we won't have enough players
for complete teams from the two schools, so we will have to
improvise for our Big Baseball Day in late May or early June.
Please continue to pray that I learn how to coordinate this
kind of thing—or that someone else volunteers to do it! :-)
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
From Lea: Yesterday the students from the Bible college
in Vajta, Hungary, came to my school and had many good conversations
with over 100 students. Please pray that these seeds fall on good
soil, and that the plants will grow up healthy and bear lots of
From Lea: I need to create three more big lessons for this
school year. Please pray that I figure out a way to help these kids'
lives, not just their abilities in the language.
From Doug: I need to plan a big baseball day for late May
or early June. I am terrible at this. Please pray that my social
brain turns on (and works well) and that I get good helpers to
make this a success.
Thanks again for praying for us! Many hands make easier work;
many hearts do even more. And when God is involved...well, we'll
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Lea here again, with a long, extra set of prayer requests
for this week! :-)
Earlier this morning, I happened to read Ephesians 3, which
talks about God doing exceedingly, abundantly more than all we could
ask for, or even think of. Then, on the walk to church, I realized
that my hands were kind of in the shape of the American sign for
"more." So I started praying for MORE, and I ask you to join me.
Please pray for God to give more of himself to churches (Deaf,
hearing, Catholic, Reformed, Lutheran, Baptist, Calvary Chapel,
smaller groups). Please pray for the young people to learn to want
more of God. Please pray that people in Vác, Budapest, Hungary,
and the world come to know more of the love of Christ, which
surpasses knowledge, so that we may all be filled to the measure
of all the fullness of God. (This is also from Ephesians 3, which
keeps coming up a lot!!)
In our newsletter, we wrote about some of the absurd stuff
going on at my school. If I understood correctly, the Ministry of
Education will make a decision by April 30 about whether Boronkay
can be managed by the Hungarian Baptist Aid foundation rather than
the state. The state doesn't want to let the school go, because
the technical side of the school is #1 in the nation. (The
humanities side is #38, I think.) But if the state keeps it, they
plan to split the school in two, which will make both sides get worse.
100% of the non-abstaining faculty and staff voted for the Baptist
group, as did over 95% of the parents and students. That, in itself,
is quite a big miracle. Please pray for our headmaster, Gábor Fábián
(in English name order), whose life has been really hard lately.
Most of all, please pray that God's will is done in our school,
whatever that is, no matter what humans want.
Today and tomorrow, please pray that God will do stuff in
Boronkay on Tuesday (2am-10am Eastern time). Five students from
the Bible college in Hungary will be prayer-walking the school
during one lesson and helping with English classes during the
other six lessons. Please pray that conversations will go deep,
and that God will call more and more people to his Real and
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Lea here. This coming week, most of my students will be
writing an essay on one unprovable thing they believe, why they
believe it and how this belief affects their lives. Please pray
that these kids take this assignment seriously, that it helps them
think about their lives.
Please pray for our bravery in communication, and for
wisdom in choosing which community helpers to use. Even asking
about little things is more complicated, and it's sometimes just
easier to ignore the issue. But hiding is not what we came here
for, hence the need for bravery. One suggestion we've heard is
to "Be weak boldly." Please pray that we do this, and that the
love of Jesus shines through our lives.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Doug here. Several of our young friends and acquaintances
are going through that phase where they question their inherited
beliefs and start defining their own faith. Please pray that in
this time they will hear Jesus and his Gospel and that the Holy
Spirit would touch them and make God's work manifest in their
Baseball continues with weekly improvements in the young
players. But even if they have no real baseball talent, and they
never win anything, that's still okay with me. We are having a LOT
of fun. If I teach them anything, may it be teamwork, bravery,
dedication, and small joy. Please pray that they eventually
understand these deeper lessons that are the best things about
Please continue to pray for Lea and Ren and me, that (as
Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 1:3) our faith grows more and more,
and our love for others also increases.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Doug here. Spring Break was really good for both of us. I
had several days to plan and prepare, and there were two of "these
days"—the kind when I could do those odd jobs that I "will get
to one of 'these days'." It was therapeutic. Lea had time with special
friends and also got several urgent things checked off her to-do list.
Still, many items (about 100) remain on her current list. She doesn't
want to be a slave to the list, so Lea asks us to pray that she learns
wisdom about what things are important and which things can be postponed
or dropped altogether.
I am working to improve my English teaching. There is nothing
really wrong, but I am putting more effort into doing my best for these
students. Please pray that the QUALITY of my work improves.
Things like baseball, Lea's school, Deaf School, Deaf church,
hearing church, and Ren's college life continue much as before. Please
pray that we don't get in a rut, but that we keep our eyes and ears
open to the NEW among the OLD.
To quote G.K. Chesterton, "[G]rown-up people are not strong
enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult
in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, 'Do it again'
to the sun; and every evening, 'Do it again' to the moon. It may not
be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that
God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making
them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we
have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we."
Maybe that is why "his mercies are new every morning"—he is never
bored with us, but pours on fresh grace all the time. :-)
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Because of the timing of the Easter break and our
sessions, both baseball groups will go two weeks without practices.
Please pray that they maintain their enthusiasm, and pray that Doug
forms good long-term lessons for the kids that do more then help
them throw, catch, hit, etc.
Many Hungarians consider themselves "Christian," but their
lives don't show the reality of Jesus or his love. As they (and we)
celebrate the resurrection (which most of them think is crazy),
please pray that ALL people who are called by God's name will humble
themselves (ourselves), pray, seek his face, and turn from our evil
ways, so that God will hear, forgive, and heal our lands.
(2 Chronicles 7:14)
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Tomorrow is Ren's birthday. Please join us in thanking
God for this wonderful person, and please continue to pray for
Lea found out that she may teach BEGINNING English
students next year. This is a change; so far she has taught at
the intermediate level and above. She is investigating the
possibility of commuting to Budapest in June/July for an
intense, four-week course called CELTA (Certificate in English
Language Teaching to Adults), a program of Cambridge University.
Please pray for wisdom about this decision.
Baseball at two elementary schools is going pretty well.
Eight or so kids come from each school, and they seem to really
enjoy it. Please pray that our numbers increase (at least a
little bit), and that more people (parents and local officials
are good candidates) hop on the baseball development bandwagon.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Doug's calendar is getting full, and he doesn't work well
with time pressure. Please pray that he plans ahead (but without
over-rehearsing everything!) and adapts well to changing
Please pray for three women we know who are going through
divorce proceedings. The legal system here favors the husbands,
who tend also to be the richer party. Please pray for justice to
be done—and for as much reconciliation, forgiveness, and grace
Please pray that we grow in Christ and that our lives,
words, prayers, and thoughts bring at least one person one step
closer to God every day.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
This afternoon we found out that another local elementary
school is very interested in baseball lessons! Doug will meet with
them next week. Please pray that he can find a translator at this
school. Please pray that this leads to our loving and serving more
people here in Vác.
Please continue to pray that we have enough money to stay
here as long as God wants. Please pray that Doug gets more private
We will have another Dinner group/Bible study meeting on
Saturday. The subject of our conversation will be Patience. As we
have before, we ask you to pray that the right people come, that we
have a fruitful discussion, and that relationships become stronger.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Doug here. Thank you very much for praying for us. With
your assistance together with God's power, we have accomplished
a lot in the last seven days. Many things continue on in the same
vein, so this week's requests are not much different from last
Next week is Ren's Spring Break. She has decided to spend
it with relatives where she can rest. Please pray that she enjoys
a week of sleep, relaxation, and the non-demanding company of family.
Recently Lea has had some deep conversations with her
students. Please pray that God's love and power will become
manifest in her relationships with these teenagers.
Baseball at one school is going well, and we are making
good progress on preparing the field for play. Please continue to
pray that we make the right decisions so that we can organize lots
of FUN for local kids and their families, and that eventually we
can enrich them with the Gospel.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Doug here. Lea's retreat with the CEO ladies was excellent.
She brought home six half-pages of prayer requests for her friends
and fellow missionaries. I am ever more grateful that the body of
Christ prays for each other. Thanks for praying for me and my family.
This week Ren signed a lease on an apartment for next year,
so one of last week's requests is taken care of. Now she is starting
put out her résumé (etc.) for a summer internship or job. The other
questions remain: learning to drive and extraction of wisdom teeth.
Please continue to pray for her as she continues to grow up. :-)
The next dinner group/Bible study at our house will be
Saturday. The topic is PEACE. Please pray that people come. Please
pray that we teach and encourage each other to work in God's presence,
live in his kingdom, and receive his gifts.
Baseball at the Karolina school is going well. I still need
to get a foot in the door at other schools so that we can have at
least two teams to play on the field this spring. Please pray that
the right people get the right messages at the right times so that
we can coordinate lots of FUN for the kids and their families.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Doug here. I am still enduring a lingering lung virus,
but God and I are doing really well lately. Baseball at the
Karolina School is progressing wonderfully; we had 11 kids at
today's session! Thank you for praying for us.
Ren is dealing with many decisions at once: housing
for next year, when to learn to drive, when to have wisdom
teeth out, and all this on top of schoolwork at William & Mary.
Please pray that she trusts God, arranges her days well with
him, and does not worry too much. [Update on Thursday: She
and herfuture roommate got the apartment they wanted; and her
calculus test was postponed a half-hour because of snow. :-)]
Lea will go on a retreat with the Central European
CEO ladies this weekend. Please pray that they enjoy each
others' company (and God's, too).
Lent is as good a time as any to attempt changes in
habits and lifestyle. Please pray that Lea and I become more
aware of God's goodness and beauty, that we learn how to give
ourselves to his service, and that we become examples (and
messengers) of the Gospel alive and working in the church
—and outside of it, too!
We are blessed to have brothers and sisters in Christ
who help us shoulder the work of his kingdom. Thank you for
your efforts on our behalf. May God give you all that you
need to grow in him.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Doug here. I am 98% recovered from the flu. Baseball at
Karolina school is going VERY well. (I have ever taught such
enthusiastic kids!) At last Saturday's dinner group we had a
really good discussion about love. Thank you for praying about
these things to God our Father, who is ready to give good things
to those who ask him.
Our two skeptical Hungarian Sign Language teachers from
2002, Peter and Jufe, who strangely enrolled in a New
Testament course at the Hungarian Baptist Seminary, continue to
come to Deaf Church. Jufe understands grace a little, but Peter
is still looking for some kind of ironclad legal transaction to
close the deal with God. Please pray for these two, that God
touches them and that his presence and power becomes manifest
in their lives (and in the Deaf Church around them).
I am going through a time of much-improved relations with
God. One big change is this: I have made small beginnings in
practicing some of the spiritual disciplines. Please pray that
God and I make a lot of progress as I continue to undergo my
anti-pride therapy and learn how to live (not just
believe) the Gospel.
May God bless you with his grace, his touch, and his
power as we grow in him and become better citizens in his kingdom.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Doug here. At 4:00 PM our time, we will visit Karolina Elementary
School not for a demonstration, but for a one-hour baseball PRACTICE.
We will attempt to form a team from this school, plus teams from two
other schools in town, who will participate in a Belvárosi Barátságos
Baseball Bajnokság (Downtown Friendly Baseball Tournament) over six
Saturdays from late April through the end of the school year. The
Karolina school's administrators are very supportive, and we have an
excellent liaison teacher there. Please pray that we lead an INSPIRING
training session and that the kids have a lot of FUN.
If you get this request after the fact, then you can still pray
that the two other invited schools (Árpád and Juhász) will soon JOIN,
and that we make a good splash there, too!
[UPDATE: Five very enthusiastic kids showed up. Each of these
kids was contacted personally by the teacher last week. So, she plans
to contact many more this week, in hopes that the number will double!]
Our second dinner group/Bible study was postponed a week due
to my bout with the flu. It will be held at our house this Saturday
evening. Please pray that we continue to build COMMUNITY among Hungarians
and FELLOWSHIP with God in these friendly meetings.
I am still a bit weak from that flu. It kept me in or near
the bed from last Wednesday night through Monday. For me, it was a
quiet week—except for all the coughing. But from now on, things
will be rather busy until the middle of June. Please pray that LEA
doesn't get it! Please pray that I have STRENGTH and CONCENTRATION
to do my work. Please pray that our work is a BLESSING to others,
and that God's love and the good name of Jesus will travel through
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
The next meeting is this Saturday, and the topic is Love. Please
continue to pray for the people who come to the Dinner Group/Bible Study,
that we all become more genuine people who grow in God's love and show it
to others. [Update: Doug got sick, so we're postponing a week.]
I am dragging my feet instead of approaching local schools to
promote baseball. Please pray that I overcome this chicken-ness (a very
non-Scriptural word for my condition), and that these recruitment efforts
will open pathways for good things in people's lives.
The flu has hit our town so hard that the hospital has banned
all visitors until further notice. I am feeling a familiar tickle in my
throat and lungs, so please pray that I don't get sick at this important
time, and that Lea and I can function without the obstacle of illness.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Doug here. It has been a good week. Lea's school lessons are
going well, I have just returned from a short men's retreat, and Ren
is back at W&M after visiting with Virginia relatives. Thanks for praying
Lea will spend the weekend at the Calvary Chapel Women's
Conference. Please pray that she (and the others) rest well, learn well,
I am still trying to enlist two more schools for our local
baseball league. Please pray for the staff and kids at Arpad Elementary
School (my next recruitment effort). Please pray that there will be enough
interested adults to make the program manageable. Please pray for the touch
of God on everything we do with people.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Our very favorite daughter, Ren, is in currently en route over
the Atlantic; she has finished a good visit to see many of her friends
(and us). Lea's health has improved, and she is in the midst of her
Martin Luther King lessons at school. Doug is gearing up for renewed
baseball activities, as the recent visit with the school principal
resulted in a baseball session in the school gym every week in February,
continuing on to outdoor practices in the spring. :-)
Now Doug needs to deliver on his baseball commitment to the
school. He is also looking for two more schools to join the fun. Please
pray for two more schools, and for some adults to help (regardless of
how much they know about baseball). Please also pray that this effort
to teach baseball will introduce these kids and their families to God's
love for them.
Like we said earlier, this week Lea is doing several lessons on
Martin Luther King, Jr., racism in America, and the struggle for civil
rights. These lessons can speak to Hungarians about their prejudices and
national sins, too. Please pray that the students will be moved to make
Hungary a place where "justice rolls down like water and righteousness
like a mighty stream." (Amos 5:24 and the "I Have a Dream" speech in
Ren has left her growing-up place yet again, this time with no
definite date of returning. Please pray for her as she continues to
grieve the end of her Hungarian phase of life. (It can take a long
time.) Please pray for her relationship with God, that she allows him
to lead her wherever she goes—including America. Pray for her
peace of mind and safety on the road, because she does not like to
travel in cars.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
We have invited several English-speaking Hungarians to a dinner
group/Bible study, every other Saturday evening until May. Please pray
that these people hear clearly from God about whether they should come.
Please pray that we keep this a "God thing" and that it bears lots of
Please pray for Ren/Karen's health, as her visit here is short.
Pray for her voice to be strong when she sings with the praise band on
Sunday in Budapest. Pray for her as she travels back to the States next
Wednesday morning. She has no concrete plans to return to Hungary, so
these good-byes won't be easy. (Then again, are they ever?)
Lea is still dealing with a tenacious cold, which is harder on
school days than on others. Please pray for a quick return to health.
On Friday morning, Doug will go to a local elementary school to
talk about a baseball program there. The liaison teacher there reports
that the headmistress is enthusiastic about the idea. Please pray that
things go well, and that this is the first of many such meetings with
local school directors.
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
We are considering a biweekly dinner group for conversation,
Bible study, and prayer. We only want to do this if it's wise in God's
eyes. Please pray that we hear clearly from God whether this is the
right idea for this time, and if yes, then please pray that the right
Karen and Lea are both a bit under the weather. Please pray
for them, but especially for Karen, as her time in Hungary is short.
Also pray for Karen's voice to be strong when she sings with her
band, which is at tonight's New Year's Eve youth party and at a
church in Budapest on Sunday 11 January.
Doug recently met with an schoolteacher (who is also a friend
from church) to make plans to demonstrate baseball in the local
elementary schools. We hope to gather teams from three or four
schools to hold a Vac Baseball Tournament this Spring. Please pray
for these efforts, that we can improve the lives of many kids.
THANK YOU AGAIN for praying for us (and with us). Like
Doug said in the recent newsletter, we hope that 2015 has a little
less anxiety, a little less fear; a little more trust, and a little
more faith. May we become more REAL as we live in God's presence
Thursday, December 25, 2014
The conversation at Deaf Church last Sunday was about Jesus'
meeting with Nicodemus and being born again. One Deaf seeker named
Peter (who was our Hungarian Sign Language teacher in 2002) always
looks for terms and conditions in all religious matters. He hasn't
quite caught on to the fact that the relationship is important. Please
pray for the Deaf that they will understand God's love and the gospel
which do more for us than any Law.
Karen travels to Hungary this weekend! Please pray for her
travel, rest and regeneration, good and Godly times with friends, and
that she and her generation also know how much they are loved.
This Christmas, please pray for Hungary this from 2
Chronicles 7:14, where God says:
If my people,
who are called by my name,
will humble themselves and
seek my face and
turn from their wicked ways,
I will hear from heaven, and
I will forgive their sin and
will heal their land."
There are a lot of people in Hungary who are "called by God's name," but we all need to turn from our sins and humbly seek God. Please pray for the healing of this land.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Instead of requests this week, we'd like to give joyful
reports on several things you have been praying about lately:
Up until last Wednesday, our dishwasher (which is a tool God
provided to keep our marriage healthy) had been sounding funny and not
working quite right. You prayed for our appliances Wednesday night.
With no intervention on our part, the dishwasher started working much
better and sounding fine starting Thursday. This is not an isolated
incident. Things seem to happen on Thursdays.
Things happen on other days, too: On Monday CEO director Tom
Foley reported that some unexpected donations had arrived!
Karen's exams went well. She is thriving at William and Mary,
and is also happy to be on winter break. She will enjoy Christmas
celebrations with our families in the States; then she will be in
Hungary from December 28 to January 14, a gift from a friend of the
family. We are very much looking forward to seeing her!
Can you see why we are off-the-scale grateful that you pray for
us?! Thank you for taking part in our lives, and in the lives of
Hungarians, through your prayers! Even though life isn't always easy,
it is a huge joy to see God at work! May the last week of Advent be
rich in God's mercy and joy!
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Doug here. We had a good four days with our most recent visitors
from America—with limited allergy problems. They saw the baseball
field, and we caught up on many years of personal histories. Our next
house guests arrive on Monday. :-)
Please pray that we have enough money to stay in Hungary as long
as God wants. Please pray that we are good stewards with the money that
God has given us so far, and that our household appliances, baseball
equipment, clothes, and shoes last a long time. Please pray that we
seek God's kingdom and righteousness, so that the necessary things will
be 'added to us' in God’s way and timing.
Karen has finished her first semester of classes and is in the
midst of final exams. Those of you who have been through this experience
know what to pray for.
THANK YOU for praying for us! Words cannot express either how
much we value your prayers and how grateful we are that you do this work
for us. May God bless you in all that you do.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Doug here. Things at the Deaf School are more manageable,
and my health is improving, and our Thanksgiving dinner was a good
time. These are all improvements. But recently I realized that
improvement is a step in the right direction, but it is not the
goal. Success is to witness rebirth through the work of God in
someone's life. This is an ultimate goal. Our prayers should
always turn to ultimate questions. Meanwhile, here are some
improvements you can ask for. :-)
We will have three American houseguests this weekend,
one of whom is allergic to cats (but we don't know how much).
Please pray that this visit will be mutually edifying, that God
will shine in all we do, and that the allergies do not mess
I am planning for winter and spring baseball programs.
I am not making good progress. Please pray that I have some
inspiration, some discipline, and a good bit of concentration
and wisdom as I lay a foundation that will let me touch many
kids and their families.
Please continue to pray that the POWER and GOODNESS of
God become more obvious to Hungarians, and that they find good
reasons to look to Jesus for real life.
Paul wrote in his letter to Philemon: "I always thank
my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about
your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord
Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may
be effective in deepening your understanding of every good
thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given
me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have
refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people."
Wednesday, November 27, 2014
Doug here. In recent days the teachers at the Deaf School
have felt under a cloud. A young student with a history of heart
surgery was accidentally electrocuted (that's one student gone to
the hospital), there have been many behavioral problems among the
students, and someone introduced drugged cigarettes into the dorm
(two more students to the hospital). They called in a psychiatrist
to examine another kid who began behaving erratically. Please pray
for the faculty and staff as they deal with the children's physical,
mental, and emotional problems every day.
I have been half-sick with something like bronchitis this
past week. It is getting better, but I must be careful. My father
"caught something" about 40 years ago, and he has been coughing
ever since. Please pray that my health clears up and that I have
time to winterize the baseball field before it freezes.
Thanksgiving is not an official holiday in Hungary, but all
the Americans we know will host some event this weekend. Lea and I
will have two Hungarian/American families in our house for the Big
Lunch on Saturday. True, Hungary has had a much more difficult
history than the United States has, but we all need to count
blessings more and hold grudges less. My guess is that this will
not happen in Hungary unless God makes himself manifestly known
among the people. Please pray that the POWER and GOODNESS of God
become more obvious to Hungarians, and that these people find
good reasons to look to God with grateful hearts.
Thanks for praying for us and for those around us. As
Paul wrote (Philippians 1:3-6): "I thank my God every time I
remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with
joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day
until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work
in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Doug here. Thanks for praying for us. From last week's
requests, I can report that Lea's lessons came together nicely.
I am still pondering the future of the baseball program while
fighting a touch of bronchitis.
In case you haven't heard, there are anti-government
protests in Budapest. Please pray that Hungarians will learn
to respect each other more, and, yes, pray that their leaders
Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Hungary, but Americans
enjoy exporting it (a VERY good thing). Hungarians are sometimes a
pessimistic, complaining lot, but they do have much to be thankful
for. The Deaf Church will have a Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday 23
November. Lea and I will host two local Hungarian families on
Saturday 29 November. Please pray that Hungarians take time to
consider the good things in their lives and turn to God with
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Doug here. The baseball parents' meeting last Saturday was
good. I learned a lot of things, one of which is that probably we
won't have enough players for team from Vác next year. This is not
a disaster; it is a chance to begin again and improve my service.
Meanwhile, since big steps are not possible, I take little steps
toward gathering a new team next year. Thanks for praying for me
in this time of considering and deciding on the future. Lea also
thanks you for praying for her as she teaches. This week was not
I admire the ways that Lea gets her students to look at
themselves and their lives. Please continue to pray for her as she
plans lessons that go deeper than language learning.
I now have many weeks of little outdoor baseball activity.
Our success in the spring and summer of 2015 depends on my
preparation now. Please pray that I have the ability to evaluate,
concentrate, and persevere through lots and lots of possibilities,
obstacles, details, and confusing cultural differences.
I am sure that God will lead us in his "right paths" so
that people will become more alive around here. I just pray that
we wait, listen, and follow when the time comes. Thank you for
helping us through your prayers to God now that will bear fruit
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Doug here. Our trip to Croatia was an excellent time of
relaxation, good conversation with friends, and playing with
little kids. Now we're back in the daily routine. :-)
Baseball: Outdoor activities have stopped for the year.
There will be a parents' meeting on Saturday morning November 08.
I have no idea how many parents will come. Please pray that people
show up, that their interest in baseball increases, and that a good
sense of camaraderie is formed among the group.
Lea creates her own curriculum at school. But she wants
her lessons to do more than increase the students' knowledge; she
wants them to become better people. Please pray for time,
creativity, and wisdom as she plans classes for the next few
I must remember that, as a missionary, my job is not to
do great things, but to do everything that God wills for me to do.
Please pray that I am content with God's presence alongside me.
Please pray I not become discouraged when faced with the prospect
of long, slow work with little visible progress. Please pray that
my unruly imagination does not make me fearful of the future, but
that my faith increases.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
This past weekend, a 10th grade student in Lea's school
named Eszter (whom Lea did not know) committed suicide. Please
pray for Eszter's family, including her brother, who attends the
same school. Please pray for the students and faculty, that hope
will take root and grow in Hungary, a place in which hopelessness
has prevailed for such a long time.
As we mentioned last week, during Fall Break (October 23
to November 2) we will travel to visit two families in Croatia.
Please pray for good health, safe travels, encouraging conversations,
and deeper relationships with these friends.
We need regular support—like your prayers—to
do our everyday work in extraordinary ways so the people around us
can take steps closer to God --who loves them more than they
imagine. Thanks so much!
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Doug here. Lea and I had a long meeting with David and Grace
McBrier to plan the baseball-softball program. Although this year's
activities are winding down, we have a LOT to do, even during the
winter. Please pray that we engage the right folks at the right
times to use sports to bring about improvements that point them
toward new life in Christ.
On Saturday Lea and over 40 other teachers from Boronkay
High School will go on a faculty field trip to two small towns in
western Hungary (Nádasladány and Mór). Please pray that her
language abilities will be in top form, that her relationships
with her colleagues will be deepened, and that she will be an
instrument of God's will among them.
Thanks for your prayers last week! CEO received enough
money to cover expenses through October. The results of local
elections were predictable but disappointing. Please continue to
pray that the local and national governments will choose
righteousness and justice over corruption.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Lea here. Within the next few days, the student who organized
last year's weekly Bible club at my school will ask the headmaster for
permission to hold meetings in the school during this school year.
Please pray that the headmaster will allow the Bible club to meet in
the school. Please pray that these kids will have an active, serving,
and true faith.
Local elections are on Sunday, October 12. Recently we have heard
some appalling stories about the corruption and injustice of the current
mayor. Even though Hungary's ruling party threw him out a few years ago,
he has been allowed to use the name of their party, which is a huge
advantage. Currently there are seven candidates running against him, most
of them independent—which is unusual here. Please pray that RIGHTEOUS
people will be elected to official city positions (mayor, vice mayor,
This coming Tuesday (October 14), we will be meeting with the two
softball coaches to talk about the future of our sports ministry. Please
pray for this time, that God gives us good ideas, unity, wisdom, and hope.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
I (Doug) am told that physical activity is healthy, but my
almost-51-year-old body is starting to complain about all that I ask of it.
Please pray that my back, joints, and muscles can handle field maintenance,
baseball practices, and the other wonderful things of life.
CEO (our favorite missions organization) is seeking more educators
who are willing to go overseas and more financial supporters to sponsor the
work. Please pray for Tom Foley (director) and our colleagues as we "cross
cultures in Word and deed through education, development and missional
leadership to bring the Gospel of Grace to those in need."
Last spring Lea asked the English department chair what she should
teach this year. The response was, "Whatever you want." So now she has to
come up with her own curriculum—which has its advantages and
disadvantages. Please pray that she chooses topics wisely.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
We are grateful for the opportunity to send you another
batch of prayer requests. The camp last weekend went okay. Seventeen
young people showed up, and about five of them were new. Disappointingly,
for the last three Wednesday practices, only one (1) player has
appeared each time. We have built it; we need to invite more to
Please pray that we do whatever is needed to make the small
baseball field an instrument of God in the lives of people and families.
Please pray for progress on the potential big field and for establishing
two more teams in different age groups. Please pray for wisdom in
recruiting players—and in reaching out with more than just
Please ask God to make us instruments of his will and blessings
to others as as we spend time with people at our places of commitment:
Deaf school, Deaf church, Boronkay high school, Little League baseball,
hearing church, and our Hungarian friends and neighbors.
Please pray that we PRAY. We know of many needs that can be
handled only by God.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
This weekend is the BASEBALL/SOFTBALL CAMP! Doug has a lot of
planning and executive functions to do, which are out of his
Please pray that the right people show up at the camp.
Please pray that Doug plans well, executes necessary tasks,
and remembers to have fun.
Please pray that he doesn't get discouraged when things
don't go according to hopes and plans.
Please pray that the veteran players get excited about
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Doug here. Last week we mentioned Nimrod Nemeth, the
7-month-old son of a Hungarian pastor who was having a difficult
recovery after skull surgery. On Saturday this pastor (our friend)
posted on Facebook, "Who am I taking home tomorrow afternoon from
the Debrecen Hospital? Let me help you: His name starts with "N"
and finishes on "imrod"! CELEBRATION!!!!!" Thanks for praying.
Otherwise, our requests have not changed much since then....
Today one (1) player showed up at Little League baseball
practice—a new one. It's good to have a new players, but
it's kind of tough when none of the regulars are there to make
it more interesting. Please continue to pray for the current
players and their parents, for the growth of this program, and
for me as I make executive decisions on all levels of operation.
Another missionary couple is here with me, but we need more
dedicated people to join this worthwhile effort.
Please continue to pray for Lea and me as we begin a
new phase of life together and re-evaluate our priorities and time
Please continue to pray that we receive enough donations at
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Doug here. Karen's Third Culture Kid conference in July
was excellent and prepared her well for life in America. Our
family's 4800-mile journey in the USA was wonderful, and Lea and
I came home to a very orderly flat in Vác. :-) Karen has now been
through one week of classes at William & Mary.
There will be a baseball/softball camp and clinic here in
Vác on September 19-20. Please continue to pray for the
EXPANSION of this program. Please continue to pray for more workers
who love Jesus, who are good with kids, and who would enjoy helping
With an empty nest, now is a good time for a thorough
RE-ORGANIZATION of our lives so that we are aligned with doing
God's will. Please pray for us as we learn to live better and
bear more "fruit".
Our cash reserves at CEO are running low. Please pray
that there are enough DONATIONS to keep us here as long as God
Our Hungarian CEO colleagues, the Németh family,
have a seven-month old son, Nimrod, who had skull surgery Tuesday,
and he is not recovering well. Please pray for Nimrod's HEALING.
Details are on Tom Foley's blog
here and newer news
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Doug here. Deaf Camp last week was a blast. Lea got her
residency permit. Pascal has a cat-sitter. As I write this, Lea and
Karen are in the air off the coast of Newfoundland, bound for Dulles
International Airport. We have cat care while we are gone. All good
news. :-) Thanks for praying!
Karen's farewells were sad, but she is looking forward to
William & Mary. Even I shed a tear (or several) as I realized that
her childhood is over; she will not be under our roof any more.
Please continue to pray for her transition into a new lifestyle,
especially the next two weeks as she attends a special conference
in Ohio for third-culture students. (Our Hungarian church prayed
for her this Sunday, that she would be an ambassador for Jesus
Please pray that Lea and Karen travel safely. They will
experience an infrequent mode of transportation called the
"automobile". :-) Please pray for Lea as she travels to visit some
of our missions partners and supporters.
Please pray for me as I stay here in Vác in a very quiet
house, cleaning everything and re-arranging a lot. Please pray for
progress in developing the baseball program: new field, new players,
new coaches, etc.
We thank you for your continued support in prayer. God's
kingdom is a marvelous, exotic workplace. Thanks for joining us in it!
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Thanks SO MUCH for praying! We have two major bits
of good news:
Karen's exams turned out great!
Today, the lawyer said that I (Lea) got my work permit, and
my residency permit will be granted later this week. Doug needs
to give them one more paper, but I doubt they would let me stay
if they didn't let him stay. Rejoice with us that we can work
in Hungary for two more years!
Doug is at Deaf camp this week. He has been assigned
the job of working with hearing kids, which, shall we say, is
not his forté. Please pray that Doug will manage the kids well
(along with the other stuff he's doing) and that the Good News
will thrive and spread among the Deaf of Central Europe.
Karen and I are trying to see as many people as possible
and (hopefully) packing. Please pray for good good-byes, especially
for Karen. I think it will get harder and harder for her as the days
We're not sure about our cat-sitter. Please keep praying,
in case the lady we talked with backs out.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
School is out, the baseball season is finished, and
Karen's last exams are tomorrow. [Update: She passed!] The
adventure continues! Thanks for praying for our progress and
our success here in Hungary.
I depart on Monday to serve at a one-week Christian
Deaf Camp. Please pray for safe travels, good experiences,
and encounters with God for all involved.
The Vác Ironmen wrapped up their successful first
season with a 5-7 record. I am figuring out how to get a
full-sized baseball field to continue and expand the program.
Please continue to pray for my witness for Jesus and God's
Kingdom among the players and their families, and for more
workers, more players, and wisdom.
Please continue to pray for our summer preparations
(for our visit to America). Please especially ask that our
residency permits are granted by July 7 so that Lea can keep
her job at the school.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
The Vác Ironmen Little League team will play their
final game of the season on Saturday. Doug is still in
negotiations over a site for a full-sized baseball field.
Join us in gratitude for a successful first season, and
please continue to pray for more workers, wisdom, and
clear communication as we try to expand our outreach
Last week (two days after you prayed) a lady
tentatively volunteered to take care of Pascal, our cat,
for four of the five weeks he needs. Thanks! And please
continue to pray for our summer preparations.
Please continue to pray that our residency
permits are granted in good time.
Doug will serve at a Christian Deaf Camp in
Hungary from June 30 to July 05. Please pray that all
participants will be brought closer to God in Christ.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Karen's goodbyes continue and will require grieving.
Please pray for her as she lives her final month in Hungary
as our "at-home" child.
You have prayed that we can find a place to prepare
a full-sized baseball field for next spring. We have an offer
from the owners of a property that will require little
landscaping, and they are asking 60,000 Forint ($265) monthly
rent for 3.5 acres. This is a generous offer, but it's still
a lot of money for our players. I should give an answer in a
couple of weeks. Please pray for wisdom in making this
Please pray that we get all we need for our trip to
America, including residency permits by July 8. Today Lea's
principal informed her that her teaching job is riding on
having her permit by then. Also, please pray that we can
find a cat-sitter for five weeks.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Karen's goodbyes start this weekend, when one of her
friends from the youth group will leave town for the summer.
As we requested last week, please continue to pray for Karen
as she says goodbye to the country where she grew up and moves
to the foreign country where she was born.
Today and tomorrow, Doug and three other adults are
teaching a baseball lesson to 150 of my (Lea's) students.
Several of my guys, who are too old for the Little League
field, are very interested in playing. On Friday Doug will
meet (again) with the owner of a property where we might
develop a full-sized baseball field. Please pray that we
can find a place before August so we can get started on
preparing a field for next spring.
Please pray that we develop relationships that lead
to Real Life.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Doug here. Regarding last week's requests, Karen was
physically and mentally tired from her 4 AM singing assignment,
but she is recovering. :-) She is now counting down the weeks
(sometimes with tears) until she leaves home. Lea reports that
the Student Day celebration was better than she expected.
Baseball is still giving me new gray hairs, but I am dealing
I visited our immigration lawyer this week to deliver
more papers toward our application for residency through 2016.
He foresees no trouble. Lea is not so optimistic. Please pray
that Lea and I can stay in Hungary.
Soon I will meet (again) with the owner of a property
where we might develop a full-sized baseball field. Please pray
that we can find a place before August so we can get started on
preparing a field for next spring.
As I implied before, Karen is nearing the threshold
when she will do many things for the last time: Sundays at
Golgota church, Friday youth meetings, singing with the praise
band, going to school, visiting certain ice cream parlors with
friends, and so on. She is feeling the imminent change. Please
pray for her as she says goodbye to the country where she grew
up and moves to the foreign country where she was born.
We cannot thank you enough for bring these requests
before God in prayer. As I get older and more educated about
life, I notice that the unseen things are more important (and
more powerful) than the rest. Your working beside us like this
is invaluable. Thanks again!
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Doug here. Both Lea and I are doing new things in
our baseball program, and the natural discomfort doesn't
help either of us to get up and go. :-) Please pray that
we see the benefits of our tasks and jump in for the sake
Lea and Karen fly to Virginia in seven weeks.
Please pray that Karen says her goodbyes well and that we
prepare everything that we need to.
This coming weekend is the
"This is the Day"
festival in Budapest. A 24-hour praise and worship music
session begins tomorrow (Friday) at 4pm, which will
culminate in a huge concert with big-name singers and
bands starting at 4pm Saturday. Karen's band, #IntoWorship,
is slated to play from 4-5am Saturday morning (that's
10-11pm Friday, Eastern Time). Please pray for Karen,
Norbi, Arnold, Simon, Marci, Balázs, and Dominik as they
play and sing at a very unusual time for them to be awake.
Please pray that people will worship God in Spirit and in
Truth. Most of all, please pray for God's kingdom to come
in Hungary, and among Hungarians, as it is in heaven.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Doug here. Thanks for praying! We heard this week that
said the recent misunderstanding between the Hungarian Baptist
Union and a Deaf missionary couple was resolved favorably. I
will be absent from Deaf church for three weeks in May due to
Sunday afternoon baseball games. Thanks for lending us strength
through your prayers to God.
I have been frustrated with trying to organize a kids'
baseball team, train them well, communicate with them in
Hungarian, arrange for their travel to away games, etc. Plus
I am disappointed with some of the rules of the Hungarian
Little League that penalize us for not being able to do
things that are beyond our capability (for example, a $70
penalty for forfeiting an away game because we could not
gather enough players on that day). Please pray that I can
communicate well, delegate when possible, and clear up
misunderstandings when they occur.
Karen is studying for comprehensive oral exams, and
her praise band will lead the singing at a few events in the
next couple of months. Please pray that she allocates her
time wisely and that she prepares well for big changes in
her life this summer.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
The word for the week is "continue":
Residency: We continue to pray and wait for word from
the Immigration Office.
Baseball: We continue to seek more players and a site
for a full-sized field.
Transitions: We continue to pray for Karen as she ends
her high school career and prepares for life in America.
Growth: We continue to grow up and continue to reach
out. Even at age fifty, we must learn new things! Please pray
for us as we grow in Christ.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Residency: We were finally able to apply for new
residency permits yesterday—the last day we could do so
without starting from scratch. (Lea says, "Hooraaaay!") Please
continue to pray for good moods and favor with the deciding
officials so we (well, Lea and I) can stay in Vác for TWO MORE
Baseball 1: The Ironmen continue to practice, and we
have two games this weekend, but we still need more players 12
and under. Plus, I think the more experienced players need to
attend to the new players with a more welcoming attitude. The
concepts of "team" and "mentor" are not well established here.
:-) Many of us know how sports can teach us a bit about life,
so please pray that our baseball activities lead to GROWTH for
Baseball 2: On Tuesday I went with a Hungarian friend
to meet with the owner of a business property that is a potential
site for a full-sized baseball field. We gave our spiel to the
business manager, a sensible guy, all business, very considerate,
open and honest. He said he will get back to us next week with a
proposal for rent and/or purchase. (That surprised me, but I said
Okay. Why not keep out options open?!) Please pray that we can
find an affordable SITE before August so we can have a field
ready for play next spring. P.S. Free would be nice!
Milestone: Karen graduates from high school tomorrow
(Thursday)! Please join us in THANKING GOD for her life, for
her contributions to our lives, and for her good influence
among people in Hungary. Please pray for good final exams and
good farewells this summer.
Residency: Lea's work papers still haven't arrived
from school headquarters. We need these for our residency
permit applications. Please pray that we receive these
critical documents tomorrow (Thursday). Please pray that our
application is viewed favorably.
Update 2014.4.24: The papers arrived!
Update 2014.4.25 9am: There is a problem with the papers.
Update 2014.4.25 noon: The lawyer and the finance person at
the school will solve the problem with the papers.
Tuesday is the deadline for handing them in.
Baseball: The baseball program needs more players
under 12 years old as well as a full-sized field for
teenagers and adults. Please pray that more "naturals"
show up to play. Please pray for next week's meeting with
a company that has a field that we might be able to use.
Please pray that more *adults* become enthusiastic about
the baseball program for kids.
Please pray for me as I must lead in areas that
are not my strong suits: working with children and
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Residency: This is moving toward urgent. Lea's work
papers have been sent from the central school headquarters,
but she can't receive them until Wednesday, after Easter break.
Please pray that these papers are in order and on time, so we
can get them to the immigration office before the deadline.
Please pray that the immigration process goes very quickly
this year, because we are now late. Please continue to pray
that the officials are in a good mood whenever they deal
with our case.
Baseball: The Vác Ironmen won their first game last
Sunday in the bottom of the last inning, but because we had
three players who were over-age, the official result was a
forfeit. Please pray that we can get more players under 12
years. Next week we will meet with the owners of a property
that might be available for a full-sized baseball field.
Please pray that we find a place for teenagers (and adults)
This weekend, Karen will go to a retreat for young
adults. Please pray that she will be a blessing to the other
attendees. Also, she is still waiting on financial aid
information from one university. Please pray for her
relationship with God and for wisdom regarding her future.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Hungarian elections: The ruling right-leaning party
was re-elected into parliament with a 2/3 majority, which
means they can do more or less anything. The nationalistic,
anti-Semitic right gained power in opposition. Please pray
for righteousness and truth to be victorious over corruption
Baseball: We have nine (9) players registered on the
Vác Ironmen baseball team. Hooray! Our first official league
game is Sunday afternoon April 13. Please pray that this
inaugural event is a success and that more people are
attracted to our ministry through sports. Please pray for
me as I try to teach the players that sometimes you have a
lot more FUN when you put in a little more concentrated WORK.
(Am I right?)
Residency: Lea's work papers have to go to a central
educational office where papers go in but don't come out, if
you know what I mean. Please pray that these papers get
signed and returned soon so we can send them to the immigration
office. Please pray that the immigration process goes smoothly
this year. Pray that the officials are in a good mood whenever
they deal with our case (an important detail in this part of
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
MANY answers from last week:
Karen was accepted at four universities. She's
waiting on financial aid information before she makes
the final decision, which she will announce by May 1.
Doug's meeting with the Deaf missionaries and
their hearing boss went very well. The boss now plans
to meet one-on-one with the group involved, to clear up
unfounded accusations against the missionaries.
The downstairs smoker was out of town this past weekend,
which was a nice break. This week, some smell still
comes in, but it doesn't seem as strong. We're still
looking for an honorable way to deal with it, but the
air has been nicer. :-)
This Sunday, April 6, is the first round of national
elections in Hungary. Please pray that the elections are
peaceful. Pray that Hungarians will elect leaders who will
work for the good of the people, not for wealth or power.
Please pray for leaders to "let justice to roll down like
water and righteousness like a mighty stream" in Hungary.
The first official game of the Vác Ironmen baseball
team is April 13. Please pray that enough kids show up, that
they play well, and that they don’t get injured—or
Please pray that the process of getting our residency
permits goes smoothly. (There have been a few bumps so far.)
Please pray that the officials are in a good mood whenever
they deal with our papers. Please pray that we have enough
funds to pay the fees.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Please pray for Karen, that she will be the woman that
God has created her to be. Please pray that she will make a
good transition from Hungary to America this summer.
Doug: I will interpret for a meeting of two Deaf
missionaries and their (hearing) missionary supervisor next
Tuesday 01 April. Please pray that my mind is sharp and that I
interpret well. Please pray for the relationships all around.
Our new downstairs neighbors (whom we have not met)
smoke. Apparently they smoke a lot, and the sooty air invades
our apartment every morning and evening. This will only become
worse as the weather warms up and we have to open our windows.
I am allergic to tobacco smoke, and it really bothers me
that their bad air pollutes my house and gives me a bad
reaction every day. Please pray that we find an honorable way
to resolve this very irritating problem.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Doug: I am in crunch time with baseball: lots of work
on the field, hoping enough players want to play, registering
with the league, and (with the good weather) starting all outdoor
programs again. Please pray that I am diligent in my work, that
I communicate well, and that we can gather a good team to play
in the league.
Doug: I am doing well since the sports missions
conference. Please pray that I continue in these spiritual and
Lea: Physically, we are doing better. Doug's pulled
muscle has healed up nicely. Stretching exercises have helped
my back, although I still have a ways to go. Karen's finger
joints are still swollen, but her pain has lessened.
Please pray for Karen as she looks toward finishing
up here and moving back to the States. This will not be an
easy transition for her.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Doug here. This past weekend's sports missions
conference was excellent! I learned about not just the obvious
things involving sports and missions, but a ton of good theology,
too. Lea's "America Day" team won the competition, and her women's
retreat was also very good. Karen had a restful weekend at home.
:-) Thanks for praying for us.
We Coppages have had trouble with body parts this week.
Lea's lower back is sore. I pulled a leg muscle at the sports
conference. Karen has swollen finger joints. Please pray for
The growing season is upon us! The next couple of weeks
will be filled with intensive work on the baseball field. Please
pray for cooperative vendors and contractors, good communication
(in Hungarian), and safety for those who dig, haul, and do other
strenuous work there.
Please continue to pray for my work with the Deaf
church in Budapest.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Doug here. There is friction between two Deaf groups
here. I might be asked to mediate or interpret. Gaaack! Please
pray that I do my part in the body of Christ in resolving this
conflict (which includes praying!).
As we reported last time, tomorrow is "America Day" at
a local high school, and Lea will take a team of ten high-level
(and very pleasant) students to represent her school. Pray that
the students get along with each other and have fun. Pray that
God will use this event to deepen relationships and show Jesus'
love to people.
Once again, Karen will participate in a praise band at
the Budapest Calvary Chapel Sunday night meeting. Please pray
that she and the rest of the musicians will lead others to
worship God in Spirit and in truth as well as in music.
This weekend, I will go to a sports missions conference,
and Lea will attend a retreat with women serving in Hungary and
Croatia. Please pray that God will establish his Kingdom in us
and through us at these events.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Doug here. It's that time of the week again—time
for me to THANK YOU for praying for me and my family. I have
three new students this month, plus proofreading work from an
accounting firm in Budapest. Please pray that I manage these
connections well, and that the application for renewal of our
work visas is successful.
I detect something new coming along in Deaf work in
the near future. I don't know what it is, but please pray that
the Deaf believers and I are ready.
One of the local high schools is having an "America Day"
next Thursday, March 6. Representatives from the American
Embassy will be there. Lea will take a team of ten students
who will compete with teams from other schools in various
topics such as American history, film, and some kind of
obstacle course. Please pray that she prepares the students
well. Pray that the students get along with each other and
have fun. Pray that God will use this event to show Jesus'
love to people.
Lea is in the last week of major essay-grading. Please
pray for her as she balances school, home, and relationships.
Please pray for us in general that we have the joyful
expectation that God can and will work through us to bless
others, and that this kind of blessing will increase faith
in his love, his care, his power to save us, and his great
desire for us to live with him forever.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
On a sad note, one of the fathers that we
mentioned last week died yesterday, which happens to be his middle
daughter's 10th birthday. John, who went through missionary training
with us in 2002, leaves behind his loving wife Sharon and three
daughters. Please pray for them as they go through this very difficult
Karen submitted applications to five colleges in
the States, and she decided not to apply to any Hungarian
university. So she will move to the US next summer. Which
school she goes to will be determined sometime in April.
Thank you for your prayers for her (and for us!) during
this time of decision. Please continue to pray that she
follows Jesus closely and follows him in all the decisions
of her life.
Karen has szalagavató (a senior class ribbon-pinning
ceremony) this weekend. This is accompanied by a variety show
featuring elegant, choreographed ballroom dances by the
seniors—as well as other performances and skits that
have been so racy that in previous years Lea has come home
in tears. Please pray that this school event goes well and
that all the students do wiser and safer things than we expect.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Now it's our turn for college applications: financial aid
applications are due this weekend. Please pray that we can get the
information we need—which is somewhat complicated by our being
on another continent—to help Karen as she prepares for college.
Please pray that we are wise with our time and that we obey
God in whatever he tells us.
We know two men, both around 40 and both with three young
daughters, who are dealing with severe cancer. One is a Hungarian
pastor; the other is a former missionary colleague. Please pray
for these men and their families: for healing, for peace, and
especially for God's power to be shown in their situations.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Doug here. We have little to report this week. It seemed
rather routine. But I wonder if there is any such thing as a
"routine" week with an awesome God like ours. Perhaps I am not
paying attention.... Thank you for praying for us. It is entirely
possible that your prayers do extraordinary work when we think we
are just doing "ordinary" things.
Lea is in essay-grading mode for the next month or so.
Please pray for her diligence and wisdom.
Just like the Major League teams, I am dealing with many
winter activities, mainly gathering resources and planning for
the spring. Please pray that this work proceeds well and that we
can provide a worthwhile, beneficial opportunity for our players
and their families.
I will steal one of Lea's requests from last week: Please
pray that we let God change us however he sees fit. Please pray
that we HEAR God the Holy Spirit, and that we TRUST his voice. (
Isaiah 30:21, John 10:3-4, Revelation 3:20)
Please continue to pray that Karen grows "in wisdom
and in stature and in favor with God and all the people."
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Lea here. Unfortunately, I didn't come back perfect from
the Calvary Chapel national women's conference, but it provided a
lot of food for thought. Now I would like time to process it all
and rearrange my life accordingly. Please pray that I make time t
o let God change me however he wants.
At school it is sometimes hard to know when to stick to
the rules with students and when to extend grace. Please pray for
my wisdom as I teach these precious teenagers.
Doug here. We are considering how best to apply for new
residency permits (work visas? missionary visas?) and what to do
with our poor little English-teaching company. Please pray that
we decide well so that we can use God's money efficiently and work
in his kingdom without restraint.
Please pray that Karen works, rests, plays, and sleeps
according to wisdom from God.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Doug here. Life with God is sometimes perplexing,
sometimes amazing, sometimes mystifying, sometimes joyful. This
past week I have had a keen sense of God's quiet prompting as
I have been learning how to go one step at a time through the
days, not fretting about what didn't get done and rejoicing at
what did get done. Thank you for praying for the three of us!
Karen is dealing with senior-year academic pressure,
plus three national academic competitions in the next three
weeks, coupled with a mild case of senioritis. Please pray
that she makes good decisions, does what is necessary, lets
the small stuff go by, and rests well.
Baseball proceeds apace. Deaf church is picking up.
Deaf school has been positive in recent weeks. I am the
househusband as Lea and Karen spend a lot of time with school
and church activities. I am grateful for these opportunities
of service. Please pray that I continue to learn and grow and
work in God's Kingdom, and that I serve with a sense of his
leading and strength, and not in fear of failure.
On Friday Lea will go to a nationwide women's retreat
with several young ladies from our church. Please pray that
they let go of their daily responsibilities, meet Jesus, and
let the Spirit move among them in mercy, grace, and power.
Please pray that they will hear from our loving Father and
return home spiritually energized.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Hungary will hold national elections in the spring. But
this doesn't promise much good, because help for the people will
not come from the political parties, nor from the rich, nor from
the interest groups. Only the grace and love of God can heal these
people and their land. Please pray that the Hungarian churches
wake up, see their inertia and apathy, start following God and
not their denominations, and start loving their neighbors and
themselves. Then their light will shine, so that all may see
their good works and give glory to our Father in heaven.
In all his e-mails, Tom Foley, our missions adviser,
quotes Oswald Chambers: "The job of the missionary is not to win
souls or be useful, the job of the missionary is to do the will
of God." Please pray that the three of us follow God closely and
do his will among the Hungarian people. (This is the same as
"Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done.")
We thank you for praying for us every week, because not
every week is the same. Thanks for walking alongside us as we
find this week's steps in following God—who is at work in
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Doug here. THANK YOU for inviting us to share our prayer
needs with you. Thank you for your willingness to pray. Your
prayers for us are like fuel, like buoyancy, sometimes like
good shoes. There, I have waxed poetic. Here are this week's
Last week we mentioned a seminary student who was
considering coming to Vác for a month. We have learned that he
will not come. Please pray that more workers (of any nationality)
join us here in Vác.
On Saturday I took three players to an indoor baseball
tournament near Budapest. One of them, Norman, fell down some
stairs and broke his wrist pretty bad. I rode with him in the
ambulance and stayed at the hospital until his parents came.
The other two boys did very well under the circumstances.
Please pray for good healing. Please pray that we can form a
TEAM of kids—not just for baseball. (This is a great
weakness in Hungarian culture.)
Every time we gear up to renew our residency permits,
I realize that, regardless of what happens, we won't be here
forever. Please pray that we make our everyday divine encounters,
that we are faithful in the little things, and that God
accomplishes his work of restoration through us.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Lea: God has strongly hinted to me, again, that worrying
is a waste of time and brain space. Please pray that I trust
and obey him, and that I submit my looming to-do list to God.
Please pray that I use my time wisely.
Doug: My priority is priorities. Please pray that I do
first things first, that I don't get sidetracked or discouraged,
and that I persist in the small, daily steps that lead to good
results. Please pray that my friendships in the baseball and Deaf
ministries grow and deepen.
Karen has submitted all her American college applications.
Now she will continue to gather "points" (the Hungarian system)
for admission into universities here. Please pray that she works
and rests(!) well and that she hears God's direction for her life.
We haven't yet heard about the seminary student who is
thinking about helping with baseball in the spring. Please
continue to pray for wisdom and guidance for him to make the
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
An American seminary student is thinking about spending a
month with us in Vác in the late spring, helping with baseball
(and maybe American football, too). He has been asked to decide
by January whether to pursue this option. Please pray for wisdom
and guidance for him to make the right decision.
We will be traveling this week, starting tomorrow. Karen
will meet her grandmother-of-the-heart in Paris for five days;
and, as our missions director advised us to do, Doug and I will
honeymoon in western Hungary for a long weekend. Please pray for
safety, good times with each other, and good times with God. Also
pray for Karen's acquisition of French, because she still has one
major exam and two competitions in that language.
Please pray that we will be granted work and residency
permits before May 31, and that we will have enough money to stay
in Hungary for at least two more years.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Regarding last week's requests, on the school
trip to the Nutcracker, Lea deepened an acquaintance with a fellow
teacher and learned more Hungarian in a looong conversation. :-)
The church's Christmas Carnival went well, with about 30 or 40 kids
present. The pursuit of an adult-sized baseball field continues.
We thank you for praying. Please keep up the good work!
Please pray for more workers (American or Hungarian or any
nationality) to join us in this town. The possibilities are
Next week's Wednesday is Christmas Day. Doug found these
collects (pronounced CALL-ekt = a prayer meant for those gathered
together, the congregation) in the Book of Common Prayer:
For the third Sunday in Advent:
Stir up your power, Lord, and
with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely
hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy
speedily help and deliver us.
And for Christmas Day:
Almighty God, you have given
your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be
born of a pure virgin. Grant that we, who have been born again
and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be
renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ,
to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now
and for ever. Amen.
AMEN! Thank you for praying alongside us. Heaven works
in wonderful ways, and God lets us join him. For those of you
who are grieving during these holidays, we ask for God's strength
and comfort upon you. For all of you, God's blessings as we
remember Immanu-el, God-with-us. Rest well!
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Lea here. Karen really appreciates the prayers. She made
it through all the trials of the last month and now has only three
more college applications to turn in.
Tomorrow (Thursday) evening, I will take Karen's place on
a class trip to see the Nutcracker at the Hungarian Opera House.
This is out of my comfort zone, because I will be with kids and
teachers I don't know well. Please pray for good communication
in Hungarian. Please pray that I will be a light to the people
On Sunday evening our Váci church will host their
annual Christmas Carnival. Please pray that many kids and parents
will come. Please pray that they come to know the love of Christ,
which surpasses knowledge. Please pray that the people in our
church will have open hearts to accept new people into the circle.
Doug has contacted the owners of two potential properties
where a full-sized baseball field could be put. Please pray that
one of these works out so that players over 13 years of age can
have a field to play on.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Our church's youth group, who usually meet in our flat on
Friday nights, will instead go to a town on the Slovak border,
Balassagyarmat, to help start a youth group there. Please pray for
their efforts. Karen will not go. Instead, she will stay home and
(Same song, next verse) Karen will take her final SAT
subject tests on Saturday. Please pray for her brain. :-) Also pray
for God to guide her choice of university (and country).
Please continue to pray for Doug as he plans for the growth
of the baseball program and tries to get more English students.
Please pray for Lea as she continues to build relationships
with her students. Pray that she chooses to do the right thing at
the right time.
Please continue to pray that we **seek first his kingdom
and his righteousness** and that we operate out of love, not fear
Your work for us and alongside us is priceless. We treasure your
prayers for us! May God richly bless his people with hearts full
to overflowing for others.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Doug here. Thank you for taking the time to pray for us!
Not much has changed in the past week. The three of us continue in
our recent campaigns to apply to colleges and decide about life in
general (Karen), grade lots of English essays (Lea), and expand the
baseball ministry (me).
Karen has a national math competition tomorrow, college
applications due soon, and a big youth retreat this weekend (which
includes singing in one session). Please pray that she keeps her
head on straight and her heart in the right place, that she gets
enough rest, and that God will lead her in his ways.
It has been a slow semester for my private English teaching.
I could use more clients---not only for the money, but also as
connections into Hungarian society. Please pray that I can get
more English students.
Please pray more that we **seek first his kingdom and his
righteousness** so that we don't worry about things like money
(Matthew 6:33). Also pray that we have opportunities to be different
(Matt 5:16) and to explain that Jesus makes the difference
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Doug here. Karen is occupied with schoolwork and applying to
universities, Lea is occupied grading papers, and I am occupied with
added baseball administration. This is what you prayed about last week.
So far so good. Thank you for working alongside us!
Karen has nothing to add to last week's requests. Please
continue to pray for her as she makes important decisions regarding
her future ... somewhere.
Lea also has nothing additional. I, however, will mention that
her classes seem to be going very well. Lea is often glowing and
smiling when she arrives home from school. She loves "her" kids!
Please continue to pray for her as she grades stacks of essays and
leads innovative English lessons that are about more than just
I have initiated a "unused used" baseball/softball equipment
drive in the US.* Plus, friends at CEO (our missions partners) have
asked me to assemble a budget and other information to support
applications for grants to build a full-sized baseball field in
Vác. The white-collar office work is accumulating as the
blue-collar field labor diminishes. Please pray for me as I do these
things that are new to me. Please pray that we can gather lots of
otherwise unused baseball items that will benefit our players.
Please pray that my executive and personal decisions lead to
expansion of God's reign on earth.
Please continue to pray that whatever we do ---both the
so-called "holy" and the "mundane"--- demonstrates a GOOD, REAL Savior
doing GOOD, REAL work for FALLEN, REAL people, including us!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Doug here. Thanks for praying for us. Of my list of five things
to do last week, two have been taken care of: The tractor has temporary
storage, and the baseball team has secured an indoor facility for winter
practices. Two others have seen good progress: The equipment collection
campaign is just about ready to begin, and the budget for potential grant
proposals has been started. The fifth, resuscitating the baseball team's
website, is underway and is now out of my hands. Lea continues to teach
and to grade stacks of papers. Karen continues to wrestle with college
applications on top of her regular schoolwork. [Take a deep breath.] And
now you can join us in this week's tasks—our current prayer requests.
KAREN will participate in a national French competition on
November 19 and a national math competition on November 28 (Thanksgiving
Day). College applications are due December 1. She will take the SAT
French and math subject tests on December 7. Please continue to pray for
three things: First, that she decides wisely how to divide her time.
Second, that she rests enough and stays healthy. Third, that her trust
in God grows as she herself grows.
Please continue to pray that I can juggle all my current projects
and assignments with clear communication, clear thoughts, and clear vision.
One of LEA's private English students is a teenage girl from our
church here in Vác. The two of them will study the book of Ruth (in
English) in the coming weeks. Please pray that this girl will be drawn
to God and away from earthly distractions. And please continue to pray
for Lea as she plugs along, grading her students' essays.
Oddly, to avoid a labyrinth of state regulations, Lea's and Karen's
High School will most likely become a church-operated school. The faculty
had three choices of affiliations, and they voted for Hungarian Baptist Aid,
a group known worldwide as among the first to deploy themselves to disaster
areas like tsunamis and earthquakes. Please pray that this relationship
between the school and a Christian group helps, rather than hinders, the
kingdom of God.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Doug here. Thank you for praying for us last week. Karen has
had a hard week. She was NOT pleased with her SAT Physics and German
tests. She will probably take French and Mathematics in the near future
with hopes of better results. On the other hand, she was almost perfect
in her German-language math final exam for high school. And the youth
band did an EXCELLENT job Sunday night. (You can see them at
starting at around 3 minutes and again at 1:50:50.) For me, the tractor
will be delivered tomorrow (Thursday), and I have been offered a nearby
place to store it. :-) Your prayers do good things for us, regardless of
circumstances or difficulties.
KAREN continues to ride the stress roller coaster as she
juggles her high school workload, her college applications, home life,
church life, and all those qualifying tests. Please pray that she learns
to arrange her time wisely (and to trust God to guide her), to concentrate
on the immediate task (and to trust God while doing it), and to rest
enough at the right times (and to trust God while doing that, too).
I am beginning a few new things regarding baseball. One is the
adventure with the tractor, including a new relationship with the elderly
Hungarian lady who holds the key to the storage area. Another is arranging
indoor space for winter practices. A third is a used equipment collection
campaign in America for our ministry here in Vác. The fourth is making an
itemized budget for a hypothetical full-sized baseball field for possible
grant applications. The fifth is resuscitating the team's web site, which
suffered a complete shutdown by the ISP. Please pray that more adults will
become involved in our ministry here. :-) And please pray for my clarity of
thought as I perform many hours of administrative work (often in Hungarian)
for the first time in a few months.
LEA has entered a span of several weeks in which she will grade
her students' essays, teach her regular classes, and then grade some more
essays. She loves her job and her students, but it is a lot of work. Please
pray for her stamina as she contributes to the lives of these teenagers.
We just saved about $15 a month by changing our cell phone
contract to a two-year commitment. A trivial matter, no? But it is a step of
faith, because it reminds us that we must apply for new residency permits
next spring. Please begin to pray that we can stay in Vác for at least two
more years, and please pray that we remain at work with God's people here
until God (not the Hungarian government) decides that we should go elsewhere.
Friday, November 1, 2013
Good news: The tractor mower has arrived in Vác! However, finding a
safe place to keep the tractor mower has become more urgent. We thought
we had until the end of December, but we need a place by the time the
mower gets delivered on Tuesday, November 5. Please pray that...
we contact the person or people who can steer us in the right
we find the right place;
the cost of the place will not be too high; and
no one steals or vandalizes this piece of equipment ever—or
at least until God is finished with it. :-)
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Thanks for your prayers for the nation of Hungary last week.
This week is Fall Break from school, so Lea and Karen are getting some
much-needed rest. Doug ordered the tractor mower and scarifier/aerator
(hooray!), and they should be delivered next week. The weather is still
rather nice, and the grass is growing like gangbusters.
KAREN is grateful for the week with no school, but this Saturday
(02 November) she has SAT subject tests in Physics and German. Then on
Sunday evening she will sing with the youth praise band in Budapest—
arriving home at 11pm. Then Monday morning, she has to get up early for
school. Please pray that the band leads worship well. Please pray that
Karen's mind is sharp, that she does her best on the tests, and that she
looks beyond these immediate tasks and sees God's will and provision for
DOUG is getting a lot done, but the baseball program could
expand greatly in the near future, if certain things go well. Please
pray that Doug gets a little braver and steps out decisively to asks
people (especially Hungarians) for the things he needs. Please pray
that dedicated and generous adults will become interested in the youth
baseball teams. (We have built it; let them come!) And please continue
to pray for a suitable storage site for the tractor.
LEA's sister, Donna, just spent a week of her vacation with us.
The two sisters enjoyed a lot of deep, encouraging talks together. Karen
and Donna also got to spend time in meaningful conversation. Please
join us in thanking God for family and friends (like you) who get
involved with the work and who care for us.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Doug here. Please bear with me on this one.
Today, October 23, is a Hungarian national holiday. It is the 57th
anniversary of their uprising against the Russians in 1956, which
was the first forceful opposition to the Soviet Union's domination
of Eastern Europe after World War II. After a couple startling weeks
of freedom from oppression, it was crushed by the Red Army. Hungarians
do not celebrate, they COMMEMORATE the students, workers, and ordinary
people who fought against Russian tanks with homemade or confiscated
weapons. From a population of 10 million people, a couple thousand
were killed. Tens of thousands were wounded. Hundreds were afterwards
executed or deported to Siberia. Two hundred thousand more escaped to
Unfortunately, all these years after the Revolution, and over 20 years
since the change from one-party rule to democracy, talented and
motivated Hungarians still want to leave the country. The political,
social, and economic systems still have debilitating problems, many
of them self-inflicted.
How will this change? Political power will not do it; the political
elites are insulated from the public. Financial power will not do it;
the common people do not command enough of the money, and this is a
relatively poor nation. Social power will not do it; the cultural
fabric is not strong enough; Hungarians do not know how to be good
neighbors to each other. The only power remaining is the power of
God in the churches, but most of the churches are unfruitful. They
need revival as much as their country needs reform. But first the
churches must get off their own agenda, turn from their self-centered
ways, and think beyond their walls (God-style!).
Please pray that believers will examine themselves, realize their
persistent sins, and turn away from self-centeredness, inconsequential
living, and lack of faith. Please pray that passages like
2 Chronicles 7:14
will lead to repentance (change!) and awakening (hope!) instead of
regret and despair (the normal Hungarian result).
Please pray that believers and churches in Hungary will LIVE IN JESUS
and start to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the lives of their neighbors and
neighborhoods—instead of being disregarded as people who have trouble
distinguishing real life from fairy tales.
Please pray that we Coppages do our own confession, repentance, and
growth in God. Please pray that God the Holy Spirit will enable us
to be confident witnesses of the power of God among us: Emmanuel,
Jesus the Messiah.
Thank you for reading through this long request. Thanks for
praying for us and for Hungary. Happy October 23rd!
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Doug here. Thanks for praying for us! It has rained all day
(for the first time in months!), so I have not seen the baseball field
since yesterday afternoon. :-) Soon I will be able to put the playing
field to bed for the winter and start working on hardware installations
and program planning for next spring. And, thanks to the generosity of
donors in Britt, Iowa, we will soon have a tractor mower to help with
We still hope to enter a team into the Hungarian Little League
next year. Please pray that we can recruit new young players, that a
TEAM will form (not the norm here), and that these relationships will
lead people to Jesus. Please pray that generous, warm-hearted ADULTS
will become involved and be beneficial to the players and to their
families. [And please continue to pray for SAFE STORAGE for the
Karen recently told us that her weeks are too full, and that
something has to go. Please pray that she concentrates on those things
that are truly worthwhile, and that she chooses from a trust in God's
BOUNTY and not from a false sense of guilt or obligation or earning.
Lea loves "her kids" at school. Please pray that her lessons
on respect, honesty, and justice have an IMPACT on the lives of these
above-average students, and that they see their need for God to work
in their lives and in their society.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
The church in Iowa posted a check to CEO for $4600; this will
buy a tractor mower and a scarifier for the baseball field. Doug went
to the local hardware store and gave them warning about the impending
Even with so many wonderful things happening, it's easy to
get discouraged about the hard things. Now that we have a tractor
mower to help maintain more baseball fields, we need a safe place
to store it, because it is a thief magnet. Please pray for Doug as
he deals with various minor difficulties like this with the baseball
field and team. Please pray for increased participation in ALL
aspects of our baseball/softball ministry, (including equipment
Regarding another request from last week, when Karen was
asked how she felt after taking the SAT, she said, "Whacked in the
head—and okay." Now she is working on her applications to to
universities in the USA. SAT subject tests (Physics and German) are
in November. Meanwhile, she will participate in the Hungarian national
academic competitions in Math and French, in case she goes to college
here. Please continue to pray for her wisdom, diligence, and stamina
in her senior year at high school.
We are amazed at how money has come in just as we need it.
Please pray that God's people donate enough for us to stay here as
long as God wants us to. Please pray that we show an accurate
picture of God to the people that we meet—when times are easy
AND when times are hard.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
This past Sunday's fundraiser in Britt, Iowa, for a tractor
mower for the team was (as Paul once said) immeasurably more than all
we asked or imagined. They raised $4000! Praise God with us for this
church's generosity! Praise God that this piece of equipment will
give Doug's tired body some rest. Please pray that we buy a good
machine, not a lemon. Please pray that we find safe storage for it.
Another reason to rejoice: Last Thursday I found out that a
group of 10 to 15 students in our high school have started to meet
once a week for a "Faith Lesson". I hear that they have plans to
invite various speakers from local churches, and they also have a
prayer time once per month. Please pray for this group as they
live out their discipleship. Please pray for Dalma, the leader
and organizer. Please pray that God's kingdom comes and his will
is done in Boronkay High School.
Karen will take the SAT on Saturday morning. She and I
must catch the 5:50 AM train to Budapest. Please pray that the
trains are on time. Please pray for Karen's mind as she takes
an academic test in English for only the second time since fourth
grade. (The first was the PSAT.) Please pray that God leads her
into her adulthood.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Last August a church softball/mission team from Britt, Iowa,
came to Vác. While they were here, they ran an English-Softball camp
and moved into our hearts. This coming Sunday, September 29, this
church is holding a fundraiser to raise money for a riding mower for
the Vác baseball ministry. Praise God with us for this church's
generosity and enthusiasm! Please pray that this fund-raiser will
go well (according to God's definition of the word), and that his
will will be done in Britt, Iowa, and in Vác, Hungary.
Thank you for praying for new English students! Last week,
immediately after we sent out these prayer requests, I (Lea) got an
e-mail from a former student asking for lessons. The next day, I got
another request from another former student (and neighbor). An third
request came by e-mail on Sunday. Please keep asking God for enough
students for us—not just so we can cover business expenses, but
also so that we can develop relationships and show God's love to
people. Please pray that we let the light of the world shine through
us to the people we meet.
This past Friday night, four of my students showed up at
our house for youth group! Praise God for relationships that bring
Karen is carrying a heavy load these days: SATs, SAT subject
tests, and applications for colleges in the States; academic
competitions and studying for comprehensive exams (written and oral)
for colleges here; and preparing for the mandatory senior show. Also,
she's thinking about getting citizenship here, because it is her last
year to do it without all of the usual paperwork. And then there's
leading worship/music at youth group, the youth band, monthly visits
to an orphanage, monthly children's Sunday school, and probably other
stuff. Please pray that she can manage all these tasks wisely, with
grace and peace.
Doug here. It is a little daunting being the sole person
responsible for baseball: field, practices, publicity, recruiting,
everything. It is sometimes difficult for me to decide on
priorities—and then to stick to them. I feel the stress that
comes with responsibility—and the possibility of failure.
Please pray that I can do what really needs doing, and please pray
that I find and cultivate people (Hungarians) who can help build the
baseball program in Vác.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Please pray for safe storage for the baseball stuff.
Currently, kind acquaintances who live next to the field allow Doug
to stow the heavy equipment under plastic tarps in their locked back
yard. The rest is in various corners our house. With safe, covered,
nearby storage Doug wouldn't have to lift and carry things so often,
and Lea wouldn't mind having less baseball equipment in the living
room and kitchen. :-)
Karen reports that tomorrow (Thursday) a group of Christian
students at our school will meet to discuss the possibility of
forming an officially recognized group. Please pray for these
young people as they do something very unusual. Pray for the
administration to be willing to let them meet. Please pray for a
solid core of dedicated people. Please pray for the students as
they decide exactly what to do, and that their Godly influence
will grow among their classmates. [Update: About 15 excited kids
showed up at the meeting!]
Doug has four English students. He needs about 18 to be
profitable. Please keep praying for more students to help us make
ends meet, and pray that our students will see the love of God in
CEO, our missions partners, are looking for
new people to
serve overseas. One of the requests is for a couple to help with
the baseball ministry and teaching in Vác. We would really like
this! Please pray that God will bring the exact right people at
the exact right time.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Exciting news! A church in Iowa will be hosting a fund-raiser
on September 29 to raise money for a riding mower—a "want" now,
and a *need* if we build an adult-sized field. Praise God for this
church's work for the baseball ministry here in Vác! Praise God for
the many people (including yourself) who pray for his will to be done
on this part of the earth!
My office-mates at school informed me the other day about
corruption in our town. My blissful ignorance is starting to disappear.
Please pray for justice and righteousness in Vác and in Hungary.
Doug's bones, joints, and muscles have been hurting him a lot
lately. Maintaining a baseball field requires a lot of movement,
including, for example, carrying 50-pound bags of grass seed up two
floors to our apartment. Please pray for Doug's body, that it will
be able to handle everything that he needs to do here. Pray that
his pain will be lessened and/or he learns how to manage it.
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Regarding last week's requests: The youth camp at
Diósjenő went really well. Doug gave his testimony,
and the other missionaries said that it resonated with the youth.
On the second day of school, Lea and Karen got their schedules.
Lea is satisfied with hers, and Karen is especially pleased.
The student prayer group at school is a definite possibility,
so feel free to continue praying for the students at Boronkay
(pronounced BOR-on-kaw-ee) High School!
Baseball: Doug is now the sole American "doing"
baseball in this end of the county: coaching, groundskeeping,
and promotion. There's a Hungarian guy who has been very helpful
this year, but he has been sick lately. Plus, September is prime
grass-growing season here. So the to-do list is very long—with
time pressure. Please pray for more people to help him this semester.
And please pray for Doug's wisdom in dealing with kids. (He gets
frustrated when they goof off at practice.)
Karen and college: Our daughter still doesn't know where
she will go for her higher education. If she stays in Hungary,
she needs to decide on a career path so she can know which
academic competitions to enter in October. Please pray that her
path becomes clearer and that she makes wise choices.
Links: We need many more private English students. Not
only does this help our home-grown finances, but it provides
links into the social fabric of the town. Please pray that we
meet the right people at the right time. Please pray that we
have enough and that we foster good relations with
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Last week we mentioned that nobody knows the plan for
school until it starts. This year is especially confusing for
administrators due to new, confusing, conflicting regulations.
In addition, I gave my testimony at the church youth camp this
afternoon; it was well received. Therefore, we repeat two
requests from last week:
Please pray for faculty and staff at the schools in
Hungary that they will be able to teach without undue bother
and stress. Pray for Lea and her coworkers, that they will be
instruments of God. Please pray that they can prepare well for
their classes. And pray that God will move in the school in
big and obvious ways.
The church youth camp in Diósjenő is going rather well.
I found my place of usefulness and feel at home there. Please
pray that the teenagers' hearts and minds are open to God's
invitation to come and follow.
Karen reports that some of the girls (Baptist, Reformed,
etc.) are thinking about starting a prayer group at school. Please
pray that this generation learns to follow Jesus and to become
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Teachers will report to school on Monday 26 August, and
students start on Monday 02 September (not a holiday here). Many
new governmental rules are introducing added stress and uncertainty.
Also, Lea's blissful ignorance is disappearing: she has recently
become aware of hostility among some teachers. Please pray that
she will be an instrument of God's peace at school. Please pray
that she prepares well for classes. Pray that God will move in
the school in big and obvious ways.
Please pray for Karen's wisdom in deciding which country
and which university she will go to. (As an added complication,
Hungary and America have different admission requirements—SATs
and college applications in the USA, academic competitions and
comprehensive exams in Hungary.)
Next week (26-30 August) Doug will spend four afternoons
in a nearby town teaching baseball and English at a church day
camp. Please pray that he works well with the other leaders and
serves the campers faithfully.
Please pray that, as the school year starts, we will spend
our time wisely. Please pray that we remain in Jesus, the vine
(John 15), so that we can bear fruit through him.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
The church retreat this past weekend was awesome. We had
great conversations with many of our Hungarian churchmates—
many in Hungarian! Karen's voice held out long enough to sing with
the praise band, and we got some relief from the oppressive heat
and our busy schedules. Thanks for praying for us.
Baseball practice began today. We will have the third
challenge match against the softball team on Sunday 25 August.
Please pray that the players learn good things that these sports
can bring: teamwork, individual responsibility, and confidence.
Please pray that the coaches (Grace and David McBrier, and Doug)
have opportunities to share Jesus' love with them.
School will begin in early September. Please continue
to pray that we use the rest of the summer wisely.
Please pray that a desire for God would arise among the
Hungarians. Also pray that believers' love for others will point
many to Jesus.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Karen has begun her intensive French course, and Lea is
studying Hungarian for several hours every day, both with no apparent
ill effects. The weather, however, is causing problems. The authorities
have issued heat warnings for Thursday, with temperatures over 100
degrees Fahrenheit. Let us pray that other things start heating up,
Doug is helping to build bench areas for the baseball field.
Please pray for time and money to finish the final projects: grass
seeding in September, an outfield fence, and a scoreboard. Please
continue to pray that more children (ages 8 to 12) will come out
for baseball, and that adults will come to help with the work.
This weekend our church will hold a retreat in a village
about 45 minutes from home. Karen will play with the youth band
as they lead the singing. Please pray for her voice, which has been
weak lately (cough-cough!). Please pray that we, as God's people,
will hear and do what God wants.
School will begin in early September. Please continue to
pray that we use the rest of the summer wisely.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Please pray that more adults will help with baseball. Doug
needs a team of coaches to help build a team of players!
Starting Monday, Karen will take a two-week intensive French
class at school. While she is there, Lea will dedicate that time to
studying Hungarian at home. Please pray that they both learn languages
well so that they can communicate God's love more clearly.
Our missions partner, Christian Educators Outreach, is
running very low on funding. Please pray for people to give to this
part of the body of Christ who have helped us (and others) so much.
Please pray that we use the remainder of our school break wisely.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Dear friends and fellow missionaries are moving to the States
this week. Please pray for their safe travel and a successful entry
into American society. Pray that our family and the local church will
grieve well and let the McGuires' lives and examples continue to bear
fruit in us. Please pray that God will send more of his workers into
the harvest field of Vác.
Jarrod McGuire (see above request) was the founding coach of
the little-league team. David McBrier, another coach, will travel in
the US from September to January. Please pray for Doug as, this autumn,
he will have sole responsibility for the baseball team and the field.
This coming weekend is our town's annual "Váci
Világi Vigalom" or Vác World Festival. Google translates
that as "secular feast", which isn't far from the truth. Please pray
that God will work in Vác this weekend amidst all the loud partying
that goes on.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Karen did well on both oral exams! We are grateful for her mind
and how she has chosen to use it. Please pray for her wisdom for as she
contemplates her future—college, career, and life.
Karen's fast-pitch softball team and the boys' baseball team have
a (re-?)match (slow-pitch softball) on Saturday afternoon. Please pray
for safety, good times, and a deepening of relationships. The goal is for
God's kingdom to come on this part of the earth, and in the hearts of
these people, as it is in heaven.
Please pray for the Stachofskys, who will be staying at our
house and taking care of our cat while we are gone.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
We got a cat-sitter and a house-sitter! A family
will live in our house and love on Pascal while we are gone.
Karen thinks she did okay on the German test.
Doug had a good trip to the States, where he is
spending time with his mom, aunt, and cousins. Karen and
I are doing well in Hungary, too.
The Danube flood was high, but we haven't heard
of any deaths in Hungary.
...and prayer requests:
Please pray for those affected by the flooding.
From Germany to Hungary, we are in the clean-up stage.
Further south, in Croatia, Serbia, and Romania, they are
still preparing for high waters.
Karen has one more major (oral) exam early next
week. Please pray that she studies well and communicates
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Doug here. Thanks for praying for us. I am gearing
down my activities here and gearing up for my departure to
the USA. I must admit that it takes some self-discipline to
keep my mind on the tasks at hand. It would be very easy
just to sign off and coast until the ride to the airport.
But it is important to be "present where I am." Please
pray for me as I finish the school year and prepare for
time in the USA.
Our region is experiencing the second "Flood of
the Century" in this young century. Karen's high school has
asked all teachers and students to report to the ferry
landing on Thursday morning to help pack sandbags. Please
pray that damage and injuries are minimal and that events
like these teach Hungarians to work together.
Instead of packing sandbags tomorrow morning,
Karen will take a comprehensive, high-level oral exam in
German. Please pray that she doesn't fret, maintains her
perspective, and does her best. [Update: She thinks
she did okay.]
Lea and Karen will leave for America in two weeks.
We still have no one to take care of our cat, Pascal. This
may seem trivial compared to floods, but it is a matter of
concern for our family. Please pray that someone volunteers
to watch our favorite feline while we are gone.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Lea here. The class trip with 34 kids went very well!
Everyone was cooperative and encouraging. The kids had fun on
the ropes course, and I didn't get hurt because I stayed on the
ground and took pictures. :-) The other chaperones and I had
some really good conversations about God and faith.
Doug has a bunch of loose ends to wrap up before he
leaves for the States. Please pray that he is wise and effective
in his dealings with others. Please continue to pray for the
baseball program and for adequate and safe storage of the
Please pray that we find a good cat-sitter soon.
(We have no leads.)
We continue to ask you to pray that we PRAY. The list
of people who are in difficult situations just keeps growing.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Next Monday through Wednesday, Lea and another teacher will
chaperone 36 ninth graders on a class trip. Please pray for safety
(there's a ropes course!), for good conversations, and for God to
work among these kids.
Doug has a bunch of loose ends to wrap up before he leaves
for the States. Please continue to pray for storage space and
transportation of baseball equipment.
The family who usually keeps our cat in the summer while we
are in the States is unable to do so this year. Please pray that we
can find a good cat-sitter quickly.
As we asked last week, please pray that we PRAY. We know
many people who are going through times of crisis—a few joyful,
but most seriously difficult. And, of course, Oklahoma has been
added to our list.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Regarding last week's requests, Karen thinks that her German
exam went well enough. She will find out the results in June. The
baseball guys will start work tomorrow on the changing areas and the
The city denied permission to put a storage container near
the baseball field. With the other baseball coaches leaving this
summer, we don't have storage space for equipment or the use of
Coach David McBrier's car. Please pray that we figure out how to
solve these problems.
We are grateful for our 7.5 years here in Vác, and for
what God has done with us and in us. Please pray that we are wise
with our money, and that we have enough to stay here as long as
God wants us to. Pray for more students for Doug and for more
Please pray that we PRAY. We know many people who are going
through times of crisis—a few joyful, but most seriously
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
On Friday Karen takes the written part of her comprehensive
German exam. Please pray that her mind will be in good shape and
that she will remember the right stuff.
There are few things left to be done on the baseball field
before it goes into "maintenance mode": we need benches, changing
areas, and outfield fences. Please pray that we have the time and
money to finish these projects before Doug leaves for the States.
Please pray that the field will be used for God's purposes. Also,
please ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his
[baseball] field. (See Matthew 9:38.)
Please pray that our relationships with people here will
deepen, and that the three of us will clearly show them God's love
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Last weekend's baseball clinic and today's Baseball/Softball
challenge game went very well. The baseball team won, 16-9. There were
even more spectators than participants! You know things are going well
when young players get hit by a batted ball, and they come back to play
again. :-) Here are this week's requests:
Lea has to grade 4 essays from each of her students: 4 x 180
= 720 essays. (I have been assigned all of Lea's household chores until
next Friday.) Please pray that she can persevere and finish all of this
conscientiously but quickly. Please pray that she is a good encourager
and a role model for these teenagers.
Please pray that the baseball work increases and has a good
influence on people in Vác. Please pray that we establish home-grown
leaders so that the teams prosper, and that our teaching improves
their teamwork and their character.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The Baseball Clinic will be Friday and Saturday! There
are 18 kids signed up so far, and we are sure more will come. The
field will be in its best condition ever. Next Wednesday (May 1 =
Labor Day) the little league baseball team and the women's softball
team will square off in a slow-pitch softball exhibition match.
Please pray that all the participants have fun, that no one gets
injured, and that these events lead to long-term relationships
among people and with God.
A friend of ours has been asked to be the coach of a new
football team in Vác (not soccer, but American style). Please pray
that more sports leaders will come to Vác to work with kids. Many
new relationships are coming about through sports.
Several rumors about new, ridiculous Hungarian tax laws
have been circulating through the country, and many missionaries
are worried that the added costs will force them to go home. Please
pray that common sense and good government will prevail, and also
pray that we will have enough money to stay here as long as God
Please pray that we are wise with our time, that we do
the important things (not necessarily the urgent ones), and that
we keep our relationship with God the top priority in our lives.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Lea's trip to Virginia is going well. Up to now, she has
spent time with family. The rest of this week will be a whirlwind
of lots of different kinds of visits. I substituted for her at the
high school Tuesday and Wednesday, and the classes went well, but I
am pooped! Karen will take a mental health day from school tomorrow
(Thursday). So . . .
Please pray for us, that we have God's wisdom in scheduling
our days, that we will do what is best and right in his kingdom.
Please pray for us, that we are blessings, not burdens, to
the people that we meet, and that we bring them closer to God.
Please pray for us, that we take time to pray for others,
to be even more of a blessing to them.
Friday, April 5, 2013
Doug here. Sorry, Wednesday and Thursday were like the other days
this week without Lea here to help: long, busy, and non-stop. I fell
asleep without sending you anything. Thanks for praying for us anyway.
I have spoken with Lea a couple of times, and she is doing okay as
she travels around and visits family in Virginia. Karen and I are
holding the fort well enough, but you know how it is when one of the
family is absent....
With Lea gone, I am more thankful for her great presence in my life.
I am learning the joys of being grateful: It makes you notice more
blessings day by day. Please pray that my gratitude increases as my
Please pray that Lea travels safely and that she blesses the
people that she meets.
We coaches are in high gear to get the baseball field playable,
but one of our good ideas has brought about a LOT of work. We wanted
to remove the bigger rocks from just under the surface in the outfield,
so we hired a farmer to drag the field with spikes. He was VERY
successful. The outfield is now COVERED with---literally---TONS of
rocks differing in size from a robin's egg to whole bricks. Please
pray that the team will join together (which is not a Hungarian habit)
and start caring for the field. One day the Americans won't be with
them, and it will all be theirs!
I will substitute teach for Lea on Tuesday and Wednesday. The
lessons will be on American football and baseball. Please pray that
my time at the high school will be beneficial for the students.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Lea here. Tomorrow morning at 01:10 Eastern time I leave home in Vác
for home in Virginia! As I did five years ago, I'll be attending my
college choir reunion, as well as spending time with family. Please
pray for me as I travel (and especially for the semi-pinched nerve
in my lower back). Please pray for Doug and Karen as they hold down
the fort here in Hungary. Please pray that all three of us will be
used by God to help his kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Thank you so much for praying for us last week! Most everyone
arrived safely at the CEO gathering despite the blizzard, illnesses,
a death in a family, and other troubles. It was very encouraging for
all of us, helping us refocus our attention and hearts on God. Our
colleague Kathryn could still use your prayers; her health problems
continue, and she is sad about several years of lost journal entries
and pictures which were on her stolen computer.
As in past years, some of my classes before Easter are on Jesus
(a famous person!) and the Bible. Please pray that the kids will come
to take Jesus seriously, rather than believing that he is a myth or
a fairy tale that has nothing to do with real life.
Doug's students seem to be cancelling often or disappearing
entirely. He taught his first lesson of the week tonight (Wednesday)!
Please pray that more English students will come. Not only can we use
the money, but the Hungarian Immigration Office will use this year's
income to evaluate whether we are earning enough to stay here.
The work on the baseball field continues. It is satisfying,
but difficult! Please pray for Doug as he works, that he will be safe,
that he will make good decisions, and that he can recruit helpers to
join him as the workload increases.
As we requested last week, Karen is a bit overwhelmed from all
that is on her plate. Please pray that she will be able to deal with
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Last week your prayers were answered very quickly! The main singer
in the youth praise band is able to go to the youth conference for 2/3 of
the time, which takes a heavy load off Karen's mind. Also, we heard of
an American teacher in Budapest who is interested in baseball. God is
working through you!
Please pray that the baseball field can be ready for use around
Easter weekend. There's still quite a bit to do there.
Karen, especially, is a bit overwhelmed from all that is on her
plate. Please pray that she will be able to deal with everything wisely.
Tomorrow we will leave for a 3-day CEO missions conference in Croatia.
Several folks who were/are supposed to attend are dealing with severe
illnesses, a death in one family, delayed passports, and other difficulties.
Please pray for God's healing and provision. Please pray for safe travels
and a blessed time together. And most of all, please pray that God's will
is done in our lives and in central Europe.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
The youth praise band from our church has been asked to lead
the singing at a nationwide youth conference on Easter weekend. The
other main singer and primary rhythm guitarist will be unable to attend,
which means that Karen will have that job by herself. She is nervous
about this. Please pray that she will relax, trust God, and concentrate
on helping others worship God.
These days our baseball head coach is writing his thesis. The
other coach's wife is recovering from a badly broken ankle. This means
that I (Doug am working alone on the baseball field in an effort to
make it usable by Easter weekend. Please pray that others will join me
in this work.
More baseball... Recently I mentioned the possibility that we
might use a local company's land for an adult-sized field. The company
responded to our inquiry, and it seems they will require rent. This is
not feasible for us. But yesterday I discovered another tract reportedly
owned by (drum roll) the City of Vác. This means we might get to use it
free of charge. Please pray that we find a suitable place for an adult
\size field. And don't forget to pray for more workers to help develop
I have been undergoing a pride-ectomy. This is proceeding well.
Now Lea tells me that she needs a plank-ectomy (as in Matthew 7:3-5).
She asks you to pray that she opens her eyes wide enough to let God
remove her planks.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
This week I have an unusual request. It will not only benefit us
Coppages, but it will also help you, and God will be pleased.
Your task (if you decide to accept it) is this:
Name seven things that YOU can be THANKFUL for today,
including one that is not so pleasant. I'll start. I am thankful
for these reasons:
My loving family; I have the best wife in the world and a
unique and excellent daughter.
We have had the extraordinary opportunity to live, learn,
and minister in Hungary these past 10 years.
As spring approaches, baseball is progressing well, and
the coaches are having a good influence on the kids.
I have good relations with the teachers and Deaf students
at the Chazar School.
The unpleasant one: God is helping me understand my
personality flaws, my limitations, and my blind spots .
(He must really care!) He is remaking me into a more fully
functional human being.
I am not alone in my love for Hungarians and my struggles
to reach them with a Gospel of hope.
You pray for us.
Your turn! Have a good time dipping yourself (like a beloved,
blessed doughnut) in gratitude to God---even in the rough
patches of life. He loves you very much and takes a special
interest in you. Yes, you!
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Doug here. My Pride-ectomy continues. I recently learned
that I don't have to understand everything in advance in order
to do God's will. Please pray that I understand God's general
will; that I trust him while doing his will in specific
ways; and that all this leads to good relationships with God and
With exercise, Lea's back and leg are better. But now she
has a slight cold and 200 notebooks to grade in the next week
—a combination of dubious compatibility! Please pray for
her health and for perseverance in the task at hand.
Karen increasingly finds herself in situations where other
teenagers (some of whom she barely knows) request advice or
encouragement. Please pray that our daughter lives in God's love,
learns his wisdom, and says the right words to give people what
Many thanks for helping us in these big ways! It's hard to
describe how your prayers work, but we are assured that it is all
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Baseball field work is on hold until the snow melts. Lea's
weekend women's missions conference was a worthwhile encouragement.
Karen came in seventh place in the second round of a national
No one showed up at the home Bible study last Sunday night.
Please pray that people come in the future, and that this simple
gathering will bring people closer to the Kingdom of God.
We recently got a copy of Budapest's English-language
newspaper. It is not pleasant reading. Please pray that the
leaders of Hungary will stop shooting the country in the foot
and will somehow get the wisdom that is necessary to govern well.
Our English-teaching company had a great month in January,
but this month the students are dropping like flies. Please pray
for a steady flow of English students so that we can support
ourselves more and converse with more Hungarians.
The letter that we sent to the company that owns a useable
field acknowledged receipt of the message, and they said that
they would respond in the near future. Please pray that we can
enter into negotiations to develop a baseball field for teenagers
and adults on this property.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Yesterday morning, Doug sent a letter to the director of a
company that owns a potential site for an adult baseball field in
Vác. Please pray...
that the right field will be built in the right place at
the right time;
for finances to finish the youth field, and then to build
the adult field;
that God will call his people who love kids and baseball
to our area;
for the baseball and softball players, that they will
allow this game and the coaches to have a good influence in
This week, I (Lea) have been teaching lessons on religion in
the USA. Please pray that my kids will know the difference between
religion and the love of God in Jesus.
This weekend, I will meet with missionary women for
support, encouragement, and prayer. Please pray that our time
will be edifying to each other and glorifying to God.
Our third Bible study is coming up Sunday night. We will be
studying John 6, about Jesus being the bread of life. Please pray
that we will understand what God is trying to tell us.
My leg is a little better, although it still feels a bit weak
and unstable. Please pray that I will be wise in how I use it.
[Thursday 2/7: My leg is MUCH better today! :-)]
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Lea here. The women's conference that I attended last weekend
was very encouraging. The theme was "weakness," and it was helpful
to hear how some people are overcoming heartbreaking circumstances
with God's help. When you pray, God does stuff. He's been very busy
lately, so thank you SO much for praying!
Three different people came to our second Bible study session
Sunday night. I very much enjoyed the discussion. Please pray that
this Bible study will lead us all to know Jesus better.
A friend has asked me if I would counsel her. To my surprise,
I found a time that I can see her every couple of weeks. Please pray
that God will use me as his instrument in this woman's life.
Karen is finding opportunities to listen to and counsel others
who are going through difficulties. Please pray that God will
continue to use her for his purposes.
Next week Doug will send a proposal to the regional bus
company for permission to develop a full-sized baseball field on
an unused parcel of land that they own. Please pray for clear
communication and for healthy cooperation with the company's
I have continuing pain in my right leg. Please keep praying for
its nerves and muscles.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
This weekend Lea and many women from our church will
travel to a nationwide Christian women's conference. Please
pray that our Father gives them his encouragement and power
so they become faithful and loving ministers in Hungary for
the Kingdom of God.
Our second home Bible study session will be Sunday
night. Please pray that those who need to come will come,
and that our faith in Jesus will grow.
Soon I will send a request to a local company to see
if they are willing to talk about putting a full-sized
baseball field on their property. Please pray that my
communication with them is clear and that the company's
decision makers will be receptive.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Lea's sciatica is much better with exercise, although it
still hurts a little to sit. Please pray that she continues to
Two people came to our new Bible study Sunday evening,
and we had a great discussion. Several others have expressed
interest for the next one on January 27. Please pray that God
uses this time in the hearts of people he loves.
This week, Lea has talked to all her classes about Martin
Luther King and the Civil Rights movement. Please pray that
her 231 students will value justice, righteousness, and compassion.
Please pray that they will use their brains and power to make this
world a better place. Please pray that they come to know Jesus,
who can lead them in paths of righteousness.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
(From Lea:) My sciatica, I finally figured out, came from a
fall on the ice about a month ago. It continued to get worse until
a visit to a physical therapist last night. Today I could sit
without severe pain! Please pray that I am diligent at doing my
exercises, that I continue to heal, and that I’m not hindered in
doing whatever God wants me to do.
This coming Sunday evening, a new Bible study group will
meet at our apartment. During the next five months, we will study
several stories from the gospel of John. Please pray that the
right people come, and that relationships with Jesus and with
each other grow deeper.
Doug asks you to pray that the lessons that he learned on
his personal retreat will stick, and that he learns to live
continuously in God’s presence.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Last time we asked you to pray that we would want to find
the real Jesus. I (Doug) went on a four-day personal retreat and
had a GREAT TIME with Jesus, who became more real to me.
Lea was diagnosed with mild scoliosis last year, and now
she has sciatica, which is pain (etc.) in her right leg caused
by pressure on a nerve. Please pray for her as she seeks relief
by navigating the Hungarian health care system and communicating
with medical personnel in Hungarian. And praise God that her
ability to stand and walk has not been hindered. (Sitting and
lying down are the problems!)
January 1 brought several changes in the law, and many
Hungarians live in fear of the future. Please pray for all of us
who live in Hungary, that we can manage the changes. Please pray
for righteousness to come to this country that is so full of
corruption, envy, and distrust.
As we return to school and work, please pray that we will
minister to others from the OVERFLOW of God's love for us; and
please pray that we are the light of the world that points people
to real life: to know Jesus and his healing, saving power, to live
in communion with the Holy Spirit, and to glorify God our maker.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Christmas in Hungary is similar to that in America, with many
distractions, trappings, and traps. We are, therefore, content
to offer a single, simple prayer request this week:
We pray that the people around us (which includes us) will
WANT to find the REAL Jesus.
Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on
seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will
be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who
seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
—Jesus [Matthew 7.7-8, NLT]
Thanks for joining us in our work! We pray God’s blessings on
you as we all celebrate God-with-us in the coming week.
A Merry Christmas to you and yours,
—Doug, Lea, and Karen
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Lea spent Tuesday and Wednesday proctoring tests at school. Now
she has to grade all 179 of them. But that is a mundane task compared
to her current request: Please pray that Lea "will fearlessly make
known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador . . ."
not in chains, but in Hungary. (Ephesians 6:19)
Karen was referred to an orthodontist, and this afternoon
(Wednesday) she went on for her initial exam. The doctor's
recommendation is an 18-month plan that will cost just under $5000.
Is that for real?!? Please pray for money to say Yes---or some other
reason to say No. (Yeesh!)
I am learning to simplify my days and to increase the
quality of my work by doing less, or (paradoxically) I am doing more
by slowing down. God continues the PRIDE-ectomy that I mentioned a
few weeks ago. I am learning my limits. Please pray that I grow
into my role of apprentice to Jesus by doing what I should do:
no less and no more.
THANK YOU for standing beside us as you pray to our Father.
Thank you for your faith and your petitions when we are shaky and
discouraged. Thanks for your willingness to do this with us! May
we all see God more clearly as we encounter him in prayer.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
This from Lea: On Saturday evening (December 08) our church will
hold the annual Christmas Carnival. Kids and their parents do crafts,
eat cookies, drink hot cider, and watch a presentation about the birth
of Jesus. Through this we hope to be good neighbors and introduce
people to our church. More importantly we want to show them that Jesus
is not a cuss word or a statue of a body hanging on a cross, but he is
the living God who loves them very much. Please pray that our neighbors
feel welcome among God's family.
I continue to volunteer at the Deaf school, to coordinate work
on the baseball field, to plan and lead winter practices, to teach
private English students, and a few other things that don't come to
mind just now (11:00 PM). I am also paying attention to my symptoms
of Executive Dysfunction Disorder (which explains a lot about my
childhood). I feel relieved that I am not alone and that I can learn
from the experiences of others. Please pray that I get a grip on the
many demands on my time and that God leads me in the way of fruitful
service to my neighbors.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Update: Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday with our guests was a big
success and a lot of fun. We made new friends from ages seven to almost
forty. The baseball demo went very well, too. The kids divided themselves
into two teams and played two innings with a tennis ball in the city's
sports hall. They started out nervous, but by the end they had loosened
up and played to make us proud! Karen has passed several exams with
flying colors, including a comprehensive final exam in German. :-D
Hurray! Thanks for praying.
Lea's request: Please pray that she ignores the pull of the urgent
and instead does what is important.
Karen has no particular requests this week. Please pray for her
as you see fit, or as the Spirit leads you.
Lea and I suspect that I might suffer from some form of Executive
Dysfunction disorder. This is a real drag when I am responsible for
planning and organizing big projects like a baseball field—in
addition to other jobs that require me to divide my time and change
focus frequently. Please pray that I estimate and allocate time wisely,
that I remember the resources at hand, and that I meet my obligations
in time and on time.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Giving thanks is rare here. Once, one of my geek classes told me
that the primary hobby of Hungarians is complaining---the exact opposite
of thanksgiving. Please pray that people's eyes are opened to the joys
of life, and that they learn to give thanks even when times are difficult.
Pray also that, when difficult times come for us, we will be visibly
thankful and joyful.
On Saturday we will have about a dozen guests, including two of
Karen's classmates, for Thanksgiving dinner. Please pray that those who
gather around our table will come to know the One they can be thankful to.
The baseball coaches (Jarrod, Doug, and David) have been invited
to give a demonstration at the city's Sports Day, which is this Sunday.
Please pray that they meet people who are interested in baseball, and
that relationships will lead to discipleship.
Things are not going well between our school's administrators
and the city government. Please pray that politics doesn't get in the
way of good education, and that God's will is done in our school.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Doug here. Thanks for praying! I have gotten two new students
in the past two weeks. Thanks for praying! Karen has noticed God at
work in her life in recent weeks. Thanks for praying! My pride-ectomy
is proceeding well, without too much pain. Thanks for praying! :-)
Hungary is not doing well. With jobs and money on the decrease,
crime is on the increase. Please pray for the Hungarians, that they
seek God and learn about his mercy, grace, and great care. (Matthew
I continue to learn about my worthiness in God's sight (which
is not much) and my worth in his heart (which is very great). Please
continue to pray for me as I become more mature in following Jesus.
Karen's school workload---and her ability to keep up---continue
to amaze us. Please pray that our 17-year-old daughter maintains
spiritual, physical, and emotional health in this demanding situation.
In the next couple of weeks, we will host several events and
have many visitors in our apartment. Please pray that our home will
be a place where people are drawn to Jesus and his love.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
A teacher at Lea and Karen's school died yesterday after a
long battle with cancer. Everyone liked her, but but Karen's class
was especially fond of her. Please pray for comfort for Karen and
her friends. Please pray that Karen will be able to show them the
hope that is in Christ.
From Doug: My pride-ectomy preparation is proceeding well.
Please pray for me as God makes me a better instrument in his kingdom.
There are many changes pending at Lea's school. The biggest
is that the national government will take over direction of the
school from the city on January 1. Please pray for peace among the
faculty in this uncertain time.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Doug here. Thanks for praying for us! Regarding last week's
requests, Karen returned form her class trip on Tuesday, tired but
happy. I have had several days of physical rest, and I feel much
better. I have also collected two new students by referral from
others. Thanks again for your prayers.
We couldn't think of any pressing needs for requests this week,
but we do have some things to be thankful for. Please join us in
thanking God for these:
This week is Fall Break. We are grateful for nine days
straight with no school. All three of us need the rest.
We have generous supporters; we haven't had to ask for money.
We are truly thankful that these givers are faithful, and that they
have joined our generous God in working for the Hungarians around us.
All three of us feel that we are in the right place at the
right time. We are grateful to be living, giving, and working in
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
My computer problem of the last couple of weeks turned out to
be the power adapter, which is much cheaper than a new machine.
Moreover, a Hungarian friend has loaned me her adapter until I can
get a replacement. Once again, God has provided!
Karen leaves tomorrow (Thursday) on a class trip to Romania.
Please pray for their safe travel, good experiences, and especially
wisdom for these teenagers.
Doug's back is better, but he is often very tired--probably
because he works hard on the baseball field. Please continue to
pray for him, that he is physically able to do the work he is
called to do.
Doug doesn't have enough private English students, and
those he has often aren't able to come for one reason or another.
Please pray for more students, and that they will show up.
Yesterday a lot of valuable equipment was stolen from the
backyard shed of our friends David and Grace McBrier, including
the lawn mower for the baseball field. Please pray for
the McBriers and the thieves;
a mower, or the money to purchase one; and
a safe place to store equipment, preferably at the field.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Thank you so much for praying for us. There’s no way to
account for our lives here except that God is doing something.
Sometimes that "something" is visible, and sometimes not. But
we know that God is working, and we are grateful.
Please pray for Doug’s back. It’s a bit fragile now.
This afternoon he decided to skip two baseball sessions so he
could rest it. Please pray that he is wise with his body
Karen is carrying quite a heavy academic workload.
Please keep praying for her.
My 6-year-old Apple laptop is, as they say, "going down."
Karen and I both depend on it for schoolwork and for communication.
Please pray that this computer lasts as long as it needs to, and,
when the time comes to replace it, that we will have adequate
money to do so.
October 23 is the annual commemoration of the 1956
revolution in Hungary. Please pray that Hungarians come to know
the revolutionary love of God in Jesus Christ. Please pray that
those who claim the name of "Christian" will choose to live as
God wants, rather than living the corrupt lives that people
here are accustomed to.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Please pray some more for Karen regarding her daily workload.
She has an exam tomorrow (Thursday), goes to Budapest for her PSAT
next week, and has a comprehensive German exam the week after that.
She will push herself to do her best. Please pray that she maintains
a Godly perspective on all this.
A few of Lea's fellow teachers are trying to persuade her of
the truthfulness of astrology and numerology. Please pray that all
teachers will be set free by knowing and doing the truth. Please
pray that we remain faithful to our source of life and grace:
God is giving me (Doug) personal therapy in preparation for
a pride-ectomy. This is rarely pleasant, although the results are
often wonderful. Please pray for me, that I humble myself before
God and allow him to do in me what needs to be done.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Please continue to pray that Karen manages her workload
with grace and without too much stress.
I (Doug) have detected a notable increase in the regular
responsibilities that are required of the baseball coaches. We are
still at the stage where success seems to depend upon the Americans.
Please pray that more followers of Jesus (American or Hungarian)
will join us in establishing an ethic of quality and dependability,
and that many will benefit from this work.
Please continue to pray that we keep a Godly perspective and
that we rely on God's magnificent grace to provide all that we need
to do his will.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Sorry we didn't issue any requests last week. We were (are) still
getting adjusted to our new weekly schedules---and an increased workload.
Thanks for praying for us. To update you on previous requests...
The first softball practice was a success. Six women showed up, and
more are expected next week.
We are upgrading the baseball infield in October, and we are still
requesting donations toward a 20-foot container for the team's equipment.
Karen still needs more sleep.
Karen will spend the weekend at the home of one of her classmates
in a nearby village. Please pray that their relationship will be
strengthened and that Karen will be a Godly influence. Please continue
to pray for Karen's wisdom in handling a large workload at school.
Recently I (Doug) realized that, on a normal weekday, I do several
*completely* different things: working with Deaf children, doing manual
labor, filling out invoices, purchasing materials for the baseball field,
speaking Hungarian at baseball practices, teaching English to businessmen,
and so on. Please pray that I make these multiple transitions smoothly and
that I have wisdom in my decision-making responsibilities.
At our bedtime prayers this evening, Karen asked that "tomorrow
will not be as lousy as today." Lea and I echo that request. Please
pray that we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, so that when a hundred
little things don't go well, we keep a Godly perspective.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
On Monday, September 17, there will be an organizational meeting
for women (age 14 and older) who are interested in playing softball. Our
friends David and Grace McBrier are organizing a team that will play on
our Little League field. Karen plans to attend and has invited several
of her friends to go with her. Please pray that the right people
participate and that these relationships lead to God's will being
done on earth.
For the first time in our missions career, Doug is on a fund-raising
campaign: $3000 to buy a used storage container for the baseball field.
Please pray that people give money toward this purchase so that the field
will be a sustainable reality.
Several people we know are going through intense hardship. As we
have asked before, please pray that we take/make the time to pray for
others as you pray for us.
Karen requests that you pray for her sleep. Her mama agrees that
she needs more of it than she's getting.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Our first autumn baseball practice is Saturday 08 September.
Please pray that we gather a group of kids who will learn how to
work and play as a team. Please pray that the coaches are good
examples, effective teachers, and Godly leaders. (Please continue
to pray that we can gather enough money to buy and install a 20-foot
steel storage container. I found out it will be about $3000.)
Karen has 40 class sessions per week, including 5 of physics
and 10 of math. Please pray for her sanity and that she gets enough rest.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
All the infield fences are up on the baseball field! The next step
in our ambitious plan is to have a weatherproof, secure place to store our
increasing inventory of baseball equipment and field maintenance tools.
Please pray that we can gather enough money to buy and install a 20-foot
Please pray that Doug will get more private students, and, at the
same time, that we will make adequate time together as a couple and a family.
These important goals compete for the same blocks of time.
Our first day of school is Monday (Labor Day for you!). Please pray
that we establish and continue good relationships with teachers and
students, that we use our time wisely, and that we are salt and light
in places that are dull and dark.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Our Hungarian hearing church, Calvary Chapel Vác, will have a
retreat this weekend, from Friday morning until Sunday afternoon. Please
pray that our knowledge of Jesus becomes fuller and that our love for
each other will increase so that everyone will know that we follow him.
Please pray that we devote ourselves to the apostles' teaching, to
fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and prayer. (John 13:35 and
The youth band (including Karen) have been assigned to lead music
in worship this weekend. She asks that you pray that God will be glorified,
and that people are not distracted by the quality (good or bad) of their
playing and singing.
Many people we know are going through very hard times. Please pray
that we Coppages take time to pray for others who are in urgent need.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The softball and English camp started a bit bumpy but ended up as
a whopping success. Please pray that we FOLLOW UP on the successful camp
with more little league layers and more seekers touched by God.
Please pray that we PREPARE WELL for the coming school year. This
means wise use of time! (Believe it or not, Karen has assignments that
Please pray that we "have the power to understand, as all God’s
people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really
is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will
never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of
life and power that comes from God." [Ephesians 3:18-19 NLT] We should
love others from the OVERFLOW of God's love for us.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
From this Saturday through next Sunday, a girls' mission team will be
here from Britt, Iowa. They will lead a softball-English camp.
Please pray for the following:
The backstop, which was bent over by a derecho-like windstorm that
came through Vác Sunday night, will be repaired in time.
We will prepare enough for their time here. Much has yet to be
done, and four of the missionary hosts will be jet-lagged.
Kids will come to the camp (Monday through Friday).
God works through this team.
All relationships will answer Jesus' prayer in John 17: "that
they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they
may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you
sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (NIV)
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
We're on our way westward! Please pray that we stay close to God
while we're out of our normal routine. Please pray that we stay safe while
traveling by car in America, which is a lot more dangerous than walking
around a medieval town and riding trains. Please pray that we are a
blessing to many people while we are in the States.
Now that we have our residency permits in hand (hallelujah!),
please pray that we have enough money to stay here as long as God wants.
Please pray for more workers in the Váci harvest field -- especially
those who love kids and baseball! (Luke 10:2)
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Answers to previous requests are in bold below.
This week: school ends. This weekend: we pack and plan. Please pray for all that!
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
In April we applied for extensions to our residency permits,
which expired on May 31. On Monday, the lawyer told us that the
Immigration Office wants more evidence of the stability of our
Hungarian income. Please pray that we find favor with the
authorities and that we can stay in Hungary! Our residency permits were granted on Monday, June 11. :-) Now we need
the official cards to be issued before we depart next Thursday.
We still have not found anyone to take care of our cat,
Pascal, while we are gone. The first two possible caretakers
have fallen through. Please pray that we find someone soon! On Saturday, June 9, the same reliable cat-sitter who kept him the
last two summers suddenly re-appeared and agreed to take him
The coaches have given baseball demonstrations in many
schools this spring. Please pray that a good number of kids join
the team and that we have good practices and good relations with
the children and their parents. Last Wednesday, we had 15 kids come to practice. We were not
ready for so many. On Saturday, we had 15 again. We were ready.
Today (June 13), we had 20. :-) They are VERY
Update: Wednesday, June 2, 2012
Several prayers have been answered! The biggest joy is Doug's
dad, whose cancer is not nearly as bad as they thought. Here's an
excerpt from what Doug's younger brother wrote:
"The doctor explained that he had either misread Dad’s chart or
given me the wrong score a few weeks ago---and that he had gone
back and triple-checked it since. We looked at the biopsy results
and the Gleason score was 6/10 rather than the original 8/10. What
this means is that the chance of future cancer growth over the next
decade is about half of what it was 2 weeks ago (less aggressive)...
And while he definitely has some cancer in there, overall, the
chances that it would be his downfall just got a LOT slimmer."
Karen just got back from her "blessed" trip to Germany. She
picked that word, and it's not one she uses very often. She said she
feels like the trip was a gift from God. The girls are from different
groups (cliques?) in her class, and they all got along well--even
with the teacher!
Today was another rainy day in Vác! Yay! Even in the rain, the
baseball coaches put up the chain link wing fences on the third-base
Franklin Graham's "Hope Festival" last night was well-attended,
according to a video I saw on YouTube. Please keep praying that God
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
It has finally rained some in Vác! Thanks so much for praying,
and feel free to continue. :-) We could use much more.
Karen and three other girls recently won a German competition
sponsored by a local German company. As their first-place prize, they
leave tomorrow on a 3-day trip to Bavaria with their German teacher.
Please pray for safety as they travel, for linguistic capability, and
for good relationships among the girls and chaperone.
Our new residency permits are, in the words of the Immigration
Office, "not ready." Please pray that there is no problem, and that we
will get them before we leave for the States on June 21.
The couple who we had hoped would care for our cat are now
unable to do so. Please pray that we find a good cat-sitter for
Pascal while we are in America.
This coming weekend, Franklin Graham and a bunch of big-name
musicians will be holding a "Hope Festival" in Budapest. Please pray
that many people will understand God's love and offer of salvation.
Please pray that we who are already called by God's name will humble
ourselves, pray, seek God's face, and turn from our wicked ways,
that God may heal our land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
REPORT: Doug's dad is back to his routine at home and is functioning
normally. He will receive more reports and opinions regarding treatment in
the coming days. Lea returned from her class trip Tuesday night. She says
it was grand. Karen decided not to continue music school next year. It
was a hard decision, but we think she made a wise choice.
RAIN: It seems that things here are as dry physically as they are
spiritually. Rain falls in Hungary, but not on us! Some people need their
garden to grow as it is a primary source of food. And no rain means that
we must pay for gasoline to water the baseball field. Please pray for
rain showers in Vác.
PENTECOST (Monday) is a national holiday in Hungary. But we doubt
that the average person knows exactly what happened when the disciples
experienced the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. As you pray for
rain, please pray that the church here will live joyfully in their faith
and be "springs of water welling up to eternal life" among thirsty souls.
Pray that Hungarians will wake up to an awareness of God's presence and
an outpouring of his Spirit that can nourish them.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Yesterday Doug's dad (age 78) was diagnosed with an
aggressive form of prostate cancer. Please pray for Phil Coppage
as he decides on treatment, and pray for family in the States who
can support him when we can't.
Lea has been invited to go on a trip (Sunday through Tuesday,
May 20-22) with an 11th-grade class that she is especially fond of.
Please pray that God will give her lots of opportunities to love on,
encourage, and share truth with these students.
Karen's deadline for her decision about taking flute next year
wasn't a "hard" deadline, so she is still deciding. She has received
lots of advice to stop, but that possibility has brought her deep grief.
Please pray that she will hear FROM GOD what his plans are regarding
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Work on the baseball field is going very well. We are done
with major landscaping and construction; the rest is refinement
and maintenance. Thank you for your prayers! Please pray for more
rain (preferably not during practices!), for guidance for the
coaches, and for more kids to come out.
Karen will have many more academic requirements next year,
and this forces her to consider stopping her music
curriculum—flute lessons, etc. She doesn't want to stop,
but according to our calculations she will have time for five
hours of sleep per weeknight if she continues. Karen must make
this decision tomorrow (Thursday).
A long-time friend of Lea's believes only in fate and is
very resistant to talking about anything spiritual. Please pray
for both of these women, that they will come to know and accept
the love of Christ that surpasses understanding (Eph. 3).
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Karen says she is grateful for a lot these days:
her friends and family;
the youth praise band;
the youth girls' sleepover last Friday night went very well;
the movie "Deepstill" -- which took much of her time during
the last two years -- premiered on Monday to great acclaim!
for more information, and you can click
for a few pictures from the premiere.)
Please pray for more kids to come out for baseball, and for good
relations and communication with the neighbors of the baseball field.
Please pray for our residency permits. We now need to gather
more papers and hand them in to the Immigration Office. Also, please
continue to pray for good moods for the officials.
Please pray for more workers in the Vác harvest field. We could
always use more believers who love baseball and kids!
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Karen's youth girls' sleepover is on Friday night. She is
expecting 10-15 girls. Again we ask you to pray that God will use
this time to build community and to deepen the girls' relationships
with him. Please pray that God will show Karen what plans to make
to reach these goals.
Please pray for clear communication and good relations with
the neighbors of the baseball field. Today there was a rather
expensive misunderstanding between Doug and a neighbor regarding
bulldozer work. In addition to difficult communications with this
neighbor, the result of the bulldozer work has also injured Doug's
relationship with at least two other neighbors.
Please pray that vandals will leave the baseball field alone.
Someone already tried to steal one of the backstop poles, but they
made off with only two bolts and wing nuts.
With the addition of baseball practices, Doug's schedule is
even heavier. Please pray that he has strength to do what he needs
Last Friday we applied for another two-year residency permit.
Please pray that we get all the paperwork we need and that the
permits are granted.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Thank you so much for praying for the baseball camp! In all,
20 kids came, and they had a lot of fun despite light rain. Five
showed up for the first practice today. The coaches are discussing
the possibility of another camp in May. Please pray for good
relationships between kids and coaches and God.
Karen is organizing a youth girls' sleepover at our house for
next Friday (April 27). Please pray that God will use the sleepover
to build community and to deepen the girls' relationships with him.
Please pray that God will show Karen what plans to make to reach
Please pray that we use our time wisely, discerning when it is
time to work, play, and rest. Pray that we spend adequate time with
On Friday we will go to the Immigration Office to apply for
another two-year residency permit. Please pray that we have all the
paperwork that we need, that things go smoothly, and that the
officials are in good moods. (That last one makes a HUGE difference!)
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Our prayer requests this week are all about BASEBALL: the Baseball
Camp is Friday and Saturday!
Please pray for the field to be playable on time. We need to raise
the backstop and clean up a little bit.
Please pray for good weather. There's a 20% chance of rain on
Friday and a 60% chance on Saturday.
Please pray for the right kids to come to the camp.
Please pray for the coaches and helpers to be healthy and wise.
Please pray for God to protect the field and equipment from vandals
Please pray that we'll have good communication, a fun time, and
that it will be the beginning of something good for this city.
Please pray that these efforts will lead to eternal good in the
Kingdom of God.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
We have lots of good news! Please rejoice and give thanks with us!
Today was the last day of school before spring break. Karen
and Lea are tired, and they look forward to six days of rest!
Lea received a two-year work permit from the government. This
is a big step toward renewing our residency permits for two more
years—which allows Lea to work at Karen's school until Karen
We have received news about a large contribution to CEO which
will support our work here in Hungary. (Our reserves had become rather
The "Field of Miracles" is beautiful (says Lea), and barring
unforeseen tragedy it will be ready for the baseball camp on April
13-14. We are planting fast-growing grass seed this week, and soon
we will install the backstop.
We have one prayer request: Please pray that we will be more
and more grateful to God as we perceive him at work around us.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Starting tomorrow, Lea will teach "famous person" lessons, and the
subject will be Jesus. Please pray that her students' eyes will be opened
to understand why she believes what she believes.
In recent days, Doug has felt distracted and scatterbrained, and
has been easily frustrated by minor inconveniences. He regards this as a
sign of poor connection with God (translate: a general lack of faith).
Please pray that he simplifies his schedule, continues to seek God in
prayer, settles into God's plan, and trusts in God's ability to be God.
Spring is here. Students are difficult to teach, and a baseball
field must be ready by April 13. Please pray for diligence, patience,
and various other fruits of the Spirit.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Now that it's spring, Doug has resumed playing with the Deaf kids
during Wednesday afternoon recess. Please pray that he is a blessing to
them, and that his relationships with them eventually lead them to God.
In keeping with the European mode of education, the tenth graders
at our school must choose their "major" by Friday. Karen has narrowed
her choices down to three (French, Math, and Physics), and she must
choose two. Please pray for Karen and her classmates (especially Kriszti
and Regina), that they choose the best path. Update: Karen chose math and physics, and put off French until
later. Kriszti and Regina made their choices, too.
Our church here in Vác is growing in number. Please pray that we
grow spiritually as well.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
March 15 is Hungary's commemoration of the 1848-49 revolution and
(unsuccessful) war for independence. Please pray that the Hungarians will
find true freedom through the grace and love of God through Jesus.
Please continue to pray for the construction of the baseball field
and the recruiting of a children's team. Over the next few weeks, the
coaches will have demos in schools, culminating in a clinic on April 13-14.
Please pray that the money we need comes in---either from God's
people or from our teaching work---and that we are wise in discerning
between wants and needs.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
It's crunch time for Doug. He must deliver a playable baseball
field in one month. Please pray that weather, helpers, finances, and
equipment all cooperate to complete this project before the kids'
baseball camp on Easter weekend.
The subject of God has come up in Karen's recent conversations
with her friends at school. Please pray that she will be a good
representative of Christ and will speak the truth in love.
This week Lea has had some conversations with a fellow
teacher who has varied beliefs about the future of our world.
He even brought up verses from Revelation. Please pray that her
future conversations with this colleague lead to truth, and that Lea
will be a useful tool in God's hands.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Karen maneuvered her way through a busy time, but she is not
out of the woods yet. She continues to operate on a full schedule:
school, music, youth, meals, sleep, repeat. School lays on much more
homework here than in the States. Please continue to pray that she
GROWS CLOSER TO GOD and then fulfills her other obligations.
Doug will soon participate in a men's renewal weekend. Please
pray that he (and the other men) rest, re-energize, encourage each
other, and then return with invigorated dedication to God, to
family, and to the tasks at hand.
Lea has some opportunities to reconnect with one of her
English classes from previous years. Please pray that her
communication with these students expands the Kingdom of God
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Lea here. The CEO women's retreat this past weekend was a
breath of fresh air. We opened our hearts to each other, and God
spoke through our conversations, laughter, tears, and prayers. I
am really grateful for these fellow travelers on the journey. Our
men will retreat (from the women?) :-) March 1-3. Please pray
that God does major work in their lives, too.
Karen's life is pretty stressful right now, with several
academic competitions, a band performance, and a flute recital on
top of homework. Please pray that she accomplishes her work at
the right time, gets enough rest, and learns to live in joy even
when times are hard.
Please pray that we continue to develop relationships with
people and show God's love to them. Pray that we say "no" to
everything but God's best, and that we don't waste time. Pray
that we are faithful in the "little" things.
Please continue to pray that we pray. There are so many
people in need of God's touch, and we need to stand in the gap
for them, just as you do for us. Only God knows how much this
is worth to his kingdom.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
From Doug: Regarding last week's requests, Lea is still teaching
her lessons on love for Valentine's Day. Karen is a bit healthier, but
her workload has not lessened. Until the snow melts, the only baseball
work I can do is planning—and praying.
Please pray that WE PRAY WELL for friends, colleagues, and
acquaintances in their specific circumstances of need. We can afford to
bring them into our conversations with God more often. Please pray that
we remember that praying is as important as "doing".
Lea and the CEO women will go on a retreat this weekend. Please
pray for their safety, for their husbands and children at home, and
that God speaks to them clearly during their time away from daily
Please continue to pray for Karen's complete health: physical,
mental, emotional, spiritual.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
After a week of illness, Karen has returned to school, but she's
still not 100%. Please pray for her complete health: physical, emotional,
mental, and spiritual.
Yesterday and today were our first baseball demonstrations at a
local elementary school. Things went well, as far as we know. Please pray
that through these visits we can build a baseball team that results in
relationships that, in turn, lead people to Jesus.
Next week, in honor of Valentine's Day, Lea will hold many English
lessons on the topic of love. Please pray that her students come to know
the love of God in Jesus Christ.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Karen has been sick and out of school all week, and she's still
not well. Please pray for her quick recovery.
Tuesday and Wednesday, Doug and the other baseball coaches will
give their first demonstrations at a local elementary school. Please
pray for good communication and that they would be noticeably different
because of their relationship to Christ.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Regarding last week's requests: (1) Lea is almost up-to-date in her
schoolwork, and she is learning to blow off schoolwork to go to bed earlier.
(2) The baseball coaches' planning meeting went very well. The four of us
covered many important topics (not always about baseball), and all of us
were encouraged. (3) We Coppages are still growing (with room for lots
more growth)! Here are this week's requests.
Many ladies from our church will attend a nationwide women's retreat
this weekend. Lea will go. Please pray that these members of Christ's body
will learn much, and that they will return to their homes stronger in their
faith, closer to God, and deeper in their love for him.
Some youth of our church have formed a praise band that will lead
the singing at some of the midweek meetings, and Karen is a member. Please
pray that they lead by humble example, and that their rehearsals together
yield beautiful, joyful music for God's glory.
(A repetition.) Please continue to pray that we learn wisdom from
Jesus and grow more and more into his likeness as we live and work as
ambassadors of the Kingdom of God in Vác.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Lea is tired. She hasn't got enough sleep lately. Please pray that
she makes time to rest properly and still complete her weekly tasks.
(Update: I feel somewhat better after going to bed at 7:15 Friday
The baseball coaches will have a meeting tomorrow (Thursday) morning
to plan the development of the new team. Please pray that our efforts pay
off and that a new youth team is formed this spring. (Update: This meeting
went well, and prayers are still needed!)
Please continue to pray that we learn wisdom from Jesus and grow more
and more into his likeness as we live and work as his ambassadors in Vác.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
This was our first workday on the baseball field in 2012. We are
clearing the weeds from the outfield, and things are proceeding well. Our
first school demonstration is in three weeks. Please pray for the kids who
will form the team, that they will learn teamwork, bravery, and persistence
Costs are rising sharply here. Please pray that we have enough money
to stay as long as God wants, and pray that Hungarians can make ends meet.
Please, please, please continue to pray that we continue to listen to
God and let him transform our hearts and minds. Such work is beneficial,
but it is not easy!
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Praises: Our church's teenagers organized a delightful New Year's party
at which we sang to God, heard lots of scripture, and had lots of fun. Karen
sang and participated in the youth band. As far as we know, everyone in
Vác survived their New Year's parties. Thanks for your prayers.
On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, the seniors at Boronkay
will perform their senior dances and plays. Although the waltzes are nice,
many of the other dances and songs will be very sexual. To most people here,
sex doesn't matter, because they don't think that their lives or their
choices matter. So tomorrow I'll be sitting with the teachers on the front
row of the auditorium, praying for these kids--and probably crying over
their hopelessness. Please pray that these kids, and other Hungarians, will
come to know about Real Love and Real Life.
Several former Hungarian leaders wrote a New Year's message entitled
"The decline of democracy – the rise of dictatorship". The authors participated in anti-communist activities in the 1970s and 1980s,
and they are alarmed at Hungary's return to dictatorial practices. Please
pray for this country, that justice and truth will reign.
A neurologist here wants me to try a different medicine for prevention
of my migraines. Please pray that I make wise choices for my health.
We pray for you, as Paul wrote to the Ephesians, "that Christ may
dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and
established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy
people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to
the measure of all the fullness of God." Please pray the same for us.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Protection: Here New Year's Eve is an excuse to party-party-party
and get drunk. Please pray for the safety of the 10,000,000 people who
live in Hungary, because tens of thousands of them (including many of
Karen's classmates and Lea's students) will get plastered on Saturday
Focus: Please pray that, in the new year 2012, with regard to
the sisters Martha and Mary, we are not "distracted by many things"
but instead we "attend to the one thing." Please pray that we get
wisdom to find and choose and follow God's will every day (Romans 12:2).
Relationships: We have lived in Hungary for over eight years.
Please pray that the relationships that have sprung up with our
colleagues and neighbors will begin to mature so that more people
will know the love of God.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
God continues to work IN us so that he may work more freely
THROUGH us. Please pray that our maturity as Christ-followers
continues, and that we more fully surrender our I-me-mine attitudes
to God's way of trust-Him-love-Him-love-others.
The Coppage ladies need to rest: Karen especially. She
mentioned this morning that today was her first day without homework
or a school project (including summers!) in two and a half years.
Lea is still strengthening her right leg, and some activities have
been curtailed because of fatigue. Please pray that we sleep, rest,
play, and eat properly these ten days without school.
We know many Hungarians who are unemployed and looking for
jobs. Please pray for them, that they find work. And please pray for
this small country, that its leaders will make wise decisions, that
the people will treat each other with civility, and that God the
Holy Spirit would permeate the cracks in people's lives and move
in their souls.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Lea here. When I asked Doug if he had any prayer requests today,
he said this: "I'm in a phase of German efficiency. I'd like to keep it
up." German efficiency = tackling one job after another with cheerful
determination. Frankly, I love it when he is this way. :-)
Please continue to pray for my knee. The bone is healed, but I
need to rebuild the parts around it. Pray that I find and do the right
therapy and exercises. Pray that I rest it when I should.
This week I'm teaching my Christmas lesson on the "Favor Line"
(from the book He Loves Me by Wayne Jacobsen, Chapter 6) which is
"that invisible line that tells us whether or not we’ve met enough of
someone’s expectations to merit their approval." Even Santa Claus has
a Favor Line! At the end of the lesson we talk about how there is
chesed (Hebrew), agape (Greek), grace, mercy, and
unconditional love. Please pray for my students' hearts to be plowed
and prepared for the gospel when it is sown.
Please pray that we, who are called by Christ's name, will humble
ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways (2 Chr. 7:14).
Please pray that God works through our lives to show His love to people in
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Our so-called "routine activities" in town continue according to
schedule, but it seems that lately that God is working a lot IN us. Please
pray that we Coppages listen to him, follow closely, and allow him to
re-form us as we need it. To quote John Donne: "How much shall I be
changed, before I am changed!"
For Lea and Karen, the word "boundaries" pops up often these
days. (I would translate this as "limits," which is mostly knowing when
to say no.) Please pray that they take their rightful parts in things,
and leave the rest to others and to God.
At this auspicious time of year, please pray that Hungarians
understand the life-changing importance of Jesus' birth as a human
being: Emmanuel, God is with us! And the Kingdom of heaven is near.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Lea's knee is healing well. The doctor set her splint at
full flexion, and she can bend it and walk without crutches. She has
permission to remove the splint on Monday. After that she must work to
restore the muscles in her right leg. THANK YOU for your prayers for her.
Karen has stayed home all week with diarrhea, etc. She is weak
and pale and needs to regain strength. I am battling a sore back. Lea
has a cough and a runny nose. Please pray that we recover good health
so we can work and move among people without hindrance.
Please pray for Chris and other youth who need to taste the
grace of God.
As Christmas approaches, please pray that Hungarians (and we, too!)
recognize our vain striving and our darkness, and that we welcome Jesus
as the Prince of Peace and the Light of the World.
THANK YOU again for praying for us and for our neighbors. May we
all grow in understanding the height and depth and width and breadth of
the powerful, life-changing, indefatigable, formidable love that God has
for us. He cares for us deeply. May we learn to live fully loved, no
matter how inconvenient that may be to our middle-class lifestyle.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Lea here. It's almost Thanksgiving, and we have so much to be grateful for!
My knee is healing very quickly, thanks to the grace of God and many prayers.
Doug and two other coaches are seeing lots of progress on the baseball field.
Karen still likes school.
God's faithfulness and the generosity and prayers of His people have kept
us here in Vác for more than six years.
Whenever I have hall duty at school, I have noticed that some girls
seem to be getting dangerously skinny. Eating disorders are a huge problem
in Hungary. Please pray that the students at Boronkay will be freed from
eating disorders and their underlying causes. Please pray that these kids
will know that they are completely accepted by God, and that they don't
have to impress anyone.
Please pray that we follow God every day with MORE of our heart,
soul, mind, and strength.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Lea here. Thank you so much for praying for my insurance problem, and
for my knee! I am now employed and insured (again) by my school, and my
knee seems to be behaving well enough. I started teaching again yesterday.
It's tiring, but great to be back with my other kids.
This coming weekend, Christian Educators Outreach will hold a "Gathering
for Mutual Edification" for partners and friends of this missions group.
Please pray for safety as we travel to Szeged, that this will be a time of
encouragement, and that my knee holds up through the next several days of
Doug and our friend Tibi are still working hard on the baseball field
two or three days a week. Please pray that the cold weather doesn't harm
the new grass. Please pray that the field is ready for kids by Easter, and
that God then brings kids to play on this field!
Friday, November 11, 2011
Lea here. Thank you so very much for praying! The financial director of my
school just told me that she arranged for my health insurance to start on
October 25; then she asked what day I hurt my knee. Answer: October 27.
So, all my hospital and medicine costs will be covered by Hungarian
I'm still at home with my knee up, and the school is arranging substitutes
for my classes next week. If I can teach, I'll go in and substitute for my
substitutes. Please pray that I can teach two weeks from now, because that
is Thanksgiving week, and I like to give my kids special lessons on
Meanwhile, I think God wants to use this time to change me from a "human
doing" into a "human being." "Doing" is natural for me, and "not doing" is
frustrating. However, while I watch Doug doing everything for both of us,
I'm learning that love doesn't happen because of what you do, but because of
who you are.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
We had a good week with friends in Germany last week. With no language
pressure, we rested a lot, and of course Lea was not as mobile as your
normal tourist, so she spent a lot of time in the house while Karen and I
went places with our hosts. Thanks for praying for our rest time as well as
for our work. Both are important!
Lea's knee had a great time in Germany, but on Monday the local doctor
exchanged her temporary plaster cast for a high-tech, velcro-fastened brace
that doesn't feel so good. Her knee is still swollen, and after trying to
teach on Tuesday, she decided it was best to stay at home for the rest of
the week. Please pray that she heals well and can return to school soon.
As a further surprise, we found out that the school had still not settled
Lea's work papers, and so she was uninsured on the day of the accident.
Please pray that the school can get things straightened out so that we won't
have to pay the health-care expenses out of pocket.
Karen is returning from a class trip to the Ukraine. Please
pray that she recovers from this additional travel and that she keeps her
priorities in order and grows to be God's woman.
Thursday, October 27, 2011 9:50pm Central Europe Time
Lea here. It turns out that I broke my kneecap this morning and now have a
cast -- my first one ever -- on my entire right leg. From the x-ray, I
didn't think the break looked too bad, but since I couldn't lift my leg
without help, I got a cast. That makes walking a lot easier, and I have
felt very little pain or aching since the cast went on.
The Hungarian doctor would have me stay in my apartment and rest for six
weeks. Uh... I doubt it. So unless things change, we are still planning to
go to visit the Georges in Germany this coming week. Our friend Donna says
that she is all ready to take care of me. :-)
Prayers for healing, wisdom, and joy are welcome. So far, I've been
laughing, not crying. I'm quite interested to see what God will do with
Thank you for the incredible gift of your prayers! -- Lea
Thursday, October 27, 2011 11:01am Central Europe Time
Now that we are praying about Lea's health, there is news.
This morning before dawn, while Karen and I were still asleep, Lea tripped
in the dark and landed hard on the tile floor with her right knee. She put
on a stiff upper lip and took a couple of Ibuprofen. She used a cane to help
get around, and when the time came, she went to school in a taxi. But she
just (10:45 AM) called to say that the knee is not improving, and when she
is finished teaching this afternoon, a fellow teacher will
drive her to the hospital for examination.
Please pray that she heals well and that this does not ruin her vacation in
Germany next week. Perhaps this sounds slightly whiny or trivial, but she
could use a restful break. (Who knows, maybe an injured knee will bring her
a restful break?) In any case, thank you for your concern for Lea and for
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Lea is getting a sore throat. Please pray that she returns to health soon.
Next week is Autumn Break. We will spend seven days abroad, visiting old
missionary friends who served for many years in Hungary but have now begun
new work in Germany. Please pray for health (especially for Lea!), safe
travel, good rest, stimulating conversations, and mutual encouragement.
After two weeks of irrigation with our new well, we had three days of rain
this week. New grass is starting to sprout on the infield! The head coach
returned to Hungary today, and later this week he and I will review all
progress on the field. Please pray for continued wisdom, stamina, and
resources as we try to produce a playable baseball field for kids by Easter.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
The well drilling at the baseball field cost a lot more than I
counted on, but I have used the system three times already. We now have
an abundant water supply that is dependent only on our ability to buy
gasoline. :-) Please pray that green grass begins to grow before winter.
Please pray that I have wisdom to decide correctly how to prepare a
playable field by Easter.
Karen stayed home from school on Tuesday and Wednesday. She
generally didn't feel well and slept a lot. Please pray that she learns
how to handle stress (perhaps some of it self-inflicted) and that she
grows to be a godly woman and a benefit to her neighbors.
Lea just finished a lot of extra duty at school. Please pray for
her and the rest of the staff there as they deal with reduced budgets.
Please pray that the teachers are a positive influence.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
The well drilling is finished, and the first test yielded LOTS of water.
Beginning on Saturday, when the well is completely equipped, we will be
able to develop a field independent of the weather. Please pray that we can
make good progress on further work before winter sets in. Specifically, Doug
would like the grass to have at least three weeks of germination and root
development before cold weather shuts it down.... And more time would be
This week, a team from Cru (Campus Crusade's new name) is coming to
talk to teenagers, and there will be a city-wide youth meeting on Friday
evening. Please pray that the young people of our city will "grasp how wide
and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and know this love that
surpasses knowledge, so they will be filled to the measure of all the
fullness of God." (Eph. 3:18-19) Please pray especially for four students
from Boronkay: Dóri, Balázs, Péter, and Zsófi.
Karen and Doug are enduring mild respiratory illnesses. Please pray that
they can continue their work without infecting anyone else.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Today much of the well was partially dug at the future baseball field, and
the well digger is spending the night there to protect his equipment. Doug
was fine up until about an hour ago, when he said that he didn't feel well;
so he went straight to bed. Please pray for his health. Also pray for a
fair deal between us and the well-driller. The *estimate* for the well and
pump was about $1000, but the cost depends on how deep the well is.
Please pray for Boronkay high school. There are new rules coming down
from somewhere, which may affect Karen's education and Lea's job.
The Jesus Culture concert Sunday night was apparently wonderful. Please
pray that Karen's friends Dori and Ildi will believe in God's reality and
choose to follow Jesus.
Please pray that we all seek God's kingdom and his righteousness first!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Doug's request: Please pray that, as I work to complete a ball field, I also
pray for the people who will eventually use it. My ministry is to them, not
to the field or to the sport.
Lea's request: When my brain is not otherwise occupied (for example, while
washing dishes), please pray that I focus my mind on Godly things instead of
just letting it wander all over the place.
Karen's request: This coming Sunday night, some of my seeking/curious
friends will go with my youth group and me to a concert by the Christian
band Jesus Culture. One of the girls will then spend the night at our
house. Please pray that all of our hearts will be open to the love and joy
of living in God's kingdom.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
I (Doug) found out today that the weeds that took over the baseball infield are
dying due to lack of rain. The grass we planted in June is all dead. I must
apply total herbicide, drill a well, and start over. Please continue to pray
for these things:
I will make wise decisions and maintain a good pace of work.
I would like a workmate or two, as the time is now short, and I am so
far the only person available to do the work on weekdays.
An influx of money would be a real benefit, as we could then use
machines to work more quickly.
Lea can now identify and name about 200 of her 300 students. Please pray
that she memorizes the rest of their names soon, and that she develops good
relations with these teenagers.
Karen's youth group has started a daily morning prayer time at school.
Please pray that students from other churches will join them in prayer, and
that good changes will come about because God's people (no matter how young)
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Karen reports that she is surprised at the many opportunities she has had
to talk with classmates about God/church/spiritual matters. Please pray that
these conversations continue and that Karen speaks wisely.
Doug has three mornings per week in which he works on the baseball field.
He has spoken with a contractor, and it is likely that a well will be
drilled next week---if all goes (ha ha!) WELL. Plus, a local business has
agreed to donate a truckload of clay for free. Hooray! Please pray that we
can prepare a playable field and that a new team of young baseballistas (a
real Hungarian word) can be recruited for next spring.
Please pray that, during the 45 minutes per week that Lea has with her 300
students, she will teach them well and encourage them to be the people that
God has created them to be.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
The theme for today is Theft. Yesterday, Kirsten, one of our CEO
teammates in Budapest, went home to find that her flat had been broken into,
and several thousand dollars' worth of stuff (computer, camera, jewelry,
etc.) was stolen. This morning, Doug's bicycle was stolen from the baseball
field---while he was working there! Please pray that we can replace
(as necessary) the items that were taken. Please pray for God's touch
(as necessary) on the thieves.
There has been no rain for over two months, with none in the forecast for
the next 10 days. It is pointless to plant grass seed on the baseball field
without water. Doug spoke with a drilling contractor today (before the bike was
stolen), and his cost was just over $1000 for a 10-meter well with pump,
plus $200 for an electric generator. Pow! Please pray for wisdom in this
Lea's paperwork is now in order. (Thanks for praying!) She will have a new
private English student: the class teacher of the student who was killed by
a train two weeks ago. Lea feels that this is a "God thing." Please pray for
Lea is suffering from allergies enough that her throat is sore and
her voice is weak. Please pray for relief. (so that her students can
actually hear her in class? -KLC)
Karen here. The students' prayer group at my school resumes tomorrow.
There were three attendees last year (including me). Please pray that the
many Baptist students at school would be willing to spare some time to pray
for the school, that we will be open and welcoming to anyone who happens to
join us, and that God's will will be done in us and our environment. Prayer
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
All public schools in Hungary start tomorrow (September 1).
Please pray that teachers, students, and staff begin the year on the right
foot. Please pray for the family and friends of Réka, a student at Karen's
school who was struck and killed by a train last weekend. Please pray that
the three of us will be ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven at our schools.
There are delays in obtaining proper papers for Lea from the Labor Office.
She will work without a contract and health coverage until things are set
right. Please pray that all permits, etc., will be granted and that Lea
Thanks for your prayers for Doug's executive ability! He is beginning to
get a grip on the baseball field problem. Please continue to pray that
materials, manpower, and money will come as needed, and that recruitment for
a new team for 8 to 12 year olds will be successful for next spring. Please
pray that this leads to important changes in the lives of local kids and
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
The school staff must prepare Lea’s work papers on short notice. Please
pray that they talk with the right officials and get correct information.
Please continue to pray that Lea finds a way to teach classes with 36
Doug would like 15 to 20 hours of English teaching (for pay) each week.
Please pray for enough students. He would also like to present the head
coach with a playable baseball field by Good Friday 2012. Please pray for
wisdom on the next steps to take, and for enough manpower, money, and
materials to get the job done.
Karen is making good progress on her summer project for school. Please
continue to pray that she finishes and that she gets enough rest.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Doug says he's having trouble deciding what task to do next and sticking
with it. Lea, on the other hand, is trying to learn how to rest, which
means not worrying about what "shoulds" don't get done. Please pray that we
stick close to God, and that at each moment we do the One Thing that he
wants us to do -- with him.
Please pray that Doug figures out what to do next with the baseball field,
and that he gets more English students.
Karen continues to work hard on her summer project that is due the first
week of school. Please pray that she has the strength and diligence to
finish the work, and that she gets enough rest before school begins.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
The other two missionary families in town will travel to the US this
autumn, leaving us without American colleagues. Doug will be without the
head coach and the other assistant. Please pray for decisiveness and
initiative as he leads the baseball work solo. Lea will be without two dear
prayer partners. Please pray for her emotional and spiritual health.
Our Hungarian church will have a retreat this weekend. Over 60 people will
attend! Please pray for clear communication and deepened relationships among us.
Karen is working on a summer project that is due the first week of school.
Please pray that she does what she needs to do despite summer temptations.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
You prayed for rain for the baseball field; the rains came!
The last half of July was unusually cold and wet here in Hungary.
For the last two weeks, the rains never let up enough to mow, so
today the guys mowed through a jungle of weeds (and some grass
that was planted on the infield).
Tomorrow (Thursday) is a workday at the field for players and
coaches. We will mow some more and remove rocks. Please pray
that we work wisely and safely, and that we have good fellowship
during the work and at the hot dog party afterwards.
Lea is starting to gear up for the new school year. Since
most of her classes will double in size, please pray that she
prepares wisely and well.
Please pray that Karen will see herself as God sees her,
and that she will trust Him with all her heart, soul, mind,
and strength. I suppose that this prayer could apply to Karen's
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Please pray for . . .
safety in traveling;
that we are able to meet with and encourage people we love;
and, as always, that we stay close to God and obey him at every turn.
Thank you so very much for your prayers, which accomplish the work of God!
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Please rejoice with us in the birth of Klaire Anne, for whose birth I
stayed here. I was able to take care of Klaire's older sisters for several
days, which was a lot of fun.
Doug and Karen continue to travel in cars. Please pray for their safety.
More than anything, please pray that we stay close to God and obey him at
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Doug asks that you pray that he and Karen start their visit well.
Please pray that they will see the people they should see,
and that God will keep them safe on the roads.
(Walking, which is how we usually get around, is much
safer than driving or riding in cars!)
This morning when I went out to run errands, I had unexpected meetings
with three different people whom I was able to help or pray with. Please
pray that I will hear God's guidance about what to do and when, and that I
will obey him.
Please continue to pray for the baseball field and its future ministry.
Report: Your prayers for our cat last week were answered: while we are all away
from home, Pascal will be boarding with the same folks that cared for him
last year. This is a huge relief!
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
First, requests for this week:
Doug's mom has arrived in Hungary, but her health was affected by the long
plane journey. She is not comfortable and goes very slowly. On Thursday we will
take her to the doctor to make sure there is nothing unusual going on.
Please pray for her body, mind, and soul as she prepares for another long
flight on Tuesday.
We need someone to take care of our cat, Pascal, for three weeks. Please
pray that we find the right people to do this.
Karen, Doug, and Doug's mom will fly on Tuesday. Please pray that they
will prepare well for their visit to the US and that they will be healthy
for the trip.
Doug will spend six weeks out of town, and the other coaches will direct
the further development of the baseball field. Please pray for them as they
continue this useful and interesting project.
Now, here are reports from last week's requests:
Paying the contractor and planting grass on the baseball field: The
contractor's mistake was due to instructions that he received from a team
member's father. Since the error was on our side, we paid for it. The
grass seed that we planted received a LOT of rain. There were several
cloudbursts with hail and all, and now we see that much of the seed was
washed away and ended up growing on the margins of the field. So, we will
have to re-plant seed on the sparsely grassy areas of the infield.
The CEO Team's work here last week was great! They were very helpful with
the high schoolers, the Deaf kids, and Doug's students at the elementary
Karen reports that she aced her literature and grammar exam last Thursday!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Doug meets with the bulldozer contractor tomorrow (Thursday) morning at
9:00 (3:00 am Virginia time), and he doesn't expect the meeting to be easy.
The final cost, according to the contractor, was more than twice the
estimate; and their mistakes and miscommunication meant that an extra day's
work had to be done. Also, we don't want to have the reputation of paying
"foreigner" prices. Please pray that Doug will be confident, stand firm,
and pay a fair price.
Thank you SO MUCH for praying for rain! God answered in abundance! My
student who lives near the field reported this morning that it is nice and
muddy. We now ask you now to pray for sun -- the next step in growing this
Field of Dreams. (Maybe we should rename it to the Field of Miracles!)
The CEO Team (Alex, Maddie, and Mariko, plus Caleb) have worked hard this
week. They will meet with students at the high school and at the Deaf
school again tomorrow, and then leave Vác for a week of ministry in
Budapest. Please pray for their health (especially regarding allergies),
good connections with the kids, and spiritual growth in their own hearts.
Karen has a big oral exam in Hungarian grammar and literature tomorrow
afternoon (~8:00 am Virginia time). Please pray for her mind, for coherence
and eloquence, and a good enough grade so that she won't have to retake the
exam in September.
Doug's mom will travel from Sydney to Singapore to Frankfurt to Budapest,
arriving Saturday morning. Please pray for her health and stamina.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Since last Wednesday, a baseball field has emerged! From Thursday to
Tuesday, large earth-moving machines moved a lot of dirt and flattened our
Field of Dreams. Then they brought in 40 cubic meters of topsoil and made
the infield. Yesterday evening, after a thunderstorm, Doug and two other
fellow missionaries planted the infield. Our first six prayer requests
involve the field:
Please, please, PRAY FOR RAIN. We currently have no way to water the
field. God alone is in charge of this project!
Please pray that vandals will not mess up the field. It's not protected
by a fence, so this is also a job for God alone.
Someone lodged a formal complaint that the work started too early in the
morning, and City Hall was in touch with us within 24 hours. Please pray for
good relations with the neighbors.
Some passers-by have dropped gloomy and exasperating comments. Please
pray for success and that discouragement stays far away from us!
Please pray for money to pay for the building of the field. Doing it
right has cost more than anyone expected.
Please pray that God's will is done with this field, and that kids will
learn about God's love and care (along with responsibility, teamwork, good
sportsmanship, and other good things that go with baseball).
And here are our requests not related to the field:
Please pray that the teenagers who came to our home to watch movies this
past weekend will sense that God is REAL and cares for them. Please pray
for more opportunities to have teenagers over.
Please pray for the health and stamina of the CEO Missions Team (Alex,
Maddie, and Mariko) who will arrive Saturday; for Doug's mom, who arrives a
week from Saturday; and for her husband Frank, who remains in poor health in
Please pray that as Alex, Maddie, and Mariko visit our high school and the
Deaf school, the students will see God's love at work!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
We had a great time with Lea's parents the first week of May and with the
Coles last week. Both visits were wonderful times of mutual encouragement.
Our next visitors are in June: the CEO mission team (Alex, Maddie, and
Mariko; June 4-10) and then Doug's mom (June 11-21). Please pray for their
health and that God will work in and through them while they are here.
The marking stakes at the baseball field have been reset, and the bulldozer
guy is coming TOMORROW (Thursday). Please pray that things
go smoothly and that the grass can get planted before Doug leaves Hungary on
This is movie weekend at our apartment! Friday night church youth group
will watch and discuss the second Chronicle of Narnia, Prince Caspian. On
Sunday evening, half of Lea's tenth graders are invited to watch The Great
Debaters. This is the first time any non-graduates will have been here.
Please pray that these kids will feel the love and joy of God while they are
in our home.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
This week we are enjoying the company and encouragement of John, Elisa,
and Emily Cole. It is a privilege to share our lives with each other.
Someone pulled up all the marking stakes on the future baseball field, and
today Doug and John put them back in. Please pray that vandals will leave
the field alone, and that we can make further progress (without any
regress). The next step is to call the bulldozer guy to level the field.
Again we ask you to pray for clear communication, efficient work, and a good
Doug agreed to teach six hours of English conversation per week at a
different elementary school. Today was his first day, and it went rather
well. Please pray for good relationships with the kids and teachers.
When the Coles visited Lea's classes on Monday, we found out that yet
another student would like to be a sniper when he grows up. Please pray
that these two boys reject violence and embrace life and hope.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Seven of Lea's students (all girls) visited our home this evening for a
traditional serenade that graduating seniors give to their teachers. Please
pray that, if Lea should keep in touch with these girls, God will provide
Doug has been invited to teach six hours of English at a local school
until the end of the year. He will visit the school tomorrow (Thursday).
Please pray that he will decide wisely whether to accept this temporary
Karen has a lot of schoolwork. Please pray that she manages her time well
and gets enough rest.
Our next set of visitors, John and Elisa Cole (friends since our
university days) and their daughter Emily, will arrive on Sunday 15 May.
Please pray that their week here is well spent and that they return to
Virginia with a greater understanding of life and missions in Central
Soon Doug will call an operator of heavy equipment to grade the baseball
field. Please pray for clear communication, efficient work, and a good job.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
A few key things need to be done to the new baseball field. Please pray
that we will have wisdom to make the right choices for the right jobs at the
right times for the right prices. (If you would like specifics, just ask.)
We will have a coaches' meeting on Friday. Please pray for guidance then,
This week the Deaf church will decide about a site for a camp for kids
this August. Please pray that we decide well and that many children will be
touched by the camp.
We will have many visitors in the next six weeks. Please pray that they
will have safe travels and good health. Please pray that everyone involved
is led closer to God by these visits.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
We will have lots of visitors during the next two months. Lea's parents,
our college friends the Coles, a missions team from The Covenant School in
Charlottesville, and Doug's mom will be with us at various times. Please
pray for their safe travel and good (God's definition of "good") times while
they are here.
In honor of Easter, Lea just did a "Famous Person" lesson on Jesus for
five of her classes at school. Please pray that her kids understand God's
reality, truth, and love.
Please pray for the successful completion of the little-league baseball
field before the end of spring. (We will probably need more money to do this
God has been working hard in our minds and hearts recently. Please pray
that he continues to do so, that we are open enough to hear what he has to
say, and that we are wise enough to obey him.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
This has been a week of unexpected material blessings! For
instance, we thought we needed a new computer, but the salesman told us that
we just need to upgrade our 5-year-old Mac; that saved several hundred
dollars. We needed about 200 pounds of grass seed for the baseball field,
and one of Doug's English students procured premium grass seed for about
one-third the expected price. We couldn't find certain household items we
needed at the store, but instead we were able to get better items at a much
cheaper price. Life is not always like this, but it sure is nice when it
We have the grass seed; now we need a way to water it. They originally
planned to pump water to the field, but the water source is too far away.
Now the coaches are exploring other options. Please pray that they figure
out a way to get (free!) water to the future baseball field.
This coming week Lea will teach several lessons on her favorite "famous
person": Jesus. Please pray that she will speak coherently, and that the
kids' hearts will be open to his reality and love.
Our Váci church's youth group will meet at our house Friday evening. We
will watch "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" and then have a short
discussion about it. Please pray for insights and encouragement to flow.
Please pray for our relationship with God. We need to hang on to him when
life is convenient and when life is rough.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
The racial situation is heating up here. Comments and complaints about the
"gypsies" (Roma) are on the rise. Extremists are organizing specifically
anti-gypsy events. See this
Washington Post article for the trend.
Please pray for racial relations to improve. Please pray that Hungarians
(including the Roma) will come to know their standing in God's sight, that
all are sinners and need grace through Jesus.
Karen's workload continues to be rather heavy. Please pray that she sets
her priorities well, that she does what is truly necessary, and that she
gets enough rest.
Development of a Little League baseball field is reaching the point where
we will need to make three or four big purchases of goods and services, each
worth $500 to $1500 dollars: heavy equipment to grade the site, grass seed
and irrigation equipment, fences, and maintenance tools. Please pray that we
find the right people and the right stuff to do the job well. Please pray
that the result will inspire our Hungarian co-workers to understand that
things are possible, especially with God.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
One of Lea's former students, Chris, will
perform in Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" next week.
We are glad that he is doing something constructive with his time. Please
continue to pray that he comes to know the love and salvation of God and
that he will be the man that God created him to be.
Karen's student prayer group at school meets once a week. She requests
that you pray for them, that they persevere in prayer for people in
situations that seem hopeless.
Construction of the youth baseball field got a big boost from a team
workday on Saturday. Four players, four adults, and three coaches raked up
huge mounds of dead brush, pulled up roots, moved rocks, and cut down small
trees. We will burn the brush piles this Saturday, and we need to hire
machinery to move more dirt and pull up the tree stumps. Please pray for
this effort, that we build a good field that allows many kids to learn how
to play baseball on a team. (Teamwork is not a cultural trait here.)
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Karen turns 16 years old this weekend! We are grateful for her presence in
our lives. Please pray that she seeks God, makes wise choices, and becomes
the person that God has created her to be.
Lea has been fighting an upper respiratory illness for two weeks. Please
pray for relief and healing.
Doug has finished his work at Rétság.
He signed his termination papers
today. Please pray that this week he will "get his house in order" and set
his priorities according to God's will for his life.
This Saturday the youth baseball team will begin work on the new field.
Please pray that this effort allows us to build a team here. (Teamwork is
not a Hungarian strong suit.) Also, please pray that we make correct choices
that result in a good, safe, aesthetically pleasing baseball field. Please
pray that we collect enough money for proper grading of the ground and for
purchasing fixtures that will last.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Lea has laryngitis. Please pray that she heals quickly
and can teach her classes at school.
Doug is winding down at Rétság.
Saturday 19 March is his
last day of teaching. After that, he plans to have a short personal
retreat next week to "get his house in order," with a few days
of rest and extended times of prayer and Bible reading. Please
pray that his farewells at school are smooth and that he
can return to life in Vác with renewed faith and vigor.
Please pray that we will understand how much God loves every
one of us, and that we will love others out of his abundance and
not from our own limited resources.
Wednesday, March 3, 2011
Last week, we wrote "Doug has decided to remain at the
elementary school until June." It was a noble effort, but
since then, after lots of conversation (with God and others),
Doug has resigned the position. This decision is RIGHT and
is quite a relief to all of us. Please praise God for bringing
him through this, and pray for his renewed joy when he returns
to his previous jobs and ministries in Vác. Please pray that
his spiritual growth will continue.
This weekend Lea will go to Budapest for a women's
retreat. Please pray that our time with each other and with
God will be full of joy and will give us strength for our
Friday will be the third youth coffeehouse with Campus
Crusade. Please pray that lots of my kids and Karen's
classmates go to this and hear God's truth and love.
Feel free to pick one of these names and pray for that
kid in particular: (girls) Bogi, Cintia, Csilla, Dalma,
Dori, Dori, Fanni, Kata; (guys) Bali, Balu, Barna, Domi,
Gergő, Máté, Peter.
On Saturday Doug and Karen will be filming. Again,
please pray for their health, decent weather, no technical
difficulties, and memorization of lines.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
On Friday, Karen and a few classmates will perform a "modern" rendition of
Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15) for her class. Karen's the
Prodigal. Please pray that her classmates will understand the intense,
longing love that the Father has for each of his lost children.
On Saturday, Karen and her friends' film project starts up again. Please
pray for their health, decent weather, no technical difficulties, and
memorization of lines. Also, please pray that the teenagers manage their
time so they can get their schoolwork done.
Doug has decided to remain at the elementary school until June. Please
pray for his stamina, perseverance, wisdom with his (rude, misbehaving,
cheating, impertinent) kids, and wisdom in how to spend his time at home.
Please pray that we pray. The longer we live in Hungary, the less
capable we feel, and the more necessary God seems to us. This might be
the ideal situation. :-)
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Doug asks for prayer for conversations: with private students, colleagues
at the elementary school, and anyone else God puts in his path.
Lea asks for prayer for her girlfriend who just finished reading The
Shack. Please pray that they will soon find time to talk about it, and
that the conversation will be helpful.
Karen asks for prayer for her and another youth, Andris, who will be
leading Youth Group this Friday evening (noon Eastern time). Pray for good
conversation among these teenagers. Please pray that they become the
disciples that God has created them to be.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Thank you for praying for us! Your efforts are bringing results. We know
that God is at work IN us. It's not always fuzzy-happy-smiley pleasant. It
is often quite difficult! But we are learning more about ourselves and about
God, and that is certainly worthwhile. We pray that God will simultaneously
work through us—perhaps while we are not paying attention.
Please pray that we will properly arrange our priorities and our time so
that the eternal things (for example, relationships with God, family,
colleagues, and others) come first.
The second big youth meeting organized by Campus Crusade is this Friday
evening. Some of Lea's students have expressed interest, and one of Karen's
classmates is also signed up. Please pray that the
right kids will come and that their hearts will be open to the message of
their uniqueness and of God's love for each of them.
Karen reports, "My life is a little stressful." Please see our first
request (above) with regard to Karen, and please pray that she gets enough
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
We thank you for your faithfulness in prayer. God is moving
here. We don't quite know what's up, but we want to be with him in this!
Lea greatly enjoyed the women's retreat this past weekend. She asked God
to work on her harder, and he obliged. Please pray that she will obey with
a good attitude.
Doug's mental health and attitude about teaching have improved. He is
learning a lot about himself! Please pray that he does God's will in
whatever that may be. Also, please pray that he regains his grip on the
"old" responsibilities that have recently suffered from the shock of the new
job: things like his share of the housework, correspondence, planning with
the family, Deaf church, etc.
Young people from Campus Crusade will come to Vác next week to share God's
love and good news with teenagers. Please pray that this meeting will bear
lots of Godly fruit in our town.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I (Doug) am convinced that prayer changes things.
And I am one of the changes due to your prayers. Work at the elementary
school has become more manageable in the last two weeks, and I have more
time and energy for home life. Thanks!
Please continue to pray for my improvement as a husband and father—and
as a schoolteacher.
Many women from our church (including Lea) will spend the weekend at a
women's spiritual retreat. Please pray that they encounter the Holy Spirit
and that God's work will become evident in his people.
Karen's Literature class is studying the Bible. Please pray that this book
is portrayed in a favorable light and that the teachers give accurate
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Please pray for Doug, for stamina and endurance to continue on at
school in Rétság. He says he needs to be content with a
satisfactory (not perfect) job and to limit the time he spend on
schoolwork at home.
We're still fighting colds and such, so we also ask you to pray
for our health.
Please pray for the youth in our town. We get the feeling that
God is on the move with the young generation here.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Doug is having a very hard time teaching. Tom Foley, director of CEO,
came up today and gave him a lot of sound advice. Please pray that Doug sets
reasonable boundaries for schoolwork, and that he overcomes discouragement
and talkative students. Update on Thursday, January 13: With the help of God and Tom Foley,
Doug had a better day at school today. Please keep praying for Doug; and
please pray for Tom as he flies back to the States tomorrow (Friday).
The equivalent of $364,000 was recently removed from the budget of
Lea and Karen's school. Please pray that Lea keeps her job, that Karen
continues to get a decent education, and that God continues to work at
Boronkay High School.
Doug has jumped in with both feet at the elementary school. He's still
recovering from his 2 weeks of illness, and he is working on very little
sleep, but things seem to be going well. His report this afternoon was
pretty animated! Please pray for his health, sufficient rest, and adequate
time to prepare lessons.
Campus Crusade for Christ is doing a big outreach in Vác this week.
They will hold programs in many high schools, and on Friday they plan to host a
coffeehouse, which will include a live band, games, and a discussion on "the
American dream." Please pray that teenagers show up for this coffeehouse,
and that their eyes and hearts are opened to see the reality and the love of
At a ladies' meeting last night, and again at a prayer meeting this
morning, several women opened their lives and hearts to each other—and
even better, to God. Women are coming to realize that they are not alone.
Fears are being replaced by trust. Their hope is being renewed. God is
speaking. It's exciting to see and experience these transformations!
Special Report: Doug's First Day of School!
Monday, January 3, 2010
The big day arrived, and after a restless night I rolled out of bed
at 5:30 this morning to catch the 6:50 bus to Rétság.
I cut it a little
close; the bus was pulling into the station as I put my money into the
After an uneventful ride to school, I stepped through the doors
of the school as the new English teacher. The principal supplied me
with about half of the textbooks I needed, and off I went. I had six
classes in a row in five hours. Only two were in the same room, so I
was constantly moving and double-checking my schedule.
I did the same thing in every class. I introduced myself. I told
them my seven rules. I learned their names. I gave them a sure-fire
way to pronounce “th”. All in all, it wasn’t so bad. The kids talked
too much, but every teacher I talked to said that everyone has that
problem. Lea suggested that I plan four or five different activities
for each lesson, and that I change quickly from one to the next, and
before I know it, the hour is finished. Sounds like a good plan.
So I survived. Thanks to everyone who supported me today. I’m
actually looking forward to returning on Wednesday.
An additional prayer request:
On Tuesday evening (noon-2pm Eastern time),
Lea is leading a women's meeting about Sarah, Abraham's wife.
Please pray for coherency (for Lea) and and insight (for everybody).
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
We are slowly recovering from our various diseases. Please continue praying for our physical recuperation. We are all still
sick to some degree.
Doug starts teaching at the elementary school on Monday. The plan was
that he would accompany Monika, the outgoing English teacher, this first week
(January 3 - 7). But he has learned that Monika, who is pregnant at age 38,
cannot return to school. So he will start cold on Monday. Please pray for
Monika. Please pray for Doug. Pray for the kids. Pray for the principal. Pray
Please pray for our mental, emotional, and spiritual health as well. We
are all learning valuable lessons. Please pray the prayer that I have
adopted for our family this year: Lord, establish us on Jesus as our rock. Ground us in your love so that, as
faithful and loving citizens of your kingdom, we may be blessings to those
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
It will be a quiet holiday in the Coppage household. Here's why....
Doug: Sick (slowly improving)
Karen: Sick (worsening)
We thank you for your prayers!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Please pray that Lea will allow God to help her prioritize the things in
her life correctly.
Please pray that Doug will prepare well for his new job at the elementary
school in Rétság.
Also please pray that he learns from God how to improve his everyday life
and his ministry.
Please pray that the three of us will conform more and more to the mind
and character of Jesus.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Doug accepted the job at the elementary school in Rétság. As we prepare
for this big change in our lives, please pray that we will abide in Jesus
and that we allow him to use us however he sees fit.
The big Children's Christmas Carnival at our church is this Saturday.
Please pray for good weather (the forecast is not good), safe roads, and
health for everybody. We are hoping for 50 kids and their parents to come;
please pray that the right kids and their parents come, and that they
"taste and see that the Lord is good." (Psalm 34:8)
Karen asks that you pray for her brain. She has a very full schedule, and
she is feeling the strain.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Today Doug was offered a job at an elementary school
in Rétság, a nearby village. This is good.
Working there will make it impossible for him to teach English at the
Deaf School. This is not so good. Working at Rétság
will expand his horizons, will keep him from sitting at home moping, and
will give him more contacts in the area. This is good. He could still go to
the Deaf School a couple of afternoons every week. This might be good
enough. He needs to decide by early next week. This is stressful! Please
pray for us as we make this important decision.
Please continue to pray for Karen as she tries to keep up with school
and also spends her weekends working on the film project.
Please pray that all three of us grow in our relationship with God. Pray
that we will not try to manufacture holiness or feelings within ourselves,
but that we will surrender to God's loving embrace as he leads us
through our days.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Karen is healthier, but she still has quite a big load with homework,
music, and the big film project she's working on. Please pray that she
stays healthy and gets enough rest, and that filming goes well.
Tomorrow Lea will talk about Thanksgiving to all four of her classes.
Please pray that the students will understand that there is somebody to be
God is moving in our lives, sometimes very uncomfortably. Please pray
that we allow him to renovate our attitudes, behavior, and hearts.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Thanks again for your willingness to pray for us every week. As you will
see, we could really use your help. God is re-making us! (Translation: We
are all uncomfortably "in over our heads.")
Karen stayed home from school on Monday and Tuesday with a respiratory
infection that gives her a dry cough. She went back to school today (her
choice), but she is still coughing a bit. Please pray for good health, and
that she manages her time wisely—with enough rest!
Lea often feels that there is much more to do than the time allows. Please
pray that each day she, with God's help, will handle the most important
things on her list, and that she trusts God to take care of everything else
in his best way.
Doug is having trouble motivating himself to enter into the uncomfortable,
unknown social situations (speaking Hungarian) that are necessary for the
construction of the new baseball field. Please pray that he learns more of
the language and that he approaches strangers with confidence.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Over the last six months, Karen and two American friends have planned a
full-length movie about redemption. They have completed the script and
storyboard, they have lined up the cast, and they begin filming this
weekend. This is a serious project. Please pray for
the participants' health,
good weather for filming,
the actors' memorization of lines, and
the quick resolution of any technical problems.
Also, please pray that God will be glorified in all of their efforts.
On Saturday there will be a meeting of baseball parents and a local
landscaper to discuss what needs to happen to make the baseball field ready
for play by the spring. Please pray for clear communication, enthusiastic
involvement, and eager cooperation.
In the last couple of weeks, several young people and one of Lea's fellow
teachers have heard the good news of Jesus. Please pray that they become
his true disciples.
Please pray that we do the important things, not just the urgent ones.
Please pray that we allow God's Spirit to overcome spiritual and emotional
obstacles within us, and that through our weakness, God shows his strength,
love, and care to the people around us.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
From Doug again:
Please pray that I get more English students, and that we have enough
money to meet our needs.
Lea recently realized that merely living here in Hungary is stressful, and
she is perpetually overwhelmed by "shoulds." She asks that you pray for her
so that she will stop worrying, trust God, and manage her time well.
Next week is Fall Break: no school! So we will have some time off from the
weekly routine. Please pray that we take advantage of this time to get some
needed rest, and to rest a little more, and to catch up on our family
communication---despite all the things on our To-Do List.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
The site for the new baseball field was bush-hogged (mowed by a very large
tractor) on Monday for free as a gift from one of my students. This saved
us a lot of manual labor and time. Unfortunately, cutting down the
six-foot-high bushes revealed a lot of construction rubble and
illegally-dumped garbage that will require even more labor and time (or
money) to remove before we can landscape and plant grass. Furthermore, the
City (without consulting us) gave our current field to a soccer club. We
must quickly devise a plan to make the new field ready by the spring, one
year earlier than originally intended. This means that we must clear it of
the trash, grade it, and plant grass before the first frost. The team does
not have the resources (equipment, workforce, money) for this, and we are
very short on time. Please pray that our needs will be met and that the Vác
Ironmen will be able to use their new field in March 2011.
I need more English students. I set up a new company web site,
www.olddominion.hu, and have
advertised locally on the web. Please pray that
I can pull my share of the family's financial burden.
We Coppages will soon need to pay over $11,000 in annual tax and health
insurance payments. This money is currently not present in our accounts.
(Did I say that correctly?) Please pray that God will provide these funds in
any way he chooses.
Sorry for the long, one-track message, but these concerns on the theme
"Apparent Shortage" are starting to wear on me. I have prayed that money not
be a worry for us, but in all honesty my faith has begun to falter in this
department. Please pray for our faith, too!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Since many have asked, we will tell you that we are not directly affected by
the sludge spill in west central Hungary. Please keep praying for those who
were affected by it.
The baseball field on which we played last year has been suddenly
appropriated by the local soccer club. We have permission to develop a
baseball field on another plot of land, but that location is still very
unplayable. We have just started to clear off the bushes and vines that
cover about 30% of it, much less to level the area. So, we may need to rush
our plans for the new field. Less time requires more money. Please pray
that we will have the time, money, and manpower to complete the new baseball
The current ruling party in Parliament has more than a two-thirds
majority, which means that it may amend Hungary's constitution. This is a
prime opportunity for genuine reform, but instead they are dissipating their
energy on trivia. There is a government plan to limit the term "church" only
to denominations with more than 10,000 members. The smaller churches are
naturally very nervous about this. (See
Pastor Laci Németh's blog
for more details.) Please pray for truth and clarity in this situation.
Doug needs more students!
Please continue to pray that the three of us manage our time well, and
that we persevere in the face of discouragement.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
The sludge spill was 80 miles west of Vác, but the runoff might
find its way into the Danube and so have widespread effects.
Please pray for the people directly affected by this disaster and for the
perenially underfunded, corrupt, or incompetent governing authorities.
We just had municipal elections in Vác. The vote totals of the top
three candidates for mayor were very close (4255, 4128, and 4100). Naturally, a
recount has been requested. Please pray for our city and its government.
Like most residents of Hungary, we three Coppages need to persevere in the
face of discouragement. Please continue to pray for us as we set our
priorities and decide what to do day by day. Please pray that our "good
works" will not be in vain and that, eventually, our efforts will have
effects that are beneficial, that are lasting, and that bring glory to God
our Father and savior.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
On Friday, most of the teachers at our high school are going on a
school-sponsored excursion to Vienna. This is a chance for me to spend time
and develop relationships with other teachers. Please pray that God will
use this trip to bring people closer to himself; and also pray that I speak
Hungarian well. Some days are better than others, and I want to be
Local elections take place on Sunday. Three people are running for mayor
of Vác. One of my students said that organized crime is involved in the
local government. Another person said that one candidate is a right-wing
fanatic, one is an alcoholic, and one is the unpopular incumbent. You can
see that we need prayer. Please pray that God's will is done in Vác,
especially this Sunday!
Please pray that both Doug and I manage our time well.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Please pray generally that I arrange my days wisely and spend them doing
the most worthwhile things.
Please pray specifically that I give appropriate attention (not too much,
not too little) to my missons commitments: family, Deaf school, Deaf church,
little-league baseball, correspondence, fellow missionaries, personal
Please pray that I manage my company, Old Dominion Native English
Instruction Inc., well, and that it becomes reliably profitable this year.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The principal gave permission to hold a prayer group in our high school,
and it started today! Please pray...
for the right people to show up regularly;
that they will bond together and still look outward;
that the leaders will lead sacrificially; and
that God will work powerfully in the students' lives.
Karen is two weeks into school and is already extremely busy. Please pray
for wisdom in her choices and for adequate rest.
Please continue to pray for students for Doug, for the youth baseball
team, and for the preparation of the baseball field.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Some Christian students at Lea and Karen's high school (including Karen)
are hoping to start a prayer group. Please pray that this will start a
movement for God. Two of them, Norbi and Andris, plan to meet with the
principal soon. Please pray that the principal will approve. If he doesn't
approve, please pray that they find a good place to meet.
After the summer break, not all of Doug's private English students have
returned for lessons. He is looking for more. Please pray that his efforts
(web site, etc.) will pay off.
The coaches of the Vác Ironmen youth baseball team are dreaming
plans for the little-league baseball field. We have decided to spend the
winter preparing the ground, with first grass planting next spring, and a
second sowing in the fall. Please pray that we will have the resources
(manpower, money, materials, machines) to create a really nice ballpark
ready for practice and play in 2012.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Today was the first day of school. As we begin this year, please pray for
good relationships with students and teachers, and that we will be
instruments in God's hands.
Now that we have permission to develop a baseball field, I have been
appointed head groundskeeper. Jarrod, the head coach, told me that he
doesn't want to have just a good-enough field; he wants to "wow" the city
with the results. Please pray that we will have the time, manpower,
resources, and money to have a really nice little-league ballpark ready for
the kids by the spring of 2012.
Our Váci church held the first worship service
in the new building this
past Sunday, and Sára, the pastor's wife,
had surgey yesterday. Please
continue to pray for her and her family as they deal with many changes and
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Our Váci congregation moves into a newly constructed church
building this coming Saturday. Please pray for the move, and especially
that the building will be a blessing.
Sára, our Váci pastor's wife, has been in the
hospital for two of the last three weeks, and her condition is not
yet resolved. Please pray for her health, and for her husband
Tamás as he tries to manage two preschool boys, a church move,
and a wife with medical problems.
Karen will be attending a high school orientation camp this weekend.
Please pray for good first impressions all around and a beginning of
Please pray that we three are disciplined enough to go to bed
at a reasonable time.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Almost two months have passed since we last wrote you! Wow. When we
travel we lose our routine and are often without Internet, so weekly prayer
updates didn't happen. We nonetheless continue to depend on your prayers
for us. We don't know HOW God works through communication with his people,
but we certainly know THAT he does. Thank you for supporting God's work in
Hungary this way!
City Hall has given the Vác Ironmen permission to use a piece of
property as a little league baseball field without charge for the next
ten years. The lot is in rough condition and needs work. Please pray
for the time, supplies, and money that will make this field a useful
instrument for God's work here in Vác.
Please pray for us as we begin a new school year that our schedules
and time commitments will allow us to grow in God, to stay close as a family,
and to be blessings to those around us. Please pray that we remain in Jesus
so that we bear fruit and that our lives and relationships always point to him.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Karen graduated with honors last Saturday. This is an answer to prayer.
Now she is preparing for our trip to the US, and Cili (short for Cecilia),
her best friend from school, is coming with us. Please pray that these two
girls travel well together for five weeks, and that our visits in the US
show Cili a few (good!) things that she may have missed out on so far.
The Vác Ironmen gathered only five players for their last game,
officially forfeiting the game. But they borrowed three players from the
other team and played a "friendly" match, which they won by one run in
the bottom of the last inning! Tonight was the end-of-season pizza party
and awards ceremony. Please pray that youth baseball in Vác
catches on and becomes a way to minister to kids and their families
and to introduce them to the love of Christ.
As we asked last week, please pray that we do our work well, that we
prepare adequately for our imminent trip to the States (next Wednesday!),
and that we make sure to include God in everything we do.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
We are hosting a CEO missions team with a great attitude. They have
begun relationships with Lea's students (which can continue through e-mail
and Facebook), played with the Deaf kids, painted over graffiti, and helped
us around the house. Please pray for their ministry in Budapest next week,
their health (especially for allergies), and their spiritual growth while
they are here.
The youth baseball team is learning how to lose with grace. Please
pray for their continued willingness to work at a new game. Their last match
for this season is on Saturday.
Karen graduates from elementary school this Saturday! Her
exams have gone well, and she has one more tomorrow (Thursday).
Please pray for clear thinking.
Please pray that we do our work well, that we prepare adequately for
our trip to the States this summer, and that we do not neglect time with God.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Karen has exams this week and next. She requests that you pray for her
diligence, memory, energy, and wisdom.
On Saturday a missions team of five young women will arrive in Vác. For
one week they will work with our students and do service projects. Please
pray for their safety, for opportunities for conversation, and for the work
of the kingdom.
Tom Foley, the CEO of our missions partner CEO (www.ceokids.org), also
arrives in Hungary this week. Tom will travel throughout Europe the entire
summer. Please pray for him as he ministers to us and others, and as he
opens doors for further work.
As usual, we ask you to pray for our relationships with people here in
Hungary, for a decent baseball field for the kids, and that we will seek God
with all our hearts.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Good news regarding last week's requests: Lea was healthy enough to attend
the wedding this weekend. But now she has a bad head cold. Also, our
residency permits were granted. We can stay for two more years!
Please pray that City Hall will grant the youth baseball team's request
for permission to develop a baseball field on city property.
Karen ends her time at Juhász Gyula Elementary School (4th through 8th
grades). Lea wraps up her English classes at Boronkay Secondary School, and
Doug has a spurt of extra-curricular activity at the Deaf School before the
last day in mid-June (different for all three). Please pray that the three
of us finish the years well.
We travel to the US on June 23. Please pray that we have satisfactory
goodbyes with our local friends, good plans for our missions advocacy in
Virginia, and safe travel, and beneficial visits with relatives and friends.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Lea is sick with a cold and a sore throat. She really, really wants to be
healthy enough to go to our Hungarian friends' wedding this weekend. Please
pray that she will get over this illness quickly, and please pray for Adri
and Laci, the young couple who will get married.
(Repeated from last week.) For many reasons in our students' lives
(pregnancy, family illness, school exams, change of employment), our English
lessons have dwindled, and this month our little company faces a cash-flow
problem. Please pray that God's work becomes manifest in the lives of our
students, and please pray that we have enough students to fulfill our share
of our family's support.
Karen had an excellent week in Austria with her future classmates.
Thanks for praying! This week, Karen asks for
diligence and energy as she studies for her final exams.
She has senioritis: three weeks to go, but she has already been accepted
into high school, so what's the motivation? Please pray that she finishes
well in her last days of elementary-school education.
Please pray that two applications will be granted by the authorities: the
first is for our residency permits, and the second is the youth baseball
team's request for permission to develop a baseball field on city property.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Once again, we thank you for contributing to our work through your prayers.
Here are our concerns for this week. Key words (to help you remember) are in
Karen is in the Austrian Alps at a German-language camp with next year's
high school class. She reports that she is having a blast and that the group
is really COOL. Please continue to pray that she matures, gets a good
education, establishes healthy relationships, and grows in her faith in God.
Doug continues to put a lot of effort into the youth baseball team. Please
pray that the team develops well and that the coaches can continue to work
together despite a schedule that is often like JAZZ. That is, we frequently
don't know what will happen next—or when—so we are often not fully
prepared and have to adjust as we go along.... Welcome to league
Lea's work schedule at school is fading as end-of-year events wipe out
many of her classes. Doug's students are also in a busy time of year, and
many have asked for cancellations or long-term breaks before resuming
lessons. Please pray that we can maintain adequate income to hold up our
side of the expenses, and that we will be God's INSTRUMENTS in the lives of
There: cool, jazz, instruments. Thanks for praying!
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Our youth team's first two baseball games weren't the greatest. We lost
14-5 and 19-1 against teams with much more experience. But our players came
to practice today and continued to improve. Please pray for the emotional
development of the players and continued unity among the coaches.
We have applied for residency permits that will allow us to stay until
2012. Please pray for favor among the officials who review our
applications---ours and other missionaries', too!
From May 9 to 16, Karen will travel to Austria for a German camp with her
future high-school classmates. Please pray for safety, wisdom, learning,
and good relationships.
With our full, full schedules, please pray that God will lead us to do the
one thing that we should do at a given time, and that we will have the sense
to follow Him.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Today Doug and others spent 12 hours working on a backstop for the
baseball field, interrupted by a two-hour practice with the kids. The
first game is Saturday and there is more work to do, both on the field and
in training the players! Please pray that everything comes together
smoothly and that it's a fun time for everyone at the game on Saturday.
Tomorrow all three of us will go to the Immigration Office to submit our
applications for a two-year renewal of our residency permits. Please pray
for favor among the officials who handle our applications.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Please praise God with us for...
A baseball ministry. Five believing adults are coaching a young new team,
teaching them baseball skills as well as lessons for life and godliness.
Please pray for good relationships among the coaches and for a decent field
to play on.
Adequate funding so far, and approval from the Hungarian government to be
here for 6.5 of the past eight years. Please pray that both money and
governmental approval continue as long as God wants us to be here.
Relationships with Hungarians. We know some special people over here, but
many of them don't understand how much God loves them. Please pray that our
relationships deepen, that we can show people the love of Christ, and that
we can introduce them to Christ himself.
Karen! She repeatedly amazes us with her depth and abilities. Please
pray that she makes wise choices, seeks truth, and becomes the woman that
God has created her to be.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
We continue to average about 15 players at youth baseball practice. One
Hungarian parent wrote to me: "I really liked the [Team] Rules and
Objectives sheet the kids got on Wednesday. It is really important for the
Hungarian kids to learn to think this way." Please continue to pray that
this baseball team becomes an effective instrument in God's hands.
We are still gathering the documents that will accompany our residency
permit application. Please continue to pray for our efforts to stay here for
two more years (at least).
Our individual schedules will be VERY full until school ends in mid-June.
Please continue to pray that we remain sane, that our relationships will be
preserved, and that we are true ambassadors of God's kingdom in our everyday
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
The first practice for the new youth baseball team was today. Fifteen
kids showed up. Please pray that the five adult leaders, all of whom are
believers, will be good ambassadors of the kingdom of heaven to the kids
and their parents.
For the first time, some folks in Karen's school did an Easter
presentation using the story of Jesus' suffering, death, and resurrection.
Please pray that people see that this story is true and not just an ancient
The next few months are going to be very busy for Doug and Lea.
Please pray that we all treat each other nicely.
We are gathering documents for our residency permit applications.
Please pray for this process so that we can stay here at least two more years.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
THE BIG THING: The beginners' baseball camp is on Friday and Saturday!
Please pray that the right number of kids will show up, that the weather
will be decent, that everyone stays safe, and that the youth baseball
ministry will begin on the right foot.
Please keep praying that our application for new residency permits goes
smoothly. Pray that Lea's school will provide the paperwork that will make
the immigration officials realize we should stay here. Pray for good moods
among the people who decide these things.
Many people go to church because it is Easter. Please pray that they will
hear the GOOD news—not the institutional rules. Pray that as they read
and hear God's word, their hearts will be open to the reality of God's
intense love for them through Jesus Christ.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
This week, four American baseball afficionados (including Doug)
are going to local elementary schools to demonstrate baseball. Many,
many kids seem interested in coming to the baseball camp on April 2
and 3. One lady at school saw the children's eagerness, multiplied
by the number of schools that we will visit, and asked, "What will
you do if 200 kids come to your baseball training camp?" That's a very
good question! Please pray that the baseball ministry will begin on the
right foot and be a benefit to the kids.
Lea found out today that she will be given a solid half-time
(instead of hourly) position at her school next year, which will make
applying for residency permits much easier. Please pray that our
residency application goes smoothly.
On Friday and Monday, Lea will be teaching her kids about the
Most Famous Person, Jesus. Please pray that she is coherent, and that
the students' interest is stimulated.
Karen's 15th birthday is this weekend. Because of the
generosity of a good friend, we are able to grant her birthday wish
of a trip to Vienna. We are very grateful for Karen's presence in our
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Our big missions conference is this weekend! Please pray that we have all
our ducks in a row, for health, safe travel, and rest for the participants,
and especially that God does what he wants!
New regulations regarding residency permits means that the income
requirements for our company will increase, and we are barely breaking even.
Please pray that we can satisfy the immigration policies and continue to
Doug is now a cheerful assistant coach for the youth baseball program. His
responsibilities are to teach throwing and catching, and to find a suitable
Little-League-sized baseball field. Thanks for your prayers for him.
Please pray that many young people show interest in the team.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
We have been unofficially informed that Karen has been accepted into
Boronkay high school. Thanks again for your work on her behalf. Please
pray that she stays healthy and that she finishes her 8th-grade year
well. (Only three months remain!)
Doug resigned as coach of the Vác Stars this past weekend. Please pray
that the guys on the team will learn how to be part of a team. Doug will
now join other missionaries in a project to begin baseball for 10- to
12-year-olds. Please pray that this program will be a blessing to the
kids who try it.
We will host a Christian Educators Outreach missions conference in Vác not this weekend, but next weekend. Thirty-six persons in all
will attend. Please pray for our final preparations and for the health and
readiness of the partners in missions who will be involved.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Karen did well on her German exam last Friday. Her prospects for entering
high school look good. Thanks for your prayers for her!
We are starting the long, burdensome, expensive process of renewing our
residency permits, which expire on May 10. Please pray that everything goes
smoothly and that all officials will be in a good mood.
The Christian Educators Outreach missions conference starts here in Vác on
March 19. Please pray for our preparations, for everyone's health, and for
our spirits to be open to what God wants to do.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The final part of Karen's high-school entrance exam is on Friday; this one
is an oral exam in German. After this, all her points will be tallied,
which will determine which school and which class she will be in. Please
pray that she does well and that God puts her where He wants her.
Please keep praying for the baseball team. About six dedicated players
are left on the Stars, and two of these guys despise each other. Starting
tomorrow, some people will meet together to pray for the team. Please join
them in praying for relationships, emotional maturity, a field, a youth
team, and God to work in all their lives.
Please continue to pray for Chris, my student from last year who wanted to
be a sniper. Please pray that Chris allows God to rescue him, fill him, and
use him for good.
Some days, we are full of joy. Some days, we get discouraged. Please
pray that we will continually look to God for strength, wisdom, and hope.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Karen has many school competitions and tests coming up soon. Please
pray that she can maintain her composure and do her best, and at the
same time not take these things too seriously.
The guys on the Vác Stars baseball team need to learn how to be a
TEAM. Many of them don't know how to give to something beyond
themselves. Please pray that they can learn the rewards of
self-sacrifice in a small way, and that this leads to their learning
about what Jesus has done for them.
Lea's to-do list is very long. Please pray that she accomplishes what
is necessary and proper, and that she rests when she should.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Please pray for a good baseball field in Vác, so that God can effectively
use baseball to bring people to himself.
A team of students from Lea's high school will be coming to our apartment
every Friday for the next few weeks to prepare for a competition. Please
pray that they feel God's love and presence here, and that our time with
them leads to relationships with him through Jesus.
It is becoming clearer to us that knowing the love of God is essential.
We need to understand it better so we can live it and share it better. So
please continue to pray that we intimately know God's love.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Please pray that all three of us Coppages understand and know the love of
God, which goes beyond knowledge. Pray that we are filled with the fullness
of life and power that comes from God. Pray that God makes us into the
people that he wants us to be.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Praise report: Karen has been praying that the graders for the entrance
exam would be merciful. Her best friend's grandmother graded her Hungarian
language test--and the grandma didn't know the paper was Karen's until she had
finished grading it. Even better, Karen got a 48/50 on that half. The math
exam was paticularly difficult this year (as was reported on the national
news), and we don't know her results on that part yet. Thanks for praying for
Karen last week!
Please pray that God's love will come through in our conversations with
students, colleagues, and friends.
Several of Doug's clients have taken a break from English lessons due to
snags in their jobs or personal problems. Please pray for them, and please
pray that Doug gets more English students to take up the slack.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Karen will take her high school entrance exams on Saturday morning
(January 23). She has completed several practice tests, and she was
disappointed by some of her scores. Please pray that Karen stays healthy,
prepares well, and thinks well during the exams.
Doug had good conversations with several of the older Deaf kids and a
teacher today. Please pray that God uses him in the lives of people at the
Juliano, a young man from Brazil who speaks fluent English, is teaching at
Lea's school for six weeks. We have invited him and several American
friends to dinner on Saturday night. Please pray that Juliano is blessed by
Please continue to pray for our health.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Our (hearing) church in Vác expelled a member this past week. Please pray
for the church during this difficult time.
Karen's private German lessons started yesterday (which she enjoyed).
Please pray for her as she gears up for her high school entrance exams on
Saturday, January 23.
Our connections in the community are gradually spreading. Please pray that
we live the gospel in our daily lives.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
The Vác Stars baseball team had their first practice on Monday, which
seemed to go well; at least there were no fights among the team members!
"Juvenile" baseball, primarily for 10- and 11-year-olds, is gearing up as
well. Please pray that God uses these sports opportunities to share his
reality and love with Hungarians.
During January, some churches in Hungary are praying, fasting, and asking
God to sanctify his people so that they can "vigorously witness about" Jesus
Christ. Please pray along with these believers that God's people will
humble themselves, pray, seek God's face, and turn from our wicked ways.
(See 2 Chronicles 7:14.)
Please continue to pray for our health, especially Doug's allergies and
Karen's hands and feet.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Please continue to pray for our physical and spiritual health.
Please pray that Lea and Doug will learn more Hungarian (and Hungarian
Sign Language) and that they will be brave in using it---not only in
everyday situations, but for evangelism, too.
We know missionaries who must return to the US or who have had to stay
in America for extended furloughs because they must find more financial
support. Currently, our cash balance at CEO will pay us approximately
through the end of February. Please pray that we will have all we need
to stay here.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
We have been giving a candy cane to each of the cashiers and retail
clerks at our regular stores. It is great fun to see their faces
brighten when we drop these little "happiness bombs". Gratuitous acts of
kindness are rare here. Pray that we, with all God's people in this
region, will demonstrate grace and love our neighbors day by day.
Please continue pray for our spiritual health. We need to stay
attached to Jesus so he can do his work and bear fruit without our
And may you know the greatness and goodness and
depth and holiness and fierceness and abundance of God's love for you as
we celebrate Jesus' birth this year. Snow might make a winter
wonderland, but the presence of the Holy Spirit is a taste of the
Kingdom of the Heavens. Grow in God!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Today Karen has a fever, and recently Doug has had many wintertime allergy
attacks. Please pray for our physical health.
Please pray for our spiritual health, too! We need to stay in Christ so
he can work in and through us without hindrance.
Please pray that we use the holiday as an opportunity to point people to
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
We got a shipment of over 500 traditional American candy canes from
friends at Slate Hill Baptist Church! Please pray that
we use these to share the story of Jesus with our friends. The true gospel
suffers at Christmas, because in Hungary the Baby Jesus, not Santa Claus,
brings the presents on Christmas Eve. This makes Jesus into a fairy tale.
Doug met with the baseball team captain last night. The two players who
almost got in a fistfight met and talked about their problem. Things are
going better than expected, thanks to God working through your prayers!
Please keep praying for emotional health and TEAMwork among members of the
Vác Stars. We start indoor practice and field preparation in January.
Since Karen is in her last year at her school, the class will dance a
waltz in full ballroom regalia on Friday night. This is a big event,
similar to our Senior Prom. Please pray that it won't be cancelled due to
illness, that it goes well, and that she does well.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Ildi and Lea had some deep talks on Saturday, which could easily
be followed up by deep e-mails. Please pray that Lea has/makes time
to write them.
Many families here do not have enough money to live on. For
instance, one dear six-person family in our church receives about $330
per month, which of course cannot cover all their expenses. They are
faithfully looking to God for help. Please pray that God will meet His
people's every need.
Karen and Doug have had minor illnesses, and H1N1 is now rearing
its ugly head in Hungary. Please pray for our health, and for the health
of God's workers here.
Please pray that we obey God in the little things.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Karen will attend a youth girls' retreat in Budapest Saturday and Sunday.
Please pray that God will show himself clearly to her.
On Monday Lea had a short but meaningful conversation with her
former student Chris, who wanted to be a sniper. Please pray with us
that he will turn over his life to Jesus Christ, and that he will
eventually minister to those whom he has hated.
Instead of having an entire family over to celebrate
Thanksgiving on Saturday, the mom (Ildi) will spend the day with Lea.
Ildi said that she wants to talk with Lea about deep matters. Please
pray for a rich and fruitful time with her.
Please pray for maturity, emotional health, and peace among
members of the Vác Stars baseball team.
Karen is stressed about schoolwork, competitions, flute recitals,
etc. On the other hand, we are seeing lots of spiritual growth in her.
Please pray that God will continue to work through her, and that he will
give her peace when there's too much to do and not enough time. (No
kidding! We all could use that kind of peace!)
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tom Foley, the director of our missions partner CEO, is in the middle of a
four-week trip to visit CEO's partners in several countries. He will visit
us on Thursday and Friday. Please pray for Tom's health and stamina, and
please pray that we have good conversations with him.
Lea has recently been teaching on Jim Crow laws, the Civil Rights
movement, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Please pray that her high school kids
will get a sense of true justice and that they become willing to work (and
maybe fight?) for righteousness.
Karen is considering taking private German lessons. This will help her
get into her high school of choice. Please pray for guidance in choosing a
good teacher and for the finances to pay for this.
We ask you to continue to pray for two items from last week: That our
Thanksgiving celebration may do good among the Hungarians, and that Doug
establishes deeper relationships during his time at the Deaf School.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
At the Deaf School, the kids now understand that there will be
no baseball until spring. Doug's hours at the school will be spent
indoors during free time, with many opportunities to speak with
students and teachers. Please pray that Doug's language abilities
will improve, that he will stay healthy, and that his relationships
at the Deaf School will become deeper.
Hungary has no Thanksgiving holiday; Thursday the 26th is a
normal workday. But we would like to celebrate it nonetheless, and we
are considering inviting a Hungarian family (but which one?) to join
us for the traditional meal. Please pray that God uses us and this
holiday to share his love with others.
Karen is participating in six academic competitions this month!
These enhance her prospects of getting into her high school of choice.
Please pray for stamina, adequate sleep, and the wise use of her time.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
We three Coppages will take a real vacation for three days! Please pray
that our time away would be restful, refreshing, and re-energizing.
Doug has spent the last year learning how to be practical. Now he has to
remember to remain connected to God. Please pray that God will be at the
center of our lives.
We know several missionaries who are going through hard times: financial,
personal, and spiritual. Please pray for strength and endurance for our
colleagues in ministry, and for us.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Please pray that we and our missionary colleagues will
follow God closely day by day.
Please pray that we stay healthy and can do our work
Please pray that things like our English classes and
the baseball teams will be opportunities for changed attitudes
and improved relationships among Hungarians (Deaf and hearing),
not to mention eternal benefits.
Please pray for our students, Doug’s teammates, Karen’s
teachers and classmates, and our friends and neighbors, that
they grow tired of stale life in a closed universe and instead
reach out for the invigorating expanses of fully-functional
(Jesus calls it “perfect”) life with God.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Doug here this week. Thanks for praying for us. Sometimes we see obvious
progress, sometimes not, but I am convinced that conversation with God
changes us and those around us.
Please continue to pray for the Vác Stars baseball team. Their
attitude showed marked improvement
at Tuesday's practice. We have practice tomorrow (weather permitting)
and a game on Sunday (the forecast high temperature is 48 deg F). Please
pray for team spirit, a team atmosphere, and team work.
In recent weeks, Lea has had trouble getting to bed on time. She
requires adequate sleep to function well. Please pray that she knows
when to sign off on today and get her rest for tomorrow.
As an 8th grader, Karen is under pressure to perform well this
semester so that she can enter the high school of her choice next year.
Pray for her that she sets priorities, manages her time wisely, and
holds up under the pressure.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Thank you so much for your prayers; we can really feel them!
According to reports, the women's conference in Szeged went exceedingly
well. Some of the touchy situations mentioned last week remain touchy, but
we can see God working in these situations and through Doug's words.
Doug's body is not doing well. Doug pulled a leg muscle this summer and
recently tore another muscle in his abdomen. It's painful and limits his
motions. Please pray for quick healing and wise movements.
The Vác Stars are having trouble coming together as a team. A few players
are dealing with emotional issues that prevent healthy teamwork. Doug's
style of leadership (encouraging) does not meet their cultural expectations
(drill sergeant). Please continue to pray for wisdom and tact.
Karen has recently been praying that we will be obvious lights wherever we
go. Please pray that our relationships with God are strong, so that he can
shine through us.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Doug asks for prayer for wisdom and tact. He's dealing with a lot of
touchy situations in many departments of life. He needs to say the right
thing to the right people at the right time.
Karen is learning to not rely on people for her sense of self-worth and
value. Please pray that she will depend completely on God in all areas of
This coming weekend (October 3-4), there will be two major events in
Szeged, a city in southern Hungary. The first is a multi-church (!) women's
conference; the second is a city-wide worship concert on the site where a
witches' convention was held. Please pray that God shows his reality,
truth, and power in both of these events.
Please keep praying for the same teenager we mentioned the last two weeks,
especially for his school situation and for his relationship with God.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
For many years we have hoped for a Deaf Bible study or church in Vác.
We have found that the local Deaf community is mostly separated from the Deaf
school. Pray that believers will have more personal connections with the Deaf
community in Vác.
Today we (Doug and Lea) met with the Hungarian teenager we mentioned
last week. We had a honest discussion with him, which we hope will do good
in his life as well as ours. Please pray for his school situation and for his
relationship with God.
This year most of Lea's students are new; this is their first year with
her. But she sometimes bumps into former students like Andris (the believer
and encourager), Fanni (who seems to be making poor choices), and Chris (the
sniper wannabe). Please pray that these three kids hear, trust, and follow
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Update: On the advice of another teacher at Lea's high school (who is
Karen's friend's grandma), Karen decided not to study with a German tutor
this semester. Thanks for your prayers for her wisdom in this matter.
A Hungarian teenager from our church is going through a really hard time.
We hope to talk with him soon. Please pray that our words will be wise,
loving, and truthful, and that we all learn to trust and follow God even
when life is tough.
The baseball team played respectably in their double-header last weekend.
They won the first game 20-9 and lost the second by only three, 11-8. Please
pray that the Christians on the baseball team will have a good influence and
that their words and actions will encourage good attitudes in the other
players. Plus, Doug re-injured a leg muscle that causes frequent discomfort
and occasional pain; his playing days are numbered!
Last week Lea's fellow teacher Csilla was called into the principal's
office because of rumors that she was recruiting for a large cultish/toxic
church in Budapest. This is not true, but it shows that she has some
opposition. Please pray that God will continue to use Csilla, Lea, and
other believing teachers in ways that bless others and please Him.
Please keep praying that we pray, and live our lives conscious of God's
presence. We need this more than anything.
Doug and our missionary friend Caleb are starting to visit the Deaf school
for English and recess-type baseball. Please pray that their relationships
with the kids at the Deaf school lead to the kids' relationships with God.
Everything in eighth grade is geared toward their high school entrance
exams. Now Karen is trying to decide whether she should be tutored in
German, and if so, which tutor should she choose. Please pray for her to
make a wise decision.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Please pray that we pray. Jesus said that apart from him, we can do
nothing. Our friend Tom recently talked about cultivating the skill of
prayer. We really need to keep in close touch with God.
School has started. Karen has quite an academic load this year. Lea must
do some creative class preparation. Doug and the English teacher at the
Deaf school will meet Thursday morning to plan strategy. Please pray for
competence, endurance, and especially wisdom.
We are in need of English students to support our company. Please pray
that we have enough students and that we teach them well.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Please continue to pray that we will have God's priorities and follow
through on them with God's strength in this school year.
The Vác Stars baseball team lost two games (miserably) over the weekend.
Doug re-strained a tiny muscle in his left leg that causes some pain and a
bit of a limp. Please pray for the team's continued development and for
Doug's 45-year-old body.
As Karen matures, she becomes more independent. This is good, but as
everyone knows, there are risks. Please pray for her safety, her wisdom,
and her continued growth in Christ.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
It seems like many believers in Hungary, especially American missionaries,
are tired, discouraged, and irritable. Please pray that we will all stand
strong and let God love each other through us.
In these last few days before school starts, we are trying to organize our
lives for the next year. Please pray that we will have God's priorities and
follow through on them with God's strength.
Doug's baseball team travels to a tournament on Sunday. They will have a
double-header with only nine guys. Please pray for strength, stamina, and
We have a new colleague! Matt Brenner arrived on Sunday and will be
teaching English at a high school in Budapest. Please pray for him as he
begins teaching, learns Hungarian, and ministers in a new place.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Please continue to pray that we follow God's plan for our time in the US,
and that we always do the One Thing he wants us to do.
Kristián, the captain of the Vác Stars baseball team, injured both hands
in a collision during the last game of the season and underwent surgery to
fix the damage. Please pray for his quick healing.
The government in Vác is in chaos. The mayor is on extended sick leave,
the opposition in the City Council has taken over, and many people in the
city government are being fired or reassigned. Please pray that God will
work out his will in our city.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Last week's visit by the mission team was a big encouragement to us. We have
also found a lady who is willing to feed the cat (except for one week). Thanks
We continue to plan for the Big Trip, which begins one week from today.
Please continue to pray that we set priorities well and achieve a proper
combination of rest, regeneration, and work while we are in America.
The Vác Stars baseball team will have an end-of-season cookout this
weekend. Two team members, both American missionaries, plan to give their
Christian testimony. Please pray that the event will open a few eyes and
ears, and that the team can enjoy something that is rare in Hungary: UNITY.
Please pray for Doug's family, as (1) his 71-year-old mother in Australia
is too ill to come to the US this summer; (2) Doug's brother is trying to
arrange to go to visit her for a couple of weeks; and (3) Karen plans to
travel with her uncle to Australia. Doug's Mom cries from sadness that she
cannot travel and cries for joy when she hears that some of us may go to
her. Plus, she needs faith in God very much.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The CEO mission team (Tom, Mariko, Lauren, Jasmine, Maddie) are here in
Vác until tomorrow afternoon. Today they will go to the Deaf school first,
then play games with high schoolers in a local park; tomorrow they will lead
Lea's classes in wiffleball. Please pray that eternal things will get done
while they are here. They leave us on Thursday and will work in Budapest
until they fly home on June 20.
I (Lea) freaked out a bit earlier this week, so I need your continued
prayers for being kind, gracious, and not worried. I (we?) also need to set
our priorities for this summer, to trust God, and to do the One
Thing that God has for us to do at the moment.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Please continue to pray for the mission team that's coming, for Lea's
student Chris, and a caretaker for our cat this summer.
There's a huge amount of stuff to do. Please pray that we get everything
done, and that attitudes remain kind and gracious.
Please pray that donations increase.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
We are planning for a mission team who will come in early June for five
days. They will be working/playing with Lea's students and at the Deaf
school. Please pray that the preparations go well, that the hearts of the
students here will be open, and that God will accomplish what he wants.
Pray especially that Chris (Lea's 15-year-old sniper wannabe) will meet
God through the team's visit.
Please continue to pray for a caretaker for our cat this summer.
Please continue to pray for the Vác Stars baseball team, that their
friendships deepen, and that they learn to overcome their self-centeredness
and begin to work for the sake of the team.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Our church's youth group will meet at our apartment on Friday evening.
Please pray that God will work in their thoughts, conversation, and fun.
Lea hasn't worried much this week about a summer caretaker for
Pascal, our cat, so those prayers were answered! We still need
somebody to take care of him (and the plants, etc.) while we are
in the States, so please continue to pray for our summer arrangements.
All three of us are tired, which sometimes makes us grumpy, irritable, and
reluctant to do what needs to be done. Please pray that we will treat each
other with humility, gentleness, and patience, and that we will do our
necessary tasks with a measure of cheerfulness.
Please pray that the baseball team learns lessons from their recent
successes at least as much as they learned from last year's failures.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Please pray that we find our worth in God alone, not in our own competence
or works, which continually fall short.
Please continue to pray for a house- and cat-sitter this summer, and also
pray that Lea doesn't worry about it too much.
There are about five weeks of school remaining. Please pray that all three
of us end our school years well.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Lea's seniors have their comprehensive (exceedingly stressful) final exams
in the next two weeks. Please pray for the girls, Bella, Dori, Emese, and
Kata, and the guys, Dani and Dani.
We need to begin making arrangements for our house and cat care while we
are in America this summer. Please pray that we find a good temporary home
for the cat (or better yet, a house- and cat-sitter).
On Monday we had a good conversation with a friend who is working with the
Deaf in Russia. He had some interesting and encouraging suggestions. Please
continue to pray that a Deaf Bible study will begin in Vác.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Please pray that something more than baseball comes from Doug's
involvement in the Vác Stars baseball team.
Please pray for Karen's youth group, that they continue to grow in their
relationships with God and with each other. Also pray for their leaders,
our friends Jarrod and Shannon McGuire, who are in the States for two
Please pray that a students' Bible study begins at Lea's high school.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Karen will be baptized on Sunday at 3:00 PM at a local swimming pool!
While some would see this as a goal, we see it as a beginning. Please pray
that she will grow in Christ.
Karen's test for rheumatism came back negative, which is wonderful news.
The doctor would like to examine her for this annually, and she still has a
couple of minor problems to deal with. She also has a head cold, so your
prayers for her health are welcome. (Her parents are doing remarkably
Doug's English students have cancelled many lessons this month, often at
the last minute. This is rough on our little company's finances. Please
pray that he gets more students.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Karen has decided to commit to Jesus and be baptized! This will probably
take place within the next two weeks.
Lea's students are studying Famous People, and on Monday the famous person
she taught about was Jesus. Please pray that they will want to know more
about him, and eventually choose to follow him.
Lea is doing much better! Her x-ray showed bruised bones, which was the
original diagnosis. Doug's back is still giving him grief, and Karen will
see her next doctor (a pediatric immunologist) Friday evening.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Lea's hip injury has not improved; she is using a walking stick. Karen's
fingers continue to swell, and her feet are discolored. Doug's back hurts
after every baseball practice. Please pray that Lea can find an interpreter
to go with her when she gets her hip X-rayed. Pray that the doctors find
out what's wrong with Karen's fingers and feet. Pray that Doug's back gets
On Monday, Lea's school lesson will be on Easter. Please pray that
eternal good will come from these conversations.
Doug is learning that leading a group (a baseball team) is not so easy,
and neither is teaching at the Deaf school. Pray that he learns good
self-discipline and time management.
The financial crisis is beginning to affect people's everyday lives here.
Pray for the Hungarians, that they find and receive hope and trust and
strength from God, who won't let them down.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The youth group's progressive dinner went very well! Please pray that the
core youth will make Andris, a newcomer who is also a student of Lea's, feel
welcome and loved.
All of us are now dealing with health problems. Doug's back continues to
hurt, Lea now feels pain in her hips with every step, and Karen is going
through medical tests to determine why her fingers are swollen and her feet
God's frequent message lately has been "trust me." Please pray that we
trust him with health, time, commitments, finances, everything.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
We heard through the grapevine that Miki, our young Deaf friend, is very
discouraged and wondering whether life is worth living. Please pray for
him, that he will realize that he is valuable.
Doug is feeling divided between many new opportunities with the baseball
team and his previous commitments. Plus, the situation at the Deaf School
has not improved much in the past week. Please pray for his priorities and
time management, and that he can make a worthwhile contribution in the Deaf
On Friday night, Karen's youth group will hold a progressive dinner---
which is a novelty to Hungarians. Our house is the first stop (soup).
Please pray that the kids will have a good time and that their relationships
with each other will deepen.
Lea's bruised coccyx is healing slowly. She's back to her normal walking
stride, but she feels pain when bending and changing positions. This
problem can last for months or years, so your prayers for healing and
patience are still welcome.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Update from last week: After three days of moderate pain, Doug's back
got better on Thursday.
Doug went to the Deaf School as usual today, and when he got there he
found that a teacher was very upset with a student (who was equally upset
back). Later, another girl got angry and broke a window, and yet another
girl said that she will have an operation to remove a cyst over spring
break. So things are a bit loopy there. Pray for wisdom and maturity for
those who should have it.
We met with some colleagues from the Czech Republic recently and shared
notes on our lives here. Please pray for the skeptical peoples of Central
Europe and for the faithfulness, persistance, and JOY of all the
Christ-followers and missionaries here. This is not (yet) fertile ground for
the gospel, but there is hope!
Last Sunday, Lea slipped and fell on wet stairs and bruised her coccyx.
She is feeling a fair amount of pain and is moving rather slowly. Please
pray for a quick healing and, meanwhile, patience.
Thursday, March 4, 2009
Updates from last week:
Mark Newell's presentations to Lea's classes went very well.
Next year, Lea will probably fit her classes into two six-lesson days.
The baseball team meeting on Saturday was a success.
Doug's back went out (again) after baseball practice on Sunday. He's
rather sore and is taking it easy this week. Please pray for a quick
recovery. Also, Karen's two fingers are still a bit swollen and painful.
Please continue to pray for our interactions with students, colleagues,
classmates, the Deaf, and the baseball team.
Kosd, a village near Vác, appears to be full of emotionally injured
Christians. Please pray that God heals people's hearts, their faith, and
their relationships. Pray particularly for our friends János and Klára, who
live in Kosd and whose marriage is shaky.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
First of all, thank you for praying for Andris! He came to youth group on
Friday and church on Sunday, and he told Lea's colleague that he really
enjoyed it. His family regularly goes to a "modern" (his word) church in
Budapest on Sunday afternoons.
Mark Newell, a friend and colleague from Budapest with the Navigators,
will teach Lea's classes on Monday. His topic will be the Myers-Briggs Type
Indicator. Lea and her kids have been preparing for this visit for quite a
while. Please pray that it goes well, and that eternally good things will
Lea has been unofficially asked to teach three days per week instead of
two. They would like to know by Monday. Please pray for God's wisdom in
Karen's right index finger (and sometimes her right middle finger) has
been swollen for several days. We had planned to take her to the doctor
Monday afternoon, but since then she said that her finger keeps getting
better. Please pray that this problem heals up, preferably without medical
intervention; but if she does need to see a doctor, pray that we find a good
one and that we can communicate well.
Many of the students at the Deaf School are going through difficult times
(which includes bad behavior and, frankly, some pretty stupid
decision-making). Please pray for the teachers' wisdom, compassion,
patience, and effectiveness in dealing with these confusing and compicated
The Vác Stars Baseball Team will have a general meeting this Saturday.
Please pray for unity, purpose, and harmony among the members.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
God did lots of good and amazing things at Lea's school last week--even
more than we expected. And already there is opposition. Please pray that
the will of God will be done in people's lives there.
Lea's student Andris told someone that he would like to go to our church's
youth group this Friday. Please pray that he goes and finds it worthwhile.
Please continue to pray for God to work among the Deaf here in Vác.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Lea here. Doug's cold passed very quickly, and he was up and teaching by
Monday. Thanks for your prayers for him!
Next Wednesday (February 11), three leaders from our church will be
speaking to 32 of my students about Love and Marriage; and then the next
day, my lesson will include a passage from I Corinthians 13. Please pray
for Tamás, Sára, Tibi, and me as we prepare for these
presentations and then
talk with the kids. Please pray that God's word will not return void/empty,
but will accomplish what he desires and achieve his purposes.
Tom Foley, director of CEO (our missions organization), announced that he
was resigning from his day job as chaplain at Covenant School in
Charlottesville in order to devote more time to CEO, which he calls his
"vocational passion." This is exciting for us, and it is more evidence that
God is working! Please pray that God continues to use him in powerful ways,
and that God supplies every need for him and his family.
I keep doing stupid and clumsy stuff, such as forgetting to pay a big bill
and breaking my new camera in a fall. Please pray for my brain and
Interestingly, a couple of days after my camera broke, we received a digital
camera in the mail (a miracle!) from Lindsay Comstock, who sent it from
Indonesia many days beforehand--another miracle! God's people continue to
take care of each other!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Doug has a sore throat and is resting. Please pray that he gets better
Please pray that we will have opportunities for good spiritual
conversations with the people around us.
Karen now thinks on her own about God, faith, etc. Please continue to pray
for her spiritual growth.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Miki's former foster mom, who cannot keep him anymore, found a cousin of
his in eastern Hungary where he can stay. We hear that Miki was thrilled to
find family. Please pray that he will be a good guest in his cousin's home,
that he won't be isolated, and that God will continue to speak to him in
Erzsi néni (Aunt Lizzy), a very old lady in our church, had surgery
yesterday. Her equally old husband, Feri bácsi (Uncle Frank), broke his arm
during an ice storm last Thursday. Please pray for both of them as they
heal and try to manage life in this difficult time.
Some students at the Deaf Boarding School are getting out of hand.
Recently, three young teenagers broke into a kitchen and stole champagne,
after which they got drunk, stole other students' belongings, and beat up a
younger kid. They will have a hearing soon. Please pray that these and the
other students at the school will wake up and learn about real life.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Thanks for praying for our young friend Joelle last week;
she was doing much better by Thursday night, and she continues
Please continue to pray for our Deaf friend Miki. He is not experienced
in life, and he expects others to do stuff for him, like find a job and a
place to live. The court will review his case sometime in February. Please
pray for the two churches, hearing and Deaf, who are trying to help him, and
also pray for Miki's honesty with both God and other people.
Please pray that we will be open to spiritual conversations with all of
our students, or in Karen's case, classmates.
Baseball practice (winter training) for the 2009 season has started, and
Doug is honing his skills as a coach. There are five believers associated
with the team: Doug, two American missionaries, a son of one missionary, and
a Hungarian. Please pray that they will have a good influence on the other
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
On Monday, our unemployed, homeless, young Deaf friend Miki
sent messages to leaders of the Deaf church. Later, we received
a message from them: "Miki needs us to pray for him, he wants
to change," followed by lots of praises to God and Hallelujahs.
Please continue to pray for Miki, his faith, and his situation.
Also on Monday, students in two classes asked Lea about her
faith. Chris (nominated by Lea as Most Likely to Commit Murder)
was one of the questioners. Please pray that this
leads to deep conversations and wise decisions on the part of
both Lea and her kids.
Joelle, the 3-year-old daughter of American friends here
in Vác, is having major intestinal problems. Please pray for
her quick return to health.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Miki (sounds like "Mickey") is a Deaf guy who used to come to
the orphans' Bible study, but now he's too old (22, maybe?) and has
no place to live. He has been hanging out with our good friends
Jarrod and Shannon McGuire AND Shannon's family, who are visiting
for three weeks. The McGuires don't know sign language, Miki is
not good at Hungarian, and he certainly doesn't know English!
However, Shannon's dad told me that they have been ministering
to Miki since Christmas Eve.
Today Miki came to our hearing church, and Doug and I tried
our best to interpret for him. Even better, he and Doug just left
for Deaf church in Budapest. Please pray that the Deaf church will
minister to Miki, God will call him, Miki will respond, and that a
Deaf church or Bible study will start in Vác soon! Also pray that
godly people (the Deaf church? our hearing church? us?) will help
Miki find a safe place to live.
In additional good news, last week the pastor of our hearing church
in Vác said that the church would be delighted to provide a place
for the Deaf to meet. Our new location is great--in the center of
town, near the Deaf school.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
One of Lea's students, Chris, has expressed hatred toward specific groups
of people. Lea mentioned this to her prayer group on Tuesday, who prayed
that Chris would have a powerful experience with Jesus as Paul did, and even
that he would minister to the people whom he currently hates---as Paul did!
Please pray that God tenaciously pursues this young man!
Lea's friend Ildi attended the Ladies' Christmas Tea this past week,
during which an enthusiastic evangelist talked with her for a while. This
conversation has renewed her thinking about eternal matters. Please pray
for wisdom as she and Lea spend some time together soon. Even more, pray
that Ildi starts to believe that God loves her and is deeply concerned about
During the next two weeks, our work schedule will be greatly reduced, and
Karen will be off school. Please pray that we will use this Christmas
break wisely and begin the new year refreshed and ready to go.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Please continue to pray for the students at the Deaf school: Anett,
Zsuzsi, and others, that they will discover God's love and grace through his
Next Wednesday afternoon, there will be a Christmas party for the English
students at Lea's school. Lea is organizing a Spontaneous Melodrama based
on the shepherds' story of Luke 2. Please pray that the students will hear
and understand that a Rescuer has been born, bringing glory to God and peace
Please pray for our health. It has been iffy during the last few days,
especially for Doug and Karen.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Doug reports that Anett (recently truant from school after violently
threatening her mother) was back in school this week. Now another girl,
Zsuzsi, an orphan whom we have known for six years, seems withdrawn and
depressed. Please pray for the students at the Deaf School, that God will
give them what they need as they go through tough times and learn how to
Thanksgiving for Lea's students went over very well. Thanks for praying!
Now her room is colorfully decorated with paper turkeys in the form of the
students' hands, and every kid has written on them four things that they are
thankful for. Please pray that they learn who to be thankful *to*!
As usual, there seems to be more to accomplish than there is time. Please
pray that we will do the One Thing that God wants us to do at every moment.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
On Thursday, Lea will teach all five of her classes about Thanksgiving.
They will play games and eat representative snacks. Please pray that God
will use her to plant seeds of thankfulness in these kids' lives.
Anett, an older teenage student at the Deaf school, has been absent for
two weeks. A teacher told Doug that Anett brandished a knife at home and
chased her mom through the house. Please pray for Anett's family, and pray
that Anett's heart will be healed through coming to God.
Please pray for the growth and maturity of the Deaf believers in
Budapest—and that a Bible study for the Deaf will start in Vác.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Please pray for József, a friend in his forties who recently found out
that he has severe liver problems because of a blood transfusion when he was
a baby. Please pray for his physical healing, his spiritual healing, and
for his family.
Doug asks that you pray for his continued spiritual maturity.
Lea will take part in a ladies' retreat in southern Hungary this weekend.
The theme of the retreat is "Abiding in Christ" from John 15. Please pray for
the leaders and participants.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Doug arrived safely home this morning. Please pray for his re-entry
into Hungarian society.
On Monday Lea found out that three of the other English teachers at her high
school (Boronkay) are meeting to pray for the school for an hour each week.
Isn't that fantastic?? Please pray that God will work in the lives of
students and faculty there. Pray in particular for Jorgeosz ("yor-gos") and
Andro, two students (brothers) who have been on her mind a lot lately.
Please continue to pray for a Deaf Bible study in Vác, and pray that the
Deaf church in Budapest will be willing to lead it. Hopefully Doug will be
able to talk with the Deaf church about this on Sunday afternoon.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
According to the Internet, Doug's plane has landed in New York, and he
will be in Richmond late tonight. Please pray that God accomplishes HIS
purposes for Doug's visit to Virginia.
This afternoon one of my colleagues, Csilla (cheel-la) and her students
sponsored the first English tea at my high school, which was a lot of fun.
Csilla is a strong believer, and it is a joy to work with her. Please pray
that the Christians in the school will be light and salt in a dark and
tasteless place. Please pray the same thing for Karen in her school, too.
Please continue to pray for a Deaf Bible study in Vác, and pray that the
Deaf church in Budapest will be willing to lead it.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Our hearing church in Vác moved closer to the city center last week, which
made us wonder if we can start up the Deaf orphans' Bible club again. This
will need cooperation from lots of people, most importantly the Deaf church
in Budapest. Please pray that Deaf people in or near Vác will have a way to
learn about God through the Bible.
We had a delightful visit with Tom Foley, the director of our missions
organization. He is incredibly helpful to our souls, and we are glad that
he can come as often as he does.
Doug flies to Virginia next week, and he will probably be in your midst a
week from Sunday! We know that this trip is the exact right thing at the
exact right time. Thanks so much for encouraging us in it!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Lea's voice is not the strongest in the world, so it tends to fade by the
end of each teaching day. Please pray that, especially on Mondays and
Thursdays, her voice holds out as long as it needs to. Also pray that she
helps her students learn to respect each other.
Tom Foley, the director of our missions organization, has just arrived in
Hungary. Please pray that we continue to have a good, productive, and
encouraging visit with him.
Please continue to pray for Doug as he grows spiritually and prepares to
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Please pray that we can show God's reality and love to our colleagues and
students (and in Karen's case, to her classmates and teachers).
Our hearing church will soon relocate and is now renovating our new meeting place.
Please pray for adequate help, safety, and good fellowship.
Repeated from last week: Doug is planning his visit to Virginia
(October 22 - November 04). Please pray for his scheduling decisions.
Also pray that he will continue to grow spiritually and will fulfill
his responsibilities well until he leaves.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Please pray for the person who stole Lea's purse (a costly loss: passport,
residency permit, credit card, camera, Palm PDA, Virginia driver's license,
cash, etc.). You never know what God will do with sinners, including us!
You can also pray that no one uses the information to steal her identity.
God made us each unique, and it is good to stay that way.
Doug is planning his visit to Virginia (October 22 - November 04). Please
pray for his scheduling decisions. Also pray that he will continue to grow
spiritually and will fulfill his responsibilities well until he leaves.
Our church's lease has expired, and so we will change buildings in early
October. The youth (including Karen) will be celebrating their last meeting
in the old building with an all-night party on Friday/Saturday. The youth
will also be dividing into older (college-university) and younger
(middle-high school) groups, which has introduced some anxiety. Please pray
that the youth of our church will grow.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Please keep praying that a Deaf Bible study begins in Vác.
Lea likes being a teacher! Thanks for your prayers, and please don't
Doug continues to grow in grace; please continue to pray for his spiritual
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Lea's first day of teaching is tomorrow. Please pray that she
will be consistent, respectable, and firm (strict!), and that she
will find the best way to reach her kids.
Karen has a lot of new subjects this year, including chemistry,
physics, and biology. She also has a lot of memorization to do.
Please pray for her brain.
In addition to beginning a new year at the Deaf School, Doug is
undergoing a lot of spiritual growth, which is beneficial but not
always easy. Please pray that he stays intent on God and manages
to fulfill his responsibilities well.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
All public school students in Hungary start classes on Monday,
September 1. Karen will
enter the seventh grade, Lea will teach at her new high school, and Doug
will return to the Deaf school. Our lives will be full. Please pray that
we work well, that we not worry, and that we show God's love to the staff
and students at our schools.
Lea found out today that her school schedule is intense but very
convenient. She will have five or six classes—straight—every
Monday and Thursday.
One of her fellow English teachers is a believer, and another one unloaded
lots of personal concerns. Please pray for chances to minister to coworkers
Last week we asked that you pray for us to (1) trust God, (2) deal with
past grief, and (3) love unloveable people around us. We truly appreciate
your prayers for our continued spiritual growth. Please continue! God is
working on our hearts in deep and interesting ways.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Just like many of you, in a week or two, things will really start cranking
here as the school year begins. The three of us will all be involved at
three different schools, potentially with less family time than before.
Please pray that we will prepare well, that we not worry overmuch, and that
we can show God's love to the staff and students at our schools.
Please pray for our spiritual growth, that we (1) trust God, (2) deal with
past grief, and (3) love unloveable people around us, sometimes including
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Lea and Karen worked at the VBS in Kosd, and they say that it went very
well. Now we can pray that the seeds planted there will one day grow to
Lea's trip to Zirc with Ildi also went well. Please pray that our
relationships with Hungarians will grow and deepen, and that we will have
opportunity and boldness to share the love and message of God with them.
It is now August in Hungary: a slow, lethargic time when the country goes
on vacation. Please pray that we will prepare for September, when
everything begins cranking again: Lea begins her new job at the high school,
Doug resumes volunteer work at the Deaf School, and Karen enters the seventh
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Next Monday through Wednesday, our church in Vác will hold a three-day
Vacation Bible School (not a common thing here) in Kosd (pronounced like
"coached" but with SH instead of CH: "coaSHed"), a village about ten miles
away. Please pray that, through this VBS, many people will be brought closer to
God and to each other.
This coming Saturday, Lea plans to go with her friend Ildi to Zirc
("zeerts"), Ildi's hometown. Please pray for Ildi's health (she's sick
now), good conversation, and that they will both see God at work.
A couple of the Deaf kids went with Doug to watch baseball practice
yesterday. Please pray that Doug's relationships with the Deaf kids and the
baseball guys will lead to eternally good things.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Please pray that we go through each day conscious of God's presence, love,
and power, and that we treat those around us accordingly.
Please pray that we will have enough students and enough work to pay the
Please pray that what we do will lead to a Deaf Church in Vác.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Our prayer requests are general, but big:
Please pray that we will listen to God and plan well.
Please pray that we will be good teachers and fulfill our responsibilities
to our students.
Please pray that what we do will lead to a Deaf Church in Vác.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
During our time in England, we had several "divine appointments," plus
the joy of being with Lea's sister and her family. Please pray for our
brother-in-law Brian, who has been sick the last few days. They travel
back to the States on Friday.
Stewart, an unemployed young man in York, made a decision to follow Christ
two Sunday nights ago. Please pray that he will grasp how vast God's love
is, so that he will be completely filled up with all the fullness of God.
Renata, a good-hearted young lady from Poland, has had a difficult first
year in London. Doug met her at her new, better job at a laundromat.
Please pray that she will find real life in God.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Doug's meeting with the Deaf believers on Sunday turned out fine. Relationships
among them have improved.
On Friday we will begin twelve days of vacation in England, spending time
with Lea's sister, Donna, who is taking part of her sabbatical there.
Please pray that we will grow closer to God and do his will, even in our
"free time". Some missionary colleagues report that England has forgotten
much about God and is a hard place for the gospel; so every little bit will
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Good news: This week we received new residency permits, valid for two years!
The three major Hungarian denominations (Catholics, Calvinists, and Lutherans)
decided that 2008 would be the "Year of the Bible." The Catholic basilica in
our town is holding a big gathering this weekend (June 27-28) to encourage
"renewal of the church through the power of the Bible." Please pray that
this will indeed be the result. It would be a tremendous boost if the
existing churches could experience awakening by meeting God in the
There is a bit of friction among Deaf believers in the church in Budapest.
Please pray for their reconciliation.
We have incurred some unexpectedly large expenses: federal and state
income tax for 2007 ($2500 and $500), estimated withholdings for 2008
($1500 per quarter), immigration lawyer's fees ($1500), not to mention
our "money-saving" vacation to England. (We thought it would be cheaper
than visiting the US this summer. Oops.) Please pray that we will have
enough money to continue, especially considering the weakness of the
Thursday, June 19, 2008
On Wednesday we spent a delightful day with IMB colleagues from Hungary
and several surrounding countries. Doug interpreted for Deaf missionaries,
while Lea and Karen enjoyed fellowship with friends. Please pray that all
Christians in Central Europe work together to bring the good news of Jesus'
love to hopeless, hurting people.
On Tuesday, Lea accepted the offer of a teaching job at the high school!
Hungarians are saying, "The children will love you," while Americans
(especially teachers) are saying, "Don't smile until Thanksgiving!" Please
pray that she prepares adequately for the challenge of teaching teenagers.
Please pray that we walk closely with God every day. We need this the
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
On Friday at 2:00 PM (8:00 AM Virginia time), Lea has an
interview with the high school where she would like to teach
next year. Please pray that it goes well, and that God's
desire will be made clear to them and to us.
Thank you for praying for more English students for us as
the school year comes to an end. They are starting to call us!
Please keep up the prayers, because we need the work.
A five-member missions team has been with us the last
five days. They have been able to spend time with the Deaf
church, with the kids at the Deaf school, and with our hearing
church's youth group. They have been a real encouragement to
us and have helped a lot. Please pray for the remaining weeks
of their trip. They will be spending time with English students
in Budapest (June 11-21) and serving in war-scarred Vukovar,
Croatia (June 22-28).
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
From Saturday to Wednesday (June 7-11), a five-member missions team will
join us in Vác. Please pray for a fruitful time with the Deaf kids and with
our Váci church's youth group. Pray for the team's flexibility, unity, and
an attitude of servanthood. Please pray for us as we prepare, and pray
especially that our relationships with God will flourish.
The school year is coming to an end, and so is Doug's time at the Deaf
School and many of our teaching appointments with students. Please pray
that we will take opportunities to have good conversations with students and
that we can gather enough lessons during the summer to pay some of our way.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Please pray for our relationships with God and our prayer lives. When
life is busy, it often seems that God gets short shrift.
Please pray that Doug's involvement at the Deaf School and with the
baseball team will yield opportunities to plant the seeds of belief in the
people he works with.
Please pray that we will have enough English students to pay our bills.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Thursday morning (May 15), Karen leaves for her five-day exchange trip
to Austria with her classmates who are learning German. That afternoon,
Lea's parents arrive in Hungary for three weeks. Please pray for health,
safety, and good visits all around.
Please pray that Doug's involvement at the Deaf School and with the
baseball team will plant the seeds of belief in the people he works with.
Please pray that we will have enough English students to pay our bills.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
On a very mundane but necessary topic, we have just started the process of
renewing our residency permits. Please pray that we will find favor with
all those officials who will review and approve our applications.
Early next Thursday morning, Karen will go on a five-day exchange trip to
Austria with her classmates who are learning German. Please pray for her
health and safety, and that she will have a good influence on the people she
That same day (May 15), Lea's parents arrive in Hungary for a three-week
visit. Please pray for their health and safety also, and that we will have a
good time together.
Please pray that Doug's involvement at the Deaf School and with the
baseball team will plant the seeds of belief in the people he works with.
We are starting from scratch in many places.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Lea is safely (and happily) in Virginia. Please pray that she gets
rest and refreshment from her visits with loved ones, and that her
presentations will lead others to deeper commitment and service to God.
Doug is very, very busy doing his own work plus those things that
Lea normally does—but he's not so good at them. Please pray that
he has the energy and sense of duty to do the one thing that needs to
be done at the moment, and that he is not distracted by the hundred
other things that whine for attention.
With Lea absent, Karen has carried herself rather maturely in what
could be a trying situation. Please pray for her continued growth in
body, mind, and spirit.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Lea flies to Virginia today, where she wants to make about a year's worth
of visits in three weeks. Please pray for safety, health, and useful
service to God for all three of us.
Please pray for Karen, because she will lack the accustomed degree of
parental attention. (Doug will be teaching Lea's students in addition to
following most of his regular schedule.)
Please pray for Doug, that he will be able to function adequately during
Lea's absence with good humor and gratitude.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Many students in Karen's class are consistently picking on a girl named
Blanka. Now there are two opposing groups, and Karen has been called a
"traitor" by some because she has come to Blanka's defense. Please pray for
Blanka's reconciliation with the rest of the class, and pray that these kids
learn to respect each other.
Lea has a lot to do before she departs for America, and not much time in
which to do it. Please pray that she keeps her sanity, so Doug can keep
his, too. Pray that we all do the One Thing that God has put before us at a
Please pray for Doug, that he will have a good attitude about things that
he must do.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Karen is now a teenager! Give thanks with us
for her presence in our lives and for the person that
she is. Please pray that she will be the person God
has created her to be.
As prices go up, the dollar goes down. With this week's dive, the dollar
is worth about 2/3 what it was when we arrived in late 2005. Inflation in
Hungary is at least as high as in the U.S. Please pray that God provides
through our work and through the donations of his people so that we can stay
in Hungary as long as he wants.
Our little Deaf church moves around! This past Sunday they met in Györ,
in northwest Hungary. They are trying to start churches in several places.
Please continue to pray that a Deaf church will start here in Vác!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Last week Doug handed papers to our immigration lawyer to
begin the renewal of our work permits. Thus begins another
round of applications necessary for us to stay in Hungary.
Please pray that our case finds favor among the officials
who will be responsible for allowing us to live and work here.
Easter will be "open mike" day at our church in Vác,
where anyone can stand and tell the group what God is doing
in their lives. Please pray that the body of Christ will
take this opportunity to open up to each other.
Because it's Holy Week, many Hungarians will make their
annual Easter-time visit to a church. Please pray that the
story of Jesus' death and resurrection will make its way
into their hearts and that they will be changed.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Turnout was high at Sunday's national referendum, and the
vote was strongly (80-20) against the government’s recent acts.
On Tuesday Parliament reversed some of its decisions (effective
April 1) but warned that money would not be reinstated,
particularly for education and medicine. Numerous demonstrations
are planned for this weekend, a national holiday with strong
emotional content. Please continue to pray for Hungary!
Also this Saturday, Doug's baseball team has a scrimmage
against the old (mid-1990's) Váci baseball team. Please
pray that God will use these events to bring people closer to Him.
Here is one that Doug will repeat from time to time: Please
pray for awakening among the Deaf to the things of God. Ask God
to nudge people in ways that we cannot, that they might be hungry
for something besides physical food.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Karen often thanks God for our happy and loving family. I second that.
Please pray that our relationships deepen through her teen years and that
our family's love is a testimony to Hungarians.
Lea intends to hand in her résumé and cover letter
(freshly translated thanks to friend Ildi)
to the high school where she wants to work. Please
pray that this job possibility goes well—that is, according to God's
I need to avoid discouragement and distraction, two great killers of
missionary endeavor. Please pray for my attitude and diligence. If my
relationships with God or people go sour, then it is not useful for me to be
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
The baseball clinic on Sunday was a mission of three Christian
major-league players. Doug learned many things about baseball, and one of
his Hungarian teammates heard a player's testimony. Please continue to pray
that Doug and our young friend Caleb will be good influences on these guys.
Today Lea asked Ildi what she thought about Jesus, particularly from what
she's read in the gospels (Matthew, Mark, and part of Luke). Ildi said that
she doesn't always agree with him. That's understandable, of course; but
please pray that God opens her heart to his truth, goodness, and love.
Karen doesn't think her score at the math competition was good enough to
please her teacher, but the teacher nominated her to be one of six kids from
the school to join a city-wide math club. Please pray that Karen will learn
to handle lots of schoolwork in a finite amount of time.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Thank you so much for praying with us! We have all been healthy
for the last week, for which we thank God—and you!
Also, we had an encouraging visit from Tom Foley, the director of
CEO (our missions partner) and two men from a CEO-partner church
in California. The train strike was scheduled to resume at
midnight last Thursday, which would have been rough on their plans.
But at the last minute, the railroad union decided to continue
running trains for five more days.
On Friday (February 22), Karen will be participating in a
school math competition for the first time. Please pray for her
nerves and her brain!
Please continue to pray that Doug's work at the Deaf School
and with the baseball team will have good results. The baseball
team travels to Budapest on Sunday for a clinic run by a
major-league pitcher. Please pray for safe travel and good
Since Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia on Sunday,
life there has not been peaceful. People are worried about war
and about having enough food to eat. Please pray for this part
of the world, where people can remember offense and retain hatred
for centuries. Only Jesus can break through such prejudice and
enmity. Also pray for believers who are working to make the
Prince of Peace known in these lands.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tom Foley, the director of CEO (our missions partner) has just
arrived for a five-day visit to Hungary and Croatia. He will be
traveling with two men from California whose church supports an
orphanage in Ukraine (another partner of CEO). Please pray that
their bodies will adjust quickly, that the train workers won't go
on strike during their visit, and that we will all be an
encouragement to each other.
Doug continues his regular work with the baseball club and at
the Deaf School. Please pray that his work will have lasting and
beneficial results for everyone involved.
Three times in the last month, Karen has vomited for two hours
straight, and therefore has missed three days of school. We took
her to the doctor this morning after episode three, and we have no
real news or diagnosis. Please pray that she has nothing chronic
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Please keep on praying that Doug overcomes internal resistance to
important changes that God wants to make in his daily routine, his general
attitude, and his outlook. Good things are happening, and we want them to
Please continue to pray that an effective Bible study for the Deaf will be
established here in Vác. (Note use of passive mode; we do not know exactly
how this will happen.)
The general situation in Hungary is not good. We are in the fourth day of
a national railroad strike, so transportation is limited. Most people are
quite fed up with the current leaders, and the next elections are in 2010.
So the mood is rather sullen. Please pray that hopeless people can find
hope and that some in this very pessimistic nation can find faith in God.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Doug had a very good time with God last weekend while Lea and Karen were
out of town. He is experiencing good changes in his daily routine, his
attitude, and his outlook on life. Please pray that he can overcome
internal resistance to these changes and that he regularly walks closely
Szabi (rhymes with "Bobby"), a young leader of the Deaf church in
Budapest, already has many demands on his time, and he just got a new job.
Please pray that he will have strength to do all that he needs to do.
Lea's good friend is reading her New Testament and asking great questions.
Please pray that God continues to open her heart and mind to his love and
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Doug's flu started abating rapidly last Wednesday. He's okay now.
Doug is, however, going through a time of fighting discouragement. It is
hard to go week after week with no apparent progress, no manifestations of
the kingdom, no visible changes in the people around us. Please pray for
hope, for perseverance, and for opportunities to be more open and obvious
with the gospel.
Kriszta's children are trying to stay together, with the help of their
aunt and their great-grandmother. Karen reports that Roland, the
12-year-old, got a black eye in a fight during the last few days. We are
praying that God will provide a healthy family for the youngest two (Roland
and Attila, age 2).
Wednesday, January 18, 2007
Doug's got the flu. The real thing. Please pray that he gets healthy
quickly, and that he doesn't share it with anyone.
Late last year, we asked you to pray for Kriszta, a schizophrenic lady
whom our ladies' prayer group met with to pray for. We just heard that she
committed suicide around Christmastime. We are, obviously, very sad about
this. Please pray for her children, that God would redeem them out of a
very bad situation and into His love and salvation: Sandor/Alexander (age
20), a boy (18), a girl (16, who is living with her boyfriend), Roland (12),
and Attila (2).
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Lea's good friend Ildi recently reported that she is reading
her New Testament while she waits for her daughter during various
activities. Please pray that she understands what she reads, and
for good conversations between her and Lea.
Baseball training got started again yesterday. Please pray
for Doug's good influence among these guys. Also pray for Doug's
body; he says he's feeling his age. :-)
We've received a few requests for new English lessons, but
we could certainly use a few more. Please pray that we will get
enough students to prove to the Hungarian government that we can
support ourselves reasonably well.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Happy New Year! I am both excited and apprehensive about the coming year.
The general situation here is not improving, but God can still work in our
lives and in the lives of the Hungarians.
2 Chronicles 7.14 has come up repeatedly in recent weeks: "If my people,
who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my
face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and
will forgive their sin and will heal their land." Revival here must
start among the churches; I don't believe it will start as if by magic
Please pray for us Christians in Hungary, that we will seek God and his
kingdom first, and that great things will happen thereafter. That would
be a good start for the new year.
Thank you for praying! Grace and peace to you and yours,
---Doug C., for the family
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
This coming Saturday afternoon, we will be visiting a dear Hungarian family,
with whom we will eat a huge lunch and celebrate Christmas.
Please pray that our words and actions, our questions and silence, lead them
closer to knowing God's love for them through Jesus Christ.
According to Hungarian tradition, "Baby Jesus" brings gifts to children on
Christmas Eve, which makes him out to be a fairy tale character rather than
a real person. Please pray that the many people who attend church on
Christmas Eve have open hearts and minds and ears to hear the real good news
about the real Jesus, the incarnation of God into this fallen world.
Karen has found out that one of her schoolmates is a believer. This has
been an encouragement to her. Yesterday they talked with two other girls
about worship and the Bible. Please pray that God uses Karen and Lili in
their school to make himself known to the other students.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The Ladies' Christmas Tea on Saturday went very well. Lea's good friend
Ildi was able to come! Please pray that she—and all of us—will
understand the significance of Christ's advent into the world.
This past Sunday, three leaders from the Deaf church in Budapest came to
our home. No Deaf folks from Vác showed up, which was a little
disappointing. But we discussed the possibility of restarting a Deaf
orphans' Bible club that hasn't met for 3 or 4 years. Please keep praying
that their visit to Vác may be the beginning of a regular Bible study here.
Please pray that Doug and Caleb, the teenage son of another missionary
family, will have a good influence on the local baseball club. We practice
on Tuesday evenings (that's Tuesday early afternoon Virginia time), so you
can pray then, too.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
On Saturday afternoon our hearing church will host a Ladies' Christmas Tea
as an outreach. Lea's part is to give a three-minute speech on what Advent
means to her. Please pray that many ladies hear and understand the good
news of Christ's coming into the world.
On Sunday, December 9, "our" Deaf church will come from Budapest to meet
in our home. Please pray that the right people come and that they will have
open hearts to hear God's message. Please pray that this may be the
beginning of a regular Bible study here in Vác.
Last week, we asked you to pray for Kriszta, a depressed and terrified
woman. We learned that she is schizophrenic. Wednesday evening, Lea and two
others went to Kriszta's house, but she wasn't there. They conversed with her
eldest son, Sandor (Alexander) for about an hour. Sandor said that they
took her to the hospital, but then she left and no one knows where she is.
Please continue to pray for Kriszta and her family.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Every Tuesday morning, a few ladies come to our apartment
to pray. Yesterday one of them brought Kriszta, a Hungarian
woman who has had a rougher life than any I have ever heard of.
She was recently in a mental hospital where she was tied down
and abused by the staff. She is very depressed and understandably
terrified of being sent back to the mental institution. We prayed
for her the entire hour yesterday. Please pray for her sanity
and safety, and that our group will be God's instruments in
Next Tuesday evening, Doug will begin attending the
baseball team's weekly winter training. Please pray for his,
and God's, influence on these young cussing guys.
The Deaf church in Budapest has agreed to meet at our
house on Sunday, December 9! Please pray that the right
people come, and that this may the beginning of something
regular here in Vác.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Lately we have been doing a lot of financial analysis. The most
noticeable conclusion is that our living here is totally insane, at
least from a worldly point of view. Please pray that God keeps us
on this joyful and crazy endeavor as long as He wants us to be here.
More and more we realize that "seeking first His kingdom" is
crucial to our usefulness here. Please pray that all three of us
keep God's kingdom as our first priority.
Thankfulness is not frequently found among Hungarians, who often
feel that they are at the bottom of the barrel and therefore have
nothing to be thankful for. Please pray that Hungarians will find
Real Life in Jesus, and thus overflow with thankfulness.
(John 10:10, Colossians 2:6-7)
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Lea is sick with an intestinal bug and a fever. Please pray for her return
to health---and that no one else catches it.
We continue to be mindful of our spiritual "sharpness." We recently read
in a book that "bearing fruit for the Kingdom of God" means living so that
my *neighbor* will love God, too. Please pray that we can do this in an
emotionally damaged society.
The Deaf church in Budapest plans to meet in Vác on a Sunday in December
(not November, as previously mentioned). Please pray that many local Deaf
people will come and meet these believers and meet God, too.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Our company's income in October covered about half of its expenses. We
are gradually getting more students (thank you for praying!), but we still
need more work. Please pray for guidance about pursuing some possibilities
that our Hungarian friends have suggested.
Please pray that our communication skills will become sharper, so that we
may become more involved in the lives of others.
Today Lea had a "talky-walk" with a dear Hungarian friend. They
discussed who Jesus is, why He came to earth, and why the Bible can be
believed. Please pray for her, that she will get to know God and not just
learn more information about him. Please pray for her family, too.
As we wrote last week, both Lea and Doug feel that God is finally getting
their attention about some general truths as well as some specific matters.
Karen seems more in tune with spiritual things, also. Please pray that we,
as followers of Jesus, may love God and our neighbor so that the Kingdom of
Heaven may be made more obvious on Earth.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
On Tuesday night, Doug taught an English class of four who wanted to know
why he lives in Hungary. He explained that he first moved here as a Baptist
missionary. The question that arose (as time ran out) was, "Why do Baptists
need to send missionaries to Hungary?" We will address this question in the
next class. Meanwhile, please continue to pray that our connections with
people will lead to such interesting conversations.
We feel that we are reaching a "tipping point" when we shift into a deeper
knowledge and understanding of our host country, and which requires a deeper
commitment to learning, praying, working, and just plain *staying* here. It
also requires a deeper relationship with God and each other. Please pray
that we will not be afraid to do what is necessary to walk more closely with
God and to love our neighbor.
Karen requests prayer for her classmates Blanka and Anna, that they will
come to know God.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
The Deaf church in Budapest has expressed willingness to hold a meeting in
Vác some weekend in November. Please pray that this is a step toward
establishing a regular Bible study here.
Please pray that we seek the Lord with our whole hearts, and that we won't
be distracted by things that are unimportant or a hindrance in God's sight.
An unusual personal request: Please pray for Lea's mother, Nancy Hopkins,
who has a cornea transplant scheduled for Tuesday, October 30. Please also
pray that shingles do not return to her eye, so that she doesn't lose sight
in the eye.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
We gave a card of condolence to Ica ("eet-sa"), our recently widowed
next-door neighbor. When Lea saw her on Monday, Ica expressed her
appreciation through tears. Please continue to pray for her and that God
will show us how to build a stronger relationship with her.
Doug has added two more students to his weekly schedule, and he will also
teach a class at a local English language school. One man found out that
Doug was accepting new students by seeing the prayer request on our web
site. Thank you for praying! Please pray that God will use us in the lives
of all our students to bring them closer to himself.
This Sunday Doug will ask the Deaf church in Budapest to visit Vác some
time in November. Please pray that this will lead to a Bible study among
the Deaf in our little town.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
One of our older next-door neighbors died this week. We almost never saw
him. Please pray for his family, and pray that we will do the proper thing
for Ica ("eet-sa"), his widow.
Doug has added one student to his weekly schedule. Please continue to
pray that he will get the right students at the right times.
Please continue to pray that the Deaf church in Budapest will start
teaching Bible stories here in Vác.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Lea's friend Ildi sent an e-mail saying that her close friend Zsuzsa's
father committed suicide yesterday. He happens to be the grandfather of two
of Lea's young students. Hungarians have a reputation for suicide, but this
is the first time it has happened so near to our circle of acquaintances.
Please pray for Zsuzsa's widowed mother and the whole family, including
Lea's two students, Flora and Sara.
Please continue to pray that Doug will get more English students so that
we will have a break-even business. (He added one student today.)
Please continue to pray that the three of us will follow God closely and
make choices consistent with His will and His call.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Today Lea and her friend had another "talky-walk." They were both
expecting to talk about prayer, so Lea marked passages on prayer in a
Hungarian New Testament and gave it to her. But God led their conversation
toward forgiveness: deep forgiveness for grievous sins. Please pray that
she accepts God's forgiveness through Jesus Christ, and that she can
forgive those who have sinned against her. Please pray that she reads her
Bible and that God opens her heart to understand it.
Please continue to pray that a Deaf Bible study will begin here in Vác.
The Deaf church in Budapest is somewhat inclined toward outreach, and we see
Please continue to pray that Doug will get more English students so that
we will have a break-even business. (Lea is teaching several students!)
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Please pray that Doug's time at the Deaf School will bring lasting good
for the people there. Sometimes he feels like he just goes there, does his
thing, and comes home, and nothing has happened.
Please pray that we will get more English students and run a break-even
business. This is not a selfish request. We are here on business visas,
not as missionaries. Eventually, we will need to demonstrate to the
Hungarian authorities that we can maintain our household here.
Remus, our hamster, died on Monday night after living with us only six
weeks. Please pray that we get the right pet for our family. (This is
important to Karen; she is contemplating getting a more long-lived pet.)
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Please continue to pray for our teaching schedules. Deaf school
(volunteer work) is now established and has started well, but we need more
English students and the time slots to teach them. Lea would like the time
to complete items on her perpetual to-do list.
Please continue to pray for the strengthening and growth of the Deaf
churches in Budapest.
Karen asks that you pray that she will be able to handle stress at school,
and that she will have a positive effect on her classmates.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Reports on previous prayer requests:
Lea's conversation with her friend Ildi went very well. Ildi was very
frustrated when they didn't have enough time to talk about prayer.
Regarding the meeting Doug attended in Budapest: There is a good chance
that a Wycliffe Bible Translator will move to
Budapest to help render the Bible into several sign languages.
The principal, teachers, and students at the Deaf School gladly welcomed
Doug when he returned.
Now for this week's prayer requests!
When it rains, the Vác baseball team
sometimes comes to our house for analysis
of Major League baseball games on DVD. Please pray that these guys will
feel the love and peace of God in our home.
Karen started school with more enthusiasm that we expected, especially
considering her attitude last week. Please pray
that she will be a light and an encouragement to her classmates.
The companies where Doug taught English in recent years probably won't
need him much longer. Please pray that we will get enough students to make
our own little company at least break even. We need to demonstrate
financial viability to the immigration office.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Karen starts school on Monday. Please pray for her peace of mind and that
her teachers and classmates will have a good year together.
Doug has yet to arrange his schedule at the Deaf School. Please pray that
the administrators and teachers will welcome him. Please pray for the
students as they return to school.
Please continue to pray that we get enough students to make our company at
least a break-even proposition.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Karen and Lea went to visit our friend Ildi and her family Wednesday afternoon.
Right before we left, Ildi asked Lea what she says to God when she prays. Lea
gave her a quick synopsis: "Whatever I want to say, whatever I am thinking,
whatever I am feeling at any given time." Please pray that Ildi will
realize just how much the real God wants to communicate with her.
Wednesday and Thursday, Doug is participating in (and often interpreting
at) a meeting of representatives from the IMB, Wycliffe Bible Translators,
Deaf Opportunity Outreach (DOOR) International, and the local Hungarian Deaf
church. The purpose of this meeting is to decide on how best to translate
the Bible into the sign languages
of Central Europe. Needless to say, it is very exciting to be involved.
Please pray that we will follow God's guidance and that the Deaf in Central
Europe will some day receive a faithful translation of the gospel in their
Please continue to pray that we get enough students to at least make our
company a break-even proposition.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
A Hungarian eighteen-year-old has latched onto Doug. He is Kis
Tamás, a heavy-metal-rocking, beer-guzzling, gypsy-hating, unkempt,
wiry, emotional redneck from Kosd, the village where the Tabernacle Team
prayer-walked this spring. Tamás wants to spend time speaking
English and playing baseball. Doug has set a time to meet him: Friday at
1:00 PM (7:00 AM Virginia time). Please pray that
Doug can escort Tamás at least one step closer to God.
Doug has accepted the volunteer position as baseball instructor
for the Vác Stars baseball club, a group of (hearing)
twenty-somethings. They are inexperienced and a bit rowdy, but very eager to
learn. Please pray that Doug can be successful in this position of
leadership, responsibility, and influence. And yes, he wants to lead
them one step closer to Jesus, too.
Please pray that we will find enough students to make Old Dominion
English Instruction a viable, break-even business by next summer, while
still having enough time for family, ministry, etc.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Doug has agreed to be the instructor for the new "Vác Stars" baseball
team. These guys are in their teens and twenties, and they are typical:
sports, girls, cars—not always in that order. Please pray that Doug will
be more than just a "good influence".
The Deaf church in Budapest is still tentatively interested in starting
work in Vác. Please pray that we can work together to see good things
happen here: the gospel among the Deaf.
Please pray that Doug and Lea will find enough students to make Old
Dominion English Instruction a viable, break-even business by next summer,
while still having enough time for family, ministry, etc.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
We are back from a wonderful visit to the States, and now we are trying to
get back into a semi-normal routine. Please forgive the long absence!
These are the folks we mentioned many times this summer.
Please continue to pray for them:
Feri, the good-looking Deaf guy with remarkable spiritual understanding;
Tamás the Red, who surprised us by finding the Deaf church in Budapest;
Rita, the only Deaf teacher at the Vác Deaf school; and
Ildi, Lea’s friend who has many spiritual questions.
Karen and Lea will be attending a church retreat this coming week.
Please pray for a good time with God and others.
Now that we are legal here, Doug and Lea must teach many hours
to keep our little company afloat. Please pray that we have enough
students and that we balance our time wisely between work, ministry, and home.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Doug and Karen are slowly getting over a stomach virus, and Lea is being
very careful. Please pray for our health, and pray that we don't share this virus
We handed in our visa applications at the Embassy on Monday. We hope they
have everything they want, although Doug later remembered one box that we
didn't fill out. The lady expected that the visas would be ready in three
to four weeks, which is good, because we need our passports back before we
fly to Hungary at the end of July.
Please continue to pray for the strengthening and the growth of the Deaf
churches in Budapest.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Graduation at the Deaf school is on Friday morning. Please pray for these
young people as they finish a school year and go home for the summer.
Please continue to pray for the strengthening and the growth of the Deaf
churches in Budapest.
We must alter some of our company's legal papers and get everything ready
for Karen and Lea's visa applications before we leave. Please pray that
these things will be taken care of in good time.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Dinner with our Deaf friends last Friday went very well. Please continue
to pray for Feri, a local Deaf guy, that he will get to know Jesus.
We continue an e-mail conversation with Kriszta, the young lady we met on
the train last week. She is asking deep questions about God and her purpose
in life. Please pray that she hears the truth and that her faith grows.
A team of seven people from Charlottesville will be working with us at the
Deaf school early next week. Please pray for safe travel, unity of the
team, and effective time here in Vác and the other places they visit.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
We had an excellent holiday this past weekend; all of the not-yet-Christian
adults staying at the house had deep God-conversations with believers. As we were
coming home, our train got stuck on the tracks for more than two hours due to
electrical failure. During this time, we had a delightful conversation with
our seatmate, a young lady named Kriszta. We also had deep conversations, and
she wrote us an e-mail this morning thanking us for reminding her of God.
Friday evening (June 1), a few Deaf believers from Budapest and a young,
interested Deaf man from Vác will have dinner at our house. Please pray hard
that this will lead to a regular Deaf Bible study among the Deaf in Vác.
We are still in awe that Doug's residency permit is valid for two years.
We will apply for residency permits for Lea and Karen while we are in the States.
Please keep praying that we will get these before we return to Hungary in late July.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Doug's residency permit has been granted! We will apply for residency
permits for Lea and Karen while we are in the States. Please keep praying
that we will get these before we return to Hungary in late July. Once these
visas are in hand, we'll be legal until January!
On Friday, June 1, a few Deaf believers from Budapest and a young,
interested Deaf man from Vác will have dinner at our house. We hope that
this will lead to a regular Deaf Bible study. Please pray that God will
use this time to accomplish his will among the Deaf.
Monday will be a public holiday in Hungary. Here they celebrate
Pentecost, not Memorial Day. We will spend the weekend with several
families at a retreat house. Some of the Hungarian families don't speak
English, and some don't know God. Please pray that God will use us to
show them the love of Jesus. Also, Karen is not feeling well. Please
pray that she gets better in time for us to go.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Please pray that we live according to God's priorities, that we choose
wisely, avoid temptations, stay healthy, and love God and our neighbor.
Please pray that Deaf believers from Budapest will meet our Deaf friends
in Vác, beginning relationships of eternal significance.
Please pray that God and his people will reach our Deaf kids, so they will
begin to understand how much they are loved.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Now that Doug can legally work, we are discovering how much of a
commitment our company is. We are bound to a certain income by the
conditions of Doug's visa. This will require us to teach many more hours
than we anticipated. Please pray that we can balance our time among family,
work, and ministry.
Deaf believers in Budapest have agreed to come to Vác and teach the Bible
through stories—a method much respected in Deaf culture. Please pray that
we can gather the right people at the right time so the hearts of the Deaf
will hear the truth of the Bible.
Please pray that God will intervene in the lives of our Deaf kids, so they
will begin to understand how much they are loved.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Please pray for Lea's friend Ildiko (ILL-dee-koe).
Their conversations have deepened in recent days and have come around to the
topic of God, faith, purpose, etc. Ildiko has problems with priests. Pray
that she will nonetheless see God and come to saving faith in him.
Please pray that the Deaf churches in Budapest will grow strong and will
begin to reach out to Deaf communities in the surrounding towns... like Vác!
Please pray that Karen will meet God in Jesus. As she approaches her teen
years, she has made some profound statements about her own faith, God's work in
her life, and her desire to see her friends and schoolmates have real life.
Karen herself has not yet been baptized.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
This past Sunday afternoon, we travelled from Budapest to Vác on the train
with Tamás the Red. You prayed a great deal for him in February. It turns
out that for the past few weeks, he has been regularly attending the other
Deaf church in Budapest—the one Doug usually doesn't go to. So your
prayers are being answered! Please continue to pray for Tamás as God brings
him to your minds.
We also ask you to continue to pray for Rita Gedeon, the Deaf teacher at
the school. In a conversation on another train, she told Doug about her
future vision of a new school in Budapest, where administrators, teachers,
and students would all be Deaf. This excites us! Also, please continue to
pray that she will become a disciple of Jesus.
Good news: We just found out that our work permits were granted! Also,
on Monday, Doug applied for his residency permit, and for the first time in our
history, they didn't require any extra papers or signatures. Please continue to
pray that Doug's residency permit and Lea's and Karen's visas will be granted
before we leave for the States on June 21. Pray for good moods among the
officials and that they will be fair.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Please pray that our work permits, Doug's residency permit, and Karen's and
Lea's visas will soon be granted. Pray for good moods among the officials, and
that they will be fair as they make their decisions.
Pray for Bléga Feri (= Frank Blega), a young deaf man, that he will hear
the gospel and know God. He is a graduate of the Deaf school in Vác, and we
run into him every now and then in town. He is under-employed, and with
nothing better to do, he seems open and receptive.
It is our continual prayer that the Deaf house churches in Budapest will
grow strong through the presence of the Holy Spirit, and that they will work
with God to spread the gospel among the Deaf in Hungary.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
We ask you to pray that our work permits will be granted soon. We turned in our last
documents to the lawyer yesterday. We hope that the papers received from the University Registrar
will be adequate for the requirements of the labor office.
Pray for Bléga Feri (= Frank Blega), a young deaf man, that he will hear
the gospel and know God. He is a graduate of the Deaf school in Vác, and we
run into him every now and then in town. He is under-employed, and with
nothing better to do, he seems open and receptive.
It is our continual prayer that the Deaf house churches in Budapest will
grow strong through the presence of the Holy Spirit, and that they will work
with God to spread the gospel among the Deaf in Hungary.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Please pray that the Deaf church in Budapest can link up with the Deaf
community in Vác.
Our work permits are stalled because we don't have our original diplomas.
We received confirmation letters from the University, but we doubt that they
are fancy enough for Hungarian authorities. We might need to get
replacement diplomas, which can take two months. Our current deadline is
April 10. Please pray that we can find a quick solution to this problem.
Many people in Hungary have no thought of God, and many others believe
that empty ritual will buy acceptance from God. During this Holy Week,
please pray that Hungarians—priests and pastors included—will "see
with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and
turn to God and be healed." (Isaiah 6, Matthew 13, John 12)
Please pray that Deaf churches in Budapest be equipped for missions to
Deaf communities around Hungary—in Vác, for example! We would like a
Bible study or similar meeting here soon.
Karen just turned 12. Please pray that she will grow closer to God as she
goes through her teen years. Recently, her history class has been studying
Christianity, which got her into some theological discussions with some of
her classmates. She gave a Hungarian New Testament to one of them. She has
not yet been baptized or participated in communion.
Please continue to pray for the seven members of the Missions Team from
Tabernacle Baptist Church in Richmond: Emily, Erin, Erin, Megan, Robert, Terry, and William.
Mission trips tend to start things, not end them.
Please continue to pray for the Traveling Team as they re-enter "normal"
life. It takes a lot of time and energy to process an experience like this.
Listening to stories such as theirs may even fire you up
for future adventures—at home, in Hungary, or elsewhere—that God has in
store for you.
Our work permit applications were held up because the Labor Office doesn't
have a translation of our original University diplomas. These diplomas are
misplaced somewhere in Virginia, and none of our relatives can find them.
The Registrar's Office at UVa has been very prompt to provide degree
verification documents that might please the Hungarian authorities. Please
pray that the letters from the Registrar will be adequate.
Please pray that all those in Hungary who are known by Jesus' name will
develop a strong sense of unity with each other. Please pray that the
"extras" that each group has—traditions, rules, added beliefs, added
prohibitions, etc.—will not hinder the development of each person's
relationship with the one true God.
Doug got his visa at the consulate in Serbia just fine;
he's now legal until January 23, 2008.
Next we apply for Karen's and Lea's visas.
Please pray that these will be granted soon—along with our work permits.
Baseball training has begun at the Deaf school!
Two classes, 1st-2nd grade and the 3rd grade, have shown great interest in
learning how to play. They are all beginners, and many of them are mentally
or emotionally impaired. Please pray for safety, patience, and fun for everyone.
Please pray for the Team from Tabernacle Baptist in Richmond as they
prepare to travel and adjust and adjust and adjust.... Pray that their time
here will be a great benefit to everyone involved, and that people will
eventually be drawn closer to God as a result.
Good news/Bad news: Doug will go to Serbia on Friday to pick up his new
visa! However, Tuesday afternoon we found out that there is a snag in
getting our work permits. The Labor Office needs some documents that were
provided with previous (successful) applications, so they should have them
on file somewhere. Please pray that they can locate these papers before the
deadline next week!
This past Sunday, a 17-year-old neo-Nazi skinhead gang leader named Imre
came to our little church. He seems open to the Lord's leading. Please
pray for him and his gang, that they will know God's love through Jesus, and
pray that God will create a love in their hearts for their fellow humans as
Please pray for the strengthening of the Deaf churches in Budapest, that
they will become mature in their faith, and that their obedience to God will
have an influence in the Deaf community.
GOOD NEWS: We just found out that Doug's visa has been granted! Thank
you so much for all your prayers! Now that we have Doug's visa, we can apply
for "family unification" visas for Lea and Karen. Other than that, we adults
still need work permits, which are also in the works.
The Deaf church in Budapest is trying to develop every member into a
leader of some kind, which is a healthy sign. New people are learning how
to lead the group in their Bible storying sessions, and it's a slow, grinding
process. Please pray that Deaf churches in Hungary develop and grow, and
that the gospel will be propagated throughout the Deaf community.
Tamás, a teenager at the Deaf school, was not able to go to the Deaf
church in Budapest this past week. He expects to be available on Sunday,
March 4. Please pray that Tamás will visit the church soon, understand the
incredible love that God has for him, and also see how Deaf people are
completely capable of doing and being church.
We are gearing up to have Tabernacle's delegation come visit us, and we are
excited! Please pray for us as we prepare for the Tabernacle Traveling Team's
visit. We've never done this before, and we would like it to be a rich and
joyful experience for everybody.
Tamás, one of the older teenage Deaf students, plans to go to the Deaf
church in Budapest this coming Sunday. (He expected to go last week, but
the entire Deaf Church met in another town.) Please pray that Tamás will
come to know more about life in Jesus.
Please continue to pray for the salvation of Rita Gedeon, who teaches
at the Deaf School. We hope she soon understands that following Jesus leads
to an abundant life.
Doug's visa application is still in the works. We hope to hear good
news by mid-March. Please pray that the governmental officials allow us
to live and work in Hungary in the future.
Tamás, one of the older teenage Deaf students, plans to go to the Deaf
church in Budapest this Sunday. Doug will go with him. Please pray that
he will really go, that he will have a great time, and that he will come
to know more about life in Jesus.
Please continue to pray for the salvation of Rita Gedeon, who teaches
at the Deaf School. We hope she soon understands that following Jesus leads
to an abundant life.
Doug's visa application is still in the works. We hope to hear good
news by mid-March. Please pray that the governmental officials allow us
to live and work in Hungary in the future.
Thank you for praying with us! Regarding last week's requests:
Lea reports that the Ladies' Retreat in Pécs was a great success. There
was good conversation, good listening, good prayer, and good worship. She
returned fired up and in very lively spirits (or rather, with a good
Szabi and Fritz's visit to the Deaf School was also one of the month's
minor triumphs. Szabi had some engaging conversations with the students,
and I introduced him to Gedeon Rita (American name order: Rita Gedeon). And
Fritz gave her some information about Gaulladet University, in which she is
And so, with continued thanks, on we go to *this* week's petitions!
Please continue to pray for the salvation of Rita Gedeon, the only truly
Deaf teacher at the Deaf School.
Please pray for the strengthening and the outward reach of the Deaf
churches in Budapest. There are so many opportunities, and so few Deaf
Please pray for our so-called chance meetings and our encounters with
others: friends, acquaintances, and strangers. Please pray that we will not
fail to meet our divine appointments, and that we will say and do the things
that bring people one step closer to God, regardless of their beliefs or
their standing with him.
Tomorrow Doug will bring visitors to the Deaf School. One is Szabi Wéer,
a Deaf Hungarian church planter who knows some English. The other four are
an American family with Deaf parents and two hearing boys. One goal is to
tell the 8th graders that English is a worthwhile subject. Another goal is
to show the Deaf family the inside of a Hungarian Deaf School. Still
another goal is to link the Budapest Deaf church with the Deaf community in
Vác. Yet another goal is to introduce Szabi, a skilled Bible story-teller,
to Rita Gedeon. (See the next item.) Please pray that this visit will be a
great success and that it will open doors to future meetings between the
Deaf of Vác and Budapest.
Please continue to pray for the salvation of Rita Gedeon, the only truly
Deaf teacher at the Deaf School.
Lea and four other missionary women will go on a retreat this weekend in
the small city of Pécs (rhymes with the letter "H"). Please pray that they
will grow closer to God and to each other and return home re-energized for
Doug's visa application was turned in last Friday, so now we wait. This
visa can take 60 days to process, but the consulate told him to call back
after a month, and then call back rather often after that. Please pray for
approval by all officials and a quick turnaround.
Please continue to pray for the salvation of Rita Gedeon, the only teacher
at the Deaf school who is truly Deaf. Doug spends two afternoons a week in
her class. This gives him the opportunity to learn a lot of sign language
and to build relationships with both Rita and her learning-disabled
students. Please pray that Doug will have good opportunities to share the
love of God with these people.
We are very excited about Tabernacle Baptist Church's emissaries coming to see us!
Please pray that we will prepare well: that we will find the right lodging,
plan our time appropriately, and give everyone the opportunity to see and
share God at work among us.
Doug is gathering the papers to apply for an income-earning visa in Serbia
on Friday. Please pray that everything will be in order and that he will
have safe and uneventful travel. Also, please keep praying for good moods
among the officials!
The English-speaking Bible study on Wednesday afternoons has been quite a
help and encouragement to us. We are hoping to soon start a Bible study
among the Deaf. Please pray that this happens, that we find the right
people, and that we pick the right time and format.
Please pray for the salvation of Rita Gedeon, the only teacher at the Deaf
school who is truly Deaf. In a recent conversation, she seemed interested
in the format of Deaf church, but Sunday is her day off, and she is
reluctant to give it up.
Please keep praying for our visas. Every bit of news we receive seems to change our emotions 180 degrees. Faith is hard to come by sometimes.
Since things have been so uncertain, we have been a bit touchy
with each other. Please pray that we will set our hearts and minds on God instead of circumstances, and that we will speak to each other with
compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
We hope to apply for Doug's visa in the next few days.
Please pray that we go to the consulate at the right time,
that Doug's application is complete,
that his application is accepted,
that we have no problems crossing the border,
and that all officials are in good moods.
Good moods are amazingly crucial!
Thank you for praying with us! Regarding last week's requests:
We now have a solid plan to apply for visas.
Lea's presentation at the ladies' Christmas Tea went very well. She reports that the women of the churches responded much more openly than Hungarians usually do.
The missionary couple whose residency permits were denied submitted their appeal, and the word through the grapevine is that the result will be the issuing of two-year permits.
And here are this weeks' requests:
One of our goals in the coming 6 months is to link the Deaf missionaries in Budapest to the Deaf community here in Vác. Please pray with us that this will happen soon and that it will be frutiful.
We are relying on the word of a Hungarian consular official that we can stay here as "tourists" until we get residency permits and legitimate visas in the spring. Please pray that we will not run into any legal difficulties until then.
After the Christmas holidays and the turn of the new year, the price of many things will go up as the economy here worsens. Please pray with us that the Hungarian people will look to Jesus, not just for relief from their problems, but for salvation, healing, direction, purpose, and strength in their lives.
Yesterday we spoke with an immigration lawyer, who has a new plan
on how we can legally work here. Over the next few days we will get
the plan in motion. We ask you to pray that all our paperwork goes
Lea will be speaking at a Ladies' Christmas Tea in southern
Hungary this Saturday afternoon. Please pray that God uses her.
One missionary couple we know were recently denied
residency permits after living here 14 years! Please pray that
God would use people in official positions to accomplish what
he wants to accomplish here in Hungary.
Update, Friday, December 8, 2006:
Last night (Thursday) we met with our landlords, Krisztina and Szilárd.
Krisztina said that the risk was too great for her to become our company's
proprietor. Apparently, the tax authorities have a reputation for being
very dogged in pursuit of violations and for giving severe penalties if
anything goes wrong. We are therefore still looking for a way put our
company into working order so that we can get work visas.
Lea has decided that ESI, the missionary teacher placement agency,
is not in her future.
So we are still trying to get work visas though our company.
Tomorrow (Thursday) is a big day. Krisztina, our landlady, will tell us
whether she is willing to join our company. Whether or not she does, we
will need wisdom, cleverness, ingenuity, imagination, and all kinds of
smarts to stay in Hungary and/or make the company a success. Please pray
that we will do God's will in every circumstance we find ourselves in.
The Wednesday afternoon Bible study is proceeding well. There is even one
Hungarian lady who is interested in coming. Please pray that this will turn
all our hearts more toward God.
Now that the weather is bad and the playground has been planted with grass
seed, we cannot play baseball out of doors at the Deaf School. The new
gymnasium is enclosed but not finished, so we might play whiffle ball inside
or watch baseball videotapes this winter. Please pray that Doug's time at
the Deaf School will have good consequences for everyone involved.
Update, Saturday, December 2, 2006:
Friday morning we met with our landlady, Krisztina, to talk about whether
she would be our company's managing director. We gave her a long list
describing what was positive, what was negative, and what was interesting
about the proposal. She will consult her friends and professional
acquaintances and then give us her answer on Thursday. Please pray that
everyone will be wise, and that this situation will turn out best for us all.
Today (Wednesday) we held the first weekly Bible study for
English-speakers, mainly for the feeding of the missionaries here.
As we asked last week, please pray that our joining together will
strengthen us and lead to a wider witness to Jesus in Vác.
Friday morning we will meet with our landlady, Krisztina,
to talk about her becoming our company's managing director.
We think they like us as tenants, and we ourselves would like
to stay in our apartment as long as possible. However, "managing"
this company would be an involved, long-term commitment for her.
Please pray for wisdom for all of us and that things will work
Éva is a young, hard-of-hearing teacher at the Deaf School.
Doug interacts with her class the most at baseball time. She is a
believer, and she's had unspecified health problems for a couple
of months. Please pray that her health will improve and that her
work at the Deaf School will be a good influence on the children.
Our list of candidates for the company's managing director
has shrunk to one: Krisztina, our landlady. We plan to to
ask her this week to consider it seriously and to think about
the disadvantages (the phrase we use is "counting the cost")
before she commits. Please pray for wisdom for all of us.
We will start a weekly Bible study for English-speakers
next Wednesday, November 29. This is for the feeding of the
missionaries here. Pray that our joining together will strengthen
us and lead to a wider witness to Jesus in Vác.
Lea is considering getting a job teaching English in a
public high school through ESI, a missionary teacher placement
agency out of California. This would give us visas, but it
wouldn't allow either of us to work free-lance. We are just
starting to investigate this path. Please pray for wisdom
in figuring this out.
A couple of Hungarians have offered to consider being the managing
director for our company. This is quite an encouragement to us, and we thank you
for your prayers for this! Please pray that we will discern who the right
person is, and he or she will still be willing when they find out the details.
Some English-speaking folks in Vác are thinking about starting a Bible
discussion group in English. We would greatly welcome this. Further down
the pike, we still hope and pray for Bible studies in sign language.
The weather here has been astoundingly warm for this time of year, so
baseball continues! Please pray that the relationships that Doug is
establishing through baseball will lead to Real Life for these Deaf
Hungarians, especially Deaf ones, assume that "missionary" means you are a
salesman with lots of money coming from the United States, and you don't
have to do any real work. Therefore, they have more respect for people who
"work for a living" and who have to deal with the problems of "normal" life.
We are not the only missionaries in Hungary who are trying to work part-time
and minister part-time. Please pray that we—and our missionary
colleagues—can be *trusted* by Hungarians.
Please pray that we will find a Hungarian to be the director of our
English-teaching company. We are still trying!
Doug went to a gathering of the two little Deaf churches in Budapest this
past Sunday afternoon. The community of believers among the Deaf is slowly
increasing. Their leaders are young, well-trained, dedicated, and clever.
Please pray that they can join God in touching and changing lives in one of
the most easily overlooked groups in society: the Deaf.
Last Sunday we visited a small but growing mission church,
founded by a nearby Hungarian Baptist church, in the village of
Körösladány in southeast Hungary. They asked
Doug to say a few words, and he greeted them on behalf of our
home church: Tabernacle Baptist of Richmond, Virgina. (It's
so FUN to do that!) This little church is in an economically
and spiritually depressed area, but they are reaching many
outcast and estranged people like gypsies, ex-convicts, etc.
Please pray that effective little churches like this will
multiply throughout Hungary.
Please pray that we will find a Hungarian to be part of
our English-teaching company. We are still trying!
Today is the "Day of the Dead" in Hungary, a holiday when
most people go to cemeteries to tidy up the graves and honor
their deceased loved ones. Pray that Hungarians will realize
their mortality and start to ask questions beyond material
On Monday, Hungary commemorated the 50th anniversary of their unsuccessful
revolution against the Russians; however, the day was marred by
anti-government demonstrations. Lea and our friend Liz spent several hours
poking around Budapest, looking for ceremonies or exhibitions. Instead, they
got their first whiff of tear gas and watched a large number of police in riot
gear clear out a nearby area. Please pray for Hungary and the Hungarians!
They are in a quandary and divided.
We are still waiting for a Hungarian to step forward to be managing
director of our company. We have a feeling that this person will have to be
called by God, because no one in their right mind would want to do it, given
the silliness of Hungarian business laws. So, as we asked last week, please
pray that God will lead us to a trustworthy person who is able to shoulder
whatever responsibilities there are.
Due to the lack of work for pay, Doug's volunteer time at the Deaf School
has increased greatly. Plus, the weather has been unusually pleasant, so we
have enjoyed a lot of baseball. Pray that this time bring long-term
We are happily back in Hungary, and now we can resume Normal Life!
Thanks so much for your prayers and love for us.
Our first task toward getting our work visas is to find a Hungarian who
will be managing director of our company. Please pray that God will lead us
to a trustworthy person who is able to shoulder whatever responsibilities
We keep running into three teenage Deaf guys on the street. We are hoping
to get our Deaf friends from Budapest to come and tell these guys Bible
stories. Doug will be trying to get in touch with our Budapesti friends.
Please pray that the path is smooth!
Karen seemed to jump back into school life okay, but P.E. is stressing her
out. She showed no signs of stress during our recent ordeals, so we are
keeping our eyes open. Please pray for her mental, physical, and spiritual
Update on Lea's health: We were grateful to hear that the lumps in Lea's
neck are not malignant, nor do they come from any lung problems.
The doctor thinks she had a local infection, and that the
lumps will go away eventually.
Thanks for praying for peace during times of uncertainty!
Please continue to pray that we will find a Hungarian who is willing to be
the Managing Director of our company. We cannot make progress getting new
work visas without this person!
There will be a called demonstration against the current government
administration on Friday. Many churches are requesting a day of prayer and
fasting, that the protests not become violent and that the country's
situation will improve.
The emerging Deaf churches in Budapest might start to send evangelism
teams on short trips to other cities in the near future. Vác is a prime
candidate. This would be great!
Doug's been saying for a while that "Hungary can't go
on like this." Monday night's riot in Budapest proved
that others thought the same thing. Please pray for
wisdom and peace for Hungarians.
On Saturday Doug
talked with an immigration consultant, and we decided not to appeal the
decision of the Immigration Office. Here is our latest plan:
* Reorganize our company with a Hungarian as the managing director.
According to the law, this person CANNOT do "the work" of the business (that
* Sign contracts of employment (Doug & Lea) with the restructured
* Get new work permits (Doug & Lea) to teach with our company.
* Apply for new visas (Doug, Lea, & Karen).
Our immediate need is for a Hungarian to accept the responsibility of being
the managing director. This is like asking someone to co-sign a loan; it
takes a lot of trust on both sides. Please pray that we can find the right
person for this, and that he or she would be willing!
Until we get matching work permits and work visas, what will we do with
our time? Should we go to the Deaf School more often? Or teach some of our
students without pay to continue the relationships? Or concentrate on
learning Hungarian? Please pray that God leads us to do what he wants us to
Our residency permits were not renewed, but we can appeal! Please pray that the labor office in Vác will grant Doug's work permit more quickly than usual.
We would like all the governmental people we talk with to have a GREAT day when we talk with them, that they are in good moods and feel like helping. No kidding! Over here, the mood of the person across the counter can make or break a transaction.
We get the impression that God wants to do something through this confusion and red tape. Please pray for that!
Legal obstacles continue. Please pray that they get resolved soon! This afternoon Doug leaves for Croatia, so he can get a different visa and then re-enter Hungary. Friday morning he travels from 3:30-9:30am, and then goes straight to an appointment with the Immigration office. Doug's residency permit extension expires Sunday night. For some reason, Lea and Karen were granted extensions until September 22.
Andrea, our lawyer, has asked Lea to have an English conversation session once a week. Andrea is very interested in spiritual matters, and we are interested in what happened during her El Camino walk. We consider this time to build a strong relationship a major answer to prayer!
To our surprise, Karen is excited to be back in school! She got in the advanced German class, so she studies her third language five days a week instead of three. Please pray with us that she would be a good influence on her classmates.
The legal procedures involving our permits and legal papers becomes a
crazier circus every day. For example, it is discouraging to hear an
accountant say that the national tax office can give her no advice about new
laws. Doug will go to the immigration office in Budapest on Thursday morning
to ask for an extension of our current visas so that we can complete our
We still need wisdom on formulating our work and ministry schedules for
Andrea, our lawyer, just got back from her 500-mile El Camino walk a week
earlier than expected. She had a "spiritually great" time. We will know
more next week. Please continue to pray that God will show himself to
We have a few more hoops to jump through for our residency permits. It is
baffling, but seems hopeful!
We still need wisdom on formulating our work and ministry schedules for
This Friday evening (lunchtime in Virginia), youth from our church will go
to the riverside park to share the love of Jesus with the youth who hang out
there. Please pray that people will be open to God.
After a month in the States, we are back in Hungary and back to a consistent connection to the Internet! We would appreciate your prayers for re-entry into Hungarian life. Doug is already teaching after being here less than a full day!
Doug's dad's lung biopsy came out fine. He's doing very well, as are all our parents who have dealt with surgeries this past year. Shingles is still giving my mom's eye some grief.
Please pray for Lea's Uncle Bill and Aunt Emily, whose house burned up a few days ago.
Your prayers are working! Please don't stop! All official meetings so far have gone
amazingly well. We delivered our company papers to the Court of Registry this morning, and we seem to have all the appointments we need for work and residency permits between now and Tuesday. This is good, because our plane takes off at 7:00 am on Wednesday!
Doug's dad gets the results of a lung biopsy today. Your prayers for him
We would also appreciate your prayers for temporary farewells in Hungary and
preparations for our trip to the U.S. next week.
This week we have been joined by Catherine, Kami, and Liz, who are part of a mission team from Charlottesville ministering in Hungary. This has been a time of encouragement for us and prayer for our city. On Friday, they and the 12 others on their team go to Ukraine to work with street kids. Please pray for their ministry and safety.
Thank you for praying for our all the legal rigamarole regarding our work permits and our English-teaching company! Things seem to be going smoothly so far. This week is meeting week: the accountant Wednesday, the lawyer Thursday, and the notary Friday. Sometime next week we will deliver our papers to the Court of Registry.
Doug's dad is having some tests regarding his recent lung problems. Please pray for his health.
Last Thursday we ran into Feri, a young Deaf man who is a former student at
the Deaf school. A couple of years ago, Feri went with Doug to see "The
Passion of the Christ." It would be really neat to get Feri and other young
Deaf (late teens, early twenties) into a discussion group about Jesus.
While we wait on our work permits, we continue to pursue the establishment
of a little English-teaching company here in Hungary. We now have Hungarian
taxpayer ID numbers, and we will soon have a local bank account. The
renewal of our residency permits are still pending. Please continue to pray
that this bothersome and time-consuming process works out well.
We recently learned that Doug's dad is having some serious lung problems.
Please pray for his health and general well-being.
We have much to do between now and our trip to the U.S. next month. Please pray for wise use of our time, especially that we don't neglect prayer.
The timing for our work permits is down to the wire. If all goes well, they will be issued on the day before we leave for the States. However, in Hungary, "all goes well" is a miracle. Please pray for a miracle!
More American friends, including a 10-month-old baby, went to the Deaf school with us yesterday. The baby was a big hit! The kids will disperse for the summer after graduation on Thursday, but we hope they will take with them a bit of God's love.
Our friend Lee Hlavka's nerve disease (CIPD) is worse than ever. Please
pray for him, for his wife and children, and also that our little church
will go out of their way to help them.
It sounds stupid, but baseball is really extending Doug's social network.
Carrying a baseball around can open surprising doors! This also sounds
stupid, but Doug believes it is valid: please pray that play will someday
become joyous worship of God for these people. (Think like in the movie
Chariots of Fire: "When I run, I feel His pleasure!")
Repeat from last week: We are here at the mercy of the Hungarian
government. Please keep praying that application for our work and residency
permits go smoothly.
A 14-year-old American MK is now playing baseball with Doug at the Deaf school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This adds credibility to Doug's presence there. The kids have a fair amount of free time during the last few weeks of school. Pray for good conversations to lead the kids (and teachers) at least one step closer to God.
Doug has a dream: That a Deaf mission team will come and play baseball with and be witnesses to the students in May or early June. Pray that this miracle happens! Also, if you know of any Deaf Christian baseball players, please let us know!
Residency permits: We are here at the mercy of the Hungarian government. Please keep praying that application for our work and residency permits go smoothly.
Lea's father had a heart attack on Sunday. He is doing remarkably well now. Please pray for him and for Lea's family.
Please pray for diligence and motivation in learning Hungarian and Hungarian Sign Language.
Same as last week, with good progress since then: Please pray that the last month of Doug's volunteer work at the Deaf school will be meaningful and worthwhile, and will bring the people there (including Doug) closer to God.
Please pray that we live and spend our days with God, especially that we spend adequate time in prayer.
Please pray that the last month of Doug's volunteer work at the Deaf school will be meaningful and worthwhile, and will bring the people there (including Doug) closer to God.
In the next few weeks, we will be renewing our residency and work permits: gathering lots of papers, making trips to the city, waiting in line, and hoping that the clerks are in a good mood. Residency permits are usually given for only one year at a time, but it would be great if ours were granted for a longer period. Please pray for smooth sailing!
We recently heard about a deviant "Christian" cult in our area. This is depressing news. Please pray that people won't be deceived by lies but will come to know the real Jesus.
In two recent English lessons, Doug talked about Bible study and the Lord's prayer. Please continue to pray for good conversations.
Some of our time is spent helping and encouraging other missionaries. This weekend (May 13-14) we will visit friends and colleagues in southern Hungary. Please pray that these visits will be mutually beneficial.
Karen has been reading the Bible a lot lately. Please pray that she gains insight into what she is reading and that it leads her to firm faith in Jesus.
Please continue to pray that playing baseball at the Deaf school will lead to something significant. [Also pray for safety. On Tuesday a skinny little girl gave Doug a nice lump on the side of his head with an errant throw. Physics is amazing, sometimes!]
Please pray that Rita, a Deaf teacher at the school, will be moved a few steps closer to God by Eva, a Deaf believer who is also a teacher there.
Eszter and Ildiko, two hearing teachers at the Deaf school, commented to Doug that he is a "religious person" and therefore he is "good." Eszter said that maybe what Hungarians need is to be "more religious." Zsuzsi, one of Lea's teenage English students, believes that when people die they simply cease to exist, and therefore resurrection is not possible. Please pray that this weekend many of our friends and acquaintances will be struck by the startling message of Easter: that Jesus in fact rose from the dead and that he is alive today.
Karen was sick and was absent from school from Thursday to Tuesday. Please pray that the three of us stay healthy.
It is time for baseball at the Deaf school, starting today. Please pray that this will be not only a fun time, but that it will lead to opportunities to talk of spiritual matters with these kids and their teachers.
The first round of elections for the whole Hungarian Parliament will be on Sunday, April 9. Please pray that honest and wise people will be elected into office and that the country can overcome a history of corrupt politics for personal gain.