VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 8/3/15)—American Baptist International Ministries (IM) partner HBAid is now managing 49 formerly government-run schools throughout this central European country, serving 17,000 students in kindergarten through high school.
This partnership in Hungary is the subject of the 2015 educational materials that churches are receiving for this year’s World Mission Offering. Resource packets will arrive in churches by mid-August, and many of the enclosed materials plus online-only bonuses materials are now available for free download here. Churches that need additional materials or have not received their packets in the mail may request free materials by calling 1-800-4-JUDSON.
The 2015 World Mission Offering resources tell the story of HBAid’s new responsibilities and ministry opportunities in Hungarian schools. Doors are being opened for students through courses in conversational English. Teachers are rejoicing in the freedom to talk about their faith. Students are stretching their skills. And after-school programs are deepening the faiths of teachers and students alike.
“The need is urgent. We’re living in a period of grace,” says one HBAid official. “We don’t know how long we’ll be able to do this, and we want to touch as many lives as possible.”
IM currently has four missionaries serving in Hungary with IM partners. Larry and Rebecca Stanton serve with HBAid and the Baptist Union of Hungary, teaching English and providing facilities maintenance support in several schools in Eastern Hungary. Carrie and Kurt Smalley work with the Baptist Union of Hungary, giving support and encouragement to a growing local church. A fifth IM missionary, the Rev. Carmella Jones, is raising the necessary funds and preparing to serve in Hungary with HBAid as a school chaplain.
The theme for the 2015 World Mission Offering is “Stretch Forward,” based on Philippians 3:13-14 (ASV): “Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal.”
The World Mission Offering is IM’s primary fundraising vehicle to support its global programs and partners. This annual event also helps care for global workers and volunteers so they can share the gospel, meet pressing human needs and teach, heal, serve and encourage others in the name of Jesus.
The 2015 World Mission Offering materials highlight the story of HBAid’s evangelism-through-education efforts in Hungary and also gives examples of the impact that IM and its global servants and partners are making every day around the world.
In this year’s resource packet is a DVD with five short videos that transport churches halfway around the world to vividly encounter the powerful, life-changing ministry happening in Baptist-run schools in Hungary. (These videos are also available online.)
A 24-page Global Mission Study Guide gives an introduction to Hungarian culture as well as a Biblical reflection, devotionals, sermon outlines, a companion guide for the five videos, games, crafts and more.
In addition, the packet includes a full-color poster and map showing the names and locations of all of IM’s global servants, five bulletin inserts and other resources.
American Baptist International Ministries celebrated 200 years of ministry in 2014. American Baptist International Ministries (IM) was organized in 1814 as the first Baptist international mission agency in America. It began its pioneer mission work in Burma, (now called Myanmar) and today serves God through more than 1,800 short- and long-term global servants in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. Its central mission is to help people come to faith in Jesus, grow in their relationships with God and change their worlds through the power of the Spirit. It works with respected partners in over 70 countries in ministries that meet human need.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.