Published on: 01/02/2021

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Roy and Lainey Hitchman

 

Opportunities to Refocus

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Usually, when we enter a new year we make a plan. There are things that we hope to accomplish and we don’t have to worry too much about the maybes and ifs along the journey. This year as we looked to the year ahead we felt that God was asking us to stay focused and remove distractions.

Ministry Update

Usually, when we enter a new year we make a plan. There are things that we hope to accomplish and we don’t have to worry too much about the maybes and ifs along the journey. This year as we looked to the year ahead we felt that God was asking us to stay focused and remove distractions.

So, what’s the focus? There are some things that stay consistent whether we are going through a pandemic or not. The call of God is on all of our lives to follow Him and be fishers of men.

Matthew 4:18-22
While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Recently, as part of a local ‘transformations group’ here in Hungary, we went through an exercise called Lectio Divina to study this particular paragraph. For those of you who haven’t tried this before we’d highly recommend it.

  1. Select a passage from the Bible.
  2. Relax and clear out any thoughts that would distract you.
  3. Read it slowly pausing between each clause.
  4. Read it once again, let God catch your attention with words or phrases which stand out in some way.
  5. Read it once again but repeat the phrases that stand out a few times before continuing.
  6. Ponder. Read those phrases again but ask God what He wants to say to you specifically through it.
  7. Pray. Ask God what He wants you to do and write it down.
  8. Rest. Be still and enjoy the presence of God.
  9. Respond. Thank God for the word he has given you and be diligent to do it.

As missionaries, you might think this passage had little to challenge us with. After all, we’ve already left everything to follow Jesus right? The thing is we’re just as human as everyone else and we can be distracted from the main thing. When I (Lainey) went through this exercise I was really surprised to find that the phrase that stood out was, ‘leave your nets’. I thought to myself, ‘I’ve already done that Lord, I don’t understand’. As I went through the other steps it became clearer to me. I’m pretty busy and even though there is nothing wrong with the things that took my focus it was wrong because it distracted me from the main goal.

So this season will bring a much sharper focus on discipleship and evangelism. This doesn't mean we stop ministering in the area of relationships, or working with missionaries and their member-care, but with whatever we do we will be checking that in some way we disciple (directly or indirectly) and evangelise. We will need to do some readjusting and will have to make some difficult decisions to make room for what God is asking us to do but we’re feeling that sense of excitement rise.

We don’t often get preachy in our newsletters but have a sense that this word might be challenging some of you too. You might be casting your net or mending them but is God asking you to follow Him more closely and reach others with the gospel. Maybe God’s already been speaking to you about that but you haven’t responded immediately. We know, that in our lives, that leaving the nets is always worth it.

In our next newsletter, we’ll fill you in on our progress. We greatly appreciate all your love, your care, your support and your prayers.

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray that we would hear God clearly in this season of refocusing.
  • We have a leak in our roof, Roy was able to repair sections of it after some storm damage but there is a section which is still causing trouble. Ultimately we need to replace it but it would be great if we could prevent the rain coming in until we can raise the funds for this.
  • As always please keep those that we work with in your thoughts and prayers.
  • For the missionaries. For some Covid has meant extended time away from their families, for others extended time away from their host nation.
  • For couples as they work together for healing in their marriages.
  • For singles as they cope with the loneliness that lockdown can bring.

Praise Report

  • We had to reapply for residency again in Hungary because of Brexit. After a few false starts trying to find the right documentation and then a day at the immigration office our applications were accepted

Available Resources

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3 of the 4 planned books are now available with Improving Communication: An Essential Guide for Couples the latest release. Clicking the image goes to Amazon.co.uk.

 

If you’d like to buy the book in bundles of 5 or 10 then please get in touch with us directly and we’ll make sure that you get a good discount.

Roy and Lainey

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