SpeakOut Staff 2016
It's Govember! Applications for Cru's Summer Projects are now open. You can check out all of the projects they have here.
I wanted to write today to share about my time spent on two summer projects.
Before I decided to go to SpeakOut in Keszthely, Hungary for the first time in 2015, I searched and searched for blog posts by other people who had previously gone so that I could read about their experience. I only ever found one blog post about it. All that ever came up when I Googled "SpeakOut Hungary" was the website for the mission. That's great, and super informative, but I wanted to read about personal experiences from Americans that had been.
Thus, I'm writing this blog post. I want to share my experience so that others may stumble upon it and decide to apply to SpeakOut.
SpeakOut Staff 2015
I served at SpeakOut in 2015 and 2016. I could talk about those two summers for hours, but instead I'll share just a few points explaining how my time at SpeakOut grew me.
Evanglism at SpeakOut is set up in such a way that relationships play a huge part. While hanging out with my campers, I shared the gospel with them, but I also formed relationships with them. We played games, talked about life, went shopping...we simply spent time together. Through that, gospel conversations came up and I was able to share my faith with my campers several times a week. It's incredible. Tutors are basically handed people they can share the gospel with. It's a beautiful way to evangelize. I learned so much about starting gospel conversations, answering hard questions, and using tools that I had never heard of. The training I received during orientation week at SpeakOut has enabled me to be much more comfortable with sharing the gospel.
The community aspect of SpeakOut is definitely one thing I miss most. Both years that I served on the project, the team became close almost immediately, and the sense of community is there from the start. We live together, serve together, play together...it's great. I now have many close friendships with people I met at SpeakOut. The shared experience of SpeakOut bonds people, and holding onto those friendships means the community can extend even after SpeakOut ends.
Another invaluable part of SpeakOut for me this past summer was the discipleship group times.
I learned a lot during our weekly Bible studies as a group, and I felt loved and cared for during my one-on-one meetings with my discipleship group leader where we talked about the struggles I was facing, the highs and lows of the week, and that sort of thing. I've never had any kind of discipleship relationship with anyone before SpeakOut, and it's one of the things I miss most about SpeakOut when it ends. It was through my discipleship group leader that I began to recognize the calling that God was placing on my heart throughout the summer.
Called to Ministry
The single most important way that God worked in my life at SpeakOut occured on the last day of SpeakOut 2016. I had been praying about what to do with my love for Hungary, and my desire to serve there. Towards the end of SpeakOut, my discipleship group leader and I talked about how she had taught English at several Hungarian schools in the past. From that conversation, I found out about an organization that sends teachers to Central Europe to teach conversational English classes. While I was in still in Hungary, I submitted an inquiry with the organization, and a few months later, the application process is complete, and I'm now planning to serve in Budapest as an ESL teacher beginning next fall. God placed this calling on my heart while at SpeakOut, and I'm eager to follow Him in this exciting journey.
I made this video to show my friends when I came home from SpeakOut 2016.