It’s amazing how the roaring laughter of teenage girls can resonate in the walls of the International Base on any given Wednesday from their gathering place in TAB Coffee House. That first floor of the base however, complete with the base staff’s expertise –Allison Jones’ daily coffee fumes flying through the air, Janene Wooten’s legendary brownies drawing in crowds, and Krisztina Révész’s heart-felt hugs as an afternoon greeting – is just a small part of what happens weekly at our home in Szigetszentmiklós, Hungary.
When the International Base first opened in 2017, our team knew it wouldn’t be an easy task to be developed. The house itself, home for years to IPHC missionaries Dave and Linda Fannin, had to undergo renovations in order to house the staff, mission teams coming in, and the coffee house on the first floor. That task, involving a solid month of renovation, constant intercession, and vision casting, was taken on by The Awakening’s first international team: Krisztina, who served alongside the Fannins for 11 years, Janene, Dreama Bryant, and Carolyne Smith.
According to Krisztina, starting a ministry from scratch meant a lot of work and a lot of questions.
“The unique thing about coming here is that we were starting it from scratch basically,” Janene echoed. “We all had so many ideas and so many thoughts, but also so many questions. And so, I feel like the first six months were just us figuring out, okay this works, this doesn’t work, we wanted this, but we’re going to have to wait to do that, because obviously we wanted to fulfill the vision of this house, but we have to make things work.”
Ministry started out slow at the base, but connections with the high school situated directly across the street were almost automatic. Those connections between our staff and the local English teachers then became one of the biggest encouragements as the staff proceeded.
“I thought, I’m going to go on the mission field and everything is just going to click into place, and you know, God called me to go so it’s going to immediately work out awesome,” Janene said, explaining her thoughts when she first arrived in Hungary. “That’s not how it is. There’s a lot of ground work that has to be laid before it starts flourishing.”
That’s when, according to the base staff, the layers started forming and building upon one another. As they worked on the house they were also taking ministry trips to serve and support missionaries and national leaders across Europe, attending language school, starting English club, learning to work with the local pastors, and overall sorting things out. And, while the layers now include a constant flow of interaction at TAB Coffee House, English class in the high school where the staff interacts with both students and teachers, English club where a group gathers on Wednesday nights at the local church, and weekly ministry trips in the nearby town of Rackeve, it all started with building relationships within the community.
“Just from my perspective, I feel like we’re in this period now where I can honestly see so much potential and growth in every ministry that we’re part of,” Janene said. “Things are changing and moving forward!”
Even through personnel transition at the base, our staff has been able to have a constant presence in the local community. Now, as interns and various teams come to serve alongside them, learn, and grow, they are seen by the community as part of the team.
“I’m really excited for what’s going to come in all of our ministries,” Allison said. “Like in Rackeve with what we want to do over the summer with the interns there. We’re not really sure yet, but we have dreams of stuff. And, just seeing what could happen after the summer and with the coffee shop and the school, as well as being excited with the growing involvement with the church. I’m excited to see what the Lord’s going to do.”
Momentum at the International Base is just getting started. We believe we haven’t even caught a glimpse of what God is beginning to stir, not only in Hungary, but across Europe! We believe God will continue using the base to spark conversation and make disciples as our staff ministers, but we also believe that as a training center, spiritual giants will emerge from it as a force to be reckoned with.
“It’s just a process, but we are in it already and I want to see it happen,” Krisztina said. “I just see us putting our best into it and all those who are coming after, and the interns, and the future staff, just moving toward that goal. It’s super exciting to me.”
It couldn’t be said any better: When you put 12 uniquely created strangers with different personalities, likes and dislikes in a room together with four really excited leaders, it can be a little uncomfortable at first, but after their first night together, The Awakening’s Emmanuel College interns bonded like family.
As the youth and college department of IPHC World Missions Ministries, we couldn’t have been more excited for our traditional internship to begin, for the first time ever, at Emmanuel College at the start of the 2018 Fall semester under the leadership of Josh and Ashlee Hafner and Jon and Erica Campbell.
The internship, mirroring the one based in Oklahoma for students attending or living in close proximity to Southwestern Christian University, focuses on one-on-one discipleship, practical ministry training and cultivating healthy relationships, all while offering various ministry opportunities including two ministry training days per semester, monthly family nights for interns and leaders to grow in communion with one-another, and drop-in sessions aimed to provide learning opportunities from various ministry leaders.
As the internship began, our interns entrusted our leaders with a relationship of discipleship and accountability. Throughout the semester, relationships continued to be formed not only between the interns and the leaders, but amongst the interns as well as they walked alongside each other in pursuit of God.
According to Josh and Ashley, the interns experienced something they’d never experienced before at their very first Ministry Training Day (MTD) covering prayer and prophecy with long-time partners of The Awakening Lou and Rebecca Shirey. After that, most gatherings grew to include a time of prayer and prophetic encouragement initiated by the interns.
As the semester continued with family nights and a MTD with Seth and Madeline Nix, our Emmanuel interns continued to be poured into; even pouring into each other.
“We have seen new friendships blossom and flourish, and they have always been so timely for each intern,” Josh and Ashlee shared. “I love how God knows each intern and what they each need so well that in a moment He can create a connection between two people that is sacred and will last a long time.”
With the constant echo on the importance of being sensitive to hearing God’s voice, our first semester at Emmanuel College has provided a season of growth for those who are so willing to say “YES!” to God when He calls.
“We want to see the students that come through this internship equipped with the tools and skills they need to carry out their God-given assignments (that they may or may not be aware of just yet),” Josh and Ashley said of the semesters to come. “God’s best might look different for each of them. Whether that looks like long-term missions, short-term missions, local missions, ministry in the church or ministry in the marketplace, we as a team can’t wait to see the students graduate from Emmanuel and walk out their destinies.”
In November 2018 we had the amazing opportunity to present “The Table” for the very first time to the local community around our headquarters in Oklahoma!
“The Table” originally started as an idea to find a new way to engage people in The Great Commission. The Awakening’s desire to use the arts to portray that message then came to life in the month of October as the writing process began. The vision stayed the same as rehearsals began, and on opening night we were believing God for big things! Big things like one of our interns praying with teary-eyed 10-year-old girl who wanted all her friends to know Jesus, and an auditorium of people looking to God saying, “Here am I, send me.”
“The Table” follows the lives of a doubting husband, unwanted daughter, striving mother and jealous sister as they fight to find their way through a world of struggle, all while leaving the audience to ponder one important question – will you go? Will you reach out to the world around you like Jesus asked us to do in Matthew 28:18-20?
In hopes, this all-original piece won't stay a one-time show for long, but will be presented for a second time in January before it is then taken to churches across the United States. Our prayer is that as "The Table" finds its way around the world, the heart of God will be portrayed to all people and they will be stirred to see the world around them His way.
To discuss having “The Table” come to your church email Seth Nix at firstname.lastname@example.org.