A Critical Time!!! (Update!)

Last week, we shared with you that we had received 15% of our support.

We also told you that the International Christian School of Budapest greatly needed us in August.

A few (okay, a lot) of things have happened this week, and we want to share the wonderful things that God has done for us!

1. Our Support Level Has Changed.

Last time, we told you that we needed to raise $4,500.00 per month in order to live and teach in Budapest. After a few adjustments, we were able to cut that down to $3,450.00 per month. This is a big adjustment, bringing us much closer to the full amount! We have also made some large adjustments to our one-time cost as well, bringing it down by a few thousand, with the potential of bringing it down even more.

2. We Have More Partners Joining Us!

We have been at an international teacher conference in rural New York the past two weeks, which means we are unable to meet personally with people to share our story and look for partners to join us. However, God is faithful, and we have received monthly commitments while we have been away! Also, teachers at the conference who are being paid by their schools have been generously giving us donations as well. Our home church began supporting us this week, adding much to our monthly total. Although we were at 15% last week, today we stand at nearly 40%!!!

3. We Are at a Critical Time!

This is the beginning of July. ICSB opens its doors in 8 weeks. We firmly believe that God can provide our support in time. If you are currently supporting us, please pray that other supporters would partner with us during this next month. If you are not supporting us, I invite you to pray about the possibility of partnering with us! For those that want to be financial supporters, we would love to hear from you! There are MANY people that we are still looking to approach about partnership, and we can only talk with so many people per week. It blesses us richly when others who are aware of our situation approach us about giving, no matter the amount. Time is of the essence, so we ask that you don’t delay if God is calling you to give!

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Look Out Your Window.

Five years ago, I was a senior in high school, looking forward to one thing: Senior Trip. We were going skiing in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, a place I had only ever heard and dreamed of. All I could think about was getting to the top and finding out what 10,000 feet above sea level looked like.

What I didn’t know was that climbing that mountain would be equally – and perhaps even more – impressive that the view of the summit. As we drove across the base of the Rockies, they took my breath away. I had never seen something so massive, so seemingly unreachable, and here we were slowly making our may up the mountain. Even after reaching the resort, we still had to take a 5-10 minute cable-car to the top. The view was as incredible as I had hoped… but looking back, I’m so glad I paid attention to the journey.

 

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Ariel and I are SO READY to be serving in Budapest. But we aren’t right now. We would love to have a date circled on the calendar in the next month or two… but so far we don’t. And while we trust in God that he will bring us to Budapest in his time, we would be foolish if we didn’t look out the window on the way. The way has been hard, and continues to be. We haven’t done this before, we don’t have complete control over our timetable, and we (especially me) are being forced to use and develop our weaknesses along with our strengths. It would be so easy to complain, to cry out to God and say, “Why is ministry so difficult? If you want us there, why don’t you provide as soon as possible? Aren’t all things possible with you?” But when I do that, I’m like a child who’s closing his eyes while scaling the Rockies, whining, “Are we there yet??”

All my life, I’ve wanted to be a better communicator. As a teacher, good communication is pretty much the most valuable thing I could have. I’ve never been a good speaker. If there’s anyone who understands Moses’ panic at the burning bush, saying (paraphrasing), “Please no, I…. you don’t understand… I… I hate talking. Like, I can’t. I just can’t…” then it’s me. So God called us to Hungary, and gave us a journey where we go into people’s homes, and we talk. I talk. I talk about what is perhaps (besides my wife) the most important part of my life right now, and I’m learning to enjoy it. I’m learning how to pick up the phone and ask people to join our ministry, even though calling someone has always been my LAST resort of getting in touch with them. We’re looking out the window at the hugeness of God and the greatness of his ministry in Budapest, and we’re finding, slowly but surely, the wonderful ways he brings us up a seemingly unconquerable mountain.

This week, please pray that we would not be discouraged, but that we would praise God for the ways he’s preparing us for our ministry in Budapest. Pray that we would trust him to provide. And as always, please let us know if you would like to partner with us. You have no idea what your giving means to us, much less to the people of Budapest and to God.

An Urgent Request.

To All Our Friends, Family, Acquaintances, and Church,

 

We need your help.

 

Many of you know that Ariel and I have been raising support to teach in Budapest, Hungary for two years. What you might not know is that the International Christian School of Budapest greatly needs us for the start of their school year in August, 2014, and we cannot go until we have all of our monthly support.

Yes, that’s in 2 months.

We’re calling on all of you to give, not to us, but to God’s ministry in Budapest through us. ICSB is a growing and fruitful ministry to missionaries, their children, and other students from Budapest and across the world who have never heard the gospel.

What do we need? We need $4,500 a month in order to live and teach in Budapest for 2 years, and that money comes from those who choose to partner with us.  We ask that you seriously consider and commit to supporting Ariel and I for these two years. Right now, we are at 12% of our monthly support.

You don’t have to give much to make a difference. Even commitments of $20 a month cause us to praise God. But we ask that you give generously as God has equipped you to give, not withholding anything.

Please don’t think we are begging you for your money. Our earnestness and passion comes from constant communication with ICSB and hearing about how much they need us there. We cannot afford to sit and be passive. We’re asking you to act. If God is calling you to support us in any fashion, please do it this week, today even. The faster we reach 100%, the faster we can begin the transition to Budapest and our ministry to the students of ICSB.

TO DONATE: Go to www.uwm.org/donate or email me at briandicks115@gmail.com for more information. Please do not send checks to us as they must go through our mission board, United World Mission.

 

In Christ,

Brian and Ariel Dicks

Our Story. God’s Call. Your Opportunity!

Our Story. God’s Call. Your Opportunity!

A special message from Brian and Ariel Dicks…

By now most everyone in our lives has heard that we are planning on moving to Budapest, Hungary. Many people have heard we are going to teach, and some have even heard about how God has brought us to this point. Right now, as our journey to Budapest is picking up steam, we want to share with everyone who is reading this just how God has brought us to this point.

We both grew up in strong, godly families who were a part of healthy, Bible-believing churches. Both of us made decisions to give our lives to Christ at an early age, while experiencing the testing and renewing of our faith that often comes with growing up in Christ. God made it evident early on that he was calling us to a life of service… Brian was called to teach Bible to high school and middle school students, and Ariel was given a love of science, yet still outdone by her love for children and students.

In bringing us together as two teachers looking to impact students for Christ, God made it evident that we would be given the opportunity to serve together as husband and wife.

In 2005, during his ninth grade year, Brian moved with his family to Budapest for 8 months, staying from August until the following April. During that time, he experienced what it was like to be a “missionary kid” or “MK,” a term he had never heard until that year. He experienced first-hand what it was like to leave friends and country for a culture that was completely foreign. He saw how difficult it was to maintain a spiritual and relational identity when all you’re doing is following where the Lord is leading your parents.

However, he also experienced the International Christian School of Budapest, ICSB for short. The school existed as a ministry to both missionaries and their children. It provided inexpensive yet quality education, allowing missionaries to stay on the field longer. Also addressed were the spiritual, educational, and relational needs of the students through the outstanding faculty and staff who felt led to minister to them. MK’s are encouraged at ICSB to make their faith their own, and their teachers also act as mentors and role models of how to serve Christ and love Him with all their heart.

When we started praying about going to serve at ICSB as teachers, God burdened us for them immediately. We applied for positions and interviewed with the staff, and within a week they had asked us to join them for a 2-year commitment!

In order for the school to offer affordable education to families who live off of the financial support of others, the school’s teachers also raise financial support before coming to the school. This week, we were appointed as missionaries with United World Mission, a sending agency that has a passion for seeing the global church both grow outwardly and come together inwardly. For serving in a school where multiple nationalities come together to be taught by Christian teachers from many different local churches, United World Mission’s vision was the same as ours.

The school needs us for the 2014-2015 school year, which begins in August. We are earnestly praying that God provides the funds in time for the first day of School! Our support level is $4,500 per month, and we have some up-front costs as well for transitioning overseas. We would be overjoyed if you would be a part of our financial support team! While of course we welcome any support at any level, here’s an example of how you can get involved at multiple levels.

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Would you prayerfully consider being a part of our support team? If you would join with us, you can visit http://www.uwm.org or follow this direct link. Also, please contact us by phone, email (briandicks115@gmail.org) or facebook if you have any questions or would like to meet with us! We are so very ready to serve the students of ICSB, and would love for you to be a part as well.

February Update – Mission Boards and Invitations!

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Good morning, all.

It’s time for another update on Ariel and I and our journey towards Budapest! Another important piece of the puzzle was placed yesterday, as we were accepted into candidacy as missionaries with United World Mission! We have been invited to their “Starting Point” orientation week taking place during the first week of March, at their headquarters in Charlotte, NC. This will be a very important week as we learn about the work and ministry of United World Mission, as well as gain practical wisdom and information for our support raising process. Please be praying that God would begin a blessed and fruitful relationship with our mission board, so that He will be most glorified while we raise our support, as well when we minister in Hungary.

I’ve received many questions from others whom I have talked with personally about this step, and I want to take the time to answer a few of the more frequent ones.

 

Q: Why a Mission Board?

A: Because it enhances, strengthens, and protects the Great Commission.

I was just recently asked this question by a good friend. Why do we need a mission board? Can’t we just raise the money on our own to go? While I could write pages on this subject, I’ll keep it short and simple. A mission board is not required of God for true and effective ministry, but it is indeed incredibly useful. A mission board does many things, but there are three main reasons for its existence.

1) It assists the mission by keeping them financially organized and accountable. Instead of the missionary having to collect and manage hundreds of monthly checks and other monetary support, the mission board keeps track of all that comes in and monitors their financial situation throughout the term.

2) It strengthens the mission by providing the missionary with spiritual encouragement and fellowship both at home and in the country in which they serve, through the home office and other missionaries. Already Ariel and I have begun communicating through Skype and email with 4 other United World Mission missionaries and staff that are involved with the ministry in Budapest.

3) It protects the mission by evaluating and approving those Christians who are fit for ministry and evangelism. Over the years, the church has determined which questions to ask and what is required by God of those who spread his Word. Instead of letting anyone take the Word anywhere under “in Jesus name” regardless of what they actually teach, a mission board uses the application process to assure that the missionary takes the Bible and the kingdom of God seriously, and that they will be an accurate representation of Christ wherever they go.

 

Q: Why United World Mission?

A: It is just one strong, biblical mission board in a large body of strong, biblical mission boards.

To clarify, we could have gone with many different mission boards. Ariel and I do not want to have an elitist attitude in regards to our mission board… we did not pick UWM because we thought it was better or more biblically sound. There are, however, several reasons (not necessarily unique to UWM) that we chose United World Mission. First, it has a strong missionary base in Hungary, and a number of teachers at ICSB are UWN missionaries. Second, we appreciate the attitude towards evangelism that is evident in their very name. They hold that the mission of God is worldwide, so therefore their missionaries are located all throughout the world. They also hold that the mission of God is united, and while their missionaries’ work varies throughout each region, they are all united in purpose. Third, and perhaps most importantly, their statement of faith and philosophy of missions reflects a strong adherence to God’s word while still allowing for many different denominations to take part. Just as their worldwide missionaries are united in purpose, so are the many denominations of God’s church. For example, while a Baptist mission board may be strongly united in Baptist teaching, they might miss the opportunity to work alongside a Presbyterian who shares the very same faith and passion for ministry. There are strengths in each situation, for sure, and neither one is the right one, but we would prefer to work with the broad scope of the church.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 

I was going to mention some additional questions, but I don’t think I want to draw this out any longer for now. Please pray for Ariel and I as we prepare for our orientation week, and as we begin to discover the support that God has already promised for us! Have a blessed day, and may God work in and through you today. 🙂

Of Faith and Patience

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

-Hebrews 11:1, NASB

Please pray that Ariel and I would have faith. And patience.

Those of you that know me well will discover that I like to know what’s going to happen and when it will happen. On a busy night at the restaurant, I’ll have my own personal, hand-written list of all the reservations… how many, what table, what time, etc. When I wake up in the morning, I mentally outline at what time I will do what during the day. To put it plainly: I don’t like uncertainty.

In our process of getting to Hungary, I was sure that by now, I’d be sending out support letters, talking to churches, and beginning to see support come in. But now, God is showing me just how clueless I am. This week, we learned we can’t be officially accepted by the mission agency until the beginning of March, and thus cannot do any support raising until then. To raise two years-worth of support in 5 months would be pretty difficult.

Enter my frustration, fear, and anxiety, and questions like “Will we ever make it?”

Now enter what God says about my attitude.

“With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

If God is all-powerful and always true to his word… which He is… and if He has called Ariel and I to Budapest… which we believe He has… than we have no need to doubt Him. All that’s left for us to do at the moment is to pray and do all we can to prepare, making the most of the time he has given us. So today, I spent a couple hours putting together the mailing list for our support letters. (For those of you who would like a support letter, email me at reachinghungary@gmail.com or contact me personally or via facebook!) 

So for now, we ask for your prayers. We ask that you pray for our strengthened faith, increased patience, and that God would provide like He’s said He would. Thanks! 🙂

Waiting: Where We Are and How You Can Support Us.

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It’s December, and for the first time, Ariel and I are observing the period of time known to the church as Advent. While I could write a whole post about Advent (and just might before December’s over!), I actually want to quickly share how Advent is reminding us of our current status concerning our transition to Budapest.

If you’re familiar at all with Advent you know it is a time of waiting… waiting (symbolically) for the birth of Christ, as well as waiting (literally) for the return of Christ to rule his people. There’s a certain tension in waiting for something so great. While impatience and longing for something better or something promised can be hard, the assurance of something better is encouraging and gives hope.

Right now, Ariel and I are in a period of waiting. While we have accepted job offers from ICSB for the 2014-15 school year, we still need to partner with a missions organization before we begin to raise our support. We’re currently about half-way through the application process, after which we will need to go through orientation. Then we will start raising support and (Lord-willing) leave by August!

So how can you support us and partner with us at this stage? Well, there are two ways actually! First, we would LOVE to have your pledge of future financial support! You can do this by emailing us at reachinghungary@gmail.com! How you do this is totally up to you… you can certainly pledge a specific amount of one-time or monthly support, or you can simply pledge that you will support us in some way. Once we receive our target support level and begin raising it, we will be able to begin by contacting those of you who have already contacted us!

Secondly, you can partner with us right now in prayer. This website will be a place for us to continually update you on how you can best pray for us. For the next few weeks, please pray…

…for patience and faith while we move through a sometimes slow application process that still holds a couple of unknowns.

…for Ariel’s schoolwork as she finishes up one of the busiest semesters of her college career.

…for God to provide the financial and logistical means for us to reach Hungary next year. We know he has called us and we know He will provide. We’re just waiting to see who He brings alongside us and the amazing ways he does it!