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Serving the Lord, with you!
What is happening to our faith?

As we continue through the beginning of what may be another unusual year, I am struck by the perseverance of God's people around the world, remaining faithful to the Lord.  Pastors are preparing sermons to encourage believers in their faith, parents are training their children in the things of the Lord, missionary continue to serve on the mission field, and Christ-followers around the globe are growing in their faith. 

Although the pandemic has presented new challenges to our faith, God's Word has remained the same, the power of the gospel has not diminished, and the Lord continues to build His church.
 
Galatians 6:8-10
"The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the, proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."


One aspect of missionary life is the challenge and reward of depending on God's people to participate in ministry with us through regular giving.  We currently have 44 couples and individuals and 4 churches that regularly give to ABWE in order to support the work that we are doing at ICSB.  What a privilege to be surrounded by a team of believers, willing to walk with us so faithfully.  As this passage reminds us, the good that radiates from Christians is one instrument that the Lord uses to care for the family of believers.  
 
ABWE President Paul Davis reported in his January newsletter, "I am humbled that through these unprecedented times, we've seen God's protection; we've seen the highest giving year in our mission's history, and we've seen our missionary team grow for the second consecutive year!"  

Thank you for supporting our ministry with ABWE through regular giving!  Your generosity and joining with us in ministry makes our service to the Lord in Hungary possible.  If you would like to team with us financially please click the link below.
Click Here to Join Our Support Team!
We have a string of three birthdays from January 31st to February 17th, starting with Fawn.
It's hard to believe that Maggie has turned 3 already!  She was only 6 months old when we arrived in Hungary to begin serving at ICSB.
My staff and the students of the high school wore red shirts celebrating "Mr. Southwell Day"  on my birthday this year to show their appreciation.  It was a big surprise for me and a special day, as I felt loved and encouraged!
Ministry Update

Hungary has continued to extend emergency powers of the government as well as restrictions due to the pandemic. 

The current restrictions that impact our family are:
  • 8:00 curfew in which you must be inside your home
  • Schools above 8th grade are still online
  • Group gatherings are limited to 10 people
  • Restaurants are closed for dine-in
  • Masks must be worn in all stores and city public spaces
On a positive note, our local church began meeting in-person again two weeks ago.  It was wonderful to worship with other believers again, after not having been regularly in-person for worship since November 11, 2020.  Our school is also able to offer the spring musical and spring track to the high school students.  Abigail will be in the musical and Abigail and Lydia are both planning to run track.

Fawn has arranged for a few different missionary families to come for dinner at our home.  It has been great to get to know missionaries that are serving here in Budapest, learning about their ministries and encouraging them.

As the school continues with online learning, my teachers have begun to get more creative with opportunities to invite students in for small group "consultations", which are permitted within the current restrictions.  Although morale is not really high at the school amongst students or staff, the in-person contact that we have been able to have has been an encouragement and we are hopeful that the restrictions will one day be lifted so that our school can function in a normal way again.  
The basketball tournament, that is traditionally one of the biggest events of the year for ICSB had to be cancelled this year.  On the day of the tournament the seniors were invited to come in for some fun and competition.  For Lacey, it was a great time with her class.
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Prayer Requests & Praises
  • Pray for Lacey as she continues through a disrupted senior year and as she prepares to make a choice for college.
  • Pray for the academic, social, and emotional wellbeing of the students.
  • Praise the Lord for the way that He has continued to show grace towards our family.
  • Pray for the leadership of the school and the teachers as they navigate the government restrictions and try to provide a strong education for the students.
  • Praise the Lord for missionaries that are serving on the field and also pray that their ministries will be able to have an impact on the Kingdom.
Share your prayer requests here.

Thanks for reading,
Mike, Fawn, Lacey, Abigail, Lydia, Pressler, Sadie, Noah, and Maggie
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International Christian School of Budapest · 4663 CROY LAKE RD. NE · Mancelona, MI 49659 · USA

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