Posted on January 6, 2016 Smalley’s Update Fall ’15

Happy New Year!

Wow, we can’t believe it has been so long since we posted anything! Please accept our apologies. We had a flurry of events happen and departed the states a week after we received our needed funding. To say it was a whirlwind is mild! PTL and thank you for all of you who helped get us back to the field!

Since we got back at the end of September, we have been leaping back into ministry that normally happens here ( Bible Studies; Patchwork Club; Men’s Club; Team Meetings; Assisting pastors; Serving at the Barka) plus some fun extras like helping with donations for the refugees; Friendship evangelism; Grain Game days; Men’s outreaches and helping some other people. We have moved into a small apartment (first time we have ever lived in an apartment! God provided a large European fridge and an inside dryer!); Celebrated our 30th anniversary; Renewed friendships here; Carrie had her knee replacement surgery; Re-started language lessons – this time with a private, Christian tutor; Re-started physical therapy; Joined our team with some of the puppet ministry events;  Skyped with a few of you; Helped with some of the Christmas Shoebox deliveries,  and quite frankly, our return (thanks again to you), reassured the Hungarians that we were true to our word in saying we wanted to come back and we are committed to working with them. This says something huge in a culture that is quite suspect of what others say and do and how they act. Does this help you understand what it means to support missionaries?? See? You not only help us serve, but you are serving as well through us!

During our 10 months in the states raising more support, we drove over 30,000 miles, Spoke at 61 specific functions we were invited to in order to tell about what God is doing in Hungary; met up with hundreds of you personally to talk about ministry, flew at least 10,000 (including trainings and conferences), met literally thousands of new people, revisited with many of you, renewed old friendships, prayed with many strangers and for many truckers, celebrated with 5 new couples at their weddings, celebrated Christmas with Carrie’s mom AT Christmas-time, got to spend some great times with all of our sons and their wives, met new family members, said good-bye this side of heaven to many others, and EVERY single day God gave us an opportunity to tell someone about what God called us to in this new adventure in life. On the average, we had a different place to sleep at least two times a week for the entire time!

We also had the privilege of having God direct our steps more than once. Often to us it looked like we were to go to one place for one reason… then God stepped in and a flurry of other opportunities bloomed because we were willing to trust Him with the one thing. Such is a life wholly depending on God, wherever a person is. God calls each of us to obedience, step by step and it is a process every day, no matter how old you are. There is never one way continually to do something, other than expense reports! Our God is SUCH a God of creativity!  What a joy to live for Him daily and rejoice in how He designs each day!