by Ildikó Kóber, Hungary
“This is the day …” that closed a 22-year-long chapter of my life.
“This is the day …” that the Lord has made to rejoice and be glad in it and proclaim His glory.
April 1, 2016. This day was just another average spring day in Budapest: the sun was bright, the grass was green, the flowers were pretty, and people were happy. But this was also the day that started a new chapter in my life. I got a job! I am officially employed, and I now have a regular income. This job is a real joy to me.
“Oh, why is it such a big deal?” someone might ask. Let me tell you why.
My story started in May 1994. It was a beautiful spring day, just like April 1, 2016. I was going home from the small village school where I was a teacher. I liked living in the quiet village, away from the big city. Suddenly a question hit me hard: “Is this how I’m going to live for the rest of my life? Morning classes, afternoon preparations, house chores, raising my kids, day in, day out, and then one day I’ll be buried in the local village cemetery? Is that all? Is this what my life is all about?”
I had a bad feeling inside me. I was restless. I did not know Jesus at that time, but I had everything – a nice house, nice kids, a hardworking husband, and a regular job. Yet something was missing. Something wasn’t right with my life as it was. I began searching, and because I didn’t know what I was searching for I felt even worse.
Out of this restlessness, I started to switch from one school to the next every two years. I was desperately looking for meaning and purpose in my life, but it seemed to be in vain. A very intense inner search began: Who am I? What am I supposed to do? Am I really a teacher? Or should I be doing something else? I had reached the age of 50, and I was still wrestling with identity questions!
During this same time my home disintegrated. My children grew up, left home, and started their own lives. My husband left me for a much younger woman. I was left alone and was forced to make big changes. I moved to Budapest.
It was at this darkest point of my life that I started to seek God. After three years of intense searching, I finally found Jesus and accepted Him into my life as my Savior. In place of my own lost family I found a new family in the Lord – the church. Slowly I started to understand who I really am. I AM A BELOVED CHILD OF GOD!
I lost everything that until that time I had considered important, but I found that for which I had been looking for more than twenty years – my identity. My old unrest was gone, and with joy I began seeking for the work God intended for me.
That search took four years. I could find only temporary jobs – giving home care, cleaning, ironing, caring for children. Everyone was happy with my work, but I took these jobs only because I needed the money and had no other alternative. I was sure the Lord had other plans for me. I knew He wanted to shape me, through these difficulties, into the servant He wanted me to become … in His time.
During that time, I volunteered not only in my church, the Budapest Free Methodist Church, but also with other Christian foundations and organizations. Working as a volunteer with no compensation is still a foreign concept in Hungary. I was viewed as a crazy person by many. Working for free when I did not have any income! Unheard of! But I was happy to serve the Kingdom of God, and He took care of me. I had a place to sleep and food to eat; that was all I needed.
I know in complete confidence the Lord prepared a job for me where I could best serve Him. On April 1, 2016, I became the coordinator of the Set Free Movement in Hungary and the director of the Life Skills Program for the Bread of Life Foundation, both which operate under the umbrella of the Free Methodist Mission in Hungary. In addition, I am happy to be a local ministerial candidate in the Budapest Free Methodist Church.
Praise The Lord! He has shown His faithful love to me!
I am very thankful to all those people who have supported me in prayer and have given donations to make it possible for me to be a full-time servant of the Lord and fulfill His calling on my life.
He gave me this work, and His blessings are upon it!