“I saw the need for Jesus here.”That’s what Sarah (Cusson) Berta-Somogyi learned after her first short-term service trip to Hungary.
Sarah demonstrates using puppets for her children’s class.On November 18, in Sopron, Hungary, Sarah was commissioned and installed as a teacher by the LCMS Board for International Mission and assigned to Sándor Péterfy Lutheran Educational Center in Gyor, Hungary, where she teaches English as a foreign language. Sarah, who has served as a GEO long-term missionary in Hungary since 2008, has been eligible for a call since completing her Lutheran Teacher Certificate at Concordia University, Irvine, Calif. Sarah has received a Bachelor of English and a Master of Education from Concordia, Irvine. While she was attending undergrad at Concordia, Irvine, one of Sarah’s teachers told her she was coming on a short-term service trip to Hungary. “She didn’t ask, she told me. I guess she saw something in me that I couldn’t see in myself,” Sarah said. While on the short-term trip to Hungary, the team was involved with English Bible camps throughout Hungary. “That experience changed my life, and I began to wonder if I could serve the Lord in Hungary someday. I saw the need for Jesus here, and I think that the Lord created in me a compassion and a care for the country and its people. I can’t explain how God prepares us to serve in different ways and in different places, but I know that He does, and I am blessed to be able to be here.”
Sarah serves as an English teacher in Gyor, HungaryNow that she has been here for three years, Sarah felt it was appropriate to receive her first call. Over the weekend of November 18-21, 11 missionaries gathered in Sopron, Hungary, for a GEO Gathering, a time for missionaries to gather, pray and share ministry ideas and teaching curriculum. The Gathering started with the Divine Service, led by Rev. David Mahsman, a service which included Sarah’s commissioning. Sarah shared, “The neatest thing for me was that my dad, Rev. Bradley Cusson, could read one of the Scripture readings via Skype at my service. Both of my parents watched and listened to the service through Skype, and that was extremely touching for me. They understand the call of God and they have been so supportive of me serving where I feel the Lord is calling me to serve. It was extra special that they could join me for the service.”
Rev. David Mahsman and Sarah Berta-Somogyi listen to the epistle reading from Sarah’s father. Sarah, who also leads Bible studies and continues to work with summer English camps, still sees the need for Jesus in Gyor, Hungary and that vision is spreading. She shared the story of one student, “When I first met him, we had a long discussion about faith and what we believe. He seemed a little disillusioned by the church, but I reminded him that believing in Jesus is between a person and Jesus. Over the last two years, he has grown from a person thinking about faith to a person who believes strongly in Jesus as his Savior. He has now also decided that the Lord is calling him to become a Lutheran pastor and reach out to others with the Gospel, to build up the church that he was once disillusioned by. Just last week, I told him that I’d been talking with a girl who is on the cusp of believing and had a lot of questions. He told me, “Just send her to me!” It’s very exciting to see what God will continue to do through this student.”