Jonathan Dabney
Missionary – Hungary

To begin, I was born and raised in California by God-fearing parents. They taught me everything I know about the Bible and showed me who God was through their teaching and through living lives after God as best they know how. Accepting God as a normal part of life, but not understanding what real, personal relationship with Him meant, I became a double-sided person, living a double-sided life Sundays and Wednesdays living as a Christian, and every other day living as I saw fit. Granted I was still under the authority of my parents, so no criminal activity ensued. But, from the age of 12 I did become addicted to pornography in which I remained for the next eight years. All through high school, I was involved actively in youth group, in kid’s ministry, and other such church functions, mainly participating in a worship leader role. I participated in missions trips to Nepal, Thailand, and a church trip to Israel. Yet the Gospel didn’t become personally real to me until I reached a point of condemnation by my own sin and was convicted by God’s law: a sinner. It was at this point we were on the Israel trip in 2005 that God clearer showed me that I could no longer live a double life. I had to as Joshua exhorted the Israelites to “choose today whom you may serve”. I gave my life to the Lord there at the baptism in the Jordan River.

Following this decision, God gradually changed my lifestyle. I graduated high school and moved on to Bible College in Hungary for the next three and a half years. There God did major things in my life, weeding out deep-rooted issues and planting in me His Word. Upon graduating from there in 2012 and getting my BA from the then accredited CCBCE in August of 2013, I presumed my time in Hungary over. I went back to the U.S. to work and go to college to pursue a degree in languages. This, however, did not happen. God had other plans. After much prayer and consideration during a time of doubt, and after talking with the pastor at the Calvary Chapel in Eger, Hungary, I was invited to come serve as the worship leader there and the all-around handyman. The preparation process took half a year, but God provided all that was necessary for my coming here.

Since arrival, my main mission has been leading worship in the church and assisting the pastor here. Other ministries I’m involved in here are the following: english club, gypsy ministry, english camp, clothing donation handouts, homeless ministry, and prayer ministry. I’ve been continuing the majority of these ministries throughout the past three years.

During this period of time and ministry, I met my bride-to-be, Ilona, who is a blessing to me in ministry and in life. Throughout the process of our dating, our relationship was tested by opposition from many including her family. But, by the grace of God, He has softened their hearts and has even opened doors for conversation regarding the Gospel. We’re still praying for their salvation. We dated from October 13,2014 until our wedding day on October 8th, 2016.

Throughout this last year, alongside serving in the church, I’ve had the privilege of teaching English to private students and of taking a Cambridge University- sponsored course on English teaching method known as CELTA. Following the completion of this course, an opportunity opened for me to teach part-time as the English lector for the University of Debrecen, a town a hour distant from Eger. I do this three days a week and am in Eger the rest of the time. It has been incredible to me how God has been by my side leading in my time here, and I’m looking forward to seeing how He uses me where He has me in months and hopefully years to come.