Fiona’s Trip In September 2006 I travelled to the Czech Republic and Hungary with Allison Hellier and Mandy Bruder for three weeks. I have been on the board of Chandelier Ministries since its inception four years ago and in spite of this have nonetheless found it difficult at times to satisfactorily explain the work that Chandelier does in these countries. Going on this trip gave me a greater understanding and especially an increased appreciation of Allison’s work in these countries and of the impact that she has had. Allison very ably led our team of three and whilst I have known Al well for at least 12 years I have never seen her “in action”, as I did in both Czech and Hungary. What I witnessed in her over those three weeks showed me what someone is capable of when they are where God wants them to be and doing what He wants them to do. In Czech Republic we ran a seminar, a morning children’s programme, taught English communication classes at a high school and ran a craft outreach night. Allison is a gifted teacher and communicator and she speaks with confidence and authority. We had the privilege of visiting a playgroup in a town called Chomotov in Czech, run by one of the churches. Two years ago Allison had run the playgroup training course at that church. At the time however it seemed to “fall flat” and it was somewhat discouraging for Allison. Two years later it’s an entirely different story. From that small seed faithfully sown by Al have grown three playgroups of 15 families each and more on the waiting list. Most participants are women from the community who wouldn’t normally go near a church. Additionally, they run a craft outreach night once a month, attended by about 60 women. This commenced following a pilot craft night run by Al at the same time two years ago. Now also once a month the church has introduced an evening with a speaker which is attended by about 35 people. The mayor of the town visited the playgroup and brought with her a reporter from the local newspaper. She spoke very highly of what the church is doing and said that it is the most successful programme for women in the town of 80,000 people. Other things have been tried and have failed, but this continues to grow. Our work in Hungary was somewhat different to that in the Czech Republic. It involved visiting about eight small churches, each one a part of the Omega network of churches. The ’parent’ church is a vibrant and very active church of about 200 in Budapest. Our time was spent with groups of (mostly) women from each of these regional churches. Having been to Hungary four times previously, Allison has a history there and has clearly earned the respect of the pastors who head up the Omega Church and network. Their expectations of her were high. We visited these churches in one week which sometimes meant two churches a day. Al was expected to bring a message for each group (we knew very little about each one before visiting and so reliance on a word from God was high). Time and time again however, Allison ‘hit the mark’ with a message specifically to each group we visited. After speaking we prayed for people, usually individually, relying on God for what He wanted to bring to each person. Throughout that week in Hungary I again saw Allison at work where she belongs, like a piece of a puzzle that fits perfectly within the whole. What she did was not something anyone could manufacture and it was hard, draining work. She did it with poise, authority and a quiet confidence. When asked by others, “what does Chandelier Ministries do?”, previously I’ve found it much easier to talk about their work in Vietnam in hygiene and sanitation. As a consequence of my trip with Allison and Mandy I’m able to appreciate more fully the value of Chandelier Ministries’ work in these other countries. I see a couple, Kevin and Allison, obedient to God’s call on their lives and Him honouring their obedience by supplying what’s needed when it’s needed, whether that be finance or a specific word to a hurting, broken person in a small country church in Hungary. You drop a small stone in a large lake – seems insignificant, but the ripple effect of that stone is far-reaching. This is how I see the work of Chandelier Ministries. It may seem to be only a small stone at the time, but God is able to multiply and the effects are proving to be far- reaching.