When It Doesn't Make Sense - Nori's Story
Kecia Kulla | February 2017
“One thing about faith is that it doesn’t have to make sense --at least not for us.”
One cannot help but be drawn in when hearing Nori speak about her faith, with passion in her eyes and boldness in her tone. She speaks from the heart, her confidence stemming from her unshakeable faith in the God who loves her. That faith has been cultivated over the years, as Nori Takacs da Silva has pressed in close and followed Christ through both the difficult and good times.
An Exciting Transformation
Like the majority of Central and Eastern European youth, Nori grew up in a non-Christian home. She knew very little about God and even less about Christ. At the age of 15, her world was turned upside down when she attended a summer English camp in Révfülöp, Hungary, a village near her home, and heard about Christ for the first time.
“I went to camp only because my mom insisted that I accompany my younger brothers. What I experienced and heard changed my life. What really struck me was how everyone was so friendly and nice and they were interested in me. They also told me things I had never heard before. They introduced Jesus to me and I wondered how is this possible. Who is this person, Jesus? This man who is also God; He doesn’t know me (or at least I didn’t know Him) and He would die so I wouldn’t have to?”
That week Nori accepted the gift of salvation. She returned home and her mom was shocked. She was suddenly acting differently. She was helpful, stopped swearing, was kind to her brothers, studied harder and more. The change was so drastic and although it was good, her mom regretted sending her to camp. She was worried that it was a cult. As Nori began to regularly attend church and Bible study, her mom was strongly against it, scared by the sudden change. Amidst the tension, Nori continued seeking ways to grow in her faith. Her classmates noticed the change as well and many thought it was weird, some even openly laughed and made fun of her. But, that did not stop Nori from talking about Christ.
When asked about this response to naturally talk about Christ with her family and friends, Nori says, “I couldn’t imagine anything else. Jesus’ gift was so sweet. Why would you refuse something so precious? Why wouldn’t you want Jesus? Sharing about Him was the obvious response.”
An Unexpected Journey
The initial falling in love with Jesus matured into a conscious commitment to boldly follow Christ that continues to be evident in Nori’s life.
In 2011, Nori married a Brazilian man and leaving family, home, and everything familiar, moved to Brazil. She and her husband, Nil settled into life together. They had a cute house, good jobs, and a wonderful ministry serving in the local church amongst the youth. Life was comfortable. However, they begin to think about moving to Hungary. It didn’t make sense, but they could not let go of the idea, so they prayed about it.
“We felt a mixture of fright and excitement: it seemed that a big change was ahead of us. When we shared with friends, we heard, ‘Oh, so Nori got a job in Hungary? Could you make more there? Does Nori have a house there? Did you get fired? Is it too hot for Nori here?’ Well, it was very easy to answer all of these questions: no. When we told my husband’s uncle about our plan, he asked two things: ‘Did you pray about this?’ Yes, we did. ‘Do you feel peace from God about this?’ We certainly did. ‘Then go,’ he said.”
So, in the midst of the doubts of many, but with a deep conviction that it was the next step, the couple moved to Hungary in the summer of 2014. They had no jobs, no money, no place to call home. They said yes to God’s call, living out 1 Corinthians 2:5, “so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” Reflecting on this transition, Nori says, “The only thing we did have was a strong conviction that it was God sending us. I believed it then and now I can clearly see it. This was all we knew, but had no idea about further steps.”
During this time, the Josiah Venture team in Hungary had partnered with Nori’s home church in Veszprém. Nori was very interested in their work when she met them and heard about their desire to disciple and equip youth and reach non-believers through evangelistic English camps. She had come to Christ through an English camp, so it resonated with her in a deep way. She also clearly saw the need for their work among the youth of Hungary.
While her husband got a job almost right away, Nori was unable to find employment during that first year back. This also didn’t make sense since she was home, and he didn’t speak a word of Hungarian. But in faith, she continued to trust God to provide a job and also began to volunteer with the local youth group.
A Surprising Redirect
The next fall, Rob Trenckmann, JV’s team leader in Hungary, invited Nori to attend the JV Fall Conference and there she took another step of faith that would change the course of her life.
Nori says, “I was skeptical --the theme of the conference was Unstuck. I remember thinking, ‘how cliché.’ But guess what? I did get unstuck! I realized I’d offered God only a part of my time and not all of it. I felt very strongly that He wanted me to work for Him. I felt a passion in my heart burning for the youth of my country. Hungarians need hope! Hope that lasts --not hope from politics or from the hard work of our hands, but from the Almighty God.”
She shared all this with Rob, and in January of 2016, she officially started working with JV in Hungary as the first national on the team. She continues to, with boldness, take steps of faith as she helps with the last part of founding an official organization in Hungary, but even more so as she raises support.
“I said yes to taking another step of faith, that is to be entirely dependent on Him. Even in my finances. Raising support is something uncommon in Hungary, I have to overcome (often my own) wrong ideas and stand up for my call here. This has not been easy either. But I still trust God and His provision. He brought me here, He will make a way. My support team is not complete yet, but I trust I’ll get there. When my faith is too little, I remind myself of how I got here and how that did not make sense. He is still the same God.”
We are thankful for Nori and for her bold faith, a core value of JV. Watching her follow Christ and seeing her passion to reach the youth in her country has and continues to inspire us here in Hungary. She says it well, “He called us here and honors us with front row seats to witness His work in Hungary. I do not consider myself strong or brave. But when He sends me, when He puts that fire and that peace in my heart that surpasses all understanding, I go, because sometimes the only thing that makes sense is the One who we can’t see and are still certain of.”
Would you pray for Nori and the many other nationals throughout JV who are taking bold steps of faith to reach the youth of their countries for Christ? And, would you also consider partnering with Nori in ministry? To view her bio and join her support team click here.