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Keeping Focus

Published on February 12, 2021

Adelie Cox
The FCA publication is a gift from our FCA staff to all donors giving $50 or more annually. For more information about giving, visit here.  

Just one week away from the first game of the season, and they were ready. For the first time, his players had a brand new training facility with the space to adequately train and prepare for the upcoming season. They had no idea that the spring games for which they were working so hard would be hijacked by a global pandemic.

It was devastating to the players and coaches. Coach Terry Lingenhoel experienced the weight of this loss along with his team, but he didn’t allow this setback to derail his hope for the future or his vision for FCA in Hungary. He was sure the ministry would go on and that God would continue to prove Himself faithful and good.

Where were you and what was happening when COVID-19 hit your community?

It was definitely devastating. We finished our indoor training facility in January, so we were ready! We also had a D1 softball player-coach arriving in March and a D1 baseball player-coach arriving in April. We would have had our most powerful coaching staff to-date.

Our first game was one week away when the COVID-19 lockdown happened in Hungary. We were not allowed to meet with players for any reason, and we were not allowed to hold practices.

Since baseball is my full-time ministry, it was extremely difficult. The only thing I could do was keep up with field maintenance for our baseball complex. Our players were very disappointed. Fortunately, we were not locked down too long. We were able to start practicing in the beginning of June and began playing games in the middle of that month. The greatest answer to prayer was that we hosted our summer camps.

How do you stay grounded when the world feels so chaotic?

I’ve been through a lot of changes and challenges over my last 30 years of ministry in Hungary. God has been faithful in each of these. He has proven Himself faithful throughout Church history and throughout my life, so I really didn’t have reason to worry about the present or the future. It is not a cliché that God is my anchor during the storms of life and ministry.

What is happening in FCA in Hungary, and how have you witnessed the ministry’s impact?

At this point, FCA in Hungary is sport-specific and focused on the Érd baseball and softball club. We were so encouraged when we could host our summer camps. We had three camps in our club, and all of them were well-attended. We had to rely on local staff since no one from the United States could come in, but God blessed these camps. The 100% material that is part of the summer camp curriculum FCA created gave a clear Gospel presentation.

We were encouraged when we could help another camp ministry called Word of Life with their baseball camps since the Americans they usually rely on could not come. Also, we held a camp for a secular European Union project focused on helping Roma children. Never before have we had this kind of opportunity to share our faith with disadvantaged kids.

What would your encouragement be to other coaches continuing to face unpredictable circumstances?

Even though our title is usually “coach” and we minister as coaches, we can’t forget that our identity is “child of God.” That makes it possible to face unpredictability, disappointment, failure and success.

What is God teaching you this year?

I personally am learning how to persevere—to run the race to the finish. After 30 years of ministry in Hungary, I have seen many people come and go. This year has been unlike any other, but it was still just a year. In order for me to finish well, I need to keep my eyes on the goal set before me and run the race to the end. God only knows whether that means one more year or 20 more years. My eyes need to be focused on Him—not COVID-19, not politics, not problems and not successes.





Written with support from Adelie Cox
Photo courtesy of Alastair Hansen


The FCA publication is a gift from our FCA staff to all donors giving $50 or more annually. For more information about giving, visit here.