Changing a Nation
It proved one of the great investments in Hungarian history. After Robinson spearheaded the building of a 43-part YTL curriculum into Hungarian middle and high schools beginning in 1994, it took only five years for the number of Hungarians who had at least one friend to rocket from 15% to 65%. A burgeoning, post-Communist Era, HIV sexually transmitted disease (STD) crisis wherein 4,000 children, ages 13 or 14, had contracted AIDS and would die by age 25, was stopped in its tracks.
Not only did it never become an AIDS epidemic, the number of Hungarians contracting HIV nosedived. Bánhegyi’s enablement of Robinson and Grész to address the threat through the YTL movement at education, governmental, and civic conferences across Hungary, as well as on national TV and radio, contributed inestimably to this.
YTL’s first seven years produced 700 unplanned, after school youth clubs, as the nation’s young people sought friendships and more knowledge about decision making, bullying, and avoiding STDs, alcohol, and drugs. From these clubs, Robinson and his Cru staff and volunteers and other Christians spearheaded the planting of 58 new churches in Hungary. Cru trained 9,000 Hungarian educators to teach YTL. They did so in over 4,000 schools in 900 communities in the nation of 10 million.
Eighty percent of the teachers were atheists, yet 72% of all teachers taught the entire YTL curriculum. That included four Judeo-Christian-related components, including the Old Testament Proverbs, the Christian gospel, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, and the powerful, evangelistic Jesus motion picture.
As scores of thousands of Hungarians professed Christianity in the years after the Iron Curtain came down, the stories proved as amazing as perhaps only could occur in a long-atheistic nation. Robinson remembered one 14-year-old girl from Tihány. No one on either side of her family had been a Christian for many generations back. After this unbelieving young lady was shown the Jesus film by her atheist teacher in a YTL class, however, she placed her faith in Christ.
She sheepishly approached her teacher and said, “I don’t know what happened, but I said that prayer at the end of the film, and I feel like something has changed in me. What should I do?” He responded, “Well, if (Cru) was here, they would probably tell you to go to a church.”
On her way home, she went into a Baptist church. They welcomed her and discipled her. Six months later, she led her own, atheist father to Christ. He became a vibrant leader in his church.
Word of the growing multitude of marvels reached all the way to Cru founder and Oklahoma native Bill Bright in Southern California. A close friend of Robinson’s OKC father Frank, Bright called the younger Robinson and inquired about the YTL he had conceived and built. Then the Cru founder sent a team to Hungary to watch the first YTL teacher training symposium.
A few months later, Bright approved it as a worldwide Cru initiative. The European Union approved it in 2000. After 20 years, public and government schools were teaching it in 62 countries.
Meanwhile, 21st-century Hungary, having overcome generations of Nazi, fascist, and Communist tyranny, soul-killing atheism, and brutal injustice after losing wars, declared, in the face of a continental-wide onslaught of secular humanism and Islamic migration, “the family, the nation, and Christian freedom” as its three pillars. Its new Constitution humbly stated, “We hold that after the decades of the twentieth century which led to a state of moral decay, we have an abiding need for spiritual and intellectual renewal.”
In contrast to nearly all of the long-free West, by 2020, Hungary’s marriage rates surged upwards, and its divorce rates hit an all-time low. And it became the only nation in the world to establish a cabinet-level government office and policy to aid the “Four out of five people persecuted for their faith in the world who are Christians…the 245 million Christians around the globe who suffer extreme persecution.”
It poured particular help to those living in the Islamic world, including Hungarian college scholarships to gifted young people in Syria, Iraq, and Nigeria, and elsewhere. It delivered food and supplies. It rebuilt homes and entire towns.
Old King Stephen himself would be proud.
The above article is a bonus to the fascinating historical content found within our book
Oklahomans Vol 2 :
Statehood - 2020s
which can be purchased HERE.
View the inspiring 2-minute preview video HERE.