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Izabella (far right) one of the first to be saved in Bogács

IT IS ESTIMATED THAT LESS THAN 3% OF THE 10 MILLION HUNGARIANS HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST.
SUICIDE RATES
ALCOHOLISM
LIFE EXPECTANCY

PHOTO: Our current home, Petőfibánya, a village of 3,600 located in Heves County Hungary.

Hungary is a dark post-Christian country in the midst of Europe. After two world wars, social experiments like fascism, communism and socialism Hungarians have become a self-centered and cynical society. To many Hungarians, everything is suspect and church has become irrelevant. In their view, Christianity is an outdated philosophy and is being replaced by progressive humanistic ideals and cultic practices.

Alcoholism continues to be a major problem in far too many families. In 2011, Hungary was the third highest per captia world consumer of alcohol compared to the U.S. which was 57th on the list.

A secularized youth culture struggles to find meaning. Suicide rates in Hungary have consistently been the highest in the world (nearly 4 times that of the US).

Diseases linked directly to alcoholism, suicide and the lack of motivation to bring children into a hopeless world are all contributing factors to Hungary having one of the lowest life expectancies in Europe.

HUNGARIAN PLAYWRIGHT PETER MULLER COMMENTS, ”GLOOM, DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE SEEM TO BE PART AND PARCEL OF HUNGARIAN CULTURE. IT'S HARD TO FIND A HUNGARIAN WITHOUT RELATIVES OR FRIENDS WHO HAVE COMMITTED SUICIDE… IT'S A KIND OF NATIONAL DISEASE, IT'S A KIND OF SICKNESS."
“GO INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL TO THE WHOLE CREATION.” — JESUS

PHOTO: Aniko being baptized after attending one of our evangelistic English Camps.

“How are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” — Rom 10:14-15

Over many years of sowing seeds of the Gospel in Hungary, we have been priveladged to see lives transformed. Our team of both Hungarians and American missionaries seeks to initiate a church planting movement in the 111 cities, small towns and villages like Petőfibánya that are scattered throughout northeastern Hungary. These are poorer areas of Hungary where many families work 50-60 hours a week and struggle to make ends meet. Dysfunctional families are prominent, with live-in boyfriends as fathers, alcoholism, abuse and a lack of loving attention given to children. There is rampant depression and a dark sense of loneliness. Heartless religious ritual, atheism, communism and the occult have firmly influenced the ideas and beliefs in this region. But the Gospel is the power of God to give new life to those who hear the Gospel and respond with faith in Jesus Christ.

We plant and water seeds of the Gospel with faith in God who causes growth.

Our family moved to Petőfibánya in 2003 partnering with a Hungarian church planting couple. At that time there was no church. Through years of sowing seeds and using various evangelistic and discipleship tools, the First Love Baptist Church was born by God’s grace. As we train and equip the saints in this body we see that members are now taking part in various outreach ministries and joining us in new church planting works.

Above: First Love Baptist Church in our hometown of Petőfibánya.

With the help of the growing body in Petőfibánya, we hold a summer Vacation Bible School which has touched many lives in our village. This ministry gives children in our village (and the surounding area) the opportunity to understand the Gospel and the love of God. In many cases parents begin hearing the Gospel for the first time through their children who have attended our summer VBS. This VBS ministry is also a training ground for church members to use their giftings to bless others. We believe all believers are members of the body and have important roles as we work together in proclaiming Jesus. We have seen kids that grew up attending our VBS come to a saving faith and in turn begin serving along side of us in VBS. For a taste of VBS, check out the videos below.

As the church in Petőfibánya began to grow, we recognized that there were families commuting from surrounding towns including Rozsaszentmárton . Instead of having these towns come to us, we began praying about ways we could bring the Gospel to them. Church members Dezső and Marcsi Szabó who live in Rozsa-szentmárton began inviting neighbors to their home for a Bible study. There was a positive response and a core group was formed for a church plant in Rozsaszentmarton.

Above: English club outreach in Rozsaszentmarton

Ministries we have used in Rozsaszentmarton include a Bible class in their public middle school,

a weekly house group, childrens ministry and an English Club.

Above: Children’s outreach in Rozsaszentmarton

Another family that commuted to our churchplant in Petőfibanya was from the town of Jászfényszaru . After being built up and mentored in our body for a year, our team began a church planting work in their hometown with their help. They initially began a house group reaching out to family, co-workers and neighbors. God has since opened doors to teach Bible classes in the public school, hold camps for teens and helped us develop many new relationships through an English Club.

Above: English club outreach in Jászfényszaru

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.”— Isaiah 61

The church planting work in Apc and Bogács are unique in that they are seeking to reach the Romani (commonly known as “Gypsies”) in Hungary. The Romani people have a sad history of slavery, persecutions, and genocide by the Nazis in the Holocaust. They have long been a nomadic people having issues fully integrating with those nations in which they have now settled. In Hungary there is widespread discrimination and hatred toward the Romani people.

Above: Romani children in the town of Bogács

Because of a lack of opportunity to work and a majority of Romani children not going on to secondary levels of education, many are stuck in a cycle of poverty. God seeks to show mercy to the oppressed and he loves to preach good news to the poor. We thank God for new opportunities to church plant among the Romani people in the towns of Apc and Bogács!

Mother and son in Bogács

Weekly bible study in Bogács

English Camps and Puppet Ministry

Outside of our churchplanting works in Petőfibánya, Rozsaszentmarton, Jászfényszaru, Apc and Bogács, our team also sows seeds of the Gospel through a Summer English Camp and Puppet Ministry. Our puppet ministry travels to over 24 schools reaching over 2000 kids every Christmas and Easter with the Gospel. As we visit these public schools throughout northeastern Hungary, we can deliver the Gospel fourteen times to each child as they progress from preschool through middle school. By God’s grace many of these seeds will take root and help establish the next generation in their faith in Jesus Christ. Check out our Easter and Christmas films below.

Red dots reveal towns we have been able to share the gospel through our Easter and Christmas puppet ministry.

Every summer we hold an Evangelistic English Camp that attracts teens and young adults from various regions of Hungary. Each day at camp is designed to maximize english learning and to clearly communicate God’s love and His Gospel message. One young man saved through this ministry commented that this camp is one of the most effective ways to reach youth in Hungary with the Gospel. See the films below for an overview of Summer English Camp.

Consider partnering with us.

The Mercers are currently in need of new sustained monthly supporters and one-time financial gifts. Through the help of supporters like you, we have been able to serve in Hungary since 2000. Being fully supported enables us to continue assisting multinational churchplanting teams saturate Hungary with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Mission needs both those who go and those who send. If you would like to personally invest in bringing the gospel to Hungary and partner with us, please consider our following ministry needs:


You could support us through prayer. Consider joining our core prayer team and intercede for regularly updated needs. Have an impact on the lost and bless the lives of new Hungarian believers! Contact us at mercercafe@mac.com if your would like to join our prayer support team.


You could support us financially. We need help with one-time gifts and sustained monthly support. The money that we receive monthly not only pays our rent and grocery bills, but also allows us to invest ourselves in church planting ministry full time. Please contact us for more information or go here to donate today.


We want to continue saturating northeasten Hungary with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and leave Hungary with equipped Hungarian leaders who would faithfully carry out their callings in their families, their local churches, their local communities and beyond. The harvest is plentiful and there is much more work to be done. Please pray that God raise up and send more workers to His harvest field and please consider ways you could partner in supporting that work.

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