Petofibanya VBS Report


A sovereign solution

A week before camp was to begin, I received a call from Miki, our Hungarian partner in ministry. “We forgot to reserve the campgrounds, there is no record of us asking for the dates for VBS.” This was a BIG problem, and I said a short prayer, “Lord, you’ve got this figured out. I can’t solve this, but I know you can.” It turned out that others had reserved the campgrounds at the end of our VBS week and there was no way to change it. This would mean that we could use the campgrounds from Monday to Friday, but would have to pack up and move our VBS to the local community center for our family day on Saturday. This would be no small feat moving all kinds of supplies and equipment from the campground to the community center.



Praise God for providing a solution. But this was more than a general solution. It turned out to be a sovereign blessing from God. With 128 kids attending this year, the indoor space at the campground was nearly packed. It turned out that we had a record of 60 parents come on Saturday’s family day. Working with this number would just not work logistically at the campground space.


God knew in advance and granted that we would have the community center (above) that allowed all to be seated for the singing and teaching time. As the years go by and God continues to give us a good reputation in the community, we are seeing more interest and more growth each year!


Thank you for praying for good weather for the kids to be outside. I think it drizzled once for about 5 minutes toward the end of one day. Other than that, we produced all the rain to cool the kids off with temperatures in the 90s.







The theme for this year’s VBS was The Upside Down Kingdom. We helped the kids to see how Jesus invites us into His kingdom which appears to be upside down to the ways of the world. We showed the life of King Jesus, the way He served in humility, how He loved freely and also talked about principles of dying to live, giving to those who cannot repay, offering what little we have and seeing God use it in miraculous ways. We also sought to clearly present the Gospel and not go the way of just helping the kids see “better” ways to live. We talked about faith in Jesus being the only way to enter His kingdom.






Toward the end of each day, we had a closing drama (above) that was similar to some of the themes in Pilgrim’s Progress. Most of the youth group in our church were involved in the drama team and our daughter Ellie had a big part in working out the script. It is so great to see children ministering to children and helping them to understand important truths about our faith journey in Christ.



The majority of the kids attending our VBS are local, but we have some that came a great distance like Kevin (above). Kevin is a relative to one of the families in our church. In this past year, his sister Amanda was struck by a vehicle and nearly died. While she was still in a coma, our church took part in praying for her. Later she came out of a coma, but the doctors believed she was in a permanent vegetative state with no real awareness of herself or her environment even though her eyes were open. We then traveled out to her to lay our hands on her and pray for her in the hospital. In that time she had a trach in her throat, and a feeding tube in her body. We believed that Amanda was not in a vegetative state and prayed for healing. The doctor who came in while one of us were praying said the slight movements of the eyes or squeezing of the hand were just nerve responses and it was just wishful thinking to ignore the reality that Amanda was in a vegetative state.

The very next day, the mother sent a text with a picture of Amanda smiling in response to her brother Kevin and dad goofing off. This miraculous sign made the doctors change their diagnosis and put her on track to rehabilitation instead of designated as a vegetable. A few days after that they planned to have her trach removed from her throat and then her feeding tube. Praise God for working a miracle in Amanda’s life. She still has a way to go, but nothing is impossible for our God!

It was on that day that I was able to spend much time with Kevin and was also able to talk about life and death and Jesus Christ. I had hoped and prayed that he would be able to attend VBS and God worked it out for him to travel over an hour away and stay with relatives to attend!




Above: Luca and Betti (high school student volunteers)

Every year we have a number of students who choose our VBS as the place to fulfill community service that their high schools require. These student volunteers are not believers and we see their involvement as an opportunity for them to hear the Good News and see the Good News in action throughout the week of VBS. Betti volunteered last year in Petofibanya’s and Jaszfenyszaru’s VBS. Because of an upcoming ear surgery, she had thought that she would not be able to volunteer this year. At the last minute, they rescheduled her surgery and she took this as a sign that God wanted her at VBS.


At Saturday’s family day, church member Eszti had extended time to sit and talk with Betti. Later, after prayer, Betti was touched by God. Unlike last year when she went her separate way after VBS, Betti came to worship service on Sunday. This is a bold step on her part as no one in her family or circle of school friends has taken these steps. After service, we had an opportunity to pray for her ear and also to explain God’s invitation that she put her faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord.


Above: Church member Eszti talking with Betti

As I consider how Betti got to this place of being at the door of the kingdom of God and raising her hand to knock, I am filled with praise. As a younger child, Betti attended Bible classes in the local school that were taught by Eniko. Eniko is a church member that had previously been saved in one of our English Camps and continued to be discipled and grow in her faith in the local church community. And to consider how much of an impact the church body had on Betti as they worked together at VBS using their giftings to proclaim Jesus. So many being involved, so many seeds planted and God causing growth! It is a wonderful thing to see how God is using all of these camps, all of these giftings, all of these seeds planted over generations to bring about fruit. Please pray for Betti and for continued help through Eszti and the church as we seek to follow Jesus Christ together.

Family Day




We had a tremendous turnout on Saturday’s Family Day! We were able to recap with the parents what we taught the kids throughout the week. We also have a separate small group time for the visiting parents. I usually lead this in a very interactive way, but with the number of parents in the room, I felt led to just share my testimony. There were quite a number of first time visitors. Afterwards, I asked if anyone had any questions about what I had shared and a gentleman began to ask, “You talk about meeting Jesus, and hearing Jesus and being led by Jesus, but what does that mean? I’ve never had that experience. Where does someone begin in all of this?” This was a great opportunity to talk about the importance of the Bible and God’s word and allow some of the others to share their experiences in how they met Jesus.



Above: Zoli, Timea, and co-worker Noémi on Sunday

Church members Timea and her husband Zoli were touched by God in 2017 at our VBS and were baptized in 2018. This year, Timea served with us and was able to spend quality time with the older teen girls in small groups. God has impressed on her heart how important it is to turn her attention outward toward kids that just need to talk and share some of the difficulties they are going through in life.


Timea and Zoli have also been sharing with their coworkers who in turn have sent their kids to our VBS this year. Zoli shared that on Saturday’s family day, his workmate was resisting going into the small group time for parents. Zoli convinced him to just go. Afterwards, his friend shared how it wasn’t what he expected (in a good way).

In Sunday’s worship service seated next to Timea was a guest named Noémi. This was Noémi’s first time in any worship service. When we broke into two larger groups to share VBS experiences and testimony, I intentionally did not call on Noémi, not wanting to put her on the spot in front of so many people she did not know. Towards the end of our time, she said, “Excuse me, I just have to share with all of you how much of an impact the VBS has had on my daughter.” She shared that her daughter was very interested in what we were teaching and that she wanted to be a mother that would be able to give her daughter an example of faith and yet she knew that she needed her own. Noémi went on to share that she was not a believer yet, but was on the path. Thankfully, Timea is her coworker and they often talk about God together.

Noémi also shared about one of her other coworkers who’s children also attended VBS. She said that the family is not very touchy feely and rarely shows emotion. When their kids would come home from VBS each day, they would surprisingly embrace their parents and freely show affection that they had not previously shown. One of the favorite songs we sing at camp has the kids all interlocking with arms shoulder to shoulder as they sing. Parents are moved when they see how every child is accepted and loved in our camp. God has been using children and visible changes in their lives through VBS to reveal to parents their need for Jesus!










Just the beginning

Our summer months are full of camps. After a week off, we’ll be holding a baseball camp which reaches kids that were not able to attend VBS. We then have a week off, and afterwards serve in English Camp. After that, another week off and we’re off to do another VBS in Jaszfenyszaru. After a week of vacation, we’ll have a three day camping trip with teens. And there goes a great summer! With all of these opportunities to proclaim the Gospel, we need your prayers for wisdom, protection, provision, strength and restoration. We look forward to sowing more seeds and seeing more fruit by God’s grace. Thank all of you for your commitment to partner with us. You are such an important part of our team!

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