Apr 2007

Sunday

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Above L: Yuck. Well, that's the best word I can think of to describe the rash on Ben's face (on Saturday) which is a 'side effect' of his bought with Scarlet Fever. By God's grace, Ben is on the road of recovery from Scarlet Fever and is looking and feeling much better as of tonght (above R). Because of his and my sickness, I haven't been able to blog as often as I would like. Once I am feeling better, I hope to be back to updating more often.

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Above: On Sunday we participated in a Village Day celebration in Petőfibánya that our church was asked to help out with. We are thankful for the local government's openness to work with our church and to allow us to help in public events like this.

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Above: As I was drawing on the cement with chalk (yes, I had permission), a few older men gathered to watch. They cheered me on with each letter I drew and asked what I did for a living. I told them I was a graphic designer in the States. This led to the commonly asked question, "How in the world did you end up here?" I was able to tell András briefly about God's calling in my life. I was also able to talk about the gospel message, and invited András to our church service. These events open up opportunities to introduce ourselves to the community, and to develop new relationships.

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Above: We were thankful for Zsuzsa Kovacs's help on Sunday. As most of you know Zsuzsa's husband György went to be with the Lord this year due to cancer. Zsuzsa continues to be a blessing to our church and our community as she often commutes to help out with outreach events. Please pray for her, that she would continue to expereince God's comfort and encouragement in this season of feeling the loss of her husband.

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Above: Part of our role on Sunday was facepainting. I recognized most of the kids who came because they attend the local preschool. I always smile when they call me by name "Allen Bácsi" (Uncle Allen).

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Above: I don't really think Miki needed a clown outfit to entertain the kids, but hey, it doesn't hurt! Miki spent most of the day gathering crowds like this and passing out balloons. Some of them had small paper invites to our church folded up and placed inside of the inflated balloons.

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Above: From L to R: Zsuzsa, Julika, Moni and Andi. It is a blessing to see Andi getting involved in ministries of the church. In Sunday's service, she also prayed out loud giving thanks to God in a time where the church was free to offer praise through prayer. I am encouraged and thankful to see her continue to blossom in her relationship with Jesus. Please continue to pray for her growing faith in Christ.

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Above: Peter challenging the church to enter into the presence of God, experiencing the relatonship provided through Christ. He taught about the difference between heartless religous practices and true union with God in a relationship.

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Above: The church wishing Andi and I a happy birthday with the traditional flame throwing cake. Zoli joked with me and said, "O.K, Allen, now blow it out." It actually looks more dangerous in person.

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Above: Gabi, Zoli and the old man. At the end of our service, Gabi was kind enough to read a passage from Ephesians and thanked God that he called us to Petőfibánya to live as examples and friends. I give thanks to God for this privelage, and recognize His grace in allowing us to be here in this time for His glory!
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Back to Hungary

We have returned safely to Hungary after a week long conference in Turkey with fellow PI missionaries. Since the internet connection there was 'shabby', I wasn't able to keep the blog updated. Here are some highlights below.

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Above: Kira enjoying the security of her sister Elianna in front of her on our day trip into Istanbul.

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Above: Ben observing a mosque turned museum in Istanbul.

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Above: Recovered Christian art. This building was originally a Christian church before converted into a mosque.

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Above: Their expressions say a lot about their personalities.

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Above: Each day we were blessed by a worship team leading us in song and prayer. We had two different speakers who enriched our time with teaching on cultural trends that impact our ministry. We also spent time learning more about the sacrificial atonement of Jesus Christ.

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Above: Kira decided to take her first steps in Istanbul. She loved the interaction with all the other kids at the conference. She did not love being away from mommy and being put in child care.

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Above: Sharon serving up Turkish coffee (or at least pretending to before the real worker returns).

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Above: Closing our conference with prayer and thanksgiving to our Lord. It was encouraging to hear how God is raising up teams in very difficult and dark areas to bring the light of His gospel. We are thankful to be able to join His work in Hungary at this time in history.

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In a more sobering and serious note, I was recently given more information about the martyrdom of the three men in Turkey who were killed a day before we arrived. Our three brothers in Christ were tortured for 3 hours before going to be with Christ. "Tilman was stabbed 156 times, Necati 99 times and Ugur's stabs were too numerous to count." The way of their torture is too gruesome and sickening for me to write. Below are some excerpts from the letter I received from from the Protestant Church of Smyrna...

"This past week has been filled with much sorrow. Many of you have heard by now of our devastating loss here in an event that took place in Malatya, a Turkish province 300 miles northeast of Antioch, the city where believers were first called Christians (Acts 11:26)."

"In an act that hit front pages in the largest newspapers in Turkey, Susanne Tilman in a television interview expressed her forgiveness. She did not want revenge, she told reporters. "Oh God, forgive them for they know not what they do," she said, wholeheartedly agreeing with the words of Christ on Calvary (Luke 23:34)."

"In a country where blood-for-blood revenge is as normal as breathing, many many reports have come to the attention of the church of how this comment of Susanne Tilman has changed lives. One columnist wrote of her comment, "She said in one sentence what 1000 missionaries in 1000 years could never do."

"Please pray for the Church in Turkey. "Don't pray against persecution, pray for perseverence," urges Pastor Fikret Bocek.

"The Church is better having lost our brothers; the fruit in our lives, the renewed faith, the burning desire to spread the gospel to quench more darkness in Malatya, all these are not to be regretted. Pray that we stand strong against external opposition and especially pray that we stand strong against internal struggles with sin, our true debilitating weakness."

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Greetings From Turkey

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Above: Elianna tossing her princess doll through the air to pass the time as we awaited to board our plane to travel to our PI conference this week.

With a rough landing that jolted our airplane as we touched down, we arrived safely in Turkey.

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Above: Ben and Elianna were excited to pack their own bags which they were rarely willing to let out of their sight.

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Above: Sights when we arrived.

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Above: Two beauties in my life-one of them has been a bit grumpy because of a new tooth coming in (no it's not Sharon).

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Above: We are not allowed to drink the water in this country, and as we pulled up to our hotel, I joked with Sharon about finding a 7 Eleven to buy some goods. Seconds later, when I glanced across the street, my eyes beheld a 7 Eleven. What a strange thing to be all the way across the world and see a convenient mart.

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Above: Ben wishing he could try on this special armor found in our hotel.

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Above: A beautiful view from our window. Last night (although I was not able to participate), many went out to the beach for smores. I was told that there was a unique type of algae in the water that caused object that were put into the water to glow.

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Above: Some from the worship team that are blessing our time with their giftings in leading us in praise to God.

The highlight of our time so far was hearing from a Turkish brother who shared about the martyrdom of 3 saints that happened days ago in Turkey. One of those killed for their faith was a German missionary and the other two Turkish believers. Just one week previous to their martyrdom, they had held a special Easter service where it is believed the plot to kill them was initiated.

From Wednesday to this morning, all major papers and TV news are reporting on this martyrdom. Many are saying that the funeral touched their hearts. The wife of one of those killed was recorded to say, "Do you see the picture of your father hanging up? Now we have a festival, and we are celebrating because your father is in heaven now." And when asked about the perpetrators, she said, "I forgive those men as Jesus forgave me". This news is being broadcast throughout Turkey, and the young Turkish believer is hoping to see more added to his number through this persecution.

He reported that there are over 72 million Turks with only 3,000 being Christians. He has faith that this number will soon grow to 15,000. Please pray for the new work God is doing with the church in Turkey and for the families that temporarily lost loved ones to be strengthened in this time of grieving.


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Wednesday Update

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Above: Shots from the Miki's sister's wedding that I attended last Saturday. The good news...they both know Jesus as their Lord and Savior!

The Hungarians have a church service for the marriage union and also a separate legal ceremony where the bride and groom publicly sign a marriage certificate. The second ceremony was NOT around the corner. All seven of us (Dezső's family, and teenagers Zoli and Gabi) hopped in our SUV LUV truck car thingy and began a long journey. I am thankful for the passengers who made the long ride full of laughter.

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Above: The journey to ceremony two.

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Above: Family from the groom's side preparing food for the masses.

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Above: The guy with the ribbons was a type of MC for the evening. He shouted in the streets announcing the union of the two, leading the large procession of those attending the wedding around the block.

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Loud music in stereo! I liked the first song, and then the next song sounded like the first, and then the third song sounded like the second song...well you get the point. I was thankful for Gabi and Zoli's help as I was responsible for the video and picture taking for the night. We decided to leave close to midnight, and I drove away entrusting our route to my trusty navigator Dezső. Praise God that He led us safely home and I collapsed in bed at 3:00 in the morning. Sleep never felt so good!

WEDNESDAY

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Above: The photographer who came last week had issues with getting enough power from the building's electrical system for his flash bulbs. He returned today with success!

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Above: After Elianna's photo shoot, I thought I would stroll outside and see what Ben was up to on the playground. Umm, those would be creepy crawly living bugs of various species that he is filling his bucket with. Ben also managed to get most of the kids on the playground running around with plastic shovels as spotters, indicating where the latest and greatest bugs could be collected. That's Ben.

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Above: Some of Ben's classmates drawing on the chalkboard outside.

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Above: Since we will be traveling tomorrow, I met with Gabi and Zoli tonight for our Bible study. Tonight, we studied about the first and second advent of Jesus. I am thankful for how these guys are growing in their knowledge of Jesus, and also in their faith in Him.

Tomorrow our family will be traveling quite a distance (by car and plane) to a conference for missionaries. We would appreciate your prayers for travel, and for a spiritually refreshing time at the conference.

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Sunday Worship

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Above: Miki and Peti. Peti (who preaches in our church every other week) challenged us to consider how valuable it is to invest in God's kingdom with all that we are. He did an excellent job in helping us to see that any calling that God gives us in the church begins as a small seed, but has God given potential to grow into an unmovable, healthy and fruitful tree as we faithfully plant and water. This was a timely sermon for the church as more people are growing in their faith and there are more opportunities for serving in the Body.

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Above: We praise God for the group of teens that He brought tonight. Initially, three of them stood at the door and just watched, refusing to come all the way in to sit down. When Peti began to preach, they entered and took back row seats. This is a tough group of kids, and for some of them, this was their first time in our church!

Unfortunately, after the church service, I had to excuse the majority of them as they began disrupting a special goodbye party for Heidi. I am thankful that they received my discipline with respect as they all shook hands with me as they left. This is not the first time I have had to be tough on them, for the sake protecting the rights of others. It seems as if they recognize that I truly care about them.

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Above: Andi saying her goodbyes to Heidi who will be going back to the US for furlough. Andi shared with the church tonight about her tough week. As things seemed to be piling up that went wrong, she began to question why God was allowing these things to happen. Just as she began to think these things, she ran into Heidi who was able to help her get to a neighboring town for what she needed. Later in the week, Andi was having trouble sleeping. When she awoke, she was comforted by a worship song that we often sing in church. She said two of the verses kept going through her head. "Your precious blood poured out for me high above on the cross, I humbly bow down at your feet in view of your grace, my heart full of praise, I give my life to You." These words brought her joy and comfort and reminded her of God's love for her and His presence in her life.

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Above: Break out the Kleenex. Regina, Dezső's oldest daughter saying goodbye to Heidi. Regi, in tears, shared how much Heidi has been a friend and a help to her in leading her in a closer relationship to God. Timi, one of Heidi's neighbors (blue shirt bottom left of picture), also came to say goodbye. She played a song that spoke about the value of friendship. Heidi has had a great impact in the short time that she served among us, and we will miss her.

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Weekly Update!

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Above: After Easter break, and a breather after intense puppet and drama ministry, we're back online. Kira continues to reveal more of her personality every day. Her latest joy is quickly grabbing at her sister or brother with repetitive high pitched short squeals and giggles. Her favorite food is whipped cream. Spray a little on her high chair tray and she dives in covering her entire face with only a portion going into her mouth. She then starts to wiggle with excitement and scream with joy.

Elianna has been having fun trying on her spring and summer dresses over the past few days. She also enjoys putting on mom's shiny lip gloss. Ben is a master Lego castle builder. He is busy most days setting up his plastic men in battle formations.

TUESDAY

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Above: Julie, Roger and I practice for an upcoming drama that we will perform in our upcoming PI conference. Julie was responsible for writing this year's drama for our ministry in public schools. In some parts of this drama, Roger has to yell. We chose to drive to the outskirts of Petőfibánya to practice. Just minutes after we set up, a stranger drove in, walked about 15 yards away and began fishing. I am sure the man had a much more interesting time watching us than catching fish.

WEDNESDAY

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Above: A photographer came to Ben's preschool with outfits galore. Of course Ben chose to get dressed up as part of the Hungarian calvary.

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Above: We held an 'end of term' evaluation meeting with our dear friend and teammate Heidi. Heidi faithfully fulfilled her one-year commitment to our sub team in Heves County and will be returning to the US for furlough. She plans to return to Hungary and reevaluate at that point where God would have her serve among PI Hungary as a whole. We will miss her!

THURSDAY

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Above: Zoli and Gabi came for our thursday night discipleship study. I am thankful for these young men and their faithfulness to continue in fellowship. We studied about Jesus being the Prophet, Priest and King, and spent time in prayer for one another. Sadly, in the near future, Gabi will be moving from Petőfibánya to a village on the other side of Hungary. He will be attending school there and helping with his families store. There is no church in the area he is going, and it is our prayer that Gabi will have some part in spreading the gospel in that area.

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Above: Sharon visiting with Eszter who attends our church when she is able. Eszter is married with two children: Alina (above L) and Szabolcs (above R). Kira had fun putting eggs on her head, once she figured out that Szabolcs was entertained by it.

FRIDAY

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Above: Soccer with the teens. Believe it or not, it was 70 degrees here today! Instead of being confined to the gym we usually rent, we were able to enjoy the beautiful weather outside. Gabi K. in the red shirt will be attending English camp for the first time this year. Gabi is already a believer, but has been restricted in taking part in fellowship in our studies and in our church.

Tomorrow, I am off to Debrecen to serve as videographer and photographer for Miki's sister's wedding. I'll be taking Dezső and his family, and also Zoli (above sitting on ball) who will assist me throughout the day.

Prayer requests:

Elianna has had hives the last few days. We think it may be in response to either peanut butter or tomatoes-but there is no way to know for sure. The hives come and go and they pose no serious problem other than discomfort. Please pray for healing.

We be traveling some distance tomorrow for the wedding and returning late at night. Please pray for safety and that God would be glorified through the wedding ceremony. You could also ask that I would have success in getting memorable and beautiful shots for them to enjoy in the future.

Sharon will be 'home alone' with the kids. Please pray that she would have strength and wisdom as to how best to minister to them. Pray for their protection.
Comments

Jesus is risen!

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Above: Yesterday, the kids helped Sharon come up with symbols that would represent different parts of the Easter story to put inside of these plastic eggs. Ben found many of the symbols from his various Lego sets. I even helped him put some tin foil on two of his Lego characters to make them into the angels that appeared at the empty tomb. This morning, Ben, Ellie and even Kira went egg hunting and recovered them all. Afterwards, we review what each symbol represents.

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Above: Sharon finishing the last part of the Easter story that she has been reading to the kids over the past few days.

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Above: I think the kids had a bit too much sugar today.

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Above: Kira wearing what mommy once wore years and years and years (o.k.) ago. The shirt says, "Daddy's Girl". Kira is gaining more control over her balance, however she is not yet walking. She loves to be carried around to explore every item in a room. She points to ask what it is, and tries to repeat what she hears. Most of the time it comes out as, "ba, ba" and then gets progressively louder and said with more confidence, "ba, ba".

SUNDAY WORSHIP

Tonight, I preached on the beginning of the Easter story–a good God, a good creation, and a tragic end as Adam disobeyed the one commandment given for his own protection and good. Praise God, that He acted in love, choosing to embrace the penalty due us so that we could embrace Him as forgiven and redeemed people through the work of Jesus Christ!

Jesus said ..., "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even if he dies,  and the one who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26

I was thankful for Laci and his wife Györgyi who visited our service tonight. Unfortunately, there were many distractions, and I am not sure how much of the message really came across. I hope what they did hear continues to help them understand the magnitude of God's love and His provision of salvation through Jesus Christ.

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Above: Marika standing as we sang happy birthday. Marika was one of the first people to be saved years ago in our church, when we used the Jesus film as an evangelistic outreach.

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Above: One of the precious blessings I have in this life. I'm not in the picture, because I'm the camera man, not to mention I was in a t-shirt with messed up hair. Oh, well.
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Day 9 Puppet & Drama Ministry!

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Above: Our first performance was in the town of Héhalom.

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Above: Janka, "Do you know what this is?" What a blessing to openly share the truth of God's word, and to tell the story of Jesus' sacrificial death and powerful resurrection in public schools.

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Above: We praise God for the teens' attentiveness as we performed this year's drama. The message of Jesus being able to free us from the penalty and the bondage to sin was clearly communicated.

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Above: Heidi trying out some stilts that the kids bring over as we set up for our next presentation in the town of Jobbágyi.

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Above: We were amazed at the attentiveness of the kids in Jobbágyi this year! It is difficult to keep over a hundred young children in order, but these children were quick to join in with our songs, and payed close attention to the puppet show and teaching time. Praise God!

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Above: As the kids left and the teens ushered into the gym, there were many who recognized us and greeted us as friends.

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Above: The teens did just as well as the kids. They enjoyed the drama and payed close attention to the message of Jesus voluntarily laying down His life to pay the penalty for our sins. What an encouraging way to end this year's Easter puppet and drama ministry!

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Above: This years Easter Puppet & Drama team. Bottom row L to R: Janka, Heidi, Julie and Brenda. Top row L to R: Csaba, Allen and Miki. Or course, Sharon, and Erika (Miki's wife) picked up more work at home to equip us to do this ministry. Sharon also provided some fuel (fresh coffee) for us. I am so blessed to be part of this team! Miki commented that he has worked with other teams over the years doing Puppet ministry, and he has never experienced such unity that we have on this team. Praise God!

As I consider what God has done, I am amazed. He has provided a vision, put together a teams, provided resources, opened doors in public schools and is revealing His truth to thousands of children, teens and teachers. Our God is mighty and is doing a mighty work that will bear fruit for sure!

Thank all of you that committed time to pray for us! You are an important and vital part of our ministry, and we surely experienced the fruit of your prayers this year. You are a blessing to us!

THURSDAY NIGHT

Tonight, I was able to meet with Zoli and Gabi S. (who was baptized last week). It was Gabi's turn to facilitate the small group, and He did an excellent job, breaking up the time with discussion, prayer and teaching. The study book that we have been going through 'just happened' to focus on the subject of the resurrection of Christ tonight. I am so blessed to hear these young men pray, and to hear their thoughts as they process the truth of God's word. I thank God for their steady growth and their understanding of the gospel.

After the study, Gabi helped me with an invitation for church. Gabi also received posters in the mail with the verse: "Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here, but has been raised!" (Luke 24:5-6) We took his posters and the church invites and posted them at bus stops and bilboards in Petőfibánya, Selyp and Lőrinci. Please pray that God would draw visitors to our Easter service this Sunday. Pray that the message of Gospel would clearly be proclaimed and understood.
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Day 8 Puppet & Drama Ministry!

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Above: Some of the children (including Ben) from Petőfibánya's preschool that came to see today's puppet show.

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Above: In contrast with the experience we had in Petőfibánya's middle school, the preschool kids were very receptive and the teachers kept all things in order. Because of Janka's Bible class that she holds weekly in this preschool, many of the kids sang with excitement knowing the words and movements to each song.

One of the teachers in the preschool, Hajni used to attend some of our Bible studies and even church. However, she remains involved in the occult. As Janka was teaching the kids about Jesus, Janka asked, "You can't pray to a dead person can you?" Janka was making the point of Jesus being alive. It is sad to know that some in the room probably do seek to communicate with the dead in ways that God forbids.

Brenda was able to talk with one of her English students Vali, who teaches in the preschool. Since we ended the English semester, Brenda was curious to know what Vali was doing instead. Vali said that she is now attending a yoga class in town. Many teachers from the preschool attend this yoga class. Please pray that they may find the true source of peace and perfection in a relationship with the resurrected Son of God, Jesus Christ, and not be deceived and blinded by the enemy and his alternate paths.

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Above: Will the real baby please stand up. Sharon was able to take Kira to today's puppet show, although Kira spent most of her time staring at these baby dolls and saying, "Ba, Ba, Ba, Ba..."

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Above: After unpacking our gear and setting up our puppet stage, we were warmly greeted by Egyházasdengeleg's principal. Some of you remember that God opened up an opportunity for us to share the gospel with her last year. This year, Miki gave her a copy of a Bible with larger text that is easier to read. This turned into a ten minute conversation before our show even began. Miki was able to explain God's provision of salvation through Jesus Christ. He pointed out verses in the Bible to explain the gospel, and also briefly helped her to understand how to study the Bible. Please pray for this principal as she reads more of God's word. Please pray that the Lord would give her understanding of the hope and new life found in Jesus Christ.

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Above: We usually begin the show with a few songs that have the message of Easter in the lyrics. The kids jumping above are singing, "On the third day He was raised!" These kids are pretty sharp when it comes to the true message of Easter. They enjoyed the puppet show, and did an excellent job as they listened to Janka teach about the Lamb of God, offering Himself once and for all for the sins of the world.

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Above: Csaba goofing off, as we set up the stage for the drama show for the teens.

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Above: After our drama, I give a short message on Easter with Janka's help translating. I have been highlighting Jesus power to defend Himself, and the greater work that He did in allowing Himself to be put to death in order to voluntarily pay for our sins. I then interact with the kids talking about what Jesus did in the drama. It is always good to hear them give answers that we were seeking to communicate through the drama.

Tomorrow we will present our last Easter Puppet and Drama show for 2007. We will be visiting the towns of Héhalom and Jóbágyi. Please pray for our last day to be effective and accomplish God's work of communicating HIs message of reconciliation through us.
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Day 7 Puppet & Drama Ministry!

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Above: Hitting a 'traffic jam' on the way to our first puppet presentation for the day in the town of Erdőtarcsa.

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Above: Erdőtarcsa has always given us a warm reception. The teachers always participate in the songs we sing and make sure to tell us that they look forward to our return at Christmas.

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Above: The cross, the empty tomb, and a heart with the words, "új élet" (which means "new life").

One of the teachers asked Miki after the show if she could get a copy of all the songs we teach the children in these presentations. Some of them are on the CD that we distribute, but not all of them. She said, "It would be great to have the lyrics." Miki exchanged numbers with one of the teachers so that we could visit again with our Children's Playhouse ministry. Praise God!

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Above: Our next stop for the day was the town of Kálló, where we would perform our puppet show for the kids and our drama show for the teens.

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Above: I remember this teacher last year sitting and with her students, and watching us with a careful eye. This year, she is standing with raised arms and singing along with us, "He died for me on the cross". God is being gracious in allowing us to build trust among teachers in schools where we visit twice a year.

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Above: Miki had to be the class clown when he was a child...or maybe he just had too much sugar today. As the children return to class after the puppet show, we set up our stage for the teens who will enter to see our drama presentation...that is, after a few jump rope exercises.

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Above: Our ice-breaker game this year: The three legged hobblin, blindfolded, balloon poppin thing-a-ma-jig. It would take too long to explain it here, but it sure is fun.

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Above: Watching our Easter drama that depicts Jesus dying on the cross for us, His resurrection from the dead, and His ministry of freeing people from the bondage to sin to follow Him in freedom and eternal life.

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Above: Setting up in the Zagyvaszántó Culture Center for our last performance of the day. There are two ways that people deal with fatigue. One is getting short with each other and being irritable, the other way is having uncontrollable giggles. We 'suffered' from the latter in our last performance. Though the children did not know it as they watched the puppet show, there were puppeteers laying on the floor in tears at times trying to hold in their uncontrollable laughter. Miki didn't help the situation as he enjoys seeing people 'suffer' from uncontrollable giggles.

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Above: Miki and Erika have met with the woman above to talk about ways in which our team may help in leading a small group Bible study in Zagyvaszántó. Zagyvaszántó is a 4 minute drive from Petőfibánya. Apparently there are more than 20 people that are interested. We are seeking God's will in this matter as the situation is not straight forward. Some of the people attend a church a few towns away and it is not our desire to build on another's foundation. However, because of false teaching in this other church, and activity in that church that does not reflect Christ's love, many from the group have stopped attending that church. The woman above said that she had fasted and prayed seeking God's will in the matter. She said that she was given peace from God to pursue a relationship with our team. Please pray for our team as we seek to know what God would have us do in this situation. We need His wisdom and His direction.

Praises:
- All technical equipment (lights, speaker, mics, sound) has been working without any problems.
- The entire team is healthy, and there have been no injuries thus far in moving equipment and performing multiple times a day.
- There is unity and love for one another on the team!
- Jesus death on the cross for our sins, and His resurrection to new life is being proclaimed in public schools-AWESOME!
- Children and teachers are paying attention when the gospel is explained. Some teachers are singing songs with us that proclaim the basics of the gospel.
- God has given us safety in travel.
- God has given us refreshing night's of sleep.
- The weather has been beautiful for unpacking and packing into cars outside.
- Schools await our return and are NOT responding to our message with resistance.

Tomorrow, we will be serving in our home town of Petőfibánya again. This time, we will be in the local preschool that Elianna and Benjamin attend. Afterwards, we will travel to Egyházasdengeleg to present both the puppet and drama show.

Please continue to pray for us as this year's Easter Puppet and Drama ministry is drawing to an end! We could use prayers for a good night's rest tonight, for renewed strength for tomorrow, for God to speak through us tomorrow proclaiming His gracious gift found in Jesus Christ.
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Sunday, Gabi's Baptism

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Above: Gabi giving testimony to God's saving grace in His life. We praise God for answering all the prayer requests given in our last blog post! Thank you Jesus!

Gabi encouraged the church with his testimony. He talked about how God provided people and opportunity throughout his life to learn more about Him and finally to understand the Gospel.

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Above: Gabi's grandmother talking with Erika. This was Gabi's mother and grandmother's first experience in our church. His grandmother came to me afterwards and said, "This was a special service. At first, I didn't want to come. But now I see that I can't say anything bad about this church." Their view of our church (most likely viewed as a sect) changed tonight. While talking with Miki, Gabi's grandmother admitted that she participated in the gossip about our church. In this community, gossip is powerful. And, anything that is outside of Catholic tradition is quickly labeled as a sect. Due to the unfamiliarity with the history of the Baptist church, many in the community rely on distorted hearsay, rather than reality. We praise God for revealing Himself tonight through musical worship, the preaching of His word and Gabi's obedience in baptism.

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Above: Gabi's mother showing her loving support.

Peter preached a very clear message about God's provision of grace, and His call to us to follow Him in obedience. I thought he did an excellent job diffusing the misconceptions of baptism, and making clear from God's word why those who trust in Jesus follow Him in baptism. The Gospel was proclaimed clearly in His message and also through Miki as he lead musical worship.

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Above: One thing I love about our church are the relationships that are not restricted by generational barriers and backgrounds. I think the teens look to Miki, Dezső and myself as father figures. We rejoice in their steps of obedience in following Jesus and are thankful for the privilege of being able to offer encouragement to them in their relationship with God.

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