Apr 2010

EASTER PUPPET DAY 13

Adács

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Above: The setup seen from behind where lots of shuffling, changing of puppets and backgrounds happen throughout the show.

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Above: Unfortunately, this was our first ‘challenging’ reception we have had compared to all other schools. The teachers sat off to the side, having conversations while Miki was sharing the Gospel. A group of kids in the center repeatedly shouted out disrespectfully while Miki was speaking, making sure to disagree with just about everything that he said with no call for quiet from teachers. Beyond this sad reaction from a group of kids, there were other children who were listening and hopefully were able to hear the truth about Jesus through the distractions. Once the puppet show began, the kids seemed to quiet down and hear the message, especially in the most powerful shadow puppet part of the show.

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Karácsond

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Above: After a tough experience at Adács, Miki asked for prayer before we began our show in Karácsond. God was gracious to help these kids pay attention and helped Miki to communicate the Gospel without distractions.

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Above: Roger’s puppet, a worried chicken who’s friend put’s herself in a dangerous situation after ignoring wise advice. Roger has been struggling with back pain from the beginning of the week. As you can imagine, raising his puppet for extended periods of time with this type of pain is very difficult. Please pray for God to bring healing to his body.

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Thank you for your continued prayers! After today’s shows, I (Allen) was able to get my vehicle’s windshield repaired successfully. Instead of having to replace the entire windshield, they were able to fill it with plastic resin. I am still fighting a cold, but had plenty of strength to serve today. Tomorrow will be our final day of our ‘extended’ Easter Puppet Ministry and we would appreciate your prayers again!
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EASTER PUPPET DAY 12

Salgótarján

We set off early in the morning as Salgótarján is one of the farthest schools (almost an hour away) we have traveled to for our Easter Puppet Ministry.

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Above: Behind the scenes, telling the story of the risen Christ with shadow puppets.

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Above: Roger talking with some of the children after the show from Salgótarján’s middle school. The kids had a great time and were very active in singing with us. It was clear that the majority of them knew the words of one of our songs that declares truths of the Gospel message. It turns out that many of them attend a religious class in school where they sing this song. What an encouragement to know that God is getting the message of His Son to these kids in a once communist run community.

Pásztó

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Above: Hugi one of our puppeteers and Norbi who helps with photography and packing/unpacking.

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Above: Our second destination was a school in Pásztó for children with developmental disabilities. The kids enjoyed some of the games we played before the show and had a great time dancing around and singing with us at the end of the show.

We praise God for safety traveling further distances, team unity and warm receptions from both schools today. I (Allen) seem to be coming down with a cold, please pray for healing. Also, my car’s windshield was hit with some debris and has a large growing crack that I discovered today. Please pray for success in getting it repaired.
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EASTER PUPPET DAY 11

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Above: Hugi having a little fun before our Easter show. Last week, the non profit organization that prepares the prerecorded puppet shows and materials each year for multiple teams throughout Hungary asked if we could take on a few more schools even though Easter had passed. Apparently, these schools which are further out in our district were receptive to having a team come, but no one was able to at Easter. Today we visited the first of six schools that we will travel to this week to share the message of Jesus Christ.

Nagybárkány

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Above: By God’s grace and movement to open doors in our area, the message of Jesus’ death for our sins and resurrection from the dead is being brought into the classroom.

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Above: These girls ran to Erika after the show to give her a big embrace. Even though this was our first time ever in this school, God allowed us to make a connection with the kids. One teacher recognized us, since she lived and taught in Petőfibánya previously. We were thankful for the warm welcome.

Tar

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Above: Our next stop was the village of Tar, another first time school for us.

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Above: Erika using colors to explain important aspects of the Gospel.

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We had a great first day back into our puppet ministry. Each day this week we will be visiting two schools and would appreciate your continued prayer support!

FAMILY PICS


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Above: We had to travel to Budapest yesterday to pic up supplies for our puppet show and supplies for gluten free cooking. In between errands, we were able to stroll in the park outside of Hungary’s parliament building.

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Above:
The neighborhood close by wasn’t as pretty as the parliament building area, but had better swings.

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WEEKLY UPDATE

WEEKEND RETREAT

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Above: Ben giving a big push as the kids spend their final hours together on the last day of our retreat this past weekend. We are very thankful that our kids were able to connect with others who also share similar life experiences of living as missionary kids in Europe.

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Above: The beautiful view from the balcony of our room.

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Above: After being fitted with life vests, we took the hotel’s boat out to explore some wildlife hidden along the shore.

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Above: Ben enjoyed playing fussball with Josiah.

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Above: Elianna with her friend Katya.

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Above: Kira with her friend Rebecca.

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Above: Kira born to swim.

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We thank God for His provision of this retreat, a time to relax, rest and have fellowship with others who serve throughout Europe.
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WEEKLY UPDATE

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Above: After the long dark winters in Hungary, the warmer weather, the bright sunshine and blooming flowers always brings joy to our hearts. We are thankful for the warmer days that are starting to outnumber the rainy cloudy days. The kids enjoy riding their bikes, going on walks with dad and running around in the soccer field that is behind our house.

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Above: Sharon has planted various vegetables in our garden and the kids enjoyed planting flowers around the house with mom’s help.

STORY TELLING COMPETITION

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Above: ‘Aunt’ Brenda and Sharon with Ellie and Kira receiving a gift from one of the kids in Kira’s class. Moments later the story telling competion would begin with kids of various preschool ages standing before the crowd and from memory telling Hungarian children’s stories or poems. We were very proud of Ellie who has really transformed over the past year. Previously, she struggled socially because of her difficulties with the Hungarian language. After being diagnosed with celiac and changing her diet, she has developed leaps and bounds in her language ability and social interaction. She was able this day to stand before an audience and recite a Hungarian poem, something that she chose to do on her own.

FRIDAY TEEN OUTREACH

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Above: Church member Eszti B. with teenager Eszti J. hiking with us a few weeks ago. The teens really enjoy hiking together, and spending some time around the campfire talking about more serious matters of life.

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Above: After roasting some marshmallows, we sat around the fire and discussed some of the highlights of 2010 thus far. It was encouraging to hear that the majority of those attending said that either our teen outreach, or English Bible classes, or Sunday church has been their highlight of 2010. Although many of them still are not Christians, we have hope that they will be transformed by Christ’s love and His message of salvation that is repeatedly shared each week in these ministries.

THE RETURN OF THE PUPPETS!!!

Well, we thought that we had finished our puppet ministry, but it turns out that there are still a handful of schools that would like us to present our show “post-Easter”. Last Saturday, we traveled to the large town of Gyöngyös, a place where we have a partnership with a fellow church planter.

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Above: As was the case a few weeks ago, it was a joy to serve together and share with these parents and children in Gyöngyös the good news of Jesus’ death for our sins and His resurrection from the dead on the third day. Even though we had not performed in a few weeks, God gave us grace and we were able to remember all of our parts and responsibilities through the puppet show.

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Above: Because our show was on a Saturday, Niki (green) and other church members were not in school and able to help distribute the remaining CDs and Family Magazine gifts packets.

SUNDAY WORSHIP

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Above: As church members were congregating outside just before the start of service, Erika ran into Csilla, an old acquaintance that used to attend our English program years ago. Csilla and her child ended up attending Sunday’s service!

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Above: Church member Eszit with Enikő who has been growing in her faith in Jesus.

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Above: Some of the newer regular visitors to our church from L to R: Attila, Ricsi and Erik. Both Ricsi and Erik came to meet us through our Friday teen outreach and responded to our invite for them to attend our church as well. Attila (white jacket), is the uncle of two of the kids (Dávid and Krisztian) that had been attending our church by themselves for over a year. This Sunday after service, after hearing an explanation of the gospel, Attila made a profession of faith. He along with another long time visitor/attender Szilvi both will be part of an upcoming class on baptism and foundations of our faith. Three others, Gizi, Ildikó and Enikő (who was saved in our English Camp) have already gone through preparation and will be baptized in the coming weeks. What a miraculous work of God’s grace to deal so lovingly to an elderly woman (Gizi), a middle aged woman (Ildikó) and a young woman, Enikő.

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Above: Brenda was kind enough to bring Ben a gift from the US... a stomp rocket! Perfect for Ben.

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Please pray for us this weekend as we attend a conference this weekend with fellow missionaries from Europe. We hope to have a refreshing time as a family and be built up and encouraged by others who serve in similar settings as ours.
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EASTER PUPPET FINAL DAY

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Above: Beautiful clouds hovering over our hometown of Petfibánya. God was gracious to bless us with beautiful weather throughout our two week Easter Puppet Ministry which allowed for easier packing and unpacking and traveling.

THURSDAY Szirák

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Above: The small elementary school in the village of Szirák is located right next to a restored castle which highly contrasts the run down town and signs of poverty. The majority of kids in this school are Roma (also known as Gypsies) a segment of the Hungarian population that are often despised.

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Above: The children joyfully participating in singing with us about Jesus and the message of His resurrection.

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Above: Some behind the scenes shots.

THURSDAY Lőrinci Orphanage

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Above: Kids in the orphanage having some fun with Miki as we waited for others before starting the show.

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Above: Miki and his children Bence and Anna helping lead our time of singing.

Since we previously spent some time visiting this orphanage a few years ago, we ran into some of the kids who were now teens. Since we were planning a hiking trip on Saturday, we were able to get their phone numbers and invite them. We were thankful that many were able to join us on the hike (pictures below)!

Overall, the Easter Puppet Ministry went very well! As we participate in conferences where many teams come together, we often hear story after story as to how various problems occurred and how God worked them out. God was graciously with our team in such a way this year that we only had one instance where there was a power outage, but He quickly brought the power back and the show went on without distraction. In all the schools, the kids payed close attention when the shadow puppet portion of the show telling the story of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection is presented. The team itself was absent of friction with one another and served with joy and love for one another each day. We are very appreciative of your prayers for this ministry and see clearly His gracious answers! In the end, we were able to share the Gospel in 20 public schools and distribute evangelistic materials to over 1000 kids and many teachers and parents. One of those 20 schools was a place we have been trying to get into for years, and God opened the door for the first time this year. He is powerfully at work building HIs kingdom and we are privileged to be invited to join HIm in His work.

SATURDAY HIKE

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Above: Just behind the neighboring town of Apc, is Széles Kő Mountain where we carpooled over thirty kids and spent a day together with campfire, fishing, hiking and Dezső sharing the truth from God’s Word. Since the mining in this area had been shut down, it has now turned into a popular spot for camping and finishing for Hungarians in the area.

Usually, our core leadership church planting team does planning for these type of events. But the idea came to Peti who was saved last year. Instead of getting involved, I hoped to entrust to Peti some new responsibility as he has faithfully been serving in the background at church. I asked him to begin planning and organizing it, and Peti did an excellent job!

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Above: Erik (top) and Ricsi (bottom) are two teens that began attending our Friday night outreach. Years ago, when Ricsi was just a child, he attended Miki’s Bible class, but then drifted away. Now both of them have begun attending our Sunday Worship Services. Please pray for them to personally encounter Jesus as Lord and Savior.

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Above: Kira enjoying the view with Sharon.

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Above: Some of the group that took the extended hike around the mountain.

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Above: Peti’s daughter Alina with her newly found bouquet of flowers.
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