Aug 2008

Weekly Update

Sorry for the lack of updates for the past few weeks. The attack of Scarlet Fever started with Ben, having a swollen face and a strange rash. Elianna and Kira followed with symptoms and were also treated with antibiotics. Our family was out of commission for a week and a half until this passed. We praise God for his grace in healing all of us and returning us back to good health.

WEDNESDAY TEAM PICNIC
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Above: Kira cooling off with splashes of well water with Dezső’s daughter Adri.

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Above: Dezső and his wife Marcsi were kind enough to host our team picnic. We spend so much time serving together that it is rare that we are able to sit down as a team without responsibilities for quality time together. This was a refreshing day of enjoying games, conversation, goulash soup and of course marshmallows for the kids.

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Above: Teammate Erika (Miki’s wife) and Sharon.

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Above: Teammate Miki and son Bence.

NEW TEAM MEMBERS!

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Above: We would like to officially announce two new members of our growing church planting team in Heves County. Roger and Heidi Woo are making the transition from Budapest to Petőfibánya in October. They have gone through the paces of language learning, cultural transition and have served in various church planting ministries in their time in Hungary. Heidi served on our team when she was single for one year and Roger has served in our ESL ministry. They are looking forward to starting a one year commitment with our team in October as they seek God's will for their long term role in ministry in Hungary. We are grateful to God for sending more harvesters as we are often overwhelmed with opportunity, yet lack the resources to do all that is in our hearts.

THURSDAY MARRIAGE CLASS

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Above: God opened up an opportunity for Dezső to invite his neighbors Tamás and Ági (seated center in white shirts) to our marriage class Thursday night. It is rare that a Hungarian couple would be so bold to step into such unknown after just a one time invite, but they came! When Dezső spoke to Tamás he was amazed to hear that Tamás had a similar experience of being given a Bible which led to his belief in Jesus and also in freedom from alcoholism. Tamás and Ági do not attend any church but do seem open.

In our marriage class, we learned about the importance of listening. If we are truly seeking to fulfill our goal of ministry to our spouse, we must be good listeners. We talked about the importance of creating an environment of acceptance and grace as the Father has also created for us.

“For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin.  Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.” (Hebrews 4:15-16 NET)

To be better listeners, we also talked about the necessity of being one who is always willing and ready to forgive before entering into a conversation with our spouse. Jesus made clear that we must forgive as we have been forgiven. To be out of touch with the weight of our sin that was freely removed because of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross leads to an unfounded arrogance and hard heart when relating to our spouse.

“Should you not have shown mercy to your fellow slave, just as I showed it to you?’ And in anger his lord turned him over to the prison guards to torture him until he repaid all he owed. So also my heavenly Father will do to you, if each of you does not forgive your brother from your heart.” (Matthew 18:33-34 NET)

FRIDAY WORSHIP RECORDING

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Above: The Holy Spirit was moving through Dezső’s street this week to open up outreach opportunities! Dezső happened to call an old friend that he used to play in a band with for advice for a repair man. The expected 5 minute phone conversation turned into a 45 minute conversation. Dezső ended up inviting Jenő to join us in a worship practice session at MIki’s house. Jenő brought all of his drum equipment and we ended up recording a number of songs that we can use later for CD distribution and outreach in our neighborhood. Jenő was also able to hear the words to these most special songs that we use to praise our Savior. Please pray for Jenő’s salvation through God’s grace.

SUNDAY WORSHIP AND PICNIC

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Above: Church member Lidia standing to give testimony of God’s help over the past few weeks at her workplace. In response to a recent handout about opportunities of service in the church, Lidia has decided to commit to being a prayer team coordinator. Over the past two weeks, her husband Norbi (baseball hat carrying large goulash bowl) has returned to church after a time of separating himself. Please pray for a sustained change in Norbi’s heart and that Norbi would come to know Jesus and become a man of faith in his marriage.

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Above: Elianna enjoying some games with teammate Brenda.

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Above: What’s a church picnic without charades. We used various games today to get more interaction between church members. We see the lack of deepness in relationships that we have with one another and are seeking ways of having members connect with one another. Laughing at one another is a start.

SPECIAL VISITORS!

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Above: Sharon’s parents Sam and Evelyn arrived safely in Budapest today. We look forward to special family time with them over the next ten days. Please pray for them to get the rest they need tonight to recover from jet lag.

More news from August and September >
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10 Year Anniversary

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Above: A collage of numbers from photos taken on the streets of Eger, Hungary where we spent our tenth wedding anniversary. We are thankful for teammates Brenda and Val watching over our kids so that we could spend some quality time together as a couple.

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Above: It is amazing to think that we have spent more time together as a married couple in Hungary than in the US.

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Above: Some of the beautiful sights seen from the highest peeks in the mountains on the way to Eger.

FAMILY VACATION

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Above: Last week (before our weekend anniversary getaway), we took some time off with the kids.

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Above: This park located in the Matra mountains is less than an hour drive away from our house. God provided a wonderful breeze to keep the kid’s kites in the air and to help bring relief to an ongoing heat wave in Hungary.

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Above: We were thankful for some time of rest after a flurry of ministries that happen in the summer.

SUNDAY WORSHIP

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Above: Miki (now with really really really short hair) greeting teenager Gabi’s mom for tonight’s worship service. It is such a joy to see God at work in Gabi’s family. Though his sister and mother attend church, they have not made a decision to put their faith in Jesus Christ. Please pray for Gabi as he gives testimony through his dramatic life change, and for his family to come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord of life.

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Above: Dear friends, Marcsi and Dezső. Dezső has truly been an example in our congregation of being a godly man. He is always eager to serve, eager to give testimony with wisdom and humility. We are so thankful that God rescued both Marcsi and Dezső and caused them to blossom in their lives as they follow Him.

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Above: Eszti’s brother, Gyöző holding Eszti’s son Dadiusz (I can only imagine how you must be struggling to pronounce those names). So here is a quick lesson. Eszti = (Es tee), Gyöző = (Jew zoo) and Dadiusz = (Daw dee oos).

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Above: Miki’s wife, Erika giving testimony to God healing her daughter Anna. Even the doctors commented on how amazingly fast she was healed. There only explanation was that maybe it was not as serious as they initially diagnosed. Erika said that she believed otherwise, and that it was evident that God brought this gift of healing. Praise God.

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Above: Miki leading musical worship. I sometimes close my eyes and just listen. I am full of praise as I remember this once empty room that is now being filled with Hungarians voices praising God through song.

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Above: Peti preached on our responsibility to not only proclaim God’s word, but also confirm the message that we preach through our faith and obedience to His voice. Hearing His voice is imperative if our testimony is to be received as true.

"Indeed, my plans are not like your plans, and my deeds are not like your deeds, for just as the sky is higher than the earth, so my deeds are superior to your deeds and my plans superior to your plans.” – Isa. 55:8-9 NET

Peti said, “God has given us His Word, His Holy Spirit and enabled us with Spiritual gifts. He has given us everything that we need in order to discover His will. God is waiting for you to seek Him and His will from your heart.”

PRAYER REQUESTS

- Church member Gábor lost his job last week and is seeking work. Please pray for God’s provision.

- Elianna and Benjamin are sick with Strep (Scarlet Fever). This sickness was confirmed at the doctors office today. Thankfully they are not in any pain and the sickness was caught in time to treat effectively. Please pray for complete healing.

- Wisdom in team development and strategy planning. As summer comes to an end, our team is gearing up through prayer and discussions to plan our next steps in Church planting. Please pray for unity, and that we would all hear and understand God’s will for our team.

- Teammate Brenda will be applying to extend her residency permit. Please pray that God would help her through this complicated process and that she might receive a five year permit.
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Sunday Worship

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Above: Miki leading musical worship encouraging us to pour out our hearts to God as did Hannah in the Old Testament account. “I am under a great deal of stress....I have poured out my soul to the LORD.” — 1 Samuel 1:15

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Above: Church member Eszti giving testimony to God’s provision in her life this week, and sharing the special news that she is expecting.

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Above: Érzsi, who began attending in December, giving testimony about God answering prayer about her husband’s health problem. Also Érzsi asked for prayer for her teenage son Dávid who had been attending off and on for the past year. She said, “It seems as if he was initially interested, and this was truly the best place for him, but now he just finds other things to do.” We prayed for him at that moment, and God was quick to answer! In the middle of Dezső’s preaching time, guess who strolled in unexpectedly! Dávid came in time to hear Dezső explain how Jesus saves us from condemnation as the once for all sacrifice for our sins.

“Consequently, just as condemnation for all people came through one transgression, so too through the one righteous act came righteousness leading to life for all people.” — Rom 5:18

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Above: Dezső continues to preach through the book of Romans. I am encouraged to see his constant growth in using his gifts of teaching and pastoring.

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Above L to R: Sharon, Erika and Hugi.

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Above L to R: Gábor, Miki and Dezső. Hugi’s husband Gábor was just layed off of work last week which puts them in serious financial strain. Please pray for Gábor to be able to find a new job. Pray also that they would receive the financial help they need in this time.

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Above: Gabi faithful to serve every week in taking families home from church. It was touching to see his sister Niki give testimony tonight as to how she has changed from being an atheist, to seeing God at work in her life. Gabi stood up afterwards and said, “It is great to see the fruit of your prayers in Niki’s life, and to see how my sister is changing because of your prayers.” Praise God for his amazing grace!
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Thursday Friday Saturday

Thursday Marriage Bible Study

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Above: We continue to hold a Marriage Bible Study at our house every other week and have been thankful for those who are faithful to attend. We have seen signs in various venues of how couples’ thinking has been changed through our studies about our role in marriage. Tonight we talked about the root problem of selfishness that leads to arguments in marriage.

“Where do the conflicts and where do the quarrels among you come from? Is it not from this, from your passions that battle inside you? ...you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions.” — James 4:1, 3

In contrast to making my spouse serve me so that I feel my own passions or desires are met, I should be seeking to serve my spouse. Instead of selfish manipulation, by God’s grace, we need to follow Jesus Christ’s example of living as a humble servant of others.

“Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself.” – Phil. 2:3

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Above: Celebrating Anna and Bence’s birthday at our Thursday night study.

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Above: The kids enjoy showing off their costumes at the end of our study time.

Friday and Saturday Baseball Camp


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Above: Pioneers teammember Jamie (left) explaining the foreign rules of baseball to kids who have little to no experience playing. The man standing to his right translated for Jamie and is not a believer. Please pray for him as Jamie continues to live out the gospel in his presence.

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Above: Daddy getting squashed. With teammate Brenda’s help, we brought eight teenagers with us from Petőfibánya and Zagyvaszántó. These type of events help us to stay in touch with teens we have developed relationships through English camp and through our VBS.

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Above: Orsi, who we met through our VBS, also joined us on Friday. In the one hour car ride, Orsi shared about her positive experience attending our church service. Please pray that God would continue to work in her heart to give her understanding of the gospel.

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Above: Ben had a great time at camp. This was his first time playing baseball and he was extra excited about receiving his own baseball glove as a gift from Jamie.

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Above: Sharon and Brenda have begun meeting with Hungarian teammates Erika and Edina discussing personality types and spiritual gifitng. This is a great way for them to build each other up and also to gain more insight about their gifts to keep them aflame for Jesus. (2 Tim 1:6)

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Above L to R: Peti and Miki. On Friday night we invited Eszti and Peti with their three children (fourth one on the way) for American pancakes. We have seen Eszti (a member of our church) take great strides in her faith. She is very young, but very mature. Please pray with her for her husband Peti to come to know Jesus.

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Above: Kira having fun in our blow up pool in the backyard. The kids spend lots of time in the mini pool cooling off in our current heat wave. Thank God for cool water and cool breezes.
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