Aug 2009

New 'Semester'

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Above: Our little munchkins, Benjamin (8), Elianna (soon to be 6) and Kira (3).

For the few of you who are following our blog, you may have taken note of an extended time of no updates. Our family needed some time to recover from the summer full of intense ministries and outreaches. We also needed some time to recover from the loss of our child (16 week old pregnancy). We also had to deal with an outbreak of lice, and mice (isn’t that nice)... o.k. enough ryming.

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Above: After three weeks of evading multiple traps, Mr. Mousey could not escape a tube, peanut butter, gravity and a tall trash can which he fell into.

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Above: Elianna learned how to ride her bike this summer, Ben learned how to swim and Kira learned how to hold her breath and go underwater by herself.

We also wanted to spend some time together on vacation. Well, a new semester is upon us when as a team we reevaluate current ministries and seek God’s direction as our children start a new school year and we start a new term of joining the Father who is always at work. Life following Jesus is the best life, and we look forward to where He will take us and what He will teach us these coming months.

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Above: Our church planting team. Top L to R: Dezső, Marcsi, Erika, Miki and Brenda. Bottom L to R: Roger, Heidi, Allen and Sharon.

WESTERN WEEKEND



Above: A few weeks ago, members from three different church plants joined together for a weekend of camping. I was able to take Ben who had a great time (his first time) camping. Each night we had a camp fire, sang songs of worship and had many other educational activities.

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Above: Peti with his child Elianna. God used it to help us build better relationships with those we are reaching out to and we trust that many of the one-on-one conversations will bear fruit in peoples lives. I was able to take Peti (who recently put his trust in Jesus Christ) home on Sunday. It was encouraging to hear him share the events of the week with his wife Eszti, of how he was encouraged by other Christians and how he prayed out loud for others for the first time.

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Above: On Sunday, the last day of Western Weekend, we had the combined gathering of members from three church plants and guests for worship service. We also were privileged to be able to dedicate Roger and Heidi’s daughter Emily to the Lord. Heidi’s parents (visiting from the US) also were able to attend this special dedication.

ENGLISH BIBLE STUDY

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Above: Edina and Timi. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to Timi a few weeks ago as she has moved to England for work and financial stability. We praise God for the short time we had with her and how we saw God revealing Himself to her through His Word each week. We took time to pray for her and right after I closed our prayer time, Edina said, “Do you mind if I pray also?” Edina has also grown is so many ways through our study and I was thankful to see this young woman who initially was too shy to speak up in class join us in praying for Timi publicly.

Just last week, Edina brought her daughter Betti to our study. We invited Betti to our Friday night outreach and we were thankful that she came for the first time!

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Above: Klári (above left), who regularly attends our English Bible Study, found out recently that her teenage daughter has celiac disorder just like our children Ben and Elianna. This gives us an even greater opportunity to minister to her and to build a friendship.

FRIDAY TEEN OUTREACH

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Above: As I mentioned above, Betti attended our Friday night outreach for the first time and also brought with her Enikő (grey shirt center). We have a discussion and teach from the Bible after game time each Friday night. From here, we invited the teens to church on Sunday. Both Betti and Enikő (to my surprise) came to church for the first time in response to this invite!

SUNDAY WORSHIP

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Above: Sharon arriving and catching-up with Eszti.

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Above: Enikő who recently put her faith in Jesus Christ at English Camp attended our worship service today. We praise God for the work He continues to do in her heart and for the decisions she is making. Please pray for her as there are many modes of opposition for her to attend church and grow in her faith. God has been gracious to change the heart of one parent who was initially opposed to Enikő attending church. Enikő is now allowed to attend!

Sharon and I taught children’s Sunday school, and Enikő (not the one pictured above) and Betti (9 and 10 years old) attended. Towards the end of our time together, Enikő shared her disbelief that God loved her. She was close to tears in sharing some personal things that were going on. I sought to encourage her from God’s Word that He does love her and is the source of the greatest love that we all hunger for in life. This was the first time that Enikő heard any of these amazing truths and I am thankful that through God’s sovereignty, an invite that happened in our English Bible Study, and then an invite that happened in our Friday Teen Outreach led to a time where Enikő could open up and be honest about life and her needs in the church. Please pray that God would continue to reveal Himself to Enikő and that she would come to understand the amazing work that Jesus did on the cross to die for her sins because of His great love for her.

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PRAYER REQUESTS:

1. Pray for our team in this new semester as we seek God’s will in adjusting our lives to join Him in His work. (Clarity of vision, wisdom and unity in decisions)

2. Pray for teammate Miki’s success in forming Bible classes in public schools in our area these next two weeks.

3. Pray for teammate Dezső who will be beginning Bible School this Saturday as he pursues his calling to serve as a pastor.

4. Pray for the spiritual growth of Peti, Niki and Enikő. (Peti and Niki are currently attending our class on preparing for baptism)

5. Pray for our children who start school Tuesday. This will be Kira’s first experience in school!

6. Pray for a Thursday meeting with a mother and son who are seeking. The son recently attempted suicide and thankfully was not successful.

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Weekly Update

BASEBALL CAMP

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Above: Last Wednesday through Saturday we held our first Baseball Day Camp in Petőfibánya. Jamie, a fellow PI missionary (pictured above) did an excellent job planning and carrying out the various training drills each day. Jamie had opportunity each day at break time to give his personal testimony and share the Gospel with the kids who attended. Robert (in red) did a great job translating for Jamie throughout the week.

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Above: This camp gave us an opportunity to meet Márk for the first time who is from the neighboring town of Lőrinci. All of the other kids who attended have previously attended various outreaches, Bible studies, or church and know that we are followers of Jesus. I was thankful that God brought Márk and that he may be hearing these truths for the first time in his life. Márk ended up winning an award for how quickly he picked up the skills used in baseball. Please pray that we would be able to continue connecting with Márk and that Jesus would draw him to Himself.

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Above: Dávid, who watched from a distance the first day, ended up being persuaded to participate in camp the following day. We have had a long history with Dávid seeking to reach out to him. The last run in I had with Dávid months ago resulted in him spitting on the ground next to me as a sign of his rejection of what I was telling him about God’s love and our love for him. I was very thankful to see him join in with us and encouraged to see him paying attention when Jamie and Garret gave their testimony and spoke about Jesus Christ. Please pray that Dávid would come to understand the great love God has for him and the way in which he can be restored to God through Jesus Christ.



SATURDAY ANNIVERSARY

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Above: Eleven years later, still my treasure, my joy, a true gift from God.

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Above: After cleaning up from the closing day of Baseball Camp, our family headed into Budapest to say farewell to Emily and Christie (left and right of Kira), short term missionaries who have been serving with us throughout the summer. Once they heard that Saturday was also our anniversary, they offered to treat us to dinner and dessert. Thanks!

SUNDAY WORSHIP

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Above: Peti (with glove) seen here at Baseball camp attended church for the second time tonight. Since he arrived an hour early, I sat down and went through the basics of the Gospel with him from God’s Word. It is clear that God is doing an amazing work in Peti. He said that if someone had said to him a few weeks ago that he would be on his own initiative reading the Bible, he would have laughed. Just a week and a half ago on a hike with Miki and Roger, something clicked in his soul. Then in our Friday teen outreach, Peti ended up staying very late as Miki spoke about spiritual truths found in God’s word. Peti was on the edge of his seat the whole time. Peti’s wife Eszti has been praying for her husband now for over three years, and God has answered! What a joy to see an entire family following the Lord, instead of just one spouse. What hope springs up in me for their four children who will grow up with parents who have put their faith in Jesus. Since Sharon and I were responsible for the kids tonight, we spent some time with Peti and Eszti’s son Szabi. In Children’s Sunday School, I asked, “Who is it that provides food for your family?” Szabi replied, “Jesus provides the money and my mom buys the food.” Yes! Exactly right! Please pray for Peti who has absolutely no background in church or religion. Pray that his hunger to read God’s word would continue to grow and that he would grow into a faithful leader in his home, in his community and in our church. Pray also for their family who is struggling financially as Peti has lost his job due to cutbacks.

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Above: Heidi praying with Lidia.

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Above: Celebrating Kati and Erika’s birthdays after worship service.

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Above: Enikő who lives in Budapest and who recently put her faith in Jesus at our English Camp was able to attend our service tonight. Please pray for Enikő who has already experienced resistance from family members about her recent decision to follow Jesus.

Tonight, I rejoiced as two members who chose to resist Jesus for a time turned from the error of their ways and asked for forgiveness from the church for their rebellion. I was very proud of these two members who in the end chose to follow Jesus instead of the deceptive lies of the enemy. I believe these two will now experience to a greater degree the real magnitude of God’s grace and real power of God’s love as they are forgiven their sins and are fully restored to fellowship with Him and with the church.

PRAYER REQUESTS:

• Please continue to pray for Sharon and complete healing after losing our 16 week old baby.

• Thursday through Sunday our church will be joining a church in Gyöngyös for a camping type of ministry for our members and those we have invited. Please pray for God to use this for His glory and that He would strengthen His church through it.

• Pray for young Christians (Norbi, Peti, Kati, Niki) to grow in their understanding of Jesus Christ and His love for them. Pray for strong foundations of truth to be formed in their hearts.
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Weekly Update

SATURDAY PUPPET SHOW IN HATVAN

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Above: On Saturday our team traveled to the town of Hatvan (half an hour away) to perform an evangelistic puppet show in the town’s festivities. We were thankful for God giving us the help to quickly prepare right after English Camp and providing a beautiful day to be outside.

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Above: Hungarian teammate Erika asking a few questions about the show and reading a passage from God’s Word.

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Above: Our kids had fun joining us on stage to do the motions to the few songs we sang after the show.

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Above: After the show, we helped other volunteers by providing face painting and balloons. Miki had good conversations with some of the volunteers who stood by him the whole day. We were also able to hand out CDs and evangelistic material throughout the day.

SUNDAY WORSHIP AND PICNIC

We began our service with sharing the news of our recent loss of our 16 week old child. Miki and Dezső prayed for us in front of the congregation and I encouraged them afterwards to lift up songs of praise to Jesus Christ who is faithful, who loves us and who will not abandon us. In terms of our loss, we have felt great sadness. At the same time, I have deep joy in seeing two church members repent from sin that was leading far away from Jesus. After very honest, tough conversations with both of these members and by God’s gracious work to help them see the error of their ways they both repented and have chosen to follow Jesus and His leadership in their specific situations in life. This is a HUGE praise, as their previous behavior was causing great sadness in our hearts and causing the name of Christ to be shamed. Praise God for His grace, His patience and His open arms to those who repent and trust in His Son Jesus Christ.

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Above: Zoli K. holding Ádám upside down... Kristi giving the thumbs up.

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Above: Kristi and Emily have been working with Pioneers over the summer in Hungary, serving in multiple camps and outreaches. They were gracious enough to visit our church plant in Petőfibánya and actually read their testimony in Hungarian (a very challenging feat). It was encouraging for our church to hear what God was doing in peoples personal lives on the other side of the world.

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Above: With temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, some opted to play a conversation game inside.

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Above: Those that didn’t mind the heat participated in a bunch of fun team building games.

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Above: Eszti with Dáriusz and Roger playing with Eszti’s husband Peti (in white). This was the FIRST time that Peti came to one of our church services and Eszti was rejoicing as she faithfully prays for his salvation. Peti was recently given worship songs from our church and he has been listening to them constantly. Just last week, He went hiking with Miki and accepted an invitation to come to church this past Sunday. We pray that God would reveal Himself to Him and that Peti would also turn to the Savior and Lord Jesus Christ that his wife Eszti has already wholeheartedly trusted.

PRAYER REQUESTS:

• Pray for us as we grieve the loss of our 16 week old child.
• Pray for new relationships to be built and the Gospel to be preached at this weeks Baseball Camp that will be held Wednesday through Saturday.
• Pray for Peti’s salvation.
• Pray for two church members who recently repented from destructive sin and choices to be fully restored by God’s grace.
• Pray for the health of our family as the kids are experiencing wacky rashes, puffy faces possibly from allergies (food or season we don’t know).
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