Aug 2011

WEEKLY UPDATE

WEEKEND CAMPING OUTREACH

With heat breaking records in Hungary, our camping trip posed serious concerns. God was faithful to protect all the campers (some having to go home because of the heat). On the second night, there was a warning for severe thunderstorms and we felt an instantaneous change in temperature and powerful gusts of wind. Lighting flashed in the distance and we secured our tents and our supplies that were spread over the camp ground picnic tables. Instead of heavy rain drenching us and lighting threatening us, God was gracious to use the storm to give us relief from the heat, and we slept through the night as the storm went a different route.







Above: Singing many of the worship songs we previously learned in our VBS just weeks ago. On Friday afternoon we began a hike from our local community center to our campsite just miles away. We were thankful for the pre-teens/teens from our VBS that joined us and also thankful for new kids that heard about this camping trip through them.



Above: Some parents and visitors who were not able to stay overnight were able to come out to spend time with us on Saturday.





Above: Merci, Gergely, Ádám and Krisztian participating in our improvisation acting game. We used this game to lead into an interactive discussion on sin using a judge, a defendant and an attorney.



Above: Dezső, Erika and Miki roleplaying the judge, defendant and attorney. This was designed to be thought provoking and a lead into that night’s teaching on the Gospel.





Above: Brigi (top photo smiling) and Krisztian (kid with football) were some of the kids who made a decision at our VBS.



Above: Group photo after a walk through the forrest.





SUNDAY WORSHIP

Above: Gergely (top) and Fanni (pink) are two kids that began attending our weekly community volley ball games. We praise God that they both responded to hearing the message of the Gospel that Dezső delivered over the course of three days at camp. Both attended church after the camp outreach for the first time and both sought out others to pray and put their faith in Jesus Christ.



Above: Gergely (far left on bench) with kids from our church.



Above: Csilla (far left on bench) has visited our church the past two weeks. God has been using church members Ica and Erika to share the gospel with her and after Sunday’s sermon Csilla sought out Erika once again leading to Csilla putting her faith in Jesus Christ! Praise God for these three (Gergely, Fanni and Csilla) who have chosen to repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior!



Above: Sharon with Gyula. Gyula, along with Eszti and Zsófi will be getting baptized this Sunday!

Please pray:

• For new believers Fanni, Gergely and Csilla. Pray for follow up, wisdom in discipleship and mentoring.

• For Eszti, Zsófi and Gyula who will be getting baptized this Sunday. These are first generation Christians in their families not having spiritual support from their homes. Pray that their public proclamation of faith in Jesus may bring glory to God and may draw their visiting family members to Jesus.

• For Peti who will be preaching this Sunday at the baptismal service.

• Pray for our team to be refreshed with rest after a busy few months. Pray for God to lead us in rest and minister to us as we prepare for planning for a new season of ministry changes and additions.

Comments

WEEKLY UPDATE

HERÉD OUTREACH

Marcsi, a mother of one of the children from our VBS invited us to participate in their villages Aug 20th celebration. While a team from church was serving, I was traveling to Czech Republic to pick up Ben after finishing a camp for missionary kids.

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Above: Dezso sharing the Gospel with children as they line up to do our “Good News Tree” craft.

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Above: Gyozo and Peti harnessing kids in before they begin their soda crate climb.

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Above: Dezso talking with Marcsi, who invited us to particpate and has shown openness to the Gospel.

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Above: Béla (left) happened to have a karate show at the same community event. Miki, Erika and I have been playing tennis and volleyball with Béla over the past few months. Please pray that God would draw Béla to Himself and that Béla (who lives a few blocks away) would come to put his faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Dinner, Friendship and Hope.

Miki and Erika invited a few families over for dinner as is their custom each month. The two families have come to know us through VBS, through kids being the same age in preschool and through our various outreaches. It is our hope that casual times of conversation and sharing life together open up more opportunity to share our faith in Jesus Christ.





Above: Dezso (left) and Jánós (right). When I entered the room, I saw Dezso helping János with Bible software on Jánós’ computer. Jánós has had numerous conversations with Miki about faith in Jesus and what it means to be a Christian.





Above: Sanyi, János and Miki having some fun in competition with the wives. Please pray for Sanyi and János, and their families that they would turn to Jesus for life.

GETTING TO KNOW EACHOTHER



Above: With school right around the corner, and schedules quickly filling up this is an important time to begin meeting with the girls who made decisions at our VBS before they drift away. Sharon and Brenda met with Brigi and Bogi today and also invited church members Eniko, Niki and Eszti as they played games together and sought to begin a habit of meeting. It is our hope that this will develop into a time of mentoring and discipleship. Please pray for Bogi and Brigi.

GOING CAMPING!



Above: Norbi checking out the depth of the recently dug hole that will be beneath our make shift latrine at this weekends camping trip. We expect around 30 teens and young adults to attend and are looking forward to sharing the Gospel through this outreach. Last year Zsófi made a decision at this camp and is now being baptized next week. Please pray that the messages delivered by Dezso through this weekend would be used by the Holy Spirit to pierce hearts and lead people to faith in Jesus Christ.
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VBS FINAL REPORT



Above: Bogi (back row purple), Krisztian (striped shirt) Patrik, Robin (boy in white shirt) and Brigi (behind him). Other than Patrik, all of these kids made decisions at our VBS to believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. This is their first time attending our worship service on Sunday and praise God for the parents who allowed their children to come without them to church! In the past we have had a combined children’s sunday school that included preschoolers up to preteens. Because of the fruit from this year’s VBS we ended up holding two separate children’s classes for the first time. I took the little ones (around 10 kids) and Miki took the preteens (5 kids).



Above: Sunday school class for the little ones.



Above: Praise God for the hard work of this team of volunteers who wholeheartedly served in our VBS. Praise Him for the majority being from our local body and for the four who traveled from Budapest to be with us this past week. Teenager Niki from our church commented that though members of the team experienced various spiritual battles through the week, God brought them through it all in victory and maintained our unity and love toward one another.









Above: Our last day of camp on Saturday included an invite for parents to join the activities throughout the day. We were thankful for the response, this year being the largest number of parents to come.



Above: Bogi and Zsófi’s mother, Marian who has attended church over the past two weeks.



Above: Years ago, I would be the one leading this teaching time with the parents. Then, Dezső would be at my side. This past Saturday, it was a joy to see Dezso (above with nametag) leading this teaching time with the parents by himself. Praise God for the growth that He is causing in Dezso’s life! When I first met Dezso, he was opposed to going to and being a part of “the church.” Now God is using him as one of the most powerful testimonies in our body to turn others toward Jesus and to fellowship in Christ.



Above: Marcsi who sends her kids to our camp every year, is someone God has used to open doors to the Gospel in the town of Heréd. Marcsi began inviting our church to participate in events that she organized in Heréd last year. She is very open to the teaching we bring from God’s word but has not yet made a decision. Our next event in Heréd is scheduled for this Saturday. This may be the next small town where God would have us join Him in extending His kingdom and planting a church.



Above: Dezső sharing with some of the older kids who made decisions at camp about next steps and growth as a Christian.



Above: Speaking of next steps, Allen will be meeting with Zsófi and Eszti this Tuesday for Foundations of Faith in Christ/Baptism teaching.



Above: Dávid talking with Dezső. Dávid came to me after church with a smile and told me that he “finally” made a decision to put his faith in Jesus. Dávid has been involved in our fellowship for years, attended multiple VBS camps and English Camps. He has heard the Gospel repetitively from preteen years to teen years. I praise God for his profession of faith and look forward to seeing the new Dávid transformed by God’s grace.

This past week has been full of rejoicing as God is saving Hungarians from the bondage to sin, from Satan and from judgment and death through His Son Jesus Christ. I have included some movies below of our VBS that may help you to see the joy that resulted from God’s work.









PLEASE PRAY:

- For Bogi, Brigi, Krisztian, Robin and Dávid who made decisions to believe in Jesus and live with parents who do not believe (yet). Pray for follow up, for a hunger for God’s word and for roots of God’s truth to grow deep within their hearts.

- For Bogi and Zsófi’s mother Marian who has begun attending our church and is hearing the good news of restoration with God through Jesus Christ.

- For Eszti and Zsófi as they learn about the Biblical background and reasons for Baptism this Tuesday.

- For our son Benjamin who is at a missionary kids camp in Czech Republic for the entire week. Pray also for safe travel home when he returns on Saturday.

- For our participation in a community event in the town of Heréd on Satruday. Pray for relationships to be built and for the Gospel to be proclaimed.
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VBS Day 4



Above: Éva helped the kids to see the origin of sin in the book of Genesis and the effects that it has had on us ever since. She then presented the gospel of Jesus Christ and encouraged them to put their faith in Him.



Above: We asked for God’s Spirit to bring conviction to the hearts of the kids this morning in prayer, recognizing the need of His work in their hearts to bring conviction and reveal truth. This was the first scene of many that verified HIs work. Robin and Brigi came to Miki after this morning’s teaching and asked more about making a decision to put their faith in Jesus. This happened at a time of day when the kids are free to roam outside and have a morning snack until they are called back to go to their small group teaching time. Robin and Brigi decided to seek God in this time of their own initiative. Miki explained the Gospel again and made sure they understood what they were deciding to do. Afterwards they prayed for salvation in Christ.



Above: Later in the day, Kriszian sought out Val and shared his desire to make a decision. He said he loves everything that is being taught in camp and wants to be able to share it with others also. He purposefully separated himself from some friends who were trying to keep everything at a surface level so that he could talk more seriously with Val.



Above: Soon after Krisztian made a decision, I saw Éva talking with Bogi (above). Bogi shared with me that she made a decision to believe in Jesus and looks forward to coming to church with her sister Zsófi who just rededicated her life to Jesus at our English Camp.



Above: Zsófi shared with me her desire to see her brother Józsi (above) saved as well. Zsófi’s mother has come to church over the past two weeks and we are hopeful that her entire family will come to personally know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.



In addition to Robin, Brigi, Bogi and Krisztian, there were other kids like Anna, Jenifer, Mira, Kinga and Adrien (above far right) who also sought out leaders to make decisions to believe in Jesus Christ. After serving in Petőfbánya for over 6 years in our VBS camps, this is the first time I’ve seen a response like this.



In afternoon free time, Brigi, Bogi and Krisztian were roaming around finding people to tell that they had put their faith in Jesus. We praise God the Father for drawing them to Himself and giving them understanding.









Above: The above bookmark done by one of the kids who was saved says “Jesus loves you. Jesus is love”

PRAISE AND PRAYER REQUESTS

This was an amazing day of watching the Spirit move from one child to the next and a day that lives have been changed for eternity. Praise God for His mercy and grace and His love for these kids tucked away in obscurity in northeastern Hungary. Praise God that these kids have an opportunity to go to our church plant after camp and we already have a healthy youth ministry that seeks to mentor and build into their lives. We appreciate your prayers for the steady work of follow up for Robin, Brigi, Bogi, Krisitian, Anna, Jenifer, Mira, Kinga and Adrien.

We have been experiencing spiritual warfare leading up to this day and in response to this day. The enemy does not recline after God’s children share the gospel and bear fruit. Please pray for protection from the enemy, for our core team, for the kids who made decisions and for the remaining days of camp to continue to bring glory to Jesus Christ. May He continue to lead us in victory.
Comments

VBS Day 3







Above: Miki helping the kids wake up with some fun songs in our morning singing. God has blessed our team with talented musicians and the kids really enjoy singing along and doing the motions.





Above: Our morning skit with Gabi, his wife Enikő and sister Niki playing the role of people who think they are them most important because of their strength or beauty.





Above: Val did a great job showing that there is no value in things that will perish, but the most value is found in knowing God’s view of us. Val went on explaining the gospel and challenged those who had not yet made a decision to take advantage of all that God has provided through this VBS and encouraged the kids to choose Jesus today.







Above: Eszti’s small group. Eszti is having a tough time keeping her small group of 8 boys and 3 girls in order in teaching time and would appreciate prayer. The boys can’t seem to focus and are distracted by each other throughout most of the teaching.











Above: Ben receiving letters from our camp post office. Every day, kids are given the opportunity at free time to make creative and encouraging cards for one another.







Above: The oldest kids participating in our afternoon concert.



Above: Our end of the day skit that reinforces the day’s teaching and gives us another opportunity to talk about the Gospel.



Above: Niki and Zsófi, both doing an excellent job as helpers in camp.



Above: A surprise visit from Ádám (right) who recently attended our English camp. Niki shared that she has had opportunity to continue to explain the Gospel to Ádám the past few weeks. Praise God for continuing to reach out to Ádám.



Above: Our Kira with a beautiful smile. Kira did better today with her problems with her bottom, but we still ask for prayer for complete healing.

PRAISE GOD

God blessed us with a good night’s sleep and the team had strength for the day to minister in their various responsibilities.
Val did an excellent job teaching and the kids were engaged. Some responded to teachers later in the day saying, “I’ve already made that decision to believe in Jesus.”
• Kids continue to show signs of understanding what is being taught about the Gospel, God and His love.
• The weather was pleasantly cool and sunny.... perfect for VBS!

PLEASE PRAY


• For Eszti’s small group. Pray especially for the 8 boys who distract one another and find it hard to focus.
• For Éva who will be presenting the main teaching tomorrow morning.
• For Jenifer, Dori, Józsi and others who stay the whole day as volunteers but are not believers. Pray for God to speak to them through the various teaching and for open doors in personal conversations with them.
• For healing for our daughter Kira.
• For kids to continue to be open and for them to understand God’s love demonstrated through Jesus Christ.
• For a good nights rest for all the VBS kids and those serving at VBS.
Comments

VBS Day 2



Above: Dezső starting off the morning with an overview of what the kids could look forward to today.





Above: Erika taught today’s theme, “God’s love toward us.” After the kids shouted out various responses to Erika’s question about sin, she reinforced their answers visually by placing them on the white board. She explained that Jesus’ death on the cross was the greatest expression of love and the only way that we could be saved from our sins. She then transferred the sins from the boy and girl on the white board to the cross reinforcing the truth that Jesus paid the price for all of them.



Above: Our daughter Kira with Alina.



Above: Niki helping the kids learn the motions to each of our songs.





Above: Hugi with the youngest pre-school kids in our afternoon small group session.



Above: Miki reported that his small group was able to get into deeper conversation once again. Miki highlighted the reality of God’s desire to reveal Himself to each one of them. Just as many of them chat online with friends, Miki said that God has provided his own thoughts and answers to our questions in His Word.





Above: Erika and Brenda’s small group tucked away in the trees. Erika reported that she led the kids in a prayer of salvation at the end of class. All of the kids repeated the prayer, but only God knows the number that truly understood and put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Another group leader asked her kids what they thought about the morning teaching. The majority said the visual of seeing all the sins placed on the cross made an impact. We praise God for signs of not just hearing, but understanding what is being presented from multiple angles each day.





Above: Eszti’s small group. Eszti reported that when she began teaching about prayer the majority of the kids in her small group began talking about meditation and other new age rituals. It was amazing and sad to see that they knew more about these than actual prayer to God our Father. It is our hope and desire that God use this camp to turn them away from such deception and help them enter a personal relationship with Jesus, the Son of God.







Above: One of the favorite activities at free time.



Above: Dezső and Józsi having a mini jam session at free time. Józsi is the big brother of Zsófi who was saved at English Camp this year. We’re thankful for Józsi who has volunteered to help at camp by staying overnight at the camp grounds to guard all of our equipment. We’re thankful for opportunity for him to hear the gospel once again and for the opportunities to reach out to him throughout this camp.



Above: Merci is one of our older kids who is from the town of Heréd. For those of you who follow our blog, you know that God has opened up doors in Heréd for us to do evangelistic outreaches over the past year and half. This open door came through Merci’s mother! Merci has a reputation at our camps to be a bit of a trouble maker, but has shown a bit of change this year. It was encouraging to see that Merci was deeply touched by today’s final teaching that came in the form of story telling about how God values us.







Above: Sharon leading today’s craft time. In an answer to prayer, Bence (pictured above) had a much better day today. I saw him with new friends throughout the day and he just seemed to be enjoying himself more. Praise God for helping him find his place in camp.








PRAISE GOD

• Conversations continue to go deep on the second day.
• Morning teaching was very powerful and kids showed signs of not just hearing but understanding Christ’s work on the cross.
• Team is healthy and worked with joy and in unity throughout the day.
• Peti’s car is fixed! Needed a new battery.
• Bence, the young boy who struggled yesterday had a much better day today. The pre-schoolers seemed to do much better today as well.
• With all of the running and various activities there have been no serious injuries or accidents with the kids!
• The weather couldn’t have been better for what we had planned for today.

PLEASE PRAY

• For a good nights rest for all the VBS kids and those serving at VBS.
• For strength for the team as we approach the mid mark of camp.
• For Val who will be presenting the main teaching tomorrow morning.
• For healing for our daughter Kira.
• For kids to continue to be open and for them to understand God’s love demonstrated through Jesus Christ.
Comments

VBS Day 1





Above: After morning registration, the kids began their 10 minute walk to our camp grounds on the other side of town. The majority of kids with us this year have been to our VBS camps previous years. In years past it has taken some time for “the back row” or the pre-teens to be very involved in singing. This first day was decidedly different. All the kids jumped right into singing and we were encouraged to see all participating from the youngest to the oldest.







Above: After the morning teaching about a world without love which is a result of our rejection of God, we broke into our small group teaching/discussion time. Each child received a small paper heart, on which they would write past hurts on one side, and times they experienced love on the other. Teachers from various groups reported that the kids were willing to open up on the first day, one girl even came to tears as she shared past hurts. Praise God for kids willing to be honest and sharing their hearts in the groups.





Above: Part of our free time activities involves tree climbing and a high flying jump jump supported by harnesses. God was gracious to hold off the rain that seemed to threaten throughout the day and provided the kids with the freedom to be outside in our scheduled free time activities.





Above: This is Eszti’s and Zsófia’s first time serving along side of us and they are both doing an excellent job showing Christ’s love to these kids.









Above: Sharon leading craft time. On a side note, today is our 13th wedding anniversary!









Above: This boy seemed to be the only child that had a tough time today. This is his first VBS and I imagine with everything new, and being away from his mother all day is daunting. There were times throughout the day when he seemed more relaxed but I ask that you please pray for him.

PRAISE GOD

• Conversations went deep on the first day.
• All kids participated in singing.
• One object lesson which used two magnets to illustrate how living in sin keeps us separated from God and how turning away from sin to Jesus “snaps” us together in a relationship was very effective.
• No rain so the kids could play outside.
• Team is healthy and worked with joy and in unity throughout the day.
• God’s grace in blessing our marriage, and being able to truly celebrate in our hearts 13 years in marriage.

PLEASE PRAY

• For the young man pictured above who is having a tough time at VBS. Some of the pre-school kids also struggled at times through the day. Please pray for them.
• For Peti and Eszti who’s car just broke down at the start of camp. They have four children and both Eszti and Peti have important roles in our VBS. Please pray for God’s provision and that the car would be repaired.
• Protection from sickness. Some of us are experiencing headaches and fatigue. We could use a good night’s sleep and healthy bodies for the remaining 5 days of camp.
• For our daughter Kira who has an uncomfortable cut on her bottom which makes it painful for her to go to the bathroom every day. Please pray for healing.
• For kids to continue to be open and for them to understand God’s love demonstrated through Jesus Christ.


Comments

VBS STARTS MONDAY!

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Above: Zsófi and Eszti just three years ago in our VBS in Petofibanya.

Summer is full of great opportunities to sow seeds of the Gospel and to water those seeds that God is causing to grow. For those of you who followed the news from our recent English Camp, you may remember Eszti and Zsófi who rededicated their lives to Christ at English camp, trusting in Him as their personal Lord and Savior.

Both Eszti and Zsófi live in towns that border Petofibanya and have attended our VBS for years and teen outreaches. After this year’s English Camp, they have both been attending church and our teen mentoring meeting on Thursday nights.

It is through these teens that God often draws parents to know Him. Zsófi’s mother Marian visited our church last Sunday after an invite from Dezső.



Above: Dezső seated in the back talking to Marian after church. We hope that Sunday’s message had an impact on her and that she will return again with her husband. Please pray for Marian and her husband Józsi.

It is encouraging to see how God is at work in Eszti and Zsófi’s lives, from the time when He was reaching out to them as children, to these formative teenage years.

Instead of being those who attend VBS camp this year, both Eszti and Zsófi are serving as the body of Christ.





Above: Zsófi and Eszti practicing for next weeks various dramas that highlight the power of God’s love.

God has been gracious to our core team this week as we continue to prepare for next week’s VBS. Our curriculum is complete, He has provided a great team to serve this year, and He has provided the money needed for supplies. We will be continuing to have drama practice, prepare the grounds, do cleaning and setup and prepare for teaching over the next few days. We appreciate your prayers for our team!

There are currently 52 kids signed up and most likely a few more will come on the day of registration. The majority of these 52 kids come from atheistic or agnostic homes. God has been gracious to spread the word about our camp and give us favor with these parents who don’t attend church. Many who don’t know us personally gladly send their kids to our VBS. Praise God for this amazing opportunity to share God’s truth and build into these kid’s lives.

WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS



Above: Dezső and Peti joining us on our prayer walk on Monday.



Above: Ádám, who attended English Camp and lives in Petofibanya comes out to our Friday night volleyball. We’re glad that he hasn’t disappeared like he did last year after camp.



Above: Miki, Erika and Niki preparing hearts for this year’s VBS.



Above: Brenda never knew that she would be designing elfin hats in Hungary. Oh, how she suffered with these.



Above: A couple candid shots of church members.



Above: Kira peering over a freshly picked basket of pears. We have two pear trees in our backyard.

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Above: Our little girl’s outstretched legs and a closeup of her face. Praise God for His wondrous work of creation.

Sharon’s 24 week checkup went well, however her glucose levels were a little high. She returned for a more in depth test and we should get the results in the next few days. We appreciate your prayers for our family.
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