Aug 2019

Teen Camp report

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Our teen camp is the last camp of the summer and was used by God to continue watering the seeds already planted in earlier camps (VBS, Baseball, English) that many of these kids have already attended. This camp is definitely a bit different in environment than the others as we sleep in tents and take showers with bags of water that have been heated in the sun. Lots of dust, bugs and time outdoors, but a camp that the teens thoroughly enjoy and return to every year.

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Above: Erika explaining to Virag some basics of the Bible as she has recently received her very own for the first time.

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We were thankful for more integration with teens from the town of Vecsés where fellow missionaries are church planting. Over the past year, these teens have been able to meet with those from our area and we hope to strengthen this partnership. Our theme for this camp was about how we view ourselves, and how this view of ourselves (whether healthy or unhealthy) affects our lives. Hungary is listed as the country with the third most suicides in Europe and many struggle with a sense of utter worthlessness and hopelessness in life. We sought to turn attention to the value that God puts on every human life and the ways the Gospel changes how we can live with a sense of hope and value through Jesus Christ.

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Above: Church member Józsi sharing his testimony at camp. On Sunday, Józsi shared these words with the church: “God has given us such an amazing opportunity to spend time with kids this summer in these camps. Each member gave what they could to help share God’s word with them. God has given to us amazing unity as we served together. He has shown us that He wants to do even more as he filled this community center on the last day of VBS in Petofibanya with parents and kids. God encouraged us to keep pressing on with the number that attended baseball camp and as we had opportunity to talk to the kids about God. We had the same encouragement in Jászfényszaru with the VBS and finally with the teen camp the last few days. For me, the teen camp was like seeing a cherry tree blossom, being filled with flowers. This camp was like seeing all those flowers and the hope that many of these flowers will produce fruit. I am so privileged to have witnessed all these teens building relationships, paying attention to the teaching, talking about God. They spoke about God, not out of a sense that we expected them to say something, but from their own hearts. I’m so thankful for all of you and how God has used members in this church to work together to not give up on any of these kids and to see fruit in their lives.”

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Above L to R: Our daughter Kira, Zsofi, Betti and Luca.

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Above: Gabi (blue shirt center)

Not too late to dig up what was burried


This camp was not only used to encourage and build up the teens, but it was also the beginning of something in one person particularly that was very powerful. Gabi, one of our young adult members has for years seemed to cease growing and intentionally kept his distance from opportunities for mentoring and discipleship. When Gabi was first saved years ago, he was involved in youth ministry, he attended theological training and wrote his thesis on discipleship. Then he just seemed to fall away and in like manner to Jesus’ parable, he had just buried the wonderful spiritual gifts that God had given him to use for His glory. It was difficult to see this happen and hard to understand why.

This past year our church made a change in the way we hold our worship service. Instead of just preaching and then ending with some musical worship, we reworked the format so that there would be small group time after the preaching. We have noticed that in these small group times, Gabi seemed to begin to participate and show interest and growth. Then Gabi was able to attend English Camp and help out with organizing the games in the evening. He seemed to become more and more passionate for the things on Jesus’ heart. When the time to plan the teen camp came, teammate Miki invited Gabi to be a major part of the planning. Gabi believed that God led him to the theme and Gabi was the moderator for the discussions the entire week. He did an excellent job and once again, we began to see the Gabi that seemed to have been lost for years. Gabi is a gifted teacher and really could connect with the kids.

At the end of the week after teammate Roger spoke about real change and how we are going to take steps to follow Jesus, Gabi was one of the handful of people that boldly stood up and shared what God had been teaching him. Gabi said, “God is calling me to use the gifts he has given me for Him. For a long time, I have focused on other things. But now that is going to change. This camp has been the first step in that change. I am committing to this change in my life from now on.” This had to be one of the highlights of my entire summer as I heard those words from Gabi. Would you pray for Gabi as he is stepping back into fellowship in a way where he is teachable. Pray that he grow as a faithful husband, father and follower of Jesus Christ.

This camp was a wonderful closing for summer and has provided great momentum for both teens and adult members of our church community to continue growing as disciples of Jesus. Thank you all for your continued partnership.

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Above: An “exausted after camp” family picture as we came to pic up the kids at a missionary kids camp in mid August.

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Above: As the kids were at camp, Sharon and I were able to take a vacation and tour around a few countries in Europe.

As we now exit summer and enter into a new season seeking to keep the momentum going, please pray for the leadership team and our church. Pray that God cause growth to all of the seeds that have been planted and that He continue to give us wisdom as to how best to equip the saints, and grow in maturity as one body in Christ.
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Jaszfenyszaru VBS report

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We’re back from an amazing week teaching over 60 kids about “The Upside Down Kingdom”. Of course, God’s kingdom is not upside down, but it appears that way to those who are accustomed to living according to the ways of the world. This has been a powerful camp as God has used so many talents and gifts and weaved together worship, teaching, small group discussions, and drama presentations to help these kids come to understand Jesus our Savior and King.

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Above: Ellie (center) helped to develop and write this year’s drama presentation.

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Above: Bogi who was saved in Jászfényszaru a few years ago now teaching the kids the story of the rich young ruler who asked Jesus how he could inherit eternal life.

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Earlier in the week, Luca (pictured above) and I split away from the larger group to talk one on one. She wanted to ask about baptism. Because of other responsibilities, I haven’t had much time to really know where Luca was spiritually. After Luca attended our first VBS in Petofibanya this summer, I was encouraged to see her begin attending youth group meetings and Sunday worship. There was a new level of interest and commitment that I didn’t see in her last year. As we talked, I wanted to see if she understood the Gospel or was riding a wave of intense emotion from being together at camp throughout the summer.

I was encouraged to hear her heart and how she had experienced a life of living to please others, fitting in and following her emotions as her god. I shared with her the importance of repentance and explained what it meant that we believe in Jesus not just as Savior but as our Lord who has ultimate authority that we trust and submit to in life. We agreed that we’ll meet in September (after all the camps and vacation are over) and begin some foundational studies as Luca desires to be baptized!

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Above: Learning about Jesus’ humility and how he calls us to serve with the same love He has given to us.

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On Thursday, after the Gospel was explained in the main morning session, the kids exited the meeting room to have a morning snack. While outside, I ran into Anas, a boy who is actually only in Hungary for the summer. He would be returning to England after camp. Earlier in the week I had a conversation with him and he opened up about some difficult things going on in his life. I asked him, “What do you think about what you are hearing?” Anas responded, “I haven’t decided which God I will worship yet. I think I need more time to think about it. Maybe when I am older I will decide who to worship.” Without being pushy, I sought to help Anas understand that there are many things in life that we don’t wait around hesitating to make a decision until we are older. But I also agreed that we needed to understand before this life changing decision to believe and follow Jesus was made. Anas shared that his mother believed but his father is of a different religion. I am so thankful that Anas has had this week to spend with us to see living faith, and to hear Bible story after story highlighting the wonders of God’s kingdom and our need for Jesus to save us.

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On Friday, church member Hajni came and asked me to speak to one the girls in her small group. Virág had already been considering making a decision last year, but had been putting it off. This year, God really spoke to Virág in Thursday morning’s teaching, but Hajni advised her to not rush to make a decision, but to seriously consider all that she has heard about a life of faith in Jesus Christ. Virag was resolute and we met in a separate area to talk about what it means to believe in Jesus and how she could mature and grow in her faith. Virag’s parents are not believers and her home is a bit isolated. Her group leader Hajni will commute to take Virág to our worship service in Jászfényszaru every other week. Please pray for Virág as she begins her new life in Christ.

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The last day of camp is always full of mixed emotions. Many kids begin the day going from person to person embracing them as they reluctantly look forward to camp coming to an end. Eszter is one of those kids who came and embraced Sharon and I in the morning. Eszter attended our VBS for the first time this year in Petofibanya. She enjoyed it so much that she decided to come to our VBS in Jaszfenyszaru. Praise God that her mother Judit attended on Saturday’s family day. Judit approached me as I was already speaking with Eszter and introduced herself to me. Looking at her daughter, Judit said, “You all have deeply impacted her. She’s learned more in your camps in a week that she has in years attending religious classes.” Her mother went on to ask if it would be all right if she came to visit our church. It turns out that Eszter lives just a few minute drive away from our hometown in a neighboring village of Apc. This story is the same for so many of the kids attending who have already attended in Petofibanya. For them, VBS is the highlight of their summer and they just don’t want camp to end.

We had over 20 parents attend and in small group time, I was able to share my story of how God saved me and took me on a journey from the US to Hungary. After my testimony, I opened the discussion up for questions. One man asked, “How is it that God spoke to you?” Another asked, “Even though there is one Bible, how do you determine what to follow when there are so many interpretations?” These great questions led to great discussions and I am thankful to God who gave wisdom as to how to answer them without getting sidetracked from focusing on Jesus Christ.

Toward the end of the discussion, it was clear that one man was a bit agitated and wanted to express that it is ‘faith’ that is most important (meaning, not necessarily what you believe in but whether the faith you have makes you happy). I was glad to listen to his viewpoint, but wanted to help him to think through the implications of this worldview. After allowing others in the room discuss this idea, we were already getting close to having to end the discussion. Jesus led me to highlight what I thought to be the flaw in this worldview. The focus was on “what makes me happy”. If believing in magical unicorns makes you happy then so be it. If living as a materialist makes you happy then just ‘leave me alone’. That is my ‘faith’ and ‘it makes me happy.’ I shared with the man and all who were listening that the issue is not what makes you happy. The issue is truth. What is true? What is truth? This is the core of our faith. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He is the only way to be restored to the Father. After closing our time, I saw that he continued to speak with some others from our church. Please pray for this man to come to know the importance of knowing Jesus as the Truth.

Afterwards, another parent came and asked if we could talk. Géza lives in Jászfényszaru and began sharing his heart. For a long time, he has searched for where to settle down in a church home and has never found success. God led me to share His plan with Géza that we grow as believers in fellowship as one body. God’s plan is that no believer live his Christian life on an island thinking they have no need of tight integration with other members of the body. After showing him foundational scriptures about this topic I sought to encourage Géza to not give up and to find a local fellowship that follows Jesus and trusts in the word of God. And of course, I invited him to come and visit our fellowship as we seek to follow Jesus and grow together. I asked if I could pray for him. After laying my hand on his back and praying for God to bring the light of His truth to disperse the dark confusion he was experiencing, it was clear that Géza was moved to tears. Pray that Géza be led to find his place in a local fellowship where he can grow up and mature in Christ.

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This has been a great camp and God continues to draw more and more from a new generation to Himself. Thank you all for your continued financial and prayer support! After a week of vacation, we have one more camp remaining designed for teens at the end of August. Please pray especially for those who have made decisions recently (Luca, Virág, Betti), and for others who will be attending who have not yet fully understood.










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