Dec 2017

December Update

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Above: Last Sunday, we held a special Christmas worship service in the local community center with members inviting friends, family and acquaintances. Teammates Roger and Heidi transformed the room into a very inviting atmosphere for conversation with decorated tables, food and drink and special gifts for the children at the end of service.

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We put together a small choir with special Christmas music and Sharon accompanied Miki’s guitar with the flute. We had a great turn out with teachers from the public school coming to visit, the Petofibanya Retiree Club members and others who have connections with us through various ministries. Before the program started, I was able to sit with Niki and Tamas. Niki began attending just a few weeks ago and told me that she saw something different in church member Edit who had been helping her learn German. She said Edit was always smiling, and full of joy and later invited Niki to church. I was thankful that she brought Tamas who asked me how I ended up living in Hungary. This was a great opportunity to share how God has graciously worked in my life and I was also able to share the Gospel later in that night’s message.

Youth Group


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Above: Arnold (left) and Roger (right) continue to seek ways to encourage and build up the youth in our church. Over the past year this group has bonded closer together and they have been attending Friday night meetings where they have been learning from God’s word. The youth are also beginning to seek for ways they can better reach out to their friends and community. Please pray for the youth to grow in their relationship with Jesus to and truly become light to their peers who come from primarily atheist backgrounds.

Final Christmas Puppet Update


We praise God for His grace in giving us an open door to 30 public schools throughout northeastern Hungary! He gave us the strength and provisions we needed and seeds of His good news have been planted in the lives of close to 2000 kids! Our team of puppeteers included two first timers from our church who were blessed to serve and commented on their desire to do it again at Easter. The kids at these schools are always excited to receive the CD and kid’s magazine that we are able to distribute at the end of each show. One teacher in the town of Hehalom commented as we entered, “I can’t wait to see the show. I’ve already heard the CD since my daughter brought it home from preschool and I’m curious to see it myself!” Who knows how many parents are listening to these CDs with their kids with such a clear proclamation of the truths of Christmas and Easter.

In the town of Bér, after the show, a teacher invited us for some Christmas cookies and tea and God opened the door for a great conversation. She shared about a fellow worker that had passed away and how so many people avoided talking about death. Miki began discussing how God’s word talks about death and the hope that we have as believers in eternal life in Jesus Christ. She shared that she was Catholic and that she doesn’t read the Bible enough and has problems understanding it. We were able to direct her to an easier to read Bible translation and shared about the importance of God’s word being the guide to all of our understanding about truth in this fallen world that is full of deception and darkness. She shared her email address so that we could stay in touch and hinted that she may even take her family to visit our church in Petofibanya (about a 25 minute commute).



This year’s puppet show was about two kids who find a book in the attic that transports them back to the time of the birth of Jesus. After the story of the birth of Christ is presented, the kids go off to find their grandmother to tell them what they have discovered. She tells them she found the same book as a child and reveals to them that this is no other than God’s word, the Bible. Below are some of the best photos from each destination that hopefully help you to experience the good things God was at work doing in this outreach. May the Gospel cause even more joy and peace to well up inside of you this Christmas. Jesus our King and Savior has come and is coming again!

Thank all of you for your investment in us and in ministries like this that we trust will bear fruit!

Jobbagyi


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Petofibanya preschool


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Selyp preschool


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Hered


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Above: After each show, we are able to review the key points with the kids and share the Gospel.

Apc


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Hatvan


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Nagykokenyes


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Kisbagyon


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Egyhazasdengeleg


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Hehalom


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Erdotarcsa


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Jaszfenyszaru


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Jaszbereny


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Szurdokpuspoki


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Ber


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Lorinci


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Selyp


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Paszto


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Szirak Middle School


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Szirak Preschool


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Petofibanya


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Christmas Puppet Ministry Update

Last Tuesday, we set off to the small town of Péteri close to Hungary’s airport where fellow missionaries are planting a church. God has been gracious to us in our preparations and worked it out so that if someone can’t make it, an extra member can take their place in the puppet show. This has already happened multiple times for various reasons like car trouble or sickness.

Over the past week, we’ve visited 11 locations and are reaching our midpoint of ministry. I’ve attached some photos from each location to give you an idea how we are being received and how much of a blessing this is to these kids (and also to us)!

This has not been an easy week and we ask for you to lift us up in prayer. Multiple family members have been sick through this time and Puppet team members are also struggling with sickness. There have also been car problems, technical issues (our speaker stopped working and is being repaired) and some issues with arriving on time at different schools. God has been gracious and helpful through all these things and we have had success proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ! Please pray for healing, for the technical equipment to function properly (including vehicles) and for safety in traveling. Pray for physical strength and for all of the teachers and children who are hearing this good news to be drawn to God.

Péteri


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Lorinci Preschool


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Gyöngyös Retirement Home


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Mothers of Preschoolers Outreach


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Above: Erika sharing about Jesus the Son of God and Savior of the world.

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Above: Every year at this Christmas outreach, we offer families free portraits. As families have been returning each year, God has been opening more opportunity for conversations that are helping them see the light of Christ. Please pray for these families, most of whom come from non-believing homes.

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Above: New parents, church members Gabi and Eniko with their newborn Alíz.

Gyöngyösoroszi


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Szarvasgede


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Gyöngyös Community Center


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Pusztamonostor


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Jászfényszaru


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Above: As this puppet show was worked into our monthly Children’s Playhouse outreach in Jászfényszaru, we also had a craft for the parents and kids. We were thankful to see some new visitors and also those who have attended our VBS in Jászfényszaru in the summer.

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Csécse


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Kálló


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There are various ways that we seek to proclaim the Gospel in Hungary. The Puppet Ministry is a seed sowing ministry that we don’t have much ability to follow up on as compared to other ministries that we have a much higher degree of follow up. It is our prayer that these seeds of the Gospel planted in these kids’ hearts will produce a harvest of Hungarians that are reconciled to God through the saving work and grace of Jesus Christ.

We are often invited for snacks and coffee after each show in the teacher’s lounge. In Kálló, we noticed that the principal was new and as we talked more we found out that she along with her husband had churchplanters hearts. They had recently moved to this village and have started a weekly small group. God has positioned the wife as the principal in the preschool and she is steadily building new relationships in the community. We asked if we could pray for her (in the teacher’s lounge) and she not only accepted, but also prayed as another teacher entered and left the room as we were praying!

May the Lord continue to send out more harvesters who will be able to follow up with these children who are hearing the Gospel twice a year (every Easter and Christmas) through puppet ministry and may he bless those already in position to be the light of Christ and His ambassadors in the various towns and villages we are able to visit.

We still have 21 schools ahead of us as we complete this year’s Christmas Puppet Outreach. We highly value your prayers for us and for this outreach!

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December Update

Since returning to Hungary just over four months ago from our furlough we sense the steady faithful work of God in our lives to bring healing, restoration and growth. Praise God that it is His will that “we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.” (Eph 4:13) This takes time and the amazing work of God’s grace and power of the Holy Spirit forming and shaping us. It takes tests and trials that give us more opportunity to practice what we believe and discover areas where we need to repent and be changed. Through it all, God’s plan is that we continue “growing in every way more and more like Christ.” (Eph 4:15) I am so thankful to be a beloved child in His household. What a privilege to know God as Father and to know that He is raising me in the best possible way. This Christmas season, let us rejoice that we have a God that lavishes His children with His love. “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! “ (1 John 3:1) Max Lucado writes, “He doesn’t just love; He lavishes us with love (1 John 3:1). He doesn’t dole out wisdom; He “gives generously to all without finding fault” (James 1:5). He is rich in “kindness, tolerance and patience” (Romans 2:4). His grace is “exceedingly abundant” (1 Timothy 1:14) and “indescribable” (2 Corinthians 9:14–15).” It is so mind boggling that this unfathomable expanse of God’s love came in such a minuscule fragile physical bundle…God’s Son taking on flesh, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth lying in a manger. Who could understand at that moment that Jesus’ life and ministry would saturate all of humanity and become the revelation of God’s love! A love that spans generations and saves and changes lives in every nation throughout the world. God’s love found us and overcame us.

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Above: Our team/family in Hungary. Part of these past four months have been focused on team building. As we look back over the years and consider ways we can improve, it is evident that we have room to grow in deepening relationships with one another. I have tended to focus much more on tasks and how much we can produce together and had little focus on the importance of how much we are understanding and loving one another. This is another area that God is building up among us and giving us the grace to change.

I wish this would never end


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Above: Children have often commented after attending our VBS in the summer, “I wish this would never end.” The majority of kids that attend are from families that do not know Jesus and do not attend church. As a way to continue to connect with these kids, to love them and continue to turn their hearts to Jesus, we have a monthly Children’s Playhouse Ministry that we hold both in Jászfényszaru and Petofibanya (the two areas we have held VBS ministries).

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Above: Edit, a retired teacher from Petofibanya was impacted by our VBS years ago and later saved. She is now taking on the facilitation of this Children’s Playhouse Ministry in Petofibanya’s public school.

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Above: Photos from the Children’s Playhouse Ministry in Jaszfenyszaru. This is a much younger church planting work and last year was only the second VBS we had held in this town. We praise God for a small group of believers that are taking part in this outreach and continuing to grow in their faith. We continue to hold public worship bi-weekly in Jaszfenyszaru as well as having a small group bi-weekly. Please pray for continued wisdom and that the Lord may build up a dynamic body that lives out the love of Christ.

Clothing distribution


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Above: Twice a year we have begun a service to the community of collecting and distributing clothing and household supplies to those who are needy in Petofibanya. There has been such a positive response that more from the community (who are not church members) are donating and we have so many clothes left over that we are able to also give to the neighboring villages of Apc and Zagyvaszanto.

Youth Ministry


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Above: Youth group continues to meet every Friday night and is composed of church member’s kids and also those who do not attend our church.

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Above: Roger (right) has spent years working with our youth and is such a great influence to those such as Robin (Left) who don’t have a father involved in their lives.

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Above: Roger has been working with church member Arnold (right) seeking to further develop the church’s ministry toward youth. Arnold is in his second year of formal theological training and has developed a small business with language tutoring for high school kids. Years ago, before Arnold met Jesus, he was oppressed with depression and suicidal. What an amazing transformation we have seen in his life! Please pray for our youth to come to know Jesus in much deeper ways and to begin stepping out in faith in serving others for His glory.

Entering a new season


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Above: Praying for teammate Brenda as she prepares to return to the US for a sabbatical. Please pray for our teammate and long time friend who we will miss as she enters into a season of rest, renewal, healing and growth in her relationship with Christ.

Christmas Puppet Outreach


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Above: Gyula, Andi and Miki practicing this year’s show in our basement/make-shift studio.

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Above: Thank all of you who donated to enable us to purchase the CDs and family magazines we’ll be distributing to the kids in public schools this year! We’ve been practicing the puppet show over the last week in our basement as we prepare for our first show December 5th. God has opened the door to 30 public schools and we’ll be able to share the true meaning of Christmas and the Gospel with over 1,500 children.

We appreciate your continued partnership with us as we seek to proclaim the Gospel in Hungary. Thank you for your support and all that you do to encourage and bless our family! May the Peace of God which exceeds anything we can understand guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

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