Jan 2009

WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY

WEDNESDAY DISCIPLESHIP STUDY

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Above: Gabor shared about the rich man coming to Jesus seeking to know the way to be saved. Gabor was once again struck by the fact that position, possessions and religious works cannot obtain salvation. It only comes through the gracious gift of Jesus Christ, to those who put their faith in Him as Savior and Lord. It is great to see these important foundational truths sinking deep in church member’s hearts.

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Above: Hugi, Gabor’s wife, (in orange) praying with Heidi and Erika. Hugi shared her thoughts about the recent anniversary of receiving a debilitating sickness. Although this sickness has brought many trials and difficulties into their lives, Hugi praised God for using it to lead them to Petőfibánya and also to salvation just over a year ago. She said, “If I never became sick and we never were forced to move out of Budapest to Petőfibánya, we would most likely still be lost right now without the Lord.” Because of Hugi’s debilitating sickness, she is ‘retired’ and has time to serve (with a joyful heart) with us in various outreaches like our puppet ministry. Praise God for his work in Hugi and Gábor’s lives.

THURSDAY ENGLISH CLUB

After an extended break, we restarted our English Club that meets in our home every Thursday.

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Above: We were thankful for Sanyi (red sweater) respond to our invitation. Although Sanyi came to our english classes in the local community center last year, he did not attend our club, until today.

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Above: We had fun discussing what possessions we thought were important to have if stranded on an island. At break time we distributed a survey where students could anonymously indicate if they would be interested in coming on a separate day to an English Bible study. We praise God that three out of four (that are not part of our church) in our morning class and the majority of our evening class indicated they were interested. This is a great opportunity to study the Bible together with those who have little or no religious background. It has been our prayer (before we started the club) that the Lord would bring those into our midst whom He has already been drawing to Himself through His Holy Spirit.

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Above: Klári (who attends our morning English Club) trusted us enough to drop off her daughter Janka (far left) for our evening class. Janka also brought her friend Emese. Because of their young age, we had to give them the bad news that they could not attend our class without a parent. We offered them alternative get togethers, like our Friday teen outreach. They had a great time and I’m thankful for God allowing us to develop more relationships with those from the surrounding villages through this ministry.

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Above: Smiling Dávid who attends our club and friday night teen outreach first met us through our VBS. We are thankful for being able to follow up with him throughout the year.

FRIDAY TEEN OUTREACH

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Above: Heidi with Niki who regularly attends our church. In our devotional time we were able to split up into two smaller groups of boys and girls which allowed for more freedom to openly share (atleast in the girls group). Unfortunately, we had a few teens that laughed all the way through and deliberately mocked others with laughter when they began sharing more seriously. These teens have grown up with no boundaries and have no sense of what it means to respect others. We will have to pray for wisdom and for their hearts as we continue to seek ways to make God’s truth known to them.

SUNDAY

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Above: Teammate Brenda helping to train Hugi and Lidia to take lead roles in singing in our worship team. In our long term work of church planting, we seek to gradually and wisely turn over various ministries to those God has raised up locally in the church. It is never our desire to ‘be up front’ and perceived as the only equipped members since we are missionaries. God has been gracious to protect this fledgling body from that perception as more and more members taking baby steps into various ministries in the church.

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Above: Hungarian Partners in our church planting ministry, Dezső and Miki. We are thankful for these faithful men who give their all for Jesus and have a passion to see Him glorified.

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Above: Witnessing the marriage union of Érzsi and Béla before our Lord. Before coming to know Jesus, Érzsi had been living with Béla for over 15 years and they have a son Dávid. After being saved, she made the decision to “remain where she was called” (1 Cor 7:24) and to be obedient in officially declaring her covenant of marriage to Béla (who is not a believer). Please pray for God to draw Béla to Himself through Érzsi and through our church.

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Above: Watch out, the kids are storming the cake table! Peti, who preached tonight on foundational truths of marriage did a great job highlighting the husbands need to love as Christ loved the church and the woman’s need to respect her husband. God was gracious in bringing back Hugi’s mom for the second week in a row, Kati (teenager Niki’s mom) also attended service tonight. We hope that those in our midst like Hugi’s mother, Niki, Kati and Béla would come to fully understand God’s love for them and turn to Jesus for salvation. We have an exciting year ahead of us!

Ways you can pray:

• Lidia (in the worship team picture further above) had some type of medical problem today after worship practice. Please pray for complete healing.
• Teenagers Gabi and Zoli (both Christians) to make God honoring decisions in their lives. Pray for wisdom and for protection from the enemy for these potential future leaders.
• Crazy cough. Otherwise known as chronic cough (but I like crazy cough instead). Kira has had trouble sleeping for the past 4 weeks because of a cough that continues to linger. Please pray for complete healing (for Ellie as well).
• Wisdom as our team continues to plan for next steps in this new year.
• The salvation of our English students, teens and visitors of our church (Klári, Tünde, Edina, Sanyi, Dávid, Vali, Hugi’s mother Érzsi, Kati, Viki, Evi, Ádám and Béla)

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Above: Our little Ellie.
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Weekly Update

WEDNESDAY DISCIPLESHIP STUDY

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Above:
We are very encouraged to have finished the first study booklet provided by Campus Crusade for Christ with member of our church who have been attending this study group over the past few months. Our desire is to equip them, encourage them and personally help them transition into the unique callings God has given them in the church and in the community.

FRIDAY NIGHT TEEN OUTREACH

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Above: Evi, years ago attended our Bible club for kids. Now she’s a teenager! Can you spot her in the group picture above (She is in the bottom left hand side). What an amazing thought to consider how God’s hand has been seeking to direct Evi to Himself all these years. Unfortunately, like most of the kids we taught years ago, they just vanish. None of their parents are Christians, and the short time we are able to get to know them through various children’s outreach is precious time. Now, years later, Evi reappeared, and is a regular attender to our Friday night teen outreach. Our desire is to have multiple points of contact with these kids and teens giving them opportunity to hear and understand the Gospel message. Please pray for Evi and the other teens who attend to turn their full attention to Jesus who can save them and lead them in a fulfilled life.

SUNDAY WORSHIP


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Above: Dezső did an excellent job preaching as he continues to take the church through the book of Romans.

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Above: In our break out small groups, church member Eszti shared that her family (3 kids and one on the way) is in the worst financial situation that she has ever experienced. She added, "I'm not saying this to complain, but God is teaching me to be thankful for what He has provided. I'm thankful for these hardships where I can learn to give thanks and to trust in God's provision." She went on to quote various verses that were giving her stability and peace in Christ. Soon after Eszti, shared this, another church member said that she was in the same financial situation but never considered to remain thankful to God. She thanked Eszti for her encouragement and also began interacting with the verses that Eszti brought up. We rejoice in the members of the church encouraging each other and learning from one another. This is a true mark of growth!

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Above: Church member Hugi was overjoyed to have her mother (Érzsi pictured above) come to our worship service tonight. Érzsi shared her struggles openly in our small group and was thankful that we could pray for her. We were also encouraged that church member Marika brought her son (in his thirties) Norbi. He has gone through various struggles in life and we as church have been constantly praying for him. A recent situation has caused Norbi to hit rock bottom, having no hope. What a blessing to have Dezső teach tonight, a man who has gone through so much disappointment, failure and pain only to have Jesus Christ redeem him and give him a new vibrant life. Dezső was able to speak to Norbi in the break out small groups and share how God did the unimaginable in his life, because of love and because of grace. Please pray for these two new guests, Érzsi (Hugi's mother) and Norbi (Marika's son) to taste and see that the Lord is good. Pray that the enemy's plans to create barriers and distractions in their lives would be destroyed and that they would come to put their faith in the Risen One, Jesus Christ.

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Above: Dezső’s wife Marcsi with her daughters Betti (just turned 9) and Adri. Marcsi shared with us God's recent miraculous work of healing in a family member's life. A few weeks ago, one of her extended family members gave birth to a child that became terribly ill in critical condition. Marcsi called us, and others to begin praying. Dezső and Marcsi had previously tried to talk to these family members about God, but were always met with a cold response. On this occasion, Marcsi called them and made sure to tell them that we were praying for them and their newborn child. Marcsi said, the conversation was free of emotion until she mentioned prayer...at that point the family member began crying. At that time, the diagnosis from the doctors was that the baby would either die, or live a life with various mental or physical problems. Marcsi shared with us today the latest report, that the baby has recovered fully and is completely healthy. Praise the Lord!
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Weekly Update

LET IT SNOW!

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We were blessed to have lots of snow on our week off. The temperatures dropped so much that the ground stayed covered enough for sledding for two days. What a gift from God to be able to spend some quality time with the kids in this way on vacation.

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Above: Press the play button to see a short clip of Ben and Allen having some fun in the snow.

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Above: While Ben and Allen were out in the cold, Kira found a nice cozy place for her private tea party.

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Above: Ellianna (the artistic one of the bunch) giving me an explanation of each swirl in her latest artwork.

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Above: Surprisingly, this is not the sun, but a very large looking moon photographed from our front steps last night.

Random event of the week: Something is bad when my teammate Brenda yells upstairs, “Allen, You need to come down here....” Temperatures dropped so low that one of our outside pipes connected to a garden hose burst and began flooding our basement. Thankfully, it was simple to turn off the water flow to the outside pipe to stop the rush of water pouring into our basement. Even though there was about half an inch of water, I praise God that there was NO water damage. I am also thankful that the cardboard shadow puppets we recently made for our Christmas show were not damaged. The water literally was inches away from destroying them when I shut off the water. Maybe this will help me to remember to shut off the water to the outside pipe next year. At least we have a clean mopped basement now.

SUNDAY WORSHIP

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Above: Kids gathering up front so that we can pray for them before they attend Sunday School with Erika and Brenda.

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Above Left: Hugi laughing with Sharon. Above Right: Peti with Dezső. Peti preached tonight about our inability to carry out our calling in our own strength and God’s complete ability to do the impossible through us in His strength.

This week we return to our previous ministry schedule. We also plan on a few special meetings this week with our church planting team seeking to know God’s will in our next steps in the next quarter. Please pray for team unity, for clarity in next steps, for fruitful discussions and for wisdom for the upcoming days ahead.
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Weekly Update

We’ve been thankful for some down time in the beginning of 2009. December is always a tough month for us as we have an extensive amount of ministry opportunity and seek to pour ourselves out to take advantage of open doors. Thankfully, January is a time to get some rest, reevaluate ministry and seek God’s will for our next steps.

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Above: Still had some sparklers laying around after New Year’s Eve that the kids got to enjoy the day after.

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Above: One of our neighbor’s Miska (mish-ka) invited the kids over for a Hungarian tradition of taking chocolate ornaments off of the Christmas tree. Miska is a kind man and often blesses our family with fresh fruit from his garden or preserves he has prepared. God has opened up opportunity for us to speak about spiritual things, but unfortunately Miska has settled on a faith which denies the uniqueness of Jesus Christ and His claim to be the only way to the Father.

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Above: Miska shared with us his most recent interest in a book which translated texts from some type of Egyptian religion. We hope that even in this time in his life he might explore the claims of Jesus, the Risen One and find salvation in Him.

SUNDAY WORSHIP

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Above L to R:
Teenager Dávid, his mother Érzsi and Miki.

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Above: Hugi and Lidia have been coming early every Sunday to practice as they are now members of the worship team. They have also been faithful in attending teammate Brenda’s prayer group afterwards. It is a joy to see members beginning to use their giftings to build the body and to glorify God.

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Above: Petra came with her father Feri tonight. Petra attended our VBS and also attends a Bible class with Miki in the public school in Petőfibánya. Her father Feri was a former student in our ESL program and is a believer. I am thankful that they are attending more often and I hope they find a home (either in our church or another) where they can flourish in their faith in Jesus Christ.

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Happy 2009

NEW YEAR’S EVE

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Above: Our custom in Petőfibánya is to meet together for worship service at Miki’s house every New Year’s Eve. Peti delivered the Gospel in his sermon and we were thankful for various guests who were able to hear this good news that can bring them into a restored relationship with God through Jesus Christ in the new year. For those of us who have already put our trust in Jesus, we were challenged to be true seekers of His kingdom first, and stepping out to faithfully carry out His will in our lives starting with the small everyday things.

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Above: After our worship service, we began our evening of games that led up to midnight.

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Above: Teams competing to make the most creative hat.

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Above: Having a bit of trouble opening an over wrapped and over taped gift.

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Above: Kira still up at midnight with enough energy for a cheesy smile.

In the New Year, “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”
(
2 Thessalonians 3:5)
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