Jun 2012

SUMMER UPDATE

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Above: Kira poses in front of Benjamin and Elianna’s school which was decorated for graduation day just a few weeks ago.

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Above: Grandparents eagerly await their seeing their grandchildren enter the graduation ceremony.

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Above: A young man rings the bell and leads the procession of graduates who will pass off the school flag to the next graduating class.

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Above: Both Benjamin and Elianna were on the honor roll and received rewards for their hard work.

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2012 Vacation Bible School


After weeks of preparation, we are just about set to have our Vacation Bible School in Petofibanya from Monday to Saturday! This year we have 87 kids registered, which is a record. We praise God for the facilitation team He has put together (over 20 church members) and all their hard work with a heart to share the good news of Jesus Christ with a new generation of Hungarians.

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Above: Some of those helping were recently saved like Anna Maria (center back striped shirt). Our basement was the perfect place to do prep work as it was about the only cool place in the neighborhood after a week of super high temperatures.

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Above: Gyozo, Fanni and Zsofia getting ready for practice for the evening skits at VBS. Fanni was saved at the Franklin Graham Festival and is already showing many signs of spiritual growth and maturity. Praise God!

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Above: Erika and Jutka editing the script for the skits.

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Above: We spend a few hours preparing the grounds on Friday. János who is 69 (above) also joined us and worked with all his heart in the blazing heat.

Today we will finish preparations on the grounds and Monday will be our first day with the kids!

A few support needs:

We would appreciate any financial gifts that you would like to go toward this year’s VBS. You can find support information here, and we would appreciate a note letting us know what you have given for our records. We are also seeking to raise $260 support to help our church planter partners in ministry, Erika and Miki Fülöp serve in English Camp this year. If you would like to donate toward that need, again you can find support information here. It would help us to know if you are giving so that we can let them know. Thanks!

We really need your prayers in this evangelistic outreach.

Here are some ways you can pray.

• Protection from injury and sickness for all team members and their kids as well as the 87 kids who have registered.

• Ability to rest at night and strength for each new day to serve in the extreme heat with kids.

• Unity and love among members as we work together for God’s glory.

• For God to give these children ranging in age from 3-14 understanding of His truth about Jesus Christ and revelation of His love for them.

• For wisdom for Monday’s registration of 87 kids.

• For protection from fear for kids who are not used to being away from home all day. For the peace of Christ to touch each of them as they spend time with their teachers and helpers.

• For the drama team to complete preparations and be used by God to clearly present the Gospel.

• For all technical aspects to work smoothly including craft time, game time, teaching time and singing times.

Thank you all for your continued partnership in sharing Christ’s good news with Hungarians! May Jesus be glorified in all that we do.

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WEEKLY UPDATE

School is out and summer is officially here as temperatures reach the upper 90s this week in Hungary. Over the past few weeks God has opened doors for great ministry opportunities and I’d like to share some highlights with you.

First take a look at this final highlight film I put together of the Hope Festival in Budapest that ended on a Sunday a few weeks ago. There were over 36,000 who attended over the course of three days and 2,727 prayed with counselors to put their faith in Jesus. I have hope that these men and women who made decisions will bring about the growth of Christ’s church throughout Hungary as they in turn share the good news with family, friends and coworkers.

Making this highlight film was still moving to me, especially toward the end watching the deaf praise God with sign. It is a moving experience to see so many joined together giving our Lord the worship that only He deserves.



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Above: Fanni. As I mentioned in my last post, three woman from Petofibanya (Reni, Anna Maria, and Fanni) put their faith in Jesus at the Hope Festival. Fanni has written me with great questions over the past few weeks like: Should a person feel something when they put their faith in Jesus? What should I do to grow in my faith? How do I know for sure that I am saved? What is a baptist and what is a Christian? Fanni’s questions have given me the joy of sharing Biblical truth with her and it is a joy to see her grow in her new found faith in Jesus Christ.

PUBLIC SCHOOL TEEN OUTREACH



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The principal of Petofibanya’s middle school invited us to come to their end of the year camp and share whatever we wanted with the kids for 2 hours! We had the kids play a treasure hunting game that tied into our small group discussion about seeking joy in life.

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In my small group, I believe the point was made that no amount of money, fame or worldly success can give us the joy we are seeking. I was able to share my life story and how I had reached the top only to find a deep emptiness. It was then Christ found me!

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After our small group discussions, church member Tomi gave his testimony. Tomi also experienced a time of great worldly success, then got into drinking and gambling. At a time when he reached the bottom and his marriage and family was about to fall apart, Jesus saved him. What a door that God opened this night, to give these kids a taste of truth that surely they have not seen on TV nor heard at home or school.

As I mentioned previously, the Baptist church in Hungary has taken on the finical burden of Petofibanya’s public school. We don’t know all the details about what this means, but surely it will lead to new open doors to minister to these teens who in a prison of hopeless and sin. Praise God for this night and the seeds planted that we hope will grow over the years we have with these teens.

LITTLE BIT OF SOCCER



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Above: Some of the guys I’m able to play soccer with off and on in the town of Jászfényszaru. János (third from the right) has been meeting with Miki and being mentored in church planting. It is our hope that one day a church will be planted in Jászfényszaru as well. Some of these guys in the photo above work in the factory in that town and we’re thankful for the relationship we can develop with them through soccer.

LITTLE BIT OF VOLLEYBALL



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Above: Teammates Miki and Erika have begun inviting people to volleyball in Rozsaszentmarton where we are currently planting a church. The word is spreading and more and more are attending, some just coming to talk on park benches.

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Above: Church member Naomi’s husband joins us to play for the first time. In the past we have tried to reach out to Naomi’s husband, but he made it clear that he wanted nothing to do with the ‘type of people’ we were… in other words ‘religious’ people. Obviously he has lots of misconceptions and most likely has never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He came out to volleyball and some walls were broken down. Afterwards Miki shared that he had a good conversation with him. May God draw this young man to Himself!

TOM’S SURVEY TRIP



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Above: Tom passing our “IKEA aptitude test” as he puts together recently purchased chairs for our church. Last week, Tom was visiting our team from Kansas having been called by God into missions. Tom will be spending some time after his trip to Hungary in prayer and seeking God’s will as to which team he will be joining for long term ministry. Please pray for Tom.

VILLAGE DAY



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Above: Time to pull out the face-paint and balloons as we were invited to take part in our town’s Village Day Celebration. This gave us a great opportunity to publicize our upcoming VBS and pass out invites.

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VISITING MISKOLC



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Above: Our church was invited to come out to Miskolc (2 hour drive) to lead a worship service and share about what God has been doing in our area. Dezso preached about the power of unity in Christ and Miki challenged the church to look for ways they could reach out to their community instead of turning inward as a body. In God’s sovereignty, there happened to be a missionary in the church who required translation in the back during service. Since Tom was with us on his survey trip, he got to hear everything translated instead of suffering through hours of Hungarian. I had a great conversation with this missionary who is focused on reaching the unreached Gypsie population in Miskolc. Maybe God will use our church to send teams in the future to partner in such outreaches?

CHERRY PICKERS



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The cherry trees are ready for pickn’. Our neighbors were kind enough to invite our family into their backyard and fill a few bags full of fresh cherries (one of the perks of living in Hungary).

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Above: Ziva’s first tooth noticeably coming in.

TAKE A HIKE



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Above: Miki and Erika invited us on a hike through our towns beautiful fields to local stream.

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Above: Kids getting lost in the sunflower fields.

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Above: Local kids use the stream to take a dip.

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SATURDAY CHILDREN’S OUTREACH



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Above: Our monthly kids outreach in Rozsaszentmarton. We were thankful to see some new families attend!

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Above: Aniko attending (right) was recently saved and continues to grow in her faith.

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Above: An unexpected visitor! This is Marian who is one of our teen church member’s older sister. Her sister has talked a lot about us and our church to Marian but up until now she has kept her distance. Marian lives in Rozsaszentmarton and we hope this first interaction with her will lead to many more and coming to understand the grace and love of Jesus Christ.

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SATURDAY CONCERT



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Above: Christian artist Elizabeth Hunnicutt (http://www.elizabethhunnicutt.com/) was kind enough to visit Rozsaszentmarton and hold a free concert full of great testimony. Church members Erika and Dezso shared their story in between songs and lifted up the name of Jesus Christ as the Way the Truth and the Life.

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Above: Dezso with his daughter Betti.

Yes, summer is here and with summer comes a bit more intense time of ministry. We would appreciate your prayers as we begin meeting this week for VBS planning. Thank you all for your support!
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Franklin Graham Hope Festival Day 2

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Above: Counselors coming early and being seated before entrance of the general public.

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Above: One of the most important aspects of the night, complete dependence on a movement of God and His Spirit.

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Above: There was definitely a greater number of people tonight as compared to last night. Franklin Graham delivered a message on the Prodigal Son.

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Above L to R: Anna Maria, Jennifer, Timi, Reni, Eniko, Erika, Gyozo, Miki, Fanni, Anna and Bence.

REJOICE WITH US



Praise God for working in the hearts of Anna Maria, Reni and Fanni. All three of these women came forward at the invitation to repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ. Jennifer had just began talking to Anna Maria a few days ago about faith in Christ, and just Saturday morning Anna Maria decided to go to the Hope Festival. As you know, Reni went to the Festival on Friday but was a bit distracted because of her daughter. Tonight, she was able to pay attention to the Good News. Fanni came home in our car and I was able to talk with her more about the night. It became clear that she still didn’t understand and hadn’t made a decision. Praise God for the long car ride which gave us ample time to explain the Gospel without the crowd noise answering important questions that she had. It became clear that Fanni now understood what repentance was and was ready to confess faith in Christ who died for her sins, was risen from the dead and would reconcile her to God through faith.

When I went forward to counsel at the time of invitation, I noticed a young man who had attended our English Camp last year just an arm’s length in front of me. He was a camper who was clearly opposed to seeking God, but at the end of camp shared with me that he was now open. What a joy to see the evidence of God continuing to seek and save Pisti well after English Camp was over. I wasn’t able to talk with Pisti, but the only reason to be where he was was to respond to the Gospel message.

Teenager Gyozo was overjoyed to have the opportunity to talk to a 13 year old who came forward. Gyozo said the young man had a story quiet similar to his own story. The 13 year old grew up in a Christian home, but up until this night had not personally put his faith in the Risen Savior. This was an answer to Gyozo’s prayer that God would send to him someone who he could follow up with and help in their walk with Christ.

So, rejoice with us. Lives were changed last night and we have hope that God will continue to pour out His grace and mercy tonight. Please pray especially for Erika’s father who has been opposed to God his whole life but is coming tonight to see his granddaughter sing in the 1000 person choir. May he find much more than his daughter singing! Pray also for church member Gabi’s brother Attila who is attending with his girlfriend Moni. Pray for healing in Moni’s heart and for Attila’s heart to receive the call to repent and believe Jesus Christ. Pray for those of us who are serving this last night, that God would lead us in our responsibility of counseling. Thank you for praying!
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Franklin Graham Hope Festival Day 1

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Above: Going the first night, front row: Eniko, Gyozo, Reni, Timi and Jennifer. Back row: Sára, Laura, Kitti, Bálint, Szebi and Erika. Reni responded to an invite from Timi and Jennifer who have recently become Christians. Reni will be attending again tonight (Saturday) without her daughter Kitti which pulled her attention away from the message on Friday night. Reni is open and we ask that you would join us in praying for her salvation.

Eniko, Gyozo, Erika, Gyula (not pictured) and myself are serving at the Festival as counselors. I praise God for the faithfulness of these four from our church who went through the training and are excited about sharing the Gospel with others.

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Above: Approaching the Sportaréna in Budapest for Friday’s show.

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Above: The thousand person chorus singing classic hymns through the night.

One Hungarian performer began singing How Great Thou Art and the Lord brought my memory back to childhood as I sat in a pew and watched my father sing this very song in a small church in Delaware. How far my gracious Lord has taken me that I should now be in Hungary, a privileged child of God participating in this outreach in a nation I knew nothing about as a child. But God knew then where He would take me by His grace and in His sovereignty. Truly, how great thou art my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

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Above: From what I could estimate there were 5000 or more people in the stadium and overflow areas outside.

Franklin Graham in Budapest

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Above: Those responding to Franklin Graham’s call to come forward and turn to Jesus Christ for salvation.

I was directed to three men of various ages that were together for counseling. It turns out that there were already believers but were moved to reaffirm their confession of faith.

Please continue to pray for us Saturday night and Sunday night. Jennifer (pictured above in group shot) invited another friend that will be attending. Jennifer recently prayed for this woman’s son and has talked with her about faith in Christ. We are hopeful for her and for Reni’s hearing the good news tonight and responding with faith in Christ. Please pray for them and also for teenager Fani who will be joining us as well. Pray also for those of us serving that we would be sent to those God has chosen and be an encouragement and help to them in putting their faith in Jesus Christ.



Above: Brief video highlights I took from Friday.

Kira’s preschool graduation



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Above: Kira preparing to go to her graduation ceremony at Petofibanya’s preschool. Pretty soon they’ll begin throwing graduation parties for babies getting out of the hospital after birth. Kira is looking forward to school already and we’re thankful for Ben and Elianna who will be a great help for her when she does make the transition.

PRAYER ANSWERED!



Weeks ago I asked for prayer as the Baptist Church of Hungary was considering buying the middle school here in our home town (something we did not initiate and was a complete surprise to us). From what we understand all votes are in and the final decision has been made for the Baptist to buy the school. This is very exciting for us and we look forward to seeing how God will use this to bring salvation to a new generation in Petofibanya.
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