Jun 2016

2016 VBS Day 4

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Above: After meeting together for morning prayer, Zsofi is outside greeting the kids and registering her kids for the day. Zsofi had to miss yesterday because of an appointment with the dentist. Please pray for healing and for the pain she is experiencing to cease.

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Above: Zsolti leading the horses in to get some fresh water and brushed down. Zsolti along with his parents Zsolt and Zita are serving with us and graciously provided horseback riding for the kids the entire week.

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Above: Kids arm in arm singing one of their favorite songs from camp. It is great to see these kids bonding together.

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Above: Over the past few days we’ve share stories from God’s word that have been building up to today’s Gospel message. Zita shared a clear presentation with the kids in the morning meeting.

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Above: Martina who is attending with her son Ádám is the one who commented about the amazing peace she experiences at our camp. She has a religious background and after today’s Gospel presentation, Dezso was able to ask some pointed questions about where she stood in her understanding and her faith in Jesus. She shared about some of the religious things that she did as a child, but Dezso asked, “But do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?” Martina recognized that she did not yet have what we have, but she is clearly being drawn in that direction. Dezso shared that this is the Father’s work drawing her to Himself. Please pray for Martina to gain a full understanding of the Gospel. Martina is related to one of the church members who is serving with us who was just saved last year.

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Above: Feri came to one of the camp leaders after the morning session and was clearly convicted about what he just heard. Feri has attended Bible classes with one of our church member’s Eniko who teaches at his middle school. Feri realized that although he knew what was the right way of living, he so often lived in ways he knew were wrong. He asked Miki about what he should do. Miki explained the Gospel again and told Feri that the first step is to put his faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Feri came to me after he made this decision and told me what had happened. Praise God for his work in Feri’s heart!

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Above: Zalán (red shirt) has been very active in answering questions and participating in small group time. Today, after camp workers Timi and Orsi shared the gospel again in small group time Zalán began asking more questions. At the end of group time, Timi gave the kids an opportunity to pray to put their trust in Jesus. Even though Timi said to do this quietly in their own hearts, Zalán began praying out loud and put his faith in Jesus.

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Above: Tom who has recently joined our Pioneers team in Hungary was able to share his testimony with our group. One of the girls, Eszti who is helping in this camp as a volunteer is actually one of his neighbors in Petofibanya. Pray that the testimonies that these kids have been hearing throughout the week would encourage them to find their life in Jesus Christ.

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Above: Thankfully Brenda’s parents allowed her to come to our VBS even though she has a full summer planned. Brenda was a member of our little league baseball team and continues to hear more and more about Jesus as she spends time with us.

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Above: Mercer sisters, Kira and Ellie.

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Above: Tonight’s continuation of our ongoing drama has the caterpillar finding out just how dangerous it is to ignore “The Book” and the only way to become a butterfly.

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Above: Since we had high temperatures today, Miki installed some tubing that created a cool mist. The kids loved it!

Tomorrow is day 5 and in year’s past, many of the kids are not able to attend our last day of camp on Saturday. Many are already sharing how sad they are that camp is coming to an end. This is their highlight for the summer for most of them. As we do have opportunity these next two days, we continue to ask you to pray for Jesus to be known. Pray for those who are now understanding why we are so different and grasping the Gospel to give their lives to Jesus.

Please continue to pray for stamina and God to renew our strength for these last days of camp. Thanks for your continued support!
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2016 VBS Day 3

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Above: A sea of kids in our morning meeting time. We have used this location for years but a few months before our camp was planned the local government began renovations on the property. For some reason, the work stopped last month and the building wasn’t really usable in half-renovated condition. The water system was also being worked on and was incomplete. We began praying and God provided by allowing the work to be completed and the water to be turned on in time for camp! Because of the work at the camp grounds, much of the area that was once grass is now simply dirt because they had to dig up pipes. This is even more reason to give God praise for providing great weather over our first three days of camp or else we would have had to deal with mud.

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Above: Orsi in small group time giving her testimony to the kids. Orsi was involved in Buddhism before finding salvation in Jesus Christ. After putting her faith in Jesus last year, she has continued to grow and has answered the call to follow Christ when tough decisions would have to be made in her personal life.

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Above: Learning today’s verse in small group time. One teacher reported that instead of getting to the time of small group where the kids play various games, they began asking questions about the Gospel. She said that they were very interested and it wasn’t a problem for them to run out of time for games as they had more questions.

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Above: Alex (middle) wasn’t registered for our camp. We saw him looking around from the outside in curiosity and we invited him in to eat with us and to join us for the rest of the camp. We know Alex’s family and they are not very well off. Alex decided to return and looks like he’ll be joining us to the end of camp.

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Above: Andor (right) and his brother Levi (not pictured) will be going through a major transition in their lives in the next few weeks. When they were very young, their mother abandoned them and since that time their grandmother Zsuzsa has raised them by herself. Zsuzsa has gotten to the point where she cannot provide what these young boys need and they are being sent away for foster care. Levi has been so nervous about these changes that he has become sick the last few days. He attended camp today and did well, but Andor and Levi could use your prayers for God’s provision and peace in this time of transition.

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Above: The afternoon drama continues to follow this caterpillar as she avoids what is written in “The Book” and goes about her own way to become a butterfly. Here she is getting some beetles to make her some custom wings.

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Above: Kids gather together arm to arm for our closing song which is a hit every year at camp. The song has some great lyrics that really make clear God’s love for us and what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross.

Praise God for giving us this opportunity to show these kids through our words and our actions how great He is! One mother that has been attending because she needs to accompany her preschool child said that she just felt an atmosphere of peace when she is with us. The Prince of Peace is with us and we trust that He is revealing Himself to these kids that are precious in His sight.

Yesterday, I spoke about an incident where two kids were missing for a time because of a miscommunication. Our concern was for the aftermath. How would the family respond? Praise God the father came walking up with his kids in the morning. The kids grandmother also dropped by the campgrounds to check out what was going on and saw that her kids were having a great time. Praise God for bringing peace and working this out by His grace.

As we have just passed the midway point of camp, please pray for more open doors to share the Gospel in ways that each age group can understand. Pray for Zita who will be teaching tomorrow and sharing the Gospel with the kids in the main meeting in the morning. Continue to pray for strength for all the workers and for good one-on-one connections with kids who have questions about God. Continue to pray for protection for all of these kids as they do various activities and games at free time. Praise God that there hasn’t been any major injuries. Thank you for your partnership with us in this Vacation Bible School!
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2016 VBS Day 2

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Above: Beginning our day in our main meeting room singing together. The kids are becoming more and more familiar with all the songs and are having a great time singing together. The lyrics in all of these songs help these kids get a more accurate understanding of God’s word and God’s ways.

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Above: A child holds up her achievement card. Each camper gets stickers in their small group for being present, being able to say the day’s memory verse and for their good behavior.

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Above: Church member Józsi (above left) shared that kids are now opening up on the second day and he is able to have better conversations with each one. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the majority of these kids do not attend our church and this is one of a few opportunities they have to gain a clear understanding of God’s Gospel and God’s love.

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Above: One of the many activities we have for kids in their free time in the afternoon. As you can see, teachers have a fun time climbing as well.

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Praise God for another great day of Vacation Bible School! Once again, God gave amazing weather (after it rained overnight) so that the kids could spend most of the day outside. The kids are clearly having a great time and learning more about our amazing God. Today, I had my first opportunity to meet with my group which is a bit unique. It consists of those who are older who have ‘outgrown’ this camp but still attend to help throughout the day. I was able to share my testimony of my midlife crisis at the age of 20 and my search for answers that led me to Jesus Christ. Later I heard from another helper in the group that they continued to talk about some of the important things that came out in my testimony. Tomorrow, Arnold will share his testimony in the group as we continue to seek to encourage those in the group that are already believers and help those who have not yet made that decision to put their faith in Jesus. Many of these older kids in my group will be going to a teen camp we have planned just a few days after our VBS.

At the end of the day we had an incident with two children that went missing at the meeting point where parents come to pick them up. It all turned out to be series of miscommunication and the kids actually walked home because of a mistake one of our workers made. Please pray that there would be peace after this incident and that the new system we are putting in place tomorrow would keep this from happening again.

As we approach the midpoint of camp, we need strength and stamina. As kids begin to open up and as the Gospel is made more and more clear each day, please pray for hearts to be touched and for these children to understand and put their faith in Jesus. Pray also for our workers’ health. Zsolti has an ear infection and we ask for prayer for healing. Pray for more conversations in the small group time to lead to important spiritual truths we find in God’s word. Please continue to pray for protection for all of the kids when they are playing together at free time. Thank you all for your prayers.
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2016 VBS Day 1

After a series of muggy hot days last week, God was gracious to drop the temperature in Hungary for our first day of Vacation Bible School (VBS). Praise God that all of our volunteers are healthy and served in unity and with joy this first day of VBS. Praise God that the process of registering 126 kids and launching our first day of camp were a success.

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Above: After signing in, it we walk the kids to the campgrounds from the local community center.

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Above: Our first morning meeting. With so many kids returning from previous years, the room was full of laughter and singing in no time. We spend around 40 minutes singing together.

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Above: Some of our youngest preschool children.

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Above: Eszti and Bogi in our small group study time. Last year, Bogi was at this very camp witnessing God’s grace and love and hearing the Gospel. She was soon after saved and is now serving along side of us for the first time!

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Above: Using pictures to review the story we heard in the morning meeting of Jonah’s journey and God’s character.

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Above: Our last meeting of the day where we have a 5 part drama about a caterpillar’s journey to becoming a butterfly. Instead of choosing the way of “The Book”, the caterpillar seeks to find her own way get wings that leads her into serious danger.

We had a great first day. At the threat of rain and as we saw dark clouds moving in, God was gracious to keep our area free of rain! The kids are having a great time and there were no serious injuries throughout the day. Thanks for keeping us in prayer!
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Ministry Update

Ministry in Bogács


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Above: Dávid looks on at the beautiful double rainbow above Bogács.

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Above: Taking cover from the rain.

Last night we held our weekly Bible study in the town of Bogacs. After a one hour commute to this small town, we visit a few Romani families that have opened their homes to us. The Romani in this area are not scattered in various houses throughout the town but all located in one section away from Hungarian residents. Unfortunately, there remains a strong level of discrimination against the Romani and because of many of their children dropping out of school and families struggling to find work, their plight of poverty continues. Summer brings much relief to these families who often struggle to have enough wood to heat their houses in the winter. As we have continued to serve in their section of town for years we have gotten to know many in the community and they welcome us as friends.

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Above: We first picked up Edit (who we've been meeting with for over a year) and made our way to her friend Angela's house. Edit has told us that she would like to be baptized this summer! Please continue to pray for her spiritual growth.

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Above: Entering Angela’s house (Angela far right). Angela’s granddaughter Dori peaked out from behind their wooden gate with a smile. Teammate Hugi was able to spend some time with Dori outside reading a story from a children's Bible we had given her a few weeks ago. The rest of us made our way inside.

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Above: Dori (standing far left), Kati and her mother Edit, Brenda and Hugi. After already completing a study of Mark, we have moved on to the book of Acts and sometimes I bring Bible studies on specific topics. This is only our fourth visit to this household, but God is already establishing that what we bring is truth and trustworthy. As I mentioned in previous posts, Angela was often visited by Edit’s daughter Kati. Angela struggled with fear and had a problem with her leg that restricted her ability in many ways doing everyday things in town. For over ten years, a sect has been visiting Angela and bringing false teaching. Things become confusing because there is often truth mixed into the false teaching they bring about God. The first time we met Angela, Jesus healed her leg. When Angela shared this good news with the others from the sect that also say they believe in God, they told her that I had performed some kind of enchantment on her and that the pain would come back. It reminds me of Jesus’ words, “If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.” (Mat 10:25) But Angela knows what she experienced personally and she knows that Jesus did it. The sect was also taken back by how much focus I put on Jesus Christ and how I pray in His name. They continue to call Angela and are trying to convince her to not listen to what I am bringing every week, which is simply print outs of Bible passages. Last week, after we met, Angela said she was still confused. How would she know who to trust or who to follow. We prayed and asked God for clarity.

As we met this week, Angela shared how she began praying now in Jesus’ name and she was clearly convinced after our study that Jesus is God in the flesh. Please pray for Angela, her daughter Ildiko and her granddaughter Dori. Pray for continued revelation from God and for a full understanding of the good news of God’s Gospel. Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead them to truth as Angela and Kati spend time together reading God’s word. As we left Angela’s house, a neighbor named Gizi stopped us and began asking questions. “What is the Gospel? What does the Gospel mean?” On the uneven stone pathway outside of Angela’s house, I explained that we were created, we fell, we became separated and lived in sin. And I shared about the love of God sending His Son Jesus to restore what we lost by dying on the cross and being raised from the dead as our Savior and Lord. We hope that Gizi will also join our studies in Angela’s house. Please pray for her.

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Above: Puljka sharing amazing news! A few weeks ago at a follow up check up after surgery for a hernia, the doctors discovered that Puljka had TWO heart attacks. The news was grim and Puljka returned home and wept as the doctors explained the severity of the matter. As we met a few days after this news and studied God’s word, Puljka was encouraged and continued to put his trust in Jesus as His healer. We’ve been praying for the miraculous and for no ill effects after the heart attacks. Puljka shared with us this week that he went back for follow up testing to see how they would proceed to treat him. He said that the head doctor came in after all the tests with a joyful look and said, “Puljka, I have good news. You are healed!” Praise God for His mercy in Puljka’s life and for bringing miraculous healing! Please continue to pray for Puljka and his family who at times join us in our Bible study time.

SUMMER CAMPS


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Above: Ellie helping out with translation at a Baseball camp in the town of Hatvan (about 20 minutes away from Petofibanya).

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Above: The short term missions team from Atlanta associated with Paulus mission and Fellowship of Christian Athletes holding the baseball camp. Pisti (asleep in the foreground) is a Hungarian pastor and works in our local middle school. He does a great job with the youth and also was a key person in getting a little league baseball team started in our hometown. Praise God that many of the kids from our local team are also attending this camp this week and continue to hear the Gospel through testimonies and teaching from this team.

VACATION BIBLE CAMP


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Above: A photo from last year’s VBS in Petofibanya. Once again we have over 110 kids registered! What an amazing open door to spend quality time with these kids the entire week and share the love of Christ and His message of reconciliation! The majority of these kids do not come from Christian households and this is one of the few opportunities they have to hear clear teaching of God’s word and see it lived out through us.

We have over 30 volunteers from our local church who have participated in creating the curriculum, writing a drama and doing all sorts of planning for this year’s camp. This camp is a spiritual battlefield. I would like to have a team of prayer partners join us in this ministry starting Monday, praying everyday until Saturday.

Please let me know via email if you would like to partner in praying daily for our VBS this year! Click here!



Family pics


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Above: Ben with his friend Bence. Ben had his official graduation ceremony from Middle School in the town of Rozsaszentmarton.

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Above: Ziva (our youngest), Kira (second youngest), Elianna and Ben.

Thanks for your continued support. Your partnership with us enables us to continue serving full time in Hungary. We praise God for the privilege to join Him in His work here and for your generosity in helping us remain on the field long term!
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June Ministry Update

Proclaiming Jesus in Bogács


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Above: Kids cooling off at the local well in Bogács

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One of the families we have had opportunity to consistently visit weekly in the town of Bogács is Edit’s household. Edit’s daughter Kati was baptized in February.

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Above: Kati’s baptism in February

Every week, I take a print out of a Bible story that we read gathered around Edit’s kitchen table. Edit’s daughter Kati began taking these print outs to an friend named Angela and discussing with her the things she had been learning from God’s word. This led to our first opportunity to meet Angela personally a few weeks ago. We praise God for a new opportunity with a new family! As we made our way up the steep stone path, Angela had a look of joy and quietly said, "You came here for me?"

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Above: Angela and Kati

When I enter a new home it is my habit to ask if there is any need for prayer for healing based on principles I learned from Jesus in Luke 10:8-9. Angela told me that she had been suffering from pain in her leg for the past year. She was constantly taking pain medication (which she said she couldn’t afford) and the pain radiated from her hip. I asked, "Is it painful now?" She looked at me as if I were joking. "Yes, of course I'm in pain."

I began to tell her about Jesus and His ministry and asked if I could pray for her in Jesus' name. I had her put her hand on the area of her hip that was in pain and placed my hand upon hers and told the pain to leave and the leg to be healed in Jesus' name. Removing my hand, I said, "Get up." She said, "You mean right now?" "Yes, get up and walk. Is there any pain now?" Looking at Kati and Edit, Angela began walking and moving and said in a bit of shock, "There's no pain. It's gone!" I told her to keep walking around a bit and she continued without pain. Edit said to Angela, "Did you feel heat in your leg?" (This is common in these type of healings) Angela replied, "Yes, heat and something like tingling” Angela was in a bit of shock.

As I got know Angela better, it became clear that she has also been visited by a sect for more than five years. This sect misuses the Bible and preaches a false Gospel. Angela shared that they told her that if she were to begin listening to me that she would become confused. This was exactly the same scenario I had been in with Edit when we first began to meet. Edit was also involved with the same sect before she began meeting with us and studying God’s word. Like Edit in the beginning, Angela didn't know who to believe. She didn’t know if she was supposed to cut ties with this sect and continue to meet with me or vise versa. But since I came with healing in Jesus' name, Angela was able to experience the grace and power of God personally. Jesus taught us in John 15:26-27

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning."

Jesus says the Holy Spirit “will bear witness” about Jesus and Jesus says, “you also will bear witness”. We bear witness about Jesus as we proclaim His good news, and the Holy Spirit also bears witness to confirm that what we are proclaiming is true. The Holy Spirit was touching Angela with healing as I proclaimed that Jesus is alive.

After witnessing this healing, Edit (who now confidently rejects the same sect that Angela is still involved with) commented, "Angela, after all the years you have been taught by 'them' did anything good come out of it?" Angela thought for a moment and replied, “No".

The following week, we were invited back to Angela’s house. Unfortunately, one day after experiencing healing, Angela’s pain returned to her leg and she once again had trouble sleeping and walking. I was able to talk to Angela a bit more about faith in Jesus and also about matters of fear, negative thoughts and the schemes of the enemy. After explaining these things, I asked if I could pray again. After a short prayer, the pain was gone and we were able to hold our Bible study.

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Now, the following (third) week, we were once again invited to Angela’s home. This time, Angela greeted us with a big smile. Her countenance had completely changed. After asking about her leg, she told me that this time the pain was completely gone and did not return. This is after being in constant pain for one year! Since we last visited and she experienced healing in Jesus' name, she no longer had to take pain medication and could finally sleep at night which she shared with us with great joy. Praise God for pouring out mercy and touching Angela that she may experience physical deliverance from pain. Because of Angela's personal experience of being touched by Jesus, I was able to speak more about our spiritual need and about Jesus’ power to do a greater work of cleansing us from sin and restoring our relationship with God. It seems clear to Angela now that she must cut ties with the sect that has been visiting for the past five years.

Please pray for Angela and her household to come to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Pray that she may have wisdom to handle cutting ties with the sect she had been involved with for so many years. Pray for God to continue to lead us to more households in Bogács and for more open doors to proclaim the Gospel. Pray for the growth of those who have already professed faith in Jesus, Puljka and his daughter Izabella, Edit and her daughter Kati, Robi and his wife Erika.

Petofibanya


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Above: A view from one of the mountains behind our hometown of Petofibanya.

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Above: Teammates Roger and Tom helped Hungarian partner in ministry Pisti coach a baseball team from the local pubic school in Petofibanya. This sport is gaining popularity in Hungary and has been a great way to bless the kids in our community. This is one in many ways that we seek to have continued Christian witness and influence in these kids’ lives throughout the year. Many from the team have already come to know us as they’ve attended our Vacation Bible School, or English Club or various children’s ministries throughout the years.

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Above: As the summer months approach various villages including our own have festivals and community gatherings that where we are invited to help. We usually have teams face painting, giving out balloons and interacting with the community. This is also a great time to get the word out about our Vacation Bible School coming up at the end of June. We already have over 80 kids registered!

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Above: Zsófi helping out with facepainting. After attending VBS for years, Zsófi was later saved at one of our teen camps a number of years ago and had since traveled to Ireland and spent a few years there. It was great to keep tabs on her and see that she continued to grow in her faith in Christ. She is now back with us in Hungary and serving with us!

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Vacation Bible School June 27th!


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Above: Our weekly meeting includes a first hour of fellowship and prayer and then we get to work on preparing the various materials needed for this year’s Vacation Bible School.

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Above: Józsi and Mónika (left) talking with Edit (right). This photo is a testimony of how God has used the VBS in Petofibanya not only to bless children with the Gospel, but to reach parents and grandparents! It was just last year that Józsi and Mónika heard their kids returning home from VBS each day, telling stories and full of joy. It was just last year that Józsi and Mónika attended on the last day of VBS for our open house and heard testimonies of how various members were saved by Jesus. It was through their kids and through the testimonies on that day that Jesus drew them to Himself and they were later saved and baptized into Christ.

Edit, who attended VBS with her grandkids (because they were too young to attend without a family member) has a similar story. She experienced the love of God at VBS and through the various stories and teaching we brought each day, she came to understand the Gospel and was saved and baptized into Christ. Now Edit, Józsi and Mónika, along with others who were just saved last year, are serving together with us to share Jesus with the children and other parents in the community in our VBS.

Please pray for our Vacation Bible School. Pray that it powerfully proclaim the Gospel and express the love of God in such a way that draws entire families to Jesus Christ! Pray for the various church members and their families who are volunteering. It is in these times that we often experience various attacks to distract or derail our ability to carry out this camp. Pray for protection for all of us and that God would continue to impact especially parents’ (and grandparents’) hearts as they attend on the last day! Pray also for the facilities as they are still in the process of being renovated and are still not finished (camp is just over 2 weeks away).

Every year, our Vacation Bible School involves extra finances that go toward various supplies needed from teaching aides, to props for our drama, to games and crafts and so on. If you would like to give a gift toward helping in this area, please contact me via email by clicking here.

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Above: Pioneeers Hungary team members Roger and Heidi, Tom, Allen, Sharon and Brenda.

We appreciate your continued partnership in Hungary! There are going to be so many great opportunities this summer and more stories to come of how Jesus continues to seek and save the lost. Thanks for journeying with us!

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