Oct 2013

WEEKLY UPDATE

Bogács Update


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Above: Katyus (Kot-jew-sh) the mother of the household and one of her daughters Maci (Maht-zee) in the background.

Over the past month, I’ve noticed Pujka’s wife Katyus gaining more and more interest in what God’s word has to say in our studies. In tonight’s group she shared how she was initially fearful when we would meet. She feared for her family and even discouraged her daughter Izabella from getting too serious about her belief in Jesus. God has since changed her heart. She said that she now wants to know more about God for herself and desires to understand what it means to believe. I have been praying that God send His Spirit, that He give them hearts that repent and understand their need for Jesus. God encouraged me tonight as I see an answer to these prayers in the changes in Katyus’ heart. Please pray for Katyus as she shared that sometimes when she seeks to pray to Jesus, she becomes oppressed and her thoughts become clouded. This is clearly a spiritual battle and she could use your prayer support!

Over the past two weeks, there have been a few new visitors from the neighborhood that have stayed the entire study. Last week a man named Árpád joined us for the first time and has a general belief in God but is not sure in who to believe. He asked questions like, how do we know which religion is the true religion and why is there evil in the world. He was thankful for our time together and we hope to see him again in the future. This week, two new teen boys attended. One of them named Barnabas said that he really enjoyed being in the study. Please pray for these visitors to come again and discover for themselves what God reveals in His word.

A few weeks ago I could see that the men in the group were discouraged and distracted as they had just been laid off of work and were worried because of the upcoming winter months and lack of means to provide for their families. As usual, I promised I would pray for this important request and they were also praying and asking God to provide. When I arrived this past week, Katyus greeted me with a smile telling me about her son: “Pujka has two job offers! He doesn’t know which one to take!” What a clear answer to prayer in a place where so many suffer from unemployment and it is doubly difficult to find work being Romani.

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Above from L to R: Izabella, Mazsi, Pujkadur, and Krisztian meeting for our Bible study on Tuesday in Bogács.

Our study in God’s word tonight was on the Samaritan woman’s encounter with Jesus at the well. The group discovered important truths about God knowing every detail of our lives, Jesus being the source of eternal life, worshiping not being limited to any geographical area and that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Izabella who had a tough week last week seemed renewed and shared that her faith in Jesus continues to grow. She shared her sorrow with still having to deal with temptations in her life and how grieved she is when she fails. She has a deep desire to live a life pleasing to God but is recognizing that even with that desire there is still a battle raging inside her everyday between following after sin and following Jesus. Please pray for Isabella who is currently the most spiritually mature in the family. She is active in reading God’s word to her family and tells others about Jesus. Pray for her protection and for her continued growth in knowing Jesus Christ. Isabella recently wrote this poem:

Shine on me my God like a bright star.
At night, who is there but you in heaven full of glory.
I love you my God.
I lost everything but in You I’ve found what I need.
You gave me grace. You are my song.
I give you my life. I wait for you my God to be with you forever.


LOGOS Bible school


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Above: Peti being congratulated as he receives his BFA in Biblical Studies.

Although it’s been over four years, it seems like yesterday when Peti put his faith in Jesus. His wife Eszti and our church had been praying for years for his salvation and on a church organized hike, the Spirit gave Peti understanding in the heart which led him to repent and believe. At that time we had learned about an accredited school that partnered with the Baptist church for theological studies. Two men from our church had already decided to begin attending and soon after Peti’s salvation, God opened up the door for him to begin attending as well. Now, four years later, Peti has successfully completed his studies and received a BFA degree in Biblical studies. He is the first in his family to have this degree of education and we look forward to seeing Peti continue to grow on the practical side of living out all that he has gained in his studies of God’s word.

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Above from L to R: Gabi and Eniko, Peti and Eszti, Brenda, Sharon, Marcsi and Dezso and Allen.

Gabi and Dezso will continue studies through one more semester with the hope of also obtaining their degrees next year. We praise God for this provision of Biblical studies and ask that you pray for all three of these men (Dezso, Gabi and Peti) and their families as they are all involved in various areas of church planting.

Petofibanya Church


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Above: Eniko giving testimony about God graciously opening doors in public schools for her to teach Bible classes in our area. Eniko also joins me now regularly along with Pioneers teammate Brenda in Bogacs. It is great to see God raising up a new generation living out their missional callings.

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Above: Teammate Roger continues to teach our pre-teens at church and has also begun teaching English in Petofibanya’s public school. Roger and his wife Heidi have two kids and have had opportunity to reach out to another family who’s daughter attends the same preschool as their daughter. After a year of personally meeting with this family and inviting them to dinner, the mother (Vera) attended our Thursday small group study for the first time with Heidi. Vera’s preschool daughter then got an invitation from one of our church pre-schoolers to come to church. Praise God that this past Sunday Vera attended with her daughter and then again attended our Thursday study. Please pray for Vera and her husband to come to know the Savior and the joy of being restored to God the Father through faith in His Son.

Family News


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The past couple of weeks have been tough for our daughter Kira. On her way to a friends house in town, she was bitten by a dog. Thankfully the skin was not broken but she was bruised. Soon after this incident, at the bus stop in the morning, she jumped out of our car while it was still moving (very slow) thinking that it had stopped. She stumbled and her ankle was partially run over. After x-rays and an examination there were no signs of broken bones or severe trauma. God brought swift healing and just six days after the accident she was using it as if nothing had happened. We praise God for His provision of protection and healing.

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Apc prayer requests


Please focus some time praying for the town of Apc where we are holding a weekly study reaching primarily Romani in the area. One of the key people, Vincse has become terribly sick. She is the one that has opened her home for the weekly Bible study and a key person in the community for outreach. Her lung disease has disabled her from her normal every day activities and doctors have told her that there is nothing more that they can do. Let’s turn to Jesus together and ask for mercy and healing and that God would continue building His Kingdom in the town of Apc. Vincse has a husband Zsolti and cares for two children, one of whom she has adopted because his parents abandoned him. Thank you all for your continued financial and prayer support!
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WEEKLY UPDATE

We’ve experienced our first frost in Hungary and the sunlight of day is already seeming to slip away too soon. Winter is a tough time for many families in our midst as some struggle to pay their heating bills and others in poverty struggle to survive, heating their homes with a small wood oven. In Hungary, I find myself thanking God for shelter from the cold as I witness the challenging circumstances of others every week in ministry. It is very easy to overlook the abundance that God has supplied, the mercy He has given and the ease of life that we may come to expect as “normal” when in fact, we deserve none of it. May we not so flippantly overlook the privileges, opportunities and merciful gifts the Father has given to us but rather worship Him with thanksgiving as we recognize the abundance of His grace in our lives! And may He give us wisdom in using our resources in a way that blesses others with the same mercy we have received from our merciful Father.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father” (James 1:17)

Apc (village neighboring Petofibanya) Update


Tucked in the corner a small antique wooden oven emits a thin cloud of smoke drifting like a transparent parachute in the small room. The adjacent kitchen and entrance to the house is shut up with windows now covered with makeshift plywood armor guarding against the encroaching winter cold. Vince, a woman acquainted with much suffering pours me a glass of bubbly water and stands before me with a small plate of chocolate covered pretzels. Every week, she gladly opens her home for our Bible study in her hometown of Apc. I arrive early to spend some time talking with Vince and her husband Zsolti. This has not been an easy week for them. Vince, who walks miles going dumpster to dumpster collecting anything that will help her family survive was stricken with weakness. She called her husband and she was taken to the hospital where they discovered severe respiratory problems. Just this past year, God had already healed Vince from cancerous tumors in her lungs but now these were new problems that turn her again to fully trust her Savior Jesus. Ask anyone that knows Vince and they will share how her faith in God is contagious. This physically frail woman has a fiery passion and strength that erupt anytime she has opportunity to talk about Jesus Christ. Please pray for her healing!

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Above L to R: Apc small group with Erika, Annus, Vince, Béla, Robi and Zsolti.

The participants in this Bible study are either Vince’s family members, or those she has reached out to over the years. As the start time of our study draws near, Érzsi and Béla (72) enter and we greet them with traditional kisses on each cheek. They take their places, one on a couch, the other on a plastic lawn chair. Afterwards comes Annus, a grandmother that made a decision last week to put her trust in Jesus Christ. As more people enter, the room seems like a train cabin where people press in sitting shoulder to shoulder with not much free space.

Soon after, Vince’s daughter Vivi enters and proceeds to give testimony of God’s work in her life. Vivi is pregnant, but because of various problems with paperwork, she was denied financial assistance for doctor's visits. Vivi, being poor, could not afford to have her first check up. A few days after we prayed in last week’s study, she received a letter indicating that she had received full financial provision for the course of her pregnancy! After visiting the doctor, she returned to joyfully report that her child was healthy. She had seen the child moving about in an ultrasound. Vivi shared that she had been previously told a few years ago by doctors that she would not be able to have a child again. She expressed her thanks to God saying, "He really has forgiven me my sins and given me what I don't deserve." Praise God for his encouragement to Vivi and her continued growth as she follows Jesus.

Miklos, who attended two weeks ago also joined our study. He is very honest when he feels he disagrees with what we are discovering in God's word, but as the study continued he said, "The more I hear, the more I am persuaded." God brings to my heart 2 Cor. 5:20 when I think on this night. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” Miklos indicated in our meeting that he would like to attend this Sunday’s worship service. Please pray for Miklos, a man notorious in the town as a sinner to be redeemed and made right before God through faith in Jesus Christ. “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17) The Physician is making His way through the town of Apc!

Bogacs Update


Eniko and my son Benjamin traveled with me for the first time to minister in Bogacs this week. God had led Eniko to offer help by ministering to the children while we hold Bible study and the household was overjoyed at her presence. On the one hour drive to Bogacs, I discussed with Eniko some of the cultural differences of the Romani that we were visiting. Even though we remained in the borders of Hungary, this would be a cross-cultural experience for Eniko and my son. As I have mentioned previously, there is great animosity between Hungarians and the Romani Hungarians. There is a cultural wall of distance put between them, but we know that Jesus Christ and His gospel charge through this wall as He seeks to reach all nations with the Good News. “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.” (Rom 10:12)

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Above: Eniko and Ben with some of the kids that attended on Tuesday.

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Above: One of the youngest children Dávid looking on.

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Above: Eniko teaching the kids some songs about Jesus.

The children warmed up very quickly to Eniko and in an adjoining room barely lit by the setting sun, she took them through a Bible story, did a craft, sang songs and played games with the children. This tremendously helped in my time with the adults. Now Izabella (mother of three) was able to sit through the entire study and feel free to participate knowing that her kids were safe and enjoying themselves. Izabella shared about an incident last week when her aunt dropped by while Izabella was reading the Bible. When asked what she was doing, Izabella began sharing her faith even though she was being ridiculed and laughed at for what she believed. Interestingly enough, our lesson for this night included Mat 5:16 "Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Although she was being ridiculed, the aunt did comment that there was no denying that Izabella was now a different person since believing in God. Please pray for Izabella as she lives as light in her community and for her faith to grow in Christ.

I'm encouraged to see the level of understanding Izabella's little sister Maci has when reading Scripture in our study. Out of all those in the group, Maci seems to grasp the truth before anyone else and over the past month she has been great at articulating in simple ways what God's word is teaching. Please pray for Maci's heart to be convicted and to turn to Jesus Christ for salvation since she has not yet put her faith Him.

Unfortunately, the father of the household, Pujka and his son Pukadur have been laid off of work which puts their family in great need as winter quickly approaches. These men have a heart to work but need the opportunity. Please pray that God would provide in His mercy so that their families can survive this winter. Pray that this entire household will grow in understanding the Gospel and seek to follow Jesus Christ by faith.

Random shots


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Above: Children coming to the front for prayer before leaving for children’s classes in Petofibanya.

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Above: Eniko’s husband Gabi preaching last Sunday in our worship service in Petofibanya.

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Above: Hiking with the family on a brisk Saturday in Petofibanya.


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