Sep 2014

Weekly Update

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Above: Bence gives a hug to (grandma) Gizi before being dismissed for Sunday school classes. One of the blessings of this congregation is the unity and family atmosphere.

Erika, a Romani woman who visited our church for the first time a few weeks ago commented on how she just felt loved and accepted by all. I am very thankful that racial barriers that are so prominent in this country between the Romani and Hungarians are overcome by Christ and the Gospel. I would love to see our church filled with a mix of all kinds people who have become one in Jesus through faith in His name.

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Above: Kids may outnumber adults in our congregation. Praise God for many parents and young adults who volunteer and serve in our Sunday School classes. It’s amazing to consider many of these kids come from families that are first generation Christians. They don’t benefit from having relatives or a family history of knowing and following Jesus. Please pray for these first generation families to continue to mature in their faith in Jesus. And pray that their testimony will reach many more families for God’s glory.

Women’s Bible Study


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Above: Church member Timi teaching after a recent puppet show in Gyöngyös.

As missionaries, it is always our heart that we turn over ministries to native ministers. We are always trying to work ourselves our of a job. This requires a lifestyle of training and mentoring others. Over the past year, I led a small group Bible study with adults that were still very young in their faith. Timi was one of the women that faithfully attended and it was clear that she had a flourishing faith, a humble heart and a teachable spirit. Timi has agreed in this new term of ministry to facilitate a weekly women’s study! This did not come easy for Timi. She is much more comfortable being a participant rather than leading and she dealt with fears that maybe she was not qualified. We are always our worst critic. Timi has already facilitated the group for the past two weeks and as I believed, the women have been very edified and blessed through these times of fellowship. I wish I could say that there are many more like Timi in our body that see an example, participate and then take the bold step of faith to serve in their gifitings depending on God. But that is still not the case. There are others in the body that continue to need heart formation and deeper convictions before moving forward. Pray that God would raise up more and more workers for His harvest field and send them out from our church! Pray for those who are going through hardships and tests that their faith may not be sifted and that they learn to stand firm in their faith in Jesus Christ.

Gyöngyös Puppet Show


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Although our normal schedule for puppet ministry is Easter and Christmas, there are times we are invited to other towns to perform in various programs. Last Saturday we headed out to Gyöngyös and did puppets for a small group of parents and children.

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Above: Miki leading songs with the help of Jennifer and Timi.

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Above: Jennifer (left) is German and moved to Hungary years ago. Timi (purple) became friends with Jennifer and helped her learn Hungarian and adjust to this new culture. Teammates Miki and Erika then began reaching out to them, inviting them to family game nights, volleyball, and various Bible studies. God did His gracious work in their hearts and they both came to know Jesus as their personal Savior.

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Above: A grandmother and daughter singing along.

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Above: Arnold, also saved recently, served as one of the puppeteers in the show.

Bogács Update


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Above: Children excited to see Eniko. Brenda can be seen in the background talking with Izabella, the first to believe in Jesus in Bogács. We continue to ask for prayer for Izabella who is not permitted by her boyfriend to attend our Bible studies. Even with this restriction, Brenda is often able to slip out of the study and find Izabella cooking or cleaning and talk one on one with her. This has been a great encouragement for Izabella. Please pray for Süni (Izabella’s boyfriend and father of her three children) and Izabella. Pray that Brenda have wisdom and discernment when speaking to Izabella.

About four weeks ago, I experienced one of the hardest meetings in Bogács. Fighting broke out in the study and I had to leave as I sensed that there was no room for Jesus’ teaching and therefore no hope of any progress that night. Thankfully, I was able to say some tough things to both Katyus and Pulyka in love, seeking to correct them and lead them to truth that would set them free from such a chaotic and tense relationship. The following week, Pulyka asked for forgiveness and confessed how he was wrong. And following that week, he continues to report peace in their marriage! Praise God for his power to reconcile. Since that time, I have also noticed that Katyus is more and more interested in spiritual things. She is asking more questions and more consistent in participating in the study. Last week in our study of John it became clear for the first time that Jesus took on flesh, but had already existed before the foundation of the world. Katyus struggles to grasp the truth that God has no beginning, no Creator. God is eternal. When she began asking more questions about this truth, her husband Pulyka did all of the answering and I leaned back with joy in my heart at his passionate testimony for God. Katyus also shared that God saved her from being electrocuted the previous week. While using her washer (an old cylindrical machine) she felt as if someone was inclining her to move away. She walked away and when looking back at the washer, it was smoking due to an electrical fire. Instead of saying this was just ‘luck’, she made a point to say that God must have been watching over her and rescued her. Please continue to pray for Katyus to come to know Jesus. Please also pray for healing for Pulyka’s brother Gyula who is currently in the hospital recovering from major surgery.

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Above: Pulyka with his daughter Maci.

Thank you all for your continued prayer and financial support. We appreciate you all!
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Weekly Update

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Above: Fall brings beautiful skies to Petofibanya.


It’s been some time since I’ve updated you on our work among the Romani people in Hungary. Here is a summary of some of what has been happening and what God has been teaching me over the past few weeks.

Update on ministry in Bogács


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Above: Pulyka’s wife Katyus.


Although this work among the Romani in Bogács began with a house filled with family members asking serious questions, the number of those attending our weekly meeting has dwindled to 1-3 people. There are weeks when nothing seems to go right, when fighting breaks out in the middle of our discussion, when it seems as if the truth we are learning and seeking to apply goes in one ear and out the other. People are smoking as we hold the study. Random people walk in and begin holding conversations with those sitting right next to you as we hold the study. Sometimes the TV in the adjacent room with a volume of 11 is blasting as we hold the study. I am not reporting this to get letters of sympathy, but to help you understand the reality of the ministry of church planting in this area. This is long term plowing and sowing work in dark areas. This is work that is investing, and not rejoicing in instant results. While reading through 1 Corinthians last week, the Spirit spoke to me through chapter 4 verse 9: “For it seems to me that God exhibited us, the apostles, as those who in the eyes of men are the most inferior in the scale of human existence.” (WUEST translation) It is just another reminder that if you are into Christianity to exalt yourself through results or to gain the praise of others, you are in it for the wrong reasons. Right Christian living often leads to looking like a fool, looking inferior, and being mistreated. But who can fathom the payoff of seeing lives completely transformed and personally having the privilege of stewarding the oracles of God. And so I press on all the more even when things look quiet bleak because the Gospel is never intimidated by darkness. It is the power of God for salvation!

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Above: Pulyka’s daughter Maci.



Pulyka (Poy-kah), the father of the household I visit each week always reminds me, “Allen my door is always open to you.” I baptized Pulyka a few weeks ago in his living room with a bucket of water. They have no running water in their house and no tubs. While he was baptized, his wife Katyus (Kah-csoosh) watched with a smirk and snickered as if what he was doing was worthless. Katyus believes to a degree, but still has many doubts that keep her from a full commitment to Jesus. One of Pulyka’s heart cries is that his entire family put their faith in Jesus. He shared how much joy he felt when he had an opportunity to talk to his wife about Jesus when she was suffering from fear this past week. She told him, “You aren’t afraid to die because you have Jesus.” He said, “Yes, and you can have Him too. You just need to believe!” Pulyka also shared with me how he hears a ‘voice’ when he begins heading toward sin that leads him to turn away. I’m thankful for new convictions God has given him and for every little sign of seeds that are growing in his life. Please pray for Pulyka and for his household to come to put their faith in Jesus. Pray for his daughter Izabella who also is a believer but is restricted by her boyfriend (father of her three children) from coming to our weekly study. This is a battle and prayer is one of the weapons God has given the church to take ground.

Update on ministry in Apc


The Romani family in Apc continues to invite us for a weekly Bible study. A few weeks ago we had a new visitor, Ildiko, who suffered from depression. Ildiko brought her son Zsolti (young adult) with her as well. They both asked for prayer and Ildiko ended up attending our worship service the following week. Ildiko was deeply moved by God and His truth. A few weeks later she brought her son Zsolti again to the study. But this time Zsolti was in a terrible state barely able to walk, stumbling to sit down with a blank stare and head tilted down. It was visually shocking. Just a few days previous, he attempted suicide because his girlfriend left him. He was admitted into an insane asylum temporarily and had come tonight to ask for prayer. He was shot full of anti-depressants and clearly hopeless. When I tried to engage him in conversation, he was barely able to mumble his words. I had to lean in with my ear not even a foot away to hear what he was saying. This gave me another opportunity to talk about our Creator, our purpose in life and Jesus our Savior. After sharing some truth, I prayed (along with the group) for his full restoration. The following week Zsolti was back to ‘normal’! He is still not a believer, but God has been giving mercy and revealing Himself to Zsolti in this healing. Zsolti strolled into the study this week with no signs of weakness and was attentive the whole study. His mother Ildiko asked, “I just can’t seem to get God out of my mind, is something wrong with me?” Apparently, she told her ‘friends’ this and they said she might be going crazy. I assured her, “God is drawing you to Himself. He did the same in my life. I couldn’t get him out of my mind. He loves you. He is inviting you to come to Him.” Please pray for Ildiko and Zsolti and for the weekly meeting in Apc.

Team


Our team is planning on reviewing and considering ways of strengthening the various works we are involved in this fall. We ask you to pray for us in this time that takes wisdom and discernment. Because of the growth of our team and growth of the number of areas we are ministering there is more complexity. Please pray for unity and clear direction.

Finances


We are in serious need of financial help. If you or someone you know would be interested in supporting us financially, please let us know! Also, please pray for God to bring in the support we need to keep moving forward here. You can find more support information by clicking here.

We appreciate your generosity and your investment in this ministry!

Family


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We weren’t able to take a family vacation this year, so instead, we headed to one of the kids’ favorite places called Eleven Park. It’s an indoor playground with lots of fun things for families to do together. We had a great day of fun!

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