2021 Youthgroup Camping

P1020312.jpg

Over the course of the summer, many in our youth group take part in serving in our Baseball and VBS camps helping with worship, drama and small groups. We have seen them mature in many ways and at the end of August we set aside a weekend to focus on investing in their lives. There are also many who are younger teens that have attended VBS for years as children but are ready to be challenged in new ways to personally consider the claims of Christ.

Our theme for this year's Youth Group Camping Weekend was the Bible's teaching on foolishness and wisdom found in the book of Proverbs. We had a good mix of believers and those who had not yet made decisions attend.

P1020152.jpg

P1020057.jpg

P1020189.jpg

Above: After years of attending VBS and Baseball camps, Brenda made a decision this Summer to put her faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. We praise God for the breakthrough that happened in her heart as the seeds of the Gospel took root and are now growing by God's grace!

P1020507.jpg

P1020515.jpg

P1020276.jpg

Above: The teens love our times of worship around the campfire singing songs that have become their personal favorites after singing them for years at VBS camps. Many of the kids know the songs by heart and I have heard many times of how the lyrics have ministered to these teens in various situations where they needed encouragement.

After singing together we had our main teaching and continued to talk about the theme throughout the weekend in small group studies. My group consisted of 3 teens that are not yet believers but have known us for years, and 1 other teen who has matured greatly in Christ as a believer over the past year and a half. God gave me opportunity to share personal testimony of my life experiences living in foolishness and the drastic changes that God brought about when I met Jesus and chose a life of wisdom in Him. I shared with them the burden of our hearts that they have a blessed life, knowing Jesus and His word instead of a life full of regret and consequences from foolishness. I know each of these kids and asked them to think about the adults in their lives, their marriages, their attitudes and their lifestyle. Since none of the 3 teens come from a home with believers, it was not too hard to find examples of lives that suffered divorce, alcoholism, fits of anger, abuse, depression. I told them that no one thinks that the little decisions in their teen years lead to such drastic consequences as adults. But the enemy seeks to slowly take all of us down a path of foolishness away from Christ and His trustworthy word. I told them I want them to become great fathers, great husbands with great marriages and good relationships with their children. And those blessings begin with the decisions that these teens begin making now. Would they choose the life of knowing God and His wisdom, or choose to continue a godless life in their own strength and worldly wisdom. None of these three teens made a decision yet, but I know they were impacted and continue to be open.

P1020430.jpg

P1020652.jpg

Above: Klaudia who heard about our camp through Erika who works with foster kids. Klaudia chose to come by herself to this camping trip not knowing any of the teens. I could see various teens reaching out to her, and especially Erika's daughter Anna sitting with her and sharing the Gospel with Klaudia on multiple occasions. Praise God, Klaudia chose to put her faith in Jesus Christ! Please pray for continued follow up with Klaudia and opportunities to teach about important aspects of growing as a believer.

P1020695.jpg

P1020812.jpg

Above: (left) Gabi with his daughter Aliz and (right) Miki with his daughter Náomi. Gabi was saved years ago as a teen in the early years of the church plant in Petofibanya. He recommitted his life just a few years back at one of these Youth Group Camping Weekends and has been faithful. Now we get the privilege of seeing Gabi and his wife Eniko (also saved as a teen) raise their children in a Christian home!

P1020866.jpg

P1020892.jpg

Above: On the last day we gave the teens the opportunity to contemplate what God was impressing on their hearts and write down some of the areas where they wanted God's wisdom to change them. We placed these in a time-capsule that we hope to open next year and review together.

P1020957.jpg

P1020953.jpg

God provided a great weekend that helped all of us appreciate the blessing of fellowship, friendship and the gift of wisdom we find in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

But wait there's more!



P1033587.jpg

Yes, that was the last of our camps for summer and school was to begin just a few days after the camping weekend, but we had one more weekend planned for a handpicked group of kids that have displayed faithful commitment to Christ and the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. After the first week of school, we invited them to a weekend away and spent time talking about rejection, identity, honesty and unity in Christ.

P1033603.jpg

P1033593.jpg

Many of these kids suffer from the harsh impact of rejection suffered from home life, school life or other childhood trauma. We learned about how the enemy seeks to shape our identity based on lies and keep us in a cycle of rejecting ourselves and others which becomes a great barrier to growth as disciple of Christ. We then took time going through Scripture studying God's proclamation of who we are as believers in Christ.

"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; AND SO WE ARE." 1 John 3:1

P1033624.jpg

After our study, we had the teens write on an 'identity-card' the lies the enemy had been telling them that we would toss into the fire together. This would serve as a symbol of that false-identity dying and our choice to live by faith in the new identity that we have in Christ and His trustworthy word.

P1033781.jpg

Above: This weekend was spent close to Lake Balaton, a popular tourist destination in Hungary. After our times of study, we spent an afternoon at the Lake and braved swimming the water that was a bit too cold for comfort. Praise God for this wonderful group of teens that He is helping to grow up into maturity in Christ and sending to be ministers of His grace.

FAMILY



P1033193.jpg

Just before school started, we were able to go on vacation in northwestern Hungary.

P1033145.jpg

Above: Setting foot on an area where three borders converge.

P1033432.jpg

Above: Yes, hard to believe but our Ellie turned 18 in September! Ellie is finishing her last year of high school and Lord willing will be going to college next year in the US. Currently all schools are open in Hungary and there have not yet been new mandates for mask wearing or online classes (However this could change any moment). Ben has begun his second year of college in Budapest and may also choose to do a semester in the US next year.

Over the next month our team will be seeking God's direction and help in various initiatives in ministry and we would appreciate your prayers! Pray for the continued growth in maturity of the youth ministry. Pray for families that have drifted out of fellowship after the lockdowns due to Covid. Pray for the Gospel to reach new households and for entire families to come to know Jesus.

P1021975.jpg

Our family thanks you for helping us serve full time in Hungary! "Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all." (2 Thessalonians 3:16)
Comments

2021 Jászfényszaru VBS Report

P1019548.jpg

P1019470.jpg

One week after finishing an impactful VBS in our hometown of VBS, we held our second VBS camp in the town of Jászfényszaru where we have been seeking to church plant for the past few years. A number of kids who already attended our VBS in Petofibanya enjoy our VBS so much that they also sign up for this camp as well.

P1018309.jpg

P1019724.jpg

Above: This is the second year that children from foster care were allowed to attend as well as a large group of Romani kids. This presented us with challenges with behavioral issues and balancing discipline and a clear expression of love with some of these troubled kids. God was gracious to help us and provide a safe place for them to experience His grace and hear about the new life available to all of them through faith in Jesus.

P1019170.jpg

Above: One of the challenges for this camp was Miki and his family (who made up 5 important volunteers at camp) had to leave for a family wedding a few days early. Miki leads our morning and afternoon singing and is very gifted in getting them laughing, listening and unified in their participation.

P1019832.jpg

Above: Panni who filled in for Miki the last two days of camp did a great job brining some new songs, while also making sure to sing the songs the kids had come to know. She was very intentional in connecting with some of the Romani boys. One afternoon at our scheduled free time, she helped them write a song that they presented together on Saturday's Family Day. Praise God for helping with this transition from Miki to Panni.

P1017989.jpg

P1019435.jpg

Above: The mother of the little girl on the right was one of the parents that gave us their information to be contacted about an upcoming home group that our church planting partners in ministry Miki and Erika will be holding next month. She also asked me if any of our official camp shirts were available for the kids and offered to pay. I told her that we only had shirts for the adult volunteers but we found a solution where I would send her the camp logo and she would print her own. Later she sent an email saying that she hopes to someday visit our Sunday worship service. Please pray for the parents who have signed up for this home group to come to understand their need for restoration and relationship with God through Christ.

P1019307.jpg

Above: The great team of church volunteers God provided for this year's camp in Jászfényszaru. This camp ran into some serious barriers even before the first day! We found out that the requirements here were much more strict than what we had just experienced in our VBS in Petofibanya, and because of these requirements, a number of volunteers as well as our kitchen workers would not be allowed to serve with us. How would we feed 70 kids with no experienced kitchen staff? We prayed and looked for solutions that involved obtaining a specific type of health document that may allow another volunteer to fill in for the kitchen work. As kids were coming the first morning to begin camp, Frida who was one of the initial kitchen workers who would not be able to attend remembered that she had another document that should satisfy the same requirements as the new document required. What an answer to prayer! Frida has lots of experience in the kitchen and did a great job with the help of the hard work of Bogi, Melinda and Zsofi.

P1019281.jpg

Above: Benni returns to camp. Unfortunately on the first day of camp, Benni tripped and awkwardly fell leading to a broken arm. We were thankful to see his desire to return to camp, and still enjoy the activities, singing and conversation each day.

P1018933.jpg

Above: Emma and Szaffi who were already close in making a decision at our VBS in Petofibanya wanted to talk to Erika more about putting their faith in Jesus. Instead of taking part in the scheduled afternoon games and activities, they met with Erika who reviewed what we had been learning over the week about salvation in Jesus. They both prayed and put their faith in Christ! They have expressed their desire to attend our youth group meetings on Friday. Please pray that we would have continued opportunity to help them grow (as they don't live in our hometown).

P1018572.jpg

Above: Jázmin, Emma and Szaffi. It didn't take long for my first opportunity for discipleship with Szaffi. A camp worker grabbed me and asked me to talk to one of Szaffi's girlfriends (not pictured) who was in tears. Szaffi had done something that hurt her feelings and seemed to break trust between them. I called Szaffi to talk with me one-on-one which I'm sure can be intimidating (as I'm the camp leader). I explained to her what I had heard and gave her an opportunity to tell her side of the story. Then I shared with her how I have made many mistakes and have failed in relationships, but Jesus teaches us a new way to make peace and be reconciled and forgiven. I told her that I heard she had chosen to put her faith in Jesus and I suggested that she talk to her girlfriend and ask for forgiveness and seek peace. I asked if I could pray for her which she agreed to with teary eyes. Later that I day, I saw them sitting together as friends. On the last day, I was able to share this testimony (without naming the kids) with the parents in our small group time. I told them that this is evidence of real faith and Christianity is not just some kind of religious badge. It has a real impact on relationships and how we treat people as we seek to forgive and love the way Jesus has forgiven and loved us.

P1018927.jpg

Above: Patrik praying with Boti who also continues to express interest in Jesus. Looking back at the beginning of summer, Boti attended Baseball Camp with no intention to go to VBS. He then decided to go to VBS in Petofibanya (where he also broke his arm) and afterwards began attending youth group meetings. Then he decided to attend VBS in Jászfényszaru where he prayed with Patrik. Praise God for the journey he is taking Boti on. Please pray for this new generation of young believers to flourish in their faith and become a conduit for their parents also coming to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord.

P1018651.jpg

P1017865.jpg

P1019867.jpg

P1019921.jpg

Above: We're always thankful for our brother Tibi (handing cotton candy over) who volunteers his cotton candy making machine and inflatable slide for our family day.

P1019606.jpg

Praise God for His amazing provision through the course of this VBS! We had beautiful weather every day and God provided solutions each time we had need. It is a joy to see the growth of our youth group members taking on more responsibility and joyfully serving with the giftings God has given each of them. They made up a large part of our staff and brought the needed strength, creativity and fun that blessed these kids.

Camping weekend


Today (Thursday), we're off to our next ministry focused more on teens. We'll be setting up tents and camping in the woods for three nights. Please pray as we talk about the wisdom in the book of Proverbs and have times throughout the day for small group discussions and one-on-one meetings with the kids. This is a mixed group of believers and unbelievers. Pray that God would cause the seeds that have been planted throughout the summer to grow and flourish in their hearts, and that lives would be transformed at this camp.

Joyous Anniversary


P1017521.jpg
P1017534.jpg

Above: Just before VBS, Sharon and I spent the day in the hills of Budapest where we were engaged. We celebrated 23 years of marriage August 8th. We also were able to reenact a photo that we took 23 years ago in the same coffee shop that engagement day (albeit having to wait a bit for elderly German tourists to clear out :) I know there are some of you reading this that were at our wedding at BVBC. God has richly blessed us and we're thankful for God's grace in making us one in marriage for His glory.

Here are some highlight films from the VBS in Jászfényszaru. Thanks for keeping us in prayer!








Comments