June Update

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Above: Dad, Kira and Ziva out for a bike ride on a sunny Saturday in May.

There is always a battle in our minds. In this season of the attack of Covid, there is a constant bombardment of negativity, darkness and death on news media and social networks. But as believers, we know that in any season of life there is always reason to rejoice. We don't ignore the reality of suffering and difficulty, but we don't allow those things to cause us to ignore the abundant treasures we have inherited in Jesus Christ. And we also give praise for every good gift that we experience in our daily lives as we walk through this together. We continue to battle in our minds to be God's people who are thankful, His children who rejoice in the Lord.

I have enjoyed bike rides with the kids. I have been thankful for time to slow down. I have been grateful for the technology that has given us more tools to remain in contact with one another. I am thankful for the ways this time has stirred up in all of our lives different areas that God wants to deal with by His grace. And this is what we can always expect no matter what the circumstances. God is for us. God is teaching us as our good Father. God is giving us opportunity to grow up in all ways to be like Jesus Christ. This has been a season for God to bless us with the gift of a renewed clarity of our need for Him, a renewed understanding of our need to abide in Him, a growing hope that Jesus return and that God's kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

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As with churches throughout the world, our congregation had to adapt to the social distancing requirements and find creative ways to continue to fellowship and serve. In April, we decided to create a journey with prayer stations in the hills behind our village that went through the Easter story. Members signed up for specific times they would walk the journey and pray. On Sundays, we switched over to online services which the majority of members had access to through the internet. But with the elderly in our church, we had to find a different solution as they don't have internet.

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So, we collected some old portable DVD players and I began burning DVDs every week. My daughter Kira and I make our rounds on bike Sunday afternoons to each of their houses to deliver that day's service from the morning. This has brought encouragement to the elderly and a sense of continued connectedness to the congregation in this difficult time.

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Above: Ziva also helped encourage the elderly with various artwork that we deliver with the DVDs each week. The top picture says, "May the Lord bless you and keep you…Jesus". The one on the right says, "God loves you."

The teens from our church have continued to help the local government by shopping for and delivering food to elderly in the community. It has been awesome to see their faithfulness in this ministry and we are so encouraged to see them caring for others with the love of Christ in this way.

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One of our elderly members Gizi also requested help with donating her flowers to church members as she is getting too burdened to care for them herself. Along with her own health struggles, Gizi is caring for her ailing husband who has had multiple strokes. Sharon and Eszti helped pack the plants and distribute them to good homes. Gizi was fine with parting with the flowers but she said she would have difficulty parting with her precious geese that are so dear to her heart. They'll be the last to go.

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Food-relief packages


With so many that were already poor and struggling in our village now having the added burden of problems with the virus, we decided to put together food packages to distribute to the needy.

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Above: Teammate Roger on our trip to a larger Cosco-like market in Budapest to buy supplies for food-relief packages for the needy.

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Above: Our daughters Ellie and Kira did all of the work of packing each individual bag to be distributed to thirty families.

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Above: Church members Gabi and Józsi joyfully delivering the gifts. One of our last deliveries of the day took us to the back end of the village where some are living in garages. One woman was in shock with her hand covering her mouth in awe. In tears, she said that no one had ever showed her such kindness. I said this is just a taste of the kindness of Jesus. I told her about His kindness and love toward us that we did not deserve and how He has motivated us to love in this way. Each of the packets included a printout explaining the Good News and an offer for a free Bible upon request.

Restrictions being lifted


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Above: Meeting for the first time after months of separation for Sunday outdoor worship and prayer.

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In Hungary, the government is lifting more and more restrictions in the countryside where the virus has been far less prominent. We had our first in-person youth group at teammates Miki and Erika's house last week! It was so encouraging to be together and a joy to see teens join back together that we hadn't seen in person for months.

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Above: Teammate Erika talking to some of her former students that were also invited. Erika has a heart for evangelism and the youth. She recently left her position at the school where these students attend and has begun work at a foster home in the area. This has opened doors to a new group of children that we hope to reach out to in the future.

Camps are a go!


After many questions about summer ministry and whether we would be able to do any camps this year, the Government confirmed that we are allowed to hold camps. Summer is such an important time for ministry as we have camps from July to August that have been one of the most effective ways to reach Hungarians and equip growing believers. Unlike previous years where we would have the help of some from the US joining us in our Baseball camp and the country wide English Camp, this will not be possible this Summer because of restrictions. Would you join us in prayer as we ask that God's Spirit powerfully come upon the lives of a new generation to draw them to the Father through faith in Jesus Christ. We need lots of wisdom as we plan for Baseball Camp, two VBS camps, English Camp and a Youth Group Camp. Baseball Camp in our hometown of Petofibanya is first in line and scheduled to begin June 29. We appreciate your prayers!

Congratulations Ben!


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Above: Try to spot Ben. (Ok, second row from bottom left, fourth picture from the left side).

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Ben, who turned 18 this year has graduated and is applying for college in Budapest. This will be a graduation year to remember as students finished out their semester online. Also Ben learned the lesson of never again letting his best friend cut his hair while being in lockdown.

20 years in Hungary!


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Above: This May, Sharon and I celebrated 20 years serving in Hungary. Thank all of you for making it possible with your continued encouragement, support and faithful partnership! "The Lord bless you
and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace." (Numbers 6:24-26) How amazing that this blessing is ours everyday in Jesus Christ!
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