Monday, July 18, 2016
Above: Noémi giving her testimony on Sunday before being baptized by faith into Jesus Christ. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Noémi’s daughters attended our Vacation Bible School (VBS) this summer for the first time. On the last day of camp, the parents are invited to attend and we prepare a special small group for them where we share what we’ve been sharing with their kids throughout the entire week. It was clear that in this small group Noémi was already being drawn to Christ and afterwards she spent time with pastor Dezso talking more about what it means to become a Christian. She prayed with Dezso and put her faith in Jesus that day!
Here are some excerpts from Noémi’s testimony:
“For my whole life I felt like a fish stuck on the shore and it didn’t matter that I had a loving family, loving parents, a husband and children. I always felt that something was missing and I could not find happiness. For many years I sought this happiness in my husband and in my kids. I realized what I was missing when I allowed my kids to attend VBS this year. It was there that something touched me and honestly I had been touched in this way many times previously but I always just ignored it. On Saturday (at VBS) I decided to believe in Jesus and prayed with Dezso. That is when I finally felt that my life was full. I feel like someone who was looking at the world for the longest time through some kind of dark glasses that I finally removed and now I can finally see clearly.” — Noémi
Before our worship service began this past Sunday, I saw Dezso talking with Hajni (above) in the corner of the room. I knew from previous conversations with Dezso that Hajni was close to making a decision. I saw them bowing their heads and praying! Although we didn’t know beforehand, now we had two who were being baptized into Christ!
Here are some excerpts from Hajni’s testimony:
“I had the normal life with a family, work and money. I thought the more money I could get, the happier I would be. But on December 19, in 2013 I had an experience that changed my life. I had an accident. A woman rushed out in front of my car. Instead of 40, I was going 54 and it seems her intention was to commit suicide. She died right there.
Shortly before this happened I had been at a gas station and ready to continue on my journey when I heard a voice, “Don’t go!” At that time, I just ignored the voice. As I continued down the road, I heard the voice again. “Stop!” I didn’t pay any attention, and 5 seconds later the accident happened. After this, I was in the hospital with my son. And I just thought and thought about that voice. Where did it come from? Who’s voice was it? It was this experience that made me realize personally that there was something more than this material world.
“I began seeking God and I read the Bible. I felt that I just needed more help. This help came in a very interesting way. I had a terrible virus and had to go to the hospital and was all alone in a room with a mother who had passed out as they were taking blood from her son. This mother told me that this had never happened before. As I continued to watch her interactions with her son, I was amazed at how much love was pouring out of her. I wondered how anyone could have so much love. So we talked and she told me that she was a believer and her past life was a wreck and God transformed her. She told me she was convinced that God sent her specifically into my room. We spoke the following two nights about God’s word and she said that I needed to seek God in the Bible. Afterwards, I began speaking to Orsi and Judit about God and Judit that I often saw at the local market invited me here to this worship service. The first time I came here I began feeling as if my heart was opening and I was seeing life differently. My life has changed and I know that Jesus is in my heart and He is with me and will always be with me.” — Hajni
Praise God for drawing both of these women to Himself and revealing that only in a restored personal relationship with Him could they find the life they were missing. It was a great worship service and we were thankful for visitors that attended to witness this baptism. Noémi’s husband Attila attended along with Attila’s mother.
Above: Orsi embracing Hajni. Orsi who was saved last year soon after attending VBS was mentioned by both of these women as having a part in helping them find the help they needed to be saved.
Above: Noémi with her mother in law. Noémi’s husband Attila can be seen holding his son in the yellow shirt.
English Camp starting next week!
Above: A group picture from last year’s English Camp in Lakitelek.
This camp has proven to be a very effective tool in reaching the youth in the areas we are seeking to plant churches. It is here that they have an opportunity to truly escape the everyday distractions and constant deceptions that seek to keep them from knowing God. We bombard them with Christ’s love and the Holy Spirit has touched so many lives through the years. Many who have been saved at this camp in years past now serve with us as translators and they also have opportunities to share their testimony to newcomers.
This is an intense time of ministry and we could use your prayer support. Please contact me if you would like to partner in praying specifically for this English Camp ministry. I will then send you a link to a blog that will include daily updates and prayer requests from camp. Contact me by clicking here.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Camping with Teens in Jászfénszaru
Above: Pastor Dezso helping one of his daughters set up a tent in Jászfényszaru this past weekend.
Just a handful of days after concluding our VBS, we invited pre-teens and teens to a few days of camping in the town of Jászfényszaru. Our goal is to keep the momentum and the conversations going that have begun at VBS for these older kids who are in a different stage of life. Our subject for teaching and testimonies throughout the weekend was focused on a godly perspective of singleness and also testimonies of how various members in our church met and decided to marry.
Above: Robin (center) has had a year full of challenges as he was sent away to foster care for a time because of behavioral issues. After some time, he moved back into Petofibanya with relatives and he has a long history with various members in our church seeking to reach out to him. Since returning and attending VBS and this teen camp, we’ve seen a change in his heart. Please pray for Robin to grow in his faith in Jesus.
Above: Eszti and Bogi all set up for our first day of camp. This is sacred ground for Bogi as last year this was the same place where she finally made a decision to put her faith in Jesus Christ. Now this year Bogi is serving with us with her own personal relationship with Jesus.
Above: Janka (center) is one of the girls who made a decision to put her faith in Jesus at our VBS just a few weeks ago!
Above: Béla (red shirt) is Janka’s (pink shorts) father. Because of a misunderstanding, Béla ended up attending this camp with his daughter Janka even though he was not required to be there. Just like the VBS, God used this camp not only to reach out to the kids but to parents. Teammate Miki spent significant time having ‘gospel conversations’ with Béla. Béla has attended our church off and on in the past and seems to be understanding more and more as he continues to spend time with us. What a joy it would be to see Béla come to know Jesus soon after his daughter Janka! Please pray for Béla.
Above: Hungarian camping staple food…bread covered with fat drippings and topped off with onions and tomatoes…excellent!
Above: Mira (left) also attended our VBS. She opened up in one of our conversation times and shared how she now sees the difference between what we are teaching from God’s word about relationships and the example (negative) she has seen her older sisters live out in their families.
It was a great weekend with God using various testimonies and teaching from His word to help these teens see God’s will and God’s way that is always better than the world’s way. Please pray that the lessons learned at this camp would help these teens make good decisions that bring blessing to them and glorify God.
Above: Angela with her granddaughter Dori. Dori is wearing a bracelet she received last week from Zsofi who was able to explain the gospel in basic terms with her. As you may recall from my previous posts, Angela had been wrestling with the decision of who to trust in regards to teaching about God. As we brought pure Bible passages to study together over the the past weeks, it became clear to Angela that the sect that had been visiting her for over 10 years had left out the importance of knowing Jesus Christ personally as Lord and Savior. A few weeks ago, before we left, we prayed together and she asked for prayer for Jesus to truly show her the way. Jesus gave her strength to tell the others to no longer visit her and that she no longer wanted anything to do with them. They continued to call her that week and even (uninvited) sent two senior members of their group to try to convince her to remain with them. But Angela made up her mind and the next time we met her face was brilliant with joy as she shared her decision with us.
Above: A photo from last year of Erika (right)
As we made our way to Angela’s house tonight we ran into Erika who was baptized last year but soon after fell out of fellowship for various reasons. This was disheartening to all of us because Erika seemed to be one who was truly grasping God’s word and seemed to understand spiritual truths more than any other. Erika was heading the opposite way pulling a bike along with her. We rolled down the windows in the car and greeted her. This must have been a surprise because she did not leave on good terms, although we always made it clear to her that we were praying for her and would always welcome her back. Her right leg was bandaged and she was clearly having trouble walking. We invited her to attend the Bible study at Angela’s house and she joined us.
It turns out that Erika had a serious blood clot in her leg and problems with blood circulation that required further visits to the hospital and various medication. Before she left, we offered to pray for her healing which is nothing new for Erika. Last year, Jesus healed Erika of a shortened leg that the doctors said could only be fixed with surgery. As we talked about her life over the past few months, she realized that Satan was seeking to derail her faith and pull her away from fellowship. We encouraged her to find a way to remain in fellowship with the believers in Bogács no matter the cost.
Before we prayed for Erika, Angela lit up as she began sharing her testimony of how Jesus healed her leg. Angela shared that Jesus not only healed her leg that she had suffered with for a year (and the doctors told her there was no cure), but a recent blood pressure checkup revealed that her blood pressure is totally normal after years of problems. She shared that she just feels free on the inside now and has been set free from depression. She recognizes that all of this has happened because of Jesus.
We then took some time and prayed for Erika’s healing. She said the pain she was in was gone. She took off the bandages and began walking. She sat back down and said, “Let me check something. The doctor said if I can lift my leg up while sitting down then I’ll know it is better.” She raised her leg up off the chair with no problem. Praise Jesus for His mercy and this gift of healing and restoration to a daughter that had drifted away. We pray that this will be the beginning of Erika returning to follow Jesus with us by faith. Would you pray for Erika as this journey will require her to make touch choices and she will face much opposition from family and the community.
Preparing for Baptism
Above: Noémi is preparing for her baptism this Sunday! Noémi’s daughters attended VBS a few weeks ago and on the last day where parents are invited to attend, God helped Noémi see her need for Jesus as Savior and Lord. She has continued to meet with various members of our body and is planning on being baptized into Christ on Sunday! Please pray for Noémi and also her husband Attila. Attila is open to the Gospel, but not in the same place as Noémi spiritually. Pray also for others who have been visiting our church since VBS to be convicted through the work of the Holy Spirit, the testimonies given and the word preached this Sunday.