Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Breakthroughs in Bogács
As we entered the final stretch of road into Bogács last night we prayed that God would rescue, save and deliver and that Jesus would continue to build His church in this needy town. We prayed that He would lead us to people of peace to take His Gospel further. God gave us more than we asked and imagined for this particular night.
As is our custom, we pulled into the dirt road, muddied by rain, and parked in front of Pujka’s house. Kids simultaneously arrived on bikes smiling and waving with excitement. After settling down in Puljka’s house and discussing how they were doing, we sang together, prayed and prepared to begin our Bible study. This is when one of Pujka’s daughter’s, Maci, barged in and began saying to my teammates Hugi and Brenda, “Are you coming, let’s go, let’s go!” They had no idea what Maci was talking about. Maci took them to meet a friend who lived a few blocks away. I found out later that this friend (Ilona) works with Maci. Ilona was frequented by a sect in the area and would share with Maci what she was learning each time they visited. Maci then shared with Ilona what she was learning from us as we studied God’s word together. They would discuss this at work every week and were trying to determine who to believe. We’re so thankful for a new ‘person of peace’ in Bogács who has invited Brenda and Hugi into her home for a weekly study! Ironically, Maci seemed to be the most distracted and trouble making participant in our weekly studies from week to week. I had no idea that she was bringing what she had learned to work each week!
While Hugi and Brenda were meeting with Ilona, I held a study with Pujka and his wife Katyus. We’ve been praying for Katyus’ salvation as she seems closer to making a decision each week. Katyus was paying close attention in the study and was able by God grace to summarize some of the teaching that applied to her own life. She recognized that she would need to make a decision to repent and believe in her own heart and could not be helped simply by the prayer of others. She then began sharing her experiences with me that sounded similar to what her daughter was experiencing before she was delivered from a demon. I continued to talk about God’s love and the Gospel and assured her that she could be delivered just as Jesus delivered her daughter. When I asked her if she would like prayer she said yes, but all of a sudden she became nauseous. I talked about the Gospel again and the gift of the Holy Spirit given to all those who repent and put their faith in Jesus. I asked her again if she would like to be set free and follow after Jesus by faith. Laying my hand on her, I prayed and also led her in simple prayer saying, “Jesus, help me. Help me to understand your truth. Lead me by your Spirit. I want to follow you.” Immediately, the nauseousness left. I asked her if she could still hear the oppressive voice. She couldn’t. Please join us in continuing to pray for Katyus! Pray that she would experience hearing God’s voice this week instead of the enemies. Pray that she would have clarity in her heart to make the decision to put her faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Soon after praying, Hugi and Brenda returned from Ilona’s house and we prepared to leave Puljka’s house to visit another woman, Edit, in the village that invited us to her house last week. Edit had attended one study at Puljka’s house about a month ago. Entering the house, I passed two men in a small room watching TV and I followed Edit to her kitchen where we sat down. Edit also has a background with the same sect that frequents Ilona and was also trying to figure out who was telling the truth. Soon after sitting down, I asked her if there was someone in the house that needed prayer for healing. She nodded and pointed her chin without speaking to the room I had just passed. I wanted to clarify, “Someone in that room? Who?” She said, “My husband. He has a problem with his back.” I said, “Can I pray for him now?”
I turned the corner and saw her husband Andras and I introduced myself (interrupting his TV show). “I heard you have back pain. Can I pray for you to be healed right now?” He looked a bit surprised, but said yes. He was able to stand but because of previous back surgery he had constant pain even standing. I asked him, “On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the worst, where is your pain?” He said, “It’s a 7”. “Right now?” “Yes, right now it’s a 7.”
I laid my hand on his lower back and began to pray thanking our Father for His grace and for the finished work of Jesus Christ. This prayer couldn’t have been more than a minute. I removed my hand and said, “Ok, try it out. Does it still hurt?” This was the hilarious part to me. It was as if he expected it to hurt so he gave a knee jerk nod of the head as if saying yes it still hurts. But as he moved, his face became more and more surprised. I asked again, “Does it still hurt? Where is the pain, is it a 5 now, a 4?” At this point he was smiling. I said, “Is there any pain.” He still didn’t answer and was just moving more and more. Then he touched his toes and said, “It’s gone. I don’t have any pain.” He grabbed my hand and said what do you have in there? I laughed and told him that I was a believer in Jesus Christ and that it was not me who healed him this night but Jesus who lives. As he continued to move, he began lifting his right leg and saying, “My leg doesn’t hurt anymore either!” The entire household witnessed this healing.
I told Andras that I would be meeting with his wife and studying more about Jesus who healed him. I left him in the TV room and I went back to the kitchen to answer some of the questions Edit wanted to ask about ‘our’ faith. A few minutes into answering questions, I noticed that her son and husband turned off the TV and were standing in listening. Since it was already late, we would have to leave for the one-hour commute back home. Edit is expecting us again next week.
Praise God with us! We rejoice as He is pouring out His love and sharing His Gospel with two new families in Bogács! It is important to note that this is after many ‘mundane’ hours and meetings that sometimes seemed uneventful. Praise God for equipping us and sending us with His strength so that we are able to persevere and see breakthrough nights like these. Please pray for Katyus, Ilona and Edit and their families and pray for us to have wisdom to know how to continue to minister to them.
Puppet Ministry Day 11-12
Above: Our first stop on Tuesday was the town of Ecseg. Although the kids were a bit rowdy at the beginning of our presentation, as soon as the puppet show began, they completely quieted down and paid close attention.
Above: On Wednesday our first stop was in the town of Heréd
Thank you all for your continued prayer support! God has been faithful in keeping the rooms free of distraction and we have absolutely no problems with the puppet show. Some schools have been more rowdy than others in our singing time, but when the puppet show is going and when Eniko teaches the Gospel, God has made the way for the message to come across clearly. We’re nearing the end of this year’s Easter puppet ministry with one show tomorrow and then three more shows over the next few days.
Please pray specifically for Eszti’s children (now Alina and Darius are sick). Pray for Eniko as she has been suffering from a sore throat and cough over the past few days. Pray for Miki to gain the rest he needs and for his wife Erika as she had experienced contractions last night (she’s not due for another month and a half). Pray that the message of the Gospel continue to be proclaimed through this presentation and for continued protection for us and our families in this season of ministry.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Above: Middle school kids on their way to today’s show in the town of Héhalom.
Above: We’re thankful that our message is not only for these kids, but also for the teachers who attend.
Above: Eszti tossing the ball to the kids as the room fills up.
Above: Before the show today, I noticed that Marika (seated far right in pink) was limping as she helped carry chairs into the room. After asking her what was going on with her leg, she shared that she had been having problems for the past week with pain. I asked her if I could pray for her. Half embarrassed and surprised she said yes. As I laid my hand on her shoulder I thanked Jesus for her and for His grace to heal her. I said, “Try it now.” You should have seen her face! Jesus healed her on the spot. As we had to continue setting up I didn’t have time to talk to her more until after the show. When I ran into her again, I asked, “What did you feel when I prayed for you?” She said it felt like what we refer to as ‘pins and needles’ and also heat. I shared with her that Jesus not only is able to heal us physically, but even more important, spiritually from sin. Since Eniko had done a great job already explaining this in the puppet show, I just reiterated what Eniko had said to Marika. Praise God for his grace in reaching out to Marika, touching her with healing and explaining the Gospel to her. Please continue to pray for a new generation of kids to encounter God’s grace and truth and to surrender their lives to Jesus who is worthy.
Above: Eniko holding up a present with a chain representing sin which keeps us from the greatest gift of fellowship with God. She then talks about Jesus being the key that takes away the problem of sin and opens the present to reveal the cross of Jesus Christ that made the way for us to have peace with God.
Above: Eszti (far right in red). You may remember that Eszti’s daughter Elianna was sick last week (she’s doing better now) and just last night her son Szabi seemed to come down with the same sickness. Teammate Eniko continues to recover but could still use prayer. We still have a full week ahead and need you to join us in prayer for our team and this ministry to a new generation of Hungarians. Please continue to pray for healing, for restoration and rest at night and for the Gospel to be proclaimed.
Tonight we also have our English Club happening in the town of Jászfényszaru. Last week we asked the advanced class if they would be open to do a Bible study in English. They all said yes! Please pray that Jesus would reveal Himself through these studies since some of these students have misconceptions because of false teaching. Pray that their eyes would be opened and that God’s truth would set them free and lead them to put their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. (Students: Bogi, Nesti, Melinda, Kinga, Kati and Dori.)