Ministry Update

About three months ago, I began thinking to myself that we hadn’t seen anyone come to Jesus and be baptized for some time. I am always concerned about whether others in our body are maturing in their faith, reaching out and taking advantage of opportunities to share the hope they have within them to others in the community. Over the years, we have sought to be obedient to our calling to, “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Eph 4:12). We believe this church planted in our town of Petofibanya can have a powerful impact proclaiming the Gospel. But this year, it seemed that momentum had come to a stand still.

Then, in very subtle ways the Spirit began moving from one lost person to the next. I began seeing people I have known in our community for years begin coming to our Sunday worship service. Every week, it seemed a new person visited for the first time and then continued to return. All of them in some way had been touched in the past through various outreaches or ministries or one on one conversations. And now after I had thought momentum had come to a bit of a stand still, we celebrated 14 baptized into Jesus Christ over the past two months! We have never seen a movement like this up until this point in our specific area. Rejoice with us as I share some of the personal testimonies of those who were recently baptized.



Zsuzsa’s Testimony

I’ve known about this church for many years. I’ve had many conversations with the Mercers and with Miki’s family. Even then I realized that there was something different about their lives. After every conversation with them, I would be struck with something in my heart. I’ve had to live through some tough times over the years that led me to ask God for a sign. I would ask Him to show me what I am supposed to do. He answered.

Fifteen minutes after praying this, I met with Allen. He said, “Hey, how are you doing?” We spoke, but at that time, I thought, it was just a coincidence. And I continued on. I prayed again, “God, please give me a sign, show me what I am supposed to do.” Fifteen minutes after praying this, Miki pulled up next to me in his car and stopped to talk. “Hey, how are you doing?” Now I began to realize this isn’t a coincidence. I told him what was happening and how I was hurting. We were out of money, my husband was out of work. Miki helped right away and we were able to eat, and he gave my husband a number to call and he found work. He asked if he could pray for us.

After this I wanted to get closer to God but for other reasons I stayed away. Then, I had an issue come into my life that was so heavy and such a burden that I was going to see a phycologist. I called to set up an appointment, but nothing worked out. Then on Facebook, I received a special message, “If God hears you, He’ll send someone to help you.” And I felt that God was calling me. Every time I fell into valleys and sought help, God was sending people from this church.

I began to have a deep desire to go to worship service. It was missing from my life and soon after that first service, I prayed and put my faith in Jesus Christ. In that moment I was filled to such a degree that I had never felt in my life.

The problems that I had were still with me, and had even become worse. And on August 5th, I felt like there was no reason for me to live any longer. I prepared to take my life, I was ready to give up. That was the day there was a great storm in our town. And, I just knew that this storm was somehow a picture of my life. But I ignored it. I felt like the evil desire was greater in me. And when I made my first move to take my life, God grabbed my hand. He didn’t let me do it. And in that moment I felt how awesome God’s power was, how much He was for me and loved me. He knows me. In that moment I knew that His way of life for me was now the only way. I am here to give my life over to him today in baptism.

God taught me to forgive, with a pure heart and with honesty. Instead of anger, he has filled me with peace and love and those old spiritual hurts don’t hurt anymore.


What Zsuzsa did not mention in her testimony was the fact that her husband was planning on divorcing her. Weeks before she gave her life to Jesus and was baptized, the papers were already filled out and her husband had already made the decision. In the process of Zsuzaa beginning to attend church, her husband Attila also began to drop in and ask questions. Since that time, Attila has torn up the divorce papers and they are back on the path of reconciliation! Praise God for His grace in saving this marriage and helping them to see life according to His will. Please continue to pray for Attila to come to understand the Gospel and to put his full dependence in Christ as Savior and Lord.


Józsi’s testimony

I think it is already a testimony that I am standing here today. Someone told my son that there was a summer Bible camp and that he should go and he’d have a good time. And when I went to go pay, I met with Judit and Miki’s family and I just experienced the love they had. The first day of camp came and I felt that same love. My wife who wasn’t there asked me about camp and I told her the kids are being well cared for, there is discipline but with love. My son came home from camp and we asked, how did you like it? He said, “Dad, next year I want to go too!” This was his comment after the first day of being there. Both my wife and I went to the last day of camp (which was open to parents) and we decided we would also go to worship service, but never made it. Later I met with Miki and I was able to share where I was in my journey. I never liked when people were pushy and tried to forcefully convince me of things. Miki told me, there is no pressure here, you’ll only find God here. So, I decided we should go to worship service. But things constantly came up and were not able to go. One Sunday, the kids asked to go to one of the lakes. We left and once we got out of the car, it immediately began to rain. So, we hopped back into the car and we went down to the playground in Petofibanya. And it continued to pour rain. Well, we wondered what we should do. Since this was just about the time worship service was starting, maybe we should just go to the church in Petofibanya. We went in and after the kids went outside, of course, the sun was shining. God wanted us to take part and hear and we have come to know Him now. I have so many more testimonies to share but not enough time now.


Józsi’s wife Monika

I’ve always been looking for God. I’ve often sought his help and there was a time when even Józsi would say, there is no God, there is no help. But now we both see clearly that there is a God. If we turn our attention to Him, if we read His word, in the Bible we find every answer we need all the time.


Orsi’s testimony

I’ve known about this church for around four years through my kids, since they went to Summer Bible camps. It was always good to see them there. Everyday they came home from camp they were full of joy and love and were singing. It was so amazing to see. After the first day of camp they were already saying they wanted to attend next year. Even though everything was right here, right before my eyes for years, I was looking in other places. And now I finally understand. When Dezso was teaching about baptism, my heart was touched and everything became clear and I decided this is the way I am to follow. I want to just live in God’s presence, all that I am desires to live in His presence.


Above: Before coming to know Jesus Christ, Orsi had spent years seeking for something more and even traveled to India with a Hungarian friend for spiritual guidance. Now that Orsi knows that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life she has opportunity with her friend to discuss faith in Jesus Christ but has been met with ridicule and rejection. This has not fazed Orsi and she continues to look forward to any way she can share her faith in Jesus with others.


Ellie’s testimony

I grew up in a Christian home, so I have always been familiar with the Bible. I knew who Jesus was and that He existed but I didn’t understand that this was not enough. If that was all Christianity was about then Satan would be a Christian as well because he knows the Bible and knows who Jesus is and knows that He exists. We learned in our youth group that people fit into one of three categories in this world. The first one is that I rule my life. The second is that Jesus is in my life but I’m still ruling my life. And the third is where Jesus is the only one ruling my life. I used to fit into the second category and Jesus was in my life but I didn’t treat Him as Lord. And I only believed that He existed because my parents believed He did.

When I was eight years old I got ready to go to bed. I’m the type of person that spends at least half an hour every night thinking before I go to sleep. I began thinking about what heaven would be like. I thought about what the Bible said, that those who follow Jesus go to heaven to be with Him eternally after they die. I believed this but it was still strange to me that everything just didn’t end someday. Since I couldn’t understand this, I went to my mom to talk about it. I don’t know how, but discussing this topic led to a discussion about how to be saved. My mom told me that even though I believed that Jesus exists that didn’t necessarily mean that I’m a Christian. I would need to accept Jesus as Lord of my life and turn over everything to Him. That night, I did just that. Then there were changes in me. When I pray, it is not because it’s a custom in our house before we eat, but it is because I want to talk to Jesus.

If I see someone who is not a Christian, I don’t see how terrible a friend he or she would be or I don’t see them as someone I would rather not spend any time with because they would be a bad example in my life. I see them as a sinner but as someone that God wants to become His child and I can help them by showing them who God is and what it means to be His child. And as a believer, I know that God is watching over me and I don’t have to live in anxiety thinking about what will happen or how things will happen. In the Bible, in Matthew 10:29 it is written, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” I think this shows us that God will provide for us and this gives me great peace.



Fanni’s testimony

In seventh grade, I turned inward and had no confidence in any area of my life. In eighth grade one of my friends was attending youth group and I was invited. I ended up going, but I couldn’t continue going because of fear. I was afraid of new people and new situations. At some point, I ended up going again and then was invited to the VBS in Petofibanya. It was there that I became really interested in who God was as I saw that all the workers had a personal relationship with Him. At one point in camp, we were told that we could approach any of the leaders in free time if we were interested in making a decision. I wanted to, but because of fear, I just couldn’t do it. After VBS, I began attending worship service, but I still lived in fear. Then later, I was invited to a teen camping trip and wanted to talk again with someone about God. I even knew who I should talk to, but I just couldn’t get the courage up to do it. Soon after that, while being taught about having to choose which way we wanted to go in life and I couldn’t go in two directions at once, it became clear to me that I had already chosen God. Later I prayed with someone about this but I then there was fear in me that at some point I may abandon God and stop following Him. But, it turns out that I was drawn closer and closer to God. After that, I attended English Camp and it was there that I really understood how God the Father was with me and would never abandon me and I was changed. Oh, and I have courage now!


Above: Just a few weeks after ten got baptized, these four also turned their lives over to Jesus.


Ramona’s testimony

I was the type of person who could figure out anything in life. I didn’t need any help. I could do life on my own. And so I had a husband, kids, a house and a car. But about three years ago my husband left us. I was alone with three kids and life became very difficult. Over those three years I felt very down. I spoke a lot with Judit and she told me about God. She would try to persuade me to come to church but I always found excuses to avoid it. When I finally came, it was at the perfect time and I was in tears throughout the service as what was said was speaking directly to my heart. Then I realized my need and I began coming every Sunday and my faith was strengthened. I would ask God questions and He would always give answers every time I came. I couldn’t believe it. I was amazed and thinking back I recognize that God was holding my hand even when I was still not believing.

Where I work I run into all kinds of evil people every day (or at least that is how I once thought about it). At 11:30 one day when we were closing, I heard a knock at the door. It was a person who had been sick at home the whole day. They came to see a doctor and seemed surprised that the offices were closing. I let him in, and what was going on in my heart? I was thinking about coming home late once again and complaining about it. But I began thinking about God and what He would do in this situation. What was He thinking when they nailed Him to the cross? He prayed, forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing. And I thought, why am I thinking this way when Jesus gave His life for me? I want to love people like Him, I want to serve others like He did. I have learned that I can depend on Him and ask Him for wisdom in those difficult moments. I can turn to Him to find solutions when going through difficult times. He is here. He is holding my hand. He is powerful to help me in any situation. I’m throwing out the old life and beginning a new life of faith in Him.


While I was at a conference in Thailand, I received a text from Sharon about great news. I found out that my daughter Ellie had gotten into a conversation with Kira about her decision to put her faith in Jesus and Kira was led to make the same decision and wanted to be baptized the day I returned! Praise God!

Kira’s testimony

I grew up in a Christian home and always believed in God but didn’t really know Him personally. About 5 weeks ago I put my faith in Him. I was with my sister and I was so happy that I could know Jesus. I would listen to the songs we sang in church and read my Bible and that is why I decided to follow Jesus in my life.


Praise God for continuing to seek and save the lost. Praise Him for both husbands and wives being saved and baptized. What a privilege to be called a child of God and be used by Him to proclaim the message of hope that led us to put our faith in Jesus.

Adventures in Thailand



As I mentioned above, I spent a week in Thailand for a missions conference. One of the most encouraging experiences there was joining a multitude of nations everyday praising God together. It was really a taste of what was to come. “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:9) We are seeing a shift from primarily one nation reaching the nations to many nations reaching nations. It was encouraging to see new sending bases raised up in areas that were once unreached!





Worship Services in Bogács and Jászfényszaru

As we continue to take steps in planting churches in Bogács and Jászfényszaru, we were led to hold our first worship meetings on Sunday for the first time in these locations.



Above: Our first Sunday meeting in Pujka’s house (far left striped sweatshirt) in the town of Bogács.


Above: Our first Sunday meeting in Jászfényszaru’s community center.

We were thankful for the turnout in both areas and look forward to local believers having more time together in fellowship and opportunity to invite friends and neighbors. Please continue to pray for these works in Bogács to the Romani and Jászfényszaru.

We’ve also begun to hold a Saturday outreach to kids in Jászfényszaru. We hope to do this once a month and we had a great turnout last Saturday.




Above: Miki with his daughter Anna performing a puppet show in Saturday’s children’s outreach in Jászfényszaru.





Above: Zita brought the teaching after the puppet show and was able to share the gospel. Zita and her family commute to our church in Petofibanya and are partnering in our desire to plant churches in Jászfényszaru.



Above: Ramona who was baptized just a few weeks ago served with us by organizing and facilitating the craft time with the kids.



Above: Erika speaking with a new family that we hadn’t met before. They said they would like to come to our next worship service in Jászfényszaru.


New Baseball Club in Petofibanya




As teammate Roger (above) continues to work with Petofibanya’s local school kids, there was a new opportunity to begin a baseball club. We are thankful for the interest from parents and there has been a fairly large group of kids attending each week. Of course, learning baseball is not the only goal of this club. Roger who is working with Istvan (Hungarian Christian partner in ministry) will use this as another avenue to continue to reach out to kids and share the Gospel. Many of these kids already attend their Bible class weekly.



Thank you all for partnering with us in Hungary! Rejoice with us in all that God is doing and continue to pray for more opportunity to boldly proclaim His Gospel.

Ministry Update

Refugee Crisis

Changes have been very fluid this past week in Hungary with the refugee situation. Last Monday, Sharon and I went into Budapest to help at the Keleti Train Station which had been jammed in the past with crowds of refugees.


Above: Above, the upper level of the Keleti Train Station in Budapest.

Cutting through the train station and heading to the lower level we found that there were hardly any waiting. We passed a line of police officers and a designated path just for refugees to quickly board trains and exit Hungary as soon as possible.


This was all due to upcoming changes that happened last night where Hungary finished locking down it’s border and declared a state of emergency with much stricter and immediate consequences to those who cross the border illegally.




Above: A small group from Syria joyfully showing their tickets to a train that would take them to the border of Austria.


Above: As we walked around, we found a man laying down with shoes off and I struck up a conversation with him. Unlike the masses who were arriving and immediately leaving on trains, he was waiting for the rest of his family to arrive on busses since they had been separated at the Hungary Serbia border. Once they arrived they would also board the train and make their way to Germany.

It turns out that this man was a middle school teacher in Syria. It is amazing how much we could communicate with his limited English and using make-shift sign language. He allowed me to pray for head pain he was experiencing and Jesus was merciful to heal him. He gladly accepted a few bananas and also some homemade cream that he applied to his worn feat. We gave left over supplies to another non-profit organization as we had to head back home to get Ziva from preschool. This just shows how quickly the crisis is shifting and how needs are hard to pinpoint with all the change happening. We are currently discussing ways in which our mission agency can best contribute with the donations we have already received and how to use the personnel that have time outside of their existing ministries to help. We appreciate your continued prayers!

ENGLISH CLUB IN Jászfényszaru


Above: Roger getting back to teaching ESL with returning students and thankfully many new faces in Jászfényszaru.


Above: Dezso, who we first met though an English club in our hometown in Petofibanya more than ten years ago has since become a elder in our church plant and serves with us now in Jászfényszaru with his giftings in evangelism.

On Monday, we relaunched our English Club in the town of Jászfényszaru. We have been working in this town for a few years with a desire to see a church planted. Our first hour is divided into two classes, with a beginner class for adults and a new class for pre-schoolers and younger children.



Our next two hours are for intermediate and advanced students and it is in this time that we hold two separate Bible studies. We were grateful for the turn out and especially those who attended the Bible studies. As many of you know, last semester Bogi was one of our students from Jászfényszaru who ended up putting her faith in Jesus over the summer. We hope to see this time and time again as we sow seeds of the Gospel in this town.


Above: Brenda’s beginner English Bible study.


Above: Our advanced class from left to right: Hanna, Bogi (recently saved) and Kati who is works facilitating the programs for the local community center.

In my advanced class, I had a new student, Hanna who had just moved to Jászfényszaru a few weeks ago. I was thankful for how the class made her feel welcome right away and how she was involved in our Bible study on Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well. As we discussed the life of the Samaritan woman and her needs, Hanna commented that she heard somewhere that all of us have a void in our heart that only God can fill. It was clear that the Spirit was already helping her to see what Jesus was offering those who come to Him. Please pray for Hanna and students in Brenda’s English Bible study to come to know Jesus through His Word.

Outreach in Bogács

On Tuesdays, we continue to commute to the town of Bogács reaching out to the Romani tucked away in a ghetto area of the town. Erika, who was baptized a few weeks ago continues to grow in spite of great difficulties and challenges because of poverty. Sitting around a dimly lit kitchen table, she began giving testimony about how for the first time she is experiencing freedom from the power of sin in her life. She said looking back at who she was and how she lived, she just doesn’t know where she would be today if she didn’t meet Jesus. Her friend Edit continues to be hesitant because of the past influences of false teachers. She just doesn’t know who to believe. It has been our goal to help her to read the Word and use it to discern who is telling truth. Every week she has new questions and I simply bring her to the Word and we read it together seeking answers. This week we focused on Scripture that revealed that Jesus was God in the flesh. Please pray for more to come to know Him in Bogács and for the young believers to grow in discernment and in the knowledge of God’s love.

New Believers

Over the past few months, God has been bringing families into our church that have been in the crowds where we have scattered seeds of the Gospel in the past. Zsuzsa had two of her children attend our English Camp. In a terrible turn of events in her life, she fell into desperation and began truly seeking answers. Since she has had spiritual conversations with us in the past (and because she is our town’s postal worker) she began hearing again from multiple people from our church the hope we have in Jesus. Instead of going to her door, she (in her normal course of the day) would come to our door. Soon after, she put her trust in Jesus Christ and is planning on being baptized along with many others (including our daughter Elianna) next week.


Above: Our core church planting team with Heidi and Roger, Brenda, Dezso, Sharon and Allen and Erika and Miki.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support.