February Update

Hope in the New Year!


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Above: Every New Year’s Eve, our church gets together for worship service and a night of fun and fellowship with family and friends. 2017 was definitely one of the toughest years our church and our family has experienced, but through it all, God is faithfully refining and building us up in love. The trials and difficulties have had the good effect of leading us to press deeper into His presence. We continue to look to Him for healing, for restoration, direction and strength as we begin a new chapter of life trusting in our faithful Savior in 2018!

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Above: From L to R, ‘Aunt’ Zsuzsa, Bogi, Eszti, Anna and Arnold showing off gift bracelets they received from a friend in the US they met while serving in last summer’s baseball camp. The way technology is today, they continue to communicate with workers from the US and are being encouraged with these long distance relationships in many ways!

Baptisms in Petofibanya


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Above: From L to R: Érzsi, Peti, Alina, Aranka, János. Below are a few testimonies from the baptismal service.

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János’ testimony: “I first had an encounter with Jesus in Jászfényszaru at last year’s VBS. After coming home I began to realize how much of an empty life I had lived. I would like to be baptized today knowing that without Him my life leads nowhere. I have come to realize that He is the only way of life and He has redeemed me. As I encounter the hardships of this life, I want to depend fully on Him and trust in His will to be done.”

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Aranka’s testimony:
“I grew up in Petofibanya with your average life, grew up, got a job and lived according to my parent’s expectations. As the years past, I continued to feel more and more empty inside. When I met Jánkó and we had children, I thought that this was what was missing in my life. I thought that if I had a family I would finally be happy. But with the coming of children came many challenges, anxiety and problems that we had no idea how to solve. When Nimrod was younger, we were walking with him outside and met with another family and were able to talk. It seemed that we were always running into each other and formed a relationship because of our little ones. As we spoke more and continued to run into each other, I saw in them the type of joy that as a child I imagined that I would have when I grew up. They had peace in their spirits and true love toward their children. They had something that I was searching for in life. From the outside we looked like a wonderful family but behind the four walls of our home we were like a TNT factory ready to explode. I knew I didn’t have what I needed to help myself or my husband. In 2016 we visited and heard Erika sharing at Advent that the world teaches that we are able to control and direct our lives and I had already experienced that this was not true. And Erika explained a different life where we live in freedom entrusting our lives to Jesus Christ. A life where we are set free to live with joy. I came to realize that it was meaningless to try to solve everything in my own strength. It was as if God was speaking directly to me through Erika. But then I went home and fell back into the same life. Then we received an SMS inviting us to church and I asked my husband, “Now, what are we going to do?” We had known Miki already for years since our son had attended so many VBS camps. And the passion that our son brought home from those camps would burn the entire year until the next VBS. But we didn’t have what our son had. So we decided to attend Sunday worship service. And our decision wasn’t just to attend one Sunday, but from that moment on to commit to attending. As I heard the preaching here it was as if I was receiving answers to the problems I was struggling with. Easter was beautiful and the message was about choosing which path we would take in life. Another message helped me when I was becoming anxious about my kids’ futures and helping me to see I could trust Him in all these things. Through this time God was drawing me closer to Himself. And the path was clear before me to receive Jesus Christ into my life and my heart. This is my future and my family’s future.”

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Érzsi’s testimony: “Before I came to know the Lord, I went through many challenges, disappointments and losses. I went through a difficult marriage the loss of my mother, my father and after a tragedy the loss of my husband. I was depressed for months. There was a person who stood by me in that time and offered help. Heidi embraced me and prayed for me. She helped me to come to know the Lord and trust in Him. When I was close to giving up, there was a voice that spoke to me, “Don’t give up. Things will get better. You just have to believe.” Today, I know that this was the Lord who spoke to me. He is with me and helps me everyday. And in the coming days, I will believe and trust in the Lord. I am thankful that He has come into my life and I want to give myself to Him and trust Him with the rest of my days.”

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Above: Peti rejoiced that he had the special privilege of baptizing his daughter Alina!

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Above: Sharon talking with Mónika and Józsi. I love to see growth. I love to see changes happening in the body that point to a bright future of mature believers that glorify God. Recently, church member Monika invited me to come with her to visit and pray for a friend who was very sick with cancer. Monika had already been visiting this friend weekly, praying for her and expressing the love of Christ and I was invited to join her. I didn’t come up with the idea. I didn’t challenge the church to visit their friends in the hospital. It wasn’t a case of inviting Monika to join me so that she could learn from my example. Instead it was Monika blessing me as I see the love of Christ blossoming in her life and touching the lives of others who have need of Jesus. Unfortunately, her friend did pass away this Friday, but God gave the gift of hearing the good news of eternal life in Christ before she died. Our church is now turning our attention to helping her husband and family. We would appreciate your prayers for them in this time.

Churchplant in Jaszfényszaru


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Above: Miki giving Bogi a high-five in a church member’s house that we sometimes use as a meeting place every other Sunday for the churchplant in Jászfényszaru. God has been at work in so many ways in Bogi’s life and she continues to grow despite the struggles of her being the only believer in her family. We first met Bogi in our English club in Jászfényszaru years ago and in that time there was a student named Melinda that also attended that we had lost touch with. Then, Bogi brought Melinda to the last day of our youth group camp this past summer and after that she continued to talk to Bogi about life. Melinda ended up coming to church one Sunday with Bogi and since that time she has become connected with other women who have been a help and encouragement as Melinda seeks to deepen her relationship with Jesus.

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Above: Melinda (center) recently visited our Children’s Playhouse Outreach in Jászfényszaru. Praise God for using the members of the body in various ways to help more and more come to know the love of Christ.

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Above: Families attending our Children’s Playhouse Ministry.

Rozsaszentmarton Winter Carnival


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Above: Our eldest daughter Elianna celebrated her final year in middle school with a special Winter Carnival dance with the rest of her class.

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Above: That very same night, I had Sharon take me to the emergency room as I was experiencing chest pains and a strange abnormal feeling of lightheadedness. After multiple EKGs, a blood test and x-rays, my body showed no signs of having any serious issues (Praise God and thank you for those of you who knew about it and prayed for me.) By the end of the next day I was feeling completely better. My teammate Tom joked that it was the stress from seeing my daughter in a wedding dress. Maybe he’s right.

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Thank you all for your continued prayers for our family, our team and the church planting work in Hungary. We appreciate all of you and are blessed to have you as partners and friends!

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December Update

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Above: Last Sunday, we held a special Christmas worship service in the local community center with members inviting friends, family and acquaintances. Teammates Roger and Heidi transformed the room into a very inviting atmosphere for conversation with decorated tables, food and drink and special gifts for the children at the end of service.

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We put together a small choir with special Christmas music and Sharon accompanied Miki’s guitar with the flute. We had a great turn out with teachers from the public school coming to visit, the Petofibanya Retiree Club members and others who have connections with us through various ministries. Before the program started, I was able to sit with Niki and Tamas. Niki began attending just a few weeks ago and told me that she saw something different in church member Edit who had been helping her learn German. She said Edit was always smiling, and full of joy and later invited Niki to church. I was thankful that she brought Tamas who asked me how I ended up living in Hungary. This was a great opportunity to share how God has graciously worked in my life and I was also able to share the Gospel later in that night’s message.

Youth Group


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Above: Arnold (left) and Roger (right) continue to seek ways to encourage and build up the youth in our church. Over the past year this group has bonded closer together and they have been attending Friday night meetings where they have been learning from God’s word. The youth are also beginning to seek for ways they can better reach out to their friends and community. Please pray for the youth to grow in their relationship with Jesus to and truly become light to their peers who come from primarily atheist backgrounds.

Final Christmas Puppet Update


We praise God for His grace in giving us an open door to 30 public schools throughout northeastern Hungary! He gave us the strength and provisions we needed and seeds of His good news have been planted in the lives of close to 2000 kids! Our team of puppeteers included two first timers from our church who were blessed to serve and commented on their desire to do it again at Easter. The kids at these schools are always excited to receive the CD and kid’s magazine that we are able to distribute at the end of each show. One teacher in the town of Hehalom commented as we entered, “I can’t wait to see the show. I’ve already heard the CD since my daughter brought it home from preschool and I’m curious to see it myself!” Who knows how many parents are listening to these CDs with their kids with such a clear proclamation of the truths of Christmas and Easter.

In the town of Bér, after the show, a teacher invited us for some Christmas cookies and tea and God opened the door for a great conversation. She shared about a fellow worker that had passed away and how so many people avoided talking about death. Miki began discussing how God’s word talks about death and the hope that we have as believers in eternal life in Jesus Christ. She shared that she was Catholic and that she doesn’t read the Bible enough and has problems understanding it. We were able to direct her to an easier to read Bible translation and shared about the importance of God’s word being the guide to all of our understanding about truth in this fallen world that is full of deception and darkness. She shared her email address so that we could stay in touch and hinted that she may even take her family to visit our church in Petofibanya (about a 25 minute commute).



This year’s puppet show was about two kids who find a book in the attic that transports them back to the time of the birth of Jesus. After the story of the birth of Christ is presented, the kids go off to find their grandmother to tell them what they have discovered. She tells them she found the same book as a child and reveals to them that this is no other than God’s word, the Bible. Below are some of the best photos from each destination that hopefully help you to experience the good things God was at work doing in this outreach. May the Gospel cause even more joy and peace to well up inside of you this Christmas. Jesus our King and Savior has come and is coming again!

Thank all of you for your investment in us and in ministries like this that we trust will bear fruit!

Jobbagyi


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Petofibanya preschool


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Selyp preschool


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Hered


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Above: After each show, we are able to review the key points with the kids and share the Gospel.

Apc


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Hatvan


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Nagykokenyes


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Kisbagyon


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Egyhazasdengeleg


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Hehalom


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Erdotarcsa


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Jaszfenyszaru


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Jaszbereny


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Szurdokpuspoki


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Ber


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Lorinci


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Selyp


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Paszto


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Szirak Middle School


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Szirak Preschool


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Petofibanya


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