REMEMBERING 2010

CHRISTMAS EVE 2009

After chest pain and difficulty breathing, Allen was taken to the emergency room. After a few visits to the hospital and follow up examinations, Allen was diagnosed with appendicitis and afterwards gastroesophageal reflux disease in January. Through God's grace, Allen completely recovered from surgery and was healed from GERD.

JANUARY 2010

• Our Friday night teen ministry gained lots of momentum and drew in kids like Ricsi who years ago attended children’s Bible classes. Dezső’s testimony and Gospel presentations on these Friday nights were heard by more in number than we have at a typical worship service on Sunday.

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Equipping does not happen overnight and the small group pictured below is one step in many that we initiated in January to help growing members capture a vision for God’s mission and to know their unique role and privilege to take part in that mission.

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• Our church sent out our first 'home grown' member Hugi (below) to help in a church plant in Budapest. Although we will miss her presence with us in our local body, we praise God for her coming to salvation in Petőfibánya and growing in our midst. We hope that this process of evangelism, discipleship and sending out will happen over and over in our body.

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• In April we traveled to 20 public schools to present our Easter Puppet Show. We were able to share the Gospel and distribute evangelistic materials to over 1000 kids and many teachers and parents. One of those 20 schools was a place we have been trying to get into for years, and God opened the door for the first time this year.

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• In April we also planned various activities for the Teens like the hike pictured below. On one occasion after roasting some marshmallows, we sat around the fire and discussed some of the highlights of 2010. The majority of those attending said that either our teen outreach, or English Bible classes, or Sunday church had been their highlight of 2010. Although many of them still are not Christians, we have hope that they will be transformed by Christ’s love and His message of salvation that is repeatedly shared each week in these ministries.

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• In May we were invited to serve in various community events. In years previous, primarily our core church planting team did all of the work in such outreach events. This year, we were outnumbered by church volunteers taking on various responsibilities. We are so thankful that a core group of believers in our church is maturing and discovering how God has gifted them for service in the community.

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• Enikő who was saved in a 2009 English Camp, Gizi (over 70 years old) and Ildikó decided to be baptized in May.

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• Erik (below right) who witnessed the baptism of Enikő, Ildikó and Gizi continued to attend our worship services and our Friday night outreach week after week. In late May, Erik spent the bulk of his time just sitting with church member Gabi, and Gabi shared his testimony. After Dezső's teaching that night, Erik came to Dezső ready to make a decision to put his faith in Jesus Christ.

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• Roland, who has also been attending our teen outreach and church services with Erik also decided to put his faith in Jesus Christ in late may. Below: Dezso sharing the Gospel with Roland.
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• In June we had our share of flooding in Petofibanya and had a few opportunities to help the community by serving hot tea and filling sand bags. Miki and I on occassion (photo below) went to Petőfibánya’s mountain to pray for our community.

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• In July God blessed us with a strong core team of believers from our church to carry out our Vacation Bible School. We praise God for over fifty kids who attended and the lesson’s they learned from Paul’s life in the book of Acts.

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Above: Church member Gabi teaching in VBS.

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Above: Gabi's sister Niki serving as a teacher's assistant.

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• In August we participated in an Evangelistic English Camp. Nine campers ranging in age from fourteen to fifty four made the decision to follow and profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Sadly, only one of them will return home with the support of believers in his family. The others face mixed responses from family and friends who in many cases react negatively.

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Above: A follow-up meeting for those who made decisions to help them to know what steps to take next.

Ellie enters first grade in September! We expected some tough times in this transition from Hungarian preschool to first grade, but by God’s grace Ellie is doing great!

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• In September we planned a camping trip with the teens who attend our Friday night outreach.

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Above: These are great times to spend with those who don’t attend our church like Dori (red pants) and Zsofi (striped sweater) who have attended our VBS camps in the past. It was clear that God was continuing to draw these young teens to Himself. On the two and a half hour hike up to the campground and over the two days, Dori shared about her search for God. I believe that after our time together, both are closer to understanding what it means to be saved through Jesus Christ.

In October church members Peti and Gabi had an opportunity to briefly teach in our Sunday service. We praise God for the growth of these young men who along with Dezső have completed one year of formal Bible training. What a blessing to see these young men maturing and discovering the gifts the Father has given to them to build up the body.

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In late October we launched various ‘mentoring’ groups. We have split the men’s group into three smaller groups of 3-4 men which allows for more participation of each member, more one-to-one discussion, more mentoring and deeper relationships. Each of these smaller groups of men includes a mature leader, a maturing believer who has potential for leadership and a young believer who is new to the faith. The groups were intentionally divided up this way to create opportunity for mentorship and passing on responsibility incrementally to allow others to develop in their giftings as they are equipped for ministry.

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• In October we were once again invited to various community events. Below: We traveled to the small town of Heréd to perform a children’s concert.

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Above: Erika (far right) ran our craft table where parents and children could put together “The Good News Tree”. The tree is composed of beads with colors representing different truths of the Gospel, and Erika did a great job sharing the good news about Jesus Christ with others through this craft.

• In November we braved the cold weather and hiked with the teens to Blue Mountain.

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There were plenty that joined us on the hike including one family who decided to come after meeting us for the first time in Heréd (see above).

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I shared a brief message on God’s provision of love, joy and peace through Jesus Christ and encouraged those who were “on the fence” to choose life in Him.

• In November we also initiated our “Játszóház Ministry”. This once-a-month children’s program enables us to reach out to the neighboring town of Selyp where we desire to plant a church. This is a great way to meet new families in the community and to teach important truths from God’s Word. This Játszóház is also a place where church members from Petőfibánya can develop the gifts that God has given them as they join us in serving the community.

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• In late November wife and husband Ági and Tamás, Roland, Győző, Erik and Ricsi were baptized!

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• We also held a special Thanksgiving service in November. Below Tamás and Roger in a small group discussion. Before meeting Jesus, Tamás was in bondage to alcohol and his marriage was falling apart. Church member Dezső is neighbors with them and God used Dezső to turn their attention to the only One who could save them. Tamás is thankful about how God freed him from alcoholism, from smoking and restored his marriage. Tamás said that out of the five brothers in his family he was the black sheep. He said that if God wanted to get His message across to his family, his transformed life would be the way to do it!

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• In December we held our Christmas Puppet Ministry in various public schools throughout our region.

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Though this was one of the toughest schedules to date for our puppet ministry, we had very few problems and God enabled us to sow seeds to over 1600 children and many teachers throughout this region. May these seeds produce fruit in the hearts of many, that they may know the blessing of having a restored relationship of peace with God through Jesus Christ.

I thank God for 2010 and for the many ways He continues to pour out His grace and love in this area as more and more people come to know His Son Jesus Christ! We look forward to following Him in 2011.
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