This post is the text of our recent Christmas newsletter. It was sent out to by regular post to partners in America, Ireland and the UK.
Greetings from Győr, Hungary! I hope that this letter finds each of you very well and blessed. As supporters of our ministry, we send you a newsletter once a year by snail mail at Christmas. However, if you want regular updates, please see our website, http://www.hungaryforchrist.com It contains a lot of stories, photos and videos and is a great way to see more of what we are doing. You can also feel free to call me or write an email (numbers and address above) if you would like more information.
2019 was a year that was filled with ministry opportunities. The church in Győr continues to grow and reach more and more people every week. Our various groups continue to grow and we see new faces on a weekly basis. In particular the work in the orphanage, MOPS (mothers of pre-schoolers) and development of new leaders has seen very encouraging growth! At the orphanage, Kathy now has two other ladies who regularly join her on Wednesdays to minister to the kids on both the temporary and the permanent floors of the orphanage. We also hope to have some of the kids join us at worship on Sundays in the near future. MOPS continues to bring in more and more young women and we are starting to see some of them join us for worship on Sundays. I will hand over the role of pastor of the Győr church in January to a friend and colleague, Wick Anderson (Wick and his family are missionaries from America) and we will also appoint an assistant pastor, a Hungarian lady named Sylvia. Sylvia has begun her studies in theology and is feeling called by God to serve His people. Please pray for these wonderful leaders!
As I step out of the role as Győr church pastor, I will continue to minister but more on a national and international level. I now have responsibility for leadership and development of ministry in Hungary, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and am looking at some potential partnership(s) in Moldova. These ministries include church-planting, a rehab center for alcohol and drug addictions, work with orphans, the homeless, Bible studies and education for people considering ordained ministry. I cannot explain well the excitment and honour I feel at being involved with so much wonderful ministry! Many of those involved in these ministries face significant challenges financially and some even face persecution from authorities. Please pray.
Of course, all of these ministry opportunites and responsibilities also include a tremendous amount of travel. I have become no stranger to airports and by the end of this year I will have totalled 36 flight segments for ministry travel and several international car and train journeys also. 2020 will also include significant travel with flights already booked to America, Bulgaria and Russia. I am currently booked through to November of 2020 and have little room for extra travel but am always happy to connect with you and your church through Skype or Zoom. If possible we would be delighted to join your worship service via video and spend a few minutes sharing about ministry in Hungary and across Europe. For those of you in the New York State area, I will be in America March 13th to 24th and will speak at five churches. Please contact me if you would like to know times, dates and places of my speaking arrangements.
On a more personal note, we celebrated the wedding of our daughter Zsuzsi in April which was a blessed occassion. Both Csilla and Zsuzsi will graduate from University in February with Zsuzsi then continuing her studies in theology. Csilla is considering both further education and work possibilities. Katica is doing very well as she contiues her studies in physiotherapy. She is nearing the end of her third semester and next semester in April she will begin the first of her practical placements and will be in Győr for that. We are thankful that she will have more time at home! Kathy and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary in May and enjoyed a wonderful holiday together in October to celebrate. It was only a week away but it did much to recharge us both physically and spiritually. We all continue to pursue a number of hobbies and interests that include weightlifting, walking with our dogs, reading and enjoying coffee.
I would like to particularly thank those of you who so kindly hosted me this year at various times in your homes, took me out for a meal or bought me a coffee. I really enjoyed wonderful time with people in Oregon, Louisiana, UK, Ukraine and numerous other places. Thank you all! Your conversation, prayers, friendship and willingness to listen to what God is doing here in Europe means very much to me indeed.
You are our partners in this ministry and without your prayer and financial support, none of this would be possible. Please feel free to write to us, ask us more questions and send us encouraging notes We enjoy hearing from you!
Gerry, Kathy, Csilla, Zsuzsi and Katica McNamara