Baptism, worship and more.

What a blessed weekend we have had. We started out in our church plant in Veszprém. You may recall that we started this as a group for international students but it has grown beyond that. Nils has had great vision for this group and after meeting over the summer and praying and planning together we moved it towards a worship service for English speakers in the Veszprém area. Yesterday 18 people gathered together for the launch of this church group! The Lord brought people from Brazil, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Germany, Mongolia, the Philippines and the UK. It was a blessed service, with great worship and Nils preached an excellent sermon. I was thrilled to welcome people, explain the history and vision of the church and end our time together with a blessing.

While we were worshipping in Veszprém, our daughter Katica was able to help a Ukrainian family in need. She brought them shopping for shoes and clothes for the colder weather. Thank you for continuing to support the people of Ukraine! The little girls enjoyed picking out new clothes!

Then today, Sunday, we had the pleasure of worshipping and speaking in Győr on the subject of El Olam, the everlasting God. I also had the pleasure of seeing Roland baptised by Pastor Sylvia. It is always a celebration and privilege to witness baptisms and the steps in faith that people are taking. I am so happy to see the continuing growth (both spiritually and in numbers) of the church in Győr and the wonderful impact they are having in the local community.

Ukraine aid trip

Today (September 9th), I and colleagues were privileged to bring aid into Ukraine. In total we brought 900 kilos (2000lbs) of goods. This included pasta, rice, sugar, oil, flour, vegetables, frozen meat, female sanitary products, canned fish, meat and beans along with chocolates for kids and tea and coffee for adults.

The day started at 4am and we expect to be back at 11pm. This 18 hour day has been filled with so much, it is hard to know what to include and what to leave out. Please forgive my writing if it is a little disjointed, it has been and continues to be a long day. Tomorrow I have another 8-10 hours of travel and am ready to rest at home!

We helped a Ukrainian family cross the border as they were walking and the guards would only allow them to cross via vehicle. It was an opportunity for us to give the kids chocolates, talk to them and pass on my business card if they need help in the future.

About 40 minutes after arriving in Ukraine a rather nasty warning alert came. It was making us aware of an attack by Russian forces on our general area. Thankfully we experienced no attack but it certainly brought the war a little closer to us.

We visited three locations and left food and other goods in each place. The need is very real. Several million Ukrainians are internally displaced. Many are living and sleeping in churches or finding refuge in all sorts of places such as hotels, restaurants and campgrounds.

We were also able to leave another display stand warning of the dangers of human trafficking. We left it at a major refugee centre in a large city that helps to feed and house people. Approximately 700 people a day eat there at the moment.

With Eliseo, my wonderful Italian friend and partner in ministry. Please pray for him, his wife and daughter and his sister-in-law, Sefora, as they serve so diligently in ministry.
Florence Nightingale would be horrified but every inch is needed for people to have somewhere to sleep.
Spot the soldier! Volunteers making camouflage. Do not repost or use this photo please.
Supplies of needed goods are running out! People in Ukraine will die this Winter due to the cold. Please be generous and give!

Please pray for Philip More also. He does incredible work in Arad, Romania, running g a centre for the very poor. He gives freely of his time and serves helping on these runs into Ukraine. He is a huge blessing and must be exhausted from so much work.

Thank you to the Free Methodist Church for your incredible generosity in providing the funds for all the supplies, diesel etc.

Summer time and the living is easy???

We are just back from 8 days in Ireland. It was a time to rest, to be with family and friends and to turn off phone and internet. Above is one of my favourite places in the world, Ballybunion in Co. Kerry. We spent a day here enjoying the sun, walking, dipping our toes in the Atlantic. I particularly enjoyed a ’99’, yum! If you don’t know what that is, look it up! It is a big favourite amongst the Irish!!!

Pastor Anton with a bullet proof vest to keep him a little safer as he serves by bringing physical and spiritual aid to those in desperate need in Ukraine. Thank you Mallow Street Gospel Hall, Limerick, Ireland for purchasing this for him.
Celebrating our beautiful youngest lady on her wedding day in July.
A rare evening off. Enjoying the beauty of Pécs after a very hot day!
So much need in Ukraine! Keep praying! Keep giving! Do not tire of doing good!
Ministry partners all across Ukraine making a difference! Here providing for children through arts and crafts.
Camp in Győr.

It was really a very busy Summer. Camp in Győr at the orphanage. Speaking engagements in Budapest, Győr, Pécs and in Ireland. Trip into Ukraine to bring aid. A visit to our ministry in Romania. Preparing for numerous trips into Ukraine in September and October. Raising support for Ukraine and organising finances to help ministry and people in cities such as Berehove, Munkachevo, Rivne and Odessa.

Please keep praying. For an end to the war. For wisdom and safety as we plan more trips into Ukraine. For the leading of the Holy Spirt to guide us. For our friends and partners in Hungary, Romania, Ukraine and in countries where being a believer is dangerous. For us to be filled with energy and love for others. Pray most of all for people to turn to Christ. Thank you for standing with us!

More aid to Ukraine

About 550 kilos (1200lbs) of needed supplies.
The staff in Lidl do not like seeing us enter the store…

Today (Friday June 17th), three of us made the trip into Ukraine to bring food, hygiene products, cleaning materials, medicines and other needed products. Yesterday we shopped, packed the van, prepared paperwork and today we are doing the 15 hour round trip journey from Romania to a couple of different destinations in Ukraine.

These visited these three families who are displaced because of the war. The husband of one of the ladies stayed in Odessa as he is a pastor and Gerry has been working with him to get food to families in need in the Odessa area. It was a blessing to bring food, medicines and soft toys along with a small gift of cash to help provide for their needs. The kids were so sweet… Sadly, UNICEF are reporting that 67% of all Ukrainian children have been displaced due to the war.

Set Free Movement pamphlets (written by my daughter Zsuzsi) also went to Ukraine as approximately 100,000-150,000 Hungarian speakers live there. These pamphlets warn of the danger of trafficking and tips on how to keep safe.

Pastor Valentin and his church are now serving lunch to 400 people a day. Just a month ago it was only 120… The need is unbelievable…

Thank you to Erin in Budapest who helped with some of the logistics of bringing goods to me so I could transport them from Hungary to Romania and then on to Ukraine!

Gerry was also able to offer medical assistance to a number of Ukrainian soldiers (male and female) at the border crossing. It was such a pleasure to serve today!

Thank you to everyone who has and continues to support aid to Ukraine!

Szigetvár

We have been living in Pécs for 11 months now. It is a beautiful city with so much to see and do. We are grateful to the Lord that he has allowed us to gain entry to a children’s home here and we can serve there on a regular basis. Another hope was that we could help begin a worship service here. Today was our first worship service in the area (we met in the nearby city of Szigetvár). A total of nine adults and two children gathered together. It was wonderful!!!

As we gathered, I recognised a beautiful image of heaven. English, Hungarian, Irish and Ukrainian all gathered to worship. Kevin did an excellent job of leading worship (he plays guitar really well). Szandra had lots of tea, muffins and other goodies waiting for us all. Zsuzsi and family were visiting and Stephen and Svetlana from Ukraine (they are now living near Szigetvár) made up the rest of the group.

I presented a message from the Gospel of Luke (the Prodigal Son) and we focused on how at different times in our lives we all have been far from God and on other occasions we have been the forgiving father or the jealous brother.

We truly appreciate your prayers. We are so excited to see spiritual growth around Hungary. With ministry in Budapest, Győr, Pécs, Szigetvár and Veszprém we are blessed to meet so many people who are a pursuing a closer relationship with God. Please pray that more people will come to faith and that more doors for ministry will open across Hungary.

Weekend of joy!

It was a wonderful weekend, filled with joy! Joy of serving, joy of teaching, joy of being with family and friends, the joy of good food and the joy of being in God’s beauty of creation as we walked by the Lake Balaton.

The booklet cover you can see is a publication that was written by our daughter Zsuzsi. Zsuzsi is a qualified social worker and a theologian. In partnership with the Set Free Movement, this booklet is to help warn children, teens and vulnerable individuals on the dangers of trafficking. We delivered copies to our partners in Veszprém. The church in Veszprém (under the leadership of Nils, he is pictured first, and two other men) will have copies ready to provide to people as needed. Then Askar, a PhD student in Veszprém who attends our International Church, took several copies for the University library.

On Friday in Győr it was a pleasure to connect with so many people over the course of the day. Bible study group is close to finishing the Book of Acts. It was great to have a new attendee join us and he was a blessing!

Worship in Győr was excellent. I had the joy of bringing a group of Ukrainians to church and our new translator was excellent! We also raised funds for little Bogi, one of our church kids. She has an operation in August for a serious issue with one of her eyes. I was so thankful for the way the church responded!!! People were so generous! Please pray for her healing! If you want to give, feel free to contact me.

Aid to Ukraine

Along with my colleagues and friends, Philip and Eliseo, we drove today from Arad, Romania into Ukraine to two different cities to deliver humanitarian aid. Pasta, spaghetti, rice, porridge, cereal, honey, jam, juice, milk, water, medical items and personal hygiene products. Also, we brought sleeping bags, mats, diesel and other needed items.

We visited a refugee camp with 120 people (location kept secret to prevent possible attacks against the people there). Here we delivered the aforementioned goods and I was able to talk with a doctor and discuss a return visit where I might be able to offer PTSD care and to deliver medical supplies. Most of the refugees were of course Ukrainian but there was also a lot of Koreans and we were blessed to help them also.

The second visit was to a church close to the Hungarian and Romanian borders. The church is offering a free two course lunch every day for up to 200 people. They also have worship every evening. Praise God they are seeing many people come to Christ!

At both locations we set up stand-up displays which are to warn people of the dangers of human trafficking which many face as the cross borders into other countries. Thank you to the Set Free Movement, along with the Bread of Life Foundation in Hungary and the European Freedom Network.

Many thanks to so many people and churches for all your support. Special thanks to the Free Methodist Church USA, Free Methodist Church Canada, Free Methodist Church UK, Free Methodist Church Spain and the Free Methodist Church Portugal. Also thanks to Daria Roesch at Edgewood Church in New York State for the wonderful cards I could bring to Ukrainian kids. Big thanks to my home church of Mallow Street Gospel Hall in Limerick, Ireland for your support and prayers.

England and speaking engagements

We spent the past week in England, with visits to Bristol and then Garstang and Fulwood which are both near Preston. On Sunday morning we had the privilege of speaking at the Garstang Free Methodist Church. It was a wonderful service with about 190 people in attendance. We brought the morning message which included stories of what is currently happening in Ukraine. Garstang have been longstanding partners with our ministry in Rivne. They have led the way in responding to the crisis and have truly been the hands and feet of Jesus.

Sunday evening we got to visit Fulwood Free Methodist Church. The new lead pastor is an old and very dear friend of mine. Ian and his wife Sarah are incredible servants of God, wonderfully gifted and loving shepherds. It was a superb service with excellent worship. About 100 people were present and we were blessed to be with them. Again, we got to bring the message and had many meaningful conversations afterwards.

The rest of the week had been filled with meetings and visiting some of the sites where both Charles and John Wesley lived and served. We also got to see a friend of mine from teenage years which was amazing!

Prayers are appreciated. Today Kathy and I travel from England to Hungary. On Thursday I travel to Romania and then on Friday into Ukraine to bring humanitarian aid and offer medical and spiritual care.

Győr, Veszprém and Kyrgyzstan?

This weekend I travelled to Győr on Friday where I held our monthly Bible study group. Afterwards I was interviewed twice by Justin Ross of International Child Care Ministries and you can view the shorter of the two videos here. The second video will be published in the future. https://fb.watch/cBcvx84XpA/

On Saturday I visited our International students group in Veszprém. We were a small group of four people as many of the students are very busy with writing their dissertations. One man, I met for the first time. ‘A’ has been a believer since 1994. He is now studying for his PhD in Veszprém. He comes from Kyrgyzstan, from a Muslim family. He gave his life to the Lord and his family wanted to kill him because of this. He had to flee. He is a man of faith who has seen much in his life. The photo is him with the gift of an English language Bible I could give him. What a blessing it was to share communion with this group yesterday.

Sunday, Kathy and I got to serve in Győr again. We had a great service with 40 people in attendance. We celebrated Easter again as a number of Ukrainians are making our church their temporary faith home.

These past couple of months have been uncommonly busy.We appreciate your prayers as we seek to help the people of Ukraine, serve faithfully in ministty across Hungary and others countries in Europe.

Whirlwind tour

Thursday morning I left Pécs and took two trains over a total of about nine hours to get to Arad, Romania. I spent Thursday evening through to Saturday lunchtime in Arad, connecting with Philip More at Vis de Copil, along with our newest colleague there, Daniella. Philip manages the centre which focuses on helping the poorest of the poor in Arad and Daniella works primarily with children as she is a qualified teacher.

Whilst in Arad, I also had an excellent meeting with a couple who are bringing food and hygiene products into Ukraine. We discussed potential ways to partner and help one another as I am currently planning my first humanitarian aid trip into Ukraine very soon.

On Saturday I travelled from Arad to Budapest. I spent on hour or so in the evening making a short video with my colleague Larry which will be an update about missions in Europe for an upcoming conference. Sunday morning I worshipped with our Budapest church and had lunch with them. It was the first time in over two years that the Budapest Church had lunch together (because of the Covid-19 restrictions).

After lunch I travelled from Budapest to Győr. I spoke at the Easter service, led the Lord’s Supper and a time of anointing with oil and prayer for healing. The service was conducted in three languages, English, Hungarian and Ukrainian and was well attended with 54 people in attendance. After church, the long trip back to Pécs and tomorrow I am looking forward to a needed day of rest, a trip to the gym and lots and lots of chocolate!

During all this, we still continued to help as we could with the situation in Ukraine. I’m happy to report that this is the second time we have got food to this family and the kids were delighted for some new clothes also.

Worship in English, Hungarian and Ukrainian

We had the pleasure of joining our church in Győr today for worship. It was great to see so many friends and such a blessing to see how they have welcomed Ukrainians and how the Ukrainians are already becoming part of the church. In the video below we see Sarah reading in English, Eszter in Hungarian and Misha in Ukrainian from Psalm 25. I didn’t get the camera ready quickly enough, so unfortunately part of Sarah reading got cut off.

Sylvia and Aron did an excellent job with the sermon and translation. It was a wonderful and very well prepared message on giving our all to Jesus.

For us, our day started early in the morning as Kathy and I travelled from Pécs to Győr. It was a very cold and somewhat snow day which is unusual for us in April. After worship we got to enjoy cakes at church and then dinner with the Petrochenko family.

Your prayers are appreciated for the week ahead. Apart from our usual ministry we will continue to help those displaced by the war, fund raise and begin planning a course I will be teaching on trauma and PTSD care. All that and planning for an upcoming trip to Romania and Ukraine (to bring aid to friends there).