We had a wonderful week at the children’s home in Gyor. A team of five people from Decatur, Illinois joined us as we ministered each day at the camp. We sang Christian songs, played games, did handicrafts, had a Bible message and taught simple English language lessons.
Many children from these institutions in Hungary (between 60%-70%) end up being trafficked and working in prostitution. Our goal is to teach them of the love of Christ, help with their education and model for them Christian living. The team from Decatur is a team dedicated to fighting human trafficking and our partnership was intentional and powerful.
Praise God that a number of children gave their life to the Lord today (our final day). We have been invited back to continue this ministry. Kathy has been going in weekly to one group of kids for several years but will hopefully begin going in to a second group on a weekly basis also. We also made very significant connections with staff and hope to see some come along to visit our Sunday worship.
We purchased pizza for everyone yesterday and the kids and team enjoyed a July 4th celebration together! Thank you to all those in our local church in Győr who contributed to buying the pizza. Please continue to pray for this ministry and do contact me if you would like to support in anyway this ongoing work.
We had a wonderful service yesterday. The Lutheran church were very kind and allowed us to use their temple which has a baptismal font. With forty people in attendance we celebrated four baptisms and one new local ministerial candidate. Bianka, Eszter, Katica and Klaudia all made that public confirmation of their faith as they were baptised. Sylvia became a local ministerial candidate which means she is exploring the possibility of ordination in the future.
For me it was very exciting! To see such fruit all at the same time was a wonderful blessing. Kathy and I have been blessed to devote many years in service in Hungary and across Europe and to see these commitments was amazing! We believe that our fellowship in Győr will continue to grow and that many more will come to Christ in the coming years. Please pray with us for these five women of God!
Of course, with such joy a little sadness is often found. Our dear friend, Lucas Santana is returning to Brazil after nearly two years in Győr as a University student. He gained his Master degree in engineering and will return home to be with his family. Lucas played guitar for our worship team and we will sorely miss his leadership, friendship and gentle spirit!
Dear friends, as you know I have a lot of connections into Ukraine and I am constantly amazed at the wonderful work the Holy Spirit is carrying out in that wonderful country. One person he is using in a tremendously powerful way is my friend and brother in Christ, Valera Pedchenko.
Valera is the director of the alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre in Rivne, Ukraine. The centre is for men who are addicted to alcohol and/or drugs. It is run as a Christian centre and the men who come in are taught the word of God through Bible study and they participate in regular worship also. The men are taught skills such as gardening and construction to help them find employment when they leave the centre after six months of treatment. The men then go to a halfway home for three months where Valera continues to care for them and help them to grow spiritually.
Valera is a former drug addict. He was addicted to drugs for twelve years and then he came to know Christ and has since been clean (also twelve years). He is married to a wonderful woman of God and they have a son. Unfortunately, Valera has health consequences due to his former lifestyle. Suffering from both Hepatitis B and D, he needs medication which he is unable to afford. Would you be willing to help? 600 US dollars a year would pay for his treatment. Please feel free to contact me for further details if you wish to help.
The last twelve days have been spent in America. I enjoyed time in Louisiana. I was the guest missionary speaker at a family camp near Alexandria, Louisiana. I spoke daily to both children and adults about missions across Europe with a particular focus on Belgium, France, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine. I also spoke at The Edge Free Methodist Church this past Sunday.
People were very welcoming and I enjoyed a lot of rather unusual and tasty food. Crawfish, gumbo and boudin to name a few.
Camp itself was a lot of fun. I enjoyed getting to know so many wonderful people. The Holy Spirit was very present and brought about some amazing conversations. I was able to connect with teens and college students regarding human trafficking and I feel many understood the message deeply!
I was blessed to hear Pastor Rose Brewer of SEED speak every evening and Dr. Jeff Johnson (Superintendent of the Gulf Coast conference) speak every morning.
Special thanks to the Paul family and the Williams family for their hospitality and generosity. I look forward to seeing them again soon!
It has been a wonderful few days in both Kiev and Rivne, Ukraine. A team of six from Garstang FMC and myself went to Ukraine to minister with our team there.
We were able to speak twice to a number of people bereaved by the conflict with Russia. This is a great honour but also very emotional. We also spoke to the men at our drug rehabilitation centre. I personally was blessed to be able to dedicate the youngest son (David) of Misha and Lena Petrochenko to the Lord. Pastor John Sainsbury from Garstang gave a wonderful message on Sunday at church and his testimony on Friday resonated with many of the men at the centre.
Currently eight men at in the alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre and another two are in the next step program. The entire program lasts nine months and overall has had great success in helping to men come to Christ and beat their addictions.
Please continue to pray for our leaders, Misha, Lena, Valera and Natasha. They are incredible leaders, committed and gifted and the Lord us using them in a mighty way!
If you want to know more about how you can support the work in Ukraine just drop me a note!
We were blessed to welcome the Anderson family to join us in ministry this past week. Wick, Sarah, Addy, Sophie, Ruby and Phoebe arrived in Hungary on Monday afternoon (along with their cat Toby) and have been busy since they arrived.
We helped them find a home and prepared for their arrival. Then on Wednesday we prepared a fun orientation game for them. One exercise was to buy strawberries (in Hungarian) and get a photo of someone eating one. You can see Phoebe eating her strawberry, although her father had to be fast to take the photo as Phoebe was hungry! 🙂
They attended worship today for the first time with us today. Over 30 people attended and we worshipped the Lord and felt blessed to have them with us.
Please pray for the Anderson family as they continue to settle into life in Hungary. They begin Hungarian language lessons tomorrow with Kathy. Also please pray that they would have good health and that their ministry would be greatly blessed.
We had a wonderful trip to England recently. We greatly enjoyed the Free Methodist Church UK Annual conference which was held in Preston. It was a joy to connect with so many great leaders and we really enjoyed the preaching and testimonies. God is doing a wonderful work and we were glad to hear a little of what is going on in the UK.
I also spoke on Sunday evening at the Garstang Free Methodist Church. Approximately 70 people were present and I spoke on missions in Europe, with a particular emphasis on Hungary and Ukraine. The Lord is really expanding the work before us and we are trusting Him to see many souls saved all across Europe!
Afterwards, we enjoyed two days of rest together. We enjoyed walking, shopping, talking, fish and chips and a break from ministry! Lancanshire and Cumbria are just beautiful!
We enter a new and exciting period of ministry as a new family will join us in Győr. On Monday the Anderson family will fly into Budapest from America and will begin to minister alongside us. We are excited for this new partnership! Please pray for the Anderson family as they adjust to life in Hungary and for us to be good friends/colleagues and to help them as well as we can.
I have a busy travel schedule over the coming months. From May 9th – 15th I will be in the United Kingdom. I will be attending the UK and Ireland Free Methodist Annual conference and on Sunday May 12th I will be speaking at the Garstang Free Methodist Church at 7pm. Why not join us if you are in the area?
May 30th to June 3rd I will be in Kiev and Rivne, Ukraine. I will be continuing to help develop a relationship between the Garstang Free Methodist Church and the ongoing work in Rivne. Several members from Garstang will go on this trip to Rivne and connect with our team serving there. Personally, I will speak at a group for women who have lost their husbands/sons to the ongoing conflict with Russia. Please pray for wisdom and gentleness as I present the Good News to so many grieving women.
From June 7th to 18th I will be in Alexandria, Louisiana. I will speak on two Sundays (June 9th and 16th at church services – I am waiting on the names of the churches). I will also speak five to six times as the missions speaker at the Gulf Coast Family Camp. If you are in the Louisiana area, please feel free to contact me and perhaps we can arrange a meeting!
I will then return to Hungary as we hold our annual vacation Bible school at the orphanage in Győr from July 1st to 5th. We have a team of five people coming from Decatour, Illinois to serve alongside us.
July 14th to 29th I will again be in America. I will be at the Free Methodist General conference in Orlando, Florida from the 14th to the 19th where I am available to meet with people. If you are attending this conference then please write me a message and lets meet for a coffee or a meal together. On July 21st I will speak twice. At 0930 I will speak at Compass Church in Bend, Oregon and in the afternoon at 5pm, I will speak in Lebanon, Oregon at Ignite Hope Church. On the 24th of July I will travel to Missoula, Montana where I will spend a couple of days serving with a local church helping in an impoverished area. After that I will travel to East Wenatchee, Washington State, where I will speak on Sunday July 28th at the Eastmont Community Church.
If you are near any of these churches, I would love to have you visit and hear a little about what God is doing in Hungary, across Europe and in our lives.
You may be asking why travel so much? Well, we recently lost a lot of support. Without adequate support it is very difficult to reach the lost. Travelling and speaking at c hurches is one way of raising support. However, more importantly, we need prayer partners. People who pray for this ministry and for us.
Sylvia, one of our church leaders came up with a wonderful idea!
She had begun making jars of jam (jelly for American readers) for people in need. She knows that many Hungarians have little to offer financially but many do have fruit gardens and could easily donate fruit.
These jars of jam will be used to help feed children in Romania and indeed help needy people here in Hungary!
If you look closely at the jar you will see the logo of the Free Methodist church on the front and a sticker on the lid showing what fruit was used to make the jam. Sylvia wants people to taste the sweetness of Christ in her offering!
Please pray with us that the local church would respond positively and help with this wonderful endeavour. Please pray for Sylvia as she continues to follow God and seeks to live a life full of the Holy Spirit.
We meet yesterday to celebrate the Risen Christ. Hearts were heavy for the people of Sri Lanka after the terrible attacks yesterday. Yet we were also filled with gratefullness and joy for what Christ did for us
In the picture you can see ‘H’, a member of our church, himself a persecuted believer (he fled the Middle East after he came to faith). This was the first time he could safely take a photo of a table laid for celebrating the Lord’s supper!
Please continue to pray for him, that he would find favour with the authorities and be granted permanent residence in Europe. Also, please pray for us as a church that we would know how always to best help those in need.