Yesterday was my first day working with the Budapest Free Methodist Church. As the ministry in Budapest has recently undergone some staff changes I offered to travel up once a week to help them with any ministry needs they have. As it is a vibrant, growing church there is plenty to do! Hopefully my Tuesdays here will contain time to meet with individuals for mentoring and pastoral care and time to help with the existing Bible study group. God willing I will also be able to lead a new Bible study group that the church would like to begin.
This is not a small undertaking on my behalf. Yesterday saw me leave home at 0700 and I returned home at about 2130. I travelled by car, train, bus and foot so please pray for safety as I travel to and from Budapest on a weekly basis. I of course want to build meaningful connections with people here (many who I know due to preaching here on a regular basis) and I am grateful for your prayers as I connect with more people and try to share the love of Christ with them.
Today I had the privilege of enjoying Bible study with a group of men and putting a bed together for the assistant pastor and his wife who have just had their first child.
This type of ministry is wonderful as I get to interact on a personal level with a lot of individuals. However it is also expensive to travel to Budapest. Would you our your church, cell group or Bible study group consider supporting me as I endeavour to carry out Kingdom work in Hungary? If so then feel free to contact me for details!
This good-looking group of people are part of the Győr home fellowship group. We meet each Sunday morning at 1030 to worship the Lord, study the Bible, pray and fellowship together. As an international group (American, English, Finnish, German, Hungarian and Irish) we worship and study the Word in both English and Hungarian. Kathy often translates for the Bible study leader (today that was Gerry) and we have just started the Acts of the Apostles.
We always meet in a different member’s home and therefore (just like with the midweek Bible study group) we have no overheads whatsoever. We desire to reach out into our different communities and regularly invite people to join us. We differ significantly in our theological viewpoints and cultural backgrounds but we all share a common goal to know the Lord better and to see the Gospel spread. Please pray with us that we would see significant physical and spiritual growth. Today we were 25 people and our numbers usually go from 6 or 7 people to as many as over 30 if everyone turns up.
Acts 1:8 But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
A semon I preached on Matthew 6: 25-34 with Kathy as my translator at the Budapest Free Methodist on August 18th 2013. We hope you enjoy it!
Modern life is so busy. We all have many commitments that we rarely take time for drawing close to God and one another. Yet we are commanded in Exodus to keep holy the Sabbath. Why?
Physically our bodies need rest. Our finite bodies can only go for a very limited time without food and rest. However that is only a small part of the reason we need to keep holy the Sabbath. It is intended for us to spend time with The Lord and loved ones so as to deepen our relationships and renew us in mind, body and soul.
Get up early and enjoy a sunrise breakfast with The Lord and your loved ones. Katica and I did so recently and it is a memory I will treasure for years to come.
This heat wave is proving extremely difficult for many people to deal with. As temperatures soar to over 100 farenheit tomorrow (about 40 celsius) those who can are escaping to anywhere that will bring some measure of relief from the heat. The photo was taken today in the main square of Győr as this young lady tries to cool off with the sprinklers. Air-conditioning is not common in homes nor is it common in many workplaces so we all get the full ‘experience’ of this current weather.
Sometimes our Christian life goes through a ‘heat wave’ of problems, No matter where we go or what we do, we just can’t escape our problems. Nothing seems to bring permanent relief from the heat. We can turn on a ventilator for a while or take a cold shower but the heat is still there – ready to pounce as soon as the ventilator is turned off or the water tap is closed.
We have certainly experienced a heat wave of problems the past months. A loved one returning home to the Lord, serious health problems for one of our kids, difficulties at work and so on. Yet we kept our gaze turned towards the Lord – He has provided us with relief, He has lifted the burdens we feel. Does it mean we have no troubles in life? No! It does mean however, that the Lord God, creator of the heavens and the Earth stands with us through the heat wave. If He could save Daniel and his companions from the fiery furnace than surely he will save us from whatever difficulties lie before us!
Dan 3:23 Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, still tied up, fell into the heart of the blazing fire.
Dan 3:24 Suddenly Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement. He asked his officials, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the blazing furnace?” They answered, “Yes, we did, Your Majesty.”
Dan 3:25 “Then why do I see four men walking around in the fire?” he asked. “They are not tied up, and they show no sign of being hurt—and the fourth one looks like an angel.”
Preaching is something that I really enjoy (whether those listening enjoy it is not so sure…). It is always an honour to stand and present God’s word to His people. However, most preachers typically stand out by themselves whereas I often have someone stand with me as a translator. I can preach in Hungarian and have done so several times but in some places the group is international and therefore a translator is required so as to make sure everyone understands the message.
I found that the greatest part of working with a translator is when I get to work with my lovely wife. It is fun to work in partnership together – God using our different talents to complement one another and to bless His people. God’s word is very specific about our need to work in partnership with one another:
Ecc 4:12 Two people can resist an attack that would defeat one person alone. A rope made of three cords is hard to break.
As a couple we are not just two people who can resist attack and support one another but rather we are three with God at our center holding us together. Our partnership is one of love, not just between us two but between our family and God, the head of our household. How are your partnerships going? Do you have God in the center?
It isn’t always easy to get to church on a Sunday. Sickness and weather conditions are just two of the reasons why we miss that important time of hearing from God and enjoying fellowship with others. However so many excellent speakers have sermons on the internet now that we really don’t have an excuse for at least not listening to one message a week. Here you can find a number of sermons I preached in Budapest which I hope you may find edifying. All the sermons are in both English and Hungarian. The church where I preached these sermons is a mixed language group (although the service is nearly entirely in Hungarian) therefore that is why I work with a translator in these sermons.
Powerlifting is certainly my favourite activity at the moment. I really enjoy challenging my body to lift more and more. I particularly enjoy the dead lift (this is where you lift the bar from the ground to your waist in one fluid motion and then put it back down again). This exercise places a huge strain on the lower back, core muscles and the shoulders therefore at heavier weights I need to wear a large thick leather belt around my waist to prevent serious injury. Recently I achieved my best lift ever at 290 kilo (638 lbs or 45 and a half stone in old money for my Irish readers). It sounds like a lot (because it is) but the world record is currently (for my age and weight group) 305 kilo – so I have a way to go yet!
Interestingly although I can physically lift a lot of weight I cannot bear the burden of my sins. My sins are more than I could ever hope to lift. Indeed if I even begin to contemplate the sinfulness in my life, the burden of it pulls me down into despair. Are you burdened by sin? Is despair seeking to drag you down? Remember this beautiful verse:
1Pe 2:24 Christ carried the burden of our sins. He was nailed to the cross, so that we would stop sinning and start living right. By his cuts and bruises you are healed.
Not one of us can carry his own sin burden, it is simply beyond our human capabilities – Christ our Saviour is the only one strong enough to lift that burden!
Gerry and Kathy preaching.
If you happen to be in Budapest in the near future then check out this great church.
You will be sure of a warm welcome, lively worship and a good sermon. We speak there about once a month or so – hope to see you there soon!