These past days have been very busy but so much achieved!
In Győr, Hungary we organised an Introduction to Theology course for two ladies from our church, taught by our colleague and friend Rev. Dr. Marcie Potts. One of these ladies is considering ordination. What a privilege to see God raising leaders!
In Budapest, Hungary, our daughter Zsuzsi presented on preventative measures to combat human trafficking at a conference. Zsuzsi is the coordinator of Set Free Hungary, a Christian organization dedicated to fighting modern day slavery.
I spent this weekend in Ukraine. I met with our ministry partners here who serve men who struggle with alcohol and drug addiction. We are currently exploring having a construction team come to serve by working on the rehab centre. Are you interested? Contact me!
I also met with several ladies who are developing their own micro enterprise. I had seen the exquisite handicrafts that one lady makes a year or two ago and suggested she could make this a business. With God’s help, some good advice and elbow grease, this dream is becoming a reality! You can see some examples below in the photos. Please pray as the ladies and I work towards this becoming a Christian business that will bless them, their families, churches and community.
Want to know more? Want to help or support? Send me a message and we can talk!
Would you be willing to partner with us in prayer every Wednesday afternoon? Every Wednesday from 3.45 to 5.45 both my wife and our colleague Sarah Anderson go to the local orphanage. They teach the kids English, do handicrafts and lend a listening ear. We have been granted access to both the permanent and temporary floors which can total up to 26 kids. This is a wonderful opportunity to share the Gospel! It is also an excellent way for Sarah to improve her Hungarian language skills as she interacts with the kids and staff. Kathy teaches Sarah and the rest of the Anderson family Hungarian on a weekly basis and the orphanage is one of many places where they need to speak Hungarian.
This Wednesday was tough emotionally. The children on the temporary floor may have secure family visitation (when a social worker is present) on Wednesdays. This week as one of the kids came back in tears it really
touched Kathy and she felt somewhat emotional and upset. Many of these kids have gone through such terrible experiences. In this case, one sibling was fostered but the one in tears was not and had to remain behind at the orphanage, now separated from all family.
A great blessing this week was that Sylvia, a member of our local church, joined in helping with this ministry! Such a blessing to see people live out their faith!
Please pray with us for strength, courage, love and wisdom as we seek to help the ‘least of these’.
I had the honour of being invited to the dedication of a new home for the protection of at risk young girls this weekend in Bulgaria. Due to reasons of safety I will not give too many details.
The Set Free Movement has partnered with our friends and colleagues Chance and Dee Dee Galloway in opening a home for girls who are at risk of being trafficked. See the following site for more details: https://www.stjohnbg.com/ There us still a little work to be done in the house but soon it will be a home to as mmy as eight teenage girls!
Chance and Dee Dee along with a number of wonderful Bulgarian leaders have done an incredible job of making this dream to help and protect the most vulnerable become a reality.
I also got to visit a wonderful church group. This simple church is built right next to beautiful house which is owned by a pimp. This church is truly light in the darkness!
We had our annual quiz event today. A total of 29 people came along (several who have never been before to our church). We played six rounds of 10 questions per round with certain questions that had bonus points. It was a hard fought contest but a team of University students were the eventual winners. Only a half point separated the second and third place teams.
Please pray with us that those who came today would have their hearts stirred to come worship tomorrow!
As regular readers of my blog will know, I typically travel to Ireland once a year to visit family and meet with supporters. This year I visited in January but will also be returning in November for a number of meetings and speaking engagements.
I will fly into Dublin November 1st and travel to Limerick to visit my parents. On Sunday, November 3rd I will speak in Mallow Street Hall at 11am. Please join for worship if you are in the area! On Monday, November 4th I will drive to Co. Meath for a meeting with a possible future ministry partner at 1pm and in the evening at 8pm I will speak at a missions conference in Co. Monaghan at the Ballyalbany Presbyterian Church. Again feel free to come along to the missions conference and hear a presentation about the ministry we are involved in across central and eastern Europe.
This does mean that I am free to speak Sunday evening, November 3rd. Would your church or small group be interested in hearing about what is happening in Hungary, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and about our newest potential work in Moldova? If so, please contact me! I would be delighted to have the opportunity to share with you!
I was blessed to travel to Arad, Romania on Friday. Myself and fellow missionary, Wick Anderson travelled together to deliver over 100 jars of jam and a financial donation.
One of our local church leaders in Győr was touched by the need to provide food for the very needy that Philip More and Vis de Copil serve on a daily basis. So the way she responded was in making home made jam (including picking the fresh fruit). Many people responded to her call to help and 104 jars of jam were made. Along with the jam, an anonymous donor gave a very generous gift to help the centre continue meet the needs of those in poverty and the homeless of Arad.
Philip, Wick and I enjoyed good conversation and food as we our time together and dreamed a little about possible future plans. Please pray that Philip and Vis de Copil would continue to be blessed and be a blessing. I am very grateful to the Gyor local church for being so missional and reaching those in need! How blessed I am to be a part of such a great family of believers!!!
I am on my way home now after 16 days in America. This was my second trip to America this Summer as I had been in Louisiana in June as a speaker at a family camp.
This trip I was blessed to be at a conference in Orlando, speak at two churches in Oregon (Bend and Lebanon), help at a missions trip in an Indian reservation in Montana, drive through Idaho and speak in East Wenatchee, Washington State at a church whose pastors are former missionaries to Hungary.
I made several new friends, connected with a lot of old friends, spoke about what the Lord is doing in Central and Eastern Europe, particularly our ministry in Hungary, Romania and Ukraine and share a little of my vision for future ministry in Moldova and Russia.
With a total of 4 countries, 6 US states, 8 flights, 8 time changes, 9 time zones, mikes of hiking in beautiful Oregon and countless meaningful conversations, I am tired but encouraged.
I have included a sample of photos, where I ministered, where I went hiking, Olive a dog I fell in love with and an amazing 363 kgs (800lbs) rack pull I did!!!
I get to take Wednesday off (I arrive home Tuesday afternoon). Then Friday I go to visit Vis de copil our ministry partners in Arad, Romania. Please be in prayer for me to have good energy levels and good health. Also, please be in prayer as we endeavour to raise support (both prayer and financial) to help keep these ministries going).
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.