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.
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.
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.
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).
These have been incredibly busy days of late. Like so many, we have been affected by the war in neighbouring Ukraine. We have embraced the opportunity to serve the church, to serve refugees and those still in Ukraine. So perhaps a small view of our ministry day may help you to pray, not only for us, but for so many others in ministry in the countries bordering Ukraine.
Although we are responding to the war and refugee crisis and trying to help as we can, regular ministry continues. Today we left home at 0830 to drive 30 minutes or so to help a wonderful couple in crisis (please pray for them). We sat and talked and prayed together until nearly 11 and then drove the 30 minutes home. Whilst Kathy went shopping and then cooked lunch, I caught up with a Ukrainian family our Győr church is hosting and we spoke for half an hour, making plans for the future. Pastor Sylvia and our mission partner Sarah (who serves with MCN) along with the Győr church are really loving and caring for this family!
After lunch it was time for administration, emails, and a couple of phone calls. Again, it was helping a family who fled the war (residents of but not citizens of Ukraine), this family needing assistance with a medical issue. Then it was soon time to take the nearly 3 hour train to Budapest from Pécs. I had hoped to use this time for my rest but lots of emails, messages and a couple of phone calls meant that time went quickly. Arriving by about 6.30 to Budapest, I had a meal with some team members and a couple of new missionaries. Tomorrow morning, along with a colleague, we will begin a two day orientation for new missionaries. Please pray for us to teach well and for our new colleagues to be blessed as they learn.
By 8pm I went and met with a family who fled Russia. We had helped them along the way by finding them a safe place with good friends for a couple of nights in Finland and then had them come to Budapest where the church here cared for them. It was my first time meeting their two kids and they are super cute! I got back to where I will sleep tonight by 10pm and am looking forward to a well earned sleep!
Please pray for all missionaries and aid workers who are serving in the countries of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova as we continue to minister and respond to the crisis. It is an honour to be called to help!
By the way, yes, we take time to rest. I go to the gym several times a week and we try to take an hour each day to just sit and chat, drink coffee or watch some Netflix show along with walking our dog as well.
Broken-hearted. That is how I feel. My friends have had to leave their homes in the city to go to nearby villages to find a small measure of safety and security. Air raid sirens, mixed in with the sounds of artillery fire, fighter jets flying overhead, the distinct sound of helicopter blades, small arms fire and children crying are the new normal for families all across Ukraine.
I live in Hungary, we border Ukraine and I travel there regularly to serve in my role as a Christian minister with the Free Methodist Church. I love the country, the people, rhe culture, the cuisine. Kiev, Rivne, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk are all beautiful cities I have had the pleasure of travelling to on numerous occasions. Now those cities are facing destruction at the hands of Russian military forces.
Russian forces invaded in 2014, and took control of several areas of Ukraine at that time. Since then the fighting has gone on and about 14000 lives have been lost. In my role as a Mental Health professional in PTSD, I have travelled to Ukraine to work with soldiers who have endured so much because of the horrors of war. Yet, not only do soldiers suffer, but their loved ones who struggle to comprehend the changes that PTSD brings about. Anger, anxiety, depression, hallucinations, panic attacks, irrational fear and so much more are commonplace with PTSD.
Our church leaders in Ukraine have been caring for these soldiers and their families. They also care for alcohol and drug addicts and the elderly. They have been and continue to be the hands and feet of Christ, bringing love and care to the unloved and disenfranchised of Ukraine.
Now as the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces has fully begun, as the bombs rain down, these men and women continue to serve. They are the Church. They respond by caring, they responding by putting others first, they respond by providing help wherever they can. They respond in love. So should we. Get on your knees and send a ‘knee mail’, ask God to protect and bring peace. Pray for those mourning tonight. Pray for those soldiers who must do the unthinkable. Pray for the defenceless.
You can also help practically. Give financially to churches and trustworthy relief agencies. Welcome refugees with love and help them settle into a new home (Jesus was a refugee also!). Give your time and expertise and come to Ukraine when the war is finished. Help on a medical team or with reconstruction or in any one of a number of ways.
Respond in prayer. Respond in love. Respond. Don’t be silent. Your response is incredibly important.
Update: These are the times I will be speaking. Come if you want to know more about the situation in Ukraine, our response and how you can help!!!
Pearce Free Methodist Church (North Chili) on Saturday March 5th at 5pm This will be about 6 minutes. I will not be able to stay to talk as I have an appointment immediately afterwards.
Edgewood Church (Rochester, New York) on Sunday March 6th at 8.30 and 10am.
Community of the Savior (Rochester, New York) on Sunday March 6th at 1130am (I believe).
Pearce Free Methodist Church (North Chili) on Tuesday March 8th at 7pm through to 8.30pm.
CvFree Church (Norwich) on Wednesday March 9th at 5pm. Meet me for dinner and presentation afterwards.
Northgate Church (Batavia) on Thursday March 10th at 6pm.
Valley Chapel (Warsaw) on Sunday March 13th. I will speak twice. 10am to the church and in the afternoon with the youth.
I could fit in one more church and I am available for personal meetings but only a very limited amount!!! I will still be coordinating efforts to help refugees coming from Ukraine and sending aid to those still there.
March 4th through 15th I will be visiting churches in America telling them about all the exciting ministry happening across the four countries where we serve (Hungary, Romania, Russia and Ukraine).
I will be speaking in New York State and if you are nearby I would love to connect with you! In total I am currently scheduled to speak in six churches. Find me at both Community of the Savior and Edgewood (in Rochester) on the weekend of March 5th and 6th. Pearce Free Methodist Church (North Chili) on Tuesday the 8th. CvFree (Norwich) on the 9th. Northgate Church (Batavia) on the 10th. Valley Chapel (Warsaw) on the weekend of the 12th and 13th.
Feel free to send me a message if you would like more details about times and places. I would be delighted to chat with you personally about ministry here in Central and Eastern Europe. I would be happy to buy you coffee and sit and talk!
This is a video from our ministry work in Rivne, Ukraine. Valera is a key leader for us. He is a man of God, who loves to serve. I want to encourage you to take a step out in faith and support this ministry through partnering with us both prayerfully and financially. In America please go here to donate: https://give.fmcusa.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=815 In Europe or elsewhere, please feel free to contact me for details on how to give.
Today, Kathy and I travelled the 90 minutes from Veszprém to Győr to worship with our church there. Pastor Sylvia preached a wonderful message from Luke 1 with Kathy serving as translator. The Liszt Ferenc choir blessed us with songs in English, Hungarian and Latin. About 70 people came to worship. We had a lot of guests and it was great to meet new people!
The Lutheran church kindly allowed us to use their beautiful church for free which meant that we could easily keep a safe distance from one another (the church can hold somewhere around 500 people). During these uncertain times of Covid-19, we were pleased to worship the Lord with our Győr church family.
After a busy weekend of ministry in Győr, Pécs and Veszprém we will travel the four and a half hours home to Pécs tomorrow. We still have ministry on Tuesday but hope to take a few days to rest over Christmas.
This morning we travelled the three and a half hours by bus from Pécs to Veszprém. We were blessed to hold a pizza get together and Christmas worship service for our international students group. A total of ten of us gathered and we shared a few hours of fellowship and fun. We sang traditional songs such as Come all ye Faithful and Silent Night. The message came from Luke chapters 1 and 2.
All these students will be far from home this Christmas. We felt blessed to be able to show them a little love and hospitality. Do you know someone alone this Christmas? How could you show them the love of Christ?
Having moved to Pécs in July, we knew it would take time to see ministry build here. However, the Lord is good and he allowed us to gain entry to a temporary state home for children (for kids needing immediate social care). Today was our first visit and we got to bring gifts and have conversation about how ministry could look in the future.
The leader of this state home is also a believer and gave us great contacts and ideas how we can help. We genuinely see great potential for further ministry in Pécs and across the entire county!
We brought along gifts for families in need and for a lovely young teen who was very pleased to receive a small care package. Thank you all for your support, without you we would not be able to serve!
Tomorrow we travel to Veszprém to serve our group of international students by having a worship service and pizza get together and on Sunday we will be in Győr to help serve and translate as the church meets their for Christmas worship. God is good!