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.
Recently I had the great privilege of preaching at the Northgate Free Methodist Church, Batavia, New York State.
Pastor Vern Saile and his team very kindly hosted me and I enjoyed speaking a total of five times on both a Saturday evening and on Sunday morning also. I spoke from Ruth chapter three and my focus was on going, protecting and giving. Please feel free to watch the video. If you are looking for a sermon series to watch at home I strongly recommend you look around at the various sermon series that the Northgate church have on their site. Pastor Vern is an excellent preacher who communicates the love of God beautifully.
The highlight of the weekend for me was on Saturday evening when two people were baptized. One was a lady in her mid-fifties who has an inoperable brain tumor. She had to climb into the baptismal font with the help of others, her public demonstration of her faith in Christ took great effort physically on her behalf. I and many others were very deeply moved. Please remember Rosemary in your prayers
I would like to announce that I have published a book. ‘Light in the Darkness: Christianity in Saudi Arabia’ is my first attempt at writing. It is a record of my year of ministry whilst there. Obviously I don’t give any real names of people, but I hope it will give Christians a much better understanding of what the persecuted church is undergoing in the Middle East. I’m very grateful to those of you who partnered with us in prayer during my time there. Twenty percent of any profits will be given to the persecuted church.
As of yet there is no print copy available but I hope that in the near future physical copies will be available for sale. I’ll update you when this happens.
If you would like to purchase a copy, you can do do on any of the Amazon websites. The book is available for Kindle, Android and PC. I’d be happy to hear your comments!
Update December 1st 2015: The work in the Middle East goes from strength to strength. The Lord is blessing this work and now a total of seven groups are in operation (with over 200 people in fellowship). Please be in prayer for these faithful followers of Christ as they continue to reach out to the lost and needy. Please pray particularly for those leading the groups. Pray that those who wish them harm would be thwarted in their attempts and that the Gospel would continue to spread. Thank you!
As many of you know I have not been in Hungary very much this past year. I had the opportunity to go and serve the Lord in an Islamic country in the Middle East that is entirely closed (officially at least) to the Gospel message. It was a real challenge to spend so much time away from my family and I missed them dearly, yet the Lord blessed us greatly in so many ways.
I still need to be cautious about what I write in relation to the ministry in that country as I am worried for the believers who are there. Christians being arrested and thrown into jail for meeting together is commonplace. So I will not name the country here nor will I give details of names or times and dates.
I left Hungary over one year ago. I worked in a secular position and this allowed me to be involved in several Christian groups. The different groups met on a regular basis for worship, Bible study, fellowship and the breaking of bread. The incredible presence of the Holy Spirit as we worshiped was just amazing! Being a pastor was my main calling and I worked alongside some truly great men and women of God. I preached, counseled the lonely and depressed, reached out to the lost, encouraged the brothers and sisters and smuggled in Bibles and Christian literature. I had some tough discussions and presented the Gospel message to people who only know Christ from the Qur’an. At times I was concerned as I knew I could be imprisoned for smuggling in Bibles (in Arabic) or for witnessing. Yet Christ gave me many opportunities to reach Muslims (often several times a day) and I presented the Gospel message in a clear and easy to understand manner.
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
I apologize for not writing more at this time but my mind is overwhelmed. I returned to Hungary late last night and am praying for the Lord to continue to lead us and show us the way into the future. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated and if you would like more details or have any questions then please feel free to contact me. I will write again on this topic so keep an eye on our blog for more information.
Several months ago, as part of our continued outreach to the people of Táp we introduced an American church to the need in this village. Through the generosity of this church in the U.S. and the hard work of our friends Roy and Lainey Hitchman and Kathy, the village of Táp was given financial support to begin self sustainable farming. The church provided the funds and the people of Táp the labour to plant and harvest vegetables.
The vegetables have all been picked and given to those in need. A total of about four hundred kilos of corn, cabbage, cauliflower and paprika were harvested. Potatoes were also planted and about 4000 kilos were harvested! What an amazing blessing! Used well, a small gift can impact so many people. This Autumn many families (about 15ö families in total) are being blessed and fed through the generosity of Christians they never met. Please pray that this act of love will bring many to know Christ as their Saviour. As important as it is to feed and clothe the poor, we recognize that telling them about the love of Christ is the most important thing we as believers can do.
-There are about 3O thousand homeless people in Hungary.
-The number of homeless people in Győr is between 25O-3OO.
-The government has brought in new regulations that makes it more diffucult to give food etc. to the needy on the streets(a number of permissions needed). If someone sleeps on a bench they will be fined.
Recently Zsuzsi has been giving sandwiches to a homeless man in Győr.The man has also accepted a bag of clothes, food for his dog and a Bible! Please pray for this man that he would start reading God’s word and come to faith in Christ.
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
( 1Timothy 6,18)
If you are interested in supporting this work feel free to contact us. Your donation will be put to good use.
This evening we celebrated two baptisms. Our daughter Zsuzsi, and Alan, the son of our good friends, Timo and Yoli Nakari, both made a public commitment to Christ. It was particularly meaningful to me as I got to baptize them both!
A group of about fifty to sixty people were present and for some it may have been the first time they heard the Gospel. This was a coming together of various fellowship groups and Christians from many denominations, all united in their mutual love of Christ. Larry and Melinda Ewing, main leaders of the Friday night youth group organized the evening wonderfully!
Please pray for both Alan and Zsuzsi as they walk with the Lord and strive to know Him in a deeper way. Also please pray for the people who heard the good news tonight so that they would make a decision to follow Christ.
Service comes in many forms. For me over the coming weeks it will include helping two Christian leaders improve their English language skills.
Péter and Ildikó are amazing people who love the Lord and desire to serve Him. Both have undergone significant biblical and practical studies and are currently serving in Budapest.
As I am in Budapest for a month to study I wanted to find a way to help our church here. Helping these two leaders improve their English means they can witness for the Lord to English speakers and be more effective in raising support for their work from English speaking countries. Please pray for Péter and Ildikó as they improve their English and serve Christ.
What a busy day! With the arrival of the amazing Operation Orphan team last night to Táp, we were able to begin preparations in earnest today for distribution tomorrow.
This morning Kathy took the team to visit both the kindergarten and the school (both of which are in the village). After lunch she then took them on a short tour of the excellent traditional peasant home ‘skanzen’ located in the heart of the village.
At 4pm we began (about 20 people in total) packing bags and boxes of clothes onto a trailer and we did this five times so as to move all the clothes to the school for distribution tomorrow.
After everything was moved we started unpacking and organizing all the clothes.
All was finished by 7.15pm and is ready for tomorrow. Sadly when I checked a little later I found that a number of items of clothes had been stolen. So tomorrow I will run security in the morning to prevent this happening again.
Distribution starts at 9am and we plan to finish at 4pm. At 6pm we then start a service which is open for all those who wish to come but especially for those blessed with these clothes. Please pray for the Operation Orphan team as they serve and also lead worship. Also please pray as I speak in Hungarian and preach the Good News of Salvation in Christ.
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.”