I had a wonderful weekend in Garstang, Lancanshire in England. I went to visit the Garstang Free Methodist church and talk a little about the wonderful ministry currently going on in Rivne, Ukraine. Garstang sent a team in June of 2017 and together we worked with soldiers and their families. You may remember that these soldiers were/are suffering from PTSD and the Garstang team specifically worked with their children in a type of vacation Bible school format.
Former missionary to Ukraine, Pete Blundell, has done an incredible job of informing the Garstang church of this important ministry and is the driving force behind this wonderful connection between Garstang, UK and Rivne, Ukraine. I did speak about the camp this past summer and I also spent a lot if time speaking about our drug rehabilitation centre in Rivne. I look forward to this partnership growing and many coming to know Christ as their Saviour through this exciting work.
Personally I enjoyed fish and chips, scones, long conversations with friends old and new and some rather beautiful landscape! I hope I get to return again in the not too distant future.
I am excited to tell you about an event that is in the planning for 2018. The Northern Europe Prayer Journey will be an opportunity for any interested parties to find out more about the work of the Free Methodist Church in the countries of Belgium, France and Hungary, with visits to each of the aforementioned countries. There is also a possibility of visiting the UK and finding out more about the roots of Methodism. With visits to Brussels, Budapest, London and Paris (along with visits to Bruges, Oostende and Gyor) this will be an incredibly exciting and immersive experience.
If you are interested in what the Lord is doing in Europe then this journey may be for you! Click on the link below for further details.
This week I am blessed to be involved in a week of study. John Fraser (a Free Methodist ordained minister) is teaching a course ‘Introduction to Wesleyan Theology’. Six students are taking this class towards ordination, while several others (myself included) are auditing the course.Several countries are represented, Canada, England, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Romania, Spain, UK and USA. The Free Methodist church in Budapest are very kindly hosting is this week. Please be in prayer for John as he teaches and all those who are learning.
I was privileged last week to enjoy co-teaching a course on Free Methodist history and polity with my colleague and friend Larry Winckles. With people representing Greece, Hungary, Romania and Spain it was a wonderful, multicultural week.
The youngest participant was 19 and the oldest was 73! Yet all contributed in a meaningful way and many friendships were built that will last into eternity. Many of those involved are ministerial candidates and are considering ordination in the future.
With Church history, policies and procedures, theological distinctives and ethical case studies, the week was jam packed! We did however find time to enjoy walks in Budapest, good food and an evening of board games! Please pray for these men and women as they minister in their communities!
Over the past two days we have been blessed to host Eric and Kari Perry from Michigan, USA. Eric is a Free Methodist Pastor and he and Kari are currently in Hungary sharing their personal stories.
Their story is one of both terrible loss and wonderful joy. They spoke honestly and openly. In Gyõr the spoke at two of our groups (adult Bible study and University Bible study). Tears flowed and our translators struggled to translate as they cried. Yet we also laughed and found our hope in Christ renewed!
On Saturday (October 15th) they will speak in Budapest at 5pm and you are welcome to visit. The address is as follows: 1113 Budapest, Villányi út 44.
The following video is a report from the team that recently joined us in ministry at the orphanage in Győr where we serve on a weekly basis. The team were with us in Hungary for nine days and served at the orphanage for five days. I hope you find the video interesting and informative!
This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting two churches in Belgium. The photos above are from a Free Methodist Church that meets in Brussels. The congregation which is led by Pastor Simeon is made up of Africans who now call Brussels home.
I was able to meet with church leaders, preach and plan for the future with them. Please pray for this group of believers as they reach out to their local community. They have a very dynamic youth group that meets after worship on Sunday mornings!
On Saturday I traveled to Oostende where I spent time with a Free Methodist group which is made of Africans, Belgians and Latinos. Please pray for Pastors Jackie and Lawrence as they give leadership to this group.
Today Zsuzsi and I served in Budapest. I preached on David, using 2 Samuel 9 and 11 and Zsuzsi was my translator.
I have been serving every second week in Budapest by teaching English at a family help centre and I had invited the whole class to come hear me preach. I was delighted when several of the group turned up! Please pray that the Holy Spirit would work in their hearts.
For Zsuzsi it was her third time translating this week as she also translated for an American Lutheran pastor Monday (in front of 400 people) and at Friday night youth group. Please pray for her as she prepares for exams in n May and University studies from September.
I have had the pleasure of being in Sofia, Bulgaria this week at the European Free Methodist conference. With America, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Congo, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, UK, Ukraine and Zimbabwe represented we had a truly international group!
The conference has been filled with excellent teaching on church planting, intentional discipleship and a superb panel based discussion on three distinct subjects: alcohol, homosexuality and the refugee crisis in Europe.
For me the highlight of the conference was tonight as we ordained three new elders! Please pray for Angel and Carmelo who will continue to serve in Spain and Péter in Hungary as they assume the responsibilities of ordained ministers.
Tonight we also accepted my friend Abwe Mulonda as a conference candidate. Please pray for him and his church in Monaghan, Ireland. He is pictured below on my left with Lawrence from Belgium on my right.
Yesterday Katica and I drove from Limerick to Monaghan (about a four hour drive) to visit a group of Congolese-Irish believers. These people fled their home country o Ireland and have become naturalised Irish citizens. Some travelled from Cavan and even as far away as Dublin to be here.
All Free Methodists, they desire to serve God and be a blessing in their communities. About 60 people were in attendance last night to hear Gerry preach and they tell me they often have as many as 75 people at worship!. With translation into Swahili and amazing worship it was an unforgettable experience!
Please pray for them as they need to find a permanent place to worship. They also need Bibles and musical instruments. Would you like to help them? If so please contact me for further details.