A gentleman who recently began attending our church in Győr is a refugee from the Middle East. ‘H’ was born into a Muslim family but as an adult he gave his life to Christ. Forced to flee his country he is now in Hungary and attends worship at our church. He speaks little English and even less Hungarian but we were able to communicate a little. Every week I pick him up from the refugee detention center before worship starts and he helps me set up the church. After service he kindly cleans up our worship area. I have nothing I can offer him except a little food. I wish I could speak Farsi and communicate clearly with him but I am grateful for Google translate!

Having left his home for fear of death (because of giving his life to Christ), he fled to Europe. He is now ‘in’ the Hungarian system awaiting a decision on whether or not he will be allowed to stay in Europe. If he is refused, he will be sent home and that means execution for his faith. He misses his mother and she was accepting of his decision to follow Christ, Sadly other family members were not so loving…

This morning I wrote a letter on his behalf which will be given to the authorities. I ask that you pray that my letter will be looked upon favourably and more importantly, that ‘H’ will be allowed to stay in Europe.

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Please not that this newsletter has been sent to a number of churches that support us. The newsletter itself has been slightly modified for the internet.

Dear Friends,
A big Hello! from Győr, Hungary. After an unusually warm Autumn, the weather has recently turned very cold and we expect to see snow soon. We have really enjoyed this wonderful weather and are already looking forward to Spring 2019.

We are so pleased to report that ministry in Győr has grown incredibly well this last year and we are seeing so much fruit! Our many years of faithfulness and hardwork are being blessed by the Lord! Our local church has grown, as have all the related ministry programs. We have more and more people coming to worship regularly and they are also bringing friends and family with them. MOPS (mothers of pre-schoolers) is growing significantly, with up to ten young mums present on each occassion. The ladies coffee morning has had as many as twelve women present when they meet and is helping to bring women closer to God and to have a place where they can discuss significant issues in their lives. We now have two Bible study groups, one in English and one in Hungarian and are grateful that God is raising up local leaders who are taking responsibility to lead. Our high school program has as many as twenty five teenagers coming together! We also continue our ministry in the orphanage and had a great VBS there in July. We also continue to offer counselling for those experiencing marriage difficulties and for others who are struggling with problems, such as mental health issues. I am pleased to report that one couple I counselled with this year have experienced the healing power of Christ and are living in marriage together rather than in divorce! God is good! Please pray for wisdom and strenght as we meet and counsel people who are stuggling in life.

I was blessed to travel this year. Although I didn’t make it to Ireland (which I am sad about), I did make it to England. I was pleased to play a part in encouraging a partnership between Garstang Free Methodist Church and our work in Ukraine. The church in Garstang is helping to financially and prayerfully support this ministry in Rivne, Ukraine, which involves alcohol and drug rehabilitation. Contact me if you would like to know more!

I also traveled to Romania with a mission team from the Győr church we lead. Five of us worked with the homeless and the poorest of the poor. We peeled vegetables, played games with kids, did handcrafts and offered medical care. Our church raised money and we were able to stock the shelves and freezer of the ministry centre for a whole month. We also saw the need for a new washing machine (the old one was falling apart) and our local church (along with a sister church in Spain), have raised the funds to buy a new washing machine. Other travels included preaching and teaching in Belgium, studying church planting in Greece and education and leadership meetings in Spain.

We also continue to be very involved in figthing human-traffiking. We were involved in rescusing a young woman we know from a dangerous situation in Greece back in April. It was complex, with numerous people involved, including the Greek police, the Hungarian embassy in Greece and others. After a short stay in hospital in Greece she was returned to Hungary, where both Kathy and I visited her and her infant child. We prayed with her, gave her advice and promised to help her as we could. She promptly went back into a former dangerous and unhealthy relationship. Much of ministry is discouraging and frustrating. Pray with us for this young woman ‘L’.

Support is becoming an issue for us. Unfortunately I just received an e-mail from a wonderful pastor who is leading a church that has been one of our main supporting contributors. The church has run into a difficult financial situation and therefore has decided to stop supporting us. We absolutely understand that finances are often a difficult area for many churches, however, without your support this work will struggle to carry on. Don’t misunderstand, we are in no immediate danger of stopping this ministry, but if we lost another large supporter it would have a significant impact on our ability to serve. Would you or your church be willing to commit to us? Perhaps you know of someone seeking a way of supporting God’s work? If so, let them know about our ministry.

Our three daughters are all well. All three are in University now. Csilla is studying social education and is due to receieve her degree in May of 2019. Zsuzsi is also studying social education and separately she is studying theology for a second degree. Katica started studying physiotherapy in September. Both Csilla and Zsuzsi live at home but Katica has moved to Pécs in the south of Hungary (about a four hour drive) and we miss seeing her every day! Zsuzsi is engaged and her wedding is scheduled for April 13th of 2019. She is engaged to Zsolt Mecséri, a wonderful young man who came to Christ through our ministry in Győr. Zsolt recently finished his University degree and is an engineer.

We are grateful that you are our partners in this ministry and without your prayer and financial support, none of this would be possible. Please feel free to write to us, ask us more questions and send us encouraging notes We enjoy hearing from you!

Enjoy some photos from ministry this past year$

The following is purposely vague to protect people and organizations.

I was contacted by a young lady whose sister is currently living outside Hungary with her partner and infant child. The man had violently physically assaulted this young lady and she needed rescuing from him.

Using contacts we could partner with colleagues and organizations to help rescue Miss ‘X’ and her child. Both are currently receiving help and care. Please pray for them and for those involved in getting them to safety!

index.jpgI 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.

https://reformationtours.com/package/rlw18-europe-prayer-journey/

 

This weekend I have had the privilege of being in Thessaloniki, Greece to connect with Church leaders and to teach. The Anagenesis Thessaloniki Church is a wonderful group of believers from many nations with a vision to reach the people of Greece and a desire to reach and serve the many refugees currently in  the country.

Mike and Maria Long along with several others give leadership to this group of believers. They are truly compassionate in their desire to reach the lost. Please be in prayer for Thessaloniki!

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Group discussion in Oostende

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Basket full of love

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Pastor Jackie and his wife Ching

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Pastor Lawrence and his translator Denisse

Myself and Katica had a great long weekend in Belgium. I taught at the Free Methodist churches in both Oostende and Diksmunde. Teaching on the subject of healthy churches was very well received!!! All the sessions were well attended and we had some dynamic discussion!

I love their idea of a basket full of love. Here church members can put food products etc into the basket and those in need can take
out whatever they want.

These folks were so welcoming and friendly! With excellent fellowship and meals after each session, Katica and I were blessed to have spent the weekend with them! Please continue in prayer for Pastors Jackie and Lawrence and the members of their congregations.

The past few days I have been in Kiev, making contacts with individuals, churches and mission organisations. Overall it has been very successful and eye-opening. Originally I was going to meet with ministry workers in Rivne but due to their current health problems they asked me to come another time. Therefore I used the time to develop new relationships in Kiev.

Kiev is a city rich in history, much of it very recent history.

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I don’t wish to comment on politics but I do ask that you pray for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. They have suffered terribly and they need Christ.

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Ukraine is a country rich in religious tradition but statistics put the number of true believers at less than 2% of the population.

I did met several wonderful believers though!

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Vitaly is the director of the Ukrainian Education Centre. This library/Christian resource centre is used for Bible studies, English classes, discipleship etc. Please pray for Vitaly as he leads this ministry!

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Vika (Viktoria) is a young believer. She is currently studying in seminary and has a passion to work with children. Please pray for her as she seeks God’s leading in her life and as she faces some tough challenges.

I made several other good connections and am grateful to all those who took time out of their busy schedule to meet with me!

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I, (Gerry) am currently in Kiev on a trip exploring possibilities of developing partnerships here to see Kingdom expansion.

Originally I was going to Rivne to visit Free Methodists there, encourage and teach them. Sadly they family are unwell and therefore I am using my time in Kiev to visit churches, pastors and look at what Christian materials they have available (in Russian and Ukrainian) for our leaders.

So far I have four meetings set up and appreciate your prayers that these would go well and be a blessing to all involved.

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We are thankful to the Lord for the wonderful strides we are making in the orphanage. More and more kids are joining us for games, English lessons and sports every week! As they join us we begin to talk about their hopes and fears, dreams for the future and develop relationships that we pray will last into eternity!!!

Until recently we had really only connected well with the younger kids but now the Lord has opened up the hearts of the older teenagers and we are seeing them join us more and more in activities.

Very soon, both ‘L’ and ‘K’ turn 18. Please pray that we can continue to strengthen our relationship with them both as they have to leave the orphanage because of turning 18.

Our plans for a five day camp at the orphanage with a team from the Northgate Free Methodist Church continue to move forward and we look forward to hosting the team in July. Please do pray for this team of seven people as they come to serve in Hungary!

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UPDATE!!! January 20th

Thanks for your prayers over the past days. This evening at 7pm (after I got back from ministry in Budapest) we went to visit this family. We brought meat, vegetables and bread. Sadly we were greeted with tears as the father died yesterday. We spoke with his wife, she is heartbroken. Please pray for her. She, ‘L’, is raising three of her grandchildren without any help as the mother of those children (her daughter) works the streets as a prostitute and is very unwell physically. With little money, food and wood for heating their situation is desperate. ‘L’ has to go for an operation in March. Pray we can help find care for the children when she is in hospital. We are praying for a miracle.

Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4

UPDATE finished.

The last couple of days have been tough. A family we have worked with and helped for a many years are going through some really difficult times. The father (who is diabetic and in a wheelchair) just had two strokes and is in a coma.

One of his daughters called me Sunday to tell me they had no food in the house, no firewood and a couple of the kids are unwell. This year alone 35 people have frozen to death in Hungary (many because they cannot afford to heat their homes). I knew I had to help as soon as possible.

When I got to the house I discovered a hole in the wall (covered in the pictures by black plastic and cardboard). Kids poorly dressed, unclean and ill. Sadly two of the adult daughters have been exploited and trafficked.

We (Kati and I), got them food, clothes and vitamins. A wonderful Christian man I asked to help provided a huge amount of firewood and we delivered it today. Please pray for the ‘H’ family.

I personally feel overwhelmed. I have prayed for them and spoke to them about Christ. I’m not asking for money!!! If it was given to them it would be spent on recreational drugs or something unnecessary. I am asking for prayer. I just don’t know what else we can do to help… Sadly this story is repeated in many homes throughout Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and other former communist countries in Europe. Those of us ministering in these situations need your prayer. Thank you!