As 2018 winds down, we are already deep into planning 2019. Here is a little of how it looks:
Continuing to develop the local work here in Győr – Bible studies, worship services, anti-trafficking work, counselling etc.
Focusing more on developing partnerships in Hungary with other churches and possible church planting efforts in other cities.
Trips to speak and minister in Ireland (January), Spain (February), America (June and July) and Ireland again in November. As of yet no dates for potential trips to Romania and Ukraine, but to be organised soon.
Conferences in UK (May) and Bulgaria (September)
Wedding of Zsuzsi and Zsolti in April.
Preparing for and welcoming new full-time partners to Győr (the Anderson family) in April.
VBS at a local orphanage in July.
We still have a limited number of free time slots where we can come and visit your church. Feel free to contact us and we can arrange dates and details.
We look forward to seeing many of you in 2019! May you all have a blessed and joyful Christmas and New Year!
I am pleased to report that in partnership with a sister church in Spain, our church in Győr, Hungary raised money to buy a new washing machine for Vis de Copil in Arad, Romania. We also were able to buy food and cleaning products and leave a substantial amount of money for building repairs.
Vis de Copil serve the poorest of the poor (the homeless, families where single unemployed mums look after multiple children, beggars, prostitutes and drug addicts). They offer a hot meal, a place to shower and wash clothes and education and safety for children. It is still awful to see little kids begging daily in Arad but I am grateful that Vis de Copil are doing something to help these little ones!
The current washing machine was on its last legs when I came with a mission team from our church in August. With much love and generosity we could provide this new machine. I am so grateful to our church family in Győr and also to our brothers and sisters in Spain! You are all wonderful, thank you!
Whilst in Arad I was also able to help unload about 400 Christmas shoe boxes from Ireland that arrived. What a blessing to serve in so many ways!
January 24th through to the 29th (2019) I will be in Ireland and am available to speak at your church or Bible study group. This is an opportunity to hear about the ministry we are involved in here in Hungary and across Europe. Many of you will know that we actively work against human trafficking, in Christian discipleship and developing church leadership. Also it is an opportunity to hear about the persecuted church in the Middle-East.
I have a limited amount of time and availability whilst in Ireland, but hope to see many of you while I am there.
Ireland will likely be my first trip outside Hungary in 2019. I will also be in America, Canada, Romania, Ukraine and likely Belgium and Spain. Please feel free to contact me and we can try to arrange a time when we can meet and talk and pray together!
It has been a busy and really hot couple of days here in Romania. This has led us all to be exhausted but really joyful at all we have been a part of. From helping to prepare meals, make crafts, play football and sing songs with kids to medical checks and shopping for food we have enjoyed serving in small ways.
Visiting a shanty town area on the edge of Arad was a real eye opener for some of the team members. The level of poverty is nearly indescribable. No clean or running water, sick children (one very unwell child I examined), streets and homes surrounded by filth and debris, kids without shoes and in filthy clothes. Yet there is hope. Hope in Christ. Hope brought by Philip More and the Vis de Copil charity. Hot meals provided to up to 50 or 60 people per day (poor kids and the homeless). A place to wash clothes and have a hot shower. A place where people are welcomed no matter their financial situation. A place without judgement where the love of Christ is evident.
So here is your chance to do something. Don’t just read this blog. Act on it. Support Vis de Copil. http://www.achildsdream.co.uk and go to support and give a little.
You can also support us by providing us with craft materials. Due to the VBS we held in July at the orphanage, this trip to Romania and several other programs, we have very few craft materials left. Contact me and I will send you details of how to provide us with crafts.
Our local church in Győr has sent a mission team to Arad, Romania. This is so exciting as we as a church are beginning to become more missionary and outward looking!
Our team made up of three men (Brian from Britain, Lucas from Brazil and myself) and two women (Petra from Hungary and my daughter Zsuzsi), will be working with the poor and needy of Arad. We will help cook, clean, play games, make crafts, sing songs and hold health clinics. Our local church raised a lot of money and this will provide one hot meal for about 50 people per day for up to four weeks!!!
Thank you to our local church for your support and thank you friends for praying for us as we serve this week. We arrived this afternoon and will stay until Thursday afternoon. Your prayers are greatly appreciated!
This past weekend we had the pleasure of having our friends, the Ball family visit us in Győr. As you can see in the above photo, Spencer preached a message from our ongoing series (Fruit of the Holy Spirit). It was a wonderful message and we were very blessed. We had a great turnout at church (close to 40 people) and people were incredibly generous (all giving went to the Ball family).
My good friend, Jonathan Ball, who is 11, served as our greeter that day at church and I think we had so many people come as his smile is contagious!
I am excited at what is happening Győr at the moment. Weekly Bible studies for teens and adults, monthly University group, MOPS (Mothers of preschoolers) group, ladies coffee mornings and of course worship. We are growing in size and in faith! We are also seeing significant spiritual and emotiinal healing taking place in the lives of our people! Praise God for all he is doing!
Over the past week I was excited to see how the Holy Spirit is moving throughout Hungary and Europe. Last week in Budapest, we attended the bi-annual Free Methodist European conference. With 150 adults in attendance we were blessed to see a total of five men ordained (four from Bulgaria and one from Romania) and a further seventeen men and women called into a deeper relantionship with Christ as they explore the path towards ordination. Being involved in their education in a small way has allowed me to get to know many of these people and I am amazed at the way the Holy Spirit is moving in Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Portugal and Spain (to name just a few of the many countries represented). The leadership of the Free Methodist Church in Europe are men of God and are leading this denomination in an inspiring way. Bishop David Roller, Rev. Dr. Mitch Pierce, Rev. Josh Fajardo, Rev. Dr. David Carr OBE along with Europe area administrator Larry Winckles (the hardest working man I know), have done an amazing job of helping us catch a vision for reaching the lost for Christ.
Also a great blessing this week was to see our English language service continuing to grow! A total of 37 people attended with eight nationalities represented. Yesterday, I also got to visit the comfort zone group led by fellow missionary and friend Sarah Berta-Somogyi. A total of eight high schoolers were there for the first of two sessions. The ate food, played games, studied the Word of God (on the subject of encouragement) and had a lot of fun! I am very encouraged at the growth in ministry in Gyor but we continue to need your prayers and encouragement to keep reaching out to all we come into conatct with.
Thank you Kevin Austin for the photograph of the conference attendees sitting and standing.
I had the pleasure of being with the Ball family in Arad, Romania these past two days. The Balls (Spencer, Lynsey, Trinity and Jonathan) are working with the poorest of the poor and serving Christ faithfully. Their love and huge hearts for reaching the unloved is so very evident. In the photo above you can see the kids skipping with home-made ropes that Spencer and Lynsey bring their weekly kids Bible group in Vinga (a village near Arad).
Part of the ministry is that the Ball family help to provide food, clothing, medicine and pastoral care to these Roma (Gypsy) communities. Very few people are reaching these little ones…
Would you be willing to support this ministry? If the Lord puts this family and their ministry on your hearts then please contact me for further details.
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!
We had the pleasure of leading an English language carol service in Győr this afternoon. Although the attendance was smaller than we hoped (we were 26 in total), we were delighted to be with those who turned up and it was a great blessing to also welcome people via the internet as we live streamed the service on Facebook. People from Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Romania, the USA,and the UK were among some of the countries who joined us this way. We also had our good friends and colleagues Ildikó and Julia join us in person from Budapest. Thank you ladies for making the trip from Budapest to be with us!
We sang a number of traditional Christmas hymns such as ‘Silent Night’ and ‘O come all ye faithful’. We particularly enjoyed a solo of ‘Go tell it on the mountain’ by our friend and missionary colleague Sarah Berta-Somogyi. Sarah is a missionary with the Lutheran church and it is through her hard work and contacts that we are able to use the Lutheran church facilities for free. Thank you Sarah!
Many others helped of course. Thanks to András, Gwen, Kathy, Yoli, Katica, Attila, Zsolti and Zsuzsi!