These past days have been very busy but so much achieved!
In Győr, Hungary we organised an Introduction to Theology course for two ladies from our church, taught by our colleague and friend Rev. Dr. Marcie Potts. One of these ladies is considering ordination. What a privilege to see God raising leaders!
In Budapest, Hungary, our daughter Zsuzsi presented on preventative measures to combat human trafficking at a conference. Zsuzsi is the coordinator of Set Free Hungary, a Christian organization dedicated to fighting modern day slavery.
I spent this weekend in Ukraine. I met with our ministry partners here who serve men who struggle with alcohol and drug addiction. We are currently exploring having a construction team come to serve by working on the rehab centre. Are you interested? Contact me!
I also met with several ladies who are developing their own micro enterprise. I had seen the exquisite handicrafts that one lady makes a year or two ago and suggested she could make this a business. With God’s help, some good advice and elbow grease, this dream is becoming a reality! You can see some examples below in the photos. Please pray as the ladies and I work towards this becoming a Christian business that will bless them, their families, churches and community.
Want to know more? Want to help or support? Send me a message and we can talk!
I had the honour of being invited to the dedication of a new home for the protection of at risk young girls this weekend in Bulgaria. Due to reasons of safety I will not give too many details.
The Set Free Movement has partnered with our friends and colleagues Chance and Dee Dee Galloway in opening a home for girls who are at risk of being trafficked. See the following site for more details: https://www.stjohnbg.com/ There us still a little work to be done in the house but soon it will be a home to as mmy as eight teenage girls!
Chance and Dee Dee along with a number of wonderful Bulgarian leaders have done an incredible job of making this dream to help and protect the most vulnerable become a reality.
I also got to visit a wonderful church group. This simple church is built right next to beautiful house which is owned by a pimp. This church is truly light in the darkness!
We had a wonderful week at the children’s home in Gyor. A team of five people from Decatur, Illinois joined us as we ministered each day at the camp. We sang Christian songs, played games, did handicrafts, had a Bible message and taught simple English language lessons.
Many children from these institutions in Hungary (between 60%-70%) end up being trafficked and working in prostitution. Our goal is to teach them of the love of Christ, help with their education and model for them Christian living. The team from Decatur is a team dedicated to fighting human trafficking and our partnership was intentional and powerful.
Praise God that a number of children gave their life to the Lord today (our final day). We have been invited back to continue this ministry. Kathy has been going in weekly to one group of kids for several years but will hopefully begin going in to a second group on a weekly basis also. We also made very significant connections with staff and hope to see some come along to visit our Sunday worship.
We purchased pizza for everyone yesterday and the kids and team enjoyed a July 4th celebration together! Thank you to all those in our local church in Győr who contributed to buying the pizza. Please continue to pray for this ministry and do contact me if you would like to support in anyway this ongoing work.
Over the past three days we held our annual camp at a local institute for children. This year was truly amazing, we had a great group of kids and amazing volunteers. The video is purposefully dark and no kids are shown (to adhere to local laws). Do take the time to listen to the children sing beautifully a Christian song. We worked with about 20 kids daily and based our days around the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. Our volunteers of Ádám, András, Bianka, Csilla, Nárcisz, Viki and Zsuzsi really connected with the kids and being an all Hungarian team (apart from me) was brilliant! We played games, sang, had Bible stories and enjoyed hand crafts.
At times it is tough. Having a kid fall, then cry and when they are picked up they cry for their mother. We don’t know where mum is… Also seeing the younger kids in fear of the older boys is heart breaking. We are doing what we can to bring the light of Christ to these little ones. Many of these kids are in danger of being trafficked so we were pleased for a good conversation with one of the older girls and she has our phone numbers now and can contact us if she is in trouble.
It was also a weekend of guests. We were blessed to have Drew Price a Pastor from Bend, Oregon and his daughter Amanda, join us. Drew preached a great message on Sunday at church.
Also with us were Kevin and Natelle Austin. Kevin is the director of the Set Free Movement and he was in Győr to spend a little time with us. On Friday evening we took them all out for ice-cream in the city centre, then on Saturday morning I took them all to see the beautiful monastery in Pannonhalma. Afterwards we brought them all to a meal at a church members home and they enjoyed real Hungarian goulash soup cooked outside in a cauldron. It has been a busy few days and we are all very tired but grateful for what the Lord is doing in Győr!
Yesterday Kati and I traveled to Budapest to participate in a conference on human trafficking. Rev. Kevin Austin, leader of The Set Free Movement spoke passionately about the estimated 36 million people worldwide who are modern day slaves. He strongly asserted that a single individual can make a difference and gave wonderful examples of this. Yet if we work together as one, then how much more can we achieve!
Several churches and organisations were represented and were also given the opportunity to speak about their work in Hungary. With an estimated 36,000 people in slavery (either in labour or prostitution) it is a significant issue in the country.
This morning Kathy continued her ministry (now on a weekly basis) with the children in the kids home. With up to 70% of these children affected by prostitution, her work is invaluable in preventing more children being exploited. Please pray for her in this ministry and pray that all these people would indeed be ‘Set Free’.