Bogács Update

Gyüszi jokingly told me, "You're in for it Allen! My mom was asking why you didn't stop by last week to pray for her." Seeing Gyüszi's mom this week brought me great joy. Instead of being curled up and sick under her blanket as I saw her two weeks ago, she was sitting up and saying, "Look, look, look how much better I am! Look at my neck where you put your hands and prayed. The swelling is gone! And I'm breathing much easier now." As people walked in moments after me, Aranyka continued pointing to her neck, "Look, the swelling is all gone. Really, I'm not just saying this because he is here, it's really better!" As usual, I reminded her that it was Jesus who heals and not me and I thanked Jesus with her in prayer for the help He sent in His grace.


Above: Tonight’s study in Gyüszi’s house. Our study tonight was from Isaiah 53. I was thankful to see God giving them understanding about details of Christ's work of atonement revealed in this passage. They were amazed at God's power to know the future and predict exactly what would happen to the Messiah. They recognized that men would reject Him, just as they do in this day. They saw that it was God's will to send Him to be crushed for our sins so that we could be forgiven and have peace with God. Basic truths, amazing truths, Gospel truths! Józsi (photo above sitting on floor with Bible), who initially was one of the most antagonistic in the group has been coming constantly to the studies. When Gyüszi who facilitated the study asked, "How can you apply what you have learned from this passage to your life?", Józsi began sharing that he needs to believe, but he is not quiet there yet. Pray that they Jesus would get Józsi and the others to the place of seeing that today is the day to repent and believe the Gospel!

I have to admit, today was tough meeting with Gyüszi and his sister Babi. Their daily struggle with poverty is so oppressive that it is difficult for them to grasp the love of God and His faithfulness to deliver in their own lives. I know that what I have to give them are riches far greater than anything obtainable in the world. If they would have Jesus, they would have all they need. But I say that as one with all my physical needs supplied, never living in poverty, never lacking heat in my house, never wondering if my children will have enough to eat.

On the other hand, my new friends Vincse and Zsolti (see last post) are living in poverty and are very much trusting God as their Provider. And they have story after story of how God miraculously provided for their needs. Prov 30:8-9 comes to my mind when I think on these things: "Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God."

Babi who does not know this Scripture often says to me, "Allen, I don't want to be rich. Just pray that I have enough for my family that we don't wonder how we'll feed our kids each night." Many of these families feel impelled to cut wood from the forests in the mountains to heat their houses in the winter knowing that this is illegal in Hungary. If they are caught, they are required to pay a fine that is equivalent to their age. If they are 40, they have to pay 40,000 forint (177 dollars). Jobs are scarce for Hungarians, and even more so for the Romani people who in most cases are not educated and discriminated against. They feel trapped in a hopeless situation and in feeling desperation. My friends in Bogács find it hard to imagine a life where living honestly while trusting in God to provide would actually lead to having enough (and even more than enough). Instead, feeling abandoned by all and lacking opportunity to legally work, they strive in their own strength to find ways to survive, even if illegal.

Please pray for this household in Bogács to come to know the LORD of Psalm 9:9-10: "The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you." Please pray for Gyüszi's household to be delivered from poverty by His grace. Pray for Gyüszi's family to find opportunity for work, and for Gyüszi to be delivered from the threat of his kids being taken away by social services. Pray that the LORD would reveal Himself as a stronghold for them and show them that He does not forsake those who seek Him.

Open door in Ápc


As I mentioned in a previous post we planned our first meeting on Thursday with new friends Vincse and Zsolt in Ápc which is a neighboring village of Petofibanya. Parking my car, I saw Zsolti greeted me at his gate.


Above: Zsolt and Vincse


Above: Entering the house, I was thankful to see Érzsi (white sweater), a member of our church that had recently moved to Ápc. What is joyous about seeing her is God's amazing work to bring together those who would not normally be together. Hungarians would in no normal circumstances be the guest in the home of a Romani family. God destroys racial barriers and brings unity through Jesus Christ! Since our church was born in Petofibanya, a town with a limited number of Romani families, there has not been an influx of Romani members. This is now changing, and Érzsi personified for me this night how our church proclaims walls broken down in Jesus Christ. Eph 2:14, "For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility... that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace."

Some guests that stopped by this night but were not able to stay were Róza (photo above next to Érzsi) and Zsanett who is Érzsi's landlord. Róza from what I understand believes, but is not in fellowship anywhere. Zsanett expressed that she was not saved, but that she does believe in God. We were thankful for the brief time meeting these guests and for the hope that they as well as their families may end up attending in the future. There are many more connections that Zsolti and Vincse have in town and they have long had a desire to see God's kingdom grow in Ápc. I praise God for this open door and for God's continued mission to "bring good news to the poor." (Isa 61) Please pray for Zsolt to find work and for them to continue to grow in their walk with Christ. Pray that God would pour out His Spirit on Ápc proclaim His good news through us.

New believers!


Above: The above women, Mónika, Mariann, Judit, Tamara and Zsuzsa continue to attend a Baptism/Foundations of Faith study together at Miki’s house. Judit first met us years over 7 years ago attending one of our English classes in the community. Now 7 years later she has reconnected with us and has put her faith in Jesus. Today she expressed excitement as her husband has begun asking questions about God. Please pray for him (Joplin) to have his questions answered and for us to have opportunity to connect with him personally.
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