August 2021

2021 Jászfényszaru VBS Report



One week after finishing an impactful VBS in our hometown of VBS, we held our second VBS camp in the town of Jászfényszaru where we have been seeking to church plant for the past few years. A number of kids who already attended our VBS in Petofibanya enjoy our VBS so much that they also sign up for this camp as well.



Above: This is the second year that children from foster care were allowed to attend as well as a large group of Romani kids. This presented us with challenges with behavioral issues and balancing discipline and a clear expression of love with some of these troubled kids. God was gracious to help us and provide a safe place for them to experience His grace and hear about the new life available to all of them through faith in Jesus.


Above: One of the challenges for this camp was Miki and his family (who made up 5 important volunteers at camp) had to leave for a family wedding a few days early. Miki leads our morning and afternoon singing and is very gifted in getting them laughing, listening and unified in their participation.


Above: Panni who filled in for Miki the last two days of camp did a great job brining some new songs, while also making sure to sing the songs the kids had come to know. She was very intentional in connecting with some of the Romani boys. One afternoon at our scheduled free time, she helped them write a song that they presented together on Saturday's Family Day. Praise God for helping with this transition from Miki to Panni.



Above: The mother of the little girl on the right was one of the parents that gave us their information to be contacted about an upcoming home group that our church planting partners in ministry Miki and Erika will be holding next month. She also asked me if any of our official camp shirts were available for the kids and offered to pay. I told her that we only had shirts for the adult volunteers but we found a solution where I would send her the camp logo and she would print her own. Later she sent an email saying that she hopes to someday visit our Sunday worship service. Please pray for the parents who have signed up for this home group to come to understand their need for restoration and relationship with God through Christ.


Above: The great team of church volunteers God provided for this year's camp in Jászfényszaru. This camp ran into some serious barriers even before the first day! We found out that the requirements here were much more strict than what we had just experienced in our VBS in Petofibanya, and because of these requirements, a number of volunteers as well as our kitchen workers would not be allowed to serve with us. How would we feed 70 kids with no experienced kitchen staff? We prayed and looked for solutions that involved obtaining a specific type of health document that may allow another volunteer to fill in for the kitchen work. As kids were coming the first morning to begin camp, Frida who was one of the initial kitchen workers who would not be able to attend remembered that she had another document that should satisfy the same requirements as the new document required. What an answer to prayer! Frida has lots of experience in the kitchen and did a great job with the help of the hard work of Bogi, Melinda and Zsofi.


Above: Benni returns to camp. Unfortunately on the first day of camp, Benni tripped and awkwardly fell leading to a broken arm. We were thankful to see his desire to return to camp, and still enjoy the activities, singing and conversation each day.


Above: Emma and Szaffi who were already close in making a decision at our VBS in Petofibanya wanted to talk to Erika more about putting their faith in Jesus. Instead of taking part in the scheduled afternoon games and activities, they met with Erika who reviewed what we had been learning over the week about salvation in Jesus. They both prayed and put their faith in Christ! They have expressed their desire to attend our youth group meetings on Friday. Please pray that we would have continued opportunity to help them grow (as they don't live in our hometown).


Above: Jázmin, Emma and Szaffi. It didn't take long for my first opportunity for discipleship with Szaffi. A camp worker grabbed me and asked me to talk to one of Szaffi's girlfriends (not pictured) who was in tears. Szaffi had done something that hurt her feelings and seemed to break trust between them. I called Szaffi to talk with me one-on-one which I'm sure can be intimidating (as I'm the camp leader). I explained to her what I had heard and gave her an opportunity to tell her side of the story. Then I shared with her how I have made many mistakes and have failed in relationships, but Jesus teaches us a new way to make peace and be reconciled and forgiven. I told her that I heard she had chosen to put her faith in Jesus and I suggested that she talk to her girlfriend and ask for forgiveness and seek peace. I asked if I could pray for her which she agreed to with teary eyes. Later that I day, I saw them sitting together as friends. On the last day, I was able to share this testimony (without naming the kids) with the parents in our small group time. I told them that this is evidence of real faith and Christianity is not just some kind of religious badge. It has a real impact on relationships and how we treat people as we seek to forgive and love the way Jesus has forgiven and loved us.


Above: Patrik praying with Boti who also continues to express interest in Jesus. Looking back at the beginning of summer, Boti attended Baseball Camp with no intention to go to VBS. He then decided to go to VBS in Petofibanya (where he also broke his arm) and afterwards began attending youth group meetings. Then he decided to attend VBS in Jászfényszaru where he prayed with Patrik. Praise God for the journey he is taking Boti on. Please pray for this new generation of young believers to flourish in their faith and become a conduit for their parents also coming to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord.





Above: We're always thankful for our brother Tibi (handing cotton candy over) who volunteers his cotton candy making machine and inflatable slide for our family day.


Praise God for His amazing provision through the course of this VBS! We had beautiful weather every day and God provided solutions each time we had need. It is a joy to see the growth of our youth group members taking on more responsibility and joyfully serving with the giftings God has given each of them. They made up a large part of our staff and brought the needed strength, creativity and fun that blessed these kids.

Camping weekend

Today (Thursday), we're off to our next ministry focused more on teens. We'll be setting up tents and camping in the woods for three nights. Please pray as we talk about the wisdom in the book of Proverbs and have times throughout the day for small group discussions and one-on-one meetings with the kids. This is a mixed group of believers and unbelievers. Pray that God would cause the seeds that have been planted throughout the summer to grow and flourish in their hearts, and that lives would be transformed at this camp.

Joyous Anniversary


Above: Just before VBS, Sharon and I spent the day in the hills of Budapest where we were engaged. We celebrated 23 years of marriage August 8th. We also were able to reenact a photo that we took 23 years ago in the same coffee shop that engagement day (albeit having to wait a bit for elderly German tourists to clear out :) I know there are some of you reading this that were at our wedding at BVBC. God has richly blessed us and we're thankful for God's grace in making us one in marriage for His glory.

Here are some highlight films from the VBS in Jászfényszaru. Thanks for keeping us in prayer!


2021 Petofibanya VBS Report



Each year we see more and more growth in our Bible Camp for kids in our hometown of Petofibanya. This year we had to shut down registration early with 130 kids registered! We had children from preschool to 8th grade attending and many volunteering to serve from our youth group. This is a great opportunity for every member of the church to grow in using their giftings and also grow in reflecting the life of Christ in relationships.


With this many people serving together at camp, conflict and tension in relationships is bound to happen. We have a mixture of mature and seasoned believers and those who are very young and untested in their faith. It seems that the area of relationships is always under attack as the enemy seeks to break apart the unity that Jesus prayed that we would have. Christian unity is a major part of evangelism.

Jesus said, “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” — John 17:22-23

Knowing that this may be an area that would be under attack at camp, I sought to teach about the importance of maintaining peace in relationships and how to work through conflicts. Paul says, “I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." — Eph 4:1-3


He says be EAGER to maintain unity of the Spirit. Well, the day before camp the battle already began with one of the volunteers having a problem with another volunteer and suggesting that if they had to work with this person they would not attend camp. Their solution was not to work out the problem with the other person, but to be moved to another area where they would not have to interact with each other. I would not allow that as an option. I had just taught about Jesus' command to first talk to the person who sins against you face to face. I told this person that in the family of Christ, this is what we do. We don't run away. We don't carry around bitterness and pretend nothing is wrong. We speak the truth in love. We forgive and we ask forgiveness. We are EAGER to maintain unity of the Spirit because this camp is not about us, it is about glorifying Jesus through us.

To be honest, I didn't know what this person would do as they left in tears when we finished the conversation. Praise God they decided to stay and work with the other person and they had a great week. They took a step that was uncomfortable and difficult. And I believe they will grow through taking that step of obedience to Jesus. Other than that difficulty, once camp began, the staff did an amazing job working together and serving God with all their strength.


Above: Our wacky group of this year's staff. The man in the center (purple shirt) is the mayor of Petofibanya. Having been recently elected, God has given us a great relationship with him and he has already done many things to help our summer camp ministries. Please pray for those in the local government to know Christ as their Savior and Lord.





Above: The majority of kids attending our camp are from unbelieving homes. Mónika (above green shirt) sat and talked with Marcell one day only to find out the burdens he is carrying from such disfunction at home. She was able to offer him Biblical counsel and encouragement. This camp is a refuge for many kids and we hope to help them find Christ as the ultimate refuge in their lives!



Above: Anna talking with Lili very top and Lillien above. I would often see Anna sitting and talking one on one with some of the students in her small group. Anna, the daughter of Miki and Erika who we have partnered with in church planting since 2003 is an evangelist!


Above: From what Anna reported, Kinga (top row orange shirt), Rebi (next to her with braids), Jázmin (next to her black shirt), Lili (front pink shirt) all made decisions to put their faith in Jesus. Lillian is very close. Please pray for these girls who we will continue to have opportunity to reach out to in youth group and in upcoming camps this summer.



Above: Brenda sharing life with Sharon. One of the joy filled surprises this camp happened before camp began. Brenda has attended camp as a child and later began volunteering at our VBS when she was too old to be a camper. She had heard the Gospel over and over through the years but never saw the need to be saved. At last year's camp there was a problem with conflict among the youth at camp and she was caught in the middle of it. We didn't know how this would affect her. When I found out she was volunteering this year, I was very thankful. At our first preparation meeting, she sat across from me, so I asked, "Hey Brenda, how are you?" I hadn't seen her since last Summer. She replied, "I want to be saved. I have been talking to Erika and have been reading a lot." No small talk there! I was overjoyed to hear this good news. Not long after that conversation, she was led by Jesus to forgive someone who had hurt her deeply emotionally. She was taking Jesus' word and applying it to her life! And she put her faith in Jesus and later came to me asking when she could be baptized. God's Spirit has been at work in her heart. Please pray for Brenda to flourish and grow in her faith and become a wonderful example to the other youth who are new believers.


Above: Csenge (green shirt) has also been deeply impacted starting at Baseball Camp and now at this VBS as one of our helpers. She was saved a few years ago but has struggled as she does not live locally. She has begun to mourn some of the wasted years that she wished she would have focused more on Jesus, but was encouraged to focus on beginning to grow now. She shared that she is feeling a tug toward missions and was asking some from our team about our experiences and how it all works. Pray for Csenge to develop deep roots in her faith in Christ and for protection and grace when she returns back to her home after these camps.

Seth (above far right) is a visiting missionary from the US whom God redirected to Europe to serve with us this Summer after other plans fell through because of countries with Covid restrictions. We're thankful to have him helping at our camps!



Above: Ellie and Kira performing in the afternoon drama at camp. Ellie used her giftings to write this year's drama and help with organizing all those who would be participating each afternoon. Kira used her acting skills to bless the kids and leave them with cliff hangers each evening.


Above: On our final day of camp, we moved to the local community center where we had a great turn out. This final day we invite families to attend and to experience what their kids have been talking about the whole week.




Above: We hold a special small group time for parents and Sandy (center green shirt) was able to share her testimony. It was clear that many of these woman could relate to her story of experiencing hopelessness and nearly taking her life. Suicide is a major issue in Hungary. We hope that they will turn to Jesus and find the same hope and new life that Sandy now experiences.


Above: Tamás (green shirt) also gave his testimony. Afterwards we invited parents to sign up for an upcoming small group at Miki's house and also offered free Bibles and other evangelistic reading material. I thought maybe a few would grab a Bible from the box I brought, but as they exited they emptied the entire box of Bibles and all of the other books and material I brought were gone by the end of the day! Pray that God would draw parents into His word and reveal Himself to them.


Above: Sharon prepared a creative shrinky-dink craft just for parents on the last day. It was very popular and she was able to make some new connections with moms. She hopes to connect with some of them in the future for a follow up meeting.

Praise God for allowing us to have an amazing camp. Youth were impacted by the Gospel, touched by His love and taught by His truth. Please pray that entire families may come into His kingdom through the seeds planted from this VBS!

VBS in Jászfénysaru

Next week, Tuesday through Saturday, we'll hold another VBS in the town of Jászfényszaru where we have been seeking to do church planting work. We've run into some difficulties because of regulations with Covid and ask that you pray for God to bring His solutions that would equip us to have another amazing camp for His glory! Pray for unity among us, and for the Gospel message to go beyond the mind into the hearts of children and parents. Thank you all for your prayers!

Here are some highlight films from last week!