February 2006


Above: Ben and Elianna pack in the Mercer mobile as we head to the town of Eger to extend our residency permits in Hungary. As you can see in the picture below, the trip was a bit hazardous, but God protected us and gave us success in Eger. Thank you for your prayers! As far as I can tell, all our papers were accepted. The official who handled our papers was very kind and even helped me fill out parts of the application (not the standard here).

I am so thankful for Val (teaching below L) who ended up taking my students for the night as our family didn't get back in time for me to teach. Her kindness didn't stop there...she also brought our family homemade dinner! Heidi (teaching below R) continues to do a great job as she temporarily substitutes for Tamara.


Friday Night Sports

In a team meeting this morning, I received a full report of last night's small group at Miki's house. Some of you may remember this picture (left) of Csilla from last week's Film Club. Attila introduced us to Csilla and brought her also to last night's small group at Miki's house. Attila and Csilla stayed after the meeting was over until 10:00pm. They had good conversations with Miki and Janka about the uniqueness of Christianity. Csilla admitted that she is seeking and looks forward to going to this house group.

Miki shared with Hajnalka that we would be holding a baptism on Sunday. She responded in fear and wasn't sure how to 'view' baptism. Hajnalka follows a religion that focuses on good and bad energy. It is interesting that Dezsô was saved from a similar background. Please pray that Hajnalka would be freed from the bondage of fear and deception. Pray that she would be able to come on Sunday and also come to understand the amazing spiritual realities about our salvation in Jesus Christ found in baptism.

Above: Lot's of teens come out for our friday night sports outreach. It's a great way to build relationships in the community and share tidbits of truth from God's word.

Above R: Allen and Gabi T. I haven't seen Gabi for weeks! He lives a tough life. Gabi had to drop out of school to work full time to support his family. He is a hard worker and has a kind heart. Gabi T. made a decision a few weeks ago, but because of his grueling work schedule, it is very hard for him to find time to meet. Please pray that we would be able to find a way to bless him and help him grow in His faith.

Virginia and Kinga pictured left came over to our apartment tonight. They told Sharon that they decided that their 'workplace' would be our apartment and asked in what ways they could help! What a blessing. A few helping hands go a long way for Sharon who is fighting a cold that leads to fatigue.

Gabi S. pictured left went will be joining Miki and Csaba in a Christian conference this weekend. The message is focused on 'faith'. Please pray that Gabi would gain a better understanding of faith and be encouraged and built up in this conference.

Thursday Night Multiplication

Due to our family being sick, I have been unable to update our blog since Sunday. There is a lot to catch-up on, so here we go!

For those of you who haven't heard, on Thursday nights we hold two house groups simultaneously in Petôfibánya from 5-7pm. Our small group has a goal of mentoring and discipleship of teenage Christians. Miki's house group is evangelistic, reaching out to families and young adults who are open to spiritual things. The transition from one to two small groups just happened last week, and ever since that time the enemy has thrown a tantrum trying to stop the momentum of the groups. But, we can praise God that He has the victory over the enemy!

Above: Ádám holds up his new sword while the others try to bear the weight of Zoli.

As I picked up Zoli in the car tonight, he told me to swing by Ádáms house. Earlier, I had been told that Ádám couldn't make it. As we pulled to the front of his house, he was escorted to my car by his concerned mother. After looking into the car packed with the other teens, she asked me, "so what's this about?" I replied, "We're going to spend some time studying the Bible together, pray together and just hang out and talk.” I had met Ádám's mother before when she visited church, but haven't seen her since. As I said, praise God that He has the victory–Ádám's mother looked at me and said, “O.K.” It is hard to build trust, but God has blessed us with a trustworthy reputation. Praise Him!

Tonight, I met with Gabi S., Dávid, Zoli, Ádám and Milán. We spent time praying for each other and then began a study in the book of Colossians. I passed out a 'scroll' of Colossians that we will re-visit for the next few weeks of study. My desire for tonight was simply to read the book through in one sitting. The 'scroll' is simply the entire book of Colossians printed out for easy reading and note taking. I encouraged them to take it with them to school, on the bus and to re-read it throughout the week. Please pray that as they immerse themselves in God's word, that they would be transformed in their hearts and minds. It was a real blessing to see these teens stand up and read large portions of this Scripture. Each one took turns reading 15 verses of the text. Afterwards we talked about their initial impressions. Milán was drawn to Colossians 2:2

“...I work so that they may be encouraged by all the riches that come from a complete understanding of Christ. He is the mystery of God. God has hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Christ.”

Milán recognized how God uses us to draw peoples attention to Jesus Christ. He said that they may never read the Bible, but in our conversations and actions we canto help them come to a "complete understanding of Christ".

Gabi told me that he didn't like this week's study as much as last week's. This is actually good news. It shows his desire for more of a mentor relationship. With more in the small group, it is hard to go as deep in conversation as we would like. I hope to be able to meet with him on- to-one on another night of the week.

One word comes to mind when I think about Gabi: faithful! God is also showing Gabi how He powerfully answers prayer. Last Thursday, Gabi and I prayed for something seemingly impossible (confidential request). Just four days later, he called me to tell me, "I have good news!" I cannot go into the details of what happened, but I can tell you that the request was powerfully answered. Gabi was overjoyed and also reminded me, “prayer is powerful!” Thank you God!

This Sunday, Dávid and Zoli will be baptized. As expected, Dávid shared that he is experiencing battles in his mind about his faith and salvation. He asked for prayer to win against these spiritual attacks that seek to deceive and discourage him from celebrating his new life in baptism. Please pray for these two men and their family members who will witness their baptism.

After our study was over, I stopped over at Miki's to snap some shots. I rejoiced to see his living room packed with people we have been trying to reach unsuccessfully for some time now. I will have a report tomorrow as to how the night went. As you can see (above R), childcare is an important part of this small group, and Heidi (new Pioneers Focus Group team member) did a great job blessing the kids tonight.

Thank all of you who have been praying for our paperwork that needs to be completed to extend our residency in Hungary. The process so far has been smooth sailing (as a result of God's help). For example, today I needed to renew our rental contract with our landlord who lives 30 minutes away. When I called her, it 'turned out' that she 'happened' to be in Petôfibánya for the day. This saved me significant time and hassle as we could quickly meet and complete the new contract. This is just one example in many of how God is hearing your prayers for this process to be smooth and successful. Praise Him!

Above L: Ben and Eli have been bonding as they spend more time playing together (Ben is stuck at home sick-like his mom and dad). Above R: Loading up on vitamin C.

Above: Some pictures of Monday's ESL (a bit late-sorry). Heidi (Above L) is temporarily filling in for Tamara who has returned to the States for a wedding. Andi and Hajnalka (Above R) attended Miki's study tonight.


Sunday Worship

Above L: Virginia and Kinga coming early to church to practice playing the drums. Above R: Praying with Gabi and Csaba for Miki's son Bence who is suffering from a high fever and sore throat.

Above R: Márcsi (Dezső’s wife) was able to stay for the whole service tonight (sometimes has to leave to attend to her children).

Above L: Calling the children forward to pray for them. Above R: Péter gave testimony tonight about his train adventures. He commutes by train every day back and forth to Budapest for work. This often gives him opportunity to share his faith with those who see him reading the Bible. Just this past week, he led a young man to Christ who had been separated from his wife and unable to see his children for some time. Péter said that this man was going to come to church tonight, but God opened up an opportunity for him to see his family and wife (BIG answer to prayer) Sunday night.

Above L: Hajnalka, Péter and Sharon. Sharon was able to have a heart level conversation with Hajnalka tonight. It is clear that Hajnalka is burdened as she often tries to carry the heavy burdens of others without Christ. When Sharon asked if she could pray for Hajnalka, her response was surprising. Hajnalka said, “For me? Well...maybe for my mom, but not for me. Do you think I need prayer?” Sharon said, “Everyone needs prayer.” Hajnalka plans on continuing to come to small group on thursdays and Church. Please pray that as she spends more time hearing the Gospel and seeing it lived out that God would transform her mind and heart.

Above R: Tall Attila, Laci and of course little Ben. Attila who brought his friend Csilla to our film club on Friday said that he is bringing Csilla to thursday's Bible study also. Please pray for Attila and Csilla.

Above L: Gabi helping clean up all after service. Above R: Some of the children who regularly attend worship.

Prayer request: Because of sickness or other reasons, a large group of the teens have 'disappeared' for a few weeks. Please pray for Ádám, Gabi T, Milán, Dávid and Zoli. Pray especially for Dávid and Zoli this week as we plan for their baptism next Sunday!


Friday Film Club

Tonight we held our 'once-a-month' film club for the teenagers. This gives us an opportunity to examine different world views and contrast these views with the truth of God's word. Tonight the conversation led to the question of God's purpose for creating us.

“God has done all this. He has restored our relationship with him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships. In other words, God was using Christ to restore his relationship with humanity. He didn't hold people's faults against them, and he has given us this message of restored relationships to tell others.” (II Cor 5:18-19)

We were thankful that Attila (above R) brought his friend Csilla to the Film club. This was the first time that we have ever seen Csilla and we hope that we see her again in Thursday night's small group or in church.

Thursday Night Multiplication

Tonight was the big 'split'. After prayer and evaluating our current ministries and needs in the church plant in Petőfibánya, we decided to transition from one to two small groups on Thursday nights. Our small group is aimed at mentoring young teenagers who have come to know Jesus. The small group at Miki's house is evangelistic and relationship building focused.

Above L: Faithful Gabi. Above R: Evangelistic small group begins at Miki's house.

I had a great time with Gabi S. (above L) praying and studying God's word together. You would be amazed at how much more he opened up one-on-one as opposed to 'competing' to talk in a large small group. Without any reminders from me, while we prayed, Gabi began praying for those attending Miki's small group that they would understand God's love and be saved. He also prayed for the other teens who were recently saved but could not attend tonight (many of them are sick-like me). It was definitely quality time! We were able to talk about what it means that God has made us holy in Christ.

“But you have been washed and made holy, and you have received God's approval in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor 6:11)

After our time together, I hopped in the car and crashed Miki's study just as they were eating. Perfect timing! I grabbed a chicken leg, and greeted Hajni, Andi, Edina, Mariann, Vanda & Endre (above L), and Szabolcs. Szabolcs will be commuting from Budapest to help Miki with this study. Szabolcs has helped jump start many of these evangelistic studies througout Hungary.

Heidi (who was able to participate in Miki's study tonight) told me that everyone added their own comments as they discussed John 8:1-11. There were also 9 children who played upstairs while the grown-ups met downstairs (thank God for Miki's house!) Overall, a very positive first small group meeting.

Thank all of you who have prayed for this night! Many of the above mentioned people questioned whether they could make it to the small group...but God made a way for them to come. Praise God! Please pray for a burning desire to begin in their hearts to come again to hear truth from God's word in the midst of loving fellowship.

In other news:

Our fellow Pioneers Hungary team member who requested prayer had surgery successfully on tuesday. However, one day after surgery bleeding reoccurred. Please pray that our Almighty God would send healing, comfort and strength in this time! The results of the the cause of bleeding will be known 8-10 days from now.

When I preach, I prepare my sermons in advance to be translated by a team of Hungarians. Tonight, Vera, who often helps with translation called and told me that just as she sat down to begin translating my sermon for this week, her monitor exploded. She said that she doesn't think it a coincidence as last time I sent her my sermon her internet service went down and she had trouble receiving it. Please pray that Vera would be able to get a new monitor and that Erika (who will be translating in her place this week) would have the ability to finish the translation with God's strength.

Miki has full flexibility in his finger, but it is painful to bend. So, 'franken-finger' is doing fine (his scar is pretty nasty!) Please continue to pray for complete healing.

Sharon and the baby are fine, however Sharon and I are suffering from a sinus-headcold-flu type of sickness. Elianna is still sick with a mild cold. Benjamin (no longer sick) has returned to pre-school and is practicing hungarian rhymes everyday.


Above: Elianna and Ben enjoying window stickers from Mom-Mom that they received in the mail today.

Sharon was released from the hospital today at noon. Thank all of you for your prayers! Afterwards, we traveled together to the American Embassy to renew Ben’s passport. Ben was very excited to see police men and soldiers. The process is very streamlined and took less than 20 minutes. This is the first step in completing many documents so that we can renew our residency in Hungary.

I would love to show you pictures from ESL tonight-but I forgot the camera. Oops. Val and Tamara were kind enough to bring homemade cookies for the students. At break time, Val prepared a decorative craft for each student which spelled out the word 'valentine' within John 3:16. Val was able to give testimony to the beauty of God's love through this gospel verse. We read it together in English and afterwards, Dezsô translated it into Hungarian for the students.

Prayer requests: A Pioneers Hungary team member requests prayer for an important surgery procedure tomorrow. The need for surgery came quite suddenly and the cause could be some kind of inflammation or cancer. Please pray for complete healing.

I was mistaken about Miki’s finger. Tomorrow he will have the wires removed from his broken finger. He really doesn't want it to hurt...who would? Please pray for him.


Sunday Worship

Above L: Elianna having fun with 'Aunt Jill'. Jill and Val (below L) came out to help by picking up the kids when Sharon and I checked into the hospital. On Saturday morning, Sharon began to gave much too frequent contractions that became painful. Our baby isn't due until May, so Sharon ended up in the hospital with an IV to stop the contractions. As of Sunday night, all tests reveal that Sharon and the baby are just fine. However, it is important that these contractions be put on hold so the baby has more time to develop before birth. Please pray for us!

Below L: Péter was our guest teacher tonight. We hope to have Péter serve once a month in this role. He is currently completing a degree in the Hungarian Baptist Theological school. His message was full of practical guides to Christian living.

Above L: Janka leading our children’s Sunday school. Above R: Gabi and Péter with Miki. Miki will have the wires removed from his finger tomorrow. Please pray that it would not be painful and that his finger would be healed!

Below: Andi and Erika. Andi is one of the people that we hope will come to a new small group starting this thursday in Miki and Erika’s home. Please pray for Andi and many others who have received personal invites to this small group. Pray that they would come to know Jesus through this opportunity.


Friday Night Sports

Above L: Allen teaching on the implications of Jesus being the light of the world. Above R: Tomi attempts a slam dunk.

Tonight we had a smaller group of teens for our sports club. That meant more running for everyone! We had a great time playing soccer and basketball. Miki brought his friend György (below R) from Budapest. György has worked at the same non-profit organization for years with Miki and has been exposed to the gospel preached and lived out. However, György has not made a decision. Please pray for him as Miki will spend tomorrow with György as well.

We are looking forward to the baptism of Dávid (above L) at the end of this month. Dávid continues to be used by the Lord to bring the truth of Jesus Christ to those who are involved in the occult and satanic worship. Please pray for his protection and spiritual growth in this time.

As you can see above, Miki’s finger is still bandaged. He is scheduled to have the wires removed from his finger this week. Please pray for him!

Thursday Night Bible Study

Above L: Elianna and Benjamin snuggling up to the new baby. Above R: Summarizing the main point of Matthew 10 in one sentence.

Tonight we held our last thursday night English Bible study. Why is it the last? Because we are 'multiplying' into two groups. Starting next week, Miki and Erika will begin a NEW thursday night small group taking most of our regular thursday night attenders. This group will be evangelistic in nature and hopefully lead many to understand and receive the gospel. On the same night (in our home), we will begin a NEW small group focused on building the new teenage young men who have been saved recently. This small group will be focused on discipleship. This transition has not been the most comfortable decision to make, but it is clear that God is leading us to take this step of faith. Please pray for these two new groups to be effective in evangelism and discipleship for God's glory.

Attila shared that one of his friends committed suicide this past week, and another attempted to commit suicide. Csaba added that in the neighboring town of Lôrinci , two midlle aged people committed suicide this past week as well. Hajnalka shared that she also was asked to comfort someone this past week who was considering committing suicide. What a stark reminder of the hopelessness of life without an understanding of God's gracious provision of freedom and salvation in His Son. We talked about how suicide in Hungary is often seen as an acceptable means of escape. Dezsô highlighted the rhetoric of the recent political advertisements that consitintly say things like, “Life isn't getting any better.” “We're worse off now than we were five years ago.” Dezsô said that this type of thinking leads many to continue seeing life as hopeless and without a future.

Our study tonight was on Matthew 10. After reading through the text, I had them break up into small groups and attempt to summarize the main message found in the text. They did a great job (with the help of the Holy Spirit of course!) It was encouraging to see them discover truth and work together through God's word to find it. It became clear that we follow in the footsteps of the only One who lived a perfect life, obeying His Father at each step and the result was persecution and utter rejection evidenced in the crucifixion. Jesus reveals, that if they treated Him in this way, we too should expect more of the same from the world that rejects truth. But we know that the end result of our living by faith in Jesus Christ is salvation. Matthew 10:22 says, “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. ”

Before leaving tonight, Janka and Csaba commented that this was a mind stretching night. There were points in our discussion where passions were stirred, and world views where shaken. I am thankful that God's word is our authoritative guide leading us in a life that is approved by God. Praise Him!

Monday Night ESL

Tonight we had a special visit from our friend Karen. Karen and her husband Jack serve in a leadership role throughout our region with Pioneers. Our kids were very excited to see 'Grandma Karen' who was kind enough to whip-up good ol' American style macaroni and cheese.

Later we held our ESL program in the Petőfibánya community center. We praise God that the mayor allows us to use this center free of charge for the majority of our programs. I briefly was able to talk to Andi who attended church last night. She said that she enjoyed her time there and her son Milán (pictured below) is already looking forward to returning next week. Milán also goes to the Bible class that Janka teaches in the public pre-school.

Above L: Edina, Andi and Kati are friends. Edina used to visit our church and bible studies off and on, but stopped a few months ago. Please pray that God would stir her heart once again, and draw her and her boy friend Misi to attend. Next week, we are starting a new small group that is for seekers. We hope that all three of these women will attend.

Below: Gabi and Zoli practicing their english on my car. "Piszkos" means dirty.


Sunday Worship

Above L: This morning we traveled to Budapest to have the Lord’s Supper together with György and Zsuzsa Kovács in their home. György and Zsuzsa were very active in the beginnings of the church plant in Petőfibánya. György was a great influence in our lives when we were searching for a place to serve in church planting. He introduced us to Miki and Erika in Petőfibánya, and the rest is history! God has used him to train, encourage and move people to start new church plants throughout Hungary.

Just last year György found out that he had pancreatic cancer and since that time has gone through various chemo-therapy treatments. His physical body is weak, but he is stronger than ever in spirit. Please ask the Lord to heal György.

Above R: Miki leading our Sunday discipleship class before church.

Below L: Virginia, Kinga and their friend that they brought to church. A few months ago, Virginia and Kinga asked (even begged) to stay upstairs to listen to the preaching rather than going downstairs for the children's program. I told them that they could once, as a trial. They did a great job listening and since that time often stay in for the preaching. Virginia and Kinga faithfully come every Sunday one hour early for Worship practice as well. Tonight they were able to hear as I preached from John 3:16 (which they already have memorized). Please pray that these young kids would be transformed through the power of the gospel!

Above R: Eszter with her new baby Aileen. Some of you prayed for Aileen as there was a question about her health. Praise God that after a recent check-up, she has a clean bill of health!

Above L: I was blind, but now I see: A friend of Miki’s from Budapest visited tonight to share a special story. She was designated legally blind. She couldn't see color, or in the dark, and barely in the light. She shared tonight about how this blindness was caused by a tumor behind her right eye which was cancerous. She explained how God's people came together and prayed for healing. While they were praying, she was feeling warm and was going to inform her friend in front of her that she needed to rest. As she squinted open her eyes, she was amazed to see a vibrant multi-colored sweater on her friend sitting before her. She quickly shut her eyes being afraid, and shared with her friend that she thinks that God healed her. Her friend rejoiced and said, “Well then OPEN YOUR EYES!”

Later, she returned to the doctor for more testing on her tumor. As she walked in SEEING, the doctor became infuriated that she had the nerve to go to another physician for treatment. She explained what had happened, and with great skepticism, the doctor performed more tests. She said, I had a paper in one hand that revealed a cancerous tumor, in my other hand a paper that said there are now NO signs of any tumor. Praise God for working in these ways today to bring glory to His Son Jesus!

Above L: Praise God that Hajnalka, Andi, Ildiko and Marcsi (Dezső’s wife) were able to hear the gospel preached tonight from John 3:16. None of them indicated a decision, but more seeds have been planted in their hearts.

Tonight I (Sharon) had a chance to speak with Andi (above L) for the first time. Andi has been going to English class and came last week to church, but I haven't ever personally had a chance to connect with her. As it turns out her son, Milan, is in Ben's preschool class. Tonight was Milan's first night to come to church and Ben helped him find his way around and made him feel welcome. He seemed to enjoy himself a lot.

After the church service I made a bee-line to the back to talk with Andi and her friend Hajni. We chit-chatted for a bit and then I ended up standing there as Ildiko and Hajni had a conversation together. Ildiko shared how, although she is not a believer, she regularly comes to church every other week. She said that the sense of calm that she takes with her after she comes to church lasts for two weeks. She shared how she is becoming more and more a part of the group (and even sometimes singing with us) but yet she still senses being an outsider. She enjoys coming and says that she'll keep coming for the "calmness" she receives.

Hajna shared that she has been a part of a bunch of different religious "groups" and although she liked those a lot, she still sensed that something was different about us and that she was going to keep coming on Sundays until she figured out what was so different.

We rejoice that these women heard the gospel clearly tonight and that they see Christ displayed in our lives. We rejoice at their curiosity and that they feel welcomed in the church and yet we are glad that they recognize that they do not have all that we have. We pray that they will continue to pursue answers to their questions that only find fulfillment in Christ.

I also delight that God has given us the ability to learn and speak Hungarian. It was a huge blessing for me to be able to carry on good conversations with these women. It is delightful to hear Allen fluidly preach and pray in Hungarian. Ben was a blessing tonight in helping to welcome Milan. Tonight was the first night that Ellie attended the children's service downstairs. I rejoiced that our service was very peaceful and quiet when sometimes we have many little kids (2 years and under) in the room with us. The gospel was clearly proclaimed and the room was conducive to listening. Praise God!


Saturday Játszóház

Today we held our 'once a month' Játszóház (Childrens Play House). Many of the children that Janka (above L) teaches Bible class to in the public schools attended. Julika (above R) with her children Zsolti, Juli and Dávid came out to present a puppet show about God speaking to Samuel. The kids had a great time playing games, and doing a special collage that pictured different ways God speaks to us. I am always impressed with the creativity the Hungarian children are blessed with. (Click on any picture to see the full photo album.)

After Játszóház, we went to see Janka’s new apartment in Petőfibánya. Heidi (below R) will be sharing the apartment with Janka starting sometime in April as she joins our focus group.

Above L: Ben and Elianna give Heidi’s room the full 'run' down. Above R: Janka holding up her miniature Hungarian flag. Below: Big brotherly love.


Friday Night Party

Before our Friday Night Party (that we hold once a month for the teens), we spent some time with Gabi and Zoli studying Matthew chapter 25. We talked about how God entrusts us with 'talents' which He expects us to use to bear fruit.

“For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” (Matthew 25:29) After reading this verse, Zoli commented, “If we take advantage of the opportunities that God gives us, then we will receive more, but if we ignore these opportunities, we will be left with nothing.” Amen!

I am proud of Gabi and Zoli for there continued commitment to growing in their faith in Christ. Zoli will be baptized this month. Please pray for his baptism to be a blessing for him and for those who attend.

Below L: Gabi and Zoli enjoying our coffee house otherwise known as our kitchen. Elli also joins us with her pretend coffee and spoon. Below R: Zoli brings some life to the Friday Night Party.

Above: Blast from the past. Teaching the kids some break-dancing moves (yikes-I'm getting too old for this)

The purpose of our Friday Night Party is to build relationships with the kids who have no male role models in life. It is our hope as they see our love and concern for their spiritual well-being that they will see Jesus in us. As you can see in the pictures, we spend a lot of time playing games and laughing. Instead of the local disco, parties, and the bar, they have chosen to 'hang out' with us. Imagine the contrast they see as we 'party' as Christians.

The very last game of traveling through a maze blindfolded (see Zoli above L) led into teaching about finding our way in life. I spoke to the teens about the flaws with the world view of 'doing what you feel' is right. I brought up the dangers of relativism and also the effects of following after sin. I said, "I know that many of you have seen in your own families and relationships the consequences of following advice of wicked people. You have felt the effects of divorce, of broken relationships that are fueled by anger, of people that choose not to forgive. This is what happens when people live according to what they feel is right and don't live according to a wise standard.” We turned our attention to one of my favorite passages:

“Blessed is the person who does not follow the advice of wicked people, take the path of sinners, or join the company of mockers. Rather, he delights in the teachings of the LORD and reflects on his teachings day and night.” (Psalms 1:1-2)

I told them that God's word is my standard that helps me make decisions, and live a life that is truly right. I encouraged them to choose this night to submit themselves to this standard to obtain wisdom and direction from God through the gift of His word.

Please pray for these teens. Many of them regularly visit church, and some visited for the first time last Sunday. I will be preaching from John 3:16 this Sunday. Pray that they would hear the Gospel and understand God's love, His grace and the greatest gift available in this world–Salvation in Jesus Christ!


Thursday Night Bible Study

As we took turns sharing something interesting about our week, Hajnalka (below right) told us that she felt welcomed by our church on Sunday. She said that she was also glad to find this group and senses our kindness toward her.

Above L: Our professional greeter welcomes each visitor with joy. Above R: Hajnalka's second time to our thursday night Bible study

Dezső praised God for answering our prayers about his mother who has just finished her last chemotherapy treatment. There are no signs of remaining cancer and his mother is recovering well. I sensed that Dezső's wife, Marcsi, is becoming more comfortable in small group and less fearful. Please pray that she would continue to be at peace with us and be drawn to Christ through the various opportunities she has to hear the gospel.

Above L: One of my ESL students, Mariann, brought her two year old son Csaba to the study. This is one of the only opportunities she has to hear God's word. Because of her work schedule and responsibilities at home, it is often hard for her to attend. It is clear that she has been seeking for some time now. Please pray that we would continue to have opportunity to direct her to the Savior either in church, small group or in some other way.

Towards the end of our study, Hajnalka began talking about where she was on her spiritual journey. I praise God for the ways our group was able to listen and also give testimony to how God changed their lives through Christ. Péter (below L) spoke about his struggles with depression and alcoholism before he met Jesus. He praised God for freeing him from all of those things and filling his life with an incomparable joy. Dezső recalled the many spiritualists he studied under and religious paths that he took before he found Jesus. He said, "Once I began to read the word..." then he paused for a second as goose-bumps ran up his arm, and continued, "Once I began reading the word, it was so powerfully true that it frightened me. But, I couldn't stop reading, it became an addiction. Then I knew, Jesus is the true way, Jesus is the only way." What an amazing gift Jesus has given us! I love when I do the least of the talking in the group! Please pray for Hajnalka who is heading in the right direction.

In other news, Janka has been holding a Bible class in Ben's preschool since fall of 2004 and this past year she started holding English classes for the 4-6 year olds. A few of the parents allow their kids to go to the Bible class, but not very many. Since Janka began giving English classes (at the preschool's request) several of the parents have allowed their children to also attend the Bible class. Tonight at the PTA meeting at Ben's preschool class, his teachers were encouraging the rest of the parents to allow their children to go to Janka's weekly Bible class. Neither one of his teachers are believers and yet they highly encouraged the parents to let their kids go each week. They said, "Janka is a really great teacher and the kids are just learning good things. It's not overly religious, just good stuff. The kids that go, love to go. The kids who don't get to go, beg to go, but we can't allow it without parental permission. If you don't have any strong objection to it, please let your kids go to the Bible class" Praise God for this good word both about Janka and the Bible class. Pray that many of the parents in Ben's class would allow their children to attend and spread the word to the parents of the other classes in the preschool too.