February 2018

February Update

Hope in the New Year!

Above: Every New Year’s Eve, our church gets together for worship service and a night of fun and fellowship with family and friends. 2017 was definitely one of the toughest years our church and our family has experienced, but through it all, God is faithfully refining and building us up in love. The trials and difficulties have had the good effect of leading us to press deeper into His presence. We continue to look to Him for healing, for restoration, direction and strength as we begin a new chapter of life trusting in our faithful Savior in 2018!





Above: From L to R, ‘Aunt’ Zsuzsa, Bogi, Eszti, Anna and Arnold showing off gift bracelets they received from a friend in the US they met while serving in last summer’s baseball camp. The way technology is today, they continue to communicate with workers from the US and are being encouraged with these long distance relationships in many ways!

Baptisms in Petofibanya

Above: From L to R: Érzsi, Peti, Alina, Aranka, János. Below are a few testimonies from the baptismal service.


János’ testimony: “I first had an encounter with Jesus in Jászfényszaru at last year’s VBS. After coming home I began to realize how much of an empty life I had lived. I would like to be baptized today knowing that without Him my life leads nowhere. I have come to realize that He is the only way of life and He has redeemed me. As I encounter the hardships of this life, I want to depend fully on Him and trust in His will to be done.”

Aranka’s testimony:
“I grew up in Petofibanya with your average life, grew up, got a job and lived according to my parent’s expectations. As the years past, I continued to feel more and more empty inside. When I met Jánkó and we had children, I thought that this was what was missing in my life. I thought that if I had a family I would finally be happy. But with the coming of children came many challenges, anxiety and problems that we had no idea how to solve. When Nimrod was younger, we were walking with him outside and met with another family and were able to talk. It seemed that we were always running into each other and formed a relationship because of our little ones. As we spoke more and continued to run into each other, I saw in them the type of joy that as a child I imagined that I would have when I grew up. They had peace in their spirits and true love toward their children. They had something that I was searching for in life. From the outside we looked like a wonderful family but behind the four walls of our home we were like a TNT factory ready to explode. I knew I didn’t have what I needed to help myself or my husband. In 2016 we visited and heard Erika sharing at Advent that the world teaches that we are able to control and direct our lives and I had already experienced that this was not true. And Erika explained a different life where we live in freedom entrusting our lives to Jesus Christ. A life where we are set free to live with joy. I came to realize that it was meaningless to try to solve everything in my own strength. It was as if God was speaking directly to me through Erika. But then I went home and fell back into the same life. Then we received an SMS inviting us to church and I asked my husband, “Now, what are we going to do?” We had known Miki already for years since our son had attended so many VBS camps. And the passion that our son brought home from those camps would burn the entire year until the next VBS. But we didn’t have what our son had. So we decided to attend Sunday worship service. And our decision wasn’t just to attend one Sunday, but from that moment on to commit to attending. As I heard the preaching here it was as if I was receiving answers to the problems I was struggling with. Easter was beautiful and the message was about choosing which path we would take in life. Another message helped me when I was becoming anxious about my kids’ futures and helping me to see I could trust Him in all these things. Through this time God was drawing me closer to Himself. And the path was clear before me to receive Jesus Christ into my life and my heart. This is my future and my family’s future.”

Érzsi’s testimony: “Before I came to know the Lord, I went through many challenges, disappointments and losses. I went through a difficult marriage the loss of my mother, my father and after a tragedy the loss of my husband. I was depressed for months. There was a person who stood by me in that time and offered help. Heidi embraced me and prayed for me. She helped me to come to know the Lord and trust in Him. When I was close to giving up, there was a voice that spoke to me, “Don’t give up. Things will get better. You just have to believe.” Today, I know that this was the Lord who spoke to me. He is with me and helps me everyday. And in the coming days, I will believe and trust in the Lord. I am thankful that He has come into my life and I want to give myself to Him and trust Him with the rest of my days.”

Above: Peti rejoiced that he had the special privilege of baptizing his daughter Alina!




Above: Sharon talking with Mónika and Józsi. I love to see growth. I love to see changes happening in the body that point to a bright future of mature believers that glorify God. Recently, church member Monika invited me to come with her to visit and pray for a friend who was very sick with cancer. Monika had already been visiting this friend weekly, praying for her and expressing the love of Christ and I was invited to join her. I didn’t come up with the idea. I didn’t challenge the church to visit their friends in the hospital. It wasn’t a case of inviting Monika to join me so that she could learn from my example. Instead it was Monika blessing me as I see the love of Christ blossoming in her life and touching the lives of others who have need of Jesus. Unfortunately, her friend did pass away this Friday, but God gave the gift of hearing the good news of eternal life in Christ before she died. Our church is now turning our attention to helping her husband and family. We would appreciate your prayers for them in this time.

Churchplant in Jaszfényszaru


Above: Miki giving Bogi a high-five in a church member’s house that we sometimes use as a meeting place every other Sunday for the churchplant in Jászfényszaru. God has been at work in so many ways in Bogi’s life and she continues to grow despite the struggles of her being the only believer in her family. We first met Bogi in our English club in Jászfényszaru years ago and in that time there was a student named Melinda that also attended that we had lost touch with. Then, Bogi brought Melinda to the last day of our youth group camp this past summer and after that she continued to talk to Bogi about life. Melinda ended up coming to church one Sunday with Bogi and since that time she has become connected with other women who have been a help and encouragement as Melinda seeks to deepen her relationship with Jesus.

Above: Melinda (center) recently visited our Children’s Playhouse Outreach in Jászfényszaru. Praise God for using the members of the body in various ways to help more and more come to know the love of Christ.



Above: Families attending our Children’s Playhouse Ministry.

Rozsaszentmarton Winter Carnival

Above: Our eldest daughter Elianna celebrated her final year in middle school with a special Winter Carnival dance with the rest of her class.





Above: That very same night, I had Sharon take me to the emergency room as I was experiencing chest pains and a strange abnormal feeling of lightheadedness. After multiple EKGs, a blood test and x-rays, my body showed no signs of having any serious issues (Praise God and thank you for those of you who knew about it and prayed for me.) By the end of the next day I was feeling completely better. My teammate Tom joked that it was the stress from seeing my daughter in a wedding dress. Maybe he’s right.


Thank you all for your continued prayers for our family, our team and the church planting work in Hungary. We appreciate all of you and are blessed to have you as partners and friends!