July 2020

VBS in Jászfényszaru




A few months ago, one of our partners in ministry, Erika had changed her workplace from teaching in a local school to teaching kids in foster care. As summer approached, she saw the opportunity to invite a group of these foster kids to our VBS. Seven ended up attending along with two other workers from the foster home (pictured above). It was clear that this group of kids from broken homes, a past of disappointments and abuses came into VBS with their guard up. We trusted that God would give them an amazing dose of His love and a taste of the ways of His kingdom through us which would break down those defensive facades. In addition to these foster kids, we also had a group of 14 Romani kids register for our camp who live in Jászfényszaru.


As some of you know, there is ongoing discrimination against the Romani in Hungary. How would this camp go? How would the mix of Hungarians and Romani kids and foster kids work out? We set our eyes on Jesus, continued to put our faith in Him to use us and this camp for His purposes.





The theme of our camp was the "Land of Miracles”. We took over 80 kids on a journey through Paul’s life from his salvation experience to the many trials and deliverances he experienced as he followed Jesus as Lord and Savior. Although we had a smaller group of workers than usual for this VBS, we were grateful for every volunteer and how God strengthened us and united us. I was blessed to see the Body of Christ using so many gifts and talents to fulfill their specific roles at camp. I was especially encouraged with our older teens who continue to mature in their faith. They used games, drama, worship and some shared their own stories of how they met Jesus in the small group time each day.


Above: Our girls Kira and Ellie helping with a beautiful attitude in worship.



Above: Anna reaching out in compassion and Christ's love.


Initially, the group from the foster home were very hesitant to talk, and participate in group activities. But as the week went on, you could see the hardness melting away as they began singing along in worship, sharing in small group time and connecting with some of the leaders in free time.



Above: One of the kids, Lolli was invited to stay after to hang out with the older teens who were serving at VBS. They continued to bond and talk throughout the week. When Lolli returned to his foster home at the end of the week, he said he wanted to become a Christian. Thankfully, because of Erika working at this foster care center, we will have continued contact with those who attended, and some have already registered to attend our teen camping weekend in August.

On the second day of camp, Zsanet, a mother and friend of another camp worker who happened to be attending had a seizure at the end of the day. Thankfully, her youngest child did not witness it, but her older daughter was the one who discovered her mother on the ground in this condition. As Zsanet came out of her seizure, I had an opportunity to pray for her and also talk to her daughter to comfort her. The medics came and released her to go home and her children returned to VBS a few days later. We praise God that this seizure didn’t happen as she was driving her family home and that there were no complications afterwards.

On Friday, late in the afternoon, it began to rain for the first time at VBS. This year, we have everything outside because of government requirements due to the virus, so rain posed a problem if it were to continue. Everyone was flexible and found ways to do games and crafts under the tents to finish the day, but we needed God to bring clear skies for Saturday as this was the day for entire families to come and spend time together. The forecast had all of Hungary covered with rain clouds, and a 70% chance in Jászfényszaru for Saturday. As we laid down to sleep Friday night, it continued to pour. Looking out my door on Saturday morning, there was a slight drizzle in Petofibanya (which is half an hour away from our VBS site). As I drove to pick up a family that was attending, the kids said, “Today is going to be the best day! There won’t be any rain in Jászfényszaru!” Our Father is giving good gifts every day, and that Saturday, He moved the clouds away and by afternoon the sun was shining. There was absolutely no rain!



Above: We had a great turn out of parents and were thankful for those who participated in our small group time. Zsolti, who lives in Jászfényszaru was able to share his testimony, along with Norbi, and Bogi. It was great to hear how Jesus saved each of them from various backgrounds.


Erika (pictured center with husband), one of the workers at the foster care center, was surprised that her husband came in and sat down to listen. She shared with Sharon that her husband is an avid atheist and it took some nudging to even get him to come to camp for family day. It sounds like he has had some bad experiences from those who claimed they were believers. I hope that what he experienced on Saturday helped him to see the real Jesus and hear about His truth, love and grace.


After a very positive experience last year, Eszter (pictured above, center) also attended this year. She lives just 5 minutes away from our town, but did not end up visiting our church or youth group ministry last year after VBS. On Sunday after camp this year, I was surprised to see her with her dad at our worship service! I honestly don’t know if her dad was planning on dropping her off and running…it seemed that way to me. But as everyone greeted them and Miki began conversing with Eszter’s dad, he seemed to be willing to stay. In our time of singing and even as I preached, he stood in the back close to the exit. Then came our time for small groups that we do after our message and I see him moving toward the front to join Miki’s small group! Praise God for drawing him in and giving him an opportunity to know Jesus Christ.

Above: On family day, one of our church members donates his time and business bringing an inflatable slide and also cotton candy for all the kids (and adults of course)!




Many seeds have been planted through this VBS and we ask that you pray that we have wisdom to know how to follow up and continue to reach out to those who need Jesus. Pray for those foster kids, and for the Romani kids and their families. Pray for Eszter and her dad. And please pray for more open doors as we will be meeting with some of these kids again in an upcoming teen camping trip in August.



Currently, we’re preparing for English Camp which is from this Saturday July 25th to Aug 1st. Would you consider joining in prayer by following a private prayer blog? Please contact us for the address and password. We would love for you to partner in prayer!



Baseball Camp

Above: 2020 Baseball campers and volunteers.

Summer is one of our most opportune times in Hungary for outreach as we usually hold 2 VBS camps, Baseball Camp, English Camp and a youth group camp. Just a few months ago as schools were closing and beginning online lessons because of the Corona virus, we didn’t know if any of these would be possible. But I am reminded today of the mercy and power of Jesus Christ. In Revelation 3:7 we read, “What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” By the mercy of Christ, He has opened the door for us to have camps this Summer in Hungary while it seems the rest of the world is shut down.


Last week we rejoiced in spending a week together with children from our neighborhood for Baseball Camp.

Of course, we didn’t have the usual help from the US of volunteers because of travel restrictions, but we praise God for the abundance of Hungarian teens that pitched in (no pun intended) to help. Actually the teen helpers outnumbered the adults that were serving.

Above: Teens serving with us in Baseball Camp

Teammate Roger shared a lesson each day about keeping watch, patience, discipline, grace and victory. God provided great weather and a great time for all the kids and helpers serving.


We’ll be holding our first of two VBS camps starting this Monday in the town of Jászfényszaru.

Above: Church members preparing materials for this year's VBS camps.

We would appreciate your prayers for those serving and those attending. We have many first time campers and are looking forward to sharing the Good News with them. Would you pray with us that a new generation would be reached for Jesus and that entire families would come to know Him as Lord and Savior in Jászfényszaru.

Thanks for standing with us! May the Lord continue to bless you and enable you to be a minister of reconciliation and the light of Christ in the midst of trials and tribulation. May the peace of Christ be with you.