July 2023

English Camp Update


We're back from a wonderful English Camp where God once again impacted campers' lives as they learned about the good news of Jesus Christ.

Above: Volunteers like Adria from churches in the US formed a great team together with missionaries in Hungary to help our campers learn English, but more importantly learn about Jesus Christ, our Savior.


Above: Students receiving a Bible on their last day as we congratulate them for their hard work throughout the week.

Bible Reading Time

Above: Janka (center), a first time camper, has been our neighbor for years in Petofibánya. Her parents are very kind, but show no interest in spiritual things. Even still, her mother recommended that her daughter attend this camp. I had a hard time knowing what was going through Janka's mind throughout the week as she was in my Bible reading group, but it was clear toward the end of the camp that she was glad to be there. After the kids headed home on the last day, she immediately posted, "Already miss the camp." I am sure that being with believers all week, who truly express the love of Christ towards the campers, is like being in another world for many of these kids. We tell them each year that they don't have to wait another year to be with us, and we invite them to church and other gatherings to maintain the relationship.

Above: Málna is also another teen from our area that was in my Bible reading group that has attended our VBS camps and has now 'graduated' to attending English Camp for the first time. Málna is also planning on coming to our VBS as a helper. Please pray for her and other teen helpers who will be at our VBS that still need to know the Lord.

I often begin my Bible reading time class with this question: How many of you have read the Bible or parts of the Bible before? This year, only about half my class raised their hands. This would be the first time for many of them to take a guided tour through a few important accounts that would help them understand God’s grand story of providing the way to redeem us through His only Son Jesus Christ. After reading about creation and the fall, the testing of Abraham’s faith to sacrifice his son and God’s provision of the lamb, and the healing of the blind man, we came to the story of the Prodigal Son. On this day, in this study we are intentional in making the Gospel as clear as possible. That same evening, we come to what we call “Gospel Night” where students would have an opportunity to personally respond to what they have been learning about Jesus Christ throughout the week.


Above: Emese (top pic with Sharon) and Szabi above, giving testimony on Gospel night. Emese, who was just baptized in Petofibánya before coming to English Camp, shared her testimony. I’m sure that many of these campers could relate to her situation as she does not come from a home with believing parents. Afterwards, Szabi shared his story of coming to know Jesus as Savior and how God has been at work in his life. It was great to see how the youth were an important part of outreach and proclaiming the Gospel this night.


Above: The youth group from our church in Petofibánya presented a powerful drama on Gospel Night. One young man who had seen this drama a few years ago at camp commented that it didn’t really mean much to him then, but this year it moved him to tears.

Above: Our guest speaker Attila proclaimed the Gospel and shared his testimony that included a difficult relationship with his father that was later reconciled through Jesus. The majority of campers this year are first time campers. The room was silent and it was clear that the kids were engaged and God was moving in their hearts.

Above: Jason and Tahran closed with a beautiful song and we dismissed the kids but also invited those who wanted to stay and talk about what they were hearing that night to remain. We had about ten campers stay in the room and there were others who left, who were talking outside with other leaders about what was going on in their hearts.

Above: Gyula stayed afterward to talk to leaders.

I was able to sit and talk with Gyula and also Nimrod. When Nimrod came over to talk, he sat down and just slightly waved his hand signaling that the couldn’t talk yet. He was in tears. Later when he finally was able to talk, he told me that he never gets emotional. I believe God was working deeply in his heart.

Above: Nimrod was clearly looking for more than just to be entertained this week at camp. He was often spending significant time talking one on one with various staff about life. This is Nimrod’s third camp. Earlier in the week, there was a prayer request in the morning meeting that I would be able to talk with Nimrod about my testimony. After prayer that morning, guess who God led to sit right next to me at breakfast? Nimrod!

We didn’t have a lot of time to talk, but I was able to share some of my story which in many ways is very similar to Nimrod’s life. Nimrod is a very disciplined young man, not like his peers. He spends hours at the gym and also spends hours finding ways to make profit with online investments. Another leader had seen him reading a book about power, and Nimrod shared with me how he wants to be great in order to help people. I shared about how I had put many things as highest priority in my life. I also worked out all the time and spent hours and hours honing my graphic design skills to become the best. I shared about reaching my ‘life’ goals at a young age and finding that at the top of the mountain, I was empty. I began deeply contemplating life and death every night. Nimrod shook his head and said, “I also think deeply about these things.”

I shared with Nimrod how I was a very controlling person, trying to control every detail of my life for security. But I realized, I could not control life. Death was coming. Injuries and accidents happen. Things in life happen that we have no control over. And what was life worth? What were all the awards and all the accomplishments and all the riches worth if I died? They would become nothing in an instant. I needed to find security and purpose somewhere else because I realized I had none in myself. I told him how I met Jesus and surrendered my life to Him to save me and to be Lord of my life. I shared how I find the ultimate security in Jesus who is faithful and who does not change. My challenge to Nimrod was to stop trying to accomplish greatness without understanding God’s definition of greatness. I told him, “First, as your only goal, get to know the great One, Jesus.” I shared with him the importance of Matthew 6:33 to my life: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

I felt as if God wanted me to tell him, “Stop trying to accomplish great things (according to your definition of greatness) and first come to know God through Jesus Christ.” I also spent significant time talking about our call to lay down our lives in order that Jesus would be Lord of our lives when we come to faith in Him. Nimrod understood and shared his fear about that step of faith to give Jesus ultimate control. This also gave me opportunity to share the same fears that I had when I first came to know Jesus. Our theme for camp this year was “TRUST.” God is calling us to trust Him with our lives as He is the One who created us and has specific callings and purposes for each of us that are far superior than anything we could ever plan for ourselves.


Above: Since Nimrod was in Sharon's English Class, she was also able to have various times of telling him about Jesus and the importance of having God first in our lives.

Please pray for Nimrod who is thinking deeply about these things. Sharon asked Nimrod at the end of camp what next steps he would be taking to which Nimrod replied, “I’m going to begin reading the Bible.” Pray that the truth of Jesus Christ may set Nimrod free, that his security may be found in Christ and that he truly would become a great man for God’s kingdom purposes.

Above: Levente saying his goodbyes to Beckie on the last day of camp. Both Levente and Beckie were in my Bible group throughout the week, and Beckie was privileged to pray with Levente to receive Christ.

Above: Patrik (front row blue shirt). Both Levente and Patrik who stayed afterward to talk were ‘last minute’ campers to register. Levente didn’t know anything about our camp, but a friend of his mother recommended it. Patrik’s mother has been praying for her son for years. Patrik was resistant to want to go to camp initially, but decided to attend last minute. Both Levente and Patrik prayed to accept Christ’s gift of salvation and give their lives to the Lord on Gospel night.

Several others had many questions and seem to be seriously searching for truth, acceptance, security and love. Eliána, Réka and Lili are young believers who feel like they have not grown as they should or have even slipped in their faith in the past year. They asked for prayer and for help in their growth. Ibolya, Richard, Máté, GergÅ‘, Luca, Balázs, Hanna, Anna and Helga are seemingly very close to making a decision to follow Christ. Each of them had many questions and were willing for the staff to pray for them.

Above: Will the real Ziva please stand up? Ziva (far left) with her friends who bear an uncanny resemblance to one another had a great time at camp as well. But a conversation that an older English camper had with our youngest daughter Ziva earlier in the week caused Ziva to be deeply upset about how this camper was thinking and living. Ziva seemed to be understanding her personal need for salvation more throughout the week as both Sharon and Elianna spent some time explaining the Gospel to her. Please pray for younger children of staff members (like Ziva) that they would have their own personal faith in Jesus.



Above: Elianna serving as a translator in Heidi's Bible Reading Group.

Above: Our older daughters, Elianna and Kira served as translators throughout the week (not an easy job). It is a blessing to see them mature and use their talents and giftings to serve Jesus.






Above: Finishing off the week with smores and singing by the campfire.

Thank you all for your financial and prayer support that enable us to do camps like this throughout the Summer! Your partnership is making a difference in a new generation in Hungary. Next week, we hold our first of two VBS camps in our hometown of Petofibanya. With both VBS camps combined, we have a total of 170 kids registered. The majority of these kids are unchurched and in need of salvation. We ask that you pray for our final preparations and for God to use us to powerfully proclaim Jesus to the lost He is seeking to save.

Financial help

We have had a few extra generous financial gifts come in response to our plea for help. We are very grateful! Unfortunately, we are still in need of more help because of the impact of inflation, the change in the exchange rate of the dollar to Hungarian forint, the costs for Summer camps, and the help we need for Kira's tuition for Black Forest Academy. We just wanted to make our needs known and ask for prayer and for help from anyone that has the means to contribute toward these needs. You can find support information HERE.

We'll leave you with these films to get a sense of what happened throughout the week at English Camp and we'll be sure to update you after our first VBS as to what God has accomplished.


July Update

Thank you all for taking the time to catch up with what God is doing through various ministries of our church in Hungary. We NEED your continued prayers and appreciate your part in our ministry! In this report, we have an update on the English Camp in our village for elementary children, baptisms that happened last week and prayer requests for our upcoming English Camp for teens and young adults.

English Camp in Petofibanya


Above: We had a great turn out for holding an English Camp in Petofibanya's Middle School at the end of June. Our teammate Roger has been teaching Bible classes and serving at this school getting to know teachers and kids this whole year. Roger planned and coordinated with a team from his home church that prepared curriculum, activities and games that the kids enjoyed the entire week.





Above: Johnson, the team leader from the US did a great job sharing the Gospel with the kids each day.


Above: Who would have thought? This young girl is not practicing English, but Chinese with Francis. Francis found out that she attends a Chinese language school in Budapest and she had the opportunity to test her knowledge on Francis each day.



Above: Many of these kids have attended our Bible Camps in the past and this English Camp was a great way to kick off the Summer and get reconnected.






Above: Roger's daughter Emi served as a translator for the first time in her life and did an excellent job!




Above: On the last day, Johnson shared the story of their child that they lost and how they continue to trust God and find joy and peace in relationship with Him even in trials.



You can check out a short film with highlights of English Camp in Petofibanya below. We praise God for a great camp and hope that we'll be able to do it again next year.

Family Vacation




Above: Right off the heels of English Camp in our hometown, our family headed off for a week of vacation together in Italy. We were able to visit Venice for a day and also spent some time at local beaches. Ben was also able to come with his girlfriend Niki. It was great to have some time together before the busyness of the summer camp ministries just ahead.

Sunday Baptisms

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We had the joy of witnessing the baptism of two new members of the family of God, Berci and Emese. One who grew up in a Christian home and the other coming from just the opposite background. Here is the testimony they shared on Sunday:

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My parents are both believers. Growing up, I always believed that God existed and that He loves me. We had attended a church for a time as a family, but then we stopped and were out of Christian fellowship. I began hanging out with non-believers, but never really became close friends with any of them. When I was eleven years old, some of my classmates went to a small hidden part of school property and pulled out their phones. One of them had a picture of a figure with money printed on his face and they bowed down and worshiped it like an idol. This really shook me up and I returned home and told my mom that I wanted to follow God and we prayed together. That year, I attended a camp where I heard good teaching and there was an opportunity to talk to camp-workers about putting our faith in Jesus. It was there that I put my faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. God gave me Psalm 37:55 as encouragement: “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” This is what I have done. I have committed my way to Him and put my trust in Him and now a year later, I am here today to be baptized.

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I am very happy to be here as this has been a challenging season of my life. My parents are not believers. There was a time many years ago when we had come to this church but we had moved away to another town. But I still would attend the Summer Bible camps. In 2021, at Christmas, I was sitting in my room and remembering my experience in camp and I remembered how much love and kindness was in this church. I wanted to have that same love and kindness toward others that they had. And I knew that it was only possible through Jesus Christ. I wanted to attend church, but there weren’t any opportunities where we now lived. I began feeling isolated and started to believe that I was the only one in the world who was sinful and God couldn’t love me. I know that is not true today. But at that time, I drifted away from God. After some months, I opened my Bible and began reading again. I wanted to come to this church, and now that I was older it was possible. I went to my dad crying and asking if I could go to church and he allowed it (praise God!). Once attending, I began to realize that we all struggle with sin and I realized that Jesus died for us while we were sinners. I then put my faith in Jesus as my Savior and my thoughts and the way I lived my life changed. I’m so thankful to God that I can be here today.


Above: Berci's sisters Gigi and Lilliom celebrating with their brother.


Above: Our daughters middle name is "Joy", now you know why :) Praise God that Elianna continues to meet with Emese for discipleship and prayer.


Above: Teammate Heidi praying for Emese after service.


Above: But wait there's more! After this baptismal service was over, Pisti (above), after hearing the message, the testimonies and seeing the baptisms asked if he also could be baptized. Pisti is married to our Hungarian teammate Miki's sister and Miki has had many opportunities to share the Gospel and give Christian counsel to Pisit over the years. Praise God that Pisti was also led to be baptized and proclaim His faith in our risen Savior Jesus Christ.

Encouragement from Grandma Gizi

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Above: Gizi, who is in her 70's is still following God's calling on her life for His glory. Recently, Gizi shared this testimony in our Sunday service and I wanted to share it with all of you.

“I have been in a retirement home for three years now. After my husband passed away, I received a new roommate that I have been able to assist and help. I began to realize in this retirement home how different life is in the world. It is hard for anyone to grasp the sufferings that happen in this place. There are those who are terribly weak with dementia and those who are terribly aggressive with dementia. Some speak so harshly and negatively that it really takes the power of God to bear what I hear. When I moved to this place, I believed God had called me to be here to help. Recently, someone who began working as a counselor here asked me if I could help her since I had good relationships with those she would be hoping to meet with. Our first meeting was a Bible study and we had five show up. I made a point to greet each one of them personally and to go around to each one to hug them and tell them that I love them. I also surprised them by making crêpes for them. The next meeting, we had eight show up. The third week we had twelve show up. Each time God gives me a way to bless them with a thankful heart. Instead of each of them talking about their problems, they often ask me to do the talking. I always have the Bible with me and I share from the word and we talk about it together.

Two weeks ago, there was something that happened that just felt like too much for me to handle. I have often helped this person in the home, but for some reason she began cursing and spoke with me with such harshness that I begged her to please stop. And I didn’t say anything back to her as she continued to yell and scream at me. This happened in front of everyone in the cafeteria. She just kept screaming at me. I just broke down. I went back to my room and called my daughter and said, “Get me out of here. You can come anytime.” And I went away for a week to regain my strength. And when I left, I thought to myself, “I am never ever going to speak to that person again in my life.” I ended up falling down that week and injuring my knee and had to spend some time at the hospital. Two nurses from the retirement home came to visit me. So, once I returned to the retirement home, the first thing I did was look for those nurses to thank them for their visit. As I was looking for them, I heard someone greeting me. It was the person who had yelled at me that I had felt so hurt by last week. But instead of seeing a terrible pride filled and arrogant face, she was broken and humbled. I greeted her by name. She came toward me with open arms and I also opened my arms to embrace her. She planted her head in my neck like a child and wept and wept and wept asking me if I would forgive her. And with complete honesty, I could tell her that I never felt any anger toward her. I told her I could imagine how difficult it was for her at that moment because her mother was on her death bed at the time. I continue to do what God has called me to do in this retirement home. It’s just like the Scripture that we read today says, “I will not leave you or forsake you.” I was feeling like I had to escape and I was already looking for a place to rent. But God always renews my strength, he gives me strength that can only come from above. It is right here in this church that I always receive the joy and strength that I need, and I go home comforted.” — Gizi

Isaiah 40:31 But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.


Praise God for the ways that He is at work in the young and old, giving grace, giving strength and revealing Himself as we pursue Him everyday! As we finish this update, we wanted to ask you all to pray for English Camp for teens and young adults that starts on Saturday! We have a good number of teens (first time campers) coming from our area and this will be another great opportunity to share the truth and love of Jesus Christ with them. So please pray for us and all those serving, and for these teens that need to know the Savior. This English Camp in the town of Lakitelek is from the 14th to the 22nd of July. We'll be sure to update you when we return.

And as we mentioned in our last update, we find ourselves in financial need. We appreciate all of the ways so many of you have faithfully given over the years to partner with us. Please pray for our financial situation and if you are in a position to give, we would ask you to consider making a donation toward our ministry. You can find more information about giving here. Now, we're off to English Camp :)