June 2022

HOPE TO SEE YOU THIS SUMMER

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Our family will be spending the summer on furlough in the U.S. and we hope to see many of you in person. It's hard to believe it has been 5 years since we've been back. Part of our time back will include getting 3 driver's licenses (Ben, Ellie and Kira), launching Ellie as she will be attending Moody Bible in Chicago, camps for our kids, reconnecting with family and all of you and raising support for various needs as we continue ministry in Hungary.

As we shared in our last update, we're hoping that our daughter Kira will be able to attend Black Forest Academy in Germany, but we are in need of support for her tuition. If you would like to help, you can see information here (https://bit.ly/3Q6E7NI)

In addition, our daughter Elianna could also use financial help as she begins her studies at Moody. Please contact us if you would like to help with her financial needs ([email protected] )

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Above: Miki and the church sending us back to the US with prayer and encouragement.

While he was yet a boy


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As I continue in my Bible reading plan, I came across the story of the eight year old child who found himself on the throne as a king in Jerusalem. Where were you when you were eight years old? The kings preceding him were all over the spectrum, some serving the Lord, others abandoning Him for idols. Josiah was different. Scripture tells us, “While he was yet a boy, Josiah began to seek the God of David his father.” (2 Ch 34:3) What a blessing to begin seriously seeking God at a young age. Sharon was saved at a young age as well as our daughters Ellie and Kira. And this past Sunday, we celebrated the baptism of a young man Zsombi (pictured above) in our church who also began seeking God “while he was yet a boy.” Much of our summer ministry in Hungary is focused on reaching the next generation with VBS, Baseball, English and Teen Camps. We rejoice that these ministries are bearing fruit and touching the lives of boys like Zsombi.

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Zsombi began his testimony with these words: "I grew up in a Christian home." From the time Zsombi was a child, he only remembers having a believing mother and father, but this blessing of believing parents was as recent as 2015. Praise God as we witness His work of transforming generations of Hungarians through the power of salvation in Christ! I would like to take you back to 2015, when Zsombi’s parents were saved and hear their testimony. What an encouragement to see how the Gospel is changing entire families!


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Zsombi’s father Józsi’s testimony from 2015

I think it is already a testimony that I am standing here today. Someone told my son that there was a summer Bible camp and that he should go and he’d have a good time. And when I went to pay, I met with Miki’s family and just experienced the love they had. The first day of camp came and I felt that same love. My wife who wasn’t there asked me about camp and I told her the kids are being well cared for, there is discipline but with love. My son came home from camp and we asked, how did you like it? He said, “Dad, next year I want to go too!” This was his comment after the first day of being there. Both my wife and I went to the last day of camp (which was open to parents) and we decided we would also go to worship service, but never made it. Later I met with Miki and I was able to share where I was in my journey. I never liked when people were pushy and tried to forcefully convince me of things. Miki told me, there is no pressure here, you’ll only find God here. So, I decided we should go to worship service. But things constantly came up and were not able to go. One Sunday, the kids asked to go to one of the lakes to walk. We left and once we got out of the car, it immediately began to rain. So, we hopped back into the car and we went down to the playground in Petofibanya. And it continued to pour rain. Well, we wondered what we should do. Since this was just about the time worship service was starting, maybe we should just go to church in Petofibanya. We went in.After the kids went outside, of course, the sun was shining. God wanted us to take part and hear Him and we have come to know Him now. — Józsi 2015

Zsombi’s mother Monika’s testimony from 2015

I’ve always been looking for God. I’ve often sought his help and there was a time when even Józsi would say, there is no God, there is no help. But now we both see clearly that there is a God. If we turn our attention to Him, if we read His word, in the Bible we find every answer we need all the time. — Monika 2015

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Above: Józsi and Monika having more to rejoice about as their son Zsombi has chosen to put his faith in Jesus in 2022!

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20 year partnership


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Above: Sharon honoring Miki and Erika at last week's worship service.

Did you know that one of most common reasons missionaries return home from serving oversees is unresolved relational problems on teams? We are so thankful that God has blessed our relationship with our Hungarian partners Miki and Erika as we have served together in church planting for 20 years! Yes, we've gone through difficulty and many challenges, but God has continued to give us one mind in the Spirit to bring glory to Christ and build His kingdom through our unity. In a recent service, we honored their faithful commitment in serving the Lord and serving others in the community. They have touched so many lives with the love of Christ and helped so many understand the Gospel.

20 year anniversary

Above: We've also had the joy of watching our kids grow up together over the years. That little baby in the center in purple is Anna. Just a few weeks ago, I had the privilege to perform Anna and Patrik's wedding ceremony (below).

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Above: Our teammates Roger and Heidi and family will also be on furlough this summer. Please pray for their lives to be enriched, for them to experience renewal and all that God has for them in a season of rest.

Whirlwind European tour


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God gave me a wonderful trip over the past month and a half visiting multiple missionary teams throughout Europe. I thought I'd share some of my favorite pics to help you all get a sense of my experience.

Poland



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Above: Worship service in a church plant in Poland. Just that day, a family from Ukraine was visiting. Being believers, they were asking about ways they could begin serving. We have also experienced in Hungary that many from Ukraine are believers and in their being scattered, God is using them to minister in new nations!

Croatia



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Above: In Croatia, I was blessed with the rich experience of family, enjoying wonderful food and conversation and having the kids teach me what they could in Croatian in the short amount of time that I had.

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Above: Worship service in Belica, Croatia. I was also able to preach over two Sundays and help with some video production for their online service.

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Above: John 3:16 in Croatian.

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Above: Lim with some of the Romani children their ministry is focused on reaching. Lim and husband Andy built their house in a Romani community which Croatians think is a crazy idea. This has given them ability to develop deep relationships with the community and have daily opportunities to minister.

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Above: I was able to do some portrait photography for families, and also lead a Bible study with the help of translation. National partner Sergej (above) is introducing this family to the Gospel of Luke audio Bible which has a written copy and links online to listen in their native language.

Romania



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Above: After Croatia, I traveled to Romania to help in a conference for workers reaching out to the Romani people in different countries.

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Above: It was great to see their passion for God, their unity and hope in the power of the Gospel to change lives.

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Above: I met this shepherd when I was on a mountain walk in the area. Amazingly, this area of Romania is full of Hungarians and I was able to talk to him before his pack of dogs attacked me :)

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Albania



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Above: After Romania, I traveled to Albania to produce a video about a community center aimed at helping the Romani community called House of Hope.

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Above: Men playing dominos before having a discovery Bible study at the House of Hope.

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Above: One of the many programs for kids at the center. With such a high rate of school drop outs and most Romani in Albania not knowing how to read, this center provides Romani with educational help and encouragement for kids to finish school and have necessary life skills for survival while also proclaiming the Gospel.

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GREECE



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Above: After Albania, I spent my last leg of the trip in Greece with this wonderful congregation of Albanian believers. Although there are opportunities for Albanians to attend Greek churches, this Albanian church plant met many of their specific needs and began to flourish and expand over the years. They have a passion to reach other Albanians not only in Greece, but have begun works in other countries as well.

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Above: Sunset from the Areopagus hill where Paul made his famous speech after seeing Athens, "The city that was full of idols." (Acts 17:16)

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Above: I was also able to visit a Greek International church with a mixture of many believers from many nations.

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Above: A Ukrainian family performed a song they had written about a prayer for peace.

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Above: I had a great time playing soccer with the kids after that night's service.

It was a blessing to personally meet missionaries in these countries and see the vast work that God continues to do through His church to reach the nations!

Leaving Tuesday


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Lord willing, we will be on a flight to the U.S. on Tuesday and we look forward to personally catching up with you. We appreciate your prayers for us in this time of transition and are very thankful for all of you and your partnership with us in reaching generations with the Gospel of Christ in Hungary!
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