September 2020

September Update

“Put them in fear, O LORD! Let the nations know that they are but men! Selah” — Psalm 9:20

One spiritual benefit of this time of trial is the breaking down of pride throughout the nations that oppose God. Pride knows God, but does not honor him as God or give thanks to him (Rom 1:21). I pray that God put an end to the spread of this terrible virus, but I know at the same time this sense of weakness and great need for help it has produced may finally bring a proud person to his knees before God's throne. May all the uncertainty and sense of hopelessness, turn the world to Jesus, who is the Truth and provider of living hope.

As with other nations, Hungary is experiencing a second wave of infections from Coronavirus. May you be encouraged to see that God made a way for us to continue proclaiming the Gospel in Hungary. We praise Him for these continued open doors!

YOUTH Camping weekend in Jaszfenyszaru


Toward the end of August, we held our last camp of the summer in a wooded area behind the town of Jászfényszaru. This camp is designed for teens, many of whom have been serving this entire summer with us.



Marti (above suspenders) first came to know us through English Camp and she lives over 2 hours away. Over the past few years, she has attended our Baseball Camp and now our Youth Group Camp for the first time. Please pray that the seeds God is planting in her life would flourish and lead to faith in Jesus.




For those of you who have not camped with Hungarians, a staple meal is prepared by heating fat in iron clasps and dripping it on bread. Afterwards you top it off with your choice of freshly chopped tomatoes, onions, peppers and bacon bits.




There is something special about times around the campfire under the stars at night. After singing together, we began teaching on the theme of what is truly valuable in life.


At last year’s Youth Group Camp, Gabi was convicted about his wayward life and burying the treasure that God had given him to use for His kingdom. It was at this camp last year that he repented and recommitted to use his gifts and talents as God directed. Since that time he has been faithful in ministry responsibilities and stepping into new opportunities to serve.


Above: Erika getting some extra time to talk with Viki. Previously, Viki was one of Erika’s students at a local high school. She began playing volleyball with us and then started to attend some of our youth group meetings. We were thankful that she decided to attend this camp and hear truths from God’s word and testimonies from those who have experienced the gift of new life through faith in Jesus Christ.


Many of these teens have grown up attending our VBS camps, but they never outgrow singing their favorite songs from camp and doing the motions together.



Eniko’s turn to share how Jesus Christ changed her life. Throughout the weekend, we interviewed different people from various backgrounds and learned more about how they were saved and transformed by Jesus.


Youth Group Weekend at Balaton Lake





The Baptist church offered us a grant to use their facilities in Balaton for a weekend retreat in September for our Youth Group. This would not normally be available because of various camps using the facility, but because of Covid and cancelations, a spot opened up.

Praise God for another concentrated time together with the teens and for continued momentum and growth after a wonderful summer serving together. This retreat happened just one week after the kids returned to school.



Our theme for the weekend was Christian fellowship. After spending some time contemplating Jesus’ word in the Scriptures the first night, we washed one another’s feet to remember that we are all called to serve as Jesus Christ humbly served us. I couldn’t help but burst out in laughter when my feet were being washed. Feet are sensitive! In contrast to the dim pictures depicting this historic event of Jesus washing the disciples feet, I wondered if some of the disciples couldn’t hold back laughing (I couldn’t).



On Saturday we enjoyed (or suffered through) a long hike that took us to a wonderful view of Balaton Lake. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed quality time together. I had opportunity to talk to a few kids one on one and hear about their struggles. One young man had to find work while attending high school to help his single mom keep up with bills. What a burden to carry at a young age. Another teen shared about struggling with a feeling of worthlessness as she is tempted to believe that she was born as a mistake. I sought to encourage both of them and ask that you pray for them to find strength, direction and hope in Christ.


I can remember just a few years ago when around 4-5 kids would attend our youth group and most of them were our children. Praise God for this blossoming group of teens and for God’s continued grace in calling them to find restoration and abundant life through Jesus Christ. Some are showing great signs of maturity while others are just beginning the journey. Please pray that God would raise up faithful missionaries, pastors, teachers, parents and pillars in the church from among this group of teens.







Even with the rising number of cases of Covid in Hungary, the local government decided to go forward holding their Village Day celebration in early September. We were asked to help and we provided balloons, sparkle picture-patches and a copper wire tree craft.



This was a great opportunity to reconnect with many parents and kids that know us through various ministries like VBS but do not yet attend church.




Precious teammate BRENDA LEAVING after 17 years of faithful service



One of our PI teammates, Brenda, has been led to move back to the US and will be beginning her long journey (multiple flights) as I complete this update. Brenda has served faithfully for 17 years in Hungary and has been a very important part of our lives and the lives of our growing church family here. She faces many unknowns as she transitions back to the US and we ask that you pray for her as God faithfully leads her through a new season of life as His child.

Church plant in Jaszfenyszaru


Above: Miki, Hungarian partner in Churchplanting ministry, leading worship. As we seek to expand the number of people hearing the Gospel and being discipled, we continue to minister in the town of Jászfényszaru which is about a 25 minute drive away from our hometown of Petofibanya. In the Summer months, we held two camps in this town and we meet every other week in their local community center for public worship. God has us in a season of mentoring the group of believers that form the core of this church plant and He has specifically led us to focus on the importance of godly marriages and families.


Above: Zsolti and Zita, members of the core group in Jászfényszaru. Please pray for couples like Zsolti and Zita to develop strong foundations in their marriage through obedience to Jesus and His truth. Pray that destructive habits and tendencies that belonged to the old man would be replaced with the new way of resurrected life in Jesus Christ. Pray that all marriages in our core group would reflect Jesus Christ and become examples to a new generation in Hungary.

Evangelism and discipleship in Bogacs

After a long break from commuting to Bogacs (an hour drive from our home) due to the Coronavirus and Summer ministries, I was able to begin visiting my Romani friends in Bogacs once a week in September. With joy, I was able to hold Maci's newborn baby Szimonetta.

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As I reconnected with those I have known for years, I once again realized the terrible effects of sin in this fallen world. Maci shared that her husband was now in prison (the last time I saw him he was working in food service in a hotel). Maci's sister Izabella's husband is also in prison, as well as Maci's brother who is married to Mazsi. The wives of these three men live in close vicinity from one another and are now depending on one another to get through this time. This vicious cycle of poverty, crime and broken families can only be changed by God's grace and the power of the Gospel. Please pray that there be breakthroughs with men coming to know Jesus Christ in Bogacs. Pray also for those who may be closer to making decisions (Katyus and Andras). Pray for those who are believers to mature and become light in their family and community (Edit and Izabella).

BACK to School

Hungary has decided to keep their schools open. They have lots of regulations in place to try to isolate any possible outbreaks in different classes. The government is doing all they can to keep the schools open which helps Hungary’s economy and sanity :)


Above: Ben took the big step of moving to Budapest in September to begin college studying political science.


Thank all of you for continuing to pray for our family and ministry in these unique and challenging times. With you, we lay our trust in Almighty God, our stability in His sovereignty and our continued joy in knowing that He is for us and will continue to be faithfully with us every day. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”— John 16:33