Bogacs update


Above: Zsolti greeting some of the kids in Bogács. Tonight I invited Zsolti from Apc to join me to travel to Bogács. It was a great opportunity to encourage each other in the car as the travel time to Bogács is about one hour. Zsolti comes from the same influences and experiences as the Romani families we visit in Bogács. In reality, Zsolti may even be worse off in many ways than these families, yet he trusts in Jesus and has experienced God's gracious provision and deliverance. I was thankful for his company and how God used him to give testimony of how Jesus is trustworthy and how the life of faith in Him brings peace.



Above: Gyüszi with his mother Aranyka. Pulling around the now familiar bend towards Gyüszi's house, kids playing on the streets parted to allow us into his driveway. Today was a beautiful day and Gyüszi's family enjoying the weather outside waved us in to our normal spot to park. The oven that is used to heat his house was now outside spewing smoke as Gyüszi's mother Aranyka made noodle soup. I greeted her with a smile as I could see she was fully recovered from her sickness. She returned a smile and patting her neck saying, "See, look at this. I don't feel the cysts anymore! There is no more swelling!" I told her, it was Jesus who was gracious to heal her. Within minutes, Csali (Ödön's wife) appeared. Last week her spirit was downcast and she wondered, "Has God turned away from us? Is He angry at us? Everything is going wrong." I shard that God was not against her but for her. He sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins and He lives to save us and give abundant life, not to make our lives miserable. Satan on the other hand seeks to steal, kill and destroy (see John 10:10). Last week, we prayed for God's help in these tough times. Tonight, Csali shared how the next day after we prayed, God had led her and her husband to find a man who said he was waiting for them to help get rid of iron scraps. These iron scraps are used by Romani to trade in for spending money for food. Csali said they didn't know the man, she didn't know why he was waiting for them and that it had to be God, because the house was not familiar to them. Her husband Ödön sat back and just smiled and added his agreement that God provided.


After Gyüszi's sister Babi showed up, it was time to begin the study gathered around in a circle outside in their driveway. Gyüszi facilitated the meeting, reading from Luke chapter one. After discussing what they discovered in the passage, Ödön spoke about how he learned how nothing was impossible for God and therefore nothing was impossible for those who put their faith in him. Gyüszi learned that since God was able to give Elizabeth (known as barren) a child, that he should not lose hope in his situation, but trust that God can provide in the most impossible situations. Before leaving, I explained to Gyüszi that I would not be able to come next week, but I wanted them to meet without me. After some initial reluctance, he said, "I'll try." Others who were there said they would attend next week as well. Please pray that they would meet (even without me being there) as it is my desire that they continue to read God's word together giving them opportunity to be taught by God. "Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me." (John 6:45) Please pray for Gyüszi as news has gone from bad to worse regarding his efforts to keep his family together and being restored to the house he once lived in. God is our only hope in the matter.

Józsi (above photo far left grey t-shirt) was silent throughout the meeting saying he had a tough day at work. As I mentioned previously, Józsi has gone from being one of the most antagonistic members of the group to agreeable and more open. After Gyüszi finished our study, and before we packed up to leave I asked if there was need of prayer for healing. Józsi looking at me with a slight smirk said, "Well, yeah, my side hurts. It hurts everyday at work. It just hurts all the time." Asking him to stand up, I put my hand on his side and began praying for healing. The others continued in conversation behind me. My prayer was only as loud for Józsi to hear as I professed the truths of Jesus' authority, truths about His Gospel, His grace and how He never turned anyone away who came to Him for healing (Luke 4:40). Removing my hand, I asked, "How are you? Feel the same, or is there any change?" He felt just a tad better, but the pain was still there. I said, "Would you allow me to pray again?" After the second time of prayer, I asked the same question. This time, he moved around more flexing and bending over and said with a big smile, "It's getting better" looking at the others now watching he said, "It REALLY feels better" (as if he couldn't believe it himself). He told me that there was just a bit of remaining pain in a different area. We prayed one more time and afterwards, he was healed (and amazed). I then said to Józsi, "Remember when you said to me weeks ago that you just couldn't believe unless God worked in a way that was tangible to you and not just written in some book?" He remembered. I said with a smile, "You have no excuse now." Jesus is showing the same grace to Józsi that He was showing his disciple Thomas. He is saying, "Do not disbelieve, but believe."(John 20:27) I called Gyüszi on the Friday following our meeting and he told me more about what happened when I left that day. Apparently Józsi came to him right after I pulled away and couldn't believe his back pain was gone. He kept repeating, "I can't believe it...it's gone." He said to Gyüszi, "Something is going on here, something really is going on here." Gyüszi told him, "Yeah, God is here and now He's shown you that He is here." God's grace is amazing! I await the day when Józsi will with Thomas say, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28)

On our way home that night, I shared my story of how God lead me to Hungary with Zsolti. It is always refreshing to remember God's faithfulness then and how He has continued to be faithful to this day. One question that Gyüszi's sister Babi asked me tonight was where I would most like to be if it were up to me. I said that I simply want to be where God wants me to be. As I celebrate my 41st birthday on Wednesday, I rejoice that God has graciously led me into His plan for my life. A plan so much bigger than me and a life I could have never imagined.

"Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long." (Psalm 25:4-5)

New work in the town of Apc

On Thursday, I was off to Apc to help Zsolti and Vincse with the new Bible study in their home in Apc. I was thankful to see many new guests, including Zsolti's adopted daughter attend and Zsolti's nephew attend. After briefly conversing with the guests, I found out that three of them had no Christian background.


First we studied the account of Jesus telling Peter to cast his net into the deep to catch some fish. Peter had just spent the whole night fishing without success but said, "But at your word I will let down the nets.” (Luke 5:5) We learned about the importance of faith in Jesus and how His way (although different than what we would consider normal or what we are used to doing) is the best way.


Above: Ibolya, who was among those who were not believers attending, asked some important questions after the meeting. She lost a child over seven years ago and it caused much confusion and questions to arise about God. The Lord was gracious to bring encouragement to her after our conversation and she wants to continue seeking. Just as in Bogács, I won't be able to attend next week so Zsolti will be facilitating next weeks meeting. Please pray for this new group of seekers and Christians to hear from the Father through reading His word and be transformed by His grace as they follow after Christ.

Family news



Above: After struggling for a few weeks with sickness and teeth coming in, Ziva is now well and enjoying the sunshine outside. She loves going outside to take walks with dad, picking flowers and locating bugs on her journey.

On Sunday, our family is off to another country to have fellowship with fellow PI missionaries from all over Europe. Please pray for our souls to be refreshed, built up and equipped in our week together.
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