Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

An amazing project, an amazing year, all because of our amazing God!

I've sat down several times to write this update on the Scripture distribution in Nádudvar, but I just can't seem to find words to describe to you what happened (without writing a whole book about it!)  It was truly amazing...I really shouldn't be surprised, because I know God is totally able to do above and beyond anything we can imagine.  He is so good!  

First of all, we weren't working alone...we had the help of Hungarian believers from three different churches:  Istvan from our church here in Debrecen, Pastor Tibor from Hajudszoboszlo, and Janos from Puspokladany.  We got to Nádudvar at 5:45 and set up while it was still dark. We had a great location in the market, right next to the entrance.

Janos, Istvan, Pastor Tibor and Gary

We had been concerned about the weather since the forecast had called for snow, but although the streets were slick when we got there, when the sun came out it melted off and was a beautiful (though chilly) day. 

The first Bible we gave out was to one of the vendors who had seen us before at other markets.  After we set up our table, Gary began to prayerwalk through the market, praying for the other vendors who were preparing for the day.  As he was walking by one couple setting up their booth, the man greeted Gary and asked, "Do you still have any of those Bibles?"  Gary said that's what we were there for--we were having another Bible distribution.  The man said, "I'd like to get one this time."  He went on to say that he'd tried to read the Bible before. He said he got up to the point of Noah and couldn't understand why God wiped out the whole world, which triggered a discussion on the sinfulness of man. The man was full of questions; things like, who was Noah anyway?  Why did God choose him?  Why was he special?  After talking with the man for a while, Gary went and got the Bible.  He  and Pastor Tibor went back to deliver the Bible and to see if he had further questions.  The man just greeted the Hungarian pastor...he had already used up all his hard questions on the American missionary, and all he had left for Pastor Tibor was, isn't the weather nice? 

Among the first people who received a Bible at our booth was a lady who accepted it in wonder and disbelief, saying that she'd always wanted one; she left hugging it to her chest lovingly as if it were a little baby.  That encounter alone made the whole thing worthwhile!  Here in the town that everyone had been calling a "tough nut" because of the strong communist influence, person after person happily accepted a Bible and promised to read it.  There were some who passed by with bitter words of rejection, but they were very much in the minority.  In fact, the response was so fantastic that by 10 a.m. we had run out of whole Bibles and had only New Testaments left to distribute. 

Pastor Tibor talking with a man who had a lot of questions.  The little girls in the background are eating langos [LAHN-gosh], a delicious, puffy, greasy fried bread with your choice of cheese, sour cream, garlic, or all three.  Gary had garlic and cheese, so the Hungarians told him he couldn't talk to the people after that.  I was very restrained and spiritual, however, and had only cheese!

Pastor Tibor and Janos in conversation with another man who had interesting and strange questions and comments about the Bible.  Even here in this small town there is influence from the cults and other religions.  I was so glad we had Hungarian believers there with us who could deal with this so much better than we could as foreigners!

One man signs his commitment card to try to read the Bible through, while another man chooses which Bible he would like to take home.

We had asked people to pray that we would be able to give out all of the Bibles, and the response from the people went above and beyond what we had hoped.  After we ran out of whole Bibles we had more people stop by who really wanted one, so we came home with several names and addresses; we'll be either mailing or taking one to them as soon as we can.  In all we gave out 194 whole Bibles, 65 children's Bible's, and 65 New Testaments, for a total of 324.  Praise the Lord, that's the most we've given out in a day's time all this year!  As we close out the Year of the Bible in Hungary, we are still amazed at the power of God, at how He loves each of us and wants us to know Him and live in relationship with Him. 

Special thanks to those who give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Cooperative Program, which provide the funding that keeps us here on the field; we also want to express our appreciation again to those individuals and churches who gave special gifts to make the purchase of the Bibles possible--you gave above and beyond what we had prayed for, and the Lord used it to multiply the seeds of Scripture that we have sown all around the area this year!

And last but not least, thank you to all of you who have been praying for the Hungarian people, and for us as we serve here in eastern Hungary.  God bless you, and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pray for Nádudvar / Christmas program in Püspökladány

Hello, everyone.  Please pray for the city of Nádudvar, where we're going to do a Scripture distribution in the morning. We'll be setting up a booth in the open market and giving away Bibles for the last time during 2008, the Year of the Bible here in Hungary.  Pray that we'll be able to give away all the Bibles, and that they will go to people whose hearts the Lord has prepared to receive His word.  Also please pray for opportunities for us to share with the people about who Jesus is...He's soooo much more than the "Jezuska" (little Jesus) who brings the children their Christmas gifts!

Last night Gary and I went to the Christmas program at the little Baptist church in Püspökladány.  It was great--lots of old friends were there, plus people from the community.  Pastor Tibor read a Christmas story, the young people from Kaba sang and did a puppet show, Gary gave a short message, and then the church handed out shoeboxes of gifts that had been donated by some believers in England.  The Gospel message was clearly presented several times; please pray with us that it will take hold in the hearts of the hearers. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Great news and some updates

Great news!  I heard back from Pastor Tibor in Hajduszoboszlo, and he said the youth (and another Tibor, an adult who works with them) are praising the Lord for how well it went during their program at the Reformed church in Kaba on Sunday.  They said the Lord strengthened them in their service, and that they were well received.  They sang and played instruments, gave testimonies and did skits, and there was preaching (by Tibor, I believe.)  Pastor Tibor says they were guests and of course don’t know what happened inside the hearers, but that we can continue to pray that some will come to Christ from what they saw and heard.  Thanks for being a part of it through your prayers!

I took these pictures of the youth group in July of this year so they're a little old, but this way you can see who it is that you're praying for.  These young people - and their leaders - are very talented and have a great desire to serve the Lord.

In other news:  Praise the Lord, A.P. got her residence permit today!   This is no small thing. 

We continue to prepare for this Thursday morning’s Christmas get-together with the students of our outreach English course in Hajduszoboszlo, so please pray that there will be opportunities to share about who the Christ-child was (and is!) 

Carolyn with the beginners' class

Gary with the intermediate learners

Holly with the advanced students

A nationwide train strike and strike by airline workers here in Hungary is complicating matters for our team members and others who are trying to travel this week, so please pray that it will be resolved quickly and that everyone will safely reach their destinations.

Thank you!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Great news about Hedi!!

Thanks SO MUCH for praying for little Hedi, the Hajduszoszlo Baptist pastor’s 2-year-old daughter.  The cardiologist’s testing showed that her heart murmer is not dangerous; they said she just has to have it re-tested before she starts school in a couple of years.  They also said that she was very good and calm through all the testing, and that she didn’t cry or resist at all (unlike some of the children that were ahead of them in line!)


Pastor Tibor said that they had been praying and told the Lord that whatever His will was regarding Hedi they would accept it, but they are very thankful He answered in this way.  He thanks everyone for their prayers.


He also asked that we pray for the youth group of the Kaba church (which he also pastors) as they are presenting a program in the Reformed church in Kaba tomorrow.  It’s a great opportunity for them to reach out and to share their faith.

God is so good!   

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Special prayer request for little Hedi

Hey, all you praying people!


Please lift up little Hedi (Heidi in English), 2-year-old daughter of Pastor Tibor and Marti in Hajduszoboszlo, Hungary. These are good friends of ours, and we have also done some ministry projects together...they're very sweet people.  For a while now the doctors have been noticing some kind of a heart murmer in Hedi, and tomorrow she has an appointment with the cardiologist.  The doctors think this is not one of the kind of heart murmers that little ones often have and then outgrow, and they said that she has to get it checked.  Pray for wisdom and skill for the doctors and technicians, and for healing, peace, and strength for Hedi and her family.


Scroll down to our Nov. 18 post to see a picture of the family.


Thank you so much for your prayers!