Friday, February 27, 2009

Health fair tomorrow (Updated Apr 15)

Tomorrow morning (quite early!) Gary and I will be heading out for Budapest to observe/assist at a health fair outreach project sponsored by the Jozsef utca Baptist Church (pronounced YO-zhef ootsa, meaning "Joseph Street" in English.)  It is being held there on the church property by Hungarian Baptist doctors who want to do something to minister using their skills and experience as medical professionals. They'll be doing check-ups, consultations, and giving presentations on the health of mind, body and soul.  There will also be a blood donation drive.

Some of you know that when Gary and I worked in Romania we did a lot of work with American medical volunteer teams, and saw how fantastic it was to be able to help the people and show the love of God in such a needed way.  Many times it also opened up the opportunity to share more about the Lord, to invite the people to Bible studies, church, etc.  Here in Hungary it's not legal to bring in outside doctors to do medical work, so seeing the national doctors doing this is very exciting and encouraging to us.  Tomorrow we want to see how they put together their project and talk to them about possibilities for partnering with them in similar work here in eastern Hungary; they said that they would be happy for us to help them, also, so we will be doing blood pressure readings and whatever else we can do as non-doctors. 

When I talked to the organizing doctor this week, I asked her how we could be praying for them and the project....she said to please pray that the people will come, but not so many that the available doctors will be overwhelmed and not able to serve them.  Pray that the Lord will use this to help people both physically and spiritually, as they see believers reaching out to them in love, asking nothing in return.

If I can I'll get some pictures to post so you can see how it went.


UPDATE (April 15, 2009)

Thank you for praying for the health fair--it was terrific!  When we arrived we soon realized that the church had organized and planned very well, and had great support from their members.  Volunteers had also come from other churches.  People were stationed everywhere to greet and to guide the visitors; a sign-in table was set up to register patients and to schedule them with the various doctors; nice, professional-looking signs were posted all over the church premises to show which way to go to the different services. We had thought they might need us to help, but they really didn't.  This didn't disappoint us at all--we were thrilled to see the people working together and reaching out to their community, not depending on outsiders such as ourselves.  We decided to just observe and learn from how they did it, and to serve by praying for the church and the people who came to see the doctors.  It was awesome to see the Lord using this event--within the first ten minutes of opening their doors, I saw for myself what this kind of project can do beyond the basic benefit of providing health services.  Several ladies from the community were talking in the foyer, and when I greeted them they asked me if it would be OK for them to come to the church (I assured them they would be very welcome!)  They said that all the people they were meeting there were very friendly, and that they liked the atmosphere of warmth and helpfulness they were feeling.  They said that before that morning they hadn't even known the church was there in their area.  Praise the Lord for how He works, and for the faithfulness of His people!

As it turned out, we were able to help some after all in an unexpected way.  The church had set up a display of Christian books, postcards, etc., to offer for sale to people as they came.  (Churches in Hungary often do this, as there are very few Christian bookstores.)  The lady who was manning this booth wanted to see some of the doctors to check out some issues she was having, so she asked if we would stand in for her while she was gone.  We were able to spend most of the morning there at the table, which was just inside the front door of the church, and had the opportunity to talk with many of the people as they came and went; the lady responsible for the booth was also pleased that we made quite a few sales.  I laughingly told her that people were attracted to the booth because they wanted to hear the foreigners trying to speak their language! 

Volunteers registering people to see the doctors; everything was
carefully planned, and carried out in a warm and friendly way

Friday, February 20, 2009

Winter is still here

This picture was actually taken last week before most of the snow came.  It got much deeper later!

As you can see, we've been getting more snow here in Debrecen.  For several days it snowed almost non-stop, causing some problems on the roads and even delaying some trains.  Today the sun has come out and melted it off quite a bit, though.  There are still lots of heaps of snow where folks have shoveled it out of the way.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Baptism in Kaba

Sunday we had the joy of attending a baptism here in Hungary.  Gabi attends the little church in Puspokladany, but as there is no baptistry there the baptism took place at their sister church in Kaba. 

Gary preaching the sermon, explaining the meaning of baptism

The youth provide music

Pastor Tibor baptizing Gabi

Please pray for our dear sister Gabi as she continues to grow in Christ.