Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A great concert despite tech difficulties last night. Please pray that the equipment problems will be solved! Good interview w/local TV

Stacia has arrived...

....and we're so glad she's here!  It's slightly old news since she actually flew in on Thursday, Sept. 25, but we do want you all to know that she's here and adjusting to life in Hungary.  She's already helped out at our Manga Bible distribution at a booth in the Balmazujvaros, has been meeting young people in the area, and will be coming with us to the Recycled concert today in Tiszafured.  We praise the Lord that He has brought her to be with us for two years, and know that He has great things in store.

Stacia unpacking her luggage from the car after we arrived in Debrecen.

The apartment she shares with Holly is on the 3rd floor, so for once the airline weight limit
was a good thing. 

Stacia standing in front of the apartment buildings where she and Holly are living.

Stacia asks that you please pray for her language learning (she's about to start Hungarian classes) and for wisdom in discerning what kind of ministries to be involved in here. 

For more about Stacia and her life here in Hungary, see her blog at

"Recycled" TV interview and Kaba concert

Quite a day yesterday!  We got to Kaba a little before lunch, and the band set up and tested out the sound equipment.  We discovered that one of the main speakers had stopped working, and from there on throughout the day the band and Gary spent a lot of time working to overcome technical difficulties.  Please pray that equipment issues can be quickly resolved so that the band can concentrate on sharing with the people through music and testimony. 

On the up side, local Hungarian online TV reporters came to do a story on the band, and during the interview with band leader Karl Roten he was able to share with them why they sing and what their songs are about.  It was fantastic!  The interviewer was also very interested when he heard that Recycled also has played in prisons for the inmates.  Of course we don't know what all they will edit out, but the message was told.  Please pray that the interview will be used to draw people to the Lord.

Karl Roten being interviewed by Kaba Online TV, with the help of translator Joe Kerekes.

Over 30 people, plus the reporters, came to the concert.  With the exception of the equipment issues, the concert went great.  Afterward people commented on how much they enjoyed it, and that they could tell that the band was passionate about what they were singing about. After the concert and the "meet the band" time, the small Baptist church there in Kaba hosted us all for supper and a time of getting to know each other.  It's always wonderful to meet and fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter what language they speak.  Our thanks to "Joe," a local believer, who is helping us as driver and translator this week.

Members of Christian classical/alternative rock band Recycled pose in front of the Kaba
culture house before the concert.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

From Bluegrass Gospel to Rock & Roll! (updated with photos)

Great things happened through the Doc's Friends bluegrass Gospel concerts...great response, new relationships and opportunities!

Doc's Friends playing for Hungarian music students

I have to be quick with this post because we're getting ready to leave very shortly for Kaba with another band, "Recycled," which is a Christian classic/alternative rock band from Arkansas.  The 9-member group arrived yesterday with ALL their luggage (a miracle in itself!) and will be setting up today for their first concert of the tour.  They'll be playing at the Kaba culture house/community center at 6 pm (11 am CST), so please be praying for them and the people who come.  The location we had originally planned to have them tonight had to cancel, but someone from the culture house in Kaba heard about it and called us to ask if they could have them instead.  We believe this is no accident, and we're eager to see what the Lord has in store! 

I'll try to keep you updated as much as I can.

Besides handing out flyers to people, we also put posters up wherever we could find a legal
place to do so in the towns where the bands are playing.  This Recycled poster is displayed
at the gate of a train station.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday update - classrooms and concerts

Yesterday in Balmázújváros, Doc's Friends was invited into three music classes to demonstrate some bluegrass Gospel music.  The students enjoyed it very much--it was great for them to get to learn about a style of music that they're not very familiar with. Several made the comment that it sounded just like what they've heard in American movies.  We're wondering what movies they're thinking of! 

The concert in the evening was also very well received by the people.  The feedback cards they filled out showed that they enjoyed the music and how the band members shared from their culture, music, and lives.  The band gave out autographed pictures, along with Doc's Friends stickers and shiny American quarters for the kids.  The kids were told that every time they looked at the quarter for the rest of their lives they should remember when the American bluegrass Gospel band came, and what they heard and learned that night.  There was some really great conversation after the concert, and new relationships are now being built. 


Also available after the concert were Visual Bible Gospel of Matthew DVD's with study questions for those who were interested.  Many accepted one with pleasure, and we hope to hear back from those who complete the questions.  Anyone who completes and returns them will be eligible to receive the Visual Bible Book of Acts.  We love using these DVD's since they are word-for-word from Scripture, and tend to make people consider the Bible in a new way.

Please pray for the people of Balmázújváros, particularly those who came to the concert and heard the Gospel through music and word.  Pray for us and the team today as we visit with people in the town of Nádudvar, as the band interacts with students and teachers in classrooms there, and as they perform in concert beginning at 7 p.m. (12 noon CST.)  May many people hear and respond to the message that is presented!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Second day and they're already speaking Hungarian!

This morning Gary and I and the Doc's Friends bluegrass gospel band packed up and went to Tiszafüred--about an hour away from Debrecen--where the concert will be tonight.  The big piac [PEE-ahts] (open market) wasn't being held today, but the indoor one was.  We split into two groups and walked around that area and then down several of the main streets inviting people to tonight's concert and giving them the information flyer.  I was so proud of the band members!  After arriving only yesterday and while dealing with jet lag, they quickly learned some greetings and other phrases and fearlessly used them with the Hungarians they met. 

We took a little time to stop by the community building where the concert will be held, and they were able to look over the room we will be using tonight. It looks like it will be really good...the lady who showed it to us said that the acoustics are great.  We were able to have a good conversation with her, and I hope to be able to continue this new friendship over the coming months.

I (Carolyn) will not be going to the concert tonight, as Holly and I have an appointment to go to a lawyer's office to sign the contract on her new apartment.  I'm very sorry to miss the concert, but I'm also thankful that Holly (and Stacia) will have a good place to live.  Holly is supposed to be moving out of her old apartment today--the landlord family has moved back from London--but delays and complications with the contract have put us behind schedule.  Please pray that things go smoothly and that we can move her things to the new place tomorrow.

Also please pray for the concert in Tiszafüred - it begins at 6 PM tonight (11 AM CST) and will be followed by coffee and snacks and time to hang out with the band. Pray for the message in the music to come through, and for wisdom and good communication as the band members mingle with the people.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Doc's Friends - the band is here!

The band has arrived in Hungary and are here in our apartment right now checking out the sound equipment and going over some songs.  They sound great--truly amazing after all those hours of travel!  It's so fun to hear that good 'ol bluegrass Gospel music in our own living room.   

Pray for the band members - that they will have energy for the work and be able to press through the jet lag; that they will have "divine appointments" with people in the towns they will be in; that they will truly minister to hearts through their music.


Please be praying for those they will encounter as the band goes out into the open market and into the schools inviting people and sharing with them, and that through their music the Good News will be proclaimed to ready hearts.

Tomorrow evening's concert is in Tiszafüred, so pray especially for the people of that town tomorrow at 6 PM Hungary time (11 A.M. Central Standard Time).

Friday, September 11, 2009

September - super-busy and passing by in a flash

This month has been totally nuts and very faith-building!  At one point a lot of our plans fell apart...things that we thought were definitely settled in preparation for some volunteer bands coming from the States.  One discouraging day the organization we were going to borrow sound equipment from called and said that they would no longer be able to let us use it; then we heard from a town's community center that we could no longer use the hall we had planned to have a concert in.  It was quite a blow to us!  With very little time left before the bands begin to come from the States, we have been praying, calling, emailing, and talking to a lot of people, trying to find solutions and options.  Praise the Lord, He is working it out!  We haven't gotten everything we need yet, but most of the arrangements are in place and we're waiting to hear back from people on some of the other details.

All this as Gary tries to regain his strength and recover after catching malaria last month during our trip to Africa (more about that another time) and a recurrence of the disease while he was teaching at the Angel Wings aviation camp in Romania.  We are also working on multiple things for upcoming events and volunteer teams.  Starting last Sunday we began renting a booth spot in the open market in Balmazújváros --we're going to be there every Sunday until Christmas doing different things.  It's a great opportunity to meet new folks, make friends, and provide information and services.  To start with we're selling tickets for the upcoming Gaither concert (Oct. 21 here in Debrecen.)  We have a friend that works for the organization sponsoring it, and they have made us official ticket-sellers--no, we don't get commission, we just do it to help.  Here's their site for those of you who read Hungarian (come on, give it a try!)

Gary at our booth, which is next to the gate.  Everyone has to pass right by us to
get into the market...what a great location!

This Sunday we will also be giving out information about this week's Doc's Friends concerts in Balmazújváros and other towns in the area, Tiszafüred, Nádudvar, and Karcag.  Doc's Friends is a bluegrass-gospel band coming to us from East Side Baptist Church of Paragould, Arkansas.  They arrive Monday September 14 and depart on the 21st.  Please be in prayer for them as they travel, and as they minister through music and personal contacts.

Later we'll be using the booth to get the word out about other events and bands coming, and we also want to do a Bible distribution.  Please pray for wisdom, strength and health for us, and that the Lord will speak to the hearts of the people that we come into contact with.  Pray that many people will come to the concerts and be drawn to the Savior.