Thursday, October 20, 2011

Not the normal birthday

This Saturday is Gary's birthday, and we have a special day planned!  It's not going to be centered around cake and candles, however--that's coming at another time--instead we'll be spending a good part of the day at the church plant in Tiszafüred for a community outreach.  Friends and co-workers have donated good used clothing and household items, which we'll be distributing to those who need them.  We had originally planned to give it all away for free, but Pastor Csaba and others advised us to sell the items at a very low token price to make sure that people aren't just grabbing a lot of  things because they are free.  That happened at a previous event in the area, and some people took a lot of clothing and then dropped some of it out in the street.  If someone comes Saturday and doesn't have the money for something they really need, we will gladly give them the items, though. 

We have encouraged the members of the church plant group to consider needy people that they know as they have been sorting through the donations we have delivered to Tiszafüred over the past week or so, and we told them that before the "sale day" they are free to go ahead and donate items to those that need particular things.  Our friends there have been very happy to do that, and it's been wonderful to see their excitement about making a difference in lives.  Just one example: a gentleman who is going through a very hard time in life was very happy to receive a good supply of warm socks last week, which will make a real difference for him as temperatures continue to drop.  What a joy it is to us to see members of our little group, who are themselves just beginning to learn what it means to follow Christ, already reaching out in love to those around them!

As we meet and talk with the people who drop by this Saturday, we will also be giving away New Testaments and children's Bibles to those who are interested, as well as inviting everyone to the weekly Bible studies and the monthly "first Sunday" worship services.  Please pray with us for a Kingdom impact at this Saturday's event, that both the physical and spiritual needs of the people will be met.  To God be the glory!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Please pray re: court date on the 20th

This is another update to the Friday, Oct. 7 post, when we asked you all to pray about a really tough conversation we were going to have with a former member of our church-plant group.  The whole thing is quite bad, even more complicated than we had realized, and because of some things that have happened the two main players in the situation have been told to appear in court this Thursday, Oct. 20.  Please be praying that the judge will have great wisdom, that the truth will be brought to light, and that God will use whatever happens to give Himself glory. 

Thank you!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sunday October 16 is Day of Prayer for European Peoples

Join us Sunday, October 16 in praying for the people groups in Europe.  From the website:

"October 16, 2011 has been designated a Day of Prayer for European Peoples. Please download the 2011 Prayer Guide that that highlights what God is doing in the European affinity and enlist your church to pray consistently and effectively for the lost of Europe. Join others around the world on October 16 and petition the Father to remove the spiritual blindness pervading Europe and bring many to faith...."  [more information is at]

Monday, October 10, 2011

First Thanksgiving at the church plant

In Hungarian culture there's no tradition of a nationwide Thanksgiving Day like we have in America, but the churches do have their own version of Thanksgiving.  The way it's celebrated and the date varies from church to church, but on the designated day they bring things that represent God's goodness and provision...often fruits, vegetables, a loaf of bread, a bottle of water...and place them on the table at the front.  Sermons and songs of thanksgiving are shared, then afterward there is usually a fellowship dinner or refreshments.

On Sunday, October 2, the Tiszafured church plant had its first Thanksgiving service, and friends from some of the area Baptist churches came to celebrate it with us.  What a blessing to see another "first" in the life of the developing church there!  As we worshiped together and thanked the Lord for His blessings, high on my "thankfulness" list was this small group of people; what a privilege it is to be able to be here, to see God working in lives and changing hearts...mine included.

Church plant group on Sept. 30, 2011                         Group photo after the Thanksgiving service

Friday, October 7, 2011

Difficult conversation today - UPDATED

First an update on Gary's trip to Romania and the meetings that we asked you to pray about.  The Angel Wings meeting went well, PTL.  Gary will be helping with the foundation strategy and planning more, as well as mentoring future leaders for the work there.  Six of the young people from that area will be using their energy and talents to make for smoother and more effective ministry and for a stronger evangelistic emphasis.  All of this will take a lot of the burden off of Pastor Edmond, as the president of the foundation, allowing for growth in the foundation and its programs.

The meetings that Gary had hoped to have with representatives of the Convention of the Hungarian Baptist Churches of Romania didn't happen on this trip, but hopefully he can get together with them before too long.

Now for today's main prayer request...this afternoon (10 a.m. CST) Gary and I and Pastor Csaba will be having a difficult but necessary conversation with someone.  A real problem has been going on for a while now with someone who was formerly a very regular member of our church plant in Tiszafured, and we believe the time has come to try to talk it through with the person.  Please pray for wisdom, clear communication, and for emotional, spiritual, and relational healing.  May the Lord's name be glorified in all that is said and done.
UPDATE:  The meeting that we had that afternoon was very difficult, as we had thought it would be.  Nothing seemed to be resolved, but we were able to bring a needed message to that home.  Please continue to pray for the person and the whole difficult situation, and that the Lord will ultimately be glorified in whatever happens. Thank you!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Important meetings in Romania tomorrow

Please pray for Gary as he travels to Timisoara, Romania tomorrow to meet with Pastor Edmond, Angel Wings Foundation president, and others regarding the future direction of the ministry and about possibilities of how the Lord may be leading us to partner more with them in the years to come. For more about the work of the foundation see our August 27 post. This is a pivotal time in the history of the foundation, and Pastor Edmond and all of us appreciate your prayers for direction in how to proceed.

While he's in Romania Gary also hopes to meet with some leaders of the Convention of the Hungarian Baptist Churches of Romania regarding future opportunities for partnership work.

Please pray for Gary's travels and for everyone involved in the meetings. May the Lord be glorified in the discussions and in all the decisions made.