Thursday, October 19, 2017

fall 2017 prayer letter

Dear Friends,

 like always, it’s been too long since we’ve updated you all on all that is going on with us & what is happening at Calvary Szeged. I guess the reason for this is that life is happening. 

 As you might know but Odi & I teach English at local schools to supplement out income from our supporting churches. And now that school has started, we’re both super busy with full work loads. In addition to this, I’ve gone back to school to get my masters in Education, so I can secure a long term position at the bilingual High School I work at. I’m taking correspondence courses and it’s a few Fridays & Saturdays a month. It’ll take me 2 years to get my masters, but I think it’ll be worth it.
 In the past, I’ve shared about how scoliosis runs in Odi’s family. It’s something that we began to see in Zara a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, the progression of Zara’s spine has gotten worse. In the last 18 months, it’s gone from about 17-20 degrees to 27-30 degrees. Because of this, we’ve sought out a specialist. God has lead us to the best orthopedic doctor in Hungary who deals with kids with scoliosis, he practices in Pécs, about 200km / 125 miles from Szeged. He said that Zara needs to be in a corset to help correct the curvature of her spine. Today we took Zara to Budapest to the place where they make the best corsets in Hungary and Zara gotta scanned (yes, they scanned her body digitally) and they will make her a corset based on that. We were really, really happy with the lead technician who builds these. Everything Odi has read about him has been great. He was so nice & kind with Zara and with us. Zara is actually kind of bummed that she has to wait for 6 weeks for them to make the corset (which will have horses all over it). He also examined Kiera and we all saw the signs of the curvature in her spine. He told us that in his years of experience, in the younger female sibling, there is a 95% chance of the curvature being worse. So now that means we need to get ahead of this and most likely get Kiera in a night time corset as soon as possible to help slow down the curvature of her spine. What we really liked about this guy was his attitude. He was saying that this isn’t the end of the world. Kids can live a full life with a corset. But I think what really impacted me the most was how he talked about not blaming ourselves for this. And this reminded me of a quote I saw recently which said something to the affect of, “it is what it is, but it will be what you make out of it”.  As I write this, I think of friends who have kids suffering with things much worse than this. And I know that, for some reason, God has allowed this to happen with our daughters. While, it is hard, we’re gonna try to not complain but we’re doing to do all that we can to walk with them through this. 
 Now some might think that because we live in Europe that this is all covered by the social medical system here. Well, you’d be wrong. For us to see the specialist this year, we had to go to his private practice, for Zara to see a physical therapist more than the prescribed times, it’s all out of pocket. 
 So please keep us in pray & prayerfully consider supporting us to offset some of these costs. Information will be provided below. 
 We’d really like to make a trip to the States next summer, cause we know it’d be a huge blessing for our family, but right now, it doesn’t seem like it’s gonna happen because of all that’s going on.

 When it comes to the church, I don’t know what to say. Week after week, we’re simply amazed at what God is doing. This month, being the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, I’m preaching a series on the 5 solas of the Reformation. And week after week about church has been full! I mean we’ve got so many people coming (from so many nations) and so many kids we’ve been thinking/praying about what to do. Earlier this month, I asked our landlord if there were any available facilities to rent on the property. He said that a 20 square meter (215 square foot) room just opened up. We jumped at the opportunity, cause we need to have the bigger kids meet in a different space so the little kids can be with their moms in the room connected to the church (which we’re gonna stream the service to) which will open up more space in the sanctuary for about 20 more seats. This new room needs some work but we hope to get it ready in the next couple of weeks. These are the problems that pastors love to talk about & we’re really grateful that the church is growing (new students & people coming after listening to us online & on YouTube).

  We’re also excited about our first men’s ministry meeting this month with one of our partner churches here in Szeged. We hope & pray that this will be the first of many men’s gatherings.

 We’ve also got some things planned for the future but until we know more, we’re just gonna ask for prayer.

 which leads me to ask you to pray for the following things..

 - That God would strengthen our family as we are dealing with scoliosis in our daughters.
 - For strength & wisdom for me (Kyle) as I’m doing my masters
 - God’s provision for us with all the medical expenses we have
 - That Zara (and potentially Kiera) would have a good attitude towards her corset & see it as a good thing. Also that she would understand the importance of physical therapy.
 - That God would provide for CC Szeged as we need to get the new kids room set up.

support the work here in Szeged 

we’d like to ask you, if you’re reading this to prayerfully consider joining with us in the work of the Kingdom of God here in Szeged but partnering with us financially.   

so if you'd like to join with us you can send your tax deductible donations through either Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa or Calvary Chapel Vista. 

 here is the info through Calvary Chapel Vista on their website. you can give here ( you just need to follow the process and when it asks for the donations put the amount in the "missions" box and in the memo note that it's for "Kyle & Odi Eckhart in Szeged, Hungary". They then will get that to us with our regular monthly support the beginning of each month.

 through Calvary Costa Mesa, you can give here ( all you need to do here is go down the scroll down list to my name and the money will be sent to us.

thank you for prayerfully considering this!

 For Jesus’ sake,

 Kyle, Odi, Zara, Kiera

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Golgota Szeged update - 2015/2016 winter

it’s been way too long and so much has been going on here at Golgota Szeged, so let me ask for a few minutes of your time to share with you all that Jesus has been doing at Golgota Szeged.

Ongoing ministry to refugees

 When the Hungarian government locked down the Southern border with Serbia in the middle of September, the number of refugees coming through Szeged went from a flood to almost nothing. With the stream of refugees began being directed by the Serbian authorities to Croatia (then on through Western Hungary) we thought our role in the refugee crisis was pretty much over.  
 Little did we know that God had other plans for us. After the borders closed, staff & students traveled to a couple different refugee camps and began ministering to some guys (mainly from Iran and Africa). Because their request for asylum was rejected they were transferred to a small camp about 25km outside of Szeged. It’s basically a holding camp where they wait as they appeal their case. The students and staff came down to this camp in Nagyfa and got us connected with these guys. So over the past couple of months we’ve been doing what we can for them. This entails organizing 2-3 cars every Sunday to get these guys to and from church, as well as buying them groceries and topping off their cell phones with money that was donated for this purpose to Calvary Chapel Bible College Europe. 
hanging out with Saman and Peter after church

 It’s been amazing to get to know some of these guys and hear their stories. A few of the guys fled Iran because of persecution, one brother was taken away by the secret service & beaten multiple times, even being shot in the leg to get info from him about a home church network. A good friend from Calvary Vista, missions pastor Rob Nash, recently help get us some solar audio players as well as “The God Story” DVD’s in Farsi for these guys. It’s a way for them to share the Gospel in the camp.

 The logistics of helping these guys & getting them to church hasn’t been easy as the members of our church are all busy with jobs & families and we don’t have too many available cars. So please pray for God to strengthen us & provide for us so we can keep serving these guys by getting them to church & helping them to grow in the Word. A few of the guys have been approved for asylum and are planning on attending Calvary Chapel Bible College Europe. 
our refugee brothers worshiping with the body of Golgota Szeged

 Now I know there is a lot of talk in the media & the US presidential debates about the refugee issue, and trust me, as being someone “on the ground”, dealing with these people, and dealing with questions of people in the church about “why are they coming here?” and “are we safe?”, I can tell you that there are no easy answers to the questions that this crisis raises.. So while many people are torn, and welcoming these guys in our church has caused a couple people to stop coming, I would simply ask you to pray that the Gospel would change these people as they come to Europe for whatever reason. The fact is that the Gospel is the only thing that can change people, be it us in the West or people from the Middle East, Africa, or wherever. 

church news

What’s really been cool to see is that the church has been growing recently in size. We’ve seen new people come as well as believers who’ve been hurt in other churches. It’s exciting to see people come, get healed, grow in the Lord, and get plugged into the church.  We’ve also been blessed by the new births in our church & the great fellowship that happens at our monthly church lunches.

dedicating my little buddy, Máté

 Every year we do a Christmas Eve service and when we started doing this about 7-8 years ago I think there were 10-12 people at our first Christmas Eve service. This year the church was absolutely packed with over 70 adults. What made it really exciting is about 20 people who came had never been to our church before. I was so happy that 3 of my students brought their families totally 12 people. This was really good for the church to see that as we shine our lights and as we invite people, they will come. I told the church, if you’re afraid to share the Gospel, just invite people & I’ll do the work of preaching the Gospel. 
worship on Christmas Eve

 Because we’ve seen some growth over the past 4-6 months, there is an excitement in the church about what God is doing. As a result, we’ve felt that we don’t want to just try to do more but we want to stop and pray & figure out what God is doing and get involved in that.

  So we’ve decided to start of this year with a week of prayer. We’re in the middle of it right now & we’re just gathering every night to pray & seek the Lord for our church, city, region, and country. It’s exciting to see people come out and join us in prayer for the city. 

  The weekend of January 22-24 about 15 women from Golgota Szeged will be attending the Golgota national women’s conference. It’s always an encouraging time for them (pray for the men who will be staying home with the kids!!)

 Even though there has been a lot of joy in the past months, one “sad” thing has happened. One of our elder, Badri (he’s from India) told me that he got a job in South Korea and will be moving with his family at the beginning of February. Badri came to Hungary about 10 years ago to do research at the University of Szeged Biology Center. A year after he got here, his future wife, Mary came to Hungary and it was almost 7 years ago that I was honored to officiate their wedding. A little over 2 years ago they were blessed with a beautiful little girl. Badri has been ministering to the “internationals” of our church for years and has led the English speaking Cell Group. He’s also been part of the worship ministry playing the djembe. Last year he finished his PhD and has been applying for jobs in Europe. But God is taking them on the next step of their adventure to South Korea. It’s sad to see them go but we know that God is leading them & will continue to use them in South Korea. Seeing someone go like this is a little exciting cause we don’t know what God is going to do next or who He will raise up to take over the things Badri was doing. One thing is sure, God has brought someone to replace Badri in the worship, but other than that we’re open to whatever the Lord has for what’s next for these things at Golgota Szeged.

 we don’t have any plans to visit California in the foreseeable future, mainly because of finances even though it’s been almost 2 years since we’ve been. It’d be refreshing to take a trip sometime so please keep this in prayer.

personal news

 we both continue to be super busy, raising kids, teaching English, and ministering at church. this is, honestly, a difficult time of life but we're looking to the Lord for strength and wisdom in it. 

oh Christmas tree
do you want to build a snowman?
we need to make a big decision soon for Zara. She'll start 1st grade in September and we have to decide which elementary school to send her to. In the next few weeks there will be "open houses" put on by schools and we'll be visiting them to see what is going to be the best fit for her. Please pray for us to have wisdom in this area!!

 we rejoice that the last time the doctor examined Zara's scoliosis, he said that he's not going to send her for an x-ray because he sees that her back has improved a little. this in it self is a miracle cause growing up, Odi never heard "it's getting better" only "it's getting worse". Sometimes what is super hard is having Zara do her exercise at home. Please pray that she'd look forward to and like doing her physical therapy at home. 

partner with us

as always, I’d like to let you know how to partner with us as we seek to build God’s Kingdom here in Szeged & the surrounding region.

 first and most importantly you can join us in prayer. here are some prayer points

  - wisdom, safety, and provision in ministering to the refugees
 - that the relationships in the church would grow
 - that we’d continue to be salt & light in Szeged
 - that we’d hear clearly from the Lord about His plans for Szeged & that we’d get involved in that.
 - for God to raise up more people to serve in different areas of ministry
 - provision for a possible trip to CA in the next 18-24 months

you can also help support the ministry here financially. you can give your tax-deductible offerings through either Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa or Calvary Vista.

 here is the info through Calvary Chapel Vista on their website. you can give by clicking here you just need to follow the process and when it asks for the donations put the amount in the "missions" box and in the memo note that it's for "Kyle & Odi Eckhart in Szeged, Hungary". They then will get that to us with our regular monthly support the beginning of each month.

 through Calvary Costa Mesa, you can give here ( all you need to do here is go down the scroll down list to my name and the money will be sent to us.

thank you for taking the time to read & prayerfully considering these things.

in, by, and for Jesus,

kyle, odi, zara, kiera

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

the humanitarian crisis on our doorstep / on the front lines of history

The international media has picked up recently on the humanitarian crisis that is happening in Hungary. The truth is that the flow of migrants into Europe through Hungary has been happening for months. Recent issues have really put a spotlight on what has been going on here in Hungary.

We've been able to help the past few month by taking humanitarian aid to the refugees after they got processed and dropped off at the Szeged train station. A group of local volunteers has really led the charge in caring for these people on their journey. People from our church & others have been very generous in providing funds for us to give what we can. It's allowed us to be build bridges with the volunteers. 
helping migrants at the train station in Szeged

 Last night I went down to the border where these migrants cross over into Hungary and are held at camps for processing to meet friends from Budapest & Vajta who came to help. They brought blankets & mats for people to sleep on, I loaded my car with food. I wasn't prepared for the situation I encountered. Literally 5 minutes before I arrived, hundreds of migrants broke outed the camp& wanted to start walking to Budapest.they were stopped a few hundred meters down the road at a roundabout when the police locked it down, but about 100-150 did make a run for it and started walking up the M5 to Budapest (170km / 105 miles). The other 400-500 people just sat in this roundabout not wanting to move. I asked the police if I could help being a bilingual pastor & many of these people speak English.  They asked if I could help them tell the people they need to go back to the camp to get registered because without papers, according to EU law, they can not travel to Western Europe. The situation was so tense, when I went to talk with people, a couple of policemen escorted me. 5 minutes later they asked me to get on the loudspeaker and tell everyone they need to go back. So I jumped in a police car & explained to everyone why they need to go back. After hearing me, an Arabic man from Sweden who is here to give humanitarian aid, asked if could say in Arabic what I said in English.  Thankfully the crowd began to make their way back to the camp.
a heated standoff between migrants & the Hungarian police
what I encountered last night

After the situation calmed down, I was able to deliver the food I had to the camp of refugees & a few cases of coca-cola for the police who have been working 18 hour shifts for the last week or so.

As I left the scene later in the evening, the thought that struck me was, “this is history happening before our eyes”. I believe that in 30-50 years, what is happening now will go down in history as the event that reshaped Europe. I’d be foolish to say if it’s for better or for worse but I do know that this wave of migrants has started and will not stop in the near future, as a matter of fact, the numbers will only continue to increase in the weeks to come. the solution to this problem is way above my pay grade! 
the conditions people are living in

So what are we do to? honestly, I’m torn, I know that in this large number of people who are coming into Europe there are “bad elements” & unfortunately that can’t be stopped. What I do know, is that thousands of people are already here. I’ve been around many of them and they are people from all different walks of life who simply want to escape the horrible conditions in their homelands and make a better life for their families. can you blame them? most immigrants who went to America went with the same intentions! 
it's hard to see but the path on the right is how people are entering Hungary

Here is what I propose, why don’t we treat these people with the dignity and respect that they deserve as image bearers of God? I understand that they come from a different culture than us in the West & I understand that they’ve been taught to hate the “Great Satan” of the West, but what if we, people who claim to follow Jesus, reach out to them as Jesus would? Would Jesus care for immigrants? Would Jesus give food, drink, and a blanket to His enemies? Absolutely, Jesus even died on the Cross for His enemies. 

So even though I have conflicting thoughts on the issue, I’m going to have to go with what Jesus says, “whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42). 

So as long as the Lord provides us the supplies, we will continue to do what we can to minister to these migrants coming into Europe at our doorstep. 

this being the case, I’d like to ask you 2 things…

  1. pray for us & pray for this whole situation
  2. prayerfully consider supporting this work toward the refugees financially.

 If you’d like to donate funds to this ministry, please contact me at and we can work out the best way for you to get the funds to us so we can get aid to those in need as soon as possible.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

doing church differently

this last Wednesday we did something we’ve never done before. We took our Wednesday night service to the streets of Szeged. The main reasons for this is the current immigration crisis that is happening at our doorstep, as between 800-1300 refugees cross the border at Szeged every day (20% of which are young kids). Golgota Szeged has, over the past few weeks, has given generously so that we can provide some humanitarian aid to these refugees. 

because of this crisis, I invited the “A Vision For Life” team (
from Vajta to come minister to the refugees with us. The team that came was about 65 people. That amount of people would simply overwhelm the refugees and the volunteers at the Szeged train station. So we decided to divide their team and our church members into 3 groups. 

I led group #1 at the train station as we talked with and delivered humanitarian aid to the refugees.  The other groups were led by guys from our church. Balázs led about 20 people in a prayer walk around Szeged, and Norbi lead a group of about 20 as they shared the good news of Jesus on the streets of Szeged.  It was an amazing evening for all 3 groups.

a group of refugees just arrives at the Szeged train station after being processed by the police
What I experienced at the train station, talking with many of the refugees (about 200 showed up in the 4 hours that we were there), was very insightful. I talked with people from Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, among others. most of these people have been walking for months, fleeing their country. I talked to one young man from Afghanistan, who left last year on July 29th and is hoping to make it to Germany or England to make a better life for himself. Another man I talked to from Bangladesh, fled months ago, because he is a Hindu and is fleeing from the attacks of radical Islamic forces. But the highlight of my evening was talking with a woman and her 2 sons from Syria. After I noticed that she was wearing a cross bracelet, I asked if she was a Christian. She said yes, and when I asked her story, she said she left Syria with her boys (14 & 10) because of the fighting in Syria & the persecution against Christians. Turns out her Dad was a pastor in Damascus and my friend Andi & I prayed  for her and her children right before they boarded the train. She was very, very thankful. I also spoke with young men from Syria who fled because they did not want to fight and all they wanted is peace. Many of them left at the behest of their families. 
me, Tibor (CC Csantavér, Serbia), and Jeremy (AVFL pastor)

 There are some things I took away from being at the train station…

#1. All people, regardless of race, nationality, or religion are image bearers of God and are to be shown honor, dignity an value (this is the message that I told a French news reporter when he interviewed me Wednesday night).

#2. giving someone a cup of cold water (or in this case humanitarian aid - bottled water, tooth paste, hygiene products, etc.) is not only pleasing in the eyes of God but an amazing blessing to those in need.

#3. there is real evil in the world and it needs to be stopped. If there were peace in the homelands of these people they would never have left on this journey of thousands of miles to try to make a better life for themselves. 

#4. there seems to be no end in sight to this wave of refugees fleeing into Hungary. Praise God, a lot of money has been provided (by Golgota Szeged & the AVFL team) so that we can continue to take aid to the volunteer group helping the refugees for weeks to come. 

a group of refugees arrives around 11pm
If you read this, would you please pray that the Gospel would reach those people (mainly muslims) who are fleeing their homelands and coming to Europe. Some people say that this is all in the plan of Islam to reconquer Europe. My impression is that this is not the case. Thousands are crossing into Europe daily, via Szeged, hoping for a better life. That “better life” is found in Jesus and now is the time for the Christians in Europe to see these refugees not as enemies or threats but as people who so desperately need the Gospel. And maybe, just maybe, the first step in showing them the love of Jesus is giving them a bottle of water after journeying for months on foot in conditions that we couldn’t even imagine?
a heartfelt message at the train station

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

the humanitarian crisis in Szeged

the humanitarian crisis in Szeged

with all the has been going on in the world (the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage in the US, establishment of an Embassy in Cuba, Greece defaulting on it’s loan payment to the European Central Bank / IMF) not much, if any attention has been given to the growing humanitarian crisis happening here in Szeged.

For weeks now, refugees have been fleeing Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and making their way to Europe. For the first time in the 16 years I’ve lived in Szeged, these refugees have been flooding into Europe through Szeged like never before.  A friend of mine, who is a policeman, told me that 52,000 people entered Hungary illegally last year seeking refugee status. Because of the situation in the Middle East the flood gates have opened and thousands of people everyday are crossing the border from Serbia into Hungary in the hopes of obtaining refugee status in the EU. 

Szeged does not have any refugee camps, so when people get here they find their way to the train station and board trains to the refugee camps in places like Debrecen (where some of refugees are coming to know Jesus). These refugees arrive in Szeged completely exhausted from traveling thousands of miles on foot and squeezed in inhumane conditions in cars & vans. A group of people started to meet these refugees at the train station to offer them help, food, water, hygiene products, etc. This small volunteer movement has caught fire and has been highlighted in the Hungarian news. 

 On the news today, I heard an interview with a sociologist who talked to some of these refugees. One thing they told him was that the way they were treated here in Szeged was the first time in a long time that someone treated them as people, not as cash cows.

As this situation has been unfolding, I’ve felt that it’s our Christian duty to help these people who are the foreigners & outcasts of society. Jesus taught us is Matthew 25, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”

Tonight, after church, we took our first carload of humanitarian aid to these refugees. While at the train station, we asked if we could talk with one of the organizers. Fortunately, we were able to talk with a very kind woman. I told her that I’m a pastor of a church and we, and other churches, want to help. She said, that during the night, there has recently been tension among the refugees. And she said it would be great to have a pastor there to help deal with the spiritual issues of the refugees. So in the coming days / weeks, as I can I will be out at the train station ministering to refugees. As a church, we are doing what we can to add supplies to help those in need. A heat wave will hit Hungary this weekend, so we’re going to be buying lots of water to keep people hydrated. 

I know that we might not ever see these people again, but that isn’t the point, the point is we must obey Jesus and care for those who are in need. So, I’m excited about what the Lord is going to do through Golgota Szeged, and though the other churches in Szeged, as we seek to just minister to Jesus as we minister to the refugees.

Please pray for us, for Golgota Szeged & all the churches in Szeged, as we seek to minister the love of Jesus to people who are in such dire need.


Monday, May 25, 2015

2015 spring church and family update

Today is Pentecost, which is a holiday here in Hungary, and because that means I have some free time, I’d like to let you know about what’s going on here in Szeged.

Church stuff

the church is doing well. We seem to be in a season of weddings and births.  I’ve already officiated one wedding this month with another this Saturday.  One family welcomed their 3rd child in September and a couple that just got married last August, will welcome their 1st child this September. Things like this bring joy to our hearts and we wanted to share these with you.

Though we have joy in these, it also makes us keenly aware of the singles in our church and those who are struggling with infertility. Please join with us in prayer for them.

Last year the college chaplain of one of the Reformed churches here in Szeged, had the idea to have a Christian festival here in Szeged similar to festivals he and others have taken part of in different parts of Western Europe. Szeged is known for it’s many festivals throughout the year and this year in September will be what is called the “tágás tér festival” (it means “wide open square” festival). This will be an interdenominational Christian festival with concerts, four discussions, workshops, exhibitions, and sporting events. Because the Catholic church still considers us a cult their leadership has insisted we not be named on any promotional materials and really didn’t want Golgota Szeged involved but our friends at the Reformed & Baptist churches have pushed to make sure we're involved cause they believe that Golgota Szeged will be a valuable member in this venture of faith. 

on our part, we’re looking at planning a charity run during this 3 day festival to support the pediatric ICU. The reasoning behind this is that people here in Szeged aren’t really interested in the church & a charity run around the event will draw people that might not come to a Christian festival and if they come hopefully they will stay and see some of the other events / booths. Also the pediatric ICU is always in need of money to care for kids. This will take a lot of planning on our part but we believe it'd be great for us to show our love for Szeged in a tangible way.  Pray for open doors & open hearts as we plan the charity run and that people would come and hear the Gospel during this festival.

Personal stuff

 Life has been extremely busy for us, as both Odi and I are teaching at local schools. Being bi-vocational has been difficult but good. We’re really looking forward to the summer break to catch our breath a little! :-) 

we’re also looking forward to moving into our new house next month. The building process has been very trying and we will be so happy to finally be moved in and enjoy our new house.

 I was hoping to make it to California at the beginning of July for the Calvary Chapel Senior Pastors Conference but it’s just not going to work out this year. the finances just aren’t there for me to make the trip this year. maybe next year we can go as a family to California. 

 the girls are doing well. We continue to take Zara to physical therapy for her back and a couple months ago, Kiera got glasses because one of her eyes is crossed. Life is full of challenges, as you all know. 

prayer points

 - for God’s blessing and provision upon our family
 - for wisdom in dealing with the kids health issues
 - for God’s blessing and anointing as I speak at different churches / events
 - for God’s blessing upon Calvary Szeged and for church growth.
 - for fresh vision for the church.
 - for a fresh outpouring of God's Spirit upon us and the church


kyle, odi, zara, kiera

 here is the info through Calvary Chapel Vista on their website. you can give here ( you just need to follow the process and when it asks for the donations put the amount in the "missions" box and in the memo note that it's for "Kyle & Odi Eckhart in Szeged, Hungary". They then will get that to us with our regular monthly support the beginning of each month.

 through Calvary Costa Mesa, you can give here ( all you need to do here is go down the scroll down list to my name and the money will be sent to us.

thank you for prayerfully considering this!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

winter 2015 family & church update

Church stuff

as I sit down to write this newsletter I realize that it was 20 years ago this week that I was making my final preparations to move to Baja, Hungary for 1 year to help at the church there. by the grace of God, that 1 year has now turned into 20 as February 21st marks 20 years of me living & serving Jesus here in Hungary. I am truly amazed and humbled that God allows me to do what I do. I am truly thankful to God & to all of you who have over the years partnered with me through prayer & financial support so that I can be part of what Jesus is doing here in Hungary.

since it’s been a few months since we’ve written, let us share with you what’s been going on with us & in the life of Calvary Chapel Szeged

Once again the members of our church prepared Christmas packages to take to 2 gypsy villages in Romania. This is something that we've been doing for a few years now & we are blessed that we know where the gifts are going. 

Last September we changed up the format of our mid-week Bible study. It was on Wednesday nights that I taught through the Bible. Now that I've taught through the Bible, we felt the Lord leading us to make some changes. Not to fear, we are still teaching the Bible but we're teaching in a rotation. Right now there are 4 of us in the rotation. This has eased the burden on me, as I'm teaching English at a bilingual high school and it allows me to focus more on our Sunday service. We are currently teaching through the life of David. What we've also done is set apart the 3rd Wednesday night of the month for worship, prayer, and communion. We've seen God bless the changes He has led us in.

 The Lord has given me a lot of opportunities to teach in the past & I have a lot in the future. Since April I've been helping, advising, and teaching on a monthly basis at a new independent church plant in a city called Orosháza, which is about 60km from Szeged. The leader of this church & his wife really love Calvary & have reached out to me being the closest Calvary to them. I blessed to be part of what God is doing in this new church plant. 
teaching at the new church plant in Orosháza

 As I've mentioned in the past, we've got a really good relationship with the Szeged Baptist church. The youth group regularly invites me to teach there, which is always a great joy for me. Once again they've asked me to speak at the national youth conference that they are organizing here in Szeged in March. I'll be speaking about what it means to be a "digitally active" Christian. 

 To my great surprise, I've been invited to speak at the Calvary Chapel Scandinavia conference outside of Stockholm, Sweden at the end of July. I'm humbled by the honor to go & teach and see what God is doing in Scandinavia. Turns out the Finnish wife of the organizer used to be a part of our church about 13-14 years ago. 

 Odi continues to lead worship on Sunday  mornings and meets regularly with our worship teams to practice & learn new songs. 

family stuff

 it’s been a hard couple of months for us as a family. Odi’s grandmother, who many of you knew, passed on to Heaven in December. This marked the 3rd hard Christmas for us. We rejoice knowing that Mami is in the presence of the Lord and with those who have gone on before in faith. 

 Right before Christmas Zara came down with the chicken pox and that began a 6 week period where at least one of us were sick. We’re all better now, but it wasn’t fun being sick for so long.

 As we shared back in October, Zara has a curvature in her spine, like Odi. According to the x-Ray, her curvature is already 20 degrees.  At this point the doctor has recommended swimming & physical therapy. Zara is going swimming twice a week with her kindergarten class & we are taking her to physical therapy twice a week. We are trying to do physical therapy with her at home at least 4-5 times a week but it's hard to motivate Zara to do the exercises. Please pray that she would continue to have a good attitude about doing her daily exercise.

Kiera is starting to show signs of having a curved spine so we are starting to do the physical therapy with her as well. 
Zara & Kiera dressed up for the Farsang (Carnival) event at kindergarten

One thing we both know is that we want to avoid putting our kids through the “traditional” forms of treatment for scoliosis. Odi had a brace growing up and it wasn’t helpful at all. Both the orthopedic doctor & the physical therapist support our decision cause they know that movement is more important that a brace. 

God has given both Odi & I opportunities to teach English to help make up what we are lacking in terms of financial support. Odi is teaching at an elementary school & I'm teaching at a bilingual high school. We're thankful that God is providing for us this way & that we have many opportunities to share with co-workers & students. We know that God has us in these schools for a reason!

a request

 I’d like to share a request with everyone. I’ve been in Hungary for 20 years & the senior pastor of Calvary Szeged for 15. Every year I get the invite to the Calvary Chapel senior pastors conference in California. This year the conference is July 6-9. I’ve never been able to go but I would really, really like to go, be encouraged & connect with many of the pastors in the Calvary movement. A plane ticket for me to go to the conference is $1500. Would you pray about helping make it possible for me to make it out to the conference this year? if you would like to make a financial donation to help make this happen you can follow one of the 2 links below. thank you so much!!

prayer points

 - for God’s blessing & provision upon our family
 - for wisdom in dealing with the kids health issues
 - for God’s blessing & anointing as I speak at different churches / events
 - for God’s blessing upon Calvary Szeged
 - that God would continue to use us & Calvary Szeged as lights in this wonderful city
 - for God’s provision for me to make it to the senior pastors conference in CA this year.

support the work

if you'd like to support the work we're doing here at Calvary Szeged you can do so by sending your tax deductible donates through either Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa or Calvary Chapel Vista

 here is the info through Calvary Chapel Vista on their website. you can give here ( you just need to follow the process and when it asks for the donations put the amount in the "missions" box and in the memo note that it's for "Kyle & Odi Eckhart in Szeged, Hungary". They then will get that to us with our regular monthly support the beginning of each month.

 through Calvary Costa Mesa, you can give here ( all you need to do here is go down the scroll down list to my name and the money will be sent to us.

thank you for prayerfully considering this!


kyle, odi, zara, kiera