after our "family update" post a friend of mine told me that I should think about putting a paypal link on our blog if people wanted to give to support our ministry here in Szeged. I don't know how I feel about that but something better came up. yesterday I recieved an e-mail from the missions pastor at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa about an online tithing system that was just set up and how now it's possible to donate to missionaries online. so if you would like to support our ministry financially, you can do so but going to
so we were supposed to go to BP for a week of R&R at a timeshare hotel. well when we got to the hotel it turns out that the people who gave us the week messed something up with this particular week and the hotel had no knowledge of the booking. they couldn't do anything and the people who gave us the week are on holiday in Spian. so we had no place to go but had to stay in BP cause I was teaching in the Dél-pest (south BP) Calvary on Sunday. thankfully some of our friends took us in for the night! we went to church on Sunday, I taught for LaciNémeth (he said I made history as the first guest teacher of Calvary Dél-pest), then spent some time with him & his family (went to see Lotti in the hospital) and now we're home. we're both kind of glad to be home, there are always things to do here in preparation of the baby's arrival. so it was an adventure but it's always best but "home sweet home"
as I'm writing this, we're a little more than a month away from our daughter's arrival. Odi is due to give birth on September 29th. a couple weeks ago at the doctor, he said everything looks ok and the baby is a little bit bigger than "normal". but we'll find out when she arrives.
last tuesday, we went to visit the hospital where Odi will give birth. we were both pleasantly surprised at how nice it was. they've really put some effort into making the newborn ward nice. so it was nice to see where the big event will happen.
we're so very excited about our daughter's arrival, we've got everything ready, now it's just time to wait for her to come.
please pray for everything to go well in this last 4-5 weeks and for a smooth delivery.
a woman who used to be a student of Odi's gave us a "home week" of her timeshare so we can have a last vacation before Zara arrives. it's in Budapest, so we're looking forward to a week of R&R in Budapest next week. we hope to visit many friends up in BP.
I'm sure everyone has felt the effects of this "recession / economic crisis" (or whatever they're calling it these days) we're in. we in Hungary have felt this as well. cost of living continues to rise, as the government raised the VAT (value added tax) from 20% to 25% on july 1st. that means anything you buy costs more. i share this with you because we personally started to feel the effects of this crisis recently. one of our supporting churches recently sent us a letter that due to this crisis they've had to reevaluate the missions budget and have decreased the support for us and for pretty much all missionaries. we were actually looking forward to a slight increase with the arrival of our daughter, but now we have to deal with a reduction. on top of that, because Odi has been on "sick leave" due to her past history, she doesn't have the same income level and I don't have many English lessons right now. so, we're having to look at more expenses and higher cost of living with less money.
I was talking with another missionary about this recently and she said something that I never thought about. she said that when she goes back to the states, people think that she gets the same salary as a staff member of the sending church. we've been very blessed at how God has provided for us over the years through different churches & people, but in case you were wondering I don't receive the same salary as a pastor in the states.
we know that God is bigger than this crisis and He's not worried. we know He will provide for us. we'd like to ask you to prayerfully consider joining in God's work here with us financially.
for anyone who is interested TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donations can be sent to
Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa
3800 S. Fairview
Santa Ana, CA 92704
please include a note that the check is designated for us and they will attach it to our monthly support check.
we truly don't like to bring this issue up, but it's something that's going on with us and we'd like to ask you to pray with us about.
welcome to our first "church update" blog post. I figured it was about time that we entered the 21st century. we hope you check back often to see what's going on with us & Calvary Szeged.
summer is typically a "down time" for the church here in Szeged, as many of the students go home for the summer, and of course there are those whose time in Szeged comes to an end as they finish their schooling. this summer was no different. now that we're in the second half of August, we're starting to see people slowly come back. September is always an exciting time as there is a new influx of people and God always seems to bring people who want to get involved in the church. so I'm excited to see what's gonna happen in the church this September.
one thing we want to start this fall is at least one home group. I'd like it to be an "all hungarian" fellowship. I'm also praying about an "all english" fellowship cause we have a lot of english speaking people in our church. I'm not sure about this because many of our "english crowd" already get together for fellowship, so I'm leaning towards just seeking to support what they've already got going.
something happened this summer that really surprised me. God gave me a very clear vision about what He wants to do as a church here in Szeged. It all began in the beginning of July when Odi & I attended the Eastern European Missions Conference ("The Foundations") in Vajta. Pastor Bodi from Debrecen told all us pastors here in Hungary about a possibility he just found out about that applies to all of us. it's this; we as registered churches can request money from the governement to do pretty much any social service. social services here in Hungary include pre-schools, soup kitchens, old folks homes, homeless shelters, old folks day care, etc. when I heard about this, my heart was moved cause the Lord was beginning to show me that here in Hungary, if we want to be effective we need to meet the real needs of people. right now because of the political situation here in Hungary and the social changes they've broutht about, there will be in the next 12-18 months a greater need for these social services. when I came back to Szeged and told our elders, they liked the idea but felt it was "too good to be true" that the government is going to give us money to do ministry. I told them that I know this is where God is leading and we have to take this step. so I filed the papers with the government to get money for us to operate 2 pre-schools, a soup kitchen, and an old folks day care, starting next year.
what is amazing is that God has been bringing me in contact with people who can help get these things going. we've got a women in our church who has the qualifications to run a pre-school, and I know some social workers would would love to do these kinds of ministry. but our one big problem with this is facilities. we would need places to do this. i was talking with a neighbor cause i know he works for a company that writes tenders to get money for the city. i asked if he could help us cause we would need to try to get a grant for a place. he told me that his boss' full time job is he works for the city governement in the area of city development and is directly under the deputy mayor in charge of development. so he set up a meeting with me and his boss, and I told him what we want to do and what we need and he said that it shouldn't be a problem! next month he wants to set up a meeting with me, him, the deputy mayor, and the person responsible for running all the pre-schools here in Szeged so we can talk about where we can open up pre-schools next year.
anyways, I know I've written a lot about this, but we are all very excited about the future and these opportunities that we have as a church to meet people's needs and thus minister to them and share the good news with them.
so, as things progress, I will be blogging about them.
please keep all these things in prayer. thanks for standing with us.
a week ago I was blessed to be able to go to the U2 concert in Zagreb. unfortunately Odi couldn't come at this stage of her pregnancy, but, if the rumors are true and U2 comes to do another leg of their tour here in Europe next year, then we're going!!!!!
anyways, it was an AMAZING night, that I won't forget. what really struck me though, beyond the thumbing of the music since I was only 4 meters from the stage, was that U2 were using their concert to get a message across, and it came across so clearly when, before "moment of surrender" Bono asked everyone to take out their phones and light up the stadium. he said that in this universe, we might be small but we can "be a light in the darkness". our lives can make a difference if we choose to let them. I know that now, more than ever, I want my life to make a difference in my little "world" and I want my light to shine more & more!
let your light shine brightly
a wider view of the "inner circle" taken by Kornél. (unfortunately for Kornél & Laci they didn't get tickets in time and had seats)
down in the "inner circle" with Arpi & Andi Horvat-Kavai, Lisa Collins, Madarász István, and Balogh Robi. about 3 hours before the concert.
well, hello world! this is my first blog post. I guess I'm catching up with the rest of the world. from time to time, I'll blog about what's going on with us and with the church here in Szeged. hope you're blessed by what you read here.