Friday, December 16, 2011

the legal state of the church in Hungary

tonight Christians here in Hungary began flooding the internet (mainly Facebook) with the news that the government here in Hungary has repealed it's "religious freedom" law from this summer. The reason being is that they knew the constitutional court would strike down the law. 


According the the original law this summer there were some 30+ churches (including Calvary Chapel's here in Hungary - known here as Golgota) that the Hungarian government was going to recognize but after a late night meeting of the committee which oversaw this law that number was slashed to 14. We, Golgota Hungary, were cut from the list along with other, good Jesus loving, Bible believing churches.  


we were under the impression that we could request official recognition to remain an official church here in Hungary. The leadership of Golgota Hungary put together a team who did great work in getting everything we needed together and they submitted it to the Parliament. Right now the ruling party in Hungary (Fidesz) has a 2/3 majority and it would take a 2/3 majority to remain an official church.


we've been waiting and waiting and then the news broke today. The majority leader of the Fidesz party has said that the government wants to pass the law but with no real structural changes. meaning they will include the 14 churches that they approve but since the original law has been repealed all the work that was done by the leadership of Golgota Hungary & of many other churches will be thrown out the window because our "appeal" was on the basis of the original law of June and not this new "last minute" law that they have said they will ram through the Parliament between Christmas and New Year's. 


where does that leave Golgota here in Hungary? or any other good Jesus loving churches for that matter? I have no idea!! I do know that regardless of what this (in my opinion, incompetent) government decides we'll continue to meet to worship Jesus & study His Word, as I believe it's God who defines what a church is, not a bunch of politicians. 


this situation shows me two things. first, that too much power is NEVER a good thing. as the old saying goes, "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". but more importantly, I see the spiritual side to this. God IS working in the lives of people here in Hungary and Jesus is changing people and we have to realize that Satan hates this and is doing everything he can to stop what is being accomplished for the Kingdom of God.  


whatever happens, I know it will be for the furtherance of the Gospel.


please join with me in prayer for the work of God here in Hungary.


please join with me in praying for the people of Hungary. many people see what's going on and have completely lost hope in life.  we want to bring Jesus to them as He gives real hope.


thanks for your time.


kyle

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

united for Szeged

many years ago the previous Baptist pastor organized monthly prayer meetings for the pastors of the churches in Szeged but since he was "promoted" to a new position about 2 1/2 years ago these meetings stopped. something I've desired for a while was to "restart" these meetings.  this summer I was encouraged by a good friend to not wait for anyone else to start them but for me to start them because all of the pastors know my cause I've been in Szeged for a long time now. 

about a month ago I e-mailed everyone and got a great response. This morning was our first pastor's prayer breakfast at our church. 6 churches were represented (which is about all of the evangelical Christian churches) and turns out everyone has sensed the need to work together for the Kingdom of God and everyone expressed their thanks that I took the initiative and got us all together.

we're going to spend some time praying together and building inter-personal relationships and see how God might have us work together for His Kingdom in Szeged.

I thankful to God that I was able to play a part in getting everyone together and look forward to what God is going to do through these times.

please join with us in praying for Szeged!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Szeged Baptist Chutch

Tonight I had the honor of preaching to about 80 high school & college age students at the Szeged Baptist. I talked to them about reaching their generation for Jesus. The response was great. Praise God!

I left excited that there are many young people who love Jesus and want to reach their generation (a lost generation) for Him.

I also left so encouraged that God has started a new work of unity among the local churches in Szeged. The Baptist pastor was there tonight and said he loved what I preached.

Because I've sensed a greater need for the local churches to be on the same page, I've invited the pastors & elders of local churches to a prayer breakfast that we'll hold at Golgota Szeged. So far response is good and I look forward to building stronger relationships with other pastors & churches so that the Kingdom of God might expand here in Szeged.

Please join with is for this city that we love so much!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

mommy's little helper

tonight Zara helped me make dinner for Daddy! I can't wait till she's older and I can teach her more and she can help more!! video

Friday, September 16, 2011

late summer / early fall update 2011

family

  the biggest news in our lives is that our second daughter, kiera grace eckhart, was born on August 7th. we've been so blessed because she is such a good baby. we were curious to see how zara would react to and interact with her, well zara absolutely loves her baby sister!!  she always wants to be around her and kiss her. she is so gentle with kiera. 
  (here is a picture of us going to church for the first time as a family. at this point kiera was only 5 weeks old.)


  with our growing family our needs are growing. one of the biggest needs we have is for a larger car. some time next year we'd love to get a minivan, as we feel it would be perfect for us with our 2 kids and also with having my (kyle's) dad living here in szeged. we've learned that the bible is so true that the "borrower is slave to the lender" (proverbs 22:7) and we don't want to be enslaved to a bank over a car. please pray with us that God would provide for us and provide the right car for us next year. 

 we both agree that the "jump" from 1 kid to 2 kids is both easier and harder. easier cause we're more relaxed and more "experienced" but harder for obvious reasons. zara has a lot of energy and to help with that we've been taking her to nursery every day since july. she really loves being around other kids and we know that this is just another great opportunity for us to reach people for Jesus here in Szeged.

 speaking of zara, we can't believe that she turned 2 on september 5th. we're so proud of our "big girl" and excited to be part of her life as God has entrusted her to us. 

 odi is doing a great job being a full time mom and God is giving me the strength to do all that I need to do (pastor the church, teach english, study for school).  

 on september 4th, calvary chapel hungary celebrated it's 20th anniversary here in hungary. about 20 people from calvary szeged went to budapest for a "nation-wide" celebration. what was a real blessing to me was to think that God has allowed me to be a small part of His work in hungary for 16 1/2 years. I'm looking forward to many more years of serving Him here in Hungary.

church/ministry

 as i've written in the past, summer tends to be a "down time" for our church with many students going home for the summer and people going on holiday. this summer was different, in that we didn't see such a great drop off. as a matter of fact over the summer the church grew some.
 one of the most amazing stories of this summer is a young man named ovidiu. the amazing thing about ovidiu is that he's from timisoara, romania. he got saved a couple of years ago by listening to bridge.fm (calvary chapel old bride - pastor lloyd pulley) and by watching hischannel.com. god moved on ovidiu's heart and showed him that he needs to be in fellowship with other believers and because there isn't a calvary chapel in timisoara (yet) he decided he'd drive the 120km (75miles) one way to come fellowship with us at golgota szeged because we are the closest calvary chapel to him. we are blessed (and so is he) that he comes when he can. we've prayed with him about starting a work in timisoara. I believe that God has brought him here for a reason and we continue to seek the Lord's will regarding this. 
  this summer i was blessed to preach at an outreach that the baptist church of szeged organized in hódmezővásárhely. not only did I preach but many of the members of calvary szeged took part in the week long event because we believe that Jesus loves our region and we're excited to be a part of whatever He is doing!  i personally was blessed to spend time with the baptist pastor, barna balogh, who came from debrecen and was close to bodi (zsolt bodogán).
  i'm looking forward to spending more time with him and some of the other pastors here in szeged. i know we all have god's heart for szeged and i hope we can all work together for his kingdom! 
  because of my growing relationship with the baptist, i've been invited to speak to about 40-50 of their youth this month. i'm excited to talk to them about loving and serving jesus here in szeged in their youth. the youth of this city are the hope of this city and the only way we're going to reach them is if we're in love with jesus and taking his message to them.
  september always sees an influx of new people into our church. this year we're blessed that many students who are returning have a few more years left in their studies and we have more time to help train them to be missionaries for Jesus wherever they might end up after college. 
  to help "ring in" the new school year, this sunday (september 18th) we're hosting a "welcome (back) to szeged" bbq after church. there is already a lot of interest in this and we're looking forward to building relationships with many of our new members.
  on wednesday nights i've been teaching through the old testament and in the next 6-8 weeks i'll be finishing it, after which we'll jump right into the new testament. i hope to complete teaching through the bible in the next 3 years. to the best of my knowledge this will be the first complete "through the bible" in hungarian/english by a calvary pastor here in hungary. i'm continually amazed that god is using our church website to get his word out to hungarians (and others) all over the world.

prayer requests

 - for wisdom to raise our daughters to love Jesus.
 - that God would continue to use golgota szeged to reach szeged and our surrounding area.
 - for strength in this busy season of life.
 - that the hungarian government would approve golgota for official church status. (a blog about this coming soon)
 - that we as a family would love jesus more!
 - that god would raise up people to help in the church in the areas of administration and other practical areas.

ways to help
 - we really need help in some practical things. we're looking to redesign the logo and "artwork" of our church. if you can help, please let me know. we've got some genearl ideas but would need someone who knows what they're doing.
 - as many of you know i've been teaching english to supplement our income. i've been blessed to do this but sometimes i feel as if i need to put too much time into this. having a family with 2 kids, i need to make sure that our needs our met. if i wouldn't have to teach so much i believe i could invest more time into the church and the work of God. if you'd like to help support our ministry you can send your (tax-deductible) offerings through calvary chapel costa mesa (https://www.easytithe.com/f/?k=6SSHN0DEHB4KG6DH) or calvary chapel vista (hhttps://webview.shelbyinc.com/app/04423/Default.aspx tabindex=1&tabid=17). please be sure to indicate that your tithe/offering for us. what you give helps us not only meet our monthly needs but we will be putting part of it aside for a bigger vehicle next year.

 thanks again for your time (that you read this) and your prayers for us. please consider supporting us financially that the kingdom of god might expand in this part of the world.

 may the Lord bless you richly! 

 kyle, odi, zara, kiera

Friday, September 9, 2011

finally

I'm happy to say that Google just released a Blogger app for iOS. Hopefully this will inspire me more to blog about the goings on in our lives & ministry.

Here's to hope! :-)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2011 spring update

just a quick update about all the happenings in our lives and the ministry here in Szeged

Family


 well, as you probably know that our family will be growing as we're expecting the birth of our second daughter in August.  Once again, life is going to change. We know with 2 little ones at home things are going to be interesting (and maybe a little crazy) but we're looking forward to this 2nd little blessing!!
 
 As with Zara, Odi needs to rest as much as possible but because Zara is a bundle of energy it's not so easy, but we're managing.
 I've finished my 1st year of college and hope to be able to continue to work hard to get a degree in 2013. with 2 little ones studying is going to be interesting so it'll be a lot of night work with the help of coffee!
  This summer (end of June) we'll be attending the Foundations Conference in Vajta & look forward to a week of encouragement and reconnecting with friends from all over Europe.

Church


  by the grace of God the church is doing well and growing. not only in spiritual depth (which has really been helped by our small groups) but we're seeing more and more people come to church both Hungarians and international students.

 this last weekend we had "church by the river" and baptized 8 people. it was an amazing event for all who came to celebrate the public declaration of faith of those who were baptized. Afterwards we had a "love feast" cause everyone just brought SO much food!  One of the great things about this day was that people invited & brought guests who normally wouldn't come to church. We hope to have more times like this where non-believers would come to do life with us & hear the Word of God.
  I believe that this was a very important set for us as a church not only being out publicly as a church but also for people to catch the vision of doing life together. These pictures don't really communicate fully the blessing that day was but I hope they do somewhat.




  as summer is a little bit of a "down time" for our church (many students are gone and others are on vacation) the elders and I will be praying & talking through a lot of things for the coming school year. We want to continue to invest time & energy in small groups but we also want to plan larger events, including possibly another Golgota Gospel Choir concert in December.  We are also praying for open doors to start a Bible study in a city about 25km from Szeged.

I continue to be amazed at how God is using our church website to get the Gospel out to Hungarians all over the world.  I would like to redesign our website but I don't have that "talent" and it doesn't seem like anyone else in the church does either, so if anyone reading this can help, please let me know!

  we've decided on a one year extension of our rental agreement because our landlord won't be raising the rent because the economy is still so bad over here.  this is an answered prayer & we're excited to stay here for another year!

prayer requests


 please pray


 - that God would continue to use Golgota Szeged to get His Word out  
   to many people here in Szeged and the surrounding region.
 - that the church would continue to grow in number and in spiritual
   depth.
 - that God would speak to myself and the elders about His vision for the church for the next school year.
 - that God would bless Odi with strength and that the baby would go to full term
 - that God would give Odi & I the grace and strength to adjust to being parents of 2 little ones.
 - for God's provision for both us and the church.

  thanks for your time that you read this update & we'd like to ask that you'd join with us in prayer for the work of God here in Szeged! We know that a background of prayer is vital to what God wants to do here.
 we'd also like to ask you to consider joining with us financially so that we can continue to focus on the work of the Lord and not so much on having to teach. Teaching is a blessing (in that I'm able to meet a lot of people) but I'd rather spend more time doing what God has called me to do. So please consider partnering with us financially (even the smallest amount every month helps).

  we pray for you that the Lord would bless you & cause His face to shine upon you!

 In His service,

 Kyle & Odi

Monday, May 23, 2011

pray without ceasing

well it's been way too long since I've blogged so here goes.

this weekend was the culmination of the 10 day "Szeged days" festival and as we were out walking around on Saturday morning we saw a large crowd of people in front of city hall for a big event with traditional music, dance and a speech from the mayor. As I was listening to it all, God just moved on my heart that I need to be praying more for Szeged. I've been reminded of the power of prayer in two books I've read in the past 8 months, Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret & Charles H. Suprgeon, a Biography. It was through much prayer that God used both of these men mightily to touch the world for Jesus.  So I began praying. On Saturday as I was walking, I just prayed for people, for the city, the mayor, that God would move upon their hearts & that they would come to know Him.

 well an interesting thing happened. Saturday evening I got an e-mail from a friend who is pastoring a church in London & he told me that he just got done sharing the gospel with a guy from Szeged! Since they guy's English wasn't so good, my friend asked if I could help with some translation if necessary. Of course I would!

 this was an amazing encouragement for me that God does want to work in Szeged and bring people to salvation.

 so I'd like to ask if you'd just join with me in prayer for the wonderful city of Szeged??

 pray for....

  . many to come to know Jesus
  . wisdom for our city officials & that they would come to know Jesus
  . that Jesus would be glorified in all the churches in Szeged
 

 thank you!

 praying for you as you read this!

  kyle

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I boast

boasting isn't always a good thing because it puts the spotlight on us & removes it from God. but as Paul did boast in God's people (2 Corinthians 1:14, 9:2 & 2 Thessalonians 1:4), I would like to boast about those who call Golgota Szeged "home".

Golgota Szeged is an international church as we have, not only Hungarians but many people who attend from all corners of the earth (India, Nigeria, Cameroon, Romania, Serbia, etc.)  I was informed 2 weeks ago about how the father of a girl from our church, who is form Cameroon, passed away suddenly. Carine is here in Szeged studying medicine & will finish university this year with a degree in pharmaceutical medicine. She is here with here sister who is also studying at the medical university. when I heard that their father died (he was a believer in Jesus) my heart broke for them because they haven't been home for 5 years because their family didn't have the money to get them home.

I was told about this the saturday before I was to talk about the vision for the church for 2011. the vision God gave me is, "Christ, care, community". Those 3 words have been bouncing around my head for some time now.

Sunday morning I shared this vision. that my desire is that we'd fall more in love with Jesus this year, that we'd live as the community God desires and that we'd show care for our members as it seems things won't get easier in 2011.  when I talked about care I brought up Carine & her sister Louise. I let the church know what happened & to prayerfully consider a generous gift to help get them home to Cameroon for the funeral (which will be around the middle of February). I told the church that this is the perfect time for us to show our love & care for our own.  2 tickets from Budapest to Cameroon cost $3150 (630.000Ft). That might not be a lot for some people but for them & for our church that is a lot of money.

I was hoping we'd be able to put together $1000 (200.000Ft.) to help them get home. well I must say I was put to shame. God moved on people's hearts & His people gave enough money to get them both home for the funeral!!

I bought their tickets today & when I gave them to Carine she was simply overwhelmed at the goodness of God through Golgota Szeged. I told her that "we're family & this is what family does".

After all of this, I am, once again, humbled & honored to serve a great group of people who understand what it means to "love one another".

so, I boast in God because He is great & I boast in His people!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

winter update 2011

Happy New Year! We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season and that Jesus was glorified in your celebrations! As we moving into 2011 (which we’re excited about) let us share with you what happened in the last few months of 2010. But before we do that, we want to thank you all for the prayer & support shown to us this past year. We know that the work we’re doing here in Hungary for the Lord is made possible in large part by the sacrifices you make for us & we pray for God’s abundant blessings upon you in the coming year! 


Family 


  As some of you might know, my Dad is retired and has COPD, because of this he decided that he wants to move over here to Szeged to be close to us. So in October I went to CA to help him get things organized and packed & got things going on the sale of his house and we came back to Hungary on October 23rd. My Dad is adjusting well & is enjoying being close to us & especially enjoying being a part of the church here as he is coming to church every week and says that he’s actually being to understand the Bible as I preach it! It has been more responsibility for us to take care of him but we know that this is the Biblical way to “honor your father & mother”, so we’re blessed to have him here, close to us.
  I’ve finished my first semester of college through Calvary Chapel Bible College Europe (working on my B.A. in Theology) and am waiting to hear about my grades. I hope to continue this semester towards the goal of getting a degree in 2013. 
  Odi & I continue to be blessed to be Zara’s Mommy & Daddy. She truly is a gift of God to us & now that she’s walking she’s all over the place!! 


Ministry


  As I’ve written before we have been wanting to get the Golgota Gospel Choir (from CC Budapest) down to Szeged to do a concert. Mark Zeeman, the choir director, called me in the beginning of October saying that they were going to be in our region on December 11th & asked if we’d like them to come do a concert in Szeged. I jumped at the opportunity and the elders & I began planning. We looked into a couple of places to hold the concert & the Lord opened up the door for us to hold the concert at the Szeged Youth/Conference Center, which is a beautiful facility & they gave us their large hall (seats 600) for ½ of what the other places offered to us. So we began looking into advertising. A girl from our church writes for a local online paper & did an article about the concert, the newspaper also gave us a free banner on their homepage. A friend of mine knows someone who works at Szeged’s largest & most popular radio station and set up a meeting for me. They offered to promote the concert for free! Every Sunday night they have a program in which they talk about the cultural events (concerts, exhibits, etc.) in the coming week, so they recorded a short interview with me for the show which would air the Sunday before the concert. Then they asked me to come into their morning show to talk about it. So the Friday before the concert I was driving to the radio station & heard the host say “this hour Kyle Eckhart will be joining us to talk about the Golgota Gospel Concert this Sunday”. That was weird to hear but very cool. When I got there the Lord gave me great grace with the hosts. I thought I would only be there for a short 10-15 block but they wanted me to stay for an hour and a half till the show was over. I jumped at the chance because this morning show is listened to by 10’s of thousands of people in and around Szeged. They asked about the concert, the church & how a guy from California ended up in Szeged. It was a great opportunity to talk about Jesus & they were amazed that you can love Jesus & not be a cold religious person like they are used to here in churches. So if nothing else came out of the concert, this was a great thing. But the concert was successful far beyond what I could have hoped for. About 500 people came to the concert & the Gospel was clearly communicated. The responses I’ve heard from people was that the message really caused them to think about the Lord. Other people can’t wait till the choir comes back again!! So we praise God that the message of the Gospel went for both at the concert & over the radio. And I also praise God that we “broke even” on the concert! 


   Once again we had a midnight Christmas Eve service & once again God drew out many people to hear the message of Christmas. 


2011 


  The elders & I believe that the Lord has great things in store for us in this New Year. With the success of the Christmas Choir concert, this year we’ll be praying / planning about doing another one towards the end of the year. But before that we have a lot on our hearts.
 The major thing God has placed upon our hearts is the need for a greater sense of community in the church. We want to live as a community not just as a place for people to come once or twice a week. To help foster a community we’re going to be investing time in the men’s fellowship, women’s fellowship, and the Thursday night Bible Study group. More than just another gather, we want these to be opportunities for us to do life together & serve God together in our Jerusalem. 
  There are two pretty large cities close to Szeged both about 25km away (Hódmezővásárhely and Makó) in which we’re praying about starting bible studies. These are our Judea & we want to be faithful in reaching out there as well.
  Our rental agreement for our facility ends June 30th. For us the most convenient thing would be to stay but in 2010 we saw a 25% decrease in tithes and offerings. If the landlord wants to raise the rent (& I think he will) then we’re going to be looking at new places to meet.
   Lord willing I’ll finish teaching through the Old Testament this year (hopefully by the end of October). We’ve had a lot of feedback from Hungarian Christians from all over the world that download our messages. There is such a lack of good Christian material in Hungarian & it’s my desire to provide as much as the Lord allows me. 


   With our desire to invest more in the community life of the church & also to start new Bible Studies, it’s going to take time. For the past few years, I’ve been teaching English part time but to do all that God has put on my heart, I’ll have to cut back on teaching, which obviously will create a financial burden for us. That is why we’d like to ask you to prayerfully consider joining in the work we’re doing by financially supporting us. To do so you may click on the “support our ministry” link on our blog (www.kyleodi.blogspot.com - if you're here it's on the left side)


 Prayer requests


 - that we’d walked closer to Jesus this year.
 - that God would use us to build a sense of community in the church. That we’d love others as God loves us. 
 - that we’d have wisdom to raise Zara in the ways of the Lord 
 - that God would lead us in regards to our church rental agreement.
 - for open doors in Hódmezővásárhely and Makó to start Bible studies soon.
 - for financial provision for us & for the church.


In His service,


 Kyle & Odi