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.
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.
- 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