Thursday, December 13, 2012


it's been a while since we've blogged (we're kind of bad about this) but we've recently had something affect our lives that we need to share.

Odi's 11 year old sister, Emili (pictured above), was diagnosed with leukemia and brought to the children's clinic in Szeged for treatment. 

needless to say this has been a shock to our family. we'd like to ask everyone who reads this to pray for Emili.

you can follow her journey and battle with leukemia at



kyle & odi

Friday, September 21, 2012

2012 fall update

Dear Friends,

summer is over and it's time for us to share with you what's been happening in our lives & the ministry here in Szeged.

because we haven't really been able to take a furlough in a couple of years I took 6 weeks off of teaching and preaching at Golgota Szeged. partly to rest & recharge and partly to step back and let God speak to me about the next season of ministry. my 6 week sabbatical started with us attending the Eastern European Leadership Conference (Foundations Conference) at the Calvary Chapel Conference Center in Vajta. to make a long story short there was a lot of spiritual attack upon us there because Satan didn't want us to stay there. It was there that God spoke to me through Pastor Rich Chaffin that I need to be fellowshipping and encouraging other pastors. In August I began this new season of visiting/encouraging other pastors. for me to have the time to do this I've stopped teaching private English students. This makes money even tighter but I know that this is what God is calling me to do and will provide for us as I seek to share with other pastors the things I've learned over the years so that they'd be encouraged that their labor for the Kingdom of God isn't in vain.  along with visiting other pastors I'll be spending more time investing into the men in our church and using technology (mainly skype) to encourage a pastor who came out of Golgota Szeged and is now ministering in north eastern Hungary.

another thing that is happening in Golgota Szeged is somewhat of a restructure of the different ministries in the church to allow for more people to get involved in different aspects of ministry. we're really excited to see what God is going to do through this to expand the ministry of Golgota Szeged.

 summer is usually a down time for us but this summer wasn't. we give glory to God for the new believers and those Christians who were not attending church anywhere but found us via our webpage. now that school is back in we're pretty much full on Sunday mornings which presents us with a (good) problem. if we continue to see this kind of growth we're going to have to look to expand to a larger facility. we're just waiting to see what God does.

 we're currently organizing a youth outreach with the Szeged Baptist Church. The national Baptist church is bringing over a group from the UK called Superhero ( to do 3 outreach concerts. Because we have a very good relationship with the Baptists here in Szeged they asked for our help because we have some experience organizing a concert like this. We're praying that God will fill the hall with 500-600 people to hear the Gospel. A group call The Bible League will be giving everyone at the concert 2 brand new copies of a simplified translation of the Hungarian Bible. I'm super excited that Gábor, who is leading our little youth group, will be taking a large role in helping with things for this concert.

this summer two teams from Golgota Szeged went to Romania to minister at a two week youth camp at a gypsy village. a few of the new believers came back with a new vision to be on mission for the Kingdom of God. 

we as a church are praying and pursuing missions opportunities both locally and in other countries. I know my life was changed when I went on a two-week missions trip in 1993. I'm hoping that God would do similar things in the lives of the believers at Golgota Szeged.

family stuff

 the end of summer saw us celebrate Kiera's 1st and Zara's 3rd birthdays. Zara began kindergarten at the beginning of September and loves it. 

With Kiera getting bigger life is getting a little easier and Odi is getting more freedom to be part of the church life again.

this winter will be 3 years since we've been to the States so we'd really like to go next year. as a family of 4 it's not going to be cheap (probably between $4000-5000 just to get there). so we're praying, planning and trying to save to get there. we'd like to ask you to join us in prayer for God's provision for this.

we're very honored to serve the Lord in the city of Szeged which we so love and we're thankful that so many of you pray for us and give generously to support the work we're doing here for the Lord. so THANK YOU and we ask that you would continue to join with us in the work of the Lord in Szeged through prayer and financial giving.

we're more active on Facebook & Twitter (@kyleeckhart) so if you're on those social media outlets please look us up!

prayer requests

 - many would come to know Jesus through the outreach concert at the end of the month
 - for 10,000 people to meet Jesus in Szeged
 - for wisdom for the leadership of Golgota Szeged.
 - for provision and protection and wisdom for Kyle as he travels and ministers to other 
 - for financial provision for the needs of our family and a possible trip back to the States 
   next summer
 - for more opportunities to preach the Gospel and make disciples here in Szeged

for Jesus' fame!

kyle, odi, zara, kiera 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

run for your life charlie brown

pre-race picture
this last weekend was quite an adventure for me. I ran in my first half-marathon. it was in Sarajevo of all places. Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina. I've been running for a couple of years, just to stay active and healthy. it's also my way to "recharge" my batteries (I'm thankful that my wife allows me the time to do this). my good friend Laci Németh asked me a while back if I'd join him in running the Sarajevo half-marathon. He's been to Sarajevo a few times, has friends there & I liked the idea so we began preparing. In April this year I came home from a run with extreme pain in my ankle. turns out that I broke my ankle. I was out for 8 weeks. I didn't think I would be able to do a half-marathon this year but I got back in to the swing of things over the summer and was pretty confident after August that I could do this.

after and exciting trip getting there (we took a wrong turn in Serbia) and a short night of sleep we began on our first ever half-marathon. The guys we were running with we both much faster and more experienced runners than us so Laci & I stuck together. Which was good cause we took turns pulling the other one on over the course of the race.

close to the finish line
we were expecting a flat course (cause that's what the race website said - "the course is fast and flat") they don't know what flat is. I live in one of the flattest places in Hungary and for me the most uphill I get is going over the bride to Újszeged. My GPS told us that there was about 350m (1,150ft.) climb!! so for me it wasn't so easy.

Hungarian pride
I was confident I could do the race because at the end of August I ran 21K here in Szeged in 2:07:37. People told me I'd shave 5-10 minutes off my time in a race because of the adrenaline. Well they were wrong. We finished the race in the official time of 1:55:52. that's almost 12 minutes better!!
just so you believe our time

as we crossed the finish line both Laci & I teared up cause for us this was a pretty major accomplishment. I was totally honored to run this race with him and look forward to many more, although I don't think we'll be shaving 12 minutes of this time anytime soon

the 4 brave runners
but I think the best part of this was meeting wonderful people who are living and serving there. 

so 1 down, hopefully many more to go

Thursday, June 28, 2012

the last few months

a lot has happened the last few months it's been a GREAT blessing but not without it's hardships. 
Baptizing Gábor at our Easter service

we've seen many people in the past 6 months come to know Jesus. A couple of them wanted to express their faith in Him publically by being baptized. So on Easter Sunday we borrowed a baptismal tank from the Biblia Szól church and baptized Gábor & Anette (from Nigera). Gábor was so excited about making this public comittment to Jesus that he invited all his friends & family. they ALL came. We had our biggest Easter service ever (over 75 people). Gábor is so excited about reaching his friends for Jesus that he's starting a youth group in our church next week (July 4th). We're really excited about how God is going to use this to reach a generation that SO needs to meet Jesus.
Church lunch made by the Indian believers

We've been encouraging fellowship in the church by having church lunches once a month. because we're an international church we invite people to take part in making some food from their country. we've had Nigerian food & Indian food recently. 
As an international church we really have a vision to reach nations and generation for Jesus. many come here to study (mostly medical school) and I tell our students that I want them to leave Szeged with a diploma and a heart to love and serve Jesus wherever they might end up in life. 
Baptizing Réka to the glory of God in the Tisza river
God kept working & touching people's lives so on June 17th we had "church by the river" again and were blessed to baptize 5 new believers. I think one of the best stories was that of Réka. A couple of years ago her husband Robi got right with Jesus and has been coming to the church faithfully and has begun taking part in the worship team. After attending a marriage conference at the Calvary Chapel Bible College this spring she has committed her life to Jesus and they are now living the Christian life as a new family in the Lord.

Robi & Réka after her baptism

Baptizing Eszter
Eszter fully committed her life to Jesus after seeing her mom (Zsuzsi) walk with Jesus for a while. It was our great joy to see this young woman make a public confession of Jesus by baptism. 

Eszter's mom couldn't be prouder

Ovidiu traveled 120km (75 miles) to be baptized
Ovidiu came to know Jesus via the internet by watching Bible Studies by Pastors Brian Brodersen and Lloyd Pully on He is from Timisoara, Romania and he looked on-line for the nearest Calvary Chapel to him and found us. He's about 120km (75 miles) but travels up to fellowship with us about twice a month. For his baptism he brought his parents and a friend. 
Eszter, Barna & Chuks after the baptism (a future worship team??) 
It seems that we've come to a real turning point in the church. It seems like the time of preperation is coming to an end and we're starting to see things happen. We're really excited to see what God will do with the youth group and how many of the new believers will connect to the ministry of the church.

  Another thing I'm really excited about is how bridges are being build between churches in Szeged. Since October I've been hosting a monthly pastors prayer breakfast and God is using this for use to truly be working together for the glory of God here in Szeged.

 Right now I'm preaching in the book of Nehemiah on Sunday mornings and God has us in a prayer/dreaming stage as a church. We want to have God's heart for our city and for Him to show us what He is doing so that we might get involved in that. Szeged (the 3rd largest city in Hungary) is a city of about 200,000 (including students) but less than 2% of the population are believers in Jesus. God has laid it on our hearts to be praying for 10,000 people to meet Jesus.

 As we've been praying about how to reach Szeged for Jesus, God has shown us that our strength is English. Not only are we a bi-lingual church but we have many members who are English teachers. English is the most popular second language here in Hungary and now students can't get their degree without an intermediate level language exam. Our desire is to host an English camp next summer. This summer we're going to have some people participate in English camps to learn and then in the fall we're going to plan our first English cam for next summer. If anyone wants to come help with that PLEASE let me know!!! the more native English speakers we have the better.

family news

 as a family we're doing well. Zara was accepted to the only Christian kindergarten in Szeged and will start going there in September. Because we're not going to be able to make a trip to the states this year I'm taking a few weeks off of preaching just to spend time with the family. We're looking forward to all the fun things that Szeged has to offer and a lot of ice cream!!! 

 I know I'm really bad about blogging but I think the best way to keep up with us is to follow us on Facebook or follow me on twitter (@kyleeckhart)

 we are thankful for all of you who support us in prayer and also financially. as many of you know I've been teaching English to supplement our income (which I'm thankful for) but as of late God has shown me that there are better thing I could be doing with my time than teaching. There are some pastors within a 120km (75 mile) radius that I could and should be spending time with and encouraging. But for this to happen we'd need to see an increase in our support. So if you're reading this would you please pray about supporting us so that we could be encouragments to other ministries in Szeged and the surrounding areas?? You can support us by the link on our page here or by sening tax-deductible donations to Calvary Chapel Vista. Please indicate that the donation is for us.

prayer requests

- for God to bless the youth group that will be starting next week and that many would come to know Jesus through this.
 - that we as a church would be able to have more of an impact on our city for Jesus.
 - for God to guide us in the planning of an English camp next summer.
 - that 10,000 people would come to know Jesus in Szeged.
 - that God would continue to build bridges between churches in Szeged that we might work together to expand the kingdom of God.
 - that God would provide for us so that we would be able to do all that He is showing us to do.
 - that we'd grow closer as a family this summer.

 thank you all for your love, prayer and support. we look forward to that day when you can share in the joy and fruit of what Jesus is doing here in Szeged!

for Jesus' fame!

kyle, odi, zara, kiera

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tough love works

About 10 years ago I had to deal with a situation in our church where a young man was in gross, serious sin & was a danger to some people. After confronting him (with my then assistant Laci Németh) we implemented church discipline & told this young man to leave the church.

Tonight sitting at the Baptist church preparing to talk to the youth group on the subject "is it crazy to follow Jesus?" this man came up to me & said "thank you" then asked if I remember who he was. I told him that yes I remember. He proceeded to tell me that the best thing that happened in his life was us removing him from the church cause it was after that God got a hold of his life & broke him which led him to repentance. He's now walking with Jesus & has forsaken his old life.

I'm sitting here totally blessed that God touched this man's life & saved him & am thankful that making the hard decision was worth it!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I love Szeged

today I started teaching the book of Nehemiah. A lot of the book is really Nehemiah's journal (blog) as he recounts how God moves him to do the work of rebuilding the walls of the city of Jerusalem. 

what led me to teach the book of Nehemiah is seeing that God has a heart for cities as the story of the Bible moves from a garden (Eden) to a city (New Jerusalem). As I read the book of Acts, it's clear that Paul "targeted" cities as culture, commerce, information and education flow from them.  Szeged is such a city. Known for it's University, culture (open-air theater, many festivals) and it's the regional center for commerce and health care.

what is staggering about Szeged is that even though it's a city of 170,000 people (Hungary's 3rd largest city & this doesn't include the 25-30,000 students) that my research has led me to the fact that less than 2.5% of the population of the city are evangelical, Bible believing, Jesus loving, born-again Christians.

so I've challenged the church to join with me by praying that God would, by the Holy Spirit, give us the heart of Jesus for Szeged because as Charles Spurgeon said, "winners of souls must first be weepers of souls". For those that might read this, would you please join us as we pray for our city? Whatever God is going to do here needs a foundation of prayer.

I LOVE SZEGED & I want to see many come to know Jesus here. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Today marks my 17th anniversary of living and ministering here in Hungary. Here are 17 things I've learned (I've learned a lot more) in these years.

1. God's plans are different/better than mine

2. Mark 10:29-30 is TRUE!!

3. speaking another language has helped me see the world and the Scriptures 
    in a new light.

4. God is really, really good.

5. prayer is powerful!!!

6. I'm thankful for the advances in technology over the past 17 years that has 
    allowed for better connection with those "back home"

7. God has been faithful to take care of us (thank you to so many of you who 
    have joined with God to support us over the years)

8. serving Jesus in Szeged is an honor.

9. I've made mistakes (more than a few) but God's grace is bigger than my 

10. doing the right thing isn't always easy.

11. seeing people leave is hard.

12. now is never the time to give up!

13. on the job training has been beneficial 

14. nothing done for the kingdom of God is insignificant, no matter what you 

15. dealing with people isn't always easy but it's always worth it.

16. neither life nor ministry are meant to be done alone. 

17. sometimes you've just gotta take a "grace-filled" chance on people. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

winter update 2012

Happy New Year! it's hard to believe that 2011 has come and gone! It was a year (like any other) with it's up and downs but as we reflect back on this past year we are thankful that in every point of the year, the Lord has been gracious to us and has been with us every step of the way!


 the last 5 months have been an adventure, to say the least. no matter how tired we get, and how many hours of sleep we don't get, we continue to be blessed to be the parents of the two most beautiful girls in the world! it's such a joy for us to see how much Zara loves her little sister. there are no signs of jealousy, which we're thankful for.
 zara has been going to nursery for a while now and loves it! she's there every morning till noon. we love it cause it opens so many doors for us to meet people and get involved in their lives for the glory of God. 
 we're so blessed to see how Zara is now able to communicate very well in both English & Hungarian. It's amazing to see how God has formed young lives to be so open to learn so much.
 Odi continues to enjoy being able to be home with the kids, knowing that these early years are so vitally important to their development. I'm also blessed to be able to be around a lot. Our deepest desire is that our kids would love, honor, and serve Jesus.
 now that kiera is a bit "older" we're able to have odi's mom come watch the kids while we get a chance to go out and "connect". these are times we love & cherish.
 we're also blessed to report that God is continually giving us opportunities through our friendships & relationships to share Jesus with others.


 november saw me reach an important "milestone" in the life of Golgota Szeged. After 10 years, by the grace of God, completed teaching through the Old Testament. because I've taught many of the New Testament books over the years (including the 4 Gospels and Acts) we jumped into the New Testament at the book of Romans. I'm hoping to make it through the New Testament in the next couple of years so has to have a complete through the Bible teaching available on our church website for Hungarian Christians. 
 as is our tradition we had a Christmas Eve service. It's usually at midnight but because Christmas was on a weekend this year we had our service at 10pm. We had 70+ people join with us to worship Jesus on Christmas Eve.
 to kick off our new year, the Lord has lead me to teach a series on Sunday mornings, which I'm calling "foundations of our faith". This is important as many of our members are young and grew up in churches but haven't made the important doctrines of the faith their own or they don't understand them. so we're going to take some time talking through these as we have this wonderful opportunity to train believers who will one day go all over the world (we've got people from many nations in our church - Nigera, India, South Korea, Romania, etc.) and it's our hope that people would leave Szeged with a profession & a solid Biblical foundation for life. 
 more than just training up our international students we want to see many in Szeged and our region come to know Jesus. here is where God is leading us in this.  first in Szeged, the Lord has graciously used me to get the pastors & leaders of the churches of Szeged together for monthly prayer breakfasts. we all have the desire to see people know Jesus and to plant churches. we're praying and asking God for His vision on how we're to reach Szeged. We've been doing this for a few months know & I know it's a process, but I'm very excited already about how the Lord is bringing the pastors together.
 one of the "strengths" of our church is that we're a bi-lingual (hungarian/english) church. and because so many people here in Hungary want to learn English, it's our desire to use English as a tool to reach out to the youth especially. we'd love to do an English camp this summer. if anyone is interested in coming to help, please let us know!
 over the years we've always had people attend our church from Hódmezővásárhely, it's a city 25km from us. it's been on my heart & the hearts of the leadership to venture out that way. We've talked with a few people we know there and in the next month or so will be going our there for prayer & meeting of a possible core group to launch a new Bible study there. 

 a while back I wrote about the legal status of Calvary Chapel Hungary. The Hungarian Parliament is supposed to vote by February 29th if we're to remain a recognized church or if we have to become a "religious foundation". I'm at the point where it doesn't matter what politicians say, we're going to keep loving Jesus, teaching His Word & sharing His love with people & they can classify us however they want. We want to win the hearts of the "man on the street" for Jesus.

 so there is a lot going on, a lot of possibilites & a lot that the Lord is doing, so we need a lot of prayer!

prayer requests

 - that we'd fall more in love with Jesus this year.
 - 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.
 - for God to lead us in our desire for an English camp & bible study in Hódmezővásárhely.
 - that god would raise up people to help in the church in the areas of administration and other practical areas.

ways to help

 - pray!!!
 - give. if you'd like to help support our ministry you can send your (tax-deductible) offerings through calvary chapel costa mesa ( or calvary chapel vista (h tabindex=1&tabid=17). please be sure to indicate that your tithe/offering for us. 

 thanks again for your time 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