Sunday, March 30, 2014

2014 spring update

Dear Friends,

 I’ve just realized that it has been about 6 months since we’ve given you all an update on what is happening here in Szeged. Please let us take a few minutes of your time to let you know what’s going on.

family news

as we ended 2013 we weren’t really looking forward to Christmas as this would be the first Christmas without Odi’s little sister Emi. What we didn’t know is that last Christmas would be even less joyful as my Dad passed away on December 23rd. Though he had COPD and had health issues, his passing came as a sudden shock to our family. 

as many of you know, we brought my Dad over to Hungary in the fall of 2010 to live near us after a lot of difficult things happened in his life. though he really never liked living here, he did enjoy being close to us and his grandkids. 

to honor his life, and the fact that near the end of his life he opened his heart to Jesus, we had a memorial service for him here in Szeged at the end of January. My Dad always said that he wanted to be cremated and to have his ashes spread in the Pacific Ocean. So after my Dad went to be with the Lord, I began looking at how we could fulfill his wish. There are many companies that preform ash scattering services but they aren’t cheap. After much research I found out that because my Dad was a veteran (he served in Vietnam) he was entitled to burial in any military cemetery or that the US Navy or US Coast Guard would preform a burial at sea free of charge. 

with that knowledge we planned a trip to CA. This would be the first time in 4 years that we had gone to California as a family. Needless to say with a 2 year old & a 4 year old we were expecting an adventure but to be honest, things, especially the plane trips, went much better than we expected. 

we spend 5 1/2 weeks in California and had such a great time. The time we were able to spend reconnecting with friends & family was so very precious to us. We regret that we weren’t able to see more of you because even though 5 1/2 weeks sounds like a long time, it really flew by. 

we are thankful that we were able to fulfill my Dad’s wish in regards to his burial, and that we were able to reconnect with so many friend & family after so many years.

church news

 while we were gone, we really didn’t worry about the church here in Szeged a whole lot, simply because of the wonderful people that God has raised up in the church to do the work of the ministry in our absence. We were so blessed that the elders of the church & other men in the church were preaching and teaching while we were gone. We’re also thankful to our friends from other churches here in Szeged & the surrounding area who came to serve Golgota Szeged in teaching the Word of God.
at LAX on the way back to Hungary

we got back to Szeged this last Friday and on Saturday I was blessed to speak at a national Baptist youth conference. The topic they gave me was how to react when someone hurts you. I was blessed to talk to about 100 kids about how to ask for forgiveness when they hurt someone and also how to extent forgiveness when they are hurt. I was so blessed to be able to talk to these kids from all over Hungary about this.

 One great thing that happened when we were gone was a worship conference at our church. The conference was organized by a friend who is the assistant pastor of the Pentecostal church in Szeged. Andy is from Bristol, England and has been living outside of Szeged for a good few years now with his wife. Because Andy is a musician & worship leader, his desire was to invite people from his church in Bristol to come encourage the larger body of Christ in Szeged in the area of worship. A small team came over at the beginning of March from England for this conference. It was organized by Andy but it was held in our church building. About 60 people attended the conference and all were encouraged in the worship of Jesus. We rejoice in the fact that many churches participated in this event as it was great to see the unity of the larger body of Christ here in Szeged. It’s our hope that this will be the first of many worship conferences in our region. This was really a test run. Next time we want to expand the sphere of this to churches within a 100km (60 mile) radius. 

 This worship conference was really the first step in seeing the churches of Szeged work together for the kingdom of God. The next step is happening very quickly. It’s been my desire for a couple of years now to get all the Protestant churches of Szeged together for a large Easter celebration. Last year, Easter fell early so nothing came of it, but this year Easter falls on April 20th, which is usually a good time in Hungary weather wise. My desire was to hold this Easter celebration in an open air theater in a park here in town. Before we went to California I asked a friend of mine who is involved in the media here in Szeged who I need to talk to about this. He loved the idea of what we want to do and has helped us percure the open air theater free of charge. So in the coming weeks I’ll be busy planning & promoting this city wide Easter celebration. We are praying that God would fill all 1,000 seats with people to hear the Gospel.

In the meantime we continue to rejoice at what God is doing through the English club that was started as a result of an outreach group that came from Calvary Chapel Bible College Europe last fall. While I was gone an American woman and some other English speakers from the church took on that ministry and will continue to run with it.

So we rejoice at all that Jesus has done, is doing, and will do here in Szeged!

this June, once again, we’re looking forward to taking part in the Foundations Conference which the leadership conference for leaders of Central & Eastern European churches. We’ve invited the leadership of Golgota Szeged to join us for this week of wonderful fellowship & teaching. 

support the work here in Szeged

one of the things we did while in CA was talk to people about support we need to continue to minster 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. We’re looking to raise more money which will enable me to continue to travel to encourage other pastors, as well as invest in the work of the Kingdom of God here in Szeged. It will also enable Odi to spend more time focusing on being the main worship leader at Golgota Szeged so she can translate new songs into Hungarian for the benefit of the body of Christ not just in Szeged but all over Hungary.

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!

praise reports

we’re thankful to God for His provision for our trip to CA and for all the people in California that blessed us with everything from a car, to places to stay, to tickets to Legoland & Disneyland

we rejoice at all the good things that God did in Szeged in our absence

we rejoice in the partnership among churches here in Szeged

prayer requests

pray for our city wide Easter celebration that God would fill the open air theater with 1000 people to hear about the resurrection of Jesus

for God’s provision for us and for the church here in Szeged

for more open doors to minister to people in the name of Jesus here in Szeged

for God’s provision for all those from our church that want to go to the national leadership conference in June.

much love in Jesus,

kyle, odi, zara, kiera

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