Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer 2014 update

we've been back from California for a few months now and a lot has happened. Let us give you a brief update on life and ministry here in Szeged.

church news

we really hit the ground running because as soon as we got back we we quickly approaching Easter and the city-wide, multi-church "Easter in the Park" service. We were doing all we can to get the word out and get churches involved. We advertised on Facebook and Szeged's local radio station ran radio spots every hour in the week leading up to Easter. The weather the week before Easter was chilly and rainy. The forecast called for showers on Easter Sunday. So much so that I said if it's raining at 1pm we will cancel the event. God was very gracious to us the temperature was nice and mild and we had no rain that day. 
 In total we had 9 churches participate in the Easter in the Park event and a few hundred people showed up for the event. It might not seem like a lot but we were very encouraged to see many Christians come and also many non-Christians. We estimate that there were about 200 Christians and about 100 non-Christians at this event. We rejoice that the Gospel was preached & the body of Christ in Szeged was encouraged. We also look forward to what Jesus is going to do in this city as His people come together as His church to be about His work.

myself & some of the other pastors involved in the Easter in the Park service

a picture of our multi-church worship team (4 churches represented here)

preaching about the death & resurrection of Jesus

we walked away from the event rejoicing that Jesus made it happened & we also learned a lot about what we want to do next year. For a first time, we believe it was a great success.

 a few of the churches that participated in the Easter in the Park followed up by having a Pentecost Picnic in Pentecost Sunday. It was wonderful time of hanging out and getting to know each other better.

 some of the leaders of Golgota Szeged were blessed to attend the annual calvary chapel leadership conference in vajta last month. We were greatly blessed and encouraged by the fellowship and the teachings of Pastors Brian Brodersen (Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa) & David Guzik (Calvary Chapel Santa Barbara).

 by the end of this month, we will reach a real milestone at Golgota Szeged. One of the hallmarks of Calvary Chapel is our chapter by chapter teaching through the Bible. It's been 14 years in the making but by the end of the month we will complete our first journey though the Bible. It will be the first complete teaching through the Bible in Hungarian & English that we know of and it's completely free through our website. We know that God has used our through the Bible teaching to reach Hungarian speakers as far away as Canada and Sweden. Now that we're coming to a completion of teaching through the Bible the thought has gone through my head of "what now?" Well, it seems that the Lord is leading us to make some changes in our Wednesday night service. We are going to dedicate one Wednesday a month to prayer, worship, and communion. We just want to have a time where we are open to the moving of the Spirit amongst us. During the other weeks we will start a teaching rotation which will include me and some of the other elders and teachers in the church. We will pray about and pick a book of the Bible to teach together. I think this will be a great opportunity for others to grow in their gifts and it will also allow me more time to focus on the Sunday message. 

 our cell groups are on break now but we're looking forward to relaunching them in September when school starts up. We always have a new influx of students at the end of August / beginning of September so we want to try to get as many people plugged into the cell groups as possible. 

 in the fall we might have the opportunity to host a couple of outreach groups. Should these opportunities pan out then we look forward to going into schools for conversational English classes. 

family news

probably the biggest news on the family front was that I (Kyle) became a Hungarian citizen on May 8th. I am now a dual-citizen. Last year the Hungarian government changed the law & I was able to apply on the basis of marriage. I felt it was something I wanted to do since I've lived half my life in Hungary. 

 since 2009 Odi has been on maternity leave & has been at home with the kids. (Maternity leave in Hungary is 3 years - YES 3 years!!!!) When Kiera turns 3 in August, Odi's maternity leave will be over. This last year the amount of money she has received has dropped 50% from the previous year (the 1st two years are about 70% or your salary & the last year is a fixed $130 for everyone). With this ending we're going to have to make a decision about the future. Should Odi look for a job or not? (right now we are both teaching private English to private students - another option would be taking on more students??)) We'd like if she could stay at home & focus on family, the kids, and the worship ministry but a lot of that depends on finances. One of our hopes in CA was to raise some support to make this possible. As of today, we haven't seen an increase in our support that would allow this to be possible so  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 (http://www.calvaryvista.com/give-2/) 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 (https://www.easytithe.com/f/?k=6SSHN0DEHB4KG6DH) 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 the amazing Easter in the Park service we had & the participation of 9 churches.

we praise God for a continued commitment by the churches in Szeged to work together for the Kingdom of God

we praise God that many are able to download the messages taught at Golgota Szeged via our website and that our reach goes far beyond our walls.

 for the encouragement that our leadership team received at the annual leadership conference

prayer requests

for a fresh outpouring of God's Spirit upon Golgota Szeged

for more people to know Jesus in Szeged

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

that we'd have more people join the cell groups for the fall semester

much love in Jesus,

kyle, odi, zara, kiera

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