Thursday, January 17, 2019

January 2019 Prayer Letter

Dear Praying Friends,

Here is our latest prayer letter. You will find a copy suitable for printing in the attachment.

Family News:
Our biggest news is that our oldest daughter Nancy got engaged during the Christmas holidays. We are very excited! She has been dating her fiancĂ©, Keith Wood, for about three years now. Interestingly, Keith’s parents are missionaries in Germany, and like Nancy, Keith grew up on the mission field. They have both graduated from Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Florida, and Keith is currently working at the college in the admissions department. Nancy works at a local credit union and continues to work on developing her writing career. The wedding will take place on April 22ndin Jacksonville, so we will make a quick trip back to the States for the wedding. Please pray for the preparations to go well and for a great, Christ-honoring celebration!

December was a tremendous month at our church in Esztergom. We had a new family of five begin attending. They are believers who have been looking for a church home. They seem excited and have already plugged into a small group. We also had a university student from Budapest begin attending. He is a classmate of one of our young people. He is not yet saved but is definitely seeking the Lord. I have begun meeting with him weekly, and Lord willing, we will see him saved soon and also be able to plug him into our Budapest church plant when we get started there. 

Preparation for Budapest:
Preparation for our church plant in Budapest has been picking up momentum. Several new people have expressed interest in joining the church plant. We currently have a group of eight from our church in Esztergom. We also have thirteen others who either live or study in Budapest. Eight members of the core group are university students in Budapest. One of our goals in planting the church is to reach out to the university students, as we know that they are the future leaders of Hungary. These eight young people should give us a good open door into university ministry. On February 23rdwe will be gathering the whole team for the first time. This will be an all-day event where we will share vision, get to know each other, discuss plans and spend intensive time in the Word, worship and prayer. Please pray that God will form us into a cohesive unit who can work well together to build His kingdom in Budapest. In March we would like to begin holding regular mid-week meetings to build the core group and spend time in prayer together. Please pray that we will find the best location for these meetings. Rent in downtown Budapest in not cheap!

Let me close by expressing our gratitude for your prayers and support throughout this past year. We could not do what we are doing without your help. 2018 was a great year of ministry, and we are looking forward to even greater things in 2019!


Nancy and Keith

Some of our church planting team

Thursday, December 6, 2018

December 2018 Prayer Letter

Dear Praying Friends,

The past two months flew by and now Christmas is right around the corner. We are so excited that Esther, Ben, and his wife, Kelsi are able to be here for Christmas. Nancy will be working and staying in Jacksonville during the holidays. 

National Ministry:
We recently had two big events related to our Vertical Church movement. The first was a regional conference held in the eastern part of the country. On October 27thnearly 200 people packed out the Gyula Baptist Church for the one-day conference. Many of the Baptist churches in this area have been struggling with a period of decline, so we were asked to come and stir the fires of revival. I opened the conference with a message from Ezekiel 37 on the Valley of Dry Bones. A supporting pastor from the US spoke on worship, and one of my Hungarian partners spoke on personal revival. The Lord moved in a special way, and we received a lot of positive feedback from those who participated. 

The second event was our Vertical Church Pastors Workshop which we held in Pecel, Hungary on November 27th. About 35-40 pastors gathered to learn more about how to lead their churches in a more God-centered way. We had sessions on worship, prayer, evangelism and leading positive transition. We also spent time in concentrated worship and prayer. Our new worship leader, Daniel Revesz, led the worship. It was great to work together with him and see his gifts and heart for worship in action. We really sense a hunger in both pastors and leaders to see God work in a new and special way in their churches. 

Our new worship pastor and his wife spent most of November working on their move to Esztergom. They have been very busy remodeling their apartment and getting things moved over from Debrecen. Hopefully in the next week or so they will be finished. We are excited about having them plug in and begin their ministry here.

We have also had a number of visitors in church over the past weeks. Several have expressed interest in coming back. Please pray that we will see a new period of growth in our church. We also had the unsaved husband of one of our church members make a profession of faith. This is a huge answer to prayer! Please pray for Gyorgy to be strengthened in the faith. We hope to see him baptized early next year.

Preparation for Budapest:
We continue to work at putting together a church-planting team. I recently connected with a family of six, who will be moving to Budapest next summer. They are excited about the opportunity of being a part of a new church. I also met with a couple of university students who may join our team. Please pray that God would bring us just the right people to form the foundation for this new church. 

Let me close by expressing our gratitude for your prayers and support throughout this past year. We could not do what we are doing without your help. We wish you all a blessed holiday season! Christmas is such a wonderful season both to celebrate Christ and point others to Him!


Preaching in Gyula

Daniel leads worship at pastors workshop

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

October Prayer Letter

New assistant pastor:
I mentioned in my September prayer letter that we were praying about hiring an assistant pastor who will be able to help both in Esztergom and in our future church plant in Budapest.  Daniel Revesz is a talented young man who feels called to serve the Lord in the areas of music and leadership training. He has written many songs in Hungarian and recently put out his first CD. He also has a good feel for God-centered worship. We are thrilled he and his wife Agi have agreed to join us, and they will be moving to Esztergom the end of November. Please pray for their move and transition, and also that their ministry will be a blessing to our church in Esztergom and the Budapest church plant. 

Esztergom news:
We decided to use the month of October to focus on evangelism and outreach. We are doing a four week Sunday series called „Changed Lives.” This past Sunday we had a special speaker, Lajos Boros, who spent more than 30 years of his life in prison. It was while in prison that he heard the Gospel and got saved. He began ministering to the prisoners while still in prison, and since being released in 2015, he has been travelling around the country sharing his story. We had many visitors come to hear him speak, and we are praying for genuine decisions and fruit that remains. 

National ministry:
Text Box: Word of Life StudentsSeptember was a very busy month of preaching and teaching outside of Esztergom. I did a Vertical Church retreat for a Budapest church on September 1-2nd. September 9th I did an evangelistic service for the Baptist church in Komárom. On September 11th I hosted a group of about 15 Hungarian church planters who wanted to learn more about our ministry. September 18-21 I taught the second year students at Word of Life Bible Institute on the Christian Family. September 29th I preached at a Worship Conference in Balatonszemes. September 30th I preached a special Thanksgiving Sunday at the Baptist church in Matraszolos. I do enjoy these opportunities, but as we begin moving forward on our church planting plans, I will be cutting back on this type of ministry. 

Preparation for Budapest:
I am very grateful for a new church that has agreed to partner with us in the church plant in Budapest. Their support is allowing us to bring on Daniel Revesz as worship pastor. Charin and I also had a good meeting with a young couple in Budapest who are considering becoming a part of our church planting team. I also met with three pastors who pastor Baptist churches in downtown Budapest. They gave me some good feedback, and in at least two cases I think they are open to providing a certain level of help to us. We can definitely see the Lord going before us opening doors.

We value your prayers now more than ever. Thank you for standing with us!

                                                Marc, Charin, Esther and Hannah Patton

Daniel and Agi Revesz

Word of Life Hungary second year students

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Friday, September 7, 2018

Breaking News - Budapest Church Plant

Breaking News!
Lord willing we will be planting a new church in Budapest, Hungary within the next year! This is something we have been thinking and praying about for about 5 years now. We believe that the time has come to move forward in this direction.

Why Budapest?
Budapest is the center of Hungary in virtually every aspect: politics, education, economy, religion, culture, and finance. With a population of 1.8 million people it boasts nearly 1/5th of the population of the country. Operation World estimates that only 2.8% of Hungarians are evangelical Christians. If we apply that statistic to Budapest, that leaves more than 1.7 million people there who need to hear the Gospel!

Our Vision:
Our vision is to plant a truly vertical church in the heart of this great city that points directly to the majesty of our God and His Son Jesus Christ. We desire a church centered on God’s glory that is passionate in worship, faithful to the Word, fervent in prayer and bold in its witness; a church that makes disciples who love God, love each other and serve their fellow man. But our vision is not only for a worshipping church, but a sending church as well. It is our goal to see this church become a center for leadership training and church planting that will have an impact on the entire nation and beyond.

Our Timeline:
We are currently working on developing strategic partnerships for the church plant. I am also seeking out key individuals who will form the base of our core group. Lord willing, we will begin holding vision meetings early next year to work on building a strong core group with a goal of launching the new church in the Fall of 2019.

What about Esztergom?
I will continue to pastor the church in Esztergom. I will pastor the church in Budapest as a second church, as I did with Tata in the past. I am currently hoping to bring on an assistant pastor, who will be able to help me carry the load in both Esztergom and Budapest.

Our Needs:
We are seeking both individuals and churches who will partner with us especially through the next three years during the preparation, launch and new church stage. We desperately need a strong prayer base who will commit to praying for this church plant on a regular basis. We also need financial support for equipment, rent, ministry related travel, and advertising. If you would like to be a partner in the Budapest church plant, please drop us a line at We would love to hear from you!

Marc, Charin, Nancy, Esther and Hannah Patton

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

August Prayer Letter

Dear Praying Friends,

Here is our August prayer letter. 

Family News:
The summer passed by too quickly and Nancy and Esther head back to Jacksonville on August 9th. We have really enjoyed having them here with us. We were really thankful to be able to take a family vacation to Croatia in early August. Esther wasn’t able to walk much, so we borrowed a wheelchair and wheeled her all over Zagreb and Zadar. JEsther continues to recover from her surgery. She is able to walk but still uses crutches for stability as her foot gets sore quickly. Please pray for her foot to continue to heal. She has to return to work on August 13th and school starts August 20th. Ben and Kelsi are just now wrapping up their 3 month missionary training in Zambia and plan to begin deputation for full-time mission work after they return. Nancy will be living in Jacksonville and working at a local credit union. 

Ministry News:
Our trip to Ukraine June 29-July 1st went really well. As we crossed the border, we felt like we were stepping back in time. It reminded us of our first trips to Romania in the early 90s. I’m sure there are more developed parts of Ukraine, but the Hungarian speaking areas seem to be neglected. The people we met were wonderful though, and we really enjoyed our time there. I spoke all day that Saturday on the Vertical Church. We had 25-30 in attendance from several area churches. I then preached in two different churches on Sunday.  We were especially impressed by the Hungarian missionary couple who invited us. They are doing a great work, and I invited them to come to Esztergom in November and share their ministry with our congregation. I am hoping this will be the beginning of a good relationship with them and the ministry there.  

July 9-13th we held our annual English Camp in Esztergom. We have had great camps in the past, but this seemed like the best one yet. We had a fantastic team of Americans to do the teaching. Our church members also did a great job helping with translation, meals and logistics. We had about 70 children participate in the morning day camp. The theme for the week was „Jesus is King.” It was great to see the kids singing songs of praise to the Lord. We also had about 20-25 teens and adults attend in the evening. The Gospel was worked into the evening classes as well, and we had an adult lady make a profession of faith. She has returned to church once since then with her husband. Please pray for Irene, that the Lord would draw her and her husband to a full committment to Christ. We always close out the week by invited the participants to our Sunday service. We had a great attendance with 50-60 visitors in the service. The Lord blessed the preaching of the Word. A few looked shocked, but others were moved to tears. We pray that God will continue His work in their lives. 

Because that Sunday was the World Cup championship Sunday, we showed the game on our big screen after the service, and many of the visitors stayed to watch. We even had one family skip the service and just show up to watch the game. JAll in all it was a great week!

A Look Ahead:
1. August 14-18th we will be holding our Family Camp in Salgotarjan, Hungary. Please pray for a great week. Several unsaved family members will also be attending, so please pray for their salvation.
2. In September we will be cranking all our ministries back up to full speed. Please pray for a great Fall harvest in our church!

                                                Marc, Charin, Nancy, Esther and Hannah Patton

Zapszony, Ukraine

English Camp 2018

Friday, June 22, 2018

June Prayer Letter

Dear Friends,

Family News:
Thank you for praying for our daughter Esther, who recently had corrective surgery on torn ligaments in her ankle. Everything went well, and the doctor is pleased with her progress. Please pray for her recovery to go well, as she still has several more weeks on crutches. We pray she will be back on her feet in time to head back to college in August!

Ministry News:
Besides our church in Esztergom, I enjoyed preaching in three area churches during the month of May. On May 13th I preached for Marton Csiha in Oroszlany. You may remember that Marton and his wife Rachel served with us in Esztergom for several years before taking the church in Oroszlany. They have moved the church to a new location which is larger and more „family friendly.” The church is beginning to grow, and they have several new people attending on a regular basis. On May 27th I preached in Tata Sunday morning. It was good to see that Tata is still doing well under Gergo’s leadership. That same afternoon I preached at an open-air evangelistic service in the city of Gyor.

On June 17th I took a group of 9 people from our church to minister at a conference in Noszvaj, Hungary. We were able to minister to about 200 people from a number of area churches. The theme was the Vertical Church with an emphasis on worship. I brought two messages on worship, and our worship team led the worship in both services. God met with us in a special way, and we pray that God will use these messages to inspire a passion for the glory of God in these churches. 

Prayer Requests:
1. Trip to the Ukraine.June 29-July 1st I will be taking the Vertical Church vision to the Ukraine. I will be speaking all day on Saturday to a group of leaders and Christian workers and then be preaching in church on Sunday. You may not know that there are thousands of ethnic Hungarians living in the Ukraine, and this is a ministry working with Hungarian people in the Hungarian language.

2. English Camp in Esztergom.July 9-13 we will be holding our annual English Camp in Esztergom. Please pray for God to touch the lives of all the children, teens and adults that we will be working with that week. We long to see fruit that remains come out of these weeks!

3. Our daughter Nancy will be visiting us from July 21-August 9th. We can hardly wait to see her! Please pray for her travels to go well.

                                               Marc, Charin, Nancy, Esther and Hannah Patton

Worship service in Noszvaj

Saturday, May 19, 2018

May Prayer Letter

Family News:
On May the 5th both Nancy and Ben graduated from Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Florida. It is hard to believe that four years have passed since we dropped them off to begin their studies! We are really proud of their hard work and faithfulness. Trinity was a great match for them and served as a great launching pad into adulthood. Nancy will be staying in the Jacksonville area for the time being. Ben and Kelsi are currently in Zambia, Africa participating in a three month missionary training program with Overland Missions. Please pray for God’s continued blessing on their lives and ministries.

Esther had a great first year at Trinity. We are excited that she will be home in Hungary for most of the summer. Unfortunately most of her summer will be spent recovering from surgery on her ankle. Two years ago Esther tore a ligament in her ankle. An MRI was ordered, and the MRI showed not only the torn ligament, but also an OCD (Osteochondritis Dissecans). Over the past months it has begun bothering her, so we have arranged for her to have corrective surgery here in Hungary, so she can recover during the summer months. Esther arrives on May 26th, will have some presurgery tests the next week, and then hopefully the surgery in early June. Please pray for both the surgery and recovery to go well, so she will be back on her feet in time for the Fall semester in mid-August. 

Ministry News:
April was an extremely busy month with many opportunities to influence other churches and ministries. Besides my usual duties in Esztergom, I preached in Balatonszemes, Komarom and Kisujszallas. I also met with a church planting team from Petofibanya to help them think through the next steps in their church plant, participated in a forum discussion on church growth at the annual meeting of the Baptist Union, participated in a board meeting at Word of Life Hungary, and met with the Vertical Church team to discuss future plans for the movement. Please pray that these investments would bear much fruit for the kingdom.

Future Coworkers:
From April 25-May 14th two sisters, Alicia and Andrea, were here visiting our ministry. This was their second visit, and the Lord is leading them to come work with us full-time in the future. They are currently raising their support, and they hope to join us early next year. We enjoyed their visit, and we believe that they will be a great asset to our ministry. Please pray for their support to come in quickly. If you would like to learn more about their plans and ministry, please contact them at

                                                Marc, Charin, Nancy, Esther and Hannah Patton

Nancy, Esther and Ben

Alicia and Andrea