Baptist churches in Hungary traditionally pick one Sunday during the fall and designate it as their Thanksgiving Sunday. During the past month we celebrated our Thanksgiving Sundays in both Esztergom and Tata. I was also the guest speaker at the Baptist church in Fot on their Thanksgiving Sunday in September, and I was again for the New Hope Baptist Church in Debrecen this past weekend. I was joking with Charin that after four Thanksgiving Sundays I am feeling VERY thankful for all God has done. J Of course, we will be celebrating our American Thankgiving with missionary friends later this month. I trust you too, will take the time to think about the great blessing of having a God who is sovereign and cares for His children.
One thing we are very thankful for is new converts in Esztergom. On October 30th we baptized four new converts. It was very interesting to see the age span of those baptized. The youngest was 15 and the oldest 90! Maria, who is 90 years old, lives just down the street from the church. A few years ago she was walking down the street and heard the music coming out of our church. She decided to investigate, and has been coming ever since. It took a long time for the Gospel to pierce through the religious confusion of her Catholic upbringing, but we were pleased to see her make a profession of faith just a short time ago. I was really amazed that she was willing to “take the plunge” and be baptized at her age. It was a great testimony to our church.
The other lady baptized is named Marika. She is the first convert reached through our thrift store which we opened two years ago. The transformation in her life is visible to all. She now works as a volunteer in the thrift store and is pointing others to Christ.
Karcsi and Mate are both members of our youth group. Karcsi is the son of church members. He invited his friend Mate to church about a year ago. It was exciting to see both of them make professions of faith and express their desire to be baptized. Mate’s parents visited our church for the first time to see him baptized. The father especially seems interested and has promised to return in the future.
In our previous letter I mentioned my desire to bring in a national pastor to take over the church in Tata. During the past six weeks I had several meetings with the leadership there. Our five-man pulpit committee decided that we should consider Gergo Szimon, who has been serving in Esztergom as my assistant. The pulpit committee is recommending him as the next pastor of the Tata Baptist Church. Of course, the church still needs to vote on this, so Gergo will be preaching and sharing his vision with the church on November 27th. The church will vote on him on December 11th. Obviously, we would be thrilled if the church made this choice. Gergo has been a part of our congregation in Esztergom since he was seven years old, thus he shares very closely our vision and philosophy of ministry. If the church confirms his selection, Gergo and his family would move to Tata sometime next year to take over the ministry there. Please pray with us about this decision.
There is one other transition that I need to mention. Marci and Rachel Csiha joined our ministry in Esztergom about three years ago. They came with the desire to gain some experience before launching out into a ministry of their own. As you may recall, for the past year we have been actively helping a small Baptist church in the nearby city of Oroszlány. Marci and Rachel became very active in this work and now feel like God is calling them to move there and help rebuild this dying church. We will have a farewell service for them on November 27th, as they will be moving in early December. We are sorry to see them go, but we are excited that Oroszlány will gain a fulltime missionary couple with a desire to see that church revived and rekindled. Please pray for them also during this time of transition.
Summer ministry opportunity:
I would like to close by mentioning a ministry opportunity for summer 2017. A Hungarian pastor friend of mine has a baseball outreach for children and teens. He would love to have a group from America come help him do a week long baseball camp next summer. If you would be interested in this opportunity, please drop me a line. I will be happy to put you in touch with him.
As you can see this is an exciting time, but transitions can be challenging as well. Please pray for all involved to experience God’s leadership and grace.
Serving for His Glory,
|Baptismal service on October 30|
|Csiha family on the left, Szimon family on the right.|