Thursday, July 20, 2017

First meeting at Berekfürdő mission point

Pastor Csaba and small group setting up for meeting
Setting up for the first meeting
Thank the Lord with us for our first meeting in Berekfürdő, where we are establishing a mission point and praying for a church plant in partnership with Pastor Csaba Pesti of Karcag.

We are still looking for a permanent place for the Berekfürdő group to meet, but for now the Catholic priest--who is a friend of Pastor Csaba--is kindly allowing us to use a room belonging to his church.  

Only five of us were present at the July 7 gathering, but it was wonderful to actually be on site in the town for a time of worship, Bible study and prayer. At this point we will be meeting in the town every other week, with alternating Fridays spent in discipleship/evangelism training at the mother church in Karcag.

Continue to pray for Berekfürdő, asking that new connections will form, people will come to Christ, and that a vibrant, reproducing church will be planted.

Small group after the meeting
Small group after the meeting. The courtyard has a very lovely, peaceful garden.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Baptism in western Ukraine

Baptism at the lake
Berehove Baptist church baptism at the lake
Praise the Lord for how God is working! Last week when Gary was serving in western Ukraine, he had the privilege of bringing a brief message at a baptismal service out by the lake. Our friend Pastor Valentin Nehro of the Berehove Baptist church officiated, with the main sermon at the church beforehand being delivered by Pastor István Borzási, former president of the Hungarian Baptist Union in Romania.

Three ethnic Hungarians and one ethnic Russian were being baptized, and besides the church folks that were there, quite a few lost relatives and community members were also on the scene. Some of the family members were antagonistic to the gospel, and we are thankful they were there to hear the Good News. Pray for the new believers as they continue to take a stand for the Lord; ask that they will keep growing and sharing their faith. Ask that God will soften the hearts of the lost ones who heard the gospel, and that one day soon they also will come to Christ.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Longing for the fruit of our labor

Garden harvest
OK, so our garden is yielding vegetables, not fruit!  But as I harvested some of the first produce from our little backyard garden today, I couldn't help but be reminded of our work and the longing of our hearts.

Ministry is full of seed-sowing, watering, tending...yes, there are weeds that must be pulled and pesky dangers that the new growth must be guarded against.  How we yearn to see more of the spiritual seeds that we have sown bear fruit, to have the joy of watching seedlings in the Kingdom garden growing toward maturity and bringing joy to our Creator God.

Pray with us for the work in Hungary, that the coming harvest will be bountiful!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Gardening project

Gardening advice about the Millers' raised bed*
Praise the Lord for the opportunities that come as believers use their gifts and life experiences to make connections and share the gospel!  We're always excited to see how God can use people from any field of study or career background to creatively minister around the world.

Last week Dr. Curtis Smith, horticulture expert from New Mexico, was here serving in eastern Hungary and western Ukraine.  He has been vision casting and sharing his knowledge as we partner with nationals to start a new ministry called "The Master's Gardeners."

 
Pray with us that local leaders will arise for this work  in many communities across the area, which will not only help provide food and business opportunities for needy families, but will also allow believers and churches to minister to their neighbors in new and very practical ways.



Vali and bro-in-law discuss soil quality
Ukrainian pastor Valentin Nehro & his brother-in-law discussed soil quality with Curtis*


Karcag research center measuring water absorption
Karcag ag center researcher Dr. Kovács explains measurement of soil's water absorption*





Karcag research center project to produce heartier wheat
Karcag research center project to produce hardier wheat. A reminder of the harvest we are praying for!
*


  *Photos compliments of the Smiths

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Pentecost Monday outing to Hollókő

Young couple in native costume in the village
This is a photo from our Pentecost Monday (June 5) outing to Hollókő castle and historic village, up in northern Hungary.  Our full photo album is here if you'd like to see more.

We had already visited there last year as a part of cultural re-entry after being in the US for 10 months, but a group from the Karcag Baptist Church circle were going for the holiday and we went with them. It was a beautiful, bonding day with our friends,  leaving super-early to meet them in Karcag, going on from there on a chartered bus.

The folks at Hollókő were doing a lot of re-enactments in full costume, very dramatic. In the morning there was a ceremony welcoming all of us to the castle..."you came as free men, you may depart in peace as free men!"  (I was glad to hear that.)

There were some pretty warlike confrontations on the village streets between marauding bands of warriors from different parts of Hungary, as well as some Turks. One squabble was over some captive maidens, but after threatening speeches, saber rattling, guns fired into the air, and double-dog-daring to meet later by the castle gate, it all turned out OK.

Hungarian history is very long and interesting -- often tragic -- and learning more about it helps us to better understand the people we live among and minister to.  

Pray with us that God will move in a mighty way in Hungary, showing the people that He loves them and has had a purpose for them since the beginning of time; ask that they will turn to Him with all their hearts.



Friday, June 2, 2017

Goodbye to May, hello to June

Greetings, friends!

Well, we're two days into June now, and I want to pause for a moment and thank those of you who prayed with us through the May prayer calendar.  Each of the prayer requests were carefully chosen because of their strategic importance in the work here and because of what is happening on the ground.  We'll be updating you as prayers are answered and things continue to progress.

Here's a link to our latest prayer update, hot off the press: IMB Eastern Hungary Prayer Update - May 2017

You can subscribe to get your own email copy each month using the link at the top left of that page, and you can also request the Hathcock family's weekly "Salt and Light" updates at http://www.heartforhungary.com/teams/eastern-hu-team/.  We'd love to share more with you about how God is working - He is worthy of all praise!

Thanks so much for praying with us and for us, and for the ministries in Hungary - we appreciate your involvement and want you to know that we consider you part of our team.  Please let us know how we can pray for you and your family, also.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Outreach and training in western Ukraine

Please pray for Gary this week as he serves in western Ukraine. Today he is doing a one-day Grain Game Bible camp for youth, demonstrating how it is done so that the local believers can learn to use these creative methods for reaching kids in the 10-15 age range. For the next week he will be working together with a volunteer from the US doing street evangelism and training believers in how to share their faith.


Pray that God will be glorified in all that is done, and that the outreach and training will bear fruit for the Kingdom.