Jeannie and I haven’t even had time to report to you about all the things that have been going on! So, let’s give you some brief highlights in word and picture as the year 2017 comes to an end: (Remember, CHE stands for Community Health Evangelism, a strategy for doing wholistic outreach and development among the poorest of the poor.)
DECEMBER — Jeannie and I have been enjoying being in our Phoenix home, playing with our growing grandchildren and celebrating the holidays. We have also been taking care of ministry items that are difficult to handle while in Central Europe. We will be visiting churches in January and February.
NOVEMBER 3-4 — We flew home to Phoenix from Budapest on October 30. We dropped our bags and headed to the Ignite Christian Training Center near Show Low, Arizona. There we presented a CHE Vision Seminar to 36 Native Americans and those who work with them. A week-long CHE TOT1 training course is now on the drawing board for the end of February. If you would like to attend, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OCTOBER 19-25— We drove from Batonyterenye, Hungary south to Skopje, Macedonia (about 550 miles) to pick up Finnish CHE workers, Dr. Ture and Ingvar Huhtamaki. From there we turned east to the city of Stip. We have been praying for three years for an open door to establish CHE Teams in Macedonia. Now Dr. Huhtamaki, a retired Pediatrician and Fida worker, is providing the contacts to do so. We spent the weekend with Jimmy P.G. Simon, a remarkable, energetic and committed Nigerian, who has planted 19 churches in eastern Macedonia. We visited and spoke in ten of those congregations and identified several communities that would be ready for a CHE project. We are now going to hold a CHE Vision Seminar for Macedonian church leaders on Saturday, February 10th. Marijana Čizmanski, ZZ Serbia Director, will be the lead facilitator.
On our way back home we spent two days near Novi Sad, Serbia with Marijana, surveying Roma communities and meeting potential partners. Our hearts were thrilled as we witnessed two communities opening wide to her and ZZ Serbia. Pray especially for the destitute Roma village of Bangladesh, for its leader Faday, and for a potential Christian partner and community worker we met who longs to work there and see development take place.
OCTOBER 15 — Laci and Eszter, Ron and Jeannie made CHE presentations to leaders of the Soltvadkert Baptist Church and other Christian agencies working with Roma communities in south-central Hungary. They are now expressing interest in our next CHE training conference in Hungary next April 15 to 20 at Balatonfoldvar. If you would like information about this training conference contact Ron at email@example.com.
OCTOBER 10-14 — Jeannie and I flew to Tirana, Albania to spend four days hanging out with the CHE Albania Team. It was a time of celebration! Two years ago, CHE Albania, our flagship Team in Central Europe, lost their sole financial supporter. Ron and several fellow NAB’ers have been working with them since then to find new sustainable partnerships. This year God brought them together with a new major partner, World Poverty Solutions, as well as several others. Praise God, they are again on solid footing support-wise.
OCTOBER 6 TO 8 — All of our MEK Hungary Teams met for their annual planning retreat at Lake Balaton. The highlight of this weekend was having Randy Schmor, Director of NAB’s Gateway Teams and Steve Liberti, NAB Missionary with Proclaim Ministries join us. Randy helped us plan a host of short-term Gateway team projects for 2018. Read the article about these projects to see the one you might want to join in 2018.
Steve led us in planning a two-week Proclaim music camp and concert outreach campaign for Zsambok and Boldog, Hungary and Novi Sad, Serbia for August, 2018.
SEPTEMBER 22-24 — The CHE EuroNet Network held its second retreat for CHE Team and Board members at Boračko Jezero, Bosnai. Ron currently serves on the Global CHE Networks Representative Council and as CHE’s Central Europe Coordinator. In this position he is responsible for overseeing the expansion of CHE into new nations and regions of Central Europe and the Balkans.
He was also tasked with forming the CHE EuroNet Network of all CHE Teams operating in these countries and bringing them together annually for a time of refreshment, inspiration, sharing best practices, team building and training.
This year 27 of us gathered from 6 nations at a rustic retreat facility near a beautiful mountain lake in southwestern Bosnia. These folks are all pioneering new wholistic development ministries with the Roma/Gypsy and greatly appreciated the opportunity to draw encouragement from one another and from our Lord Jesus Christ.
SEPTEMBER 8 TO 10 — Our MEK (CHE) Central Hungary Team and the leaders from the Roma community in Boldog presented their second annual outreach festival. Two nights featured Christian films and one night Ron preached a Gospel message. Music and favorite foods also highlighted each evening. Twenty-five Roma signed up for follow-up visits or courses. Laci and Eszter Daroczi and Feri Olah, MEK Central Team members, are currently holding weekly Alpha Course classes with those who are interested.