Gypsy People

Help Support Our Newest Roma MEK Team Member, Ferenc Oláh

Feri Oláh teaches an evangelistic Bible Study on Easter Sunday

The search for a faithful, mature Roma worker to add to our MEK Staff in central Hungary has led to a truly wonderful candidate, Ferenc Oláh.

We met Feri when he and his family, from the nearby village of Zsambok, provided the music for the second night of the Boldog crusade last September.  Since then, Feri, his wife, Judit and two daughters, Szabrina and Judit, have been graciously assisting Laci and Eszter in Boldog.

Feri is part-time pastor of a Roma-Hungarian church in Zsambok, has had Bible school training, is a mature Christian, a strong teacher and a wonderful musician.  He is also a good construction worker, but strongly desires to be engaged in full-time Christian ministry.

We are praying and seeking support so that he can join our MEK Hungary team as quickly as possible.($10,000 per year will cover salary and taxes).  Feri is also opening the door for CHE ministry in the nearby communities of Zsambok, Jaszfenyszaru and Ture.

If you would like to become part of Feri’s support team, contact Laci Daroczi-Csuhai at daroczi60@yahoo.com.  He will share with you how you can now do this through MEK’s new US non-profit organization, CHE Central Europe.

Advertisements
Categories: A Good Story, Gypsy People, Happenings, Photos | Leave a comment

Keeping “the Net” from Getting Tangled Up

The Global CHE Network stretches across 125 nations, 600 mission groups, 3000 plus communities and over 3 million poor people being served.  How do you communicate across a global network of that size and cultural diversity?  How do you provide members with just the resources they need?  How do you continue to provide lesson plans and materials in their own language?  How do you connect workers in need with the experts they need?  How do you do this with tight security for those working in sensitive areas?  How do you deal with the road blocks that keep the network from expanding to 10,000 new villages by 2020 and then on to one million?

Those are just some of the types of questions that the 9-person CHE Representative Council grapples with in their quarterly meetings.  Ron is a current member of that council and was present for the annual meetings on April 30 to May 2 in Phoenix, AZ.  Many significant decisions were made in those days toward a vision of reaching one million new villages.

I was so humbled to be part of this gathering.  Our work in Central Europe is just taking root.  I was sitting with men and women from many nations whom God had used to spread wholistic community development movements across whole regions and nations of the world for the past 35 years.  I was able to see up-close the kind of faith that truly moved mountains.    What a privilege!

Categories: A Good Story, Gypsy People, Happenings, Training | Leave a comment

CHE Team Members Receive More “Need to Know” Training in Belgrade

It’s always good when we have to schedule a TOT2 training course for CHE Team members.  It means they have applied most of what they learned in TOT1 in their village setting and now “need to know” what to do next.

Sixteen CHE workers from Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria met at the Belgrade Bible College in Belgrade, Serbia April 23 to 30 for this advanced training.  It was encouraging that three Roma team members were in this class!  Agron Aga, Director of the CHE Albania team and a 15 year veteran, was the Master Trainer for the course, assisted by Hessel Keuter, Marijana Cizmanski, Eszter, Jeannie and myself.

All of us benefited greatly from the 30 hours of coursework, the discussion times, the sharing of best (and worst) practices and the earnest prayer times for each team.

CHE men at TOT2 in Belgrade strike a “manly” pose

Categories: A Good Story, Gypsy People, Happenings, Photos, Training, Travel | 1 Comment

2016 ANNUAL REPORT OF RON AND JEANNIE SECK, NAB Hungary Field Director, CHE Central Europe and CHE Euro Net Coordinator, Member of CHE Representative Council

Our work in 2016 can be summed up in four key words: First-fruits, Expansion, Sustainability and Vision.  In-depth stories and photos on many of the items written about in this report can be found on this “Happenings” page.

FIRST-FRUITS —

210e4b39be9c3a5ecdc90f2a5d91981aThe ancient Israelites were required to present the first-fruits of their harvest to the Lord each year.  With these first-fruits, they looked back, at the great effort it took to clear and break the ground, sow the seed, water and cultivate the plants, and, finally, by God’s gracious work, harvest fruit.  They also looked forward, to the full harvest that would follow these harbinger-fruits.

In 2016 we began to see the first-fruits of our hard labors in Central Europe from 2012 through 2015.  When we arrived 5 years ago, there was some Community Health Evangelism development work being done by teams in the Balkan countries of Albania and Bosnia.  We were bringing the seed to the untilled ground of Central Europe.  After five years of sharing the CHE wholistic mission vision with Roma/Gypsies, church and mission leaders region-wide; holding vision and training conferences of all sizes for those interested; forming national CHE boards and gaining legal standing for their foundations; teaching, mentoring, hiring and finding support for full-time workers; recruiting volunteers; raising funds and purchasing vehicles and equipment; developing home-team support and partnerships in the US and Canada and training teams that can now train and lead others … we still had not won many to Jesus Christ!  We had a lot of plants starting to grow, but not much fruit.

2016 was the year the first-fruits began!  And we joyfully present them to the Lord and give Him the glory (1 Cor 3:6-8).

In February, 2016, we held our largest CHE Training of Trainers conference ever.  Actually we held 2 at the same time: one in Hungarian; attended mostly now by Roma recruited by our CHE-trained Roma; and the other in English, attended by workers from all over the former Yugoslavia, recruited mainly by our CHE teams in Serbia.  In all, we had 26 new graduates, trained to do CHE Christian community development work.

At this conference we also watched the film, The War Room and decided we needed to set up a War Room of our own to engage more effectively in the great spiritual battle for the souls and lives of the Roma in the villages we were targeting.  Each Wednesday morning at 7 AM, our CHE workers who could, gathered in a video-conference call for one-hour of concentrated prayer for God’s victory in their nation and their communities.  God answered (and is answering) by producing spiritual fruit.  Here are some 2016 samples of first-fruits.

  • Our REZ Serbia Team, led by Emil and Klara Kisgeci, has successfully entered the Roma-M*sl*m village of A****, in northern Serbia with the blessing of the village spiritual and political leader.  They will hold a community medical screening in February 2017, have begun a Royal Rangers scout program for boys and girls, are doing in-home visitations and Bible studies and have plans for a CHE women’s program and a  children’s soccer program.
  • Our ZZ Serbia Team, Directed by NAB national worker Marijana Cizmanski, has started two CHE women’s clubs in Novi Sad and have seen 2 Roma women come to Christ already.
  • The Roma Nexus Church in Mali-Beograd has committed to CHE as the strategy to reach their village; has chosen their Development Team which is now being trained by Marijana and their Pastor, Mirko Kiš; and has chosen their first project to work on — to develop an effective wholistic discipleship program for church members so they can be the light and model to the rest of the community to lead them to Christ.
  • In the southern Serbia Roma community of Djorgovska Mahalla, near the town of Lebane, CHE leader, Snezana Randjelovic, is seeing God working in the lives of the youth and woman in the CHE clubs she has begun.
  • Our MEK Hungary Team saw several significant spiritual breakthroughs.  In July, a team of young people from Steamboat Rock, Iowa, held ESL and VBS camps with the Roma youth of Vacegres and Boldog.  They effectively demonstrated and spoke of the love of Jesus Christ and prepared the ground for what came next.
  • In September MEK Hungary held an evangelistic crusade with Roma Pastor Jozsef Kajcza from Oradea, Romania.  In Boldog some 30 Roma, both youth and adults, gave public testimony of their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  In Retkozberencs and in Kekcse there were similar responses with 20 coming forward to receive Christ or give public testimony in each place.
  • The follow-up in Boldog, both one-on-one and in small groups, is producing even more encouraging spiritual fruits, including the salvation of several young men and the start up of both a boys’ and a girls’ CHE Teen club, in addition to the Women’s WCL group.  One of the most exciting developments was the enthusiastic participation of the Roma leadership in Boldog in this spiritual revival and their own spiritual development and growth as believers in Christ.
  • In Boldog, community leader, Bela Kadét, completed the CHE wholistic micro-enterprise course and received the first revolving micro-loan to begin his animal farm.  As he works with NAB national worker, Laci Daroczi-Csuhai, he is also growing in Christ.
  • In Hatvan, Eszter Daroczi-Csuhai has begun a fast-growing Community Young Mothers’ and Children’s Group using the facilities of the Hatvan Reformed Church.

EXPANSION — 

Central Europe and the Balkan Countries

Central Europe and the Balkan Countries

The Vision of CHE Euro Net, a network of all the current CHE teams in Central Europe and the Balkans, is to see CHE Teams formed and new CHE development projects begun in all the nations of Central Europe and the Balkans by 2020.  As CHE Central Europe Coordinator, one of my jobs is to facilitate the accomplishment of this vision.

Here are some of CHE’s areas of expansion in 2016:

  • Bulgaria — We followed up a CHE Vision Seminar in the fall of 2015 in northwest Bulgaria (Lom) with Vision Seminars in Sofia (central Bulgaria) and Sliven (eastern Bulgaria) in the spring of this year.  These have yet to lead to enough interest for a Training of Trainers (TOT1) Conference in Bulgaria.  Roger and Gail Dine, CHE-trained workers from Australia have become members of the CHE Euro Net and are now doing preliminary community entry work in Silistra and Kallipetrova in northern Bulgaria.  They have been making crucial connections with Bulgarian church and mission leaders that will probably lead to that country’s first TOT1 in 2017.
  • Montenegro — Two key church and Roma leaders from Montenegro took CHE training with us in 2016.  They are now working with our CHE Euro Net to hold a Vision Seminar and TOT1 in Podgorica in 2017.
  • Croatia — We held a Vision Seminar in Osijek, Croatia in the spring hosted by country Roma mission leaders.  Several Croatians have taken TOT1.  We are waiting to see the first project hatch there, possibly near Osijek.
  • SlovakiaJon and Tanya Parks of the Baptist Cooperative Mission received their CHE training in Hungary in February.  Members of the CHE Euro Net helped them hold the first TOT1 in Slovakia in October.  They are now forming their CHE Team to begin their first community development project, possibly in Košice.
  • Serbia — Many Roma live in communities around Serbia’s capitol city, Belgrade.  We held a CHE Vision Seminar in June for the leaders of Bread of Life of Belgrade.  They are considering CHE’s wholistic strategy for several of their new community development projects.  A second Vision Seminar was held for key Roma church leaders in Kucura.   A TOT1 is on the drawing board for central Serbia.
  • Hungary — A TOT1 was held in February for new workers that are now helping our CHE eastern team, led by Hessel Keuter and Kálmán Hamza, expand their work.  Laci and Eszter Daroczi-Csuhai led a Vision Seminar and training conference in Dombovar, south Hungary for the Hungarian Methodist church, who are contemplating a CHE project in 2017.
  • France — Together with CHE leaders from France, we helped organize and facilitate an Urban CHE Vision Conference in Paris in April.  Sixty participants including over forty church and mission leaders from France attended.  The French team is now following up with those who want to begin Urban CHE projects there.  A second team is following up on English speaking attendees.  Reach Global, the mission arm of the Evangelical Free Church USA, is now exploring utilizing CHE in current and new outreaches in Central Europe.
  • NAB Vision Trip — In August, church leaders from NAB churches in North Dakota took a vision trip to Serbia, Hungary and Romania.  They examined how they could expand the CHE ministry in each of these countries through developing sustainable and mutual partnerships with both churches and CHE teams.  This will lead to a Vision Seminar in North Dakota in 2017.  Those who visited the community of Bangladesh, outside Novi Sad, will not soon forget what they saw there.
  • The Global CHE Network is seeking further expansion.  In 2016 Ron was selected to be a member of the CHE Representative Council.  He is currently working with other Council members to better organize the global network of regional networks and to remove roadblocks hindering CHE’s expansion into new regions.  The Global CHE Network and Representative Council is collaborating with Transform World in the million village challenge, to bring the gospel and wholistic discipleship to a million new villages in the 10/40 Window by 2020.

SUSTAINABILITY — 

In 2016 we began more formally to address the question of sustainability for our growing number of CHE Teams and development projects.  Sustainability is a core principle for our CHE Teams and development projects.  Achieving sustainability is a very difficult endeavor in a region emerging from 70 years of communism and stagnating socialist economies.  In some countries the churches are few (e.g. Bosnia, Albania, Serbia, Croatia).  In others they are economically weak and lack missional vision. They have very little money or interest in supporting missionaries right now.  Many are themselves dependent upon western money for survival.

Due to these factors, our national workers have little to no concept of developing a pool of financial resources, volunteers and partners.  They have never thought about or done anything like this before.

Ron trains in Developing Sustainable Partnerships outside Tirana, Albania

Ron trains in Developing Sustainable Partnerships outside Tirana, Albania

We believe that the best way to develop CHE Teams that are sustainable is by teaching and training CHE workers to develop their own sustainable support partnerships.  So, in 2016 Ron Seck and Mark Bennett; businessman, head of his NAB Church mission board and CHE worker in Uganda; co-produced a new CHE TOT Seminar entitled “Developing Sustainable Partnerships” (DSP).  Mark and Ron taught the new week-long course three times in 2016 for CHE national workers, in Hungary, Albania and Bosnia.  The 27-lesson DSP course is now part of the CHE curriculum, available to all CHE teams world-wide, and is in manual form.

Since partnership development is a whole new concept to our European CHE workers, Ron followed this up in 2017 with an on-line weekly review of the lesson material and with team-mentoring.  It will take a while for our folks to develop a sustainable partnership mind-set and practice.  In October, we took a videographer to most of our fields and teams to help them produce a video to tell their story visually to potential partners inside and outside their nations.

In June we hosted and participated in an NAB International Missions Summit that focused on developing conference-wide guidelines for forming church-to-church-or-mission-organization partnerships.  We trust this will help our own NAB CHE Teams in Hungary, Serbia and Romania develop sustainable and mutually beneficial partnerships with NAB churches.

A major administrative hurdle to help all our CHE Euro Net teams expand and develop sustainability was to form CHE Central Europe as a legal US non-profit Foundation in 2016.  This was accomplished this fall by making CHE Central Europe foundation (CHE CE) a legal affiliate of CHE’s umbrella organization, the Alliance of Transformational Ministries (ATM).  This will make it possible for all CHE Euro Net Teams to receive financial donations in the United States while the donors receive a US tax receipt via ATM’s backroom services.  CHE CE Partners was also formed as a non-profit affiliate of CHE Central Europe to finance expansion projects to meet CHE Euro Net’s 2020 Vision.  Each CHE CE Team is responsible for raising its own partners and budget.

Finally, sustainability includes finding future NAB workers to continue developing the ministry where our current NAB Teams operate, in Serbia and Hungary.  We envision two NAB couples joining our team in the future, one in the Hungarian-speaking region and one in the Serbian-speaking region.

To facilitate the recruitment of those God is calling to this task, we are now scheduling CHE Vision Seminars for 2017 in regions where we currently have supporting churches.  So far we have scheduled seminars in Winnipeg, Canada for March 7 and 8, 2017 and in Bismarck, ND for February 18, 2017.

Our goals are:

1. to train NAB churches in how to do their own wholistic community development projects. 

2. to train NAB churches how to partner effectively with our CHE teams and projects in Central Europe. 

3. to raise awareness of CHE in NAB churches, of our need for NAB on-field team members and for more partner churches for our NAB teams in Hungary, Romania and Serbia.

VISION — 

img_2048What is on our horizon as we look toward 2017?  Each of our established and emerging CHE Teams are filled with dreams and visions about the future.  These are just a few of the items:

  • In 2017 Jeannie and I will begin to transition into a 3-3-3-3 schedule, alternating approximate 3 month periods in Europe and the US.  As our national workers take more of the lead in expansion, training and community development, we can now focus more of our time on raising up additional sustainable partnerships and finding our own replacements and mentoring them.
  • Winnipeg, Canada — Rev. Sig Sigler of Mission Baptist Church (NAB) will be hosting an Urban CHE Vision Seminar for the pastors of Winnipeg in March, 2017.  He is very serious about beginning Urban CHE.  If there is enough interest, we will return to do a Urban CHE Training Conference in 2017.  This will be for church leaders and volunteers.
  • Northwest US and Canada — We are now planning a visit to NAB churches in northwest US and Canada for May-June, 2017.
  • We will continue to press for the beginning of CHE Teams and projects in Slovakia, Bulgaria and Montenegro.
  • Romania — Our 2016 NAB Vision Trip focused on church and CHE projects in the Oradea, Romania region being proposed by churches of the Hungarian-speaking Baptists of Romania, led by Rev. Zsolt Albert.  NAB Partnership seminars were held in North Dakota and Romania.  We would like to see churches in North Dakota link up in partnerships with churches in Romania in 2017.  First on the docket would be a CHE project in Parhida in partnership with Rev. Albert’s churches.
  • ZZ Serbia will be looking for potential partners to help construct or buy a community center building in Mali-Beograd.  This will provide a worship center and Sunday School space for the Roma church, an office for ZZ Serbia, a training area for CHE community classes, and an apartment for Pastor Kiš’ family.
  • Macedonia — We now have a good contact in Macedonia (Dr. Ture Huhtamaki) who wants to see a CHE Vision Seminar and possible TOT1 there in 2017.
  • Kosovo — We are still waiting for the potential leaders there to schedule a Vision Seminar with our CHE Albania team.
  • MEK Hungary is planning evangelistic outreaches in more Roma communities where our CHE teams work for 2017.
  • Europe, the Cities — We (CHE Training Activist Group — CTAG) will hold a study group meeting in Brussels this spring on Urban CHE.  We will also be representing CHE and Urban CHE at the Movement Day Gathering in London in the fall.

Please continue to pray for us that we will realize our vision for CHE Teams and projects up and running in every nation of Central Europe and the Balkans by the end of 2020.  We are asking the Lord that we will also do our part to reach one million new villages by that date only four years from now.

 

Categories: A Good Story, Gypsy People, Happenings, Photos, Training, Travel | Leave a comment

Bela’s Dream is Coming True Thanks to Christian Entrepreneurs

Laci surveys a field in Boldog with Bela and one of his goats.

Laci surveys a field in Boldog with Bela and one of his goats.

Just over a year ago Bela and Andi Kadét began a new adventure with several other family members from the Roma community in Boldog.  Together they met weekly with MEK workers, Laci and Eszter, to learn how to start savings groups and begin their own successful micro-enterprise, built upon a relationship with Jesus Christ and godly business principles.

Bela has always had a dream and he’s always been an entrepreneur.  After the Communist era, the Hungarian government returned to his father a beautiful two and one-half hectares of land his family once owned.  While other Roma soon sold their newly recovered parcels, Bela’s father kept his and passed

Bela and Andi Kadét stand in their field

Bela and Andi Kadét stand in their field

it down to him.  Bela would not sell it either.  His goal was, one day, when he had enough money, to farm it.  As a believer in Jesus Christ, he also wanted this dream-farm to be a model to show other Roma how they too could break their cycle of poverty.

Bela did something rather rare for many Roma.  He worked hard at a full-time factory job for 10 years, knowing the toxic fumes at the plastic molding factory where endangering his life.  Meanwhile he raised some pigs and chickens at his home.  But there was never enough money to start his farm, build a barn and buy sufficient livestock to be an independent businessman.

When the micro-enterprise course was completed, Bela worked with Laci to write up a business and marketing plan for his farming enterprise on his own land.  Bela soon qualified to be the first entrepreneur to receive a MEK revolving loan provided by American Christian entrepreneurs.

Soon eight pigs became sixteen!

Soon eight pigs became sixteen!

First he purchased the materials to build a temporary barn-shelter and with the new space increased his number of pigs to eight and goats to four.  He also harvested his first crop of feed for his livestock.  Recently, one of his sows birthed eight piglets.  Thanks to the Lord and MEK Hungary, Bela and Andi are on their way to achieving their dream.

How has this affected the Roma in Boldog?  Other villagers are now asking more questions about what MEK and wholistic community development are all about.  More importantly, Bela and Andi took key roles in the community evangelistic outreach in Boldog in the middle of September that saw many receive Christ or rededicate their lives to Him.  Livestock and the Bible: this is what wholistic community development is about.

Would you like to know more about the MEK Revolving Loan Program and how you can help other poor entrepreneurs like Bela?  Please write Ron at ronseck@gmail.com and ask your questions.

Categories: A Good Story, Gypsy People, Happenings, Photos, Training | Leave a comment

Roma Communities in Boldog, Kékcse and Retkozberencs Hear the Gospel Call

Open-air Gospel preaching by Roma pastor Janos Kajcza from Oradea, Romania came to the Roma communities in the villages of Boldog, Retkozberencs and Kékcse, Hungary during the week of September 12 to 16.

Pastor Janos Kajcza addresses those who stood for Jesus Christ in Boldog.  Sandor who gave a powerful testimony, stands to the right

Pastor Janos Kajcza addresses those who stood for Jesus Christ in Boldog. Sandor who gave a powerful testimony, stands to the right

Each day began with fellowship and prayer and then door-to-door visitation by Pastor Kajcza, members of the MEK Team and Roma Christians from the village.  Several afternoons included Bible study and instructions for village leaders.

Kálman Hamza leads singing in Retkozberencs

Kálman Hamza leads singing in Retkozberencs

Sandor, a Roma, shares his testimony of being set free by Jesus from a life of drugs

Sandor, a Roma, shares his testimony of being set free by Jesus from a life of drugs

The evening meetings started with music and singing led by Kalman Hamza or local musicians.  This was followed by a powerful testimony by Roma team-member, Sandor, whose life was completely turned away from drug dealing and addiction and from reckless living by his conversion to Jesus Christ.  Then Janos preached with great power about being delivered from the kingdom of darkness where there is no life to the Kingdom of God’s beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

In Boldog, over fifty Roma adults witnessed the proceedings both nights, some seated on folding chairs while others sat on the park benches or the porches of the nearby houses.  Meanwhile, MEK workers held an outreach program for about 30 children one block away.

When Pastor Kajcza gave the invitation to receive Christ or to rededicate your life to Christ, over 20 community members stood up.  While others watched on, Janos challenged them to put away their specific sinful habits that kept them from fellowship with God and better relationships with each other.  Names were then recorded for future follow-up by the Boldog MEK Team.  The first evening ended with a community dinner of Gypsy bean gulyas prepared by the Christians of the village.

After the last crusade meeting in Boldog, Roma Christians in the village hosted a joyous dinner celebration for all those who participated in the evangelistic campaign.  As we all ate chicken paprikas we praised God for what we were witnessing God do in this community.

Then it was off to do one-day crusades in Retkozberencs and Kékcse organized by MEK Team members Hessel Keuter and Kálman Hamza and local Roma believers.  At the conclusion of both evening meetings, 10 to 15 villagers came forward to stand for Jesus Christ.  Hessel and Kálman will now follow-up on each of these and seek to add them to the CHE Groups they have begun in both villages.

As darkness sets in, Pastor Kajcza challenges those who made decisions for Christ in Retkozberencs

As darkness sets in, Pastor Kajcza challenges those who made decisions for Christ in Retkozberencs

While all this was going on, Ron and Jeannie’s on-line prayer team of over 300 people received daily updates and many replied that they were covering the crusade with their prayers.

We thank Pastor Janos and Sandor, the MEK Teams, the Roma Christians of Boldog, Retkozberencs and Kékcse and the prayer team for their participation in this effort to bring the light of the Gospel to these communities.  We praise and thank our Lord for the work He did in each place, setting prisoners free from darkness and death.

Categories: A Good Story, Gypsy People, Happenings, Photos | Leave a comment

Leaders and Workers from 28 Countries Meet in Békes, Hungary for second Roma Consultation

Participants pray for new delegate leaders including Laczi Daroczi-Csuhai and Sasha Cipra

Participants pray for new delegate leaders including Laczi Daroczi-Csuhai and Sasha Cipra

Community Health Evangelism Workers from our teams in Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Hungary were among the 160 participants at the follow-up to the Roma Consultation held two years ago in Budapest, Hungary.  The focus was on collaboration, networking, and developing unity among the many Christian organizations and individuals who work with the Roma people in Central Europe and the Balkans.

Attendees had the opportunity to take in workshops designed to enhance their work and expose them to new strategies such as Community Health Evangelism.  CHE workers were able to make new connections as well as renew older ones.  We continue to see an ever-gathering wave moving toward wholistic community development among the poor and marginalized Roma.

One highlight of the conference was the selection of delegates from each participating country to serve on a steering committee for developing closer engagement.  CHE workers Laczi Daroczi (Hungary) and Sasha Cipra (Bosnia) were among those selected to serve.

Categories: A Good Story, Gypsy People, Happenings | Leave a comment

North Dakota Church Leaders Take a Central European Vision Trip

Erv, Marty and Matt meet with Marijana and the leadership team of the Nexus Roma church in Mali-Beograd

Erv, Marty and Matt meet with Marijana and the leadership team of the Nexus Roma church in Mali-Beograd, Serbia.

What’s the best way for your church to dig into a Kingdom-building missions partnership?  First, send the leaders of your church on an on-site Vision Trip.  That’s what NAB churches Hillside Baptist and Century Baptist did this August.

Hillside Youth Pastor, Matt Herron, accompanied missionary-trip veterans Erv and Marty VanVeldhuizen to visit potential partnership opportunities with our CHE Team in Novi Sad, Serbia called ZZ.  ZZ Serbia is under the direction of NAB national worker Marijana Cizmanski.

They were deeply impacted by the poverty as well as the open doors of opportunity they witnessed in the Roma communities of Bangladesh and Mali-Beograd.  The huge M*sl*m Roma village of Veleki Rit, on the outskirts of Novi Sad showed them the urgency of entering such communities before the radical imams completely take over.

Matt and Erv follow Marijana and Ron in a tour of a Roma village

Matt and Erv follow Marijana and Ron on a tour of a Roma village

Ron shared with them that ZZ Serbia is looking for a coalition of serious-minded, long-term and partner-focused NAB churches to meet the evangelism and transformation challenges in these wretchedly impoverished communities.

Next, Ron and Jeannie and the Hillside team, met up with Pastor Paul Herr and Alan Steier from Century Baptist for a tour of potential partnership opportunities in Transylvania with the Hungarian-speaking Baptists of Romania.

Rev. Zsolt Albert hosted and led this well-prepared tour of exciting CHE project sites, ready-to-harvest outreach partnership opportunities and wholistic ministry programs.  At each location, the Vision Team was given a tour by local ministry leaders and

As Pastor Zsolt (facing the camera) leads, team members have time to envision what God wants to do in Parhida, Romania

As Pastor Zsolt (facing the camera) leads, team members have time to envision what God wants to do in Parhida, Romania

a detailed, print-out of their cause, vision and partnership possibilities.  Team members were deeply impressed with how God was working through these dedicated churches and leaders and with the tremendous opportunities for meaningful collaboration.

Paul and Alan then joined a short-term team from Century Baptist working in Romania while the Hillsiders returned to Hungary for their flight home.  There was much to reflect upon from what they had seen and heard first-hand.

If you would like to schedule a vision trip or travel with a vision team to Central Europe to see the partnership opportunities for your church, contact Ron.

Categories: A Good Story, Gypsy People, Happenings, Photos, Travel | Leave a comment

Happiness is English Camp in the Roma Communities of Boldog and Vácegres

A North American Baptist Gateway team of 11 youth and adults from Steamboat Rock Baptist Church in Iowa combined with our MEK Hungary Team, July 24 to 30, to do action-packed English Outreach Camps in the Roma communities of Boldog and Vácegres.

Children and workers in Vacegrés

Children and workers in Vacegrés

Each day, Youth Pastor, Bryce Roskens, and his hard working servants taught English, played games, performed music and dramas, shared Jesus and developed relationships with Roma children and their parents.

NAB national workers, Laci and Eszter Csuhai lead the MEK development project in Boldog, where over 40 youth participated each day.  The project was spear-headed by the enthusiastic Roma leadership team in the village who invited the children and provided the lunches and snacks each day.  NAB national worker, Rev. Joseph Csuhai, works in Vácegres, where average attendance was about 16 children.

The Steamboat Rock team was half of a large group of 22 from the Iowa church.  The other half held an English camp for 60 plus children at the Baptist church in Verõce, north of Budapest under the leadership of Randy Schmor, Gateways Director.

We’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves:

Can we all fit under the tent?

Can we all fit under the tent?

Do you like my hat?

Do you like my hat?

How do you say that in English?

How do you say that in English?

Making bean gulyas.

Making bean gulyas.

Taking a trip to Egypt

Taking a trip to Egypt

Having to say good-bye.

Having to say good-bye.




Categories: A Good Story, Gypsy People, Happenings, Photos | Leave a comment

The Passive Solar Greenhouse Now Has Skin!

When you last saw the greenhouse at Grassalkovich Vocational School in November, It looked like an enormous, metal, whale skeleton!  It was decided at that time to wait until spring and warmer temperatures to cover the passive solar greenhouse framework built by the school faculty and students and our NAB Gateway Fuse Team.

DSC04158

The passive solar greenhouse “whale skeleton” without skin.

The outer poly skin has now been added and the agriculture students and faculty are utilizing the greenhouse to grow vegetables.  In the fall, they will add an inner poly layer as well.  This layer will keep the fall and winter heat in by reflecting inward the infra-red heat rays and providing an air insulation barrier.

IMG_20160607_122903

The skin is on!

One of the agriculture teachers, Magda, expressed her joy with the new, large greenhouse.  “Because of the design, we have plenty of room to stand up, right to the side walls, while we work,” she explained in Hungarian.  The structure provides for efficient use of space for planting and gardening.

IMG_20160607_122844

A look inside “the whale.” The black wall is the heat sink which will collect and radiate solar energy in the fall and winter.

The MEK team is hoping for a few free tomatoes this summer!

Categories: A Good Story, Gypsy People, Happenings, Photos, Training, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.