Travel

Super Six Day Stay in Serbia!

4 hours at the border looks like this!

Blogger’s Note:  The worst thing about making a trip to Serbia is that you spend almost the equivalent of one working day (8 hours) waiting at the Serbian-Hungarian Border!  I am writing this report to you while I am at the border.  (I have already spent 3 hours writing emails, reports and composing messages.)  Let’s see if I can get this blog done before Jeannie gets to the front of the line!

Our one-week Serbia trip was super as well as long overdue.  We have been through Serbia many times since May but we have not been able to stop in the country because of Covid restrictions.  So we were looking forward to being with our Serbian CHE Teams face-to-face.

We started by catching up with Emil and Klara Kisgeci who direct the REZ Serbia team and are in the first stage of a project in the village of Nadalj, north of Novi Sad.  Covid was hard on Klara and Emil, who both came down with it, Klara very severely, and on Zoran and Ivana, the village champion couple they are working with in Nadalj.  They have still been able to do Bible studies and practical trainings online and in-person when Covid permitted.  All of our CHE Teams have been willing to take health risks working in their communities during the pandemic.  Keep them in your prayers.

We were unable to visit the ZZ Serbia project village of Donji Petrovci because of covid cases there, but Marijana Čizmanski, the ZZ Director, and Tamara Beres, leader of children’s ministries, both gave encouraging reports.  Children’s programs are well-attended and they are now working on their Christmas program presentations.  The youth have also helped clean and paint the community center.  

edZZ Serbia Intern, Nicole, from France, helps the children of Donji Petrovci with an art project inside the Community Center. The children recently helped paint the interior and floor.

The ZZ Serbia team needs to add a man or men!  Serbia is a male-dominant country.  CHE work with women and children is progressing but men and older male teens do not come to meetings or participate in home visits unless there are men on the team.  Marijana has solved this at times by using interns or male students from the Belgrade Bible School.  But what they need is a full-time man on the team.  If you or someone you know is looking for a meaningful internship or sense a calling from God to Serbia, please contact Marijana Čizmanski (marijanacizmanski@gmail.com).

It was the height of fall color-season as we headed to the picturesque southeast part of Serbia.  We were traveling with Marijana and Tamara to visit Stefan and Jasmina, a young couple who had done volunteer work with ZZ in Donji Petrovci and had recently  begun pastoring in the city of Zajecar.  They wanted to learn how to use CHE in their city and how their church could partner with ZZ!  

The best way to explain CHE is to see CHE in action, so they joined us on an inspection trip to the village of Lebane-Mahala in south Serbia

Snezana Randjelovic, Director of GHNI South Serbia (L), talks with Marijana Čizmanski, Director of ZZ Serbia

Four and a half years ago, we recruited Snezana Randjelovic from Lebane, trained her in CHE, together selected her first Roma community and helped her begin a partnership with Global Hope Network International (GHNI).  Four years ago, when I walked the streets of Lebane-Mahala they stank of human feces and urine because the community had only 4 outdoor privies, houses were ramshackle, Christians numbered around 2, hope for the future was non-existent.  

Snezana went to work.  When we walked the same streets this week they were swept clean by the villagers, houses had indoor toilets, roofs were repaired, new believers are in every household, people smiled and laughed with us, one showed us his micro-enterprise tomato garden, the community leadership team wants to spread Jesus and CHE to the surrounding Roma communities!  God has done great work through this quiet, loving, devoted woman, Snezana Randjelovic.  If you want to know more about Snezana and her expanding ministry, write me and I will put you in touch.  (She understands English and is learning to read and write it as well.)

Snezana hopped into our now-full van and we headed off to our last village populated mostly by Roma who are professional musicians.  We went there to meet with the village’s champion, an enthusiastic, passionate believer named Kruna.  Kruna wants to start community development in her community and also plant a church.  

Three people in this house prayed to receive Christ

God-things happen in Kruna’s house.  Marijana and Snezana have witnessed 5 or 6 people receive Christ when they led Bible studies there.  On this visit three Roma prayed and asked Jesus into their lives.  In addition we prayed and anointed two who had serious medical needs.  Plans are now on the drawing board to begin follow-up, have a seminar on starting a church and training in how to do CHE.  

What a great trip.  

Would you believe that I finished this blog as we exited border control?  4 hours plus!

Categories: A Good Story, Gypsy People, Happenings, Photos, Travel, Uncategorized

CHE EuroNet Teams Gather in Albania

In the middle of this summer of 2021 I was beginning to wonder if CHE EuroNet would ever, ever have a live, face-to-face meeting again, let alone our annual CHE Team Gathering. 

In 2021 the Gathering of all our CHE Teams from Central Europe and the Balkans was to take place in Hungary in late September.  But, with national border travel restrictions throughout the region making travel all but impossible and Hungary’s then-strict in-country protocols eliminating everyone without a vaccination, it looked like we were going to be back to a virtual, video event.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  That’s the sound of my teeth grinding.

Like every other organization, CHE EuroNet and I had our share of virtual meetings and trainings via computer during the ongoing Covid Pandemic in 2020-21.  So much so that I began to call 2020-21 “the virtual years.”  (Did you know that, in computing, “virtual” means “not physically existing as such”?  That means that 2020-21 never really existed — only on my computer!). No one wanted to have a virtual Gathering!

Pastors Hessel Keuter and Feri Oláh of MEK Hungary gave messages at the Gathering

Agron Aga, Blerta Kamberi, CHE Albania (and, of course, our Lord Jesus Christ) to the rescue!  They were able, on short notice, to shift our Gathering to Albania and the coast of the Adriatic Sea!   The Conference ran from September 28 to October 3 with the theme “How to  be a wholly healthy CHE worker while seeking to make wholly healthy people.”  The 70 attendees broke into table discussion groups to explore many of the facets of remaining a wholly healthy CHE Worker.  Pastors from our CHE Teams presented very practical messages at our inspirational times on this theme, with the main point being that to remain wholly healthy ourselves, we need to make certain always that we are remaining in the True Vine, Jesus Christ.  The worship team and music was truly uplifting.  No one sings quite like mission workers do!

There was much free time for networking, fellowshipping, a ladies’ meeting, team meetings, swimming in the Adriatic (watch out for jelly fish!) and in the hotel pools, using the sauna, steam and salt rooms and eating great food.  

Those who worked hard in preparing the Gathering believe that we achieved our goal:  to send CHE workers home healthier than when they came!  We praise the Lord for giving us this blessed time together with Him and each other.  Hungary in 2022!

CHE Teams from Hungary, Serbia, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Albania Gathered on the Adriatic Coast of Albania for CHE Euronet’s 2021 Gathering

Categories: A Good Story, Happenings, Photos, Travel

Covid 19 Doesn’t Stop Community Health Evangelism in 2020

We will all remember 2020 as the year of Covid-19.  When significant events happen in history, like President John Kennedy’s assassination or 9-11, we can all answer the “where were you when it happened?” question immediately.   It will not be hard for most of us to answer “where were you when the Coronavirus pandemic took place?”  Our reply will be “We were locked down at home.”

This is an update report to share with you what has been happening the last few months in regards to Our Travel, Our Teams and Our Time at Home.  It has been a weird but God-blessed time.

OUR TRAVELS in 2020 — They Were Unexpectedly Exciting!

That’s not how it started with Jeannie and me.  We were on a 6-week tour of NAB churches in the US and Canada with Laci and Eszter Daroczi-Csuhai and their 2 young sons.  When we began the trip in mid-February, people were saying, “Covid-19?  It’s just like the flu.  Nothing to worry about.”  By the end of week 4 in mid-March churches were closing, borders were closing and meetings of every size were being cancelled!  A term new to us was been heard everywhere:  social distancing.  We found ourselves in the Seattle airport, the US center of the pandemic at that time, trying to get home.  The Daroczi-Csuhai’s had to scramble back to Hungary and Jeannie and I needed to seek safety back in Phoenix, AZ.  

Up to that point it was an awesome, blessed and encouraging adventure.  We want to thank all the churches, pastors and mission boards in Detroit, MI; Reading, PA; Seattle-Tacoma, WA and the Vancouver, BC region for their warm hospitality, mission-minded enthusiasm and partnership in prayer, short-term team and financial support.  To those churches in Oregon, Washington and California that we could not visit because of the pandemic, we look forward to seeing you in the near future, Lord willing.

Jeannie and Eszter hang out with members of the Fellowship Chapel Mission Team

OUR TEAMS in 2020 — They Have Been Weirdly Busy!

Because of pandemic travel bans, Jeannie and I were not able to return to Hungary and Central Europe on March 25 as planned.   So we will have to ride out the pandemic here in Phoenix and work with our co-workers long distance. 

The Community Health Evangelism (CHE) Teams in Central Europe and the Balkans we work with are facing restrictions on travel, on entering villages and holding meetings. However they are still as active as possible within their country’s, coming up with new and creative ways to provide health and spiritual care to their impoverished Roma communities.  They are also finding time to tackle some important administrative assignments that often get neglected when their team members are busy out in the field.  We’re even using the opportunity to do some advanced CHE Training online with team members.  Doing this without being in the same room is kind of weird.

Marika registers families in Boldog.

Laci and Eszter and the MEK Team, along with their Boldog Roma Community Leadership Committee, have launched a wonderful relief/development project.  Because of the coronavirus, many Boldog Roma villagers are now out of work and without food.  But they do have time on their hands.  So the Leadership Committee, led by Marika, has organized a food-for-community-service program and have enrolled 23 families in it.  Each week the leadership team selects the community project (village clean-up, community center clean up, yard and house clean up) and those families that participate in the project receive groceries and necessities  from MEK.  The food parcels have printed information about coronavirus protection methods, MEK and about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in them.  

So far (this is week 6 of 8), the villagers are loving it!  People are having a good time visiting with each other and improving their community while having a guaranteed source of food.  The MEK team is buying, packaging and delivering the food, printing the materials and keeping in touch with villagers via social media.  (Click on https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YCS83npJ8Pc&feature=youtu.be to see a video about this project.)

A member of the Food and Community Service Program Cleans up the ditches in Boldog.

Marijana Čizmanski and her co-worker and sister, Tamara, are able to do care visits to Donji Petrovci, Serbia regularly and are exploring community needs and how to meet them in the midst of the crisis.  

Klara and Emil Kisgeci-Dudas are seeing spiritual, emotional and health progress in the lives of the Roma family that are championing the development project in Nadalj, Serbia.  They have also started a food parcel relief program. 

The Galilee Foundation CHE Teams in North Macedonia are able to get into their villages periodically.  Adams and Marija Polikarp have advanced to selecting their community leadership teams in their two villages near Nagotina,  and Dimce and Alit continue house-to-house visitation in the two Roma communities outside Prilep, our latest projects.  Pastor Jimmy held an outdoor evangelistic crusade there at the end of May and 60 people raised their hands in response to the invitation to receive Christ.

A sea of raised hands in the Roma village in Prilep, North Macedonia called “Mexico”

Sasha Cipra of EZZ Serbia reports that his New Life Group in Kiseljak, Bosnia has now grown to 31 adults.  He has also begun to train his new Community Leadership Committee there.

Please pray for all these CHE workers plus those in Slovakia and Albania who are risking their own health and well-being to serve others in need.

The CHE New Life Group in Kiselyak, Bosnia is growing. Sasha Cipra is in the center

OUR TIME AT HOME in 2020 — It Has Been Topsy-Turvey Terrific!

Jeannie and Ron have logged many miles on their tandem this spring.

Although we are anxious to get back to Central Europe, we are also enjoying our time at our home in Phoenix.  We are near family and friends.  We have had a house here for 9 years, but have spent most of our time in Europe.  We have never seen spring-time in Arizona.  Each day we go out for an hour-long bike ride on our tandem and marvel at the splendor and beauty of the desert in bloom.  God is so creative!

We’ve also helped to instigate a bit of a community development project in our own neighborhood.  Twice a week 8 to 16 of our neighbors get together (at a proper social distance) for coffee (Thursdays) or dinner (Saturdays) on the street.  It is helping everyone to cope with their Corona cabin fever and lack of social connection.  We even held an outdoor Easter Sunday service!

Work-wise, we are catching up on a lot of administration and paper-work and reading, doing team planning meetings, organizing team projects and participating in on-line prayer meetings.  In May and June we are facilitating a 28-lesson training course for our Central Europe and Balkan CHE staff.  It’s great to have tech tools to be able to do all of this long-distance.  We praise the Lord.

Pray for our return back to Europe in God’s perfect timing.

An old saguaro cactus enjoys her crown of flowers

This cactus blooms in the spring but only at night when it is cool. Cool!

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

Ron and Jeannie, Laci and Eszter to Visit Churches in US and Canada in February-March

Eszter, Simeon, Jonatan and Laci Doracozi-Csuhai

Laszlo (Laci) and Eszter Daroczi-Csuhai, with their sons Simeon and Jonatan, our NAB Hungarian National Missionaries, are coming to the US and Canada February and March!  Ron and Jeannie Seck, NAB Hungary Field Directors, have arranged a joint-tour of churches in Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia for February 22 to March 23.

The purpose is to introduce this dedicated and delightful couple to as many churches as possible.  They also want to raise awareness and prayer support for the one million poverty-stricken, marginalized, despised and largely unreached Roma/Gypsy people of Hungary and for their transformative ministry among them.  

Through using the wholistic community development strategies of Community Health Evangelism (CHE), Laci and Eszter and Ron and Jeannie have been penetrating Roma communities in Central Hungary with the Good News of Jesus and His Kingdom as well as teaching others to do so as well.  They are eager to tell their story to churches of what God is doing in Hungary, Central Europe and the Balkans.

Here are some highlights of the travel itinerary for the Seck’s and Daroczi-Csuhai’s.  If you or your church are near any of these locations and you would like to meet them, have coffee and hear a report, please contact Ron Seck at 1-586-419-8728.  We still have a few openings.

February 12 to 22 Phoenix, Arizona

Wednesday, Feb 12 — Laci, Eszter and their two young boys, Simeon and Jonatan arrive in Phoenix, AZ

Sunday, Feb 16 — The Hungarian Reformed Church of Phoenix

Tuesday, Feb 18 — The NAB annual Phoenix Gathering near Scottsdale

Feb 13 – 21 — church house groups, neighborhood get-together

February 23 to March 6  Michigan and Indiana

Sunday, Feb 23 — Fellowship Chapel, Sterling Heights, Michigan

Thursday, Feb 27 — New Beginnings Christian Fellowship, Kokomo Indiana

Friday to Sunday, Feb 28 to March 1 — Detroit Area NAB Mission Conference

Sunday, March 1 — Crosspointe Christian Church, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI

Feb 24 to March 5 — church house groups, individual meetings, pastor visits

March 7 to 9 Pennsylvania

Saturday and Sunday, March 7-8 — Calvary Baptist Church, Easton, PA

March 9 to 20  Washington, British Columbia, Oregon

March 9 – 11  Olympic View Baptist Church, Olympia Washington

March 12 – 15  Visiting churches, house groups and pastors in the Vancouver, British Columbia area

Sunday, March 15 — Bethany Baptist Church, Richmond, BC and Immanuel Baptist Church, Vancouver, BC

March 16 – 18 Salt Creek Baptist Church, Dallas, OR; visiting pastors and churches in the Portland, OR area.

March 19 – 20 Visiting pastors and churches in the Tacoma, WA region

March 21 to 24  California (Sacramento area)

Sunday, March 22 — Oak Tree Community Church, Elk Grove, CA

Monday, March 23 — NAB International Headquarters, Roseville, CA

Tuesday, March 24 — Fly Home

Right now the teams is scheduled to visit or meet representatives of around 26 churches.  Please pray for our safety, health, stamina and for fruitful visits.

Categories: A Good Story, Happenings, Training, Travel

An Incredible Month of Travel and Ministry in the Balkans

Forgive me!  This blog article is much longer than any I have ever written.  The reason is that some incredible things happened in the last month as Jeannie and I traveled through the Balkan countries, ministering in Albania, Bosnia and Macedonia.   We were too busy to write blogs as events happened.  So, I thought it best just to tell the story in chronological order, meaning the most recent events are reported last.  I’ve tried to include lots of pictures to break up the reading.  Please hang on until the last article. It may be the most exciting of all.

Teaching CHE to Students at Albania’s International School of Theology and Leadership (ISTL)

One of Community Health Evangelism’s and CHE EuroNet’s chief goals is to change the paradigm Evangelical Christian churches, denominations and mission agencies use in ministering to the poor and marginalized to a more Biblical, wholistic and fruit-bearing approach.

CHE Course syllabus

A key way to do this is by engaging young and future Christian leaders with CHE strategy and methodology before they fall into the rut of aid-driven and spiritual-focus-only ministries.

Ron and Jeannie had a rich opportunity to do this September 23 to 27 when they taught an introductory CHE course at the International School for Theology and Leadership (ISTL) in Tirana, Albania.  Along with Agron Aga, Director of CHE Albania, they led 35 Christian college students through fifteen hours of Community Health Evangelism’s Biblical basis, principles, strategies and methods.  

In the process the three instructors eschewed the common college practice of lecturing in favor of using CHE’s village teaching methods

ISTL students engage in a CHE lesson exercise

of problem-posing dramas, Q and A, discussion, small group discovery Bible study, role-play, art work and story telling.  The participation was often lively and enthusiastic.

After the training course the students went home to introduce their new CHE concepts to their churches and leaders throughout Albania.  After three weeks they will return to Tirana and the ISTL to take a final exam on this crucial subject.  CHE Albania will follow up on the students and their churches, hoping to mobilize some of them for further training next spring in how to begin their own CHE community programs.  Pray for fruit to come through these newly- trained, future Christian leaders in Albania. 

Wow!  That Was Quite a Change!  The 2019 CHE EuroNet Gathering.  Learning to “Abound.”

The Rafaelo Resort on the Adriatic Coast, site of this years CHE EuroNet Gathering.

Each fall CHE Teams from Central Europe and the Balkans that make up the CHE EuroNet have a Gathering of workers and board members.  We meet together for in-service training, networking, fellowshipping, inspiration and sharing of best practices.  

It is my absolute favorite meeting of the year!  And I enjoy my part as CHE EuroNet Coordinator in planning it.  This October people from Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, the US and the Roma nation who have given their lives to serve Jesus by serving the poor lived and interacted as God’s family for 5 days.

The last two years we held our Gathering at rustic camp facilities in Serbia and Bosnia.  This year was CHE Albania’s turn to play host and

CHE Workers look on as Eno Demiral teaches on Disciple Making Movement, with the Adriatic Sea in the background.

they came through with a resort on the Adriatic Sea at super-low, off-season rates!  Paul once wrote the Philippians that he had learned how to live humbly most of the time and how to live abundantly some of the time.  This was our turn to live abundantly.  The resort rooms were super, our meeting room was first-rate with a view of the sea-side, the water was very swimmable for October and the food was tasty and abundant.

On top of that we were treated to a challenging and vision-stimulating two-day training on the Disciple Making Movement and Discovery Bible Study Methods by Eno Demiral of Global Nomads.  Keith Holloway, World Challenge’s CHE Director, gave three

Ron, Eno Demiral, Keith Holloway and Agron Aga at the 2019 Gathering

Randy Schmor talks with Keith Holloway, Jeannie speaks with Eszter Daroczi-Csuhai

encouraging messages designed for CHE workers.  Jon and Tanya Parks from Slovakia facilitated an evening of worship and renewal and Ron led a closing Communion service.  Randy Schmor, Director of Gateway Teams, was also on hand to help CHE Teams plan for summer mission teams.

Close to 75 persons attended all or part of this year’s Gathering.  We are growing as a network!  

Eno, Keith, Jon and Tanya and music team and CHE Albania, especially Blerta Kamberi, thank you all for making this a fantastic and memorable Gathering.

 

The Third Roma Network Conference Was Held in Sarajevo, October 9-12

Members of the Hungarian delegation meet at the Roma Network Conference

After the CHE EuroNet Gathering, Ron and Jeannie drove to Sarajevo, Bosnia to attend the third Roma Network Conference.  Held every three years, this conference brings together leaders who work in various Roma ministries throughout Central Europe and the Balkans.

The Conference theme was Partnering and morning sessions involved trainings on how to form effective partnerships within the region.  Ron and Jeannie had the joyful opportunity to participate in Hungarian, Bulgarian and Macedonian regional networking, partnering and planning sessions. They were encouraged to see throughout the conference that wholistic mission

Ron networks with Hungarian delegates

concepts akin to CHE’s are beginning to gain a foothold in the thinking of a number of leaders. 

Some of them openly acknowledged the failures of old aid-driven, top-down approach to poverty and Roma work

Networking is a key purpose of these meetings and Ron and Jeannie were able to make and renew some important contacts, particularly with workers in Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.  We are praying that these will lead to some significant meetings and partnership discussions in the near future.

 

Come Over to Macedonia!   A New Door of Ministry Opening in North Macedonia

Ron and Macedonians survey new poor communities

Our last stop on this four-week road trip was North Macedonia and on-site visits with new and potential CHE project sites with our new CHE partner there.   

This Macedonian band of trained evangelists, church planters, disciple makers and church leaders has established churches of various sizes in some 35+ communities in North Macedonia.  Now they want to use Community Health Evangelism to go deeper into many of these communities to transform lives and whole communities in Jesus’ name.  They began their first two CHE village programs last fall.

Our primary purpose was to visit two Roma Muslim communities numbering over 1000 people that could be their next program site.  Both communities are struggling with lack of water in this very dry year.  The little water they have is contaminated and making them sick.  The sewage runs down their dirt streets and garbage is not collected.  Men work for bare, minimal wages and few children attend school. 

A Roma mother washes dishes with scarce and contaminated water

It was reported that the new Imam is telling them they must now come to the new mosque regularly if they want to be buried in the cemetery.  The local CHE-trained pastor is visiting homes in the 2 communities, sharing Jesus and the vision of community development.  The village leaders we met with said they were ready to work together with us and the Lord to solve their communities’ desperate needs.

In November, CHE trainers from Albania will lead Macedonian workers in intensive training to begin this development project.  These trained workers will then begin the village entry process.

In May 2020 we plan to bring a team from the US to help CHE workers and these two villages build temporary container-style community centers for use during their development process.  Randy Schmor of Gateway Teams (rschmor@nabconf.org) and Erv VanVeldhuizen will be organizing this build team.  If you are interested in details, contact Randy.

Ron’s partners seek permission from Roma village leaders to take first steps in the development process.

The challenges here are many: garbage pollution, contaminated water, poverty, lack of community unity, great spiritual needs.

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

Team Builds a Container Community Center in Serbia without Containers!

So, what do you do when you have an international team coming to build a shipping container building to help your Roma community in its development efforts and you can’t find shipping containers? 

This challenge faced Marijana Čizmanski, Director of ZZ Serbia, who had planned for over a year to turn two twenty-foot shipping containers into a much-needed 20 foot by 16 foot community center in the Roma section of Donji Petrovci, Serbia in September.  But, as a team of 18 men and women from Serbia, Macedonia, Hungary and the US were preparing to descend on the site to do the work, one thing was still missing — the shipping containers.  None that size were available anywhere in Central Europe!

Two steel frames were fabricated and shipped to the work site.

Marijana began to pray and then went to the shipyard nearby.  The Lord led her to a man whose shop built frameworks for shipping-container-styled buildings!  Just days before the building team arrived, two large custom-built steel container-frames were delivered to the job-site in Donji Petrovci.  If you go through the toll booths near the city of Ruma, you will see the damage that the oversized-load did to one of the booths!  But that’s another story.

Using a truck with a crane designed to pick up illegally parked cars, the two frames were wrestled into place side-by-side so that construction could be begun on the building.

The work crew first joined the steel frames and built the wood floor

It is worth mentioning the names of the hard working crew that participated in turning the framework into a functioning building in less than two weeks between August 30th and September 13th.  Wes, Rob, Joel, Troy, Aaron, Julia, David and Jo came from the US under the leadership of Erv and Marty VanVeldhuizen.  Ron, Jeannie and Laci traveled from Hungary.  Tevche, Dimce and Zlatko also came from Macedonia to help.  Marijana, her sister Tamara and the folks from Donji Petrovci represented Serbia.  We totally thank all of these dear people for their hard, dusty, muscle-aching and sweaty work

While the majority of this team was engaged in the building project, a smaller team spent each day on an equally

Tevche tells a Bible story to the children. Both tents were often full of parents and kids.

important venture: doing Christ-centered learning and play activities with the children of the village as well as visiting with parents.

The new building has now been dedicated to the Lord for use as a place where the children and adults of the community can meet for church, CHE training, Children’s CHE Club, women and men’s meetings and community social events.  Marijana is truly excited about the great possibilities.  

 

 

That’s enough reporting.  Let’s let some pictures tell their “thousand words” stories.

Steel siding for ceiling and walls are installed, insulation and studs added.

Aaron Barger makes a list of hardware for Marijana to go and try to find.

Rob Grunden screws down the roof.

The trim is made for us on the spot! Praise the Lord!

Dimce (R) translates as Troy gives dimensions for trim strips to a master craftsman.

 

A new Community Center for Donji Petrovci in two weeks! Thank you, Lord!

Every CHE Development project needs a “champion” or “Person of Peace.” In Donji Petrovci, that’s Vukitca, our cook.

Celebrating with chicken wings and Romani Lecho soup. Joel Gensler chows down.

Dedicating the building to the Lord’s use. From left, Erv, Marty, Vukitca, Joel, Marijana, Vukitca’s daughter and grandchildren, Ron, Vukitca’s husband, Dusa.

Categories: A Good Story, Gypsy People, Happenings, Photos, Travel

Kelowna, BC Church Leaders Take Romania-Hungary Vision Trip

Pastor Zsolt Albert, Brent Iseli, Horst Grams and Darryl Seres of Grace Baptist Church, Kelowna, B.C. outside a shipping container Roma church in Biharia, Romania

Ron and Jeannie got back to Europe on July 30th, in time to meet a 3 man delegation from Grace Baptist Church in Kelowna, B.C.  Grace Baptist, like many churches in the NAB, is interested in developing a partnership with a church and/or ministry in Central Europe.  

Darryl shares his Hungarian roots in testimony at Biharia Baptist Church, Romania while Brent waits to preach

It was Ron’s privilege to take Pastor Brent Iseli, Darryl Seres and Horst Grams on a 9-day Vision Trip through Transylvania, Romania and central Hungary.  They visited potential Hungarian Baptist Union of Romania church partners and projects in Tomasi, Biharia and Turde, Romania.  They also toured  Camp Falcon Rock, the joint project of the HBU of Romania and the NAB, with NAB missionaries Paul and Tanya Gericki and Vern and Gloria Wagner.  

In Hungary the trio had the opportunity to experience what Roma village ministry is like by

Darryl helps finish a craft project at the Boldog day camp.

participating in the morning and evening summer camp program in Boldog, Hungary with Laci and Eszter Daroczi-

Horst enjoys a Roma soup cooked in a kettle over an open fire in Boldog

Csuhai.  They are returning to Kelowna with a much better sense of the great needs of this part of Europe and perhaps a clearer vision of where the Lord wants them as a church to become a partner.  

If your church is interested in a Vision Trip in Central Europe to learn how you too can become a more involved partner in missions, contact Randy Schmor, Director of Gateway Teams or Ron Seck (ronseck@me.com).

Categories: A Good Story, Happenings, Travel

A Big “Thank You” to the 11 Churches We Visited in May and June

Jeannie and I say, “Thank you so much for your hospitality and interest in our ministry,” to the eleven churches that we visited in Arizona, Kansas, North and South Dakota, Minnesota and Pennsylvania between May 5 and June 9. 

All of you, except for the churches in Pennsylvania, also had the opportunity to meet Marijana Čizmanski, Director of ZZ (CHE) Serbia and our NAB national missionary in Serbia, and to hear her passion for her work among the Roma/Gypsy people of her nation.  You were all such a genuine encouragement to her and she certainly appreciates your partnership and looks forward to future opportunities to work together.

Laci and Eszter Daroczi-Csuhai, Directors of MEK (CHE) Hungary and NAB Hungarian national missionaries, will be making a similar church visitation tour in February-March 2020.  If your church would like to host them and hear about their transformational work among the Roma of Hungary, contact Ron (ronseck@me.com).

One of the super great parts of a church-visit trip are all the incredible people you get to meet.

Jim Bishop of Oak Hills Baptist Church, Sioux Falls, SD, shares some of his secrets for raising greater amounts of vegetables with Marijana

Roy and Helen Shore of Calvary Baptist in Easton, PA have a passion for missions and the gift of hospitality!

Karl and Anne-Marie Johnson of Apple Valley, MN, shared wonderful stories and food with us.

Categories: A Good Story, Happenings, Travel, Uncategorized

Ron and Jeannie Have Big 50 Year Anniversaries in 2019

1969 was a very significant year in US history: the Viet Nam War was raging, college campuses were the scene of many protests and shut-downs, we landed on the moon for the first time and Woodstock became a legend.  It was also the year I graduated from Princeton, Jeannie and I got married and I began seminary and Christian ministry.

It’s fifty years later and time for us to celebrate these events, so
we will be taking some time off this summer to do so, beginning with my Princeton 50th Class Reunion, May 30 to June 2 in Princeton, New Jersey.  Please pray that Jeannie and I and our Christian classmates will have open opportunities to tell of the wonderful things Jesus has done in our lives over the last 50 years.  

We will then have a reunion with folks from our youth group we pastored at our first church in Pennsylvania.  (You know you’re getting old when the members of your former youth group are all near retirement age and have grandchildren!)

 

In July, we will have a family gathering in Utah to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Our actual wedding day was August 16, but we will be back
in Hungary then.  
Jeannie and I rejoice in our 50 very blessed years together.  It’s been awesome.

We will head back to Europe July 30th after fulfilling a promise to our granddaughter, Moxie, to be at her 7 birthday party on July 28.

Categories: A Good Story, Happenings, Travel

The “Baton” is Passed in Kansas City as Ron and Jeannie Tour US Churches

Ron and Jeannie Seck are currently in the United States.  April 28 to 29 Ron had the opportunity to participate in the Global CHE Network Representative Council meetings in Kansas City.  He was privileged to serve on the Council for the last 6 years as they helped  grow the Community Health Evangelism network (now called CHE EuroNet) in Central Europe and the Balkans.  We were all thrilled to see Agron Aga, an Albanian and director of CHE Albania, now take Ron’s seat on the Council.

Agron Aga (bottom row, second from left) is the new CHE International Representative Council member for Central Europe

After this, they participated in the 6th annual International Wholistic Missions Conference in KC where they led two workshops with Agron Aga and Marijana Čizmanski, director of ZZ Serbia.

We are now on tour visiting partner churches in Kansas, Arizona, South and North Dakota, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, introducing them to Marijana and the outreach and community development work she and her ZZ team are doing in Serbia.  

When Ron and Jeannie return to Europe on August 1 they hit the ground running with two summer camps and 2 mission teams arriving that month.

Please remember them in your prayers with all of their traveling.

Categories: A Good Story, Happenings, Travel

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