God, You Take My Breath Away!

Sometimes God’s timing and His works of convergence are breath-taking!  I had one of those take-your-breath-away experiences just recently.  Some of you have been praying with us about how to introduce Community Health Evangelism and its concepts of “wholistic” missions ministry to the Hungarian Reformed Church, the largest Protestant body in Hungary.

One Tuesday in July I received an e-mail from a CHE (MEK in Hungarian) Steering Committee members.  It contained an article written by Rev. Dani Eszter, a Hungarian Reformed pastor who had just spent a month this spring studying “holistic” ministry in the Philippines!  My committee member informed me that Rev. Dani was to become the new Outreach Secretary for the Reformed Synod and suggested that I meet her.  Good idea.  But how?

 I was at the Reformed retreat center in the Matra mountains for the week, speaking, listening to Hungarian and … retreating.  Who should walk into the dining room at lunch the very next day?  Yup!  Rev. Dani Eszter!    Dr. Tatai Istvan, a close mutual friend, introduced us to each other!  What a wonderful two-hour conversation we had!  Rev. Dani is an energetic, passionate young woman and leader who already has a long, rich resume in working with the Roma. It was so encouraging to know that Rev. Dani was soon (in September) to head up the Reformed Church’s missions ministry.

Ron, Jeannie and Jozsef Csuhai speak at Roma Consortium

In fact, one of her first endeavors was to convene a Consortium on “Holistic Ministry” for all Hungarian Christian agencies and workers involved in Roma missions.  Over 50 agencies signed up for the event held last Friday, September 7 at the Synod headquarters in Budapest.  Rev. Dani gave me the awesome privilege of joining a very experienced team of presenters from the Philippines and India.  My job was to show how Community Health Evangelism could provide those in attendance with the tools, training and materials to begin or enhance their own “holistic” ministries.  Now you see what I mean by breath-taking!  You can see my presentation at

 Please pray that God will continue to open doors like these and give us the opportunity to share how Community Health Evangelism can help Churches, Pastors, Denominations and Mission Agencies in their efforts to win and disciple the poorest of the poor.

Pray for Rev. Dani Eszter in her new position of influence within the the Hungarian Reformed Synod.

Ron, Jeannie and Jozsef Csuhai speak at Roma Consortium

to be willing to take CHE training and become part of the world-wide movement to do missions to the whole man.

Categories: A Good Story, Happenings, Training, Videos | Tags:

Reménység Festival Brings Hope

On June 1,2,3 the long-awaited, prayed-for and prepared-for Reménység (Hope) Festival with Franklin Graham took place in Budapest.  Each night over 12,000 Hungarians packed the Papp Laszlo Stadium and overflow rooms to hear inspirational Christian music and a straightforward Gospel message from the son of Billy Graham.  The Holy Spirit moved powerfully as 1500+ seekers responded to the invitation to receive forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ.


Since you were not able to be there with us, I took some video footage on my ipod touch for you.  Check it out at  It’s pretty exciting to see so many people coming to Christ at once.


Jeannie and I had the privilege of attending on Friday night with the folks from the Hatvan Reformed Church.  Our hearts were filled with joy as we saw our brothers and sisters from the Roma church of Kékcse respond to the gospel call by bringing their neighbors and friends forward to pray to receive Christ.


On Sunday our bus from Batonyterenye was filled with many who had never heard the good news, including a number from our ESL class.  The stadium was so filled that we could not sit together as a group.  Jeannie and I and Zoli and Judit Padar had to sit far away from everyone else.  When the invitation was given, so many Hungarians stood up that we could not see which ones from our own group responded!  We went down and stood at the edge of the crowd on the floor and waited to see who would emerge!   It was so exciting as we saw one after another from BT walk out of the mass of people, with a Gospel of John follow-up booklet in their hand and a smile on their face!


Could this be the spiritual breakthrough we have been praying for for so long here in Batonyterenye and in Hungary and among the Roma?  This week we are inviting those who were on the BT bus plus others to attend our Alpha Banquet next Tuesday.  There they will have the opportunity to sign up to take the Alpha Course that will occur during the next ten weeks.  Pray for all to attend the banquet and to sign up.  This will be an excellent way to do follow up and to help them develop the good habits of praying, reading their Bibles, attending church, being in a small group, worshiping and much more.

Categories: A Good Story, Happenings, Videos

First Hungarian CHE Training Conference Held at Balatonföldvár

Members of our first CHE Training Class in Hungary

The first Community Health Evangelism (CHE) Training of Trainers (TOT1) Conference in Hungary is in the books.  During the week of April 15 to 20th, Hungarians, Serbians, Croatians, Bosnians, Slovakians and Americans involved in Roma work met in Balatonöldvár, Hungary for a week of intensive training.

The group of 20 studied together the 8 key principles of Community Health Evangelism, a strategy being used in over 110 countries and by over 1200 workers to bring spiritual and physical health to individuals, churches and communities entrenched in the cycle of poverty.  CHE trainers Wendy Larson (Bosnia), Diane McNary (Slovakia) and Ron and Jeannie Seck (Hungary) facilitated the training.

The 16 graduates of TOT1 were very enthusiastic about the new “tools” they have in their “toolboxes”  as they head back to their work with the Roma of Central Europe.  Future TOT1 Courses are already being scheduled for Croatia, Serbia and Hungary so co-workers and Roma themselves can be trained to produce wholly healthy Gypsies in wholly healthy churches in wholly healthy communities.

Ron and Jeannie, Wendy and Diane were also very encouraged by the results of the week’s conference and thankful to the Lord for many answers to prayer during the week.

For complete pictures and details see Ron and Jeannie’s 6 minute video “April CHE Week” at

Categories: Happenings, Videos

I am the Vine, you are the branches

Jeannie and I had a special treat last Saturday.  Marianne and Annette Hajdú and their father and mother, Tibor and Rita, invited us to their home in the village of Dorogháza.  Marianne is studying wine culture in university and springtime means it’s time to prune the vines.  So after a wonderful lunch we were off to learn how to prune in her grandfather’s backyard vineyard.  (You can see a video of our lesson at

Some things really stand out from their lessons:

1. Jesus really understood how to prune vines and why it was necessary.  He probably did a good amount of it himself.

2. Vine dressing is a perfect metaphor for our relationship with Jesus and His relationship with His Father. John 15.

3. Energy — Several times Marianne and her grandfather used that word to describe the life-force that flows from the roots through the vine and into the branches.  Jesus in John 15 used a similar word — dynamos — from which we get “power” and “ability.” Just as the energy for the branches to bear fruit comes from the vine, our ability, power, energy to produce fruit comes from Jesus.

4.  The goal is to produce fruit.  The vinedresser does not hesitate to lop off branches that are dead.  But he is just as quick to snip off branches that did not produce any fruit last year.  It is no good wasting energy.  Even though these branches were leafy, green and healthy looking last summer, they were taking up energy that could otherwise have been used to produce grapes.  They will not produce grapes this year either, so off they come.

5.  Even the fruit-producing branches are severely pruned and cleaned off.  Not being a vine dresser, I thought that Marianne and her grandfather would have been happy to let the nice, long, fruit-producing branches grow even longer and produce fruit this summer.  But it’s all about the wise use of the energy.  Marianne showed me that I needed to count off the first three buds from where the good, fruit-prodcing branch came out of the vine and then cut off the rest of the branch!  Often I was cutting off several feet of branch!  She explained that in this way the greatest amount of energy went into fruit-producing and the least was spent on producing leaves and wood.  No wonder Jesus said that “every branch in me that bears fruit, he prunes it that it will produce more fruit.”  Some of us have experienced a certain amount of fruit in our lives for Jesus only to go through a time of severe pruning.  We think that Jesus has turned His back on us.  That is not the case.  He is pruning us back so that we are not wasting His energy that is flowing through us on the production of flashy wood and leaves.  Instead it goes into greater fruit production.  Right now I am thinking of Steve and Susan Dettloff and their son Mike.  Steve was one of the best witnesses for Christ at Fellowship Chapel where I pastored.  Each Alpha Course he always had a new person to bring because of his demonstration of Christ’s love.  A year and a half ago, Steve received a severe closed-head injury in an automobile accident.  For the longest time we did not know whether he would survive and, if he did, whether he would live out the rest of his life in a vegetative state.  His wife Susan had already faced a similar challenge to this once in her life.  She had raised a daughter with multiple birth defects.  Would she have the strength and fortitude to go through this trial once again?  Mike, their son, was suddenly facing the same trauma that had taken his sister from him.  Here was a family being severely pruned.  But the greater fruit is already budding, flowering and growing.  Susan has had to be a Mama Bear at times, but she finds new strength and endurance, patience and love, each day from the Lord.  This is a testimony of God’s faithfulness and energy flowing through her.  The rest of us are watching, learning and praising God.  Steve’s recovery has been slow, steady and miraculous.  He even sent me a personal e-mail last week!  His testimony constantly bears fruit as he gives glory to God.  Mike has been given the grace to cope and mature.  This pruning has produced greater fruit in and through all of their lives.  Maybe we won’t all be pruned after the third bud, like the Dettloffs, but if we are fruit producers, we need to expect some pruning to produce even more — because it’s about producing fruit and giving glory to God through it.

6. The pruning shears are sharp.  Just one snip and the branch is cut in two.  Jesus uses the sharp pruning shears of his word to clean us.  “Now you are clean through the word I have spoken to you.”  It is not so much the circumstances that prune us as it is Jesus’ perfect words about how to respond to the circumstances.  It’s His words that clean off the undesirable actions and reactions and replace them with the fruits of godliness in His fruit-bearing branches.

7. There is a right way to prune and a wrong way.  After the third bud you must cut the branch at the correct angle so that the sap cannot flow out of the vine and back over the bud.  A spring freeze will kill a soaked bud and there will be no fruit.  God knows just how to prune us so that we bear fruit.  We are in the expert hands of the Vine dresser.

Do you see any other lessons as you watch the video?  Be sure to share them with me at our e-mailing address.

Thank you to the Hajdú for a wonderful afternoon.

Ron and Jeannie

Categories: A Good Story, Happenings, Videos

Overview Video

A 6-minute video explaining and showing the work of Ron & Jeannie.

Categories: A Good Story, Gypsy People, Videos

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