Videos

A Pandemic Brings Many New Opportunities

So, what are Jeannie and I doing with our time during this Pandemic?  We have been at home in Phoenix now almost 7 months because we are unable to return to Hungary.  Some of that time we have been on home lockdown due to the spikes of Covid 19.  Are we sitting in our house and fretting until we get back to Central Europe?  Hardly!  There are just too many opportunities right now to take advantage of to build the Kingdom of God.  Let me show you what I mean.

Bible Camp in Apc was packed with children and adults!

We are taking advantage of the opportunity to be the only game in town!  Due to strict Covid 19 policies, Hungary was able to open up in mid June. This meant that our MEK Hungary Team (led by Laci and Eszter Daroczi-Csuhai) could plan and run three three-day children and youth camps in the villages of Apc, Zsambok and Boldog with help from a team of Word of Life Hungary students.  

Since no other organizations were willing to take the risk of entering these communities, we were the only game in town.  In Apc, the “God’s Heroes” Camp, based on the life of Samuel the Prophet, attracted over 60 activity-starved children plus interested parents.  Numerous children, plus one courageous parent stood to pray Samuel’s prayer, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”  Each hot summer day of the Zsambok camp saw more children attend than the day before and more decisions to follow Jesus.   The camp in Boldog was also well attended, even in the heat.  Check out this video to see what the camps were like:  : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v28TT3Rh76I&t=6s.   The best thing about our work is that our team members are regularly in these villages and will be able to follow-up those who made professions of faith.  

We are taking advantage of the opportunity to spread the love of Jesus Christ!  In our May newsletter we wrote about our Food for Community Service project in Boldog.  Twenty-two families participated in this six-week project where they helped clean up their own community and received ‘wages” in the form of food and necessities for the week.  The people were doubly blessed and saw the grace of God in action.  We are preparing for a predicted Covid 19 spike this winter and a possible expansion of this program.

Ron facilitates an online training course for CHE Staff workers in Central Europe

We are taking advantage of the opportunity to equip the saints better to do their works of ministry.  Jeannie and I are coordinators for Community Health Evangelism teams (like MEK Hungary and ZZ Serbia) for Central Europe and the Balkans.  We train our teams to be CHE wholistic community developers in a series of week-long modules.  These training conferences are hard to schedule due to travel distances, poor roads, very busy schedules and the costs.  Covid 19 gave us the opportunity to try to do an entire module of 32 hours of training online.

For 7 weeks 17 of us met on RingCentral (like Zoom) on Mondays and Thursdays.  The training was excellent.  The RingCentral medium was flexible and exciting to use.  We used four trainers and graduated 13 CHE Team leaders.  We are making plans to use this method again.

We are taking advantage of the opportunity to organize ourselves better for the busy days in the future.  Covid 19 will not last forever.  When it’s over we want to be ready to take advantage of the new open doors throughout Central Europe and the Balkans.  We are using this time to reschedule canceled short-term teams and to schedule new ones.  MEK Hungary, ZZ Serbia and CHE Central Europe Partners are working with us to better organize their Boards and add new members, do budgets and strategic planning for this fall and next year.

Toxic Stress affects many Roma who are in the cycle of poverty

We are taking advantage of the opportunity to write.  After working with Roma/Gypsies for over 10 years, we see two things:  1) They desperately need Jesus for eternal life and and a much more abundant life here on earth.  2) Almost all of them are victims of toxic stress.  For over a year I have been working off-and-on in my active schedule on a CHE-style lesson series on Dealing with Toxic Stress.  Covid 19 has given me opportunity to finish writing and editing these strategic lessons.  I now hope to beta test them with an on-line group this fall.

We are taking advantage of the opportunity to read great books on my list.  I have waited a very long time to dive into Hugh Ross’s books on science and scripture.  But where does a pastor and then a CHE coordinator and Hungary Field Director get time to read science?  The answer is “during a pandemic!”  Wow, these books are good.  I find myself blown away more by Jesus Christ the Creator/Scientist!  What a great boost to my worship and faith.

We are taking advantage of the opportunity to connect with you.  Since I am at home in Phoenix, I am nearer your time zones.  I have had more opportunity to visit with some of you.  But I’d love to chat with more if I can.  If you want to connect for a visit, I am on Skype and my phone number is 586-419-8728.  Give me a holler.

We are taking advantage of the opportunity to to pray.  Each Wednesday, our CHE team members from Central Europe gather on-line for a one-hour War Room prayer time.  We virtually march around our target village walls and pray for God to tear them down.  Jeannie and I also meet with a great prayer team from Calvary Baptist in Reading, Pa. and with our church small group for fellowship and prayer.  We even have more time to pray together as husband and wife.  What a wonderful gift from the Lord.

If you’ve stayed with me through this blog, I hope you see that this pandemic is both a tragedy (I too have lost a close friend to Covid-19) and also a blessing to those who wait upon Him.  We pray that it will soon be over, but we also pray that we will mine all of the God-given treasures out of it that we possible can.

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

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 http://diakonia.hu/images/misszioiiroda/programok/2012.09./15/video.mp4

 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 http://gallery.me.com/ronseck/100037.  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 gallery.me.com/ronseck/100025

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 http://gallery.me.com/ronseck/100021)

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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