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This Fall is Filled with Thanksgiving Reports about Our CHE EuroNet Teams

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Locate Hungary, Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria and North Macedonia (FYROM) on the map!

October-November is proving to be a season of outpouring of great blessings for our Community Health Evangelism (CHE) teams that makeup the CHE EuroNet in Central Europe and the Balkans.  Here are some of the happenings for which we are very grateful this Thanksgiving.

HUNGARY — On November 11 the first Sunday morning worship service was held in Boldog in the new Roma community center!  Fifteen precious people were in attendance as Feri Olah preached the Good News of the Kingdom of God and Laci Daroczi-Csuhai spoke. 

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Feri Olah leads the people of Boldog in their first worship service, November 11

The plan is to continue regular meetings on Sunday mornings.  The community center is also being used for Women’s Group meetings, English lessons, men’s gatherings and other village events.

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The newly painted Boldog Roma Community Center as it appeared at the Dedication Service, October 28, 2018

The people of Boldog held a used clothing sale to buy the heating units as well as the paint for the Community Center.  Then they painted it outside and inside.  It’s beautiful!

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Women from Boldog paint the inside of their new community Center

SERBIA— ZZ Serbia hosted a TOT1 training conference at the Belgrade Bible School.  Five enthused trainees came from The Galilee Foundation of Macedonia and four from Sasha Cipra’s EZZ Bosnia team in Tuzla, Bosnia.  They were being equipped to launch new CHE programs in their countries.

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Marijana speaks at the 22cd Annual Women’s Conference in Belgrade

Meanwhile development work progresses in the Roma villages of Bačko Gradište and Donji Petrovci, Serbia.  ZZ’s big challenge will be to find places to hold meetings in the communities this winter.

Marijana Cizmanski, Director of ZZ Serbia and an NAB National Worker, was the main speaker at the 22cd Annual Women’s conference in Belgrade in October.  She presented two well-received messages on “Fruits of the Healthy Relationship with God.”

REZ Serbia is doing new preliminary survey work in the community of Nadalj, Serbia as well as engaging in a partnership with a Baptist church in north Serbia to help them start a CHE program in their neighboring village.

NORTH MACEDONIA — Agron Aga, Director of CHE Albania and Patriot Hoxhaj, Director of the Albania MAI Team made a CHE mentoring visit to Rev. Jimmy Simon and leaders of the emerging CHE Macedonia Team near Veles, Macedonia two weeks ago.  

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Agron Aga, Director of CHE Albania teaches in Stip, Macedonia

Together they visited and selected four potential villages for surveying in the coming months.  Two will be chosen by the Macedonia team for their first CHE development programs.  Leaders from World Poverty Solutions and ReachGlobal will be visiting the team for further training and counseling after New Years.  The Macedonians, who serve with The Galilee Foundation, continue to be highly motivated to begin CHE in communities where they have already planted churches.

BULGARIA — A new connection was made in October with a mission leader in eastern Bulgaria who has a vision to use Community Health Evangelism to evangelize and disciple Roma that his teams are contacting there.  Plans are being formed to do a CHE training in this region in the spring, 2019.

KOSOVO — CHE Albania has recently completed introductory training in one church in Kosovo.  In February they are scheduled to do the same in 2 more Kosovo churches.  We currently do not have a CHE team or program in operation in this needy nation.

ALBANIA — You have seen CHE Albania’s name and Agron Aga’s name throughout this report.  Beside all the work they are doing in Kosovo and Macedonia, they are preparing for a CHE TOT1 worker’s training conference in Tirana, Albania in March.  God is really using this team.

SUMMARY — We are excited and encouraged to see Community Health Evangelism spreading to new churches, new communities, new teams and new countries.  We are blessed to see Roma becoming believers and being discipled.  We are motivated by seeing our CHE Team Members throughout Central Europe and the Balkans so motivated!  We are overjoyed to see the beginning of a church plant in Hungary.  Please pray with us for lasting fruit!  Thank you, Lord,

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

A Recipe for Making a Mobile CHE Community Center Building

  • Two Used 40 foot steel shipping containers

    Take 2 forty-foot long steel shipping containers (used)

 

  • Add 8 well-seasoned North Dakota short-term team builders

 

  • Mix in several Hungarian and Roma skilled workers

 

  • Cutting out the walls

    Flavor with wonderful Roma meals

 

  • Pour in a generous financial gift from Hillside Baptist Church in Dickinson, ND

 

  • Cook vigorously for 5 days

 

  • Simmer for one more week.

 

  • Studs, drywall and insulation

    What do you get?  A Mobile Community Center for the Roma of Boldog, Hungary that’ll be used for CHE training meetings, community events, a youth center, a medical clinic, church services, social events, tutoring and much more.

Erv and Marty VanVeldhuizen’s four man crew from Hillside Baptist arrived in Hungary and quickly tore in to the two shipping containers which had been delivered to the building site in Boldog.  With the skilled help of Laci Daroczi and Feri Olah, MEK staff members, they cut out walls, windows and doors; joined the 2 containers together and sealed them from rain.  

Inserting windows

Rev. Paul Herr and a team of 3 from Century Baptist then joined in.  Together they put up the studs, welded door and window sills and support columns, inserted the doors and windows, insulated, ran tubing for electrical wiring, and dry-walled.  

Each noon, the women of the community cooked them a delicious Roma meal you could never find in any restaurant.  In just five days they had the heavy labor done!  The majority of the hard-working crew then had to return home.

The rest stayed on the second week to help Laci and Feri run the electric wire and mud the drywall.  The next steps

Drywall, windows, doors, electrical installed

will be to paint the interior and exterior; install plumbing and eventually construct an awning over the front of the building to shelter outside activities.

Our grateful thanks to Erv, Marty, Mike, Aaron, Troy, Paul, Barry and Mark and the people of Hillside Baptist Church for making this vision a reality.

Please pray that this new building will now be used to bring the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Roma community in Boldog.

 

One CHE Mobile Community Center for Boldog (we still need to paint!)

Laci and Jeannie stand with the hard-working crew from Hillside Baptist Church: Aaron, Troy, Mike and Erv.

The ladies who make things happen: Marika, Marty, Laura, Andi, Jeannie and Helen.

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

Outreaching Macedonian Church Receives TOT1 Training

“Jimmy” Simon Polycarp came to Macedonia from Nigeria during the Communist era to study engineering.  Instead of finding Lenin, he found Jesus Christ … and became an evangelist!  Today he oversees a disciple-making ministry through 20 churches he has

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Pastor Jimmy

planted throughout his adopted country.  Always looking for new ways to reach all Macedonians with the love of Jesus Christ, Jimmy hosted a CHE Vision Seminar in February, sponsored by CHE Central Europe Partners.  The vision of wholistic outreach and development in poor communities resonated with Jimmy and his leadership team and and they arranged with us to do a CHE Training of Trainers Conference (TOT1) for key church workers, May 20 to 25 in Stip, Macedonia. 

Because of the generous giving of CHE Central Europe Partners, we were able to hold the TOT1 at the church’s youth camp/training center.  Ron and Jeannie, plus Dr. Ture Huhtamaki (Finland) and Agron Aga and Dr. Patriot Hoxhaj (Albania) facilitated the training.  Praise the Lord with us that we now have 14 newly-trained, Macedonian CHE workers for Jimmy’s 20 churches!   As we concluded the week-long training, many of these students expressed their desire and passion to begin CHE in their churches and communities.  We made plans for the further consulting, resourcing and training of this team to help get their community projects up and running.

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All in favor of coffee, raise your hand!

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A small group discussion gets intense as Agron Aga of CHE Albania looks on!

One unique feature of this CHE 35-hour course was that it had to be held entirely out-doors, since the training center was not large enough for all of us!  We thank those of you who prayed for this.  The weather cooperated perfectly, only raining at night!   PTL!

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The weather was great the final day, as it was all week, while the Macedonia students did their practice teaching.  

We have prayed since 2014 for CHE and CHE programs  to be established in Macedonia.  Thanks to your faithful support and the grace of God, we are one step closer to that reality.  Now pray for these new trainees to take the next step of engagement!

 

Categories: A Good Story, Happenings, Photos, Training, Uncategorized

Health Care Professionals Are Needed for Community Development Work among the Unhealthiest People in Europe

Approximately 13,000,000 Roma/Gypsies live in Central and Western Europe.  By comparison, Hungarians number only 9 million, Serbians about 7 million and Portuguese 10 million.

However, the average Roma/Gypsy lives 10 years less than other Europeans.  This is due to a hard, harsh, often third-world lifestyle; poor diet; detrimental habits and deficient health care.  Although Central Europe has national health-care, for the Roma it is curative and not preventative; discriminatory and prejudicial and usually used only as a last resort.  Most Roma are concerned about their health and that of their children, though generally ill-informed about how to be healthy.

This is a huge window of opportunity for us who want to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God in deed as well as word to the Roma nation.  Our Community Health Evangelism (CHE) teams enter Roma communities offering them the hope of holistically healthier lives, families and communities through following King Jesus.  One area of focus is physical health through community training in preventative health care.

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Health Care Workers do community baseline health screenings, train Roma in preventative health care and develop programs that produce healthier children and adults while showing the loving care of Jesus Christ.

For us to do this effectively, however, we need trained health care professionals serving on our CHE Teams in Hungarian and in Serbian-speaking regions of Europe.  As Jeannie and I look to semi-retirement in 2020, we are praying for two NAB couples to come to Central Europe to replace us full-time.  But God is encouraging us to pray that one person in each couple is a health care professional who will be a medical presence in our Roma communities, to…

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A dental hygienist performing a oral check up during a community health screening.

  • help set up health-care screenings in Roma communities.
  • train Roma in preventative health-care,
  • develop programs that produce healthier children and adults,
  • help Roma become better advocates for themselves in the public health system,
  • train Roma to be preventive health-care volunteers in their communities.
  • bring the health-giving love and Good News of Jesus to these lost people.

If you believe God may be speaking to you about this wonderful opportunity to use your health-care skills and gifts, please contact Ron Seck via email at ronseck@me.com.  We will be happy to tell you more.

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

Ron and Jeannie, and “The Million Village Challenge”

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The Million Village Strategy:  10,000 Model Development Communities will each stimulate  10 or more other communities to begin wholistic development.  They will each become the model for 10 or more.  

Between April 29 and May 4, Jeannie and I experienced a mind-and-faith-stretching week at theInternational Wholistic Mission Conference and the two days of meetings of the CHE Representative Council. As CHE Coordinator for Central Europe and the Balkans, I sit with 10 other leaders far more qualified than I on this Council.

Some of our agenda items are rather mundane, but some defy the imagination.  One of those is the Million Village Challenge.

Two thousand of the world’s people groups are still unreached with the Gospel.  Eighty-five percent of these groups reside in rural communities.  There are approximately one million villages left to be reached in the world.  Reach these and you have almost finished the goal of proclaiming the Gospel to every nation, tribe, people and language.

The Global CHE Network (GCN) of mission agencies, churches and denominations with national CHE teams working in villages in 130 nations has been uniquely positioned by God to reach these last million communities.  So, God has set before us a Million Village Challenge!

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For the last several years the GCN has joined with other wholistic-mission-minded groups around the world in implementing strategies to introduce Christian wholistic outreach and development into 10,000 new model communities among the unreached by 2020.  If the results from doing this follow the pattern of how the wholistic mission movement has spread to 130 nations in the last 35 years already, these 10,000 communities will be the catalyst, the light shining on the hill, showing God’s good works, that will stimulate communities around them to join the gathering wave.  This could well become the global movement that reaches the millionth village!

During the week Ron hosted a dinner meeting of mission agency leaders that have joined with the NAB and Medical Ambassadors International and are now moving into Central Europe and the Balkans to do wholistic community outreach and development.  The subject was:  How can we collaborate effectively to implement model communities in every nation of this region by 2020?  We will hold a Summit Meeting in Serbia in September to fix our strategy.  What an exciting time to be in missions!

Categories: A Good Story, Happenings, Training, Travel, Uncategorized

CHE Teams Facilitate Trainings in Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Hungary

February and March were busy months for Marijana Cizmanski, NAB International Worker and ZZ Serbia Director. In addition to starting entry work in two Roma villages outside Novi Sad, she also first traveled to Veres, Macedonia to help conduct a Community Development Vision Seminar for almost 50 church workers.  She then flew to Podgorica, Montenegro 10 days later to co-facilitate our first Vision Seminar on Christian Community Development in that nation.  In March she joined members of REZ Serbia to train Child Evangelism Fellowship workers from throughout Serbia on how to integrate children’s community health evangelism curriculum into their ministry.  The week-long course is called Children’s CHE TOT.

Marijana Čizmanski leads a discussion at Children’s CHE Training for Child Evangelism workers in Serbia

Graduates from Serbia Children’s CHE Training Week with REZ Serbia trainers Emil and Klara Kisgeci (U.R.)

In mid-April the MEK Hungary team, including Laci and Eszter, Ron and Jeannie, led a week of training for church workers from Zsambok and Janoshalma, Hungary who wish to implement CHE into their Roma communities.  Soon the MEK team will travel to Janoshalma to visit the 10 Roma house churches in the vicinity to consult on the best ways to begin their outreach and development projects in their neighborhoods.

Sabrina Oláh practice teaches a lesson on “The Common Cold.”

Enjoying a laugh during a small-group discussion at the Hungarian TOT1 in April

Graduates from the Hungarian TOT1 include 8 Roma, who are now equipped to begin doing community outreach and development with their fellow country people.

Please pray with us…

  • that this training on our part will turn into community development action steps on the part of Child Evangelism workers in Serbia and Roma workers in Zsambok and Janoshalma.
  • that poverty-stricken children and adults in these countries will become disciples of our Savior and Lord, experiencing more abundant life here on earth and eternal life hereafter.
Categories: A Good Story, Gypsy People, Happenings, Photos, Training, Uncategorized

CHE Teams in Central Europe Set Up A “War Room”

Every Wednesday morning at 7:30 CHE Team Leaders from east, west and central Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria head to “the War Room.”  No, they are not under military attack or terrorist alert.  But they are engaged in warfare of a very serious nature.

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Miss Clara in her War Room, from the Movie “War Room”

Inspired by the recent Christian film, War Room, which CHE team members and students watched one evening at last February’s TOT1 Training Conference, they recognized that, just like in the film, they too are engaged in terrific spiritual battles as they work to enter the impoverished and spiritually oppressive environments of many Roma villages.  They also realized the need to put on the full armor of God and to take up the weapon of prayer more diligently.  In order to encourage and intercede more effectively for each other, they decided to set up their own on-line video War Room prayer meeting.

No time is spent sharing prayer requests.  Instead, each participant prays for those areas where they are engaged in tough spiritual battles.  Others listen and then intercede for them as well.

Much time was spent pleading with God for significant spiritual break throughs to take place when short-term teams came to work in our communities this summer and during the village evangelism campaigns in September.   We are encouraged by the wonderful answers to our prayers and yours as we struggle together in Jesus’ matchless name against the forces of darkness.

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Ron and Jeannie’s Well-Stamped Passports and Summer Teams Reports

This spring, 2016, was the busiest travel and training time of Ron and Jeannie’s ministry.  Their passports have been well stamped.

Here’s a brief rundown of where they went and what they did between February and June.

February 21-26 CHE Training of Trainers Conference in Balatonföldvár, Hungary.
March 1-6 CHE Vision Seminars in Sofia and Sliven, Bulgaria
March 17-20 CHE Vision Seminar in Osijek, Croatia
April 6-8 Neighborhood Transformation Conference in Paris, France.  Ron gave devotions and spoke on the keys to growth of CHE’s ministry in Central Europe and the Balkans to 70 mission leaders investigating CHE’s urban strategy for work in Europe’s cities.
April 15-20 Developing Sustainable Partnerships (DSP) Training Conference at Lake Balaton, Hungary
April 21-27 Developing Sustainable Partnerships (DSP) Training Conference in Tirana, Albania.
April 30-May 6 Global CHE Network Representative Council Meetings, May 2 in Phoenix, Arizona International Wholistic Missions Conference— Ron was the keynote speaker to open the conference.  Ron and Jeannie led a workshop on the new DSP course.  Ron presented devotions several times.
May 16-20 Ron and Randy Schmor of Gateway Teams did NAB Partnership presentations to leaders in Romania and Serbia.
May 22-26 NAB Mission Summit.  The NAB Hungary and Romania fields hosted a meeting of NAB Field Leaders and International Office staff at Lake Balaton.
June 3 CHE Vision Seminar for Bread of Life, Serbia in Belgrade Serbia
June 5 CHE Vision Seminar in Dombovar, Hungary

What’s next?  Ron and Jeannie are putting away their passports and planning some much- needed vacation time for the last two weeks in June.  In July MEK Hungary will be working with a short-term missions team from Steamboat Rock, Iowa to do 3-day ESL Bible Camps in Boldog and Csörög.

In August they will take a Vision Team of pastors and church leaders on a tour of potential partnership churches and projects in Hungary, Romania and Serbia.  If you would be interested in being part of this Vision Trip, contact Ron immediately.

Categories: A Good Story, Happenings, Training, Travel, Uncategorized | 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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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NAB Mission Leaders Visit Hungary for Summit Meetings

Norm Poehlke, NAB Vice President of Outreach, convened a Summit of NAB field leaders and their spouses, May 22 to 26 at the Hungarian Baptist Union’s training and retreat center at Balatonföldvár on Lake Balaton.  Ron and Jeannie Seck, from NAB’s Hungary field, and Paul and Tanya Gericke, from our Romania field, hosted the event.

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NAB Missionary leaders take a ferry boat ride across Lake Balaton during their recent Summit in Hungary.

The focus of the Summit was to give Randy Schmor, Director of NAB’s Gateway Ministry, opportunity to present his Partnership Seminar to Field Leaders.  This was followed by discussion and decision-making about how Gateway would help facilitate future Sister Church Partnerships (SSP) between NAB churches and churches and teams in each of NAB’s fields.

Additional time was given for sight-seeing, fellowship and intercessory prayer.  All of NAB’s fields were represented as well as Norm, Randy, Caryn Young and Stu Streeter from the International Office.

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

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