Uncategorized

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.

IMG_1997

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.

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

MEK HUNGARY HOSTS OUR LARGEST CHE TRAINING CONFERENCE

On February 21 to 26, men and women from 7 nations met at Lake Balaton for a week of introductory Community Health Evangelism training, hosted my MEK Hungary.  Thirty-six people from Hungary, Slovakia, Montenegro, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and the US divided into an English-speaking and a Hungarian-speaking group for the Training of Trainers One (TOT1) Course.  In all, 26 students received certificates and membership in the CHE Network.  The other participants were facilitators and translators.

Trainees carried on lively discussions and question and answer times during the week.

Trainees carried on lively discussions and question and answer times during the week.

There were many highlights of this training conference which was held at the Bethesda Conference Center in Balatonföldvár.

Rev. Janos Papp, Executive Director of the Hungarian Baptist Union, paid a surprise visit to the trainees.  He was in town for a region-wide meeting of Baptist leaders and stopped by to bring greetings.

Six Roma completed the training and received their certificates.  Kalman Hamza, who brought four of them with him from east Hungary, team-taught his first CHE Lesson.

As follow-up to this training conference, those who came from Slovakia and from one other country are planning their own TOT1 conferences in early summer.  Croatia will be holding a Vision Seminar in Osijek, March 18 and 19.

The group of trainees included many with strong gifts in leadership, administration, faith and mercy.  This bodes well, as they take their training back home to begin CHE teams and projects.

The conference had several powerful and spontaneous prayer sessions during the week, ending with times of intercession for one another and the laying on of hands on Friday morning for new anointing.  The Spirit was truly present in our midsts.  All who were present sensed it.

Please pray for these new graduates as they go home and begin to use what they have learned.  They could really turn their countries upside down with wholistic works in Jesus’ name.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pray for The Gathering Wave in Durres, Albania, April 14-16, 2015

The great Apostle Paul once wrote to the Ephesian church that our God “is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work in us.”  (Eph 3:20)

Jeannie and I have certainly learned the truth of this over our first three years in Central Europe.  Our ministry with NAB missions and Community Health Evangelism has expanded far beyond Hungary and touched lives in many Central European and Balkan countries by his power that is at work in us.

Now, we are about to take a step that is stretching our imagination and our asking to its limits.  Let us tell you about it so that you can ask and imagine with us!

At this moment, 9 countries of the Balkans and Central Europe do not have a wholistic community outreach and development program like Community Health Evangelism (CHE) for their impoverished and Roma people.  Our vision is that by the year 2020, just five years from now, we will have CHE teams and projects operating in all 9 of these countries!

Vision 2020 -- By 2020 CHE will be operating teams and projects in all the countries of Central Europe and the Balkans

Vision 2020By 2020 CHE will be operating teams and projects in all the countries of Central Europe and the Balkans

In May 2014, we joined forces with the Global CHE Network (GCN), World Challenge, Medical Ambassadors International (MAI), Fida International and the Global Hope Network International (GHNI) to embrace this vision God had given to Hal Jones, leader of GHNI.  We are calling it “The Gathering Wave” because God is already beginning to gather people to do a new thing in Central Europe and the Balkans.

Durres, Albania, site of "The Gathering Wave."

Durres, Albania, site of “The Gathering Wave.”

On April 14 to 16, 2015 we will launch “The Gathering Wave” in Durres, Albania.  We have personally invited the heads of many international missions organizations as well as the leaders of churches, denominations and mission-to-the-poor-ministries of Central Europe and the Balkans to The Gathering Wave Conference.  In Durres they will hear what God is doing through CHE and wholistic missions around the world.  They will have an opportunity to visit thriving CHE communities in Albania to see for themselves.  They will be challenged to take this new paradigm back home to glorify the Lord by reaching and transforming poor and Roma villages.  They will learn about The Gathering Wave Network that will help resource them to do this new thing in Central Europe and the Balkans.

This is huge!  It is far beyond us.  Here is how you can pray:

  1. Pray for Central European and Balkan leaders to have great faith to attend The Gathering Wave in Durres, Albania.   We are praying for 100 delegates.
  2. Pray for the organizing committee as we do the inviting, prepare the program and plan the follow-up.  Pray for Ron as he is chairing the committee.
  3. Pray for the organizing of The Gathering Wave Network, that will follow-up with the delegates to help them begin CHE programs.
  4. Pray that God will do abundantly more than we can ask or think concerning “The Gathering Wave” in Central Europe and the Balkans.  Pray that a wave will grow and flood this region with the good news of Jesus and His Kingdom.
Categories: A Good Story, Gypsy People, Happenings, Photos, Training, Travel, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Twenty Trainers from Central Europe and the Balkans Graduate from Children’s CHE Course in Novi Sad, Serbia

Children's workers and CHE Master Trainers from 6 nations met in Novi Sad, Serbia for a Children's CHE TOT

Children’s workers and CHE Master Trainers from 6 nations met in Novi Sad, Serbia for a Children’s CHE TOT

The story goes that scientists once tried to cross a crocodile with an abalone (pronounced a-baloney, a kind of jelly fish).  They hoped they would get an “ala-dile,” but instead they produced a “croca-baloney.”

So what happens when you cross a standard Christian children’s program or youth program with Community Health Evangelism’s (CHE) strategies and principles?  You get something far more useful.  You produce Children’s CHE, a dynamic community program that brings the gospel and whole-life transformation to children, teenagers and their parents.

Eszter Csuhai (right) practices a children's village-vision-mapping exercise.

Eszter Csuhai (right) practices a children’s village-vision-mapping exercise.

From July 27 to 30, twenty Christian children’s workers and CHE Master Trainers from Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Bosnia and Albania met in Novi Sad, Serbia to be trained in Children’s CHE.  Their instructor was Dr. Jody Collinge, lead innovator of this program that adapts CHE so that it can be used with youth from ages 4 to 18.

The intensive 23 hours of instruction, will enable these workers and Master Trainers to return to their home countries to implement Children’s CHE in their own community development projects and to train others to do the same through similar seminars.

Eszter Csuhai, NAB National Missionary and leader of our CHE ministry to women and children in Hungary, organized this crucial regional conference.  Her vision is to see Roma youth become wholly-equipped disciples of Jesus Christ

Besides facilitating Children’s CHE, Dr. Jody Collinge also heads up CHE projects among the poor in Zihuatanejo, Mexico and writes medical and children’s lesson plans for CHE.

Besides facilitating Children’s CHE, Dr. Jody Collinge also heads up CHE projects among the poor in Zihuatanejo, Mexico and writes medical and children’s lesson plans for CHE.

throughout Central Europe and the Balkans and especially wherever MEK Hungary does community development.  Right now that includes Boldog, Vacegres and Matraszölös.  Children’s CHE will be key to that effort.

We were able to hold this important training conference for key people and to have Dr. Collinge as our expert trainer because of special grants from the Baptist Women of Metro New York and Rowandale Baptist Church in Winnipeg, Canada.

Pray as we seek to form a community leadership team and organize Children’s CHE programs in Boldog and Matraszölös for this fall.

Pray for the other Master Trainers and children’s workers as they return home to train and to implement Children’s CHE programs.

Categories: Happenings, Training, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

MEK Proclaims the Good News with a New Grinder Machine

Laci and his brother assemble MEK's new chipper/grinder machine

Laci and his brother assemble MEK’s new chipper/grinder machine

MEK Hungary is now the grateful owner of a 13 horsepower shredding, grinding and mulching machine.  Why?

Soon we will be entering the dog-days of summer.  Wheat, hay and sunflowers are being harvested.  Corn is soon to follow.  Smoke is beginning to float through the air as unwanted vegetation is being burned off.  Winter is coming; as is the need for fuel to heat Roma homes.

Our MEK Teams are busy introducing Roma communities to the new (and old) technology of biomass heating.  We do this by demonstrating how a simple machine, made with hand tools, can press soaked paper, cardboard, sawdust, corn and sunflower stalks, leaves, pine needles and other biomass materials into fuel briquettes.  Once these briquettes are dried in the sun, they provide a free source of fuel for the winter.

For these materials to be usable they must first be ground up or shredded.  Thus the need for the shredding machine.  First, Roma villagers agree to hold a “Build Day” –a day when they will work along-side of us to help build their own briquette machines with materials they have paid for themselves.  Then, we agree to come regularly with the shredder to help prepare their bio-materials for soaking and pressing.

Please pray that this innovative program will catch on with the Roma, a good number of whom burn plastic bottles and clothes when their firewood runs out.

Also pray that this project will give us the opportunity to share spiritual lessons with the Roma men of the villages and prepare them to do community development.

 

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

First NAB Health Screening Team Coming March 29 from North Dakota

A 6-person Medical Team from Hillside Baptist Church, Dickinson, North Dakota will be joining with MEK Teams from Hungary and Romania to do base-line health screenings in six Roma villages, March 29 to April 11.  Erv and Marty Vanveldhuizen, veteran mission trippers, will lead the team that includes a RN, a dental hygienist, a lab technician, a vision technician and an emergency medical technician.  MEK will provide medical personnel, translators and spiritual counselors.  They will join together with local medical workers in 3 villages in Hungary and 3 villages in Romania.

A health screening will be held in Ajak, Hungary

A health screening will be held in Ajak, Hungary

Baseline health screenings will give Roma villagers the opportunity to learn about their own personal health status but will also provide valuable data to our MEK teams as they help village leaders lay out a development strategy for their village.   During the screening, we will also have opportunity to talk with each villager about their spiritual health condition.

Please pray…

for Erv and Marty and the team from Hillside Baptist as they prepare and travel and work.

for good relationship, cooperation and sharing opportunities with the national medical people we will work with in each village.

for total participation of the Roma in each village in the health screening.

for the community meetings that will be held afterward to present the screening results and to talk about taking the next step in the development process which would be to select the members for a community leadership team.

Categories: Gypsy People, Happenings, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ron and Jeannie back in Hungary after Fantastic Home Visit

Through the Golden Gate, San Francisco

Through the Golden Gate, San Francisco

San Francisco, in the midst of a steady downpour after 56 days of no rain;

Phoenix, in record high early spring temperatures (85 degrees);

and Winnipeg, in record lows (-35 degrees) and snows —

these were some of the places we visited during our three months stay in North America, December through February.

While we were in Phoenix, we had the joy of celebrating the holidays with Jessy and Bob and our granddaughter, the brilliant miss Moxie.  Steve and Sara were able to join us for Jeannie’s birthday.  This break also afforded me time to catch up on paper-work that never seems to get done while on-the-go in Central Europe.  I also updated our website, created new brochures on our team members and projects and produced several videos.

Ron and Jeannie, Sara and Steve, Jessy and Moxie and Bob

Ron and Jeannie, Sara and Steve, Jessy and Moxie and Bob

We drove to northern California in early February to tell the story in 14 NAB churches of what God is doing through the NAB and CHE in Central Europe.  Did you know there are over 200,000 Russian-speaking people and 40,000 Romanians in the Sacramento area?  We had the privilege of meeting with the staff of four Slavic Baptist Churches and speaking in two Romanian Baptist Churches and visiting a third.  They were keenly interested in NAB/CHE developments in Ukraine and Romania.  We also enjoyed meeting with staff and mission committee members from seven other NAB Congregations.  It was a pleasure to introduce ourselves and report to them about one of NAB’s newest fields and mission endeavors.

"Winterpeg" snow carving

“Winterpeg” snow carving

While in Sacramento, we also had some key organizational meetings at NAB headquarters with Norm Poehlke and Caryn Young to begin to set up NAB Central Europe as a long-term NAB Field.

When we left Phoenix for Winnipeg and the Rowandale Baptist Church’s Missions Conference (Hungry for Hungary), the temperature was 75 degrees in Phoenix and -35 in Winnipeg!  What a shock to the system!  But the folks in Winnipeg were so warm and hospitable we hardly noticed the weather (unless we stepped outside!)  I did not take off my long-johns until we landed in balmy Budapest after a great trip home.

Thank you for all your prayer support as we travelled.

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

Hungarian MEK Worker Returns from Philippine CHE Internship

Eszter Csuhai, Master Trainer for Misszió az Egészséges Közösségekért (MEK), returned home from her amazing 5 week internship training program in the Philippines on September 1, 2013.  Eszter’s first two intensive weeks covered advanced CHE course work.  The last 3 involved morning classes and afternoon and evening field work in CHE community development projects in several poor villages on the Island of Iloilo.

Eszter shares a Bible Study with other trainees at the CHE Philippines internship program this summer.

Eszter shares a Bible Study with other trainees at the CHE Philippines internship program this summer.

During her time on Iloilo, Eszter participated in several key Community Health Evangelism courses such as Women’s Cycle of Life.  This will now enable her to train CHE/MEK workers from Hungary, Romania and Serbia in advanced development material.

 Her first opportunity to do took place October 6-11 when she led an Advanced Training of Trainers Course (TOT2) at Balatonföldvár for 27 CHE workers.  Since then she has also taught a TOT1 Course in Romania and will lead the TOT1 in Hatvan, Februaray and March 2014.

Eszter will need additional support to continue her crucial work for the Roma people and the glory of our Lord in the coming year.  If you would like to be part of Eszter’s support team, please make a pledge or a contribution please contact us at ronseck@me.com.  Thank you.

Categories: Happenings, Training, Travel, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

MEK Launches a “More-Fuel-for-the-Winter” Project

Typical Roma mud brick house, Mali-Beograd, Serbia.  Note open spaces.

Typical Roma mud brick house, Mali-Beograd, Serbia. Note open spaces.

Imagine living in a drafty, mud-brick house.  It is winter.  It is the end of the month.  You are out of firewood for your little stove … and money to buy more.  You and your children are huddled in one dark room, shivering.  There are two more months of cold.

When we surveyed the Roma of 30 villages this summer, lack of winter fuel was one of the top five unsolved problems on their list.  MEK went to work looking for an answer to this problem and a possible “seed project” to help us demonstrate the potential of holistic community development.

This large briquette machine, used in Kallo, costs over $500.

This large briquette machine, used in Kallo, costs over $500.

The mayor of Kallo, Hungary is an industrious former business man.  He too had been doing research.  He showed us two large hand-powered machines that he had bought for the Roma of his community to make winter fuel by pressing together a wet mash of paper, saw dust, leaves and other organic combustible material.

We went on-line and found plans for a much more affordable, easily-made home version of the briquette machine.  After producing two proto-types, we realized we could train Roma to make these machines for about $16 to $20 (5000 Forints) a piece.

 Thus “The Briquette Machine Project” was launched in August.  The machines became an instant sensation at the Roma

Laci and Hessel demonstrate the MEK version of the briquette machine to Roma in Ajak.

Laci and Hessel demonstrate the MEK version of the briquette machine to Roma in Ajak.

village meetings we held, especially among the not-so-easily-impressed men.  In order to raise the dignity of the Roma, MEK has a practice of not giving anything away for free.  So we proposed Roma Community Build Days.  On a scheduled day we would come to the community and help every family that came to us with 5000 forints to build a machine.  Some Roma protested the cost and pleaded poverty, but we held firm, knowing how much the typical Gypsy adult spends on cigarettes per month (over 20,000 forints of his meager government support), and cigarettes don’t keep you very warm in the winter.

We did our first two Community Build Days in the Roma communities in Ajak and Vaja.  Working with local Gypsies 9 machines were built in Vaja.  Then two of these Roma went with Hessel to Ajak and built 5-6 more.  In the process, local Roma were learning about MEK and holistic ministry.  We are praying that this will lead to larger Build Days in the spring in numerous other interested villages.  Please remember to pray for The Briquette Machine Project and for more Build Days in the future.

Kálman puts the finishing touches on a briquette machine in Ajak.

Kálman puts the finishing touches on a briquette machine in Ajak.

Hessel and Feri show off newly-made briquette machines in Vaja

Hessel and Feri show off newly-made briquette machines in Vaja

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

You Gave and CHE Workers Received Advanced Training

So … You have taken Community Health Evangelism’s TOT1 training.

You have gone home and begun to apply it by setting up a CHE Team in your region or nation.

You have surveyed and entered Roma villages to start holistic, community development projects.

 So … what do you do next?

 You take CHE’s advanced training TOT2 course to learn what to do next.

Sometimes in TOT2 we teach how to solve community problems.

Sometimes in TOT2 we teach how to solve community problems.

Thirty CHE workers from Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Albania gathered near Lake Balaton in Hungary the week of October 6 to 11 to learn “what to do next.”

 Led by Agron Aga, Director of CHE’s team in Tirana, Albania; Ron and Jeannie Seck, CHE Hungary Coordinators and Eszter Csuhai, Master Trainer for MEK Hungary, trainees were taken through an intensive 5 day, 32 hour course.

Instruction included lessons on how to do baseline community assessments, how to train a community leadership team and community volunteers, how to plan and implement community projects, how to share Christ, how to start and train growth groups, how to teach oral learners and much more.

During the evenings the regional CHE Teams (the REZ Serbia Team, the Romania Team, the MEK Hungary Central Team and the MEK Hungary East Team) each met to strategize and plan their next steps.  The conference also provided an excellent opportunity for CHE workers from the 4 nations to network and form deep bonds and become a united CHE Central Europe Team.

Attendance at this conference was by invitation only.  To be invited, attendees had to meet three qualifications:  They had to be actively involved in a CHE ministry since TOT1.  They had to be ready to use the TOT2 information.  They had to know either English or Hungarian.  Those who came from Serbia can now translate and teach these lessons in Serbian; and those who came from Romania can do the same in Romanian.  Of the 32 people invited, 30 attended the week-long conference!

Sometimes we learn by playing games.

Sometimes we learn by playing games.

 The week ended with the handing out of certificates and the pronunciation of a blessing upon each participant.  It was an awesome week at Lake Balaton.  Pray for these motivated men and women who will return home and seek to apply the lessons they have learned to transform poor communities spiritually and physically.

Sometimes we just laugh.

Sometimes we just laugh.

The entire week’s conference for 30 people cost about $3500.  This included room, board and materials for each person.  80% of this budget was covered by the contributions you made to the NAB Mission Budget for Ron and Jeannie Seck.  We all say, “Thank you.”   Please, keep giving faithfully.  Your giving is making a definite difference for Christ in Central Europe. 

Categories: Happenings, Training, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.