| Dear Praying, Helping Friends:
In my last newsletter I gave you some history 1) how the Lord led us to go to Europe in 1990 after the Communist Iron Curtain went up 2) then helped us start a new school in 1992 to train young Hungarian men for the gospel ministry 3) then let the Hungarian Reformed Church excommunicate our men in 1997 for being unwilling to accept liberal theology and ecumenical practice 4) then led us in 1998 to begin our own church (Reformed Presbyterian Church of Central and Eastern Europe). Knowing this history will help you appreciate the 22 small but growing congregations and 3 preaching points we now have in Hungary , Romania and Ukraine . Let me now tell you about our 16 men and their 22 congregations. You may want to refer to the attached supplement as you read about them.
A number of our 16 men are from our first graduating class in 1996. The rest graduated later on, one of them (the youngest) just last fall. As a group, they are 27 to 40 years in age, so all are fairly young. This is a big advantage in some ways. They have the energy of youth and work very hard. All are married and all but three have children. Their church planting has been blessed with fruit, but with it, they have new challenges. As a result, I still have a big role in the work there – along with my work here to keep every-thing before our churches and friends. So I need regular reports from all our men, some once a week and some much oftener. Whether the issue is personal, family related, ministry related, church related or financial, the Mission must be involved – and this mainly means “yours truly.” So let’s talk a little about these 16 wonderful young men. As I do this, you might want to follow the supplement where their names appear in the second column (remember that in Hungary the family name comes first).
Imre Szoke (EEM-ray SO-kay) lives in Miskolcs , HUNGARY with his wife Krisztina and three children. He is pastor of our congregation there, associate director of our school, heads up our publications efforts, and works with me on many other issues related to our church. Pray that the Lord would give Imre continued health, grace and strength (in a packed schedule) to build the congregation there.
Gyula Bagoly (JEW-law BAW-go-ee) lives in BalatonAlmadi , HUNGARY with his wife Klara and three children. He has two congregations, one in Balaton and one in KaposSzerdahely. His two congregations, taken together, are equal in size to Imre’s one congregation in Miskolc . Pray for Gyula in the same way we are asking prayer for Imre. He also works with me very closely on many issues.
Mihaly Siko (MEE-high SHE-ko) lives in Budapest , HUNGARY with his wife Zita. They would like children, but the Lord has not yet given them any. “Misi” still pastors our Budapest congregation, but we are waiting on the Lord to send him to Debrecen (second largest city of Hungary and historic center of the protestant faith). Pray that the Lord would help us find property there. “Misi” cannot move until we do.
Peter Szabo (PEE-ter SAW-bo) also lives in Budapest , HUNGARY . Peter and Erika married last September. He is our youngest worker, but gifted and works well with people and, so, not too young to take over this parish of 2 million people ( Budapest ). Pray the Lord would give him wisdom beyond his years.
Ferenc Kovacs (FAIR-ents KOH-vatch) lives in Szovata , ROMANIA with his wife Sara and four children, all girls. Ferenc works with me closely as coordinator of all our work in Romania . He is also camp and conference director, a member of the Session of the RPCCEE (with Imre, Gyula, Attila and Szabolcs) and pastor of our Szovata congregation. Pray for him in his very heavy schedule.
Kalman Kovacs (KAWL-mawn KOH-vatch) lives in Szovata , ROMANIA with Piroska and their two boys. Kalman’s work is invaluable to Ferenc since Ferenc must travel all over Romania to help our other men. Pray for Kalman’s visitation ministry, his three weekly Bible studies and his son Amos (a special child).
Szabolcs Simon (SAW-bolch SHE-moan) lives in SepsiSzentgyorgy , ROMANIA with Margit and their three children. Szabolcs has two congregations and oversees the work of our foundation in Romania . Without the foundation, our churches in Romania would have no legal standing. Pray for Szabolcs’ congregations, his work with the foundation, and new contacts which are beginning to bear fruit.
Sandor Tamas (SHAWN-door TOM-asch) is now in CsikSzereda , ROMANIA . He and Biborka married last October. For 8 years, he helped others in church planting, then recently received a wife from the Lord, two small “core groups” in a new region, land, a car, and soon will have, we hope, a place for his family and his main “core group.” Pray for Sandor in his pioneering efforts in this Roman Catholic city.
Lehel Laszlo (LEH-hell LOSS-low) lives in ErdoSzentgyorgy , ROMANIA with his wife Judit and three children. He has a congregation in this town and a Gypsy group in another and has been working hard to personally disciple people. We have recently seen a serious stirring of God’s Spirit in his work. Pray this outpouring would continue. Pray for land on which to build a home and permanent meeting hall.
Attila Szasz (AW-tee-law SAWS) lives in Kolozsvar , ROMANIA with his wife Zelma and two boys. This city is the hub of the HRC in Romania , seminary and all. This is also the center for the “Nicodemites” of Romania – people claiming to be “believers” but not wanting to leave the spiritual darkness of the HRC. Pray that God by His Spirit and Word would melt the hearts of these graceless, religious people.
Sandor Molnar (SHAWN-door MOLE-nawr) lives in MarosVasarhely , ROMANIA with his wife Eva and daughter Zsuzsanna. Sandor and three of our other men in Romania are using my “personal discipling” program and find it really helps them work in small, effective steps with people, either to lead them to Christ or follow Christ. Pray that God would empower Sandor in this and give him much fruit.
Csaba Zolya (CHAW-baw ZOH-yah) lives in Vulkan , ROMANIA with Ibolya and their twin daughters. Csaba labored in this city in southwestern Romania as a student and well before he married. The work has slowly but steadily grown. Pray for this patient, dedicated church planter and another group, some Romanian believers in nearby Petrozseny who want to join our Hungarian church.
Gabor Curcubet (GAW-bore COUR-koo-bet) lives in SzekelyUdvarhely , ROMANIA with Gabriella and four children. Gabor’s father was a high Communist official, so Gabor got an atheistic education early at home and in school. But God converted him. He now heads up home schooling in Romania , teaches cre-ationism in nearby schools, and is a fine pastor. Pray God would bless him, home schooling in Romania , and Chris Klicka’s book (Home Schooling – the Right Choice) due to come out in Romanian this week.
Istvan Gal (ISHT-vawn GALL) lives in Zapszony , UKRAINE with Beata and their two children. All our men work hard, but Istvan puts in 70-hour weeks (his wish). The Lord has blessed this, for he has two nicely growing congregations. Pray for him and the going forth of the gospel through the whole region.
Bertalan Lorinc (BEAR-taw-lawn LOR-eents) lives in BeregSzasz , UKRAINE with Maria and his two sons and another child on the way. “Berci” is a very patient, hard-working pastor who, with our other two men in Ukraine , are taking advantage of my “personal discipling” program. Pray for fruit in this.
Geza Demeter (GAY-zah DEM-eh-ter) also lives in BeregSzasz , UKRAINE with Margaret and two sons. He helps “Berci” and, in addition, has a children’s ministry and a small group in a nearby village.
General Prayer Requests. Pray for the finances of the work and give as unto the Lord. Your prayers and gifts make all the difference. A huge challenge now facing us is building a combined house/meeting hall in Csikszereda , Romania . We have no funds for this yet, but now have a choice piece of land (at a great location!) and must move quickly on construction. Our plan is to start next month if funds start coming. Then, as the $80,000 which we need keeps coming, we hope to finish the project this fall. Pray earnestly about what you can do. The Lord loves a cheerful giver. He loves the smaller gifts, too. They mean you care about this work and understand that just as there is no substitute for your praying, so there is no substitute for your giving. We live in times when our hard earned money could lose its value overnight. The answer is not in gold, dear friends. The answer is in “laying up treasure in heaven where neither moth nor rust corrupt (slowly) nor thieves break in and steal (suddenly).” Mt. 6:19,20. Let us see that He gets our treasure and not lose it slowly or suddenly to others who never worked for it.
Finally, this word on Clara. Keep praying for her lower pelvic condition. Since last writing you, she has had a setback. Pray also for Clara’s only sister who is very ill and only brother who is also ill and for my brother, Stan, who has congestive heart failure.
Yours in His faithfulness,
Bob and Clara