Teleios Ministry

Friday, August 02, 2013


Bonnie, Benjamin and I headed off to Budapest with Zsolt and Reni early Thursday morning.    We said our goodbyes to Elizabeth and Blanka.  



At the Romanian and Hungarian border we had our usual wait while they checked out the Americans.   Then, on to Budapest for Benjamin to catch a bus to Vienna.   Amazing he can bus to Vienna in about the same time it takes to do the airport and flight routine.   Benjamin is taking course with TCM, a seminary type training ministry.    A note, Jozsef Kovacs also serves as a teacher and administrator in Romania for TCM.  

Zsolt let me drive his car.   Soon, we came to a halt.   A major wreck that blocked the road forced us to scramble to find a new route to the Motorway in Hungary (interstate).   After a brief delay which meant no stopping until we got to the bus station in Budapest for Benjamin, we found a new route.   When we got to Budapest, I asked Zsolt if he would drive.  He said for me to drive.  This provided “one of the those moments that I will never forget (so says Bonnie laughing).   Right before we got to the bus station, I had to turn left and get over one lane and then turn quickly right.   This proved to be rather difficult.  But, I quickly got over in the right lane, saw a turn into the bus station, and whipped in proud of my accomplishment.    Of course, I soon realized that we were the only car in a sea of buses.   My Hungarian is very limited and I missed the sign clearly stated in Hungarian “Buses only.”     I dodged a few buses, dropped off Benjamin.  Benjamin insisted on carrying on a conversation with Zsolt when he got out to get his luggage.   He paid no attention to the man who came hurrying up to us saying something in Hungarian.   Which loosely translated was, “Are you crazy?  This is for buses only.   You can’t park here.  You can’t even be here. Leave!”   Benjamin all the while is ignoring him and continuing with his conversation.  

I now see that I had parked in the space for the 11:20am bus to somewhere that I can’t spell.    Benjamin says good bye.   We jump and the car to head off.   We immediately saw coming toward us rather large bus.   I dodge him went around a corner only to see another bus and maybe heading in the wrong direction of bus flow.   Soon I dodged two more buses while bus drivers and riders stared in disbelief at me.   Finally I had circled the bus terminal and was behind a bus leaving the terminal.   I safely departed the bus terminal with Bonnie in tears with laughter.  Reni (forgot to say she is Zsolt’s wife) is trying not to express disbelief as she returned from her head bowed prayer position or laugh thereby embarrassing me.    What can I say, when we came out of the bus terminal we were headed in the right direction.  

Our adventure continued as we dropped off our luggage and headed for a Pasta factory—business trip for Zsolt and Reni.   The owner, Josca, gave us a grand tour.  He was really nice to us.   On top of it, he loaded us up with fresh made pasta.   We really enjoyed the tour.    After the tour we headed to downtown Budapest for lunch and sightseeing.   As Zsolt said, “The best tour of Budapest.”   It was.   We went to the Buda side and saw about everything.   Pictures included.  Budapest is a beautiful city.   Zsolt and Reni did a wonderful job as tour guides.   Oh, did I mention that it was really hot 95 plus.    We climbed castle steps, posed in front of fountain, road a cable car, took a lot of pictures, watched the changing of the guard, and had a fantastic time.   If you are readying this Zsolt and Reni, outstanding gift to us in taking your time to guide us around Budapest.  

We ended up at our Pensuine the Sarahoz Panzio near the airport.   We have stayed here a lot.   The staff is great.   We said our goodbyes to Zsolt and Reni (they still had a three or four hour drive back to Satu Mare at night).   We rested for an hour or so; showered up and headed back down town for dinner.   We walked along the Danube for a little ways enjoying the lights of Budapest.    We found a nice Italian restaurant on the Danube.   We decided this would be our anniversary celebration a couple of weeks early.    Bonnie and I are so blessed to have wonderful friends.  

Wednesday: Friends and Tiream Gypsy Church

Jozsef, Agnes, and Tamas Kovacs invited over for lunch and to visit.   Jozsef  when he was dean of the Hungarian Baptist Seminary of Romania invited me to teach at the seminary twice a year beginning in 2000.   That is how so many of the Romanian partnerships that we are involved in now came about.  We have spent a lot of time together.   Not as much in the past few years, but early on, Bonnie and I spent many nights with them.   Tamas gave Bonnie her first Hungarian language lesson.   He must have done a great job because Bonnie can still speak the Hungarian Tamas taught her.   Jozsef is a true educator with a passionate love for Christ and desire for others to grow in Jesus Christ.   Some of you know that Jozsef and Agnes have had a challenging past two years.   Jozsef developed a “vertigo” type of illness that forced him out of the pastorate in a sabbatical for a year as he recovered.   He and Agnes have had a challenging time since then.   True to their faith, they have come through it stronger.   Bonnie and I believe that God was preparing them for special service.  Join us in prayer as Jozsef and Agnes prayerfully explore the opportunities that God is opening up for them.     

We discovered something that we did not know about Jozsef.  As Bonnie says, “he prepared a cream of celery soup to die for.”   He also prepared fresh homemade bread.   Agnes not to be out done had the main course with pork snitzel, mashed potatoes, purple cabbage, and seasoned rice. 

In the evening, Elizabeth, Benjamin, Bonnie and I went to Tiream for mid-week service.   Two Satu Mare elders have primary responsibility for the work in Tiream, Zoltan and David.   They are doing a great work there.   As with most of the churches this time of year, many of the people are involved in migrant work in other countries.  

Two years ago, most of them could not read.   They had a hunger to read the Bible.   A retired school teacher from the Satu Mare church came during the winter time and taught them to read.   What a blessing to hear the Word of God read.    Each week they take a chapter in the New Testament and discuss it.   During the week they read the passage and on Wednesday nights they discuss its meaning and application to their lives.  

Tiream is special to me because when my mother and father died in the summer of 2006.  The memorials given were used to provide funds for the purchase and development of the Tiream mission.   One of the ladies said, “every time I come to this building, I thank God for you (Bonnie, me, and you) making it possible to have a place of worship.”  

They shared a greeting—a blessing with us: 1 Thessalonians 5:23ff.     

Tuesday: Gypsy Children's Camp Batesti

Last year, Barna, Judith, Bonnie and I talked about the need for the Gypsy children in Acas and especially Tiream to have a week of camp.   Teleios Ministry partnered with them and others to make the camp a reality.   Barna and Judith are Child Evangelism Fellowship missionaries in the Satu Mare area and serve in other larger roles in CEF in Romania and Eastern Europe.  They are very active in the Satu Mare church.   (Barna often translates for Bonnie and I when we are in the area).   They have already led a youth camp and children’s camp in July.  
The camp was in Batesti about an hour and half from Satu Mare.   We met an amazing Romanian couple whose vision it was to have the camping facilities.   Out of her vision as a school teacher to reach others for Christ 33 years ago, the camp facilities came.   There prayer is that each week someone would decide to follow Jesus Christ.   The facilities are amazing and demonstrate the power of a God-given vision.
Thirty five children and ten staff came to camp.  Bonnie led in the Bible story for the day on the Good Shepherd.  Then camp crafts, a series of organized games built around “Minute to Win-It” type games, a mission story, and a creative learning time based on the days story.    The camp staff does double or triple duty preparing and setting up for meals, helping with crafts, assisting with the games, and staying with the children—a full week of work.  
One really interesting thing was watching the cook (who just got home from two months of picking strawberries in Germany) prepare a roasted eggplant spread—it was delicious.  
The children/young people were a real joy--So well behaved and enthusiastic.   I know that I have said it many times in the blogs—we had a great time and a blessed time.
We arrived home to an surprise, Blanka told us not use the water—no washing hands, showers, etc.   Sure enough, the curious among us checked it out and brown water flowed freely from the the Satu Mare taps.   As Zoltan Vekas would say, “This is Romania.”    This lasted into Wednesday.  Wednesday morning I let the water run a while and it was clear.   I announced that I was taking a shower.   I got in the shower and was greeted with the brown water that left and interesting residue in the tub.   No shower tonight.   We were treated with brown water for most of the day on Wednesday.   Finally on Wednesday night, I gave it try—the water remained clear for the whole shower.  

MONDAY: BBQ DAY! in Satu Mare

Monday we took it easy for a while.  We did a little shopping with Elizabeth and Blanka.   Then the Sandor, Tunda, Daniel, and Christy came over to a BBQ feast.   Benjamin and I got the charcoal going.   The ladies were getting everything ready.   We had a feast: GRILLED TROUT!  In memory of Zoltan Vekas, this was his favorite and ours, too.   Daniel said it was the best of the BBQ.   We also grilled chicken.   How can you have a BBQ in Romania without Mici.   We also roasted some vegetables.   But, it was HOT! Outside—almost 100.   

We had a great time just talking, laughing, and eating.   Sandor and Tunda brought watermelon for dessert—in all honesty the watermelons in Romania this year are the best that we have had in forever.    Today’s BBQ will go down in the Parker/Vekas books as one of the best—made that way by sharing with the Suzc family.