The Pattons in Hungary - March 2017
The past few weeks have been very busy as I travelled to Germany and Romania, and also spent a week teaching at the Word of Life Bible Institute here in Hungary. I am happy to be back home for a bit. We have much to share about how the Lord worked in the past two months.
Gergo’s move to Tata:
Our church in Tata now has a new pastor! Gergo Szimon first came to our church in Esztergom in 1996 when he was a 7 year old boy. It has been an amazing privilege to see him grow up in our church, get saved, baptized, called to preach, receive his Bible training, get married, serve
as my assistant pastor and now enter the pastorate. It was definitely a highlight of our ministry on February 26th when we had a special service in Tata and officially handed over the pastoral duties to him. The church also gave us a nice farewell with many gifts and kind words. It was an emotional service for us, as we have invested nearly ten years into this congregation.
Gergo and Rhode found a nice apartment in Tata and moved in on March 1st. Please pray for them during this transition time that the Lord would give them the wisdom and strength they need to lead the church. Please pray also for the church to accept their leadership and for there
to be continued unity in the church.
For Charin and I, we now have the challenge of leading the small group for young adults here in Esztergom that Gergo and Rhode had been leading. We have about 8-10 single young adults in this group, and we have really enjoyed connecting with them on a deeper level. Please pray that we will be effective in leading this group, and that we will help them deal with the issues unique to their age and situation.
I would also like to share how God has worked in a completely unexpected way in our ministry. This past summer I read the book Vertical Church by James MacDonald. The Lord used this book in a special way in my life. I saw areas in our churches and ministries where we were too man-centered and “horizontal”, and the Lord kindled a passion in my heart to see our churches become more vertical and more focused on God’s glory. In our monthly leadership meetings we began studying the Vertical Church principles together, and our church leaders also caught the passion. Together, we have begun working at moving our church more in this direction, and then an amazing thing happened…
In October, I had a Hungarian pastor friend of a large and influential church preach for us here in Esztergom. During the afternoon, he shared some struggles he was going through, and I handed him a copy of the Vertical Church. That seemingly minor decision started a chain of events that has been building in momentum ever since. This pastor was so moved by the book, that he asked me to come speak in his church about the Vertical Church the first weekend in January. He also began talking about the book with other Hungarian pastors. More invitations began arriving for me to speak about this subject. Lord willing, by the end of May, I will have spoken on this subject in two churches, three pastors’ meetings and also a national conference on evangelism and church planting. We have also begun developing a relationship with Harvest Bible Fellowship Europe which has its base in Arad, Romania. It has been fascinating to see the Lord opening doors in this area, that I wasn’t even seeking to open, and we are curious to see how the Lord will lead in the future. We are definitely excited about pastors and leaders developing a greater passion for God’s glory. Please pray that the fire and vision would continue to spread.
That’s all the news for now. We appreciate your prayers and support!
Serving for His Glory,
Marc, Charin, Nancy, Ben, Esther, & Hannah Patton