Romanian Ministries Update

Monday, November 18th, 2019

Dear Philippian Fellowship,

50 YEARS OLD!  How in the world did that happen???  As I sit here and reflect on the thought that I just turned 50 years old yesterday, and to think that half of those 50 have been spent here in Romania, I am overwhelmed by the love and encouragement that so many have been to us to allow us the privilege to serve the Lord here for that length of time.  God continues to guide us and direct our steps.

We are very thankful for your faithful prayers and support in August and September. We had the privilege to host approximately 1,000 people at Camp Eli this summer, and over 100 accepted Christ as Savior.  Thanks again for your investment!

I was able to travel to the states for a short time in September to take Zach and Ionut to the Word of Life Bible Institute in Hudson, FL.  What a joy to visit with a few friends and supporting churches during this brief visit!  They are doing well and adjusting to life in America.  They are living with my parents (Ziemers) and keeping them on their toes I am sure!  Notice their two pictures taken a couple years apart!!!

The Sunday before I left, I had the opportunity to baptize Vali and Madalin.  Vali got saved within the last couple years and has been very encouraged by the others in our young families small group to follow Christ!  We led Madalin’s parents to Christ a few years ago, and he has grown up in our church.  Upon returning from the states we baptized Dary, Traian, Gina, and Flory.  Dary is from Fundulea and was raised by his grandparents.  He was part of our children and youth programs growing up but had strayed far from the Lord.  God used some extremely difficult physical ailments to get ahold of him this year.  His wife Valentina is now in our new believer’s class preparing for baptism.  Traian and Gina accepted Christ earlier this year, and along with their niece Flory, are from our church plant in Florica.  They have been a huge source of encouragement for brother Lucian and the team that is ministering in this town and neighboring villages!

October 5 also brought the arrival of our first grandson into the world.  Joshua Matthew Ziemer made his arrival and we praise the Lord for a healthy baby and a safe delivery.  Alina and Joshua are doing great, it is awesome to watch Michael as a father to his young son!  We are planning furlough this winter, so it will be hard to be apart as he makes those first little growth spurts!  We will be greatly anticipating May 22 to see them again, as they are remaining here in Romania.

We are planning a trip to South Africa in November as I have been asked to speak at the Word of Life summer camp there for children and teens.  Obviously, it will delight our hearts to minister alongside Corina, but also the directors there, John and Christy Page.  They are great friends from college, and I was actually in their wedding years ago!

Mid December we return to the states for five months and look forward to time with family, friends, and faithful partners in the ministry.  Pray with us also as we once again need to make some new contacts to raise our support level to the needed amount.  God continues to expand the ministry and along with this comes the need for new resources.  He has been faithful for 25 years, and I believe will remain faithful!

Gerald and Kristin Ziemer


Gyuri & Aniko Varga – Erd, Hungary

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

Dear Friends,

We would like to give you some update of our life and ministry.

After Easter we went on a special trip to the US. Our nephew got married in California after keeping a long-distance relationship for 2 and a half years. It was a special treat to be together for 2 weeks and share in unique experiences. We got to know wonderful people who were hosting strangers (us) and a beautiful family who took on our nephew and embraced him with genuine love. We are thankful for all of them.

After the wedding we flew to Maine to visit with our son Samuel, his new fiancé, her family and our dear friends from our partner church. Gyuri had the privilege to preach on Sunday on how we confess our sins and still cling to them, instead of denying them and not allowing ourselves to do it again. This is how we grow. Sometime later a man in the church told Samuel to tell his father that his teaching changed his life. The Lord is working! It is an awesome privilege to be a part of it.

We had an unspeakable time getting to know the Hoving family (Samuel’s fiancé). We shared stories of coming to know the Lord, moving, adopting children, changing ministry location and focus following His leading. We shared joys and tears. We bounded in love. We are thankful for them and the Lord for raising up Audrey to become a beautiful, spiritual, mature young lady, a suitable helpmate for our son. Wow!!! 5 days after we came home they arrived to Hungary to spend 2 weeks here with us. It was awesome! This was Samuel’s last visit to home as our family member.

May 18 Aniko’s ministry team conducted the annual Baptist Women Conference in Budapest. With full house (over 600) we had a wonderful day of worship, teachings, building identity. 2 pastor couples were teaching (one was us) on how faith works. Our team was working together very well. I’m so thankful for them. Our daughter, Abigel helped us all day.  

Finally we gave a name to our church: CENTRÁL BUDAPEST. It means to put something in the middle, to the focus.

Our motto is: only You (I King 8:60).

Now we are ready to build our PR. We just reached the point where we understand what this new church is all about. Why the Lord wanted another Baptist church in Budapest (there are 27). We feel like now we are ready to roll. A year went by but we needed that time to clarify our vision and to see who stands with us. Now new people are coming every week. Please pray for musicians to arrive to have live worship music! We are good in teaching. The right hand of the Financial Minister comes to our church (he is a catholic man) and he said Sunday afternoons were the highlight of his week. We would like to see more people like him. He is a great encouragement to Gyuri!

Next Monday (August 12) we take 7 pastor couples away for 6 days. This is part of the pastors’ training Gyuri leads. We’ll monitor their marriage and family life together. Please pray that they would be open and honest and ready to grow in this area of their life also. 2 pastors are leaving ministry right now for family reasons! Gyuri trains 7 mentors who help their fellow pastors in the program.

We both had family reunions in May and August. We have several non-Christians in both families who were deeply touched by our testimonies. Please pray especially for Aniko’s brother (59) who is becoming more and more open to God (used to be a hardcore atheist)!

Abigel (15) experienced what it means to serve God and others in an intense situation for the first time. She went to a camp for foster kids (most of them gipsy) and disabled children to translate between Americans and the kids for 6 days. She did very well, got exhausted, got some marriage offers (from gipsy boys), but was overwhelmed by how God was using her and the others to bring 13 kids to His kingdom. We are thankful to God and very proud of her!

Thank you for your love, prayers and support!

Serving the Lord together,

Gyuri and Aniko Varga in Budapest, Hungary

Gyuri & Aniko Varga – Erd, Hungary

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

VARGA NEWS
November, 2018

 

BUDAPEST-LIVE CHURCH

July 1st the leaders of the Hungarian Baptist Union commissioned 3 couples (including us) to plant a new church downtown Budapest. Gyuri was appointed as the leader. We started our Sunday gatherings on July 8th. We can meet in a small room (18 chairs) at the Union’s headquarters (Budapest VI. district, Benczúr utca 31.) near Heroes’ Square.

We did advertise neither our plantation, nor our gatherings. First we prayed and asked God to send equipped, experienced laborers. Summer was light, in September Gyuri started to meet young fellows and shared our vision for our church. We would like this church to be the spiritual home for many, especially the highly educated people in Budapest. Slowly people started to come. Not necessary the ones we first hoped for (as usually happens). The Lord has a good plan.

September 2nd we had our first Lord’s Supper together, October 7th we had 19 people and 15 stayed together for lunch outside in the parking lot (seen on the picture). We do not have a music group so we sing with You Tube. 25th October we started our midweek fellowship. We have fellowship one Thursday and teaching course on the other, alternating biweekly. November 8th we were 12 beginning the ROAD TO THE CHURCH course ages from 18-54. By now we have 15 people who consider themselves belonging to Budapest-Live church. We praise God for them!

We have a bigger room (80 chairs) available for us in the building of the Hungarian Baptist Theological Seminary (same site) for free! We are awed by how God goes before us and opens doors. We’ll see when we move over there, maybe in December.

FAMILY

We were delighted to see our oldest son marrying Afroditi (half Greek half Hungarian) 10th August. Gyuri preached and married them, it was very moving emotionally. We all were very happy. They rent an apartment in Budapest. Afroditi works as a Psychologist in a children’s home (parents cannot afford to take care of them). Natan is still working on his masters besides working full time.

Aron is developing his design skills and helping with media in our church.

After 2 years in the States Samuel came home for his brother’s wedding last summer. It was hectic but we had some needed serious and fun time together. He reconnected with his brothers and sister. He is asking God to provide for his missing tuition by January, 2019.

Abigel began high school, does very well. She has 18 English classes a week. She doesn’t have migraine headaches. She hurt her knees last spring. We saw several doctors. They do not want to operate her knee before she turns 15 (next summer). Until then she cannot do sports and cannot folk dance. This made her cry hard. We prayed together and now she is in peace. She got medicine for her knee. She still has to ware her spine corset during the night.

We have a 15 years old Hungarian boy (Mátyás – Matyi) living with us during school days since September. Last 6 years they lived in the USA. After moving back to Hungary his family lives at Lake Balaton, he goes to the American school in Diosd. It is quite a challenge to all of us, though he is a nice teenager boy.

PASTOR’S TRAINIG INSTITUTE

Gyuri is preparing the curriculum for the mentors’ last 5 days training in December.

He is working with a pastor personally whose whole family is in trouble.

 

WOMEN’S MINISTRY

Aniko had a difficult time with her team of 7 women. 5 of them work full time, 4 of them pastor’s wives with children. They don’t have much capacity to do much more for women nationwide. Last May we had a fantastic countrywide women’s conference at Lake Balaton in a school gym. We had to change location 3 weeks before the conference for the interest was so high. We had almost 900 women coming from all over the country, some even from the neighboring countries. Our theme was “Stand up and shine”. Last weekend we held a prayer day in a village near to the Ukrainian border. Now we are preparing a teen girls day in Debrecen, a women’s conference in Budapest in May and pastor’s wives days in February and September. We get ready to send out 4000 prayer and fasting brochures to Baptist women all around the country to dedicate the New Year to God and pray for the same requests with the same Scriptures January 1-21.

Thanks for your support that enables us to do ministry.

We are praying and looking for some additional support since our new church is not able to provide enough for our financial needs.

 

In His service: Gyuri and Aniko VARGA in Budapest, Hungary

Gyuri & Aniko Varga – Erd, Hungary

Friday, April 13th, 2018

VARGA NEWS                                                            

2018 Easter

ABIGÉL did fantastic on her exams in January. Thank you for your prayers! She made 94 points out of 100 (Literature+Grammer:47, Math:47) – country wide average is 51. So, she is going to be accepted to a very good Highschool in Budaörs. Last week her knee started aching, got tape on it but we ask you to join us praying for healing. Mid May she goes to a folk-dance festival.

NATAN is working on his theses, AFRODITI (his fiancée) is finishing it this week. They still have exams to pass and good jobs and an apartment to find in Budapest before they get married August 10. Natan may apply for a PhD program.

GYURI began working on the pastors’ training program. This year he takes 7 mentors through the first program that helps those entering pastoring ministry. This requires 3 times 5 days from all, homework, and much time and effort for Gyuri to prepare all sessions and materials. They had an orientation day early March. All mentors got very excited about the program. The first 5 day training will be in May.

January ANIKO started a Bible club for teachers in her home. We met 3 times so far, 6 teachers came. We read the Bible and talk about how we can put it into practice. They ask questions and we seek answer from the Word. 3 of them come to our church, one started to go to another church (she puts chicken soup on the stove before 8, goes to church and she is home at 9 am to continue cooking Sunday lunch).

In February there is a week called Week of Marriage. We had a very fun evening in a restaurant with 32 couples from our church and friends. Beside a nice meal we enjoyed fine jazz guitar music and had a 40 minutes dancing couple therapy. A young couple (professional dancers) taught men to lead and wives to follow through dancing. It was so much fun! Then we travelled and spoke on marriage to 4 churches in a month.

BRAKING NEWS:

For almost 2 years we were seeking God’s leading in ministry. Last summer we understood this year was the time of revelation for us. Fall we felt like we were not at the right place any more. The Lord did not reveal to us our new assignment until we said to Him we were ready to leave Érdliget Bible Fellowship even though we did not see the very next step. Then the Lord put the switch on and everything became clear. December 3 Gyuri sitting down after preaching heard the Spirit telling him to go forward and leave ÉBK church. That day we made our decision to step out into the dark (not knowing what our next ministry assignment would be). December 6 Gyuri met with the leaders of our Baptist Union to talk about Pastor’s Training Institute and he told them about our decision and what we see might be the 3 options for our future ministry. When he said a new church plant in Budapest for highly educated people the president of our Union started to cry. For years he was praying for a capable pastor to start a church like that in Budapest. There were several pastors volunteering for that task but he could not trust them. Now he has found his man in Gyuri. The pieces of the puzzle fitted together into a beautiful picture. So here we are in the process of coming out of the church we planted 15 years ago and searching for strong elders to plant a new church in Budapest – the capitol city of Hungary (2 million people). The official dedication of the elder group (3-4 couples) with Gyuri’s leadership will be early June. Between end of April and June we’ll be regular members in Érdliget Bible Fellowship. Yesterday we met a couple who said yes to God’s calling to work with us! The Lord goes before us preparing the way and laborers. Hallelujah!

ÉBF leaders know about our leaving, the church body will get to know it April 15. Please pray for a peaceful goodbye! (We’ll stay in our house in Érd.)

We wish you a joyful celebration of death and resurrection of our SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST!

Thank you for your continuous support that enables us to do ministry!

Much love,

Gyuri, Anikó,

Nátán, Áron, Sámuel (Maine,USA) and Abigél

Gyuri & Aniko Varga – Erd, Hungary

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

Microsoft Word - VARGA NEWS 2017 - angol.docxMicrosoft Word - VARGA NEWS 2017 - angol.docx
To read this post as a PDF please click on this newsletter link.

VARGA NEWS 2017

Gyuri & Aniko Varga – Erd, Hungary

Monday, March 27th, 2017

VARGA NEWS                                                                                                                                    JANUARY-FEBRUARY, 2017

We began the year 2017 with a 21 days prayer and fasting emphases in the women’s ministry. It was so encouraging to know that thousands of Hungarian Baptist women prayed with the same Bible verses, for the same people and requests. Our new team came up with the idea in November and we sent out 3000 prayer guides to churches before Christmas. In January every day the requests were sent on internet also.

January 8 our youth ministered on Sunday morning. Natan led the congregation in worship, Aron led the service. We are so thankful to the Lord for how our sons grew up, love and serve the Lord with joy and commitment.

February 4, a new initiative was with the title: “In the beginning…”. We invited young (under 35 years) pastor’s -, church planter’s – and seminary student’s wives to meet us (more experienced) and share experiences, challenges, fears and hopes. Our theme was: balance in personal life, family life and ministry. We had a very honest Q&A time and personal connection with each other. 15 of them came and asked for more opportunities like this.

February 25, we launched a new program for women in Hungary. It is not new in the States but new to us here. It is called: “Valuable woman”. 130 women leader came from 57 churches all around the country to understand the purpose and the “how to”s of this material. We hope to see many groups to start soon to help women learn their value and state their personal call in ministry. This tool will help women share the Gospel also.

Gyuri and Natan participated in a New Testament course organized by ABWE in Budapest. They learned a lot and have new recourses to teach our church members and youth. We are proud of Natan who prepares and teaches a biweekly Bible study for a group of young people to help them grow in their faith.

During the Week of Marriage (week of February 14) our church had a very nice romantic evening for couples. Our guests were Aron’s elementary classmate’s parents – old relationship. They do not believe in God. We had a great time with them. Gyuri gave a message on how we are to … through our marriage. We had a professional jazz and folk singer lady to make the program more memorable. We were sad to see that not many couples from our church had guests from the outside. Next day we travelled to a country side town to give 2 lectures on the “Five stars family”. About 30 people gathered in the Cultural Center (including a Catholic priest) to listen to us. A week later Aniko heard from a participant that a father learned that evening to forgive to his son every day. Another couple came to us saying how important it was for them to hear that their disabled child was also a gift of God. We shared and cried together. What a privilege to share what we had learned and give hope to others!

Leading “Parenting clubs” are also very needed in churches and a good tool in reaching out to the world. This spring Gyuri goes back to his Catholic village to teach parents. His sister organizes the event inviting parents of all ages. There is no evangelical church nearby. She has been the pregnant mother’s and babies’ nurse in the village for 27 years so she knows all the families. Some relatives and friends come from neighboring villages. Great joy to serve where he came from!

There is a great need to put a note and guide book together with the purpose and material for “Parenting clubs” in all around the country. We are invited to so many places to do the clubs. Our calendar would be full even if we did not have any other ministry responsibilities. But we do have. There is a great openness right now among non-Christians for learning about parenting (not about marriage!). But there is no good tool to use in home, in church, in school, in cultural center, anywhere where people are interested in the subject. We pray about it but do not find the time yet to write this much-needed material. A good year ago Gyuri has been asked by the largest Hungarian Christian Publisher company to write a book on raising boys. May be after retiring if it ever comes.

OUR PRAYER REQUESTS:

Praise item: Samuel got an RA position at UMaine for the next year!!! The Lord provides!

March 18, we give 2 lectures on marriage in Debrecen (Aniko’s home town of 300000).

March 21, we meet with a Catholic couple who has been visiting our church for over 10 years to share the Gospel. We feel like the wife (Krisztina) is finally ready to receive Jesus. Then we see another Catholic couple (visiting our church for a year) to prepare them for marriage. They have been living together, they raise his 9-year-old son. We would like for them to receive Christ before they get married May 27 (Csaba and Viki). Please pray for the Lord would touch their hearts!

March 25, Aniko gives a devotion to our church women on a retreat day.

March 26-31 Gary Chapman is in Hungary on a road show. Gyuri will translate for him everywhere that week. His mind is very tired. Please pray for him to do a good job for His glory!

Gyuri works with the church and youth leaders every week in our former church in Budapest (500 members down to 200 now! L) where he has been the interim pastor for the last 1,5 year. Trying to teach elders to lead who never learned but had been in position for decades is very difficult!
Thank you for standing with us in prayer and support,

Gyuri and Aniko from Érd, Hungary

 

Gyuri & Aniko Varga – Erd, Hungary

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

Hello from Gyuri and Aniko Varga in Erd, Hungary.

Please read about their ministry in 2016 via this link.
Thank you, and God bless!

varga-news-2016

Gyuri & Aniko Varga – Erd, Hungary

Monday, October 24th, 2016

October 2016

On our Linda Dillow women’s conference 40 women came forward
to receive Jesus into their hearts first time in their life! I was
crying.

Glory to God!

Thanks for praying,
Aniko

Gyuri & Aniko Varga – Erd, Hungary

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

VARGA NEWS

NATIONAL WOMEN’S CONFERENCE – June 5-7 we had our national Baptist women’s conference for the first time outside of a church building. Aniko led the coordinating team. Above all our expectation (300) 500 women came to the Hungarian WOL campsite. Our theme was outer and inner beauty. We had to rent a 200 people tent with a LED wall.

SUMMER CAMPS – Last summer we held camps for 3 weeks in the local public school. We worked with some non believer helpers who have been attending our youth group since then. 180 kids and more than 100 parents listened to our son’s, Aron’s testimony in tears.

ONE WEEK IN NATURE – We had a wonderful experience of going away just the 2 of us, for a week to the mountains of Slovenia. We thank God for this rear opportunity.

ERDLIGET CHURCH – We have outgrown our church building. We have been looking for opportunities to rent or build for a year. Can’t find the solution yet. Also we need a spiritual renewal as individuals and as the body of Christ to continue our apostolic ministry.

BUDAFOK CHURCH – Since end of September Gyuri has been the interim pastor for the 134 years old church that commissioned us to establish our church in Erdliget. Their pastor left 1 and a half years ago in great chaos. Gyuri helps the leadership be able to lead, determine the mission of the church and then find the right pastor to lead them on the way to fulfill their mission.

SOLID ROCK CLUB IN SCHOOL – Our youngest son Samuel leads the Solid Rock Club this year  in the public school for 6th-8th graders every other Friday. We praise God that Gyuri doesn’t have to be involved in this project any more. Over 50 kids attend. 10 from the last year’s group (now 9th graders) have joined our church youth group. Hallelujah!

MEN’S RETREATS- This fall Gyuri had spoken on several men’s retreats on the seasons of a man’s life. The need is great!

WOMEN’S OUTREACHES – Aniko spoke 2 women’s retreat on the subject of what we live that’s what we inherit to our children and hope in chaos. Great joy to share and see people be encouraged and challenged.

KIDs:

Natan (23) – Senior in Scotland at the University of Glasgow. He plans to move home in June with a BSc in Chemistry and Math and go for MSc in Budapest.

 

Aron (21) – He just moved home after 1 and a half year in Bible College.  He plans to      establish his creative private business.

Samuel (19) – Finishing high school in June. Plans to go to college in Budapest studying                                              business and management.

Abigel (11) – Doing great in 6th grade. She loves horse riding. She is the MC on                                                school events.

 

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • Larger place for our church
  • Spiritual awakening in our church and nationwide
  • Linda Dillow conference on October 1-2, 2016 (4000) – Aniko leads the coordinating team
  • Spiritual, emotional and physical strength for everybody in the family
  • Leading from the Lord in changing ministry emphases
  • Leading for the boys to find their helpmate (Natan, Aron)

 

THANK YOU FOR PRAYING FOR US AND SUPPORTING US!

WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A BLESSED NEW YEAR!

THE VARGA FAMILY FROM ERD, HUNGARY

Gyuri & Aniko Varga – Erd, Hungary

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015
Below you’ll find a prayer request from Aniko Varga. Please join her in prayer. Thank you and God bless.

This Saturday we have a Christmas Tea for women. Last year we had about 20 nonbeliever guests. I give the message.

Please pray for us and our guests.
 
God bless you,
Aniko