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We are living in a winter wonderland these days! The snow just keeps on falling with no end in sight. The camp has been overtaken by it! It is extremely beautiful to see and a lot of fun for us and the teens to do some winter activities but it is definitely making it hard for the camp work crew to get up there each day and work on construction. We’re hoping to make it up there next week with the teens for a tubing day!
Speaking of winter activities, this last month we decided to take advantage of the cold weather and went to an outdoor ice rink in Zalau (the city 20 minutes away from us). We bought some broom handles and took a roll of duct tape there and taught the teens how to play ringette! We had such a blast with them, especially when we had to start improvising with our equipment as the broom handles kept breaking on us. At one point one of the teens just grabbed a shovel to use as goalie stick. I think the teens are ready to form a league!
Christmas and New Year’s was a busy time for us. I know many of you are probably thinking the holidays have been over for a while, but for us they didn’t finish that long ago. We have about a solid month of church services and celebrations over Christmas and into the new year. This is a great time for us to share the Gospel and spend time in fellowship with those in our church communities. We were blessed to have spent time around the table in many people’s homes. We also enjoyed many nights caroling with our church in the surrounding villages.
Youth group has been going really well the past couple of months. We’ve seen the youth step up in many ways to serve in the church as well as be on mission in the communities around us. We’ve started to run youth Sundays every now and then. The teens lead the worship and share testimonies for the service. This has been a great opportunity for them to grow in their faith and leadership skills. We also took the teens to a couple of villages 2 hours away on a mission to serve in some partner churches there. We again led the worship and shared testimonies for these services and Paul was able to preach. It was a blessed time getting to know other believers in the Hungarian Baptist Conference. The pastors of these churches have a real heart for mission in their communities, which is evident as their congregations are a real mix of ethnicities as well as new and mature believers. All around, it was an encouraging day to experience these vibrant church communities and to be able to participate in the mission with our teens.
A few more stories from youth group this past month… we hosted the annual “Agape Potluck Dinner” (Paul’s faovourite new event). This is where each of the teens usually bring their mom’s best dish but this year we saw more diversity and noticed some of the teens made their own dishes. I was quite touched to see someone bring quesadillas as I introduced this to the teens this past year. For Christmas Eve, we led the church service through scripture reading and corresponding songs. We took this program to 2 other churches near by as a way to reach out to those communities. We were delighted to see some new faces in those churches. For New Year’s Eve we were invited to another village for a youth program that started at 9pm and ended the following day at 5:30am!! Paul and I barely made it through the night, but overall it was a special night of worship, preaching, games, fellowship, and even some fireworks! The fireworks show ended with a pretty big bang as something backfired in the final set up and caused a bit of an explosion. It was definitely an unforgettable ending!
The camp work crew has continued to build up at the camp throughout the winter. If you remember in our last update we requested prayer that the cabin roofs would be put on in time before the snow came. We were feeling anxious about this as the crew that had committed to doing this work for us had to back out and Tamas could not find another crew to come. Yet, incredibly, God sent us a man who was back from roofing abroad. He was quite the expert. In just a week and with the help of our own camp team they were able to get the two roofs on. And it was just in time because that following weekend the snow came!! And boy did it snow!
We are looking ahead to the Spring time when we will have two construction teams come to help us with our building projects. Our aim is to complete the two cabins and finish our water and sewage system. If we are able to do this then we will be able to run more camp programs this summer. Our goal is to run a full month of programs. Our crew will need to work hard over the next month to finish the electrical and plumbing in the cabins in order to prepare for these teams as they will be finishing the interiors. We ask for your prayers in this!
Thank you for your continued support, encouragement and prayers!
Paul and Tanya