The building we are renovating is in the center of the village, on one of the busiest intersections, in a place without any sort of coffee house. The goal is to create a community center out of this building, with a café that will be a sanctuary for families, children, and hurting people who have been marginalized by a cycle of poverty. It is a space for activities, camps, English classes, and now coffee.
As part of our ministry, we are constructing a café in the main space of the community center. It will be a place for unity, growth, and community where people can gather and connect. This is something we are so passionate about because a safe space where people can unite is truly needed in Tatárszentgyörgy. And so, bringing that to the village will be a way for us to integrate ourselves among the people and give them something that they may not even know they need.
This café ministry is something that we are extremely excited about as we head out and begin our work. It is an opportunity for us to lead a space as a couple in an area we are both familiar with; and it will be an amazing way to engage with the youth and community in a meaningful way.
So, for us, this part of our ministry will truly be the heart of the community center. A space for people to connect, dream, and a place for us to show love and help others to see Jesus.
As church youth leaders, a teacher and a physician’s assistant, we have a great deal of experience caring for and interacting with young people. Both of us have always loved kids and it is an area that we have felt called to in our mission; and in Tatárszentgyörgy; so, as we started planning, the need for a youth ministry was clear to us.
For some context, the village doesn’t have a middle or high school, so students have to ride a bus to nearby villages. This paired with Hungary’s rigorous language requirements has created a lot of difficulty for young people to graduate, further perpetuating a cycle of dropping out of school. Not having a degree makes it hard to find work and reinforces this cycle of poverty and economic struggle. Our goal is to begin disrupting this negative cycle.
Our youth ministry will be focused on coming alongside children and young people in their walk through life. Having a space that they can feel safe and happy, and people that will help them and teach them a new way is paramount. Youth will be such a big focus for us, and with support and prayer, we will begin to make a positive impact on these kids’ lives.
And so it feels like the hand of God for us, a teacher and a healer, to be able to go to a place with a youth in need of love, encouragement, and Jesus.
A key part of our work in Tatárszentgyörgy will be for us to engage with people in a deep and meaningful way. Not only are we all a family in Christ, but we are a community of families—we want to engage with that community. All of our support from the Hungarian government hinges on our ability to make a difference, and lifting up families is the best way to do that.
This village is a place in a cycle of substance abuse, undereducation, broken or hurting people, and deep family bonds. The Roma crisis is felt deeply in Tatárszentgyörgy, and we are seeking to be a relief to the people there. As part of our mission we will be coming alongside families to bolster and uplift them, showing them new ways to live both physically and spiritually. In reaching these families we want to be able to really improve the lives of the people in Tatárszentgyörgy.
The work will mainly be done through classes in anything from language to cooking, sports and youth camps, and most importantly through a space to grow. Our community center is located in the center of town, and it will be a place for families to gather and grow—and maybe let mom and dad share a coffee date together.
As a family and as an active part of the body of Christ, we want to see seeds bloom here and for families to become stronger in togetherness. For the cycle of joblessness and poverty to be disrupted and broken, and for God to be glorified in every household.
English is spoken all across Hungary, and students need to be able to pass a rigorous language test to graduate high school. Luckily, a big part of our history as missionaries has been through facilitating English classes to meet and engage with people, as well as give them skills that will help them.
In Tatárszentgyörgy, there is a huge need for English teachers to help young people graduate high school, and to help adults find jobs. Our language classes will be an essential way for us to be part of the community and improve the lives of the people there. The building we are renovating has been a church for a long time, but with us it will also be a place for learning, growth, and community. A tangible way for us to accomplish that goal is to teach.
These classes will be a way for us to attack the cycle of young people not graduating high school, or not even going at all. It is our best offense, and will help them graduate, find jobs, and live better lives than they did before.
We believe that the church is bigger than a building, more than a weekend activity, and broader than any sub-culture; we believe that the church is a people. As those people strive to live our lives as followers of Jesus throughout the week, we come together as a church. Each family coming together as a community to seek out the truth, beauty, and hope of the gospel.
All of our ministries in Tatárszentgyörgy are focused on building relationships, strengthening existing bonds, discipling the people, and improving their lives; but these works are just avenues on our main journey—to spread the love of Jesus. We know that that best way for us to make a difference is to let the Holy Spirit do it for us. We seek to plant seeds, and allow God to grow them and bloom faith over and over again. God is the only one who can truly disrupt the cycles of substance abuse, poverty, undereducation, and slavery to self.
So, while we plan to toil and work and grow and sow, we really are going to this village to see a revival of Christ. To see the people there gather in love for Him. To serve God by serving his people. And truly, there isn’t any better way to serve someone, than to plant the seeds to save them.