Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We leave a wonderful year behind us which included many Bible studies, and an ongoing home fellowship. In the new year ahead, starting January we are looking to relocate to the city center. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the year for us was the summer conference with Dr. Arnold’s coming to Budapest. This was his third seminar here in the last four years, and we are hoping that was not the last one. Of course we respect the fact that this might not be possible with all that the Ariel School program entails.
The third Budapest Messianic Conference this past August with Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum was shorter than the two previous ones because of Arnold’s tight schedule after Camp and the fact that he was going to Poland for three weeks just after Hungary. Once again, Ivan carefully prepared for his role as translator; brushing up beforehand by studying The Five Warnings of the Book of Hebrews. Ivan also prepared the subjects The Reign of Emmanuel and The Servant of Jehovah, topics he covered with more ease.
The conference went very well. There was good attendance, great partnership with others in organizing the event and we were blessed to house the events in good central locations. Even though the first day of the conference was a national holiday, we had still 120 in attendance. On the second day there were approximately 200 and for the evening lecture we had 350 attend. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we had about 100 people attending each session. There were some groups who came from the countryside which is quite a long distance away. Arnold had many questions from those who attended and there was a great demand for the mp3 recordings of the conference. We had these mp3’s available about one month later, thanks to some volunteer help. We advertized on Facebook, TV, and radio for the conference and we recognize the benefit many had in appreciating the teaching from a Jewish frame of reference. Those who partnered with us to organize this event were very satisfied with the outcome.
During his stay here, Arnold also gave a one hour TV interview which will air later as a documentary on the Messianic movement.
From a personal standpoint, Ivan enjoyed the Book of Hebrews the most. It was around the time of the conference that Ivan was involved in a heated debate with a church leader about eternal security. The Five Warnings manuscript answered many of the most crucial questions concerning the eternal security of the believer. Arnold’s masterful explanation argued against many strong opponents who claim a lack of assurance for a believer’s salvation. Even after so many years of Camp we can still learn new things from Arnold. We can’t wait for the next conference J
In June, July and August we gave three TV interviews which was hosted by a Messianic believer, Katalin. Rita spoke twice. She gave her testimony and then used the second interview to speak about her book, Theology and Antisemitism. Rita also addressed issues pertaining to Christian Zionism and why antisemitism was and is found in the church. Ivan spoke about Israel and the Church, the covenants, and the Messianic prophecies. This internet based TV program will be broadcasting to many different audiences, and will be aired on secular stations as well.
Since September, and because of financial needs, Ivan is working full time as a music teacher in a secondary school. Though his job requires many hours, he still continues the work of the ministry and devotes much of his free time to it in the evenings and on weekends. We know there can be times in the ministry when you have to do the work of a "tent maker" to support yourself so we are certainly thankful for the job. Our hope, of course and prayer request is that we can spend more time for ministry and less for "mammon" :-)
Since October Ivan has been teaching on the book of Revelation, based on Dr. Arnold's Footsteps of the Messiah. Forty people are attending this study. For this study, Ivan presented the four major views of Revelation and compared them. He wanted to point out the differences between these four main theological camps and how each one sees the role of Israel and the Jews in the present and in the future. We prepared a detailed power point for the study. Rita taught three sessions on the theological reasons for antisemitism in church history, how antisemitism appeared in Christian Europe and how it affected the development of modern day anti-Jewish prejudices. She also spoke about how premillennialism affected pro-Israel politics, and the rescue of Jews during the Holocaust. At one of our Bible studies after Rita taught about the role of the churches in Hungary during the Holocaust, an interesting discussion developed. Mariann, a Jewish lady, told her personal story, how Catholic nuns rescued her as a child. However the church did not help many of the Jews, but instead contributed sadly to their tragic fate. Those who did rescue Jews were the exception and they so simply out of humanitarianism.
We continue our small biweekly messianic fellowship called Keren Yeshuah (Horn of Salvation) which we hope and pray will be the beginning of a future congregation. In January we will move this fellowship from our home to a more central location (to the Jewish quarter where our Bible study is taking place). At Keren Yeshuah Ivan translates and teaches Messianic Christology and other relevant topics.
In September Ronji and Bena Tanielu, travelling missionaries who we knew from Camp Shoshanah, arrived in Hungary. We had a great time of fellowship. We organized a Bible study for them. Twenty five people attended and heard their testimony. A lot of young people got inspired for future evangelism. We also organized a street evangelism outreach with Ronji and Bena. We were joined up with Jews for Jesus for this event. Please watch Bena's beautiful worship dance here.
After praying many years for this, a volunteer (Attila) approached us to help modernize our internet homepage. We worked a lot with him. After many weeks we have now finished the index page. Special thanks to Leah Kovtunenko for the beautiful pictures of Israel we are using on our website. The outcome is a totally new and modern look and operation. Please check us out at: http://bibliatanitasok.hu
We meet often with individuals, couples and families, answering many of their bible questions and encouraging them to study the Bible more.
Ivan is posting weekly Bible studies on Facebook and on our homepage blog and we are seeing a growing interest. Rita continues to translate her book: Theology and Antisemitism. Another volunteer, Nanette, works hard to correct and edit the translation.
We had a meeting with a Jewish man, who attends our Bible study but he still has many questions and remains uncertain about his faith.
Since September we have been continuing the Bible reading program with our Jewish friend. We are reading the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible as well as some short sections from the Talmud. These are great opportunities to share about our Messiah and also to get to know the Jewish way of thinking. In October, the same Jewish friend invited us to Succoth and Ivan got to blow the shofar. There were 50 participants, mostly Jewish people. We are trying to make friendships with Jewish people to build trust for a later possibility of sharing about the Jewish Messiah. We were invited to the birthday party of our Jewish friend, Mariann. There we also met many of her Jewish friends. We have a growing friendship with a Jewish twin brother and sister (who are believers), and we are answering many of their bible questions as well. Rita was invited to a Jewish women’s club event by an 87 year old Holocaust survivor. We are grateful for this connection. Ivan had the opportunity to give his testimony to his professional musician colleagues.
In October our friend Zoltan had successful open heart surgery. While there were serious complications at first he is now on the way to recovery and back to a normal life. He and his wife are planning to attend Camp Shoshanna this summer.
Praise Him that Rita’s health is better. She was able to stop a certain medicine after taking it for 28 years and so now she does not take any immune suppressive medicines since she was diagnosed with this autoimmune disease 28 years ago.
We would like to express our thankfulness for your prayers and support. We wish you Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukah, Merry Christmas and all blessings in our Messiah Jeshua in the new year of 2017!
Shalom, Iván, Rita, Noemi
- for the Bible study continuing in January – Footsteps of the Messiah
- for the salvation of the Jewish people who will attend our Pesach demonstrations (Janet and Eva). For Tamas, who now participates in our Footsteps study.
- for the salvation of Mariann, a Jewish woman who attends the Bible study. We are now good friends with her.
- to have committed disciples of the Word at the Bible studies and the fellowship
- for the relocation in January of our Messianic fellowship
- financial support to continue the ministry work in Hungary
- for Jewish outreach in Budapest, especially in the Jewish neighborhood where our Bible study is taking place
- for the translation of Rita’s book into English: Theology and Anti-Semitism (Rita translates and Nanette corrects and proofreads)
- for the salvation of our Jewish friends, Gabor, Zsofi and Edit with whom we are reading the Hebrew Bible together
- for salvation of our friend Csaba,
- for our Jewish friend Gyuri
- for the salvation of our family members
- for the protection and salvation of Jews amidst rising antisemitism in Hungary
- for Ivan as he works full time (which takes more than 8 hours daily and requires his time on the week-ends as well…to allow him the added time and energy to prepare the Bible teachings. We pray that this full time job will not be necessary that much longer.)
- Ivan’s health results
- Rita’s full recovery from the autoimmune disease
- Rita’s mom healing of the autoimmune disease
- for our daughter, Noemi who is in a Hungarian high school, for protection and good results in her studies, for her health, and for her to find more friends who are believers.
Please see some pictures of the Messianic Conference, the testimony of Ronji and Bena, and our Bible study.