Cooperation with the University of Miskolc for the Benefit of the Roma

Hungarian Gypsy Missions International made a cooperation agreement with the University of Miskolc on the campus primarily about the areas of education, research and social work. The participants of the ceremonial signing were Prof. Dr. Zita Horváth, Rector of the university; Albert Durkó, Presindent of HGMI; and the deans of faculties involved in professional coordination: Dr. Mária Kovács Illésné, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. Dr. Mariann Somosi Veresné, Dean of the Faculty of Economics. Other attenders from HGMI were László Surman, representing the Gypsy Methodology and Research Center, Rita Patkás, Director of education and training at School Operations Center, and Hajnalka Fazekas, Director of Social Services Center.

At the event, Prof. Dr. Zita Horváth, Rector of the University of Miskolc, mentioned that the university puts great emphasis on social convergence in the region. There are several programs helping the disadvantaged students of the region. When the faculties of social sciences were opened at the university, the third mission was initiated: the idea of helping social convergence.

Albert Durkó mentioned, that HGMI was founded in 1996 with only three Roma churches, and now they cover the whole country with the activities of 137 Roma churches. They have significantly developed their international relationships recently. They take every chance to help disadvantaged people. He can see a great opportunity in cooperating with the University of Miskolc, since he believes this united work will help to leverage the potential in Roma people. For this potential to become visible much work, education and research is needed to be done.

This agreement could start such a long-term cooperation that will greatly help not only the Roma, but non-Roma young people as well, to whom knowledge will open new ways and opportunities.

A Temple Built From Poems

On January 9, 2018, God gave me a dream. In my vision, I was driving down a long, dusty road. I saw a temple standing at the end of the street. I immediately understood God’s idea. I recognized that area so I knew there was an empty plot standing where I imagined the temple. “I am not suitable to build a temple” – I thought to myself.

In the meantime, a missionary woman in Finland had a similar dream, for a whole week she repeatedly dreamt of a temple in the same place.

The prophecy was clear, God wanted us to build a temple in the most marginalized area in Mezőberény, known as Delhi. God wants to reach the Roma regardless of wealth and nationality, may this Temple be an instrument in the hands of the Lord.

HGMI deals with challenges with a holistic approach. We believe that doing missionary work among the Roma is a 24/7 mission, and it has to reach every aspect of life. Building trust and relationships cannot be limited to working hours. We boldly declare that only the redemption of Jesus can restore lives once and for all.

I knew it would cost a fortune to build a temple. My wife, Hajnalka and I bought the land at our own expense. From a young age I write poems so I decided to “build the temple from poems”. I have been going to different churches for the past four years where I talked about my vision, they could support the construction by buying my poem anthology.

The event of the laying of the foundation stone happened on March 28, and we placed also a time capsule under the foundation stone.

God is faithful, He has great plans for the Roma nation, and the best is yet to come!

We are thankful for all the donations, to the government for their support, and special thanks to my wife, Hajnalka, my greatest supporter!

László Surman
Mission Director of HGMI

Born to be free

Many of us cannot even imagine what we would do if we had to leave our homes behind. The home that gives us comfort, safety and warmth. The ordinary weekdays which, in their own way, offer comfort to the weary soul. Many of us do not have to live from one day to the next one not knowing what tomorrow will bring. Unlike Irina, who spent her first days in Hungary waiting at the railway station for someone willing to help her.

The story of the only nineteen-year-old mother and her newborn baby, named Alex Abram, is not an ordinary one. A week after the war broke out, Irina and her family were forced to leave Ukraine. They desperately crossed the border leaving fathers, husbands and brothers behind. After three extremely long and tiresome days at the railway station in Záhony, Hungarian Gypsy Missions International rushed to their aid. The family got sheltered in Demecser from where Irina got into the hospital in Debrecen a few days later as her baby was on the way. Within a short time, she gave birth to a healthy little boy, Alex Abram.

‘He was born a few days prior as we expected. It must have been the anxiety that induced labour.’ said Irina while rocking the baby. Then she added:

‘The childbirth was easy, almost painless. After everything we had been through, it nearly seemed effortless.’

Alex Abram is her second child. She lost her daughter to an illness back in Ukraine. Alex’s father has not seen the child yet as he had to stay in Ukraine to fulfil his military obligations. But other family members have also decided to return home, Irina told us. Her sister left Hungary for Ukraine.

‘She couldn’t deal with the uncertainty. I have no intention of going back, though.’

‘Poverty and famine there are unbearable these days’ agrees Irina’s mother.

During our brief conversation, the child slept peacefully in his mother’s arms, unaware of the strange and chaotic circumstances in which he was born. The long journey, the seemingly endless wait at the train station, the lack of normality and the loss they all had experienced all of a sudden, took their strength. Now everything they want is to rest ‘for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’

From Kharkiv to Israel

The Testimony of Natalia from Ukraine

My name is Natalia, I’m a war refugee from Ukraine. My hometown, Harkiv is on the Ukrainian–Russian border.

On February 24th we woke up to some strange noise. Looking out the window I realized everyone was running in the direction of the metro station seeking shelter. We knew this could happen any moment, I grabbed my 7-year-old son, our essentials and ran down to the shelter in our basement.

My son and I spent more than a week hiding, but we ran out of food, water and medication rapidly. My son has asthma so I had to go to the pharmacy. The shelves were empty, there was no life-saving or sedative medicine. The shelter was freezing cold and humid, many mothers died after giving birth because of the lack of medical attention.

We realized that the Russians were bombing the civilian population, we had to leave our country as quick as we could.

Our community had to face another obstacle: petrol stations locked down due to the lack of fuel. The closest open station was 70 kilometres away and the maximum limit was 20 liters. We spent a lot of time in our vehicles, we went through a lot of hardship. My car was in the middle of a bombing area, but we were not harmed. We consider it a miracle that we survived it all.

My son and I found temporary shelter in Hungary, but we are moving to Israel soon. Israel will grant visas to 5,000 non-Jewish refugees seeking to escape the war.

We believe God protected us.

Twenty-fifth anniversary of Hungarian Gypsy Missions International

Hungarian Pentecostal Church established Hungarian Gypsy Missions International in 1996 as an independent mission branch. The Gypsy Mission’s areas of activity cover the entire territory of the country. The organization helps underprivileged people, especially the Roma. The Mission gives mental, spiritual, educational, physical and financial support, along with life management counseling. Through its national network, Gypsy Mission is present in 350 settlements, providing social care, labor market services, mission activities, training and educational programs on a daily basis.

Hungarian Gypsy Missions International celebrated its 25th anniversary in November 2021.

God did great and wonderful things among the Roma and within the mission in the past 25 years.

“It pleases God that the Gypsies should be those who are in front, who set an example that everyone can look up to.”—has been said at the celebratory conference commemorating the first World Roma Congress that took place 50 years ago and the 25th anniversary of the Hungarian Gypsy Missions International.

Albert Durkó, president of the mission, said the following in his celebratory greeting: “All thanks be to God, for although we have experienced many storms and have had to go through many hardships, the Lord has kept us and strengthened us to this day, and I believe He will continue to do so. God is reaching down to the Roma people in a special way, a great wave of revival will set in among them, not only in Hungary, but all throughout Europe. Ten years ago we could find only 3,250 Roma people in the church, but God told us that this small number was a seed, and that seed, if sown, will yield a hundredfold. I believe the time will come when there will be 325,000 Roma brought to Christ, and I am proclaiming this. When God says something, it is already done, and we are preparing on how to manage and retain the large number of Roma people.” As he put it, that is why the Mission makes agreements with universities, works together with local governments and anyone who wants to do something for this case.

“We believe there will be a large crowd that will need help to recover. When someone is converted, they are already open to changing their lives. We must represent the kingdom of God at the place we were planted, and that means first and foremost accepting ourselves as we are, but more than that, seeing our mission, the calling that God himself gave us. We are citizens and followers of His Kingdom, and that means being faithful in the place where He has ordained us. I see masses of Roma people submitting to the Kingdom of God, who will be honest craftsmen, politicians, doctors, and will participate in all areas of life, representing the gospel, the faith, that makes a person, a family and a nation stable.”—said Albert Durkó.

Attila Sztojka, the Government Commissioner responsible for Roma relations, also recalled the World Congress. As he said before the occasion, although the world knew that a Roma community existed, people did not think it could function as a nationality. In his view, the Békés centered HGMI will go a long way in helping people preserve their core values.

In her presentation, Katalin Langerné Victor, Deputy Secretary of State for Social Inclusion said that the number of unemployed Roma had halved.

László Surman, Mission Director has told about countless miracles happening over the past 25 years.

“Gypsies, both in the past and today, starve for love, they want to feel that they are important, that God cares for them, and that He has planned good things for them. After conversion, you no longer think you have no future, but believe that God is good and has a plan for you. This change is able to tear nations out of the determinations that can and must be torn apart. We can recall countless miracles of someone’s conversion and revival.”

Rev. András Berki, Vice President, continued the series of miracles in his presentation. “Many came to the churches as illiterate, but they received audio Bibles, and very soon we noticed an increase of knowledge in them, they recited the Word of God. Those who previously have had difficulties reading, began to read the Word more and more, hoping that Jesus might tell them something personal, until at one point they began to read it fluently.”

CharityPoints play an important role in the activities of the mission. Pál Péter, pastor of HGMI Zákányszék Church explained their operation: “We are ready to offer help at the CharityPoints we operate. We are always there when there is a need for us. After giving support, we are able to talk about the fact that it is God who lives in us, and it is often after that talk that we see people come to the church.”

Miklós Rézműves, pastor of HGMI Nyírvasvári Church, reported on youth work and the role of civilians and religious communities. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of young people without a vision for their lives. In our youth group meetings we want to reassure them that it is worth living, moving forward, studying, and becoming a father or a mother. One of our most important tasks is to paint a picture for young people that they can hold on to, and we need to create the opportunity for them to meet Jesus Christ.”

Rita Patkás, Head of Educational and Training Establishments, gave a presentation on education. “Our goal is more than erecting a building for ourselves, it is to build society, a place that can become a hallway of God’s Kingdom. We are present in 137 churches across eight counties of Hungary, and in 353 settlements including all other services. As a mission, we believe we need to be there to support the spiritual development of children, families, and educators. We can do this because of the help of mission staff and family mentors. We are also pleased that the management of the institution considers talent management to be key, so we can report outstanding results in various areas.” From this presentation we also learned that community centres also play an important role in the life of students.

The Social Services Centre is one of the pillars of the mission. Hajnalka Fazekas, Centre Director informed the participants about the work of the last 12 years. “Our social services are present in ten counties nationwide and in Budapest. The visiting and assistance services are operating in 106 settlements, currently supporting 6,250 people in need. We are providing subsidised meal programmes for more than 8,000 people. We operate a psychosocial rehabilitation programme for psychiatric patients since 2012, and we provide developmental employment for psychiatric patients since 2018.”

The mission staff continue to see hope as the main driving force of their work. A hope that will heal the sick, lift up the hopeless, and proclaim that the last can become first.

“We had to leave everything behind”

First of all the GypsyAid of Hungarian Gypsy Missions International wants to thank all the donations and support we received from many kind people in this time of hardship. Let’s continue our cooperation in helping the Ukrainian war refugees to find shelter and food.

The aid team of HGMI was departing from it’s central office packed with donations to see how we can help the Ukrainian war refugees more efficiently. The escaping families are thankful for every help, but there was a request we were unfortunately not able to meet. One young boy’s only request was he wanted to be reunited with his father again.

The mission team’s first stop was at the railway station close to the Ukrainian border. Most of the people there left all their belongings behind. Hundreds of people, children, adults, old and young were seeking help and looking for a place to go to sleep at.

“We left our husbands and children home. My two sons and two grandsons had to stay home, I was able to bring only my youngest ones with me and unfortunately they are ill, but we had to leave home. The air defense sirens sound and we don’t know what will happen next minute. There aren’t any bunkers in my village so we could not hide anyway, and we only speak Hungarian. There is great fear in people, many have departed, only a few people stayed in the towns.” — said one of the waiting women about the every day hardships.

Another mother had set on the road with four kids.

“We had to come, the lives of our children is the most important. We left everything at home, but we couldn’t wait any more. It was very difficult to leave, I was brought up there, everything ties me there, but everybody is overwhelmed by fear over there.” — told us a young lady answering our question.

Another family came also from Transcarpathia, and our mission team was able to help them by giving them useful items, clothes, bedding. They consider themselves lucky, since they can stay with the family of the father’s brother. “We could bring almost nothing with us except our ID papers and the clothes we wear. We left everything behind, so we are grateful for every help.”

The team left the border to visit some of the Mission’s community houses to bring donations there, where some refugees have been accommodated already. At one place we met 12 members of a family: 8 children plus the women of the family stay there. Instead of complaints we heard thanks from them for the opportunity to sleep there.

“We give thanks to the Heavenly Father for this warm welcome by the brothers and sisters. At home people are hiding, not staying home, so we had to leave as well. Our children are at the age of 9 months, 2 years, there are older ones as well. I always think of home and our men, because the shops closed, they are not able to buy food. Yet, my faith will not abandon me. I asked the Lord to let us cross the border using our ID papers and He answered my prayer. I am grateful to be together with these brethren who can help us.” — told us the eldest member of the family.

At an other place many children filled the room in the community house, who fortunately kept their playful mood. Maybe they feel less of the fear of life’s uncertainty what we can see in the eyes of their parents. “We would like to return to our homes as soon as possible, this is my greatest wish.” — said one of the mothers while opening a chocolate bar for her son.

The refugees were welcomed with love at the third place as well. The family of 6 members had no idea what was awaiting them in Hungary, but as they mentioned they received all help they needed, and they are very grateful to their accommodation providers.

The GypsyAid of HGMI works continuously to support and accommodate the incoming refugees by opened our community houses for them at several parts of the country and by providing accommodation and hot meals for them.

Again, thank you for all the donations we have received so far.

Roland Kocsany


To be able to provide all this help we need your support as well. Well-meaning people can support the aid work mostly by financial donations to our following accounts:

Account holder:MPE OCM
Address:56 Petofi street, Bekes H-5630, Hungary
Bank name:OTP Bank Nyrt.
Bank address:16 Nador street, Budapest, H-1051, Hungary
IBAN (EUR):HU39 1176 3330 3316 8881 0000 0000
IBAN (USD):HU97 1176 3330 3316 9019 0000 0000
SWIFT (BIC) code:OTPVHUHB
Note:Ukraine (+ include your email address)

Hungarian Gypsy Missions International takes part in providing for the refugees from Ukraine

They have been to Zahony to see the situation there. Afterwards they went to visit their Community Houses in Nyirvasvari, Mateszalka and Kotaj taking donations with them, since they have accommodated some refugees there. Durable food, clothes, diapers, blankets and helpful items of use were handed over to those in need.

The Mission has accommodated 150 people in its own facilities and provides for their everyday needs. Help is continuous.

Appeal!

Hungarian Gypsy Missions International gave shelter to 95 Ukrainian was refugees last night.

Help us support them!

Regional GypsyAid Centers

Hungarian Gypsy Mission’s official charity and relief organization has established regional centers for donation collecting and distributing. Any individual can offer clothes, non-perishable food, furniture, household appliances, money, etc.

Our regional GypsyAid managers organize the collecting of donations and accept written applications from needy families and people if they would like to receive some of those donations.

Unfortunately the incoming donations are less than all the applications for help. We pray God will move the hearts of people in more advantaged life situations to donate for the benefit of needy people.

Appeal for continuous prayer warfare

The National Prayer Network of Hungarian Gypsy Missions International calls all Christians to fight in prayer.