The main topic was the hope of the refugees

An interactive workshop titled “Life-Hope Transmission Among Refugees” was held for professionals and educators working with refugees at the HGMI headquarters.

Organized by Productivus Training Ltd., the program was made possible through the refugee project support of Samaritan’s Purse, and this occasion marked the second session of the professional training series titled “The Holistic Practice of Crisis Management and Life Arrangament.” The lecture was delivered by Szabolcs Kerekes, a trainer and member of the Barnabas Group Mission, as well as a pastor at the Rákospalota Corrective Educational Institute, who dedicated significant attention to the topic of hope. Participants sought answers to questions such as why hope is particularly important in the lives of refugees, how to ignite and sustain it in families facing difficult circumstances. The mission has been supporting individuals arriving from Ukraine to Hungary since the outbreak of the war, and it places importance on their spiritual and intellectual development, as well as the education of children.

“According to the Bible, what we carry with us into eternity from life is faith, hope, and love, and these shape us in both the joys and challenges of life. Unfortunately, the media often portrays a distorted image of these values, but we must still adhere to them,” was expressed during the workshop.

Without Borders in Mátészalka

The 1st Carpathian Basin Roma Missionary Conference was held in Mátészalka with over five hundred participants. From the beginning, HGMI considers the support of the Hungarian population and Hungarian-speaking Roma communities living in the Carpathian Basin to be of utmost importance.

“We firmly believe that there are no boundaries in proclaiming the Gospel. We witness how the power of the Gospel transforms the lives of individuals and communities, shapes their thinking, develops their personality, and even improves their social situation. We also understand that the unity of Hungarian-speaking Roma communities living in the Carpathian Basin is a force that promotes national cohesion. We also see that in many cases, Hungarian-speaking Roma communities and congregations beyond the borders do not receive sufficient attention, care, and support, and the Hungarian Gypsy Missions International is determined to change that,” stated the organizers at the conference held on May 27.

Péter Makkai, State Secretary of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection in Romania and a Reformed pastor, felt it was important to personally attend the event.

“There is no separate fate for Transylvanian Hungarians and Roma. We see how doors open before us and how people reach out to each other, joining their hands in prayer. I believe that this is the work of the Holy Spirit,” he expressed.

Katalin Victor Langerné, Presidential Advisor, although unable to be present, assured the organizers of her support. The guests were greeted by Sándor Kovács, Member of Parliament and Vice Chairman of the Welfare Committee, Dr. Péter Hanusi, Mayor of Mátészalka, and Oszkár Seszták, President of the Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County Assembly, all expressing their joy in providing a venue for the conference.

“I wish that today will be a truly historic event, and that people will unite through the power of the Holy Spirit,” emphasized Attila Sztojka, Government Commissioner for Roma Affairs, during his speech.

“For a long time, there was a great deal of shame within the Roma community, but today we have reached a point where an increasing number of disadvantaged individuals are lifting their heads, and more and more are looking upward instead of to the left or right. When we begin to seek the truth, the first step is always to open our Bible. In times of deception, the most important thing is to turn to God for guidance,” highlighted Attila Sztojka.

The celebratory sermon was delivered by Albert Durkó, President of the Hungarian Gypsy Missions International, who also announced the establishment of the Carpathian Basin Roma Missionary Forum during the event. The organization aims to work interdenominationally for unity in the future.

“Jesus Christ came to uplift the Roma, so that they may live abundantly and in community with their Savior,” resonated in the sermon.

In the final part of the conference, representatives from participating countries spoke about their lives, service, and the beauties and challenges they experience in their work. Guests from Serbia, Romania, Croatia, Ukraine, and the United States also attended the program.

The international event became a lasting memory for the participants through the involvement of the Voices of Hope Worship Band, the strengthening of fraternal relationships, and above all, the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Minimal exam anxiety in exchange for a wealth of knowledge

The church members and servants who participated in the Community Transformational Leadership Training Programme  provided an account of their acquired knowledge both in writing and verbally at the HGMI headquarters in Békés.

Hungarian Gypsy Missions International pays significant attention to education and discipleship. Through the current training, the participants have become enriched with extensive knowledge.

“Our main goal is to train workers and servants who can reach out to their broader environment, adapting to the mindset of God’s Kingdom. We believe that this development will have an impact on the churches, families, and the community where our brothers and sisters live and serve,” emphasized András Berki, Vice President, in response to our inquiry.

The unanimous opinion of the exam candidates was that it was worth embarking on the two-year training. As they expressed, they have gained knowledge that will be influential in their future ministry.

“For me, each session meant a great deal; I received numerous new revelations about God’s Kingdom. At the same time, we also acquired practical knowledge that is essential for successful ministry,” shared Dávid Pál Péter, who came from Zákányszék to take the exam held in Békés.

Tivadar Tóth also felt it was important to acquire new knowledge, so he listened attentively with an open heart during the lectures and continually serves his congregation with the teachings he has received.

“While I had some exam-related stress, I believe that for those who followed the teachings and made an effort to prepare, the assessment was not difficult. I am grateful for the knowledge I have gained, and I have been striving to pass on this knowledge to the members of the church, bringing genuine growth into their lives from the very beginning,” he expressed.

Central role of diaconia

The effective functioning of diaconal service was the central theme of a two-day program held by representatives of Fida International, a Christian organization, at the headquarters of HGMI in Békés.

The collaboration between the Hungarian and Finnish organizations has a long history. Fida serves needy people around the world, so their representatives were able to effectively share their acquired experiences with the staff of the HGMI. In his opening address, Mission Director László Surman emphasized that the work of love and service often focuses on providing physical assistance, but their primary goal is to demonstrate God’s love to people.

“The relationship with Fida is crucial in the life of our mission, and we can rely on their assistance in many areas. The outbreak of the Ukrainian war was the first instance when they expressed their support for our work in providing aid to refugees,” said László Surman.

During the training held on May 10th and 11th, the presenters, who currently serve in Kenya and Croatia, successfully conveyed the practical knowledge they have acquired through their work.

“Members of the congregations should not forget their mission to change the world around them. We express our love for God most effectively by loving and serving our fellow human beings. All our service activities should bring glory to God,” was emphasized by the presenters.

Romani Resistance Day

May 16th is a significant day in the Romani community, as it marks the Romani Resistance Day – a day to commemorate the remarkable act of resistance by a group of Romani prisoners at the special section of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, known as the “Zigeunerlager” or Gypsy camp in Poland. On this day in 1944, armed with only hammers, pickaxes, and shovels, the Romani prisoners stood up against their Nazi oppressors and refused to be led to their deaths in the gas chambers. This event is not only a testament to the bravery and resilience of the Romani people but also serves as a reminder of the ongoing persecution and discrimination they face.

During the Holocaust, the Roma were persecuted by the Nazis and subjected to genocide, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 200,000 to 500,000 Roma and Sinti individuals. Yet, their stories have remained largely untold in historical narratives, and their suffering has been overlooked. The Romani Resistance Day provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the ongoing struggles of the Romani people and advocate for their rights and inclusion.

The Romani prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau knew that they were facing imminent death, but instead of giving up, they decided to fight back. On May 16th, they attacked the guards with whatever weapons they could find, forcing them to retreat. As a result, no Romani prisoners were killed in the gas chambers that day. The legacy of the Romani resistance lives on and has inspired generations of Romani activists and artists to speak out against racism and oppression.

In 1971, the International Romani Union declared May 16th as Romani Resistance Day to honor the memory of those who stood up against the Nazis. Today, the day is commemorated with vigils, concerts, and other events around the world, serving as a reminder of the power of collective action in the face of injustice.

The Romani Resistance Day is not only a reminder of the past but also a call to action. It reminds us that the fight for justice is far from over and that we must continue to stand up against racism and oppression in all its forms. It encourages us to honor the past, recognize the present challenges, and continue striving for a more inclusive and equitable future.

May this day inspire us to work towards a future where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. Let us strive to build a society that values diversity and embraces the inherent worth of every individual, as we walk in the footsteps of Jesus, advocating for justice and standing up for the marginalized.

The family with six children no longer needs to get warmed up in one room

The charity of the Gypsy mission provided firewood and a stove for families in Kevermes who have serious difficulties in maintaining their daily needs. The support of kind-hearted donors is constantly needed to continue similar aid.

The Charity Service of the Pentecostal Gypsy Mission does its best throughout the year, especially in the winter to provide effective help to those in need. Nation wide, the staff of the mission can help about a hundred families, to which support from Finland, the Christian organization Fida and the Eelim Congregation in Kuopio, contributes greatly.

” There is also church planting in Kevermes, from where the news of families in great need reached us. We try to seize every opportunity to provide support to people in difficult situations, which is why we also organized a charity concert in December. We were able to support many families from the proceeds of the event taking place with contribution from Attila Kökeny, “said István Kis, the national coordinator of the Charity Service.

Although the head of the family we had visited in Kevermes works every day, it is still not enough to overcome the continuous financial problems to support six children.

This current donation was an enormous help for us, we thank everyone who contributed. Currently, we could only huddle together in one room, but from now on we can also heat up a separate room for the children”, said the mother of six about her circumstances.

In the neighbouring, where a family is raising four children, the parents are grateful not only for the firewood, but also for all the spiritual support they received from the staff of the Gypsy mission during this period.   

My son, at the young age of 12, doesn’t miss a single church event, and I think this is a serious opportunity for many young people to get on the right path. In the church, people can pour out their souls and get real help for their problems, for us this is worth more than anything, ” the family members said.  

The mission is happy to recieve any kind of support that it can further provide to people in difficult circumstances. Donations can be made at the Charity Points set up in Hungary, the address of which can be found on the organization’s website, where direct transfers are also possible.

Exchange of experience in Serbia for the purpose a common goal

The leaders of the Pentecostal Gypsy Mission visited Subotica to serve the beleivers in the local church. The main purpose of the meeting with the members of the Serbian church was to exchange experiences and strengthen relations.

Albert Durkó, President, and László Surman, Mission Director, represented the HGMI at the service of the Subotica church on February 26th, which is regularly attended by a large number of believers from the Gypsy community.

“An important goal of our visit was to unite the Gypsy communities of the Carpathian Basin, to help them, and to be able to exchange experiences on the methods we have acquired in our own country in the field of church operations. We also met several leaders who serve the Gypsy people, so we hope that a very fruitful collaboration will develop in the future,” highlighted Albert Durkó.

Sötét Arnold, the leader of the Church of the Gospel of Christ in Subotica, welcomed the possibility of collaboration.

“It is very important for us to see how God is glorified in the lives of the local gypsies. We trust that people will be more and more encouraged, draw strength, that God’s spirit will rest on them, and they will go out to preach the gospel to the people whom the Lord has entrusted to them. Strengthening our relationship with the Pentecostal Gypsy Mission can be of great help to us in the future, for which we are grateful,” said Arnold Sötét.

Collaboration with the University of Tokaj-Hegyalja

The Hungarian Gypsy Missions Intnational of the Hungarian Pentecostal Church and Tokaj-Hegyalja University have concluded a collaboration agreement. The document recording the agreement was signed at the festive senate meeting of the university.

Dr. Ágnes Horváth, rector, and Albert Durkó, President, signed the document recording the agreement between Tokaj-Hegyalja University and the Pentecostal Gypsy Mission on February 17, in Sárospatak.

The parties intend to collaborate in the field of research, increasing educational opportunities for children and young people, as well as professional and methodological support for catch-up and equal opportunity developments, but the plans also include joint participation in national and international projects. Pursuant to the agreement, the HGMI also provides the conditions for field exercises and professional internships to the students of the university. Among the mission’s commitments is the recruitment and enrollment of underprivileged Gypsy youth for the courses of the Tokaj-Hegyalja University.

Last year, the students of the Sárospatak institution also participated in the research carried out in the Delhi settlement part of Mezőberény, which took place with the collaboration of the Mission and the Gypsy Methodological Research Center, where the possibility of closer cooperation was outlined.

The National Gypsy Mission of the Hungarian Pentecostal Church also concluded a collaboration agreement with the University of Miskolc last year.

Relief Action to Ukraine

Pepita Donation Centre

Pepita Donation Centre started out as a second hand clothing store. Today, it offers visitors not only clothing products, but also home decor and furniture. The amount collected from the donation shop is used for families in need and for our mission activities.

Hungarian Gypsy Missions International and the Pepita Donation Centre had a joint event in September, the Pepita run in Békés, which proved to be a great initiative. It was a great family charity program in the name of movement and equal opportunities.
In addition to the run, the program was also enriched by a playhouse, handicrafts and a puppet theater. Mayor Tibor Kálmán started as the main patron of the event, and stated about the event on his Facebook page: "Another player on the field - The Pepita Run again invited the people of Békés to move for a good cause and a noble goal."