Protestant Gypsy Mission Conference

The walls must come down in the hearts of people!

It was the first time for the protestant churches of Hungary and the Gypsy Methodology and Research Center to hold a conference in Budapest-Fasori Lutheran Church titled: “Make disciples of all nations!” on 20th February. Almost 400 people came together with one purpose: to encourage, to motivate Gypsy and non-Gypsy Christians who are involved in Gypsy mission to continue their work for Gypsy people and to share the Gospel.

The churches were represented by one of their leaders: János Papp, President of the Baptist Church of Hungary; László Deák, Mission Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary; Dr. László Khaled Abdo, Candidate Superintendent of the United Methodist Church in Hungary; Eszter Dani, Head of Mission of the Reformed Church in Hungary and Albert Pataky, President of the Hungarian Pentecostal Church.

The event was honored by the presence and complimenting words of Karoly Czibere, Secretary of State representing the State Secretariat of Social Affairs and Social Inclusion at the Ministry of Human Resources. He said that “the strongest walls are not in society but in the hearts of people”, that is why it is important for our assemblies and churches to stand in unity by this conference. We must tell the society: “Every wall will come down in front of Christ” in the hearts of people.

Péter Bakay, Gypsy mission leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary gave us the answer to the question how to do it. At first we must become real followers of Christ. We must give up inactivity and “even by making a sacrifice or accepting unpleasantness, we must start serving”, making disciples of the people around us.

“The purpose of this day is to urge for ministry.” Yet, this ministry should not be a lonesome activity ? highlighted Albert Durko, President of Hungarian Gypsy Missions International ?, “just as in the story of the great catching of fishes one boat was not enough for Peter, we believe that one boat is not enough for us either. Every church, assembly and group is needed for the crowds to find their homes.”

In his sermon László Surman, executive elder of HGMI addressed the audience of the conference: Jesus came down to Earth to do something for the benefit of humanity, to offer solution for their sins. “My brother, what do you offer to do?” ? he asked. “Jesus sacrificed his life in order to save us to set a fire in your heart.”  There are no results without any sacrifice. The five protestant churches are convinced that the power of faith and the Gospel can bring complete changes in the lives of people and as a result of these changes the whole society will be restored.

In the afternoon program Bálint Kovács, Péter Bakay, Zoltán Kurdi, Albert Durkó and Ágnes Nyeső, the leaders of the five protestant Gypsy missions gave reports of their national activities.

In the next session ? led by Eszter Dani ? Gypsy people and Gypsy families shared their testimonies of complete life changes, who have got to know the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and decided to give up their former lifestyles in order to follow Jesus.

Between the testimonies the sound of the worship team of Pentecostal Gypsy Missions from Verpelét filled the church building. Gypsy and non-Gypsy people, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal, Reformed Church members sang together. Nobody could see any difference between them. In the church building the walls between people came down that day and we could learn and were encouraged together with open hearts. We got a new chance to be strengthened in our calling and to receive a fire into our hearts in order to serve the Gypsy and non-Gypsy people with a new dynamism.

Joseph Program ? changing mentality, fighting stereotypes

One of the many stereotypes about ethnic Gypsy Christians is that they are always ready to receive ? and not so much to give. We believe in the power of giving, even when it is the most disadvantaged people group in Europe who give.

In our Joseph Program, Roma participants gather in foodstuff to our community houses during the summer (when they can get higher income from working on the fields) and distribute it among themselves and other needy people during the winter season. Gypsy men in the community cultivate land and grow crops together. Some of the crops they then donate to the local school and some people in need.

The Joseph Program slowly influences the mindset of ethnic Gypsy believers. We have received good reports from participants as well as outsiders ? Roma and non-Roma alike.

We are looking for ways to get more ethnic Gypsies into the Joseph Program. Please, look at the video (turn on English subtitles) and Partner with us in this great initiative. Start supporting Joseph Program today.

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Raising our voice together ? network of ethnic Gypsy churches in Hungary

In the past 30 years, the gospel has been spreading fast among the most underprivileged people group in Hungary: ethnic Gypsies. Some churches welcomed them in their own congregations but more often small Roma congregations have been established. An already weak voice among Christians in the country, the fragmented crowd of Gypsy Christians cannot be as effective in impacting society as when they work together.

HGMI was founded in 1996 with only a handful of people in 3 ethnic Gypsy churches. In the past 20 years, God has opened up doors for the gospel among the Roma in a mighty way. The people ? despised by a large part of mainstream society ? turn to God, repent of their sins and are born again. Today, there are about 6000 people in 120 churches and church plants in our network.

As (non-geographic) Church District 5 of the Hungarian Pentecostal Church in Hungary, HGMI provides the administrative background for these 120 churches. Together we are stronger.Together our voice is louder.

Whatever we do, we always think in terms of networking. It takes only a little extra effort but results are manifold.

Partner with us in reaching the Roma in and around Hungary. Start supporting our mission today.

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The role of GypsyAid in helping refugees

Refugees have been coming through Hungary for quite a while now but we had never seen anything like what we experienced in August and September 2015. In partnership with the Hungarian Pentecostal Church in Hungary, HGMI?s charity and aid arm, GypsyAid set up an operative base at the refugee collection point outside Röszke, Hungary, less than a kilometer from the Serbian border. GypsyAid is committed to coordinate help in the long term.

Click here to see our gallery.

Click to help refugees.

Hungary is situated on one of the major refugee/migrant routes to the heart of the European Union. Over 300 thousand people crossed the border illegally in 2015 (until September 30). During the summer, the Government rushingly enacted legislation to more efficiently keep migrants ? and refugees ? out of the country, and erected a 175-km border fence on the Hungarian?Serbian border.

On September 14 afternoon, the border became much more difficult to cross, so our operations shifted from Röszke to Horgos, on the Serbian side. A few days later, people started to come again ? but this time via Croatia. About 35 thousand of them entered Hungary through the Croatian border in the next 7 days.

While there are a lot of young men that seemingly need little help, there are also lots of families with small children, even babies. Many places the refugees are warmly welcome by local people, but the general public?s attitude is rather adverse. It is expected that the flow of refugees will not stop for the winter and an even greater wave will bee coming next spring.

GypsyAid, in cooperation with the Hungarian Pentecostal Church and by the generous support of some local and international partners, distributed water, bananas, apples, biscuits, coffee and tea, tents, sleeping bags, shoes, clothes, blankets, backpacks, items of personal hygiene, and many other things as they were needed. A lot of volunteers joined our team, even non-Christians came after we had made a call for action.

Our quick response team will be serving in the refugee hot spots in and around Hungary as long as the need and support will be there. Please, pray for us and consider partnering with us (e.g. with financial support, by volunteering).

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Click here to see our gallery.

Click to help refugees.

Touching the untouchables ? church planting & outreach

Politicians in Eastern Europe and in the European Union go into great lengths trying to solve the so-called ?Roma Problem.? Our vision at Hungarian Gypsy Missions International is that the Roma ? as the most underprivileged people group in Europe ? first and foremost need God?s saving mercy and grace. When they repent and turn to Him, they are born again and Jesus transforms their lives.

HGMI was founded in 1996 with only a handful of people in 3 ethnic Gypsy churches. In the past 20 years, God has opened up doors for the gospel among the Roma in a mighty way. The people ? despised by a large part of mainstream society ? turn to God, repent of their sins and are born again. Today, there are about 6000 people in 120 churches and church plants in our network.

Our vision is that God makes the last first. Revival among the Roma will have a great impact on Europe. Those who have racial prejudice against them today, will come to the Lord and be blessed.

Mission workers and volunteers, supervised by the HGMI executives elders, visit churches and cell groups regularly. They preach a teach the Bible. HGMI trains local and regional leaders ? preparing room for 325 thousand Gypsy men and women, according to our vision.

Music has a vital role in the Roma way of life and thus it is a major means for communicating the message of God?s love to them. Praise & worship music is very important in all our churches, cell groups and outreaches.

Partner with us in reaching the Roma in and around Hungary. Click here and start supporting a mission worker today!

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Groundbreaking sociological survey shows transformed Gypsy lives

On April 23, 2015, Gypsy Methodology and Research Center (GMRC), the scientific research arm of Hungarian Gypsy Missions International, introduced their first major work in sociological research among the Hungarian Roma, The Impact of Gypsy Mission Movements in Hungary. The Protestant interdenominational survey has shown that there are about 20,000 born-again church-attending ethnic Gypsies in Hungary today.

Having processed 1100 questionnaires from a representative group of 6500 ethnic Gypsies across the country, GMRC researchers found that transformation of born-again Roma?s lives is obvious and Christian ministries among the Roma have a substantial positive impact on society.

Ethnic Gypsies make up a significant portion of the population in Central & Eastern Europe. Their cultural differences, poverty as well as mainstream society?s rampant prejudice against them have created a complex ?Gypsy issue? across Europe. Neither national governments nor the European Union has been able to offer a viable long-term solution that would provide equal chances and a hope for the future to the Roma masses while increasing their usefulness for society. We are convinced that even if society had all the good intentions and precise strategies to help, the Roma ? just as everybody else ? can and will only be changed by the transforming power of the gospel.

In The Impact of Gypsy Mission Movements in Hungary, the authors ? GMRC researchers Mr. Gellert Gyetvai and Mr. Zoltan Rajki ? paint a detailed picture about how Roma lives can change under God?s transforming power when they are approached with love and grace. All aspects of their lives are changed and they do become a blessing to others.

Hungarian Gypsy Missions International firmly believes God will make the last the first. He will lift up the Roma in Europe and make them examples and a driving force for change.

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Albert Durko receives Raoul Wallenberg Award

The Rev. Albert Durko, President of Hungarian Gypsy Missions International, nominated by Mr. Zoltan Balog, Hungarian Minister of Human Capacities, and the senior leaders of HGMI, received the Raoul Wallenberg Award on January 19, 2015.

For an exemplary life and ministry of fighting against discrimination, helping the underprivileged and disadvantaged, and contributing towards the exercising of human rights and citizenship rights provided by law in Hungary, Mr. Zoltan Balog, Hungarian Minister of Human Capacities, and the senior leaders of HGMI had nominated Albert Durko for the 2015 Raoul Wallenberg Award. The Award Committee found the nomination well-founded and selected him to be one of the Award recipients.

The laudation states that ?the leader of Hungarian Gypsy Missions International believes that through mutual acceptance everybody can help decrease the tensions in society and find the path to enriching others.?

The award ceremony, titled ?Raoul Wallenberg ? Each Action Counts? and held on January 19, 2015, commemorated the 70th anniversary of Wallenberg?s detention by the Soviet Red Army. The diplomat was never publicly seen afterwards and reportedly died imprisoned in Moscow on July 17, 1947. The joint awards of the Raoul Wallenberg Association, the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, the Ministry of Human Capacities and the National Association of Local Authorities are given to people and organizations that, in one way or another, follow in the footsteps of the Swedish humanitarian. This year, five people and two organizations were awarded.

Ceremony participants and speakers included H. E. Mr. Niclas Trouvé, Embassador of Sweden, Mr. Michael Wernstedt, Executive Director of the Swedish Raoul Wallenberg Academy, Mr. Urban Christian Ahlin, Speaker of the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament), Mr. Emir Selimi, Artist & Roma Rights Activist, Dr. Marta Matrai, First Officer of the Hungarian National Assembly, Mr. Szabolcs Takacs, Minister of State for European Affairs (Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities), and Dr. Bence Retvari, Parliamentary State Secretary (Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities).

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Raoul Gustaf Wallenberg (4 August 1912 ? disappeared 17 January 1945) was a Swedish architect, businessman, diplomat and humanitarian. He is widely celebrated for saving tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during the Holocaust from Hungarian Fascists and the Nazis during the later stages of World War II. While serving as Sweden?s special envoy in Budapest between July and December 1944, Wallenberg issued protective passports and sheltered Jews in buildings designated as Swedish territory. (Wikipedia: Raoul Wallenberg)

900 Participants at Coworkers? Meeting in Bekes

Over 900 of our nearly 1200 full-time coworkers attended our special biannual gathering in Bekes on November 15, 2014. They had come for a day of encouragement, inspiration, and information and didn?t go home empty-handed ? or, in fact, empty-hearted. They all had the opportunity to listen to reports about what we are doing as an organization, hear the gospel, and even be prayed for. We are receiving good reports about the outcome.

On November 15, 2014, the number of HGMI employees across all our sectors and functions was 1183. Over 900 of these people came to our biannual coworkers? day held in Békés, Hungary. As a Christian organization, we have a policy not to only employ Christians. About half of our people are non-Christians. We convey the gospel to them in words and deeds.

In the morning, the Rev. Albert Durko, HGMI President shared a heart-to-heart message. One of the main objectives of these gatherings is to express our appreciation to our coworkers for their hard work and commitment. Albert preached a message of hope and inspiration. He offered the people that they can come forward and be prayed for by the HGMI executive elders and other leaders.

All participants had yet another opportunity to familiarize themselves with HGMI?s mission and vision: everything we do, we do to reach as many lost Gypsies and non-Gypsies with God?s life-transforming gospel as possible.

In the afternoon, the leaders of various HGMI units and functions shared their presentations about our services, statistical data and their vision for the future.

Our invited guests ? including Dr. Erzsebet Sandor, Deputy Commissioner from the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, the Rev. Albert Pataky, President of the Hungarian Pentecostal Church, and Mr. Gabor Izso, the Mayor of Bekes ? all addressed issues relevant to minorities and underprivileged people and expressed their joy for HGMI?s work.

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