Budapest Outreach Summer 2012
“A guy wearing a ‘Kebab’ advertisement board came after us yelling ‘Jesus wasn’t a Jew! Jesus wasn’t a Jew!’ I turned around and said, ‘Yes, He was, He was born in Israel to a Jewish mother. But He came to save all humankind, Jews and Gentiles alike by dying on the cross for our sins and rising up from the dead.’ He got confused and grabbed a random bystander, saying, ‘Jesus wasn’t a Jew, right?’ The man replied, ‘Yes, He was. The Bible says Jesus was a Jew!’ The kebab man then wanted to know more and gave his contact information.
“I met a young man at the tram station in Blaha Lujza Ter. He shared with me that he’d had a terrible accident and the doctors gave him a 3% chance to survive. After many surgeries and a complete recovery, the doctors told him that he must have a special purpose in life because of his miraculous survival. He was very open to the gospel message as he has been seeking what this special purpose might be.”
“After bringing me many unsaved Gentiles, the Lord brought me an elderly unsaved Jewish woman. She had been standing near me for about ten minutes when I approached her. She explained to me in broken English that she is Jewish, but wanted to know more about Jesus. I gave her the paper with the sinner’s prayer on it and she took the time to read it and then fill out her information for follow-up. Her name is Hilda and I hope she receives the Lord.”
“Shoshana and I met 18-year-old twins at a festival at Deak Ter. I asked one who he thought Jesus is and he stated, ‘I believe that Jesus is the Son of God.’ But he seemed to have no knowledge of Him as his personal savior. I explained the gospel to both young men and Shoshana explained it again in Hungarian. When we asked if they would like to receive Jesus and follow Him both the twins replied, ‘Yes’! They prayed to receive Jesus and gave their full contact info. Praise Jesus!”
“Gabriela, a 22-year-old whose mother was Jewish, took the tract I offered. When she saw my Jews for Jesus T-shirt she said, ‘Be careful. This is an area where there are crazy people.’ She listened carefully when I told her that God has a good plan and a real purpose for her life and doesn’t want her to miss what He has for her. I told her that she can get this relationship when she asks for forgiveness of her sins and invites Jesus into her life. She was interested in knowing more about the work of Jews for Jesus and gave me her contact details.”
“I was out broadsiding with an older Hungarian lady, Gizzi. She approached small groups of young people to tell them it was important for them to turn their lives over to Jesus or face an eternity in hell. Her motherly yet stern manner produced good fruit.
“Meanwhile, captivating music drifted over the darkened park and drew me in. I searched to see where the sound was coming from. Three or four men were playing instruments that looked like relics. They turned a crank with one hand while with the other hand played keys. I was told the instrument’s English name was a ‘hurdy-gurdy.’ One man led singing with a boisterous voice while other people gathered around and joined in.
“Girls in modest knee-length dresses traced traditional Hungarian folk steps with boys who sang and danced the way their fathers and their fathers before them have done. Old and young entered and left this rhythm of a way of life almost gone. For those moments I felt I touched the real nature of Hungary. It was in the dance and song.
“A family visiting from Germany was enjoying the music. I struck up a conversation with the father, Gunther, who remarked how terrible were the things done in Hungary during the War. I asked him who he thought Jesus was. He said he believed in G-d, in love. He wasn’t so sure about Jesus. I volunteered that I believed Jesus was the promised Savior who took our sins upon Himself, and died and rose again, according to the Scriptures. I shared prophecies with him and it was obvious he was thinking about it. Then I asked what would happen if Jesus is the Son of G-d and the only way to eternal life is through Him? Would Gunther want to face an eternity separated from G-d in hell? Gunther acknowledged that maybe I was right. I challenged him to ask G-d to show him who Jesus is and He would. We parted ways as the music and dancing drifted into the night.
“What an irony the conversation was. There I was, the child of Holocaust survivors trying to bring someone from Germany and his family to a saving knowledge of the Jewish Messiah.”
Stephen Pacht reports:
“I have never seen so much hatred of Jews. I see the angry faces, I hear the words spat out in spite but can’t understand any of it. One young skinhead (and there are many) stretched his leg out to reveal his Doc Martin boot to indicate that he just wanted to kick Jews. Another man, realising I spoke no Hungarian, stood up to my face and repeatedly shouted in English, ‘I don’t like Jews!’ I am sure that he would have used the word ‘hate’ had he known it in English.
“So I now understand why the Hungarian Jews are so discreet. Several Christians have admitted to having Jewish roots-a Jewish father, a Jewish mother, a Jewish grandparent … they speak to me in hushed tones of their Jewish identity.
“A fashionably dressed man in his mid-twenties was watching as I distributed tracts. He discreetly indicated his willingness to talk and quietly told me to be careful as there were many anti-Semites. He admitted that he was Jewish, but added that his friends didn’t know! Twenty years of cowed silence about being Jewish! In fact Peter was waiting to meet a friend whom, he informed me, would not be happy to see him talking with me. He was taking a risk by talking with me and would have some explaining to do. Sure enough after a couple of minutes, his friend arrived. The look on his face as I asked him if he spoke English and his refusal of the tract proffered confirmed Peter’s prediction. Another day two Hungarian Jews stopped to talk. Only after I questioned them did they admit to being Jewish. Both were keen to stay in touch. Both believed Jesus to be a good man, but doubted the resurrection.
“I was pleasantly surprised when a 20-year-old engineering student called Aron told me openly that he was Jewish and was keen to keep in touch. In fact he had been educated in a Roman Catholic school. He had rejected Catholicism but had some sort of belief in Jesus, though also unsure about the resurrection. Pray for Aron.”
Rev. Ron Elkin, who joined us from AMMI Ministry reported:
“I was distributing tracts where buses emptied lots of people on their way to work. A work crew was repairing the sidewalk. I nodded to one of the workers but he looked at me in disgust. My shirt says Jews for Jesus in Hungarian, Hebrew and English. Many Hungarians feel very negative towards Jewish people. The Hungarians are suffering economically, and the older generation is a depressed people who are looking for someone to blame for their problems. As I continued distributing tracts, I noticed the men were doing an excellent job, and even though I didn’t have the language to express my appreciation for the quality of their work, I was able to indicate my approval to the man who had rejected me. His face lit up and he smiled at me, unaccustomed to gestures of appreciation. When the work crew had finished their job and was about to leave the man came to me and took a tract. What a blessing!
“I asked a young man who he thought Jesus is and he said he was non-religious. I shared the gospel with him and I could tell he was listening intently and his attitude was softening. I found out his grandmother had often spoken to him about God. I continued to witness and then asked him what he thought about the gospel, he seemed less sure of his doubts and I felt encouraged to ask him if he would like to ask Jesus into his heart. After additional discussion he prayed to accept the Lord. His name is Agi. He gave me his contact information and I encouraged him with the idea of discipleship and ways of growth in the Lord.”