Spiritual Hunger in Hungary
Kata Tar and Daniel Balogh report: “A delegation from our Budapest branch went to Sátoraljaújhely (a.k.a. Újhely) to stand shoulder to shoulder with a local church. The pastor of the church, Josi, is a Jewish believer in Yeshua. He and his two grown children, Aaron and Ezster, are regularly involved with us as volunteers in Budapest. The church with its fifteen members has a brave vision for its hometown of 15,000. Several from the church joined us during for a special outreach, which was a hard but healthy stretch for them. Over the span of two weekends, we were able to hand out over 2,500 broadsides and gathered 19 contacts. God gave us conversations with a handful of Jewish people.
“We planned our outreach to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day because the entire Jewish population (6,000) of Újhely was deported during that horrible time. Hardly any returned. Újhely is also a pilgrimage site for the Hasidim (an extremely Orthodox sect). Why? Because in the local Jewish cemetery lies Rebbe Mózes Teitelbaum, father of the Teitelbaum rebbe dynasty, propagator of Hasidism in Hungary.
“During the outreach, almost all the pedestrians took our tracts titled, ‘Is it possible to believe in God after the Holocaust?’ The entire town felt to us like a memorial, not only of Hungarian Jews, but of Hungary itself. Two-thirds of Hungary was taken after the two World Wars, and the post-war border runs through Újhely, right where the Jewish street ends. People’s willingness to take our pamphlets when they saw the question we posed showed they are spiritually hungry.
“It was very moving for us to be there, as Jews filled with the Messiah’s life and love, to proclaim the life and forgiveness we have found in Jesus of Nazareth. We invited people to a showing of a film of Jewish survivors who came to believe in Him, at a movie theater made available to us by the mayor of the city. ’Yes, I would come to see this film, but I am afraid it would be too painful for me,’ one passerby responded, upon receiving our invitation.
“A total of 50 people came to see the film which was good. This included a cemetery caretaker and his mother, who confided that she believed in Yeshua as the Messiah—though subsequent follow-up made it clear that she is not yet born again.
“At one point, Aaron and Daniel noticed a busload of Hasidim coming up the road, from the cemetery. They walked into the crosswalk and naturally the bus stopped, giving our two guys the chance to slowly cross the street in such a way that the passengers on the bus could see the words ‘Jews for Jesus’ written in Hebrew on our shirts. The name of our ministry caught a lot of eyes. Some smiled, many were surprised.”
Please pray God’s blessings on Pastor Josi, his children and their church, and that the Lord will bring forth good fruit from the seeds that were sown, especially for the cemetery caretaker and his mother.