Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Homeless Mission, February 2007

7th February 2007

A man from the homeless, named Steven (Istvan), said at our regular Wednesday evening service: ‘I’m very happy we are meeting again. I really missed you all.’ How true was that. I really missed these people. That’s why I went to the mission this week. I haven’t been there for a long time; but they didn’t change much.

This time I could meet three little children, two 4 years old boys and an 8 years old girl. One boy has two first names: Mircea Istvan; the first is Romanian and the second Hungarian. This boy has to get injections to grow a little. He’s too small for his age and so slim. He likes Jeno Lako, the ‘leader’ of this mission, very much, so that he takes Jeno’s hand and doesn’t let it go. He likes to play and talk with him. The other boy, Gabriel, who is 4 years old, whenever someone puts the question why did Jesus come to this world, he answers loud: “He came for us to be not sinners anymore!”

For me it was a great feeling to be together with these people again, and take part in their service, which was led by Elod Martons, a fifth year student. He spoke about Onesimus, an escaped slave. (Philemon :8-11). It was not an ordinary service, with the wearing of a black suit and so on. We just sat round, prayed, sang (with the learning of a new songs), and after Elod finished speaking about the slave, we discussed some questions relating to freedom. We spoke about the meaning of real freedom. Onesimus wanted so much to escape from slavery. This is freedom; when you are not in somebody’s authority, you are not a slave, but can do with your life whatever you want. Still, the real freedom is when you are free inside, when you don’t have anything in your soul that hurts you, or causes you white nights. Real freedom means getting away from sin and being clean and dependent alone on God, who is Love.

After this evening I had to ask myself what kind of freedom I have, and I pray to be real free, inside of me.

Emese Nagy, 3d year


6th February 2007

With God’s help we started again with the homeless-mission after a longer holiday. In January we couldn’t do anything because of the exams. On 6th February me, and Attila Lorincz who helps me every time, went shopping. We brought to homeless people 14 packages with food. We visited also the Lezsan family and beside food we brought them clothes too. The old woman cried; she’s ill with hadaches and night after night can’t sleep because of the pain. The old man thanked us for the packages. He’s fine, thanks to God; but he’s worried because of his wife. We tried to consol them; and they don’t give up. They believe that God takes care of them.

After this we went up to the garage where Laci lives together with children. The bigger child, 4-year-old, was very happy to see us, and he asked when they have to go to the service. He waited for it so much. The smaller child is only 5 months old. He’s healthy. Fortunately, he survived the cold days and didn’t get sick. The mother hopes she will make peace with the children’s father (she didn’t say what was the problem between the two), so she could go to him. The man has a house. We prayed for the children, for God’s help, to be able to survive in these circumstances. They thanked us for the food and promised to come to the service.

On the way to the Kuti family we met with a homeless man we haven’t seen before. We invited him to the service. He said he will come.

The Kuti family waited for us happily. The man couldn’t come to the service. He’s working until 8 o’clock in the evening. We looked at the small ‘house’ where they live. It must be repaired weekly. There are problems with the roof. They want to build a sort of a bathroom with a shower. They use many little things to make as comfortable a home as possible. Every time these people surprise me. I’ve never heard them say an ugly word to each other. They are clean. The man is always shaved. They never give up. They say God is helping them, and that’s why then don’t get depressed, don’t cry. If God helps man it would be a sin not to work hard, just cry all day long because of the situation we have. We owe God everyday-work and prayers.

Then we went to Pavel who built a small cottage near the cemetery. He invited two homeless men into his shack, to help them as he can. He told us happily that every morning he wakes up he says ‘Our Lord.’

Erika went back to her husband. Pavel goes there only in visit. We prayed together with Pavel. He prayed saying thanks for your great help.

We also visited Sanyi, who wasn’t at home, only an old woman. She lived in Torda, and came here not long ago. She wants to make peace with her daughter, but the daughter doesn’t want to hear about her mother. So the old woman has to live on the streets. In Torda after the husband died the daughter sold the house, and she came to Kolozsvar. It’s very sad how people who put their own mother on the streets are in this world. The woman hopes God will help her, and the situation will change.

While we were speaking Sanyi came. He asked us how we passed the exams, and aren’t we ill ―like a worried grandfather.

We also brought food to the Maty as to Sanyi, Istvan, Janos, and two more homeless. They started to come to the service right before Christmas. They sleep in another place every night, so it’s quite difficult to find them.

Peter lives alone in a basement. He’s a very nice Hungarian Reformed man. His son sold the family house and sent his father away. We were also at Mrs. Remenyik. She was very happy to see us, and thanked for the package. She prays every evening for us to be blessed in our work.

What really touched my heart was the hope of these people. Maybe they will never have a decent home again, but they hope and believe for better days, a better life.

Jeno Lako, 3d year

7th February 2007

Whoever promised to come to the service really kept their promise. They were all there on Wednesday evening. There were around 23 together with 3 children, and this time they stayed. Attila’s fiancé, Melinda, couldn’t come. She is taking care of the homeless children. She’s a social worker, and from now on she will write separately about this activity.

At the service we sang a lot, and talked. Elod Marton, from the 5th year, preached about Philemon :8-11. After the service we tried to find answers to some questions related to the service. At the end everybody had to say what was its personal message for them.

We gave the sandwiches and drinks. Everybody was happy to be again in ‘God’s house’. For them that little room is like a real church.

I have to write down what one of the homeless people, Peter, said to me: ‘There are many problems, difficulties but God helps us. I’m a Hungarian without home, but not a thief. I don’t speak bad with people. I’m not walking in dirty clothes. It might be that I’m poor, I’m living in miserable circumstances but I’m still God’s child. And I try to live like one of God’s children.’

This occasion passed. Now we wait for the next time when we could give help to these people, if not big things, its just a smile, a nice word, which means so much for them.

Jeno Lako, 3d year

Melinda’s Bible class with the homeless children

It’s 20th of February. The children and we have been waiting so much for this occasion because we haven’t met each other since before Christmas. A long time has passed, so we were curious and waited the children to tell us what happened with them since.

When we arrived to the Two-tower Church, they were waiting for us. They ran to us and gave us a hug. This was so nice. We could feel how important this occasion is for them, that they really missed us and waited to meet again, to hear again from God.

They told us that they sang Christmas carols and they saluted the New Year. We repeated what they learned before; and it was a great surprise when they told us everything we spoke or learned about without any help. They even sang for us those Christmas carols we taught them.

At this time we spoke about Noah and the flood. The children enumerated what kinds of animals were brought into the boat. We explained how Noah built the boat; and then they colored beautifully the pictures about Noah’s story. Finally we tried to make conclusions from the story of the flood. We said: ‘God punishes the sinners as He did with those who drown in the water. And God saves his good and honest people.

We went back to the adults where the children got sandwiches and told to their parents what they have done on the Bible class.

For me it’s a joy to help these kids. Helping I mean I’m spending a part of my free time with them. We learn together, we draw together, and we discover the word of God. It’s a great feeling when I see that they are doing their ‘jobs’ so faithfully and come to the Bible class.

14th February 2007


I think this mission from 14th February was for me the first time when I saw such happy homeless people. We sang a lot and we tried to create the proper atmosphere for the service.

The text was Psalm 37:1-5. It speaks about richness and poorness. Our world’s big question is: ‘Why do some people have such a good life and others sometimes don’t have what to eat or where to sleep?’ People usually ask why is life in this world so unfair? The psalmist says life goes by so quickly that even riches are like the grass or plants that are cut down. The most important ‘job’ for men is to believe in God, to put everything in God’s hand and be sure that He takes care of this world.

It was nice to see how happy the poor man could be. After the service when we gave the sandwiches and drinks an old woman whose daughter had a birthday gave to every one of us a chocolate. We had new members on the mission. Pavel’s friend came. He’s a Russian and he wasn’t allowed to go home a few years ago. Another homeless person was a young Romanian woman. When she introduced herself, she gave her name, age, and said: ‘I’m a poor woman; but I help also the other poor people. I believe in God and everybody should do the same.’

The main idea/message of the whole service was: ‘Let the Lord lead you and trust him to help.’(Psalm 37:5). I pray this text to be a lesson for all people to learn to trust in God with all our heart. He knows very well what we need to do.

Emese Nagy, 3d year

14th February 2007

On the another occasion there had been a little problem, people couldn’t read from the songbook we gave because the letters were too small. So this time a student wrote down the songs with big letters on paper. Meanwhile a few of us made the sandwiches and discussed the ‘program’ for the evening.

This evening there were 18 homeless, some new members invited by Sandor, who said they are nice men and they need the word of God.

They love to sing so we tried to reach them as many songs as we can, with the help of instruments. Then we gave them sandwiches and instead of tea we had soft drink. While they were eating we could speak with some of them. After this we repeated the songs we learned. We tried to make a conclusion, what was this week’s message, shortly.

We talked about their problems. I noticed that they feel good when they can speak about their problems in front of more people. Everybody has almost the same problem, so they can listen to each other and they can understand perfectly all these sad things.

Everybody left after the service ―who knows where?. After an hour of silence, peace and joy, they have to face again their usual problems. But hopefully after the occasions on Wednesday evening they will go out with more strength and hope, so that they can face these problems easier. They go with God into the ‘battle of life’.

The next day we brought packages of food to those who were at the service the other day. We gave them clothes too which were gathered by the Unitarian theological students. We are doing all these with hope that we can offer them what they need, a small light in their life of shadows.

Jeno Lako, 3d year

21-22nd February 2007

Again new people came to the homeless-mission; and of course we are glad about this. We always tell others that we accept gladly other homeless too.

The service was led by Attila Erdei, a 4th year student. Again we sang, talked a lot, and shared sandwiches.

Now I would like to write a little about a new member. His name is Istvan (Steven), around 30-40 years old. His life can be summarized in two words: from richness to poorness. He had a wife and two kids. They lived together 10 years in a four-room house. One day his wife told him that she didn’ t love him anymore, and the best way was for him to go away. She had a new lover and he wanted to move in with her. Of course Istvan said that the house was his property; but the wife was a lawyer and had arranged to have everything in her name. Steven was put out by force onto the streets. Since then he has been homeless. The children go to school, and don’t like their father, only their mother and new stepfather. Istavn had a beautiful wife, two children, a house, and an Opel Vectra; but now he’s got nothing. He confessed that he still loves his wife. He’s angry too, but he can’t but love her.

Against of all he has still the hope that everything will be all right. He’s got something nobody can take away from him; and that is faith. He was always a religious man. He always felt the presence and love of God. ‘Maybe God took from me everything, but with this He wants to try me, and strengthen me. I believe that one day I will again have everything I lost.’

I believe too that God takes care of him; and maybe God’s will was for him to meet Sandor, who called Istvan to the mission.

Jeno Lako, 3d year

28th February 2007

It’s allways an experience to go on the homeless-mission; but at the same time, it always makes me think about my own life. Everything changes inside of me, so that my cries and my anger disappear.

It’s a totally different world with these people. Its’ quite an experience to look and listen to them as they tell their stories: how they survive in everyday life with God’s help. It’s sad too. For us is something natural to think that that, if you are homeless, you have a miserable life; but not for them.

This time I entered the room surprised to see all those tired faces, poor clothes; but when we started to arrange the room, to put the chairs in order, etc., I felt how glad they were to help us. They waited so much for this occasion.

We sang the old songs, a little sadly but sincerely: ‘Let there be peace on the Earth.’ The one who led the service spoke about the darkness inside of a man, which only God can take away. He is the one who can take away our fears, hopelessness, just ask this with faith and obey the Lord. There were tears in the eyes of people. They felt it’s about them. I felt that they really understand what it means to fear, what darkness is. One of them told us that he slept with one single blanket, and he woke up several times in the night because he was cold. Somebody had stolen his mattress and other blankets. They really know how bad the darkness is, and how cold the nights are in February. Inside I prayed for them to see that the darkness inside the heart, the life without God, is as miserable as their poorness and needs.

I find it nice that this group of singles and lonely people have become a small community, a ‘congregation’ at the mission. They listen to each other, ask about each other, and take care of each other. For example, if someone is missing they put away sandwiches for that person, and for the children too.

This mission helps to know better both God and other people who have the same problems as I have.

Marta Mihaly, 2d year

28th February 2007

On the 28 of February Jeno Lako, from the homeless-mission, asked me to participate at the mission on Wednesday evening. The students from the second, third, fourth and fifth year had to choose a place for ‘legacio’, to decide where they were to go to preach for Easter. I accepted gladly, because I always thought it to be very important to take care of the kinds of people, who need this so much.

Lorand Muller from the 4th year led the service. Marta Mihaly, Samuel Nanasi (2nd year) and myself were helping to serve the sandwiches and drinks. We also talked with people, listened to their problems and tried to console them as we could.

It was a great experience to be there at the mission. Sometimes we are so occupier with our own problems that we get angry when we have to wake up early in the morning and we are tired. But at this mission one can realize that there are much more serious problems people have to face every day: cold, hunger, and so on.

I pray for God’s blessing for those who sacrifice time, energy and money to help people in need.

Sandor-Levente Tokar, first year


28th February 2007

After a long time, I was again at the mission on Wednesday evening. It was good to meet with known faces and the new members too.

It was a surprise for me that there is a group for children too, because those kids, who were brought by their relatives, don’t understand much of the adult’s conversations.

I read 1 Genesis 1, 1-5 and we talked about God’s work in the darkness, that He has done his good deeds in darkness. He acts in our darkness, a world of sins and miseries.

One of the homeless said that God sooner or later will help him, because he believes. One of the students, Samuel Nanasi, asked the man if he ate something. ‘Yes’, answered the man. Then Samuel continued: ‘And a coffee, a glass of water?’ ‘Yes’, replied again the man. We said that God will not give help in the future but now, in every day. He helps, blesses, takes care of us, gives strength to work, and gives us life. Tibi, the man, said a ‘Yes’ after a long time of thinking.
Next we played. I showed a picture to the people while they ate sandwiches. I put the question: ‘What is the connection between the picture and the conversation we had?’ They tried to guess, somebody almost told the answer, but it wasn’t right. The clue was that the photograph is ‘made’ in the dark room, in darkness. That’s how God works in the darkness of problems, ‘calling out’ the picture of Jesus inside of us.

Unfortunately I had to leave earlier, while the homeless stayed.

I wish for these people to find the peace and joy in Jesus Christ, to feel the powerful love of the Lord through us or other people, sent by Him. ‘Give, my Lord, the fire into our hearts! Give ears to hear and hearts to feel for those homeless people, for us, too!’

Lorand Muller, 4th year

Diaspora Reports for February 2007

Diaspora Reports for February 2007

(The provision of Sunday services by seminary students for small village churches which have no pastors)

7th February 2007
Diaspora- mission

After 3 quite difficult weeks of exams and a short vacation, the 3d year began again the diaspora-mission. On 4th February I kept the sermon in Pulyon.

We didn’t hold the service in the church. It was very cold. It’s wintertime. We got together at the parsonage, with 11 people. The text I took from the gospel of John chapter 4:1-14. As Jesus goes trough Samaria, he stops by the well of Jacob where he meets a Samaritan woman, who came to draw water from the well.

I tried to explain to the people what this meeting, or rather, this dialog between Jesus and that woman, means to us, people of today. Especially I underlined the word ‘water’, and the ‘flowing fountain’ that gives eternal life. Jesus Christ is the only one water, drink which feel our heart, soul full with life, hope and love.

As we spoke with some of the villagers who were at the service, I felt they really listened to me, and they went home with something. The seeds were scattered, and I hope they found good field to grow up.

At lunch I found out that long ago 170 people lived in this village, and there was a Hungarian school. Nowadays only a quarter this number live here. But still it was good to feel, to see the kindness, the belief that keeps together this small community.
I came back to Cluj very happy and with a ‘full heart,’ because that Sunday I felt the truth of this verse said by Jesus: ‘Where two or three come together in my name, I am there.’

Arpad Lazar, 3d year


11th February 2007

We managed to leave for the villages, together with the doctor, about 8:30 a.m.. I went to Oroszfaja; and in the church there were 9 people: 2 women and 7 men.

The text was from Genesis 28:15-16: “Wherever you go, I will watch over you, then later I will bring you back to this land. I won’t leave you – I will do all I have promised.” Jacob woke up suddenly and thought, “The Lord is in this place and I didn’t even know it.”

Sometimes it happens that God speaks with us but we don’t realize it until it’s over. We should pray for ears to be able to hear the word of God, and listen to Him. What He has to say to us is so important and so beautiful. He says He will never leave His people. He will be there for us; and whatever He promises He will do. Who is the man that makes such promises and keeps them? Sometimes we forget so easily our promises; and we are angry when others do not do the same. God made the beautiful promise that He will be with us whenever we need Him; and He does it. We should not forget this.

After the service we went to Komlód where the doctor was meeting people, since there wasn’t a proper place At Oroszfája to meet patients. We arrived to the Institute around 7 pm. I had wished to give people a little hope; and the text of the service gave me hope too, because everybody has a little fear inside. So it’s good to hear that somebody is always by our side; and Lord takes care of us.

Mihaly- Levente Csiki, 3d year


15th February 2007

Outside the weather was a very bad, with gray clouds, and it was raining. But this weather didn’t influence my wish to go preaching. I accepted with joy the request to go to Szarvaskend to preach. I was there once a year ago; and I enjoyed being in that village again.

When we arrived with the car people were already waiting for us on the street. They smiled and invited us into their house in a very friendly manner. On the table there was coffee to drink.
After a little while there came others too, and I talked with them. I knew a few of them from last year; and it was a great feeling to meet again. I entered the church with a smile on my face, because these’friends’, 8 women and one man, expected me.

The text was from Matthew 5:14-16: ‘You are like light for the whole world.’ It’s so hard to be a light in the darkness. As a lamp needs energy to get light, so do we. From where? From where can we have the power, the energy, to shine like the stars on the sky? Only from our havenly Father.

It was so strange to hear from people that in spite of all their problems they still feel God’s love, help, and his presence every day. ‘God is our loving Father who takes care of us, and who doesn’t abandon His children.’

With this thought left Szarvaskend and these sentences heard from the villagers still strengthens me in my bad days. I pray for God’s blessing for this congregation, and wish for them to keep their powerful faith. And may their love not perish.

Going home the sky was bright and the sun was shining. ‘Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven.’ (Matthew 5:16)
Jeno Lako, 3d year

11th and 25th February 2007

We arrived too early to the valley of Eszteny, so that we had time until the service. I was to preach in Eszteny. I searched for the curator, who took me to the parsonage. People were gathering slowly; and it was smoky inside because somebody was trying to warm up the room a bit.

The people kept asking me if I had heard something about a new pastor coming there. I didn’t know anything; but I saw the desire to have a pastor in people’s eyes, so that they could have regular Sunday services.

I preached from Luke 8:19-21, where Jesus says that his mother and brothers are those people who hear and obey God’s message. On the service were 7 men and 8 women.

I was again in Eszteny on 25th February when there were more this time- 9 men and 9 women. There we had the Lord’s Supper too, but with only 8 of the women, because one woman is catholic. She still came to the service. The text was from 1 Kings 21:1-3.

Before the service I had a nice talk with a man who arrived earlier. His family lives in Hungary so soon he will go there too. He hasn’t any reason to stay in this village; and in the other country the circumstances are better.

There were again questions about the new pastor. The curator said that the new priest will come to check the parsonage and to visit the four villages.

After the service, the curator invited me for a cup of coffee. We had the usual discussion about how many reformed Hungarians had been in the villages until so many of them went away to other countries, engaged in mixed marriages. But he still hopes that the new pastor will stay for long, and will take care of the remaining Hungarians.

Lajos Raksi, 3d year