Diaspora Reports for February 2007
(The provision of Sunday services by seminary students for small village churches which have no pastors)
7th February 2007
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