Archives for April 2011

E-Letter April 22, 2011

Special April Update from Jim and Brenda in Budapest, Hungary
Jim and Brenda Puhr

Starting Churches Among the Gypsies Gypsies for Romania 

Gypsies make up almost 10% of the population of Romania.  They usually have their own language, culture and are generally outcasts in their own country.

For the last ten years we have been able to help start about 15 churches targeting just Gypsy communities in many of the countries here in Eastern Europe.

It’s always wonderful to be able to minister in these churches as they are full of life and the people are so hungry for the things of God.  A few weeks ago I ministered at a Gypsy church in Bulgaria and was amazed at the young girls dancing before the Lord, singing beautiful worship songs.

Even now we are working with some key Romanian leaders to start several more churches in villages where mainly Gypsies live that have no church.  This is always exciting to see the impact these new churches make.

How You or Your Church Can Be Involved in Helping Start a New Church In Eastern Europe


Things You May Not Know About Brenda  

  • Her grandfather was a minister for over 60 years.
  • She told the Lord as a child she would go and serve Him any where in the world as long as it was “warm.”  She ended up living in Moscow and Budapest. Both places are “cold”.
  • She has two sisters and three brothers.
  • Her ministry gifts are serving and mercy.
  • She loves the old Black and White Movies. Especially with the stars of the 1940’s and 50’s.
  • She is currently reading a Biography of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.
  • The ministry she listens to most frequently is Joyce Meyer.
  • She loves to go hiking.


Things You May Not Know About Jim  

  • Jim was born in Wausau, Wisconsin on a dairy farm and lived there till he was eleven then moved to Colorado.
  • He grew up Catholic and has three sisters and four brothers.
  • He loves sports, especially Baseball and Football.
  • His father was a Marine in WW II and fought in the South Pacific in the battle of Okinawa. He received a purple heart and even served in occupied China for six months after the War.
  • He loves Romantic movies.
  • He became a Christian in High School through a group called Young Life.
  • Loves foreign films with English subtitles.
  • Favorite Movie – Casablanca
  • Jim’s grandparents from His fathers side immigrated to America from what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire around 1900. They were from a village two hours south of Vienna. The village is about three hours from Budapest in Austria.  We have been there several times. There are three pages of “Puhr”s in the Vienna phone book.

Things You May Not Know About HungaryMap of Hungary 

  • The Hungarian Language is related distantly to Finnish.
  • There are 13 million Hungarian Language speakers. Three million of them live outside Hungary.
  • Hungary has more Nobel Prize winners per capita than any other country in the world. Mainly in physics and mathematics.
  • The Roman’s occupied what is now Budapest at the time of Christ. There are Roman ruins around the city even today.
  • For 150 years Hungary was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Their were two capitals, Vienna and Budapest. The empire ended after WW I when Hungary became it’s own nation.
  • Attila the Hun died in the year 457 and is buried in Hungary.
  • Budapest is used frequently to film Hollywood and TV Movies.  Some movies filmed in Budapest are; Evita, Spy Game, The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas, Munich, I Spy and An American Rhapsody, plus many more.


Our Son Nathan is Getting Married on May 1 

Nathan and LoriOn May 1 our oldest son Nathan is getting married to a wonderful young lady named Lori. We are so happy for them.  Our other son Ryan will be the Best Man.

We will be flying back to Orlando, Florida next week for the wedding and will be there for a week. We are all so excited for them.

Nathan and Lori met at a Bible Study about a year and a half ago. Lori was able to come to Budapest for Christmas and we loved having her here during that special time.

Nathan was born on the mission field back in 1984 in San Jose, Costa Rica.

You can find out more about Nathan and Lori at their website:

Lori and Nathans Wedding Website
































April 22, 2011

Budapest Parliament

How Much Longer Do You Plan on Living in Hungary?  

Jim and Brenda Puhr
How much longer do you”have” to live in Hungary? This is a question we often get when talking to people in America.


To us it’s kind of an awkward question as we don’t feel we “have” to live here.  We “get” to live here.


In reality we absolutely love living here.  Sometimes even we are so surprised how much we love it.  We are sure it’s the grace of God and the calling we have to serve in Eastern Europe.


So the answer often is “we don’t know how long we will live in Budapest.”  When we first came here in 1997 we thought we would live here one to three years and now we are in our fourteenth year and have no plans of leaving.


One of the great things about living here is all of our children have loved it too. They always have felt that this is home, not just a place we are going to live for a while. That makes it so nice.


One of the things that we have learned throughout the years wherever we have lived is, to “love wherever we live”.


Some of the places we have lived were a challenge, like when we lived on the edge of the jungle in Costa Rica or on the 22nd floor in a one bedroom apartment in Moscow with our two boys.


We also know that people are praying for us and because we have such strong prayer covering it makes things much easier.



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Jim and Brenda Puhr | Pf. 89 Budapest, 1780 Hungary | Tel. 011-36-30-984-1990 | Christian Missions International PO Box 51531 | Jacksonville | FL | 32240

May 1, 2011

May 1, 2011

Dear Special Friends,

“The Power of Perseverance in Faith” is a title of a message I give often. I have given this message all over Eastern Europe, in churches large and small.

It’s one of my favorite messages to give as we have lived it all areas of our lives and ministry.  It essentially speaks about trusting in God through all circumstances and challenges.  Through family issues, health and financial issues and all the ministry challenges we have faced throughout the years.

Our society, whether in America or here in Eastern Europe is so fast paced it seems. Whether it’s going through the McDonald’s drive Thru (yes they have them here), or believing to get out of debt or looking for more ministry resultsWe want everything faster and faster. So much of this has transferred itself in to the church also. We want it right away or if we don’t see it right away we wonder if it is “God’s Will?

Whether I minister in a village in Slovakia, or a large church in Sofia, Bulgaria, people are facing the same issues and challenges.  It’s wonderful to see the faith of the people build as the Word goes forth. Whenever we minister we always try to make a connection with the people by telling “our own real life stories” of challenges we have faced whether it’s in our own family or with finances or health issues.  I always want them to see that we face some of the same challenges even as missionaries. It’s part of life.

We are now in our 29th year as serving as missionaries.  We are always amazed at God’s timing and how faithful HE is in every situation. So many, many times we have seen tremendous answers to prayer in so many ways that have come after years of standing and persevering in faith.

When we first felt the Lord leading us to begin helping national leaders here in Eastern Europe we faced some tremendous financial challenges right away. Everything seemed to go wrong. But we knew what we felt God had put in our hearts.  We could have quit right away and questioned whether we were on the right track.  We stayed faithful and for the last 10 years we have seen over 160 churches started in this part of the world.

Perseverance. We don’t always like it. We want it right away.  But perseverance brings great fruit. So many of our partners have stood with us for many, many years. Thank You!

SPECIAL FAMILY NEWS . . . We are so excited that our son Nathan is getting married today, on May 1. Nathan met a wonderful girl last year at his church in Orlando. Lori came to Budapest for Christmas and we love her.  So we are here in Orlando for a week for the wedding.  We are so happy for them.


In Awe of Gods Faithfulness,

Jim and Brenda

PS.  We are so excited about the rest of the year here in Eastern Europe. It seems just about every month from now through December at least one new church will be started.  You are a vital part of seeing this happen. Thank You.

April 2011

April 1, 2011

Dear Special Friends,

How is it raising your kids on the mission field?  This is a question that we are often asked. We never hesitate to talk about the different advantages and challenges we face raising our children as “missionary kids.”  We are well aware that raising children on the mission field or in America or Canada or wherever can be a challenge.

Having lived in Costa Rica, Florida, Russia and now here in Budapest for the last 14 years, our kids have probably faced more transition than most kids.

Here are some things missionary kids have to deal with:

* Not really knowing where they are from. Their parents are from one country, they grow up in another country.

* They continually have to leave friends.

* They have to learn new cultures.

* They change schools.

* They have to learn new languages.

* They sometimes feel they miss out on things in America.

* They miss going to Taco Bell, Subway, Chili’s, Starbucks , Olive Garden and Walmart.

* The list could go on and on . . .

But probably the most challenging for all our children has been and still is for our girls, is having to leave close friends or seeing close friends move away. This was especially true for our boys, Nathan and Ryan.  They said say goodbyes  to friends in Costa Rica, Florida, and Russia, when we left those countries. It was hard for them. It got old.  They let us know they didn’t like itIt was a challenge for us, it was much more of a challenge for them!

By the grace of God, our children never had bitterness or gave us “too hard of a time” when we moved.  We knew they were going through things, therefore we prayed, asked for God’s Grace, and gave extra attention to our children.

Now if you ask our boys about growing up on the mission field they will have nothing but positive things to say.  Our girls love growing up as “missionary kids.”  Not all missionary families have this same experience with their kids.  Each child is so different and sees things differently.  Sometimes we don’t even know what we did right. We do know that there are many, many people praying for us.

Our kids have had the opportunity to travel and see other parts of the world, meet people from other cultures, they have been with us as we ministered and they have also had opportunities to minister.  They have been blessed to have many wonderful experiences as “missionary kids.”  We don’t think they would trade them for anything!

Now Nathan and Ryan, who live in Orlando, love to talk to their friends about growing up around the world.   Every year they love to come back to Budapest for Christmas.  Audrianna and Alexandra are still with us here in Budapest and love living and going to school here.  Thank you for standing with us not only with the ministry but also with our family.

In Awe of His Faithfulness,

Jim and Brenda

April 2011 Newsletter

Special News From The Nations of Eastern Europe

April 1, 2011

Dear Special Friends Around the World

SPECIAL FAMILY NEWS . . . We are so excited that our son Nathan is getting married on May 1. Nathan met a wonderful girl last year at his church in Orlando. Lori came to Budapest for Christmas and we love her. So we will be making a quick trip back to America for the wedding in Orlando.

Ministry Update . . . As you look at the nations listed on the right of this page, I want you to know that they each represent nations where we minister. In almost all of these countries we have worked with key leaders to help start churches.

I think of Albania where I have been five times in the last few months. This past weekend I was able to minister in two of the churches that we have helped to start and saw firsthand the amazing lives of the people in them.

It is so humbling to see the families, the children and the singles and the teenagers everywhere. Both churches in are reaching their communities.

Few people may have ever heard of Albania, this nation of 3.2 million people, yet we love to go to the places that few have heard of.

Albania is so interesting as it is about 76% Muslim, yet we are able to make an impact on this nation, having started several churches there. Even in the next few months we will see TWO more churches started in Albanian towns.

If you were with me this past weekend, you would have seen these churches in buildings with signs in front written Albanian saying “Kisha Shqiptare I Kristere”, which means “Albanian Christian Church.” On Sunday morning it was wonderful to see the people coming into the church. Seeing all the kids run to friends, parents greet each other with a kiss on the cheek, fathers shaking hands, it was wonderful.

But what struck me most was feeling the spirit of the new churches and sensing the Spirit of God in the lives and families. The ministry was wonderful, as I always love to minister in these churches. As I left, my last impression was thankfulness that we had been able to sow into these new churches to help them get started.

It is always quite humbling to see the impact that just $4,000 that we give can make upon make upon a city.

In Awe of God’s Faithfulness,

Jim and Brenda

P.S. We would also ask you to prayerfully consider giving a special offering this year. Anything you do will be so appreciated during this special season.

PSS. If you would like to receive this letter through the mail please send us an email at and we will be glad to send it to you. If you would like to receive our special letter by email each month please complete the form on the right (scroll to the top) and type your email address in the “Join List” area.

In this month’s special letter to you we want to do something just a little different. This is a FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS letter. Often we are asked these questions or questions similar to them regarding living and serving here as missionaries in Budapest, Hungary.

  1. How much longer do you see yourselves living in Budapest? When we first came to Budapest back in 1997, we thought we would live here probably about one to three years. Now its thirteen years later and we still have no plans of leaving here anytime soon.
  2. What are some of the biggest differences of living in Hungary compared to America? Everything over here seems to take longer. From grocery shopping to paying bills to even getting a plumber to come to the house. Whenever we are back in America, we are always amazed how easy it is to do daily things.
  3. Do you miss living in America? Sometimes we do. But we know this is where God has us. Most of the time we love living here and consider it special that we get to serve here.
  4. How do your children like living in Budapest? Our youngest daughter, Audrianna, said something not too long ago that showed us how she likes it. She said “she felt so blessed that she is from America and gets to go there sometimes but also gets to live in Hungary.” There have been times they would like to live in America, but for the most part they love living here.
  5. You sound like you really like being missionaries, is this really true? It is really true. There have been times over the years where we thought of doing something else but deep down we knew this is what we are called to do. We absolutely love serving the Lord in this part of the world.
  6. How do you get the pastors for the new churches that you help to start in Eastern Europe? We work with key national leaders in all the countries over here. The new pastors come out of some of these key churches. The new churches and new pastors are then overseen by this key national pastor.
  7. You work in so many countries in Eastern Europe, do you speak the languages or does everyone know English? We speak quite good Spanish, Ok Russian and OK Hungarian, but there are ELEVEN different languages in the countries we work in. Polish in Poland, Slovak in Slovakia, Albanian in Albania, Romanian in Romania, etc, etc, etc. Most of the key leaders we work with speak some English so we are able to talk to them. But when we minister in the churches, we always have interpreters. This works very well and the people are quite used to this.
  8. You say you need $4,000.00 to help start a new church in Eastern Europe. What is this money used for? We know that $4,000 won’t make a church become successful. We see this as seed money to help get it off the ground. Usually this money will last from nine to eighteen months. It is usually used to rent a building on Sunday morning, help pay for outreaches the first year, and partial payment for the pastors’ salary. In small towns and villages this money will go a long way as things tend to be very inexpensive in these towns.
  9. How are you able to see FIFTEEN new churches started in one year? The way that we can do this is by our key relationships with national pastors in all of Eastern Europe. By working along side them and their vision we are able to accelerate what they are doing. They are the ones that are actually starting the churches and we work along side them. These churches are not dependant on our being there week after week. They have to make it happen, but we are there to encourage, counsel, and minister with them as the church gets off the ground.