January 8, 2023

Dear Special Friends and Partners,

2023!  WOW!.  We are expecting great things this year not only in the nations of Eastern Europe where we serve but in America and around the world.  We are thrilled we get to be a part of what God is doing these days.

It was 41 years ago this month that we started our lives as foreign missionaries, moving to Central America, where we lived for almost six years.  So many places and countries and moves since then and now for the last 26 years here in Budapest, Hungary.

One of our favorite scriptures is found in Proverbs which says “Man makes his plans, but God guides our steps.”  I am sure you could look back at your life the same way we do and see how God was guiding you to the place you are today.

This this year 2023, we are looking to see at least another SEVEN churches started in this part of the world.  We work with so many of the key pastor friends in these countries over here from Poland to the north to Albania and Bulgaria to the south and all the countries in between.  We still invest abotu $4000 in each of these new churches to help them get started.

In the last 22 years we have seen now over 300 of these new churches started.  It is amazingly exciting to see so many peoples lives changed.

So thank you for standing with us as we expect great things in 2023.

Jim and Brenda

Christmas 2022

Merry Christmas,

We absolutely love the Christmas Season and the decorations in the city, stores and houses. It’s so nice going into stores and coffee shops and hearing Christmas Music in both English and Hungarian. Songs like Silent Night are recognizable in any language.

Click on the video below of us and watch our three minute video update from Budapest. 

We put up our tree on Friday and for the first time in many many years we have a REAL one. We love how it makes the house smell of evergreen.

This will be our 26th Christmas here in Budapest. We have also spent Christmases in of course America and Costa Rica and Russia and have loved them all. (But some more than others.)

As you can imagine being away from our kids and grandkids is hard, but maybe we have gotten used to it a little over the years. We will video chat with them throughout this month so that will be so nice.

Our daughter, Alexandra is with us and this year once again our youngest daughter, Audrianna and her husband, Barry from Florida will be here for the week of Christmas. We have so many things planned. Lots of just enjoying the city together and going to our favorite restaurants and playing games at home.

So from all of us to you, Merry Christmas! We have had another wonderful exciting year of ministry and are expecting God to do great things in 2023 in this part of the world. Thank you for your prayers and support.

Remembering HIM who was born in a Manger,

Jim and Brenda and Alexandra

October 5 2022

Hello Special Friends,

So many of our friends and people that partner with us know us from the e-letters, or newsletters or maybe heard us speak in a church at one time or another..

We both are very much relationship people. We love sitting down in peoples homes or at a coffee shop and just getting to know people. So many times this is where the greatest ministry is done. Getting to know people beyond the surface and hearing about their families, their histories, their challenges and all that life brings all of us.

I, Jim, love to travel over here and visit pastors and Christian leaders and just spend time with them. In the coming days I will be in northern Poland and Slovenia visiting and planning with long time fiends that are reaching their nations with the gospel. I love to do this.

Brenda sometimes travels with me and loves it when she does. But sometimes her greatest relationships are with the people she meets at random times here in Budapest.

This past week one of her long-time friends passed away. She was a 96 year old Jewish lady she met in a park here in Budapest. She met her so many years ago and became friends. The lady called Brenda her “Amerikai Barátom”, Hungarian for “My American Friend.”

When Brenda got to know her, she found out she was a survivor of the Auschwitz Death Camp from WWll. She had an amazing story. Everyone does when we get to know them.

Sometimes I wish we could get to know so many of our friends and partners that have helped us for all these year. We would love to hear your stories too.

You may enjoy getting to know more about us below.

Brenda

She grew up in Lakeland, Florida and went to the Southern Baptist Church. Her grand-father was a southern Baptist minister for over 60 years and she is very close to her family.

  • She was born in Lakeland, Florida.
  • She reads or listens to the Bible Everyday, Everyday, Everyday.
  • She ALWAYS has a positive attitude (Well, Almost Always).
  • She meets new people all the time here in Budapest.. All the time…
  • She told the Lord as a small child that she would serve Him anywhere in the WORLD, as long as the place did not have COLD weather. (It gets cold in Budapest sometimes)
  • She doesn’t like to shop.
  • She was a bit rebellious in Jr High School.
  • We have four children and four grandchildren.
  • She loves and needs relationships with people.

Jim

  • Jim grew up Catholic on a dairy farm near Wausau, Wisconsin till he was 11. Then moved to Colorado. (Still loves the smell of a farm and cows)
  • Was arrested and spent three hours in Jail in Thornton, (Denver) Colorado in High School for theft and drugs (Two years probation). Record cleared.
  • Then received Christ through an organization called YOUNG LIFE as a Senior in High School in Lafayette, Colorado.
  • Left Colorado to go to Bible School in Oklahoma because a girl from church was going there, then met Brenda a few months later at the same Bible School.
  • Likes Romance Movies and Spy Movies. Loves most HALLMARK Movies.
  • Reads books…Lots of books on Amazon Kindle, downloaded from Libraries. Historical Fiction, Spy Novels, Biography’s.
  • He’s got four brothers and three sisters. They live in Colorado, Oregon, California, South Dakota and Alaska. But we still all get together every two years in Colorado.
  • Loves to watch NFL Football and Major League Baseball and sometimes Tennis.
  • He never even thought of being a missionary until the end of the one year Bible School he attended in 1980. One and a half years later he and Brenda moved overseas.
  • Hasn’t watch NEWS on TV in many years. Still follows some news on the Internet. But never TV News. (It used to make me angry watching it, I had to stop.)

Serving and Amazing God,

Brenda and Jim

August 18, 2022

Dear Friends,

We are now in our 26th year of serving here in Hungary and Eastern Europe. We arrived back in Budapest on Monday and it feels so good to be back home. 

We absolutely loved our time in the USA this summer, seeing our kids and families and just enjoying America. Relaxing, going to the beach, going to restaurants and just spending time with family was so refreshing.

We know that these breaks for us are one of the key reasons we love to do what we do over here.

In the coming weeks we will once again be traveling to Serbia, Croatia and Poland. I will drive to Serbia and Croatia as they are just to the south of Hungary. I never get tired of meeting with some of the most committed people we have ever met.

I love to hear the stories of the impact that are made in peoples lives by helping them in their ministries.

One of our long time friends over here is a Pastor from Poland named Arek.

Throughout the years we have helped him start several churches in towns in southern Poland where he lives.  So it was great to get an email from him earlier this month asking us if we could help him start yet another church in a town of 19,000 near the city where he lives.

They have a group of already 15 or so people that are meeting as a Bible Study and they wanted to begin services every Sunday as a regular church.

As Arek began to tell me more about it, we got excited with him as he shared that it is already full of young families.

Of course right away we told him we would help with $4000.00.

We have seen so many of these churches started just like this over the years and it never ceases to thrill us that we can be a part of these new works to reach these cities.

Thank you for helping us do this.

Serving Him in Budapest,

Jim and Brenda

Special Summer 2022 Update

Hello Friends,

We are so excited to be able to come to America again this summer. On June 22 we will fly to Florida and it will be wonderful  to see our kids and grandkids and so much of our family and friends.

These times are so special to us and we are sure it’s one of the reasons we are now missionaries for over 40 years, with 25 years here in Budapest.

We always make sure we take time to rest and relax and just enjoy America. We will see the beaches of Florida and mountains of Colorado and the hills of Nashville.

There will also be a time for Brenda’s family to Celebrate the Life of her Mom, who went to be with Jesus in April.

Then in early July we will be in Colorado with my family (Jim) and be part of our family reunion there. I (Jim), am one of 8 children and all of us will be together plus my Mom, who is 92.

Along the way we will also take a relaxing vacation just the two of us, and enjoy America. We are thinking of driving up the East Coast of Georgia and the Carolina’s with visits to Savanah and Charleston.

Then in Mid-August we will fly back to our home here in Hungary to start our 26th year serving in Eastern Europe.

In Awe of His Faithfulness,

Jim and Brenda

April 26, 2022

Dear Friends,

This year 2022, is not at all like we thought it would be for us.

We thought that with the pandemic issues mainly over in this part of the world we could get back to being focused on helping pastors and leaders to help start more churches in the so many cities and towns that still don’t a church that shares the gospel.

But then the war in Ukraine started on February 24. Since that time we have worked with pastors in Poland and Bulgaria and here in Hungary to coordinate AID to some of the the millions of refugees that have fled Ukraine. We are doing just a small part.

We feel like it’s so important for us to be here at this time.

In the midst of this, we hope to still see at least 10 churches started this year.

Special Family Updates;   Brenda’s Mom is Now in Heaven

From Brenda.   “On Thursday April 14 My Sweet, Beautiful Mama went to be with Jesus! We are missing her so much! But we are praising God that she is with Him”!

I flew to Florida (Brenda) on Wednesday April 13 and my Mom passed the next morning.

I was so thankful I was there with my family and we shared so many special memories of her. It was a really precious time.

God is so good! Just a few days before my Mom went to be with Jesus, He sent us our new grand-son, Miles Atlas, who was born to Nathan and Lori in Orlando on April 7.

My time with our newest grand-baby was such a gift from God. It was so wonderful to see his little toes and tiny fingers.

Seeing our son Nathan and Lori and our grand-daughter Lenora, was so so sweet. We now have four grand-kids. It is so nice being a grandmother.

So in the midst of losing my mother it was such a gift to see this new little life coming into our family.

We are more excited than ever about what God has called us to do in this part of the world. Thank you for helping us do it.

In Awe of His Faithfulness,

Jim and Brenda 

March 13 2022

Hello Special Friends,

It was just two weeks ago we sent our last update about what is happening here in Eastern Europe and the war in Ukraine and all the refugees.

Our hearts continue to break as we see not only the news on TV and online but also seeing the refugees in person as they arrive here in Hungary, fleeing the war in the neighboring country, Ukraine.

However you see it on the TV in the US, it’s much more intense over here as it’s right next to all these countries. Some people are nervous that the war will spread.

There is a lot of Aid that has arrived here in all the countries around Ukraine to help the refugees. So many from America, and Hungary and around the world have given so much to help.

With us living here we are able to do “targeting aid”. That is giving to people we have contact with to directly help them with their immediate needs, like food, and places to stay and so many of the basic needs they have.

Most are grandmothers and the elderly and mothers with children.

You may want to watch this short Video by clicking here or the image for an update on what we are doing.

There are over 2 million refugees already. Most have gone to Poland but hundreds of thousands of others have gone to Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria. But the second most have come here to Hungary with over 200,000.

As soon as they cross the border from Ukraine, Hungary provides free Humanitarian trains so they can come to Budapest.. The border towns are not equipped to handle the refugees.

Budapest is well equipped to help them and many of the refugees go on from Budapest to different places throughout Europe to stay with friends or family until they can return home to Ukraine. But many stay in Hungary.

This week I was at one of the train stations where the refugees arrive. I was there with one of my Hungarian Pastor friends to provide Aid.. Just seeing the faces of the mothers with their children with just a small suitcase with all their belongings, it breaks your heart.

We have been able to help coordinate the funding and distribution of Aid in Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria through some of the Pastor Friends we have in those countries. So many have given Aid from America to help these people. Thank you!

We don’t know what the future holds with the war or how long it will last. But one thing we know for sure is so many peoples lives are changed forever and are devastated.

We are glad we are here, to help some of them. What we are doing is small compared to so many other Aid Organizations. But to the people receiving it. it means so much.

Trusting God in Challenging Times,

Jim and Brenda

Updated March 1 2022

Dear Special Friends,

Ukraine is right next to Hungary.

You may have been following the news in the last week and read and see the things that are happening in Ukraine. You may feel

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like we do, so sad for so many, many people that are devastated and lives changed forever by this senseless act of one man’s ambition.

Even as you read this the events almost certainly have changed from today when we are writing this update. Ukraine borders Hungary just to the east. Hungary has opened its borders to all Ukrainian refugees but most are fleeing to Poland.

But still as of today over 100,000 have come to Hungary fleeing the war.  We don’t know how many are flooding into Romania and other countries…

Even today I was in contact with one of the churches we helped to start in Eastern Hungary and Krakow, Poland. They are helping so many of those that are fleeing the war in Ukraine and coming to Hungary and Poland.

I have been to Ukraine throughout the years and we have helped to start churches in Ukraine and hearing so many of the Christians stories of what they are suffering is hard to imagine.

So many friends in America have been in contact with us in the last few days letting us know they are praying for us and concerned for us. This is so so helpful and encouraging to us.

Of course in Hungary this is the non-stop news and what happens with this war impacts all of the former Communist countries that used to be under the Soviet Union.

So as you can imagine how you feel in America about this, imagine how you would feel living in the countries all around this area.

In the midst of all this we go forward with what we feel God is leading us to do. In the coming weeks I will be in Slovenia, and Albania again. In this midst of all this we still see so much opportunity to reach people in this part of the world.

We are doing all we can while we can. Thank you for helping us do this.

Special Family News….

On February 18 our youngest daughter Audrianna, got married and we are so thankful we were able to come back to the USA for the wedding. It was so nice and special and very relaxing. Both our boys, Nathan and Ryan and their families got to come to the wedding too and it was amazingly nice having all of us together.

Audrianna is now Mrs. Barry O’Sullivan and we like him very much and fits in our family so well. They came to Budapest for Christmas so we got to know him quite well. We are so happy he is a strong Christian. Both of his parents were born in Ireland and he took vacations to Ireland and Europe often growing up.

This is so nice as Audrianna was just eight months old when she moved to Budapest and most of her life has been on the mission field with us.

They will live in West Palm Beach, Florida. But plan to visit us as often as they can.

Loving Serving Our Lord,

Jim and Brenda

January 2022

Dear Friends,

2022…  Wow… We feel this is going to be another amazing year for us as we serve here in Budapest and all of Eastern Europe.

It was FOURTY YEARS AGO this month in January 1982 that we first left the USA to become foreign missionaries.  Now 40 years later we still absolutely love doing what we get to do, reaching the nations with the Gospel.   Photo from 1980’s and 2022.

Since the year 2000, we have seen over 300 new churches started.  Sometimes they are the only church in the town.

Thank you for helping us do what we do.

Every year in January as we make plans for the year we look to see how we can be most effective in making an impact on the nations we work in here in Eastern Europe.  Since the year 2000, 20 years ago we have worked with key pastors in these countries to help them start churches.

So this year we are looking to see at least SEVEN new churches.  They will be started in Albania, Poland, Bulgaria and I’m sure others.  We are already working with pastors and making plans.

We will continue to invest $4000.00 in each of these new churches to help them get started. We have the finances for two of them alrea

 

dy.

When we look back to January 1982 when we left the USA to begin as missionaries, we are amazed at all the places we have been able to serve, like Costa Rica and Russia.  Now we are in our 23rd year here in Hungary and we are more in AWE then ever.  Thank you for helping us do this.

So we are EXPECTING great things in 2022.

 

In Awe of His Faithfulness,

 

Jim and Brenda

December 6 2021

Dear James,

We always so love this time of the year. For us it’s a time to slow down and just enjoy the whole Christmas Season. We try not to get pushed into all the “busyness” that can so easily take over our lives. We do all we can to “Remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.”

You may enjoy the TWO MINUTE video Christmas update by clicking the video below.

For us here in Budapest we decorate our house to make it feel like the Christmas’s that have so many memories. We have some of the special decorations we have had for years and years.

So as we celebrate our 25th Christmas here in Hungary this year, our two daughters will be with us. Our son’s and their families will be in Orlando and Nashville. We will miss being with them.

We will watch Christmas Movies and many Hallmark Movies and the wonderful smells of Christmas will be in our house with all the baking.

This year has been another wonderful year of serving and reaching this part of the world with the Gospel. Thank you for helping us do this!

So from our house to yours, “Merry Christmas” from Budapest,

Brenda and Jim