January 14, 2024

Hello Special Friends,

This month we start our 43rd year as missionaries. It was 1982 when we left the USA for this amazing new adventure in our lives.

When we got these first passports in 1981 we wondered how many times we would actually need them.

Wow, now look at all these passports we have gone through. That is what happens when you’re missionaries for 40 plus years. Some of these passports are from our four children, three of which were born overseas. There were even more passports, these are just the ones we still have.

Many times we had to get new ones when there were no more pages to put country stamps in them.

Now in 2024, we continue in what we believe God first led us to do so many years ago soon after we moved to Budapest, Hungary. Reaching the Nations of Eastern Europe with the Gospel.

This year we will once again work with key nationals leaders to help them start churches in cities and towns with no or few churches in them.

Later this week I will be in Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. With more stamps in the passport when I enter and leave Europe.

This year once again we will look to help start at least SEVEN churches in the nations of Eastern Europe. We have been doing this same thing since 2001.

Later this week I will once again be in Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic meeting with key friends we have worked with for many years.

Someone told us a few years ago that we needed to get a “NEW VISION”, as we have been doing the same thing for so many years.

Our thinking is that God hasn’t directed us to do anything “new”. Until He does we will keep doing what we feel he has lead us to do. Help Start New Churches!

We have seen over 300 churches started since the year 2001. We do this working with key pastors in all the countries we work in and help them fulfill their vision to reach their countries.

We invest $4000 in each of these new churches. We are so excited to see at least SEVEN more started this year.

It’s going to be amazing to see what will happen this year in God’s Plan.

Thank you for helping us.

Jim and Brenda

December 5, 2023

Merry Christmas Special Friends,

Thank you for helping us Reach the Nations of Eastern Europe with the Gospel in 2023. It has been another amazing year for us.

We are wishing you a Very Special Christmas Season. We love the Christmas Season.

This will be our first Christmas in America in the last 27 years. The last 26 Christmases were in Budapest. So this will be a little different for us. But this is our “home for Christmas” for now.

But never far from our minds are the memories of celebrating Christmas in so many places both in America and around the world where we have served over the years.

This Christmas we will celebrate here in Florida with our daughter Audrianna, and her husband, Barry from Colorado and our daughter, Alexandra.

Remembering the Reason for the Season, Jesus.

Jim and Brenda

October 24, 2023

Hello Special Friends,

November 8, 1980 is a special day in our lives.

On November 8 we will celebrate our 43rd wedding anniversary. Since that cool Saturday in Gainesville, Florida in 1980 our lives have been an adventure.

Getting to serve in so many wonderful places around the world having four wonderful children (and now grandkids) has been such a dream for us.

Yes, I had a mustache when we got married. They were in style then, I guess. (Remember Magnum PI) Three days after we got married it was gone. Hasn’t been back since…

We are well aware of the NEWS about Israel and all the things that are going on in the world that can be so unsettling.

But in the midst of this we go forth doing what we feel God has called us to. “Reach the nations of Eastern Europe with the Gospel.”

Last month we spent over two weeks in Hungary, Slovenia and Slovakia. This time Brenda and I got to go together. It was especially special for Brenda as this was the first time she was back in Budapest since we relocated to the US in January.

She got to see a lot of her friends and travel visiting different pastors and ministries we have worked with for so many years.

I (Jim) will once again be back in Hungary, Albania, Bulgaria and Poland in November. These countries are almost like second homes for me as we have served there for over 25 years now.

For the upcoming holidays in Florida we will have some of our kids and grandkids with us for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

We continue to absolutely love doing what we get to do as missionaries. Thank you for all you do to help us in Reaching Eastern Europe. Please know it is never taken for granted.

You may enjoy this short video we did a few weeks ago when we were in Eastern Europe. Click on the video for a two minute update from Budapest.  

Please click on it and it will play or click this link: https://youtu.be/UWf1T6quGoI?si=PWCykf0LESDFElwL

 

Smiles from us to you,

Jim and Brenda

August 23, 2023

Hello Special Friends,

Thank you for visiting our website to keep you posted on the ministry that God has called us too.

You may remember we have FOUR grandkids now and three of them are now in school or preschool.

It’s so nice to see the photos of them on their first day of school with their new clothes and the gleam of both excitement and nervousness in their eyes.

I am sure from day one of school they will have many new friends just as we did and our own kids did so long ago.

Here is one of our grandkids with her first day of school afternoon treat. So cute.

For part of September we will be in Budapest and Eastern Europe ministering and reaching that part of the world.

We are amazed how things have worked out since we relocated to Florida in January and how easy it’s been to continue the ministry that God has put in our hearts so many years ago.

So in September we will be in Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and Slovakia.

We continue to work with key leaders in all these countries to help them start churches in so many cities and towns with few or no churches in them. You will enjoy reading about one of the couples we work with below, Miroslav and his wife Snežana in Serbia.

Earlier this week I was on the phone with one of my longtime Slovak friend, Miroslav.

Miroslav is from Slovakia and his wife Snežana is from Serbia. He and his wife are good friends of ours.

We first met them back in 1999 when we were ministering in a church in Poprad, Slovakia. They were then just 19 years old and Miroslav was my interpreter as I ministered.

Throughout the years he and I ministered together in Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro and Macedonia.

In the photos throughout the years we have known them you see Miroslav interpreting for Brenda, his family in a car we helped them buy and me meeting him for coffee before a church service we were to speak at.

In the last 20 years or so he has been in ministry on his own and has started many churches throughout Eastern Europe. They pastor a church in Serbia now, where they now live and continue to reach all the nations around him.

It’s people like these that we have connected with and we are always amazed at how God has taken these young people who are started out as interpreters for us and are now considered key Christian leaders in their countries.

Miroslav and Snežana are just two of many, many leaders God has connected us with in the TEN countries we work in Eastern Europe.

They are making an impact in the nations. We are privileged to call them friends

In September several new churches will be started that we helped to fund with key pastors in Poland. These are always exciting times when a new church opens its doors. We are so grateful that we are a small part of helping these new pastors and churches.

As we always say, we are so grateful to those that help us on a regular basis to do what we do. We are well aware we could not do what we do without your generous and faithful support.

In Awe of His Faithfulness

Jim and Brenda

June 28, 2023

Blessings,

Birthdays…. Both of us are celebrating birthdays this summer.

Brenda on June 24 and me (Jim) on July 16. I don’t mind telling my age, born 1957 in Wausau, Wisconsin, but I’ll leave it up to Brenda to tell hers. (She was born in Lakeland, Florida)

As we get older birthdays are not the big of deal to celebrate with us, but they’re still part of our lives. But at the same time we are so grateful all the wonderful years we have had on earth.

For Brenda’s birthday, three of our four kids were at our house plus two of grandkids. So nice. Those little ones have so much energy…

Seeing our kids grow, and now grandkids grow, we look back with amazement at how our lives change throughout the years and where God has taken us.

We of course, like just everyone else, have different perspectives on life in our 60’s than we did in our 20’s and 30’s. We have so many more memories to look back on, but at the same time we continue to be excited about the future.

As we look at the next twenty-plus years of our lives and ministry we stay as excited we have always been as we love doing what we get to do, minister as missionaries, reaching the nations of Eastern Europe.

We are always amazed at the people in Eastern Europe that God connects us with in that part of the world. About five years ago a pastor from Bulgaria contacted me and asked if we would help him start a church in the capital city of Sofia. Sofia is a city of 1.2 million people.

My first trip to Bulgaria was back in 1996 and I imagine I have been there more that 50 times since that first trip. It’s an amazing country with some amazing committed Christians.

Bulgaria sits in the very southern part of Eastern Europe and Turkey to the south. In May I was once again in Bulgaria meeting with and working with three different ministries we work with there.

One of them was Filip and Rosy Rashev, whom we have been working with since 2019. We helped Filip and Rosy start a church and it was such a privilege to be with him to see first hand how their church is growing some 5 years later.

Seeing the young people on the worship team, hearing the worship, and see this thriving church make such an impact on so many really humbled me.

We could tell this same story in every country we work in Eastern Europe.

Filip and Rosy told me that we were the very first people to help him when they started their church and that us believing in them and their vision was a key reason they are thriving today.

Thank you for helping us do what we do. Please know it is NEVER TAKEN for granted.

Jim and Brenda

April 26, 2023

Hello Friends,

Sometimes change is good for us. But sometimes it’s a bit challenging.

That is the way it is for us sometimes too. Having served in Eastern Europe for over 28 years has been an amazing adventure at times and has involved constant change.

We had change when we moved to Central America in 1982, change when we move

d to Moscow with our two children in 1992 and more change when we moved with our four children to Budapest in 1997.

Now we are yet again experiencing a very different kind of change since relocating to the US earlier this year.

We LOVE now living in America. Sometimes we wonder if people realize how blessed this country is in so many ways.

We are sure you have experienced many changes in your life too. It’s an adjustment that we all face and it’s part of “life.”

Brenda has a bit more of a challenge as she doesn’t get to go back to Eastern Europe as much as I, Jim do. She misses her friends and just the life we have known there for so many years.

But like we said earlier, we LOVE living in America after so many years away!

There are so many great changes too. We do love the change of seeing our kids and grand-kids so much more. Especially a couple of weeks ago going to Orlando to celebrate our youngest grandson’s “one year birthday” (see photo) with our oldest son, Nathan and his family. And Brenda got to go to Nashville to be with our other son, Ryan and his family and play with our two grandsons there.

Our oldest daughter Alexandra, has loved being around family too. She was so happy to have many of her family singing to her on her Birthday on April 13. Our youngest daughter, Audrianna and her husband live about 50 minutes from us so we get to spend more time with them too!

So those changes are so nice and we cherish everyone of those moments.

In the coming weeks I, Jim will once again be in Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary and Albania. We keep going forward with the ministry with so many world changers that we work alongside there.

Thank you for helping us continue to reach that part of the world with the Gospel.

Impacting Poland

We never tire of working with key pastors in all the countries of Eastern Europe. It continues to amaze us how God puts us together with so many key Pastors that are working to start more churches in cities and towns that still have few if any churches in them.

This month once again a Pastor contacted me from Poland. He was referred to us by my good Polish Pastor friend Arek, with whom we have helped start several churches in southern Poland. All of these new churches are started through relationships that God has given us here in Eastern Europe.

He, like so many we work with, is already pastoring a church in southern Poland, but wants to start another church in a city near him. This city has a group of people from his church that travel 25 miles to his church, but want a church in their own city.

So we are partnering with him, with $4,000 in seed money to help the new pastor get this church off the ground.

This is typical of how we connect with Pastors and leaders in Eastern Europe. They have applications and several forms to fill out to apply for the funds.

Not only in Poland will we see another church started but also in Macedonia and other countries. Thank you for helping us do this.

In May I will be in Poland again, one of my favorite countries we work in. I fell in love with it back in 1995 on my first visit there to Warsaw and Krakow.

In Awe of His Faithfulness

Brenda and Jim

February 15 2023

Dear Special Friends,

We are doing wonderful and so excited about what God is going to do in 2023. There has been some changes in our lives and we are thrilled about this too.

We are doing great personally and the ministry is doing wonderful too.

We wanted to update you on something that has changed. After over 25 years in Budapest and 41 years as foreign missionaries, we have decided to relocate from Budapest to Florida. We will continue doing our ministry in Hungary and Eastern Europe, just that we will be basing out of Florida for at least this year.

You may know that three of our four kids are now married and we have four grandkids and it’s so nice to be able to see them much more often.

So we will continue our ministry in Eastern Europe, working with pastors and key leaders in the countries there and helping to see new churches started. This year we want to see at least another seven churches started where we invest at least $4000 in each one as start up seed.

I will be traveling over there five or six times a year, The last week of January I was in Hungary, Macedonia, and Slovenia. At the end of this month I will be in Hungary, Bulgaria and other countries too.

We still have that part of the world so much in our hearts and have so many many friends there.

So, we just wanted to let you know that we will continue the ministry over there, just changed the place we will base out of. We are excited about 2023.

Just two weeks ago I was in the nation of Macedonia meeting with a Pastor we have been working with for many, many years there. Working with Angel and Daniela we have been able to see three churches started over the years through them in their country.

It’s people like them that we have relationships with for so many years. Seeing them day after day and year after year working in to reach their nations with the gospel gets us so excited that we get to work along side them to help start more churches in this part of the world.

So many friends in so many countries like Albania and Bulgaria and Slovenia and Poland. So many very committed people reaching their nations for Christ.

We never take for granted how God has blessed us with our special family. Our four children have grown up all over the world, yet wherever we lived, whether in the jungles of Costa Rica or in Russia or for over 25 years in Budapest, Hungary. They have always just seen where we lived as “home”.

Now so many years later when they have families of their own it’s wonderful to see them with their own children and how they cherish their growing up years. To them it’s always been just “home”.

Even though they have experienced so many different languages and cultures. It’s so interesting to us to hear them speak of their own memories of growing up overseas now through their own words.

Anyway we are so blessed, as now we have four grandkids and we get to see them more.

Expecting Great things in 2023.

Jim and Brenda

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