Each Mission Possible Disciple-Making Journey (MPDJ) pipeline includes both local and global lab experiences. Our 2023 MPDJ Pilot group participated locally with Essential Blessings, a non-profit organization founded by Michelle Gondal to minister to and provide self-care items to the homeless population in the Lansing area. The global lab experience saw a group of four of our MPDJ Pilot graduates head to Budapest and Tatárszentgyörgy, Hungary.

Gezá & Ildikó Kováç hosted our small team in their home in Budapest. Their hospitality and care was a true blessing and something we can all learn from. We had many great conversations over home-cooked meals prepared by Ildikó. The team joined Gezá on one of his daily walks along the banks of the Danube River enjoying the scenery and wonderful conversation. Gezá and Ildikó also invited the team to attend the ‘Plant to Live’ church planters conference. Ildikó and a new friend, Tanner Graham, helped translate for us so we could understand the presenters. Pastor Jack Magruder also had an opportunity to speak from the stage.

The team also spent time in Tatárszentgyörgy with Cullen and Sarah Menke where they have been serving the community for the past few years. We were able to help serve coffee to the local community as Cullen and Sarah made their weekly Monday complimentary coffee deliveries to the local school, post office, and Mayor’s office. The café, Manna Kávézó, playground and indoor space are available to the school and social workers to use during non-operating hours.

While in Tatárszentgyörgy, our team was able to help clean the café and help sand beams in the youth center space above the café. This space is the future home of the Hope IFI Youth Group. One of the primary goals of the youth group, the student center, and the café is to help breakdown racial barriers between Ethnic Hungarians and the Roma Gypsy and to build bridges between these people groups. The youth group meets together on Wednesday evenings to provide respite for the kids. Here they have community and come to know Jesus as Lord, Savior, and Friend. They experience the hope, peace, and joy that come from life in Him. At the youth group gathering we attended, team member Michelle Gondal shared her testimony with the group. The students were completely engaged as Michelle spoke to them.

Our last day in Hungary was spent in Budapest with Pastor Zsolt Novák. We spent time prayer walking B18 (District 18) where Pastor Zsolt would be planting a church. We even had the opportunity to pray at the building he was hoping to make the home of this church plant. We also were able to do a bit of sight-seeing, enjoy afternoon coffee together and take a tour of the Hungarian Parliament Building.

Pastor Zsolt’s church plant opened it’s doors for it’s first worship service on Sunday, November 26, 2023!