A Good Move
Lajos Racz, the pastor of Bicske Baptist Church and Director of the SGA Mission School there, had been aware for some time that the majority of students were travelling long distances to attend the classes held in his own church building. Many were based in Szeged in the south of the country, and in February last he took the decision to move classes to that town, convinced that student numbers would increase significantly, and that the SGA school would consequently multiply its influence and effectiveness.
That flexibility on the part of Lajos and the students yielded the desired results and over thirty students from four churches in the town attended the classes held in the 1st Baptist Church building, an excellent, centrally-located venue with facilities which were ideal. Szeged is a university town, and also hosts several medical and biological research institutions, which provide employment for graduates from the university. A significant number of the students in the Mission School were undergraduates or graduates of the university, and were actively involved in evangelism and outreach on the campus. Their enthusiasm for the lectures was heart-warming, and the variety of ways in which they were attempting to share their faith revealed prayerful, thoughtful and wise planning from genuinely burdened hearts. Two other students there were church-planter Gabor Szacz and his wife who are supported through SGA’s Leadership Support programme. They are profoundly grateful for that support and for the opportunity to attend classes at the Mission School there.
There was one particularly thrilling discovery - a new church plant in the university area. The fourteen foundation members of New Hope Baptist Church, with a healthy number of visitors, believers and unbelievers, meet each Sunday in a rented university room, which they adapt for their services. On the morning I visited, several of the church members were busy taking down decorations which had been part of a university-organized Saturday evening St Valentine’s party.
There is something about the New Hope Church for which we can particularly thank God. It has been planted and is led by a former SGA Mission School student who attended classes in Bicske! He is Mark Sipos, who with his wife Csilla, is wholeheartedly committed to the work there. Their desire is to see a strong church established and a consistent and enduring Gospel witness in the university area. Praise God that we see in this the fruit of the Biblical Leadership Training programme, whose graduates are, with God’s help, putting that training to work in all kinds of Gospel ministries. Mark and the New Hope Church need our prayers as they attempt to win men and women for Christ, many of whom will, in all probability, occupy positions of influence and importance in years to come.