Monday, April 2, 2018

April Prayer Letter

April  2018

Greetings from Hungary. Spring is finally beginning to break through. We are looking forward to better weather and a great season of ministry.  

Vertical Church Conference:
The month of March was definitely dominated by our conference which was held March 16-17th in Kecskemét, Hungary. If I could describe it with only one word, I would choose the word amazing! Our goal for the conference was to not only talk about Vertical Church, but to actually experience it. What would it be like if 400 Christian leaders and workers would unite to seek the glory of God through passionate worship, fervent prayer and Spirit-filled preaching? We truly felt like God’s presence was there in a special way. Many pastors and leaders said that the conference was life-changing for them. Here is a brief exerpt from a letter we received:

„I have attended many conferences in my life, where I heard many good things, but this conference was different. God was present. The theme was vertical church and you modelled this for us, and we experienced exactly what the speakers spoke about: God’s glory showed up in our midst. And I arrived home changed...”

The conference also had a powerful affect on our church in Esztergom. Our worship team was very involved leading worship in two of the sessions. All of our leaders were also present, as well as a number of our members. We pray that our church in Esztergom will be an example and inspiration to other churches in Hungary.

It has also been interesting to see the continued „after-affect” of the conference. The services were live streamed and several hundred people followed online during the conference. Since then, the five services have been watched more than 17,000 times on youtube (an average of more than 3,000 per sermon), and invitations continue to come in to speak on this subject in churches and conferences across Hungary. I even received a letter inviting me to speak to some Hungarian pastors and leaders in the Ukraine. God is working, and we continue to seek His guidance in how to respond and continue moving forward in this area. I am thankful for my two Hungarian pastor friends who co-hosted the conference with me: Samuel Mike and Barnabas Uzonyi. I am also thankful for the team from Harvest Bible Chapel in Granger, Indiana who came to help with the conference. Please pray with us for continued fruit and guidance!

Marc and Charin Patton

That's me opening the conference.

Esztergom worship team with Micah Klutinoty helping out.

Trent Griffith preaching with Attila Zeman translating

Worship being led by the Pécel Baptist Church worship team.

Shot of the crowd.

Passionate worship.

Main Speakers from left to right: Cristian Barbosu, Samuel Mike, Marc Patton, Barnabas Uzonyi and Trent Griffith.

Monday, February 26, 2018

March 2018 prayer letter

Greetings from cold, snowy Hungary. We rejoice that even in these cold, winter months that the Lord has been at work.

We’ve begun the year with a sermon series on spiritual disciplines. In our small groups it has been good to hear that many are being more faithful in personal devotions. A number of our people set a goal to read through the Bible completely for the first time. We have also encouraged our people in the area of fasting and prayer. We believe that spiritual growth in the lives of our individual members will help us grow stronger as a church as well.

We also have been praying for numerical growth. We were pleased to see a family of four begin attending in January. In February we had a Valentine’s Banquet and encouraged our church couples to each bring an unsaved couple with them. Of the 21 couples in attendance, eight were couples who do not know the Lord. Our guest speaker spoke on the family, but also worked in the Gospel message. We continue to pray for souls to be saved and new people to be brought into the church.

Extended Ministry:
In January I taught my class on the Christian Family at Word of Life Hungary Bible Institute. I always enjoy interacting with these students. I had students in my class from 15 different countries, so it is a great opportunity for international impact. At the end of January I preached in Mannheim, Germany for my friend Rodney Kidd. In February I did a Vertical Church weekend at the Baptist church in Eger, Hungary.

Vertical Church Conference:
In previous letters I mentioned how the Lord has used the Vertical Church vision to influence many pastors and churches in Hungary. This past fall I teamed up with two other Hungarian pastors to begin planning a conference for pastors, leaders and Christian workers. The conference will be held March 16-17 at the Baptist church in Kecskemét, Hungary. The interest has been overwhelming. We closed registration one month before the conference, as we had already reached maximum capacity. We are expecting about 420 participants from 95 churches. Our main goal is to spread a fire of passion for the glory of God in the pastors and leaders who are coming. We are praying that they will go home with a renewed faith and vision for their churches. Please pray with us to that end. Thank you for standing with us in prayer and support!

Marc and Charin Patton

Valentine's Banquet

Thursday, January 4, 2018

January 2018 Prayer Letter

Happy New Year from Hungary! We had a great year in 2017, and we are looking forward to even greater things in 2018!

Quick Trip to the States:
Our son Ben and Kelsi Brock were married on December 16th in Jacksonville, Florida. The wedding was beautiful, and we were so glad to be a part of it. Ben and Kelsi asked me to share a brief Gospel message at the beginning of the wedding, and Kelsi’s father performed the ceremony. There was also a very special time when Ben and Kelsi had both sets of parents say a prayer of blessing over their marriage. I think the entire wedding was very Christ-honoring, and we look forward to seeing how the Lord with use them in the future. Please pray for them, as they have many important decisions to make in regards to their future ministry plans. 

After the wedding, we headed to Indiana to spend the Christmas holidays with Charin’s family. We were able to visit my parents in Tennessee on the way to and from Indiana. Nancy and Esther were also able to join us for this trip along with Nancy’s boyfriend, Keith. We always value these family times that we have together.

The only sad note to our trip was that someone broke into Charin’s parents’ house on December 23rd while we were all away. The thieves took dozens of presents from under the tree and also snatched up my laptop on the way out. A police report was filed, but nothing has been found. I replaced my laptop, but unfortunately some of my work was not backed up, so the loss is frustrating. But we are grateful for the Lord’s protection, and that there was only loss of possessions, not loss of life or limb.

Back in Hungary:
We only missed two Sundays during our trip to the States. Both services went well. Our men reported a really good attendance for our Christmas service. I was back in the pulpit for New Year’s Eve, and we had a great service to close out the old year and ring in the new. Our theme for the new year is „Greater Things in 2018” based on the words of Jesus in John 14:12. Please pray with us that 2018 will be a year of „Greater Things” in growth, salvation decisions, answered prayers and changed lives.

Serving for His Glory,

Marc Patton

Patton Family + Keith in Chicago

Ben and Kelsi with parents and grandparents


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

November 2017 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends,

Here is our November prayer letter. You will find a version with pictures for printing in the attachment.

Harvest Time:

Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. James 5:7

People often ask me what it is like to minister in Hungary. One thing I bring up is the need for patience. Hungarians are usually very slow to make a decision for Christ. Baptism is also a big decision, as it means an official break with the church of their upbringing (usually Catholic). The value of patience was demonstrated by our most recent baptismal service.

On November 19th I baptized two converts. Andras is a 75 year old man who began attending our church eight years ago. He was from a Catholic background. It took several years for him to make a decision for Christ, and then several more years before he was ready for baptism. He thanked me for my patience in dealing with him.

Johanna is a 22 year old young lady, who began attending church four years ago. Her father was a Lutheran pastor, so she was raised with a knowledge of God but without a true relationship with Him. It took several years before she was ready to give her life wholly to Christ, and then another year before she was ready for baptism. Over the years we have learned to be patient and let people progress at their own pace. We have often experienced that putting pressure on people early for a decision will often drive them away. It is always a joy when the breakthrough comes, and we are able to reap the harvest for which we have patiently waited.

Exciting Family News:

Our son, Ben, and his fiancé, Kelsi Brock, will be married in Jacksonville, Florida on December 16th. We will be in the US from December 13-28th to be there for the wedding and then to visit family for Christmas. Please pray for smooth traveling and also for Ben and Kelsi as they begin their life together.

With Thanksgiving approaching, please allow us to express our thanks to all of you who partner with us through prayer and support. You are a blessing!

Marc Patton and Family