Thursday, September 15, 2022

First JFM Ministry Trip to Hungary!


In less than a month, JFM will be sending its first Global Outreach Ministry Team to Hungary, to come alongside our partners in the Set Free Movement. They will engage first hand in the incredible transformations taking place against modern day slavery. 

JFM has a 20 year + relationship with the Free Methodist World Missionaries who are currently serving in Budapest-Larry and Katie Winckles. They have grown and developed national leaders whose heartbeats serve and love on the most vulnerable for being trafficked . Those Hungarian leaders include:

Pastor Peter Toth-leads Sunday worship services, MOPS, Salvation Army classes for mothers, outings for children, youth camps and programs in Budapest

Pastor Slyvia Nyiri and Szandra Barat Abrams-coordinates activities and outings in children’s homes Pecs

Pastor Zsuzsa Mecseri McNamara- Coordinator of the Set Free Movement in Hungary (who is currently on maternity leave)

Erin Kingsley- the newest American missionary to Hungary, she is currently filling in where she can, submerging herself in the language and culture, aiding in the after school programs at the foster care centers

The entire team also partners with Gerry and Kati McNamara- Free Methodist Missionaries from Ireland (Gerry). Kati helps within the Set Free Movement with prevention programs/activities in foster care homes in the city of Gyor. Gerry has been devoting extra care and time with the refugee help due to the war in Ukraine. (Gerry and Kati are ZsuZsa's parents too)

This ministry trip has been in the works since 2019 with COVID restrictions altering plans in 2020 and then again in 2021 for any international travel to Europe. October 12th is their departure date and will be shadowing the Hungary team for 10 days. The team will be visiting the foster care centers in Budapest, Gyor and Pecs to engage the youth and to show them the love of Christ. The team will also be engaged with the Salvation Army in Budapest where classes for mothers takes place. They will have opportunities to spend one on one time with mothers and their children, sharing their testimony to each other!

Why is so much time being spent with the youth on this trip? In Hungary, 1 out of every 100 children are in the foster care program. Hungary (along with other JFM global countries we partner with) is ranked as "Tier 2" country by UN standards on human rights in regards to slavery/trafficking.

There is work to be done on education and prevention. Fostered or orphaned children become the prime targets for  traffickers for many reasons. For many of these young kids, they are in the program temporarily as they await custody and parental rights from the courts.  The promises of job security, or someone to pay attention to them, fake relationships, along with lax government laws on online solicitation for children, creates the perfect environment for evil to thrive. But, by having loving and safe adults, paired with the teachings of the Gospel, prevention with education about modern day slavery, children are experiencing changed lives through Jesus!

Pastor Sylvia and Pastor Peter with fostered children. Often times these children are in the centers temporarily until
court or custody arrangements are finalized-similar to the United States.
 For safety reasons, some of the children's faces cannot be shown for legal and liability

Story time with Pastor Sylvia leading the children.

The teams will partake in the much anticipated “Walk for Freedom'' event in Budapest on Oct 15th. This is a walk around the city to bring awareness on the atrocities of human trafficking by engaging with the public. 

This photo was taken from 2021's Walk for Freedom. Volunteers engage with the
public on education and prevention in Budapest on human trafficking. 

This year, our partners in Hungary have exhausted their spare time in aiding with the refugee crisis due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Supplies are being transported monthly along with the message of Hope and Salvation from the Gospel to displaced people. The informational banners on warnings about human trafficking by the team is now in other European countries, printed in different languages, placed in high visible locations. 

Team loading up 2,000 lbs of much needed food and supplies to go into Ukraine.

       This banner here is printed in Ukrainian. The QR code below brings the user to a 
         link that directs them to either Hungarian, Polish or Romanian languages. 
This particular banner is in a high visible location with at least 700 people a day viewing it!

Even though this is the very first mission trip to Hungary, we look forward to more collaboration in years to come. This trip is a small trip of five active followers at JFM. The GO Team will share more in the upcoming days about this trip on Facebook and Instagram so make sure to follow there too! Look for @JFM Global Outreach on updates.

The most powerful thing another brother and sister in Christ can do is pray! Will you pray for Global Missions on Oct 12th with the departure of the team traveling to Hungary?

1.Pray for all the individuals working together in this unified mission Oct 12-Oct 23rd

2.Pray for the children and mothers to experience life changing love with the Holy Spirit welcomed into the foster care centers.

3.Pray for Transformation to take place in hearts of the wicked who profit and seek to destroy innocent lives by trapping them into slavery.

4.Pray for Faith by Action to all who Believe.

Investing in Christ Centered Partnerships globally to cultivate
changed lives through the Gospel of
Jesus Christ
Acts 1:8

Thursday, July 14, 2022

What's Up with the Winckles?


What's Up with the Winckles?

JFM's Global Outreach team hosted Larry and Katie Winckles, Free Methodist missionaries to Hungary, back on June 26th.  Larry and Katie are visiting back home to Michigan this summer. JFM was fortunate to be one of the many touches the Winckles are making during the home visit this summer!

28 JFMer's welcomed the Winckles and shared time together

Katie and Larry highlighting some of the collaboration in Europe

While fellowship was developed and food shared, The Winckles educated and engaged the supporters with  incredible Kingdom impacts in Hungary. From the Set Free to the war in Ukraine, here is some touch points from the Winckles:

  • Erin Kinglsey, a graduate of Spring Arbor University, has been in transition in her new role. Erin is helping with the children's foster care programs and the Set Free Movement in Hungary. She is absorbing the culture and language and getting settled in! Erin has been a tremendous help with the team as Zsuzsa is still enjoying maternity leave. 

  • Pastor Peter has been full steam ahead with leading their church weekly in worship, weekly classes with mothers and children at the Salvation Army, MOPS programs and creative day camps in Budapest.
  • VBS and Creative Camps in Gyor have been conducted and led by Gerri and Kati McNamara in June and throughout the upcoming July.
  • Katie has had wonderful students in her community English classes. The online prayer groups established during the pandemic are still meeting, and has even grown new members. Hallelujah!
Pastor Peter teaching the kids about Jesus through music

  • The Ukraine War has truly split the time with ministries in Hungary. Larry shared that roughly 12,000 refugees are coming into bordering countries daily. As the war continues, so does the need to help.
  • Gerry has a team that has been going into Ukraine to deliver food, toiletries, and bibles--even bringing people back to Hungary.
  • The Set Free Movement pamphlet on modern day slavery created by ZsuZsa has been extremely helpful to the refugees. 
Gerry at at Ukrainian speaking church sharing the pamphlets on 
warnings of modern day slavery in Hungary

Gerry, along with volunteers before going 
on a supply run into Ukraine this past June

  • Collaboration between the European Freedom Network, Bread of Life and the Set Free Movement created stand up billboards on the dangers of human trafficking. This stand up billboards are now at major check points and train stations, throughout Europe!
The Winckles pose for a quick smile at Tri-Con, hosted at Spring Arbor University. The billboards next to them, printed in a handful of languages are now utilized throughout Europe.

Larry and Katie have asked for prayers of endurance and mental strength has the realities of war are not ceasing. Continue to pray for the ministry partners for their outreach with mothers and children, the foster care centers throughout Hungary and for engagement of their local church. The growth of their acceptance into children's foster care homes around Hungary is answered prayers as now they have visits in Budapest, Gyor and Pecs. 

While the Winkles are back in Michigan, they plan on spending some quality time with their children and grandchildren. 

The Global Outreach team encourages notes of love and support. You can find more updates on social media through Larry's personal Facebook page: @larrywinckles. A handwritten hello always warms the heart too. Any letters can be sealed, dropped off at the church and the Global Outreach Team will take care of the mailings!

Monday, April 18, 2022

God is Good! Update on the St. John's Home in Bulgaria

God is good. His faithfulness is evident over and over again.

Clear proof of this can be found when we look at the St. John’s Home in Bulgaria.

As many of you know, David and Jill Sweet have been working for years with partners in Bulgaria to launch the opening of the St. John’s Home: renovations have been done, funds have been secured, government requirements have been cleared. We have prayed and asked God for a house mother or house parents to be made known so that when the time came, young Roma women at risk for human trafficking could live in the home and gain, as Jill puts it, “hope, healing and restoration."

We waited. And prayed. And waited some more.

And God is good. His faithfulness is evident over and over again.

At the end of March, prayers for a house parent came to fruition. Stephanie, an American with Bulgarian roots, began her new position as house manager with the St. John’s Home. Her unique qualifications are exciting and we ask for your prayers as she begins.

At the beginning of April, God’s temporary plan for the St. Johns Home was also revealed. As the war in Ukraine continues to displace millions of women and children, David and Jill’s ministry was recently approached by a pastor they have worked with to inquire if the home could host refugees. The home was visited by a team of people working to settle refugees and assessed to see if it would be a good fit. It was. There are currently 8 Ukrainian women and children temporarily living in the home. 

There are still significant needs in the Roma community and the continued plan is for the St. John’s Home to serve young at-risk Bulgarian women. Please continue to pray for the current Ukrainian families living in the home and the future Roma women it will serve.

We know God’s timing is perfect. He is good. His faithfulness is evident over and over again. 

To follow the Sweets or the St. John’s Home on Facebook for current updates, visit “The Sweet Spot” and “Saint John Girls’ Home”.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Phase Four of Burenza Has Begun!

Almost two decades ago there was a vision for Burenza. A vision to build, to create, to serve, and to save. The vision started with a calling to go to a remote land away from everything in a place that few had heard of.  As this vision has become a reality and Burenza becomes a household name for most of us, it seems that much has been done. 

So is there more for Burenza? YES!! 

We are excited to announce that Phase Four, or the completion of Burenza is underway!

Outside the entrance to the "campus" of Burenza--the fence was a requirement by the government a few years back as part of the clinic mandates. The official "Burenza" sign in the background with smiling children

What was once just an open field has now become a hub of activity. Bringing the true Hope people need closer to their doors than ever before!

No longer do women have to give birth outdoors or on the floor. No longer do people need to seek solutions from a witch doctor. No longer do mothers have to decide between starvation or the unthinkable to feed their children. 

Photo taken in 2017 what the hospital bed/room used to look like

Construction of the maternity ward in 2020.

The three nurses outside of the new maternity ward in 2021

1 Corinthians 9:24-26 says: " Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step".

At times, this run has felt like a walk and other times like a sprint. No matter the speed, the prize remains the same. So to answer our own question, yes there is more for Burenza. And holding true to the vision may be just the biggest thing yet!!

If you’ve been with us on this quest for any length of time you will remember the building of a health center. Followed by the building of a new church. As things progressed an improved staff house was completed, improved septic system, well and water storage system and the addition of a new solar system to have electricity! No more candle power and cell phone flash lights at night! Hallelujah!  Most recently a brand new maternity ward improving our ability to serve birthing moms was formally opened in August 2021. 

We are excited to announce that we will continue to partner with the Free Methodist Church of Burundi in their vision to expand the health center to a fully qualified health clinic!

This means adding a separate men’s and women’s ward, expanding water sources, solar energy sources, updating the current incinerator and adding staff-including a doctor!

What is the difference between a health center and a clinic?

  • Currently the health center has three nurses on staff. When Burenza becomes a “Health Clinic”  there would be a doctor present to see patients. There is another  health center in the area, but the closest clinic or hospital with a doctor is still far away from Burenza.

What is the value in having a clinic at Burenza? What does this mean for the community?

  • People in the area won't have to travel as far to see a doctor, and to receive immediate and specialized care.

  • Due to the distance and travel to Burenza, it is imperative to have adequate housing for a doctor to stay while on call for the time in Burenza. 

An expecting mother receiving an ultrasound at Kibuye Hospital, which is one of the main hospitals in Burundi. This kind of services is what is hopeful for the completed vision at Burenza

What do most people go to the clinic to be seen for?

  • Laboratory testing and consultative needs for children under the age of 5 years old are the most common needs for the clinic. To get an idea on how busy the clinic is-about 1300 visits are done with children under the age of 5, monthly.  Preventive consultation generally makes up the third most common visit. On average, at least one baby is born per day at Burenza. A chaplain is on site throughout the month to share the gospel and the Love of Jesus to the visitors.  

What will it take for the health center to become a clinic? And why is it important?

  • Expand Facilities and infrastructure

    • construction of a new Incinerator

    • construction of a sanitary system for the current facility and new construction

    • Expansion of the water reserve

    • Furnishings and supplies for the Men’s/Women’s Ward

    • Outdoor kitchen prep area

    • Potential changes and construction to the wall surrounding the current compound

    • Construction of additional staff housing (doctor’s housing in particular)

    • Expansion Solar Power

  • As the health center grows, so does the infrastructure. Its imperative to have the proper foundation so the vision of Burenza can be at its most effective state. Upkeep and expansion cost is part of any healthy project to ensure its longevity and success.  

Where are we in the process?

New Incinerator is the first priority!

  • Construction of a new incinerator will begin in the next two weeks. To upgrade to a larger incinerator, move location to a more safe distance from the current building and to rebuild a proper fence is an estimated $5,000 US dollars. This is also a requirement by the Burundi government to ensure proper health practices and sanitation is in practice at Burenza. Funds were sent the first week of March to start implementing this task.
The incinerator is too small for the growing operations at Burenza. Government regulation also requires proper fencing and location to be approved to move forward with to became a clinic. 
Condition of incinerator as of January 2022.

Outside of the health center at Burenza

What vision does the Free Methodist Church of Burundi (BFMC) have for Burenza?

  • The Vision for Burenza  is part of a much larger movement from the Free Methodist Church of Burundi of which it is playing a piloting role. The Vision For Burenza  is that it would become a social hub from which people (locals) use as part of their daily lives:  To seek out medical needs, talk about faith, nutrition, and seek out educational direction and guidance. This is the work we have joined in with the BFMC (Burundi Free Methodist Church). Think of it almost like a “campus setting” where all these services are together and easily accessible- a centralized hub to receive and benefit from social services and church

What can JFM do to support our partner, the BFMC?

  • Pray! Praying is the MOST engaging activity that any follower of Jesus can faithfully do. Pray for the leadership of Burenza, the staff at the current Health Center and for the patients to accept and receive Jesus. Pray how you can be lead to be a part of the vision!

  • Keep engaged! Follow the Global Outreach Team with blogs, posts on social media to get the latest update on what is happening in Burenza.

  • Be on the lookout for some special events! You will be able to learn more, hear great stories, ask questions from those who have been, and how you can play a role in this amazing work in Burundi.

  • Donate- the overall estimated cost for Phase 4 completion is $300,000 US dollars. JFM is not responsible for all of the cost, but we do plan on raising half of the funds. Our partnership goal between JFM, the BFMC and other private donors is to be fully funded by the end of 2023. 

The excitement of obedience is finding out later what God had in mind and maybe not even till eternity to get a True Perspective of the entire Vision! Thank you for your engagement and your excitement as we move forward with cultivating changed lives in Burenza!

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Report from Hungary on the Refugee Crisis in Budapest


Here is the latest update from our Global Outreach ministry partners in Hungary, written and sent by Larry Winckles. 

Jackson Free Methodist's (JFM) Global Outreach has four partnerships, having two located in Europe (Set Free Movement in Hungary and the St. Johns Home in Bulgaria). 

Even though JFM does not have any ministries or missionaries directly in Ukraine, our partners do collaborate with church planting and other non profit organizations in Ukraine. Our partners are  actively engaging to help the refugees that are starting to come into Hungary. 

Picture of refugees, volunteers and local police in train station in Budapest

Larry helps explain in this letter below what they are witnessing in Hungary with the Ukrainian refugees. Larry also explains how we can support. If you are called to help, here are a few ways that you can act:

Pray! Praying is the MOST we can do and to support our partners. 
Need some scripture guidance? Check out  1 John 5:14, 2 Corinthians 1:11, Philippians 1:18-21

Give Electronically or by check payable with:
 "Bishop Crisis Response Fund" in the memo. 

Collection holders are in the sanctuaries at JFM 
Funds mailed to: 2829 Park Drive, Jackson MI 4920

Follow @jfmglobal or JFM Global Outreach for updates

 Report on the Refugee Crisis in Budapest – February 28, 2022

Today I visited the Nyugati Railway Station in Budapest to assess the refugee situation there. This is the station where trains arrive that are coming from the northeast, in the direction of the Hungarian/Ukrainian border. Trains arrive from Nyíregyháza on an hourly basis. I was there for about a half an hour after a train had arrived and stayed until about a half an hour after the next train arrived. 

(map added for reference points)

These are my observations. 

1. The Compassionate Services of the Hungarian Reformed Church has been present at the train station since the second day of the war. They are well-staffed and well-equipped. Their workers wear distinctive green jackets with the name of the service prominently displayed. They offer food, water, and hygiene products. They have very nice signs, written in Ukrainian, which they display to arriving passengers, offering help. Seemingly as an afterthought, they also had a few handwritten signs offering help in English. 

2. There was a very large police presence, with representatives of the Hungarian National Police, the District Police, and the Catastrophe Protective Services all being present, in addition to railway security. 

3. There was also a very large media presence. They seemed rather intrusive to both the aid workers, the police, and the refugees. They gathered like vultures when the train arrived. 

4. The Hungarian Red Cross also had four people present. However, they just stood around, watching and waiting for what I do not know. They were not equipped with any type of relief supplies or informational leaflets. 

5. When the train arrived it seemed that there were about 300 or more people who were refugees, in addition to the normal train passengers. The police cordoned off a holding area to receive refugees that wanted assistance. 

6. I was surprised by the very large number of African refugees. In fact, I estimated that two-thirds of those people coming off the train were African. Most did not respond to offers of help. One of the problems seemed to be that neither the police nor the aid agencies were adequately prepared to deal with English speakers. I spoke with several of the Africans and asked them if they had received help and what their plans were. Some had received information about a hotel where they could stay temporarily. Others had friends who were meeting them. And still others were trying to navigate on their own. This large group stood in clusters just outside the train station, calling people on their cell phones and deciding what to do. 

7. I spoke with a man working with the Reformed Compassionate Services. He told me that there were 2000 volunteers who were driving back and forth between Budapest and the border, transporting refugees. He also said that most of the ethnic Hungarians who cross the border are being assisted by friends and family that live in Hungary. 

8. I was told that there is a very large backlog of people and cars at the border crossing, and that it will probably take at least a couple of days to clear. Of course, this is dependent upon whether more people decide to flee if the situation in Ukraine gets worse. Up until now the number of arrivals has been more of a trickle rather than a flood. It is expected to increase over time. 

9. I also spoke with the man working with the Reformed Compassionate Services about the dangers of human trafficking during this refugee crisis. He agreed that it was a very real danger and gave me contact information about how I could ask about getting warning leaflets into the hands of the aid agencies. I will follow up on this. 

The European Freedom Network has prepared such a leaflet in Ukrainian, that can be customized with emergency contact information according to whatever country it is used in. At this point we are thinking that it will need to be in four languages - Ukrainian, Russian, Hungarian, and English – and we are working to get the necessary translations. We are hoping to get this printed and out for distribution as soon as possible this week. 

The English text of the leaflet follows: We are with you! We are sorry that you are going through these difficult times. We want you to be safe, that's why we want you to know that not all people are what they seem to be. Trafficking in human beings hides behind a friendly face and makes false promises to people in vulnerable situations. Some tips to be safe 

1. Protect your IDs. Don't give them to anyone. 

2. Don't give anyone your personal phone. 

3. Wherever you are, register in the authorities' databases. 

4. If you choose to stay elsewhere than accommodation provided by non-governmental authorities or associations, please notify the authorities about your location. 

5. In case of emergency or suspicion, please notify the authorities.


 Regarding financial support for relief efforts:

 Josh Fajardo and I met with our Regional Directors today to assess the implications of the war in Ukraine and the refugee crisis in the surrounding countries. 

One question that we are getting from churches in both the U.S. and the U.K. is how can relief funds be received? Gerry McNamara has been in close contact with people on the ground in Rivne, Kyiv, and other localities. The banking system in Ukraine is under heavy stress. So far funds that have been sent to Ukrainian accounts have been received, but more and more bank machines are either being destroyed or running out of money, which is not being replenished. On top of this, many shops and businesses are no longer accepting the Ukrainian currency (the grivne) but only accept euros or dollars. 

Because of this, we are recommending that relief funds NOT be sent to our Ukrainian bank account. Instead, our recommendation is that funds be sent to the Bishops' Crisis Response Fund, and we will recommend how those funds are to be disbursed. 

We will be getting daily updates about funds received and will be in a position to advance the funds from our Hungary mission account and get reimbursed from the Bishops’ Fund. 

We are in the process of developing a plan to get euros or dollars from Hungary into Ukraine and to our people there. Fortunately, we had proactively instructed our people to keep a cash reserve of U.S. dollars, so their immediate needs are being met. We are also developing accountability protocols for any relief funds that are received and disbursed. It may develop that relief funds to assist with refugees will be needed in Hungary, Romania and potentially in Bulgaria (if refugees come in by sea). Support for these efforts should also be directed to the Bishops’ Crisis Response Fund. We are currently investigating possible collaborations with the Nazarenes, the Hungarian Methodists, and the Salvation Army. At present we are focusing on collaborating with the European Freedom Network to publish and distribute the warning leaflets. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

Thanks for your continued prayers during these perilous times. 

Larry Winckles                                                                                                                                              Europe Area Associate Director Free Methodist World Missions                                                                Budapest, Hungary

JFM's Global Outreach partners in Hungary


Monday, February 14, 2022

Busoma, Full Bellies, and Bible Story Sharing Updates from Burenza


Take a moment to view of some the interviews and colorful photos of lives changed because of the Busoma Feeding Program. 

Testimony of Gilbiena, a volunteer with the Feeding Program and a mother's story...

Twice a week, 125 children are provided life sustaining food and the opportunity to physically grow! These families are also provided with eternal nourishment with the sharing of the Good News!

Jonathan Niciza (center) shares faith and the Gospel with the mothers and children during one of the Busoma Feeding Programs.

This is an example of tools and charts used to help track weigh ins and healthy progression of the children at the Busoma Feeding Program

The staff and nurses at the clinic are the "frontline eyes" to help see what children are at risk the most in the Burenza area by their visits for medical treatment. 
Twin babies during the feeding (above) and with their bellies full and now sleepy (below)

Thank you to the BFMC, JFM and all of the supporters who are helping to invest in Christ-Centered partnerships around the Globe! By loving God and loving others, this program is creating opportunities in the name of Jesus!


First JFM Ministry Trip to Hungary!

  MARK YOUR CALENDARS to PRAY! In less than a month, JFM will be sending its first Global Outreach Ministry Team to Hungary, to come alongs...