Avas Del Church
In 1984 our Presbytery entered into a partnership with the Cistibiscan District of the Hungarian Reformed Church. Hungary was then still under Communist rule established by Russia after WW2. Many Christians were denied good jobs. Church property was confiscated, so each congregation had only the sanctuary and the pastor’s house – no schools, office space or social meeting rooms. Many pastors were imprisoned, executed or exiled.
It was during this time that help from Missouri Union Presbytery, through the support of individual congregations, was able to smuggle in Bibles, and, after 70 years of Communism, help rebuild and reopen the seminary so pastors could once again be trained to supply reopened congregations.
One by one, the numerous Christian schools, which had been confiscated and closed under the communists, were returned to the church. Many needed extensive repairs and have been reopened and staffed with major financial help from partner churches of our presbytery. In many cases, the Christian schools are not only better than state schools, but, in some communities, they are the only schools available.
As a joyful point to this partnership, the 40,000 person apartment building, built by Communists and then abandoned, has been a fruitful field for discipleship of new Christians. Our partner church, Avas Del, has been growing and seeing the Gospel come to vibrant life. The pastor of our partner congregation, Andras Donde and his wife were both educated in the reopened seminary. They have started on the long, arduous path of building a sanctuary for this new, growing congregation. We are a part of this ministry with our prayers and our gifts.
As the Hungarian Reformed Church has come back to life since the defeat of Communism, our partners in faith have become strong enough to sustain themselves. They, and we, are now reaching out to the desperately poor and shunned Roma population, especially in the bordering regions in Ukraine. David Pandy-Szekeres is a missionary working in the region to establish, build, and staff Christian schools for Roma children. Of course the church is the only option for these children for an education. We now have a second generation of Roma children attending the schools, on their way to becoming productive citizens with a new Christian faith.
We are thankful for the long tradition of partnership with our Hungary and the exciting opportunities we have to see that God does, indeed make miracles happen.
If you would like to find out more about our sister congregation in Miskolc, Hungary, the Avas Del congregation, here is the link to their website: http://www.tirek.hu/lap/avasdel/cikk/mutat/welcome
and here’s another page that is translated into English: http://www.tirek.hu/lap/avasdel/hir/lista/hirek/
When you go to the website, on the left, the third button down is the link to Coates Street Presbyterian Church, in English it is called church brotherhood. In Hungarian it’s a very long word…testvergyulekezet