By serving in new places, new people can be reached with the gospel. This is the experience of the United Methodist Church in Debrecen, the second largest city in Hungary.
"It is a fundamental priority for us as the United Methodist Church in Hungary to be in a discipleship process rooted in the mission of Jesus Christ," Superintendent László Khaled is convinced. This discipleship process is not limited to existing areas of work, but also includes the establishment of new faith groups and churches. One of these churches is in Debrecen, the second largest city in Hungary.
The origin of the Methodist mission in Debrecen dates back almost 50 years. At that time - still at the time of communism - some members of the UMC lived in Debrecen. They were not organized as a congregation, nor did they have a place of their own where they could have met. This did not change for decades, although there were always individuals or even whole groups of the UMC. It was always pastors from Nyíregyháza or Szolnok who ensured a connection to the whole church and visited the members and friends in Debrecen. In 2008 the present Superintendent László Khaled, then a theology student, started a new attempt to found a small house group.
The group grew steadily and after a little more than a decade – in the middle of the Covid-19 lockdown – the church council was able to buy a house for the congregation in Debrecen. It is not a new one and needs renovation to become a helpful place for the work of the church. But thanks to its good location - the house is very close to the big city bus station - it is easy to find and reach.
The first service was held at Pentecost 2020, after the first Covid-19 wave had died down and worship services were allowed again. It was a very special occasion: Just as the feast of Pentecost marked a very special beginning in the New Testament, a new missionary place was born in Hungary on Pentecost 2020. The church in Debrecen is very active and organized the first Vacation Bible School in summer 2020 with almost 30 participating children and young people, which was a reason for great joy and gratitude.
In the coming period, the rooms of the house that was purchased will be adapted to the needs of the church. In addition, the kitchen, which is currently missing, and a bathroom are to be built in. The UMC in Hungary is curious how this congregation will develop further. At the same time, the church is also full of hope because Jesus Christ not only sent his followers but also blessed them - and because he still does so today.
Source: UMC Hungary