The First Hungarian Baptist Church is located in Noble Park. It has been there for 51 years serving the Hungarian migrant community of Baptists originally from Hungary, Romania, and Serbia. Currently, there are 26 members and five to ten visitors who are all waiting for the time they can meet in the church.
Pastor Ferenc Horvath’s family has been in ministry for over 8 years at FHBC. In this lockdown time as a way of praying and while waiting and longing for people to be able to gather, his family cleans the church building next door to their home even though no one can come. At the same time, while they were also doing their regular maintenance gardening and lawn mowing jobs, they were able to share the beauty of flowers they planted and people walking by.
The weekly sermon is pre-recorded and edited by their son, Adam and then uploaded to Facebook by Rev. Ferenc along with the other contributions from some of the church members. As many members are elderly and do not have smartphone/internet, Ferenc rings and shares the recordings over the phone with those who do not have access to the internet.
I was very touched by Ferenc’s wife Ildiko’s story with their neighbours – an elderly Aussie couple. Ildiko made an effort to get to know them and has been talking with them through the lockdown. Even though it has taken a long time, Ildiko felt like she really knows them now. She bakes Hungarian biscuits and cook meals for them. Through her hospitality, they’ve built a relationship and they have accepted her and even share their worries with her. The Horvath family writes blessings on little cards, which they call, “My prayer of Hope” to accompany the food they provide.
As a family, Rev Ferenc, Ildiko and their son, Adam also sing together each week and share God’s faithfulness on facebook. You can watch the videos here:
Their hope is that the church reopens soon and that everyone gets through the lockdown healthy and safely. In the meantime, they share their love and faith with others and encourage everyone to do so.