Changed Lives

Is there something we can do to help these people? Yes, sometimes a tremendous amount. But we also have to admit that complete change in lives will only take place when people can accept what we have to offer: the help of God, God Himself, and the strengthening power of a community. Then, even in the most miserable life, miracles will happen.

We have seen this happen right in front of us many times. Sometimes it happens rapidly, in the course of just a few weeks. Other times the process will take longer, perhaps even years.

Sometimes no great signs or feelings are experienced by the person. But often after we pray over people, they find solutions to their problems. Problems they could not solve earlier themselves. People suffering from depression or or other forms of spiritual problems find relief and peace after receiving prayer. 

We have also seen broken lives changed, becoming filled with the love of God after the person accepts Jesus Christ and His teachings.

We witnessed this startling change in the case of Gábor. When he first came to us, he did not even have a place to sleep, let alone work or regular meals. He had divorced his wife and left his three children and house behind when he moved up to Budapest. Although only in his thirties, his life was finished; he has lost everything he had worked for and believed in.

He came down to our shelter broken, insecure, not really knowing what the place was about. He only wanted to get some food. Talking then to one of the helpers here, he shared with him the story of his life and received help in finding a shelter where he could stay at night. As we talked with him, we also mentioned our own experience with Jesus and how He had changed our lives. Gábor told us that he believed in God as a child, but later on turned away from Him.

He got a book from us about Jesus and reading it inspired him to start praying (and believing) again. He started to come to us every day. He would have breakfast here, he would talk to us, and frequently played ping pong with our faculty members. The leader of our invincible ping pong team, Géza, also happened to lead our small church-group. 

After Géza invited him to this group, Gábor started going to there regularly. He had such a remarkable experience that he felt inspired to call others to join him. Finally, together with about thirty others from our shelter, Gábor also took part in an introductory course on Christianity, called Alpha. At the end of this course, people who ask for it are prayed over to receive the Holy Spirit

Gábor certainly experienced a strong outpouring of the Spirit, and even days after the event, he would go up to us, thanking us over and over again for the possibility of meeting God. He was so happy...I think those of us who saw him then will never forget this beautiful sight of a lost man finding God. He really was reborn. His behaviour, his whole attitude has changed. He is now much more open towards others, making jokes with people and reaching out to others, something he certainly didn’t do before. He is eager to talk with everybody about his new experiences with God. He regularly attends church and has started going to our small prayer group every week. He is now so joyful, hugging us every morning, and he is now preparing himself for his first Communion. He found himself a job and frequently volunteers in our shelter.

Gábor found a new meaning to his life and immediately he became a sign for the others. His change took place before their eyes. Many of them saw it and some of them wanted the change themselves. His rebirth by the Spirit of God happened so suddenly and was so obvious that it influenced those around him, including the faculty at the shelter.
Out of the small group of four young people (no job, no family, no future plans) with whom Gábor used to play cards with every day, three of them found work and began seeking God. One of them has begun attending church and prays for his first Communion.

The behaviour of these “boys” (about thirty and forty each) has also changed. They are much less boisterous today, and they are not so aggressive as before. On the contrary, if someone needs help, they are the first to offer assistance. 

Of course, there are other kinds of stories as well.  Most of them are not as ”shiny” as the ones just  mentioned.

Edit, for instance, is trying to raise her mentally handicapped daughter alone since the father left. She has been trying to find a job for more than a year now. Still, because of her Gipsy origin, no one is willing to employ her. We could only help Edit by providing some food, and occasionally some money, but that was far from being enough. It seems so far that we are going to be able to employ her in one of our new hostels. Still, how to finance Edit and her daughter until then is unsolved.

We have also helped two Gipsy families to find cheap and safe accommodation here in Budapest, and although we also managed to find work for them, we know that their
problem is not entirely solved as both their housing and their job are temporary. In a year or so, we will probably see them again, asking for help.

There is a woman (about forty) who has an aggressive alcoholic as husband, an elderly sick mother whom she also has to look after and also five small kids to raise. We cannot solve her situation but she says prayer helps her tremendously. She comes twice a week mostly for mental help.

There are times when the only help we can give people is a warm lunch, a good conservation or just a friendly hug.  At times, an exciting game of ping pong or perhaps an interesting film (shown in a technically well-equipped room, with warm coffee or tea in the hand) can help to give relief.
But even more perhaps the message we always try to tell people here: God will always be there for you. He wants to, and is able to help you, as long as you live.


The  Testimony of the KOVÁCS family

The husband, János (43):

I had been depressed for a long time before meeting Jesus. Iused to drink and take drugs a lot.Once I heard  the testimony of Géza on Radio Maria, a Catholic radio station in Hungary.
He spoke about his life, how he used to live and  all the bad things he got into and also how he managed to quit drugs.

I knew Géza from before,in facthe was a friend of mine. So thenext day I went to see him, to the place where he worked in the ”Only One” Center. That was in 2010. Since then I’ ve been going there and also I menaged  to get rid of drugs...  And also cigarettes.

Also finally I menaged to get a job in a hotel where I clean up. Before that I was without work for a long time.  It is very difficult to find a job here nowadays, and the authorities make it even more difficult by fining people who search the garbage for something valuable...   

My wife Rita and I, and our small daughter live ina small apartment we hire, here in the neighbourhood. After paying the rent and all the bills we many times don’t have enough money left at the end of the month to eat. That’s why we come here...But we also help those who are in an even worse position by giving them cloth etc...So it works both ways.  My wife also helped here  in the center by cleaning up many times.

Since I’ve been going to the New Jerusalem Community our lives have changed a lot. I am not as tense as I used to be before, I don’t worry all the time how I will support my family and so on... Since I’ve turned to God he helped me in many things.

We pray every day. We thank God for being with us throughout the day and helping us.

I see many people without hope today. They have no place to live, they are worried for the future. It makes them depressed. I didn’t care about them before. Now I try to help them as I can and I don’t care what they do with it. We humans are not to judge others. It’s up to God. It is His business.


The Wife, Tündi (40)

It was with my husband I first went down to the ”Only One” Center. They helped me with lots of things:they prayed for us, they helped us to pay our bills they got us a new stove...
In exchange, I’ve done voluntary work like washing and cleaning up etc.

Even though I do get some money from the state and the local self – government it’s still not enough for feeding all of us... I also find it very difficult to get a job.I haven’t got one yet.

We pray together with our small daughter every evening and we also bring her to  the community meetings. She likes it very much. Still it hurts a lot when she says:  ”Mummy,  buy me this or that”   and I am not able to because we can’t afford it...

The Husband:

The Alpha course helped me a lot. I used to go around blaming myself for my mother’s death,  for spending all her pension, for not visiting her often enough in the hospital... I felt guilty.Here during the course  I learned how to forgive myself and others. I got freed from these wounds. It is only then, once you are free,  that you can really  let God coming to your heart.

The Wife:

Since the death of my mother-in-law  our marriage consisted of continuous quarelling.We blamed ourselves and the world. During the Alphacourse some people prayed over me. At last I menaged to get rid of all the blame and I could forgive myself. It wasn’t easy.

Since thena lot of things have changed. It’spriceless what they gave us here...When my husband worries I tell him: God surely knows what He wants with us.


Sanyi’s looks has always been like  that of a person,  ready to die at  any moment. He has been walking around  with  some  40kg of net weight,  for the past twenty years or so.  Admittedly, he is an alcoholic. You’ll  meet his  pale face, huge blue eyes at almost all homeless shelters in Budapest .

 As both his mother and his father were alcoholcs Sanyi were  taken to an orphanage already at a young age.  

” How old were you when you started drinking, Sanyi”, I once asked him.  „Eight”, he said plainly. „Everybody drank around me..What could I do?...”   He has been drinking ever since, going in and out of rehabs all around the conutry. With not much purpose left  in life, Sanyi now sleeps  many times in parks  or  street benches.

Now, again pain hits him.   Within a period of two weeks, he  looses both his brother, the only relative he still had contact with,  and a fellow homeless guy, a  close friend of his. He dies in his arms.  These events bring Sanyi  even closer to the  God  he strarted to approach lately.  Having seen death into the eye  Sanyi now wants to live again  and  is again willing to accept treatment... We somehow menage to fix a rehab for him which is quite an achievement in a country where one tenth of the population is an alcoholic.

When finally  all appointments and dates are set fot the rehab  Sanyi wouldn’t turn up.          „ Let’s wait ”  he says later. He starts to drink again.  Our task now is  to  try keep his motivation and willingness alive  and be ready,  any time he’d change his mind.




A victim of imperfect human love,  Zsuzsa was left with four small children when her husband  realized that in todays’ Hungary their family will not be able to  make ends meet.  Leaving Zsuzsa and  his family behind  he choose to dissapear somewhere in Western Europe. Today  noone knows where he is,  the authorities included.  He has not payed a single penny to his family ever since.

Zsuzsa is a heroine of a real Slavic character : sacrifying everything she has and everything she is,  for her  small children. She is pale, silent and  shy. Her figure is so thin it is frightening.  It is no joke saying that  women in the concentrationcamps of Bergen- belsen  or Auschwitz might have looked like this, after being imprisoned for months.  She looks as if she could collapse any moment because of malnutrition. We help her with food, and pay some of her bills so that the family can remain in the flat  they now rent.  

The sum of the  allowance  she gets from the state after her children is  so small, it hardly even covers the rent she has to pay.

 „ How do you menage to feed them?” I ask her once. She smiles sadly.  Pointing to our center she says:  - I go to places like this…

We help her, realising that it is utterly little we actually can do for her. She is strengthened a bit, though. Again,  she is ready to carry her cross a bit further…




This boy of twenty is full of uncontrollable energy. He almost runs from one place to the other in our center and gets into innumerable conflicts with the others  during this excersize.

He is a drug addict, on his way to  rehabilitation , but not knowing  exactly which rehab center  to choose. He asks for our help.

 His name is Peter and although he is still working because of the continuous tension he feels it is  difficult for him  to get on with  collegues.  Living together with his ex-girlfriend, in a city, about 100kms from Budapest, Peter uses a bicycle to go to work and to come back  every day. He rides the bike  200 km every day.Not a bad  achievement for an addict!

 His muscular body handles  the task easily, however. Peter certainly  had the possibility to build up his muscles during the eight years he had spent in  prison. He is smiling, but also he is very tense and agressive. Once he comes in, he wants to be in the middle of everything. While  he tells you his story, he is  checking continuosly whether you really are listening to him or  you just pretend…  He tells you that as a little boy , he was left by his  parents and was adopted later by an older, nice  couple who  died a couple of years ago . Now, coming out of prison and having been on drugs for a longer time  he has no place to go…

Realizing that you actually feel sorry for him he suddenly jumps up from his chair and gives you an enormous hug – unexpected, like everything else  he does. He is just a boy with oversized arms ,  you realise, like anyone else  he is just looking for love and acceptance...

He certainly gets it at our place. Our mental therapist Kati listens to him for hours each day, four times a week. Most times Peter   seems  relaxed and joyful afterwards.

Finally Peter decides not to go to the rehab after all, he is tired with all the hustle around it and decides  to work hard instead, take the prescribed pills by  himself and to try to make it without any institutional help.  We support him in this decision also  – knowing all too well that apart from himself, he would not listen to anybody else.

It took him weeks to come to that conclusion, but he is happy with  it.  As far as we know now he still works –  no institutional  intervention was necessary. As  before, we are ready to help him, any time he would turn up.



Emma is an intellectual in her forties, a real motherly type of woman. Watching her gentle manners,  her fine sophisticated style here in this social centre reminds one that catastrophies do not only occur among lower class people. Her story is quite simple. She’s got divorced and their teenage girl were deemed to be raised by her. Quite shortly after that the shop she run for a living also burned up, without having been insured before. Not only the shop but all the stock has also burned up leaving this elder and younger women with practically nothing to make money  out of. As if this had not been enough it turned out that the daughter also shows  signs of some kind of a mental disorder resulting in frequent banging of doors and arguing in a terrible manner with her mother whom she blamed for all their misery. For years Emma has tried to find a job, any kind of job from selling to telemarketing – nobody was willing to employ her when there were younger and cheaper ones to get, on the market. Many times Emma broke down and would need the help of our mental therapist and our prayer to be able to carry on with  her life. Finally  having finished  the course in social work we offered her to do, she now menaged to find a job as a social helper in a house for  elderly people. She is happy her face is full of life again.  Her and her daughter’ s  long story of suffering came finally to an end.     




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