Bonus Pastor / Transylvania, Romania

Levente Horvath and his team are especially ministering to the almost two million Hungarians living there through training efforts, publishing and a rehabilitation program. Kyle and Catherine Ferguson who are 4D missionaries on loan to BP are helping in spiritual formation and management.

Led by Levente Horvath, 4D partner Bonus Pastor, is in Transylvania, Romania. Levente, who earned his doctorate in missions in the UK, also is connected as an expert resource in missions to the well-respected Reformed Seminary in Debrecen, Hungary. But to Levente, life is not only about theory and academics. It’s about helping churches to be missional – to reach out with the love of Christ in order to see lost people redeemed and restored. Christmas to Levente is not about getting, but about passing on God’s love and grace to those in need.

Hank has known Levente and some of his key staff for almost 35 years. They were “long distance friends” who didn’t meet very often. It was Stuart and Beth Ferguson (4D International Staff), who lived and worked in Transylvania, who cultivated the relationship, resulting in Levente and his board of directors asking to be an official 4D Partner.

The ministry is called Bonus Pastor (which in English means Good Shepherd). It’s about helping churches to be missional, publishing resources (including authors like Timothy Keller), student ministry among the two million Hungarians living in Romania, and a unique residential recovery program for addicts.

It’s often easier to reach out to people within our comfort zone. Jesus did not. And, aren’t we glad! Good Shepherd’s ministry brings hope and redemption through Jesus mostly to alcoholic addicts.

Alcoholism is a big problem in Romania, where a bottle of vodka costs the same as a loaf of bread. Especially in the villages, it’s quite common for families to self-produce — and consume — close to one hundred gallons of vodka a year. And lives that are on a path of destruction often pull others along with them.

4D’s partner, Bonus Pastor, provides a place where churches and families can take people in need, in order to participate in a residential recovery program. Shorter programs are twelve days. Many of the programs are in Hungarian, but some also in Romanian. In the last few years, over 750 people participated with a success rate of over 70 percent. That’s about 500 people, both men and women!

Part of the cost is being paid by the family or sending church, which gives them a stake in the program, often resulting in much needed prayers and follow-up programs.

On average, the subsidy paid by Bonus Pastor is about $15 per day or $180 for the entire twelve days.

Levente did not look for a comfortable job when he got involved. It was clearly God’s calling and empowering that made him a messenger of God’s Good News to those desperate and in need. What an inspiration! And what an opportunity to partner with a quality ministry like Bonus Pastor.

You can support Bonus Pastor using our donation page.

4D partners are carefully screened based on criteria which include: Purpose and driving values, including statement of faith, leadership, transparency, accountability, spiritual impact in the country of service and long term sustainability.

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