Peterfalva English Singing Club


Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!  Psalm 95:1

During a week’s time, we are thankful to be a part of many different programs, lessons, Bible Studies, and the like.  But one of our favorite weekly programs occurs on Sunday evenings at the Hungarian Reformed boarding school in Peterfalva.  After the evening devotion, prayer, and singing, students who desire are invited to stay and learn English worship songs.   A group of about 20 students usually stay to sing and learn new English worship songs with us.  Some students attend because they like to sing, others because they want to practice their English language skills, and still others because they enjoy worshiping the Lord through music.

We are very thankful that Laci, one of the Dorm parents at the school, is an accomplished guitarist and with ease accompanies us as we sing.  One of the students, Mark, also plays the guitar very well and kindly shares his gift of music with us week after week.  Together they skillfully manage to make our noise undeniably more joyful!

Over the past weeks, we have enjoyed introducing the students to contemporary praise songs as well as treasured hymns.  Each week the students are quick to make songs requests.  Some of the frequently requested contemporary songs include Bless the Lord, O My Soul, You are My All in All, and Lord, I Need You.  Traditional hymns including Amazing Grace and God Himself is with Us have been quickly learned by the students and are also sung often.

Over the past couple weeks, we have been impressed with the students and their musicality, especially in a language that is not their mother tongue!  We asked the students if they would be interested in forming an English Singing Group and singing at various occasions.  To our surprise and delight, the students were eager for this opportunity.

Then, last week, in a nearby town called Beregszasz, the local Reformed young people hosted a week long Evangelization at the local Hungarian college.  Csilla, one of the university students involved in planning the Evangelization, invited us to come sing at the Evangelization.  So, in the days prior to, we practiced our songs, rented a bus that seated 26, and on a cold, damp, Wednesday evening drove the 50 kilometers to Beregszasz.  The evening began at 6:00 pm, so we departed for Beregszasz at 5:00 pm.  It doesn’t seem like such a distance, 50 kilometers, but the roads are in terrible condition, and while we thought we could get there with time to spare, we still managed to arrive five minutes late!  Immediately after the welcome was given, we were called up to the front to sing!  So, there was not really time to feel uneasy or nervous.  Our students and guitarists performed three songs: Bless the Lord, O My Soul, Amazing Grace, and Who am I?  We are very thankful to God that it went well.  The students sang simply and beautifully.

We were glad that we could be a part of the Evangelization, but we were also glad that these 20 students had the opportunity to hear the Gospel presented, as well to hear a personal testimony from a young lady who shared how the Lord has been at work in her life, and to partake in the worship service.  After the service was finished, we quickly departed, since it was a school night, and drove an hour back to Peterfalva.  Some of the staff at the school kindly waited for us with a hot supper upon our return.  It was a lovely evening and we were thankful for the opportunity to continue to develop relationships with these young people.

The students who participate really seem to enjoy learning new songs and singing together.  We also are glad for the opportunity, as it allows us to praise God in our mother tongue!  We continue to meet weekly on Sunday evenings, and we hope to have more opportunities to sing publically in the future.  We praise God for the opportunity to sing praises to his name, and also to proclaim his name to the nations.

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!  Psalm 95:1-2


Photo Credit: Norbert Tankóci

Video Credit: Debóra Seres

About Eric Hoeksema

Stacey, my wife, and I are located in western Ukraine, living with and working among a Hungarian population in Transcarpathia, Ukraine.

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