The Children of Reformation

2017. március 01., szerda

The Transcarpathian Reformed Church has begun a new initiative during the Year of Reformation, titled The Children of Reformation, which aims to support family planning in local congregations. The program aims to celebrate the Reformation in a way that encourages familial growth and will bring new life to the region. 

Transcarpathian Bishop Sándor Zán-Fábián introduced The Children of Reformation program to families by saying that, “The time spent with families and the next generation will be returned a hundredfold.”  The program was initiated by the Synod of the Transcarpathian Reformed Church (TRC) and encourages families to raise children in Transcarpathia. Those who will be born in the next year will receive a jubilee marked baptism memorial card.

The anniversary of 500 years of Reformation raises the question of how to celebrate so that the next generation can benefit from it as well. The Synod of the Transcarpathian Reformed Church emphasizes that the future generation is hidden in this generation, in us. They would like to encourage everyone to pray for the children and be ready to accept children when they enter the world. The Synod stresses the desire to have a church full of life. If difficulties and struggles are undertaken for these future children, then they will accept hard conditions as well. The military and political conflict taking place in eastern Ukraine affects the entire country, including Transcarpathia, and the uncertainty and tension puts Hungarians living there in a difficult position. Due to this, the guiding role of the TRC is very important.

As part of the program, the TRC finds and encourages families who are on the list of the church district to rear children. They pray together with those families that do not have children yet. The church encourages them not to worry about having the means to rear the child and reassures them that God has the power to take care of them.

Another important piece in family planning is encouragement and support from other family members – the church asks grandparents to join their children and to offer their help in looking after grandchildren for two hours a week. Many people accepted this initiative and several church prayer groups take part in the program too. In addition, the Transcarpathian Christian doctors offer free maternity and prenatal care to those who sign up and join the program.

Unfortunately, in recent years, less children have been born in Transcarpathia than people who have passed away. However, it was not always this way; if we consider the terrible conditions that Hungarians were living in after 1944 – how many people died in Stalin's camps and how many were imprisoned – then we can see that people in this region have a survival reflex that will help them through all troubles. Therefore, believers must set an example and continue to encourage young married people and families to seek and accept children after 2017 as well. This is not a program just for a year, but one that the church hopes will continue.

This program is not a selfish initiative, but rather it aims to have parents sacrifice today so that in return the region can experience the miracle of life.

The following scripture readings are used by the Transcarpathian Reformed Church’s Children of Reformation program during individual meetings with families.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
    are the children of one's youth.
 Blessed is the man
    who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
    when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127, 3-5)

 

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
    within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
    around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
    who fears the Lord.

The Lord bless you from Zion!
    May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
    all the days of your life!
May you see your children's children!
    Peace be upon Israel! (Psalm 128, 3-6)

 

Article by Zsuzsanna Farkas

Translated by Ágnes Kovács

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