Sarolta and Botond’s Story
MTI Trains Journalists–Women in Hungary Gain A Friend
It was 1992 and Hungary was about to get a brand-new magazine for Christian women–possibly Hungary’s first. Lydia was beautiful, colorful, full of helpful articles, and the women were thrilled. There was one problem. The articles were mostly translated from the German parent magazine.
“The readers of Lydia Hungary wanted stories of Christian women in Hungary, living out their faith,” says Sarolta Rozgonyi, editor of Lydia Hungary. When Lydia began circulating in Hungary 25 years ago, most of the stories were translated from the German issue of Lydia. Ten years ago, Sarolta transitioned to using Hungarian stories. A key aspect of Magazine Training International’s mission is to equip those within a local culture and language to reach their own culture with Christian resources. Lydia Hungary embodies this commitment.
Botond Rozgonyi, Sarolta’s husband and a pastor, first attended an MTI training in 1992. They then started a small magazine to share testimonies and stories with the church they were planting. Over the years, the Rozgonyis participated in additional MTI conferences, and they were key volunteers in the 2017 Crisis Publishing Initiative in Hungary.
They value the training they received through MTI educational programs: “We are not professional publishers, we are self-made. The MTI conferences are well organized with skilled professional teachers. We put everything we learn into practice. We learn as much in a week at an MTI seminar as all year in another course. Also, the Christian foundation is essential, to equip us in ministry rather than just in secular journalism.”
Hearing stories of the impact of the Lydia magazine encourages them in their work. Sarolta says: “There are few Christian resources in Hungary related to marriage. Lydia was a pioneer in publishing stories about marriage issues. We heard from one woman who had packed her bags and was ready to move out of her home and leave her marriage. She read an article in Lydia and decided to stay and work on her marriage. Testimonies like this encourage me in my work.”
In addition, Botond shares about the wide reach of the magazine across denominations, “Each church feels that the magazine speaks to their denomination, since we deal with matters of life and faith in the everyday. Pastors often use Lydia magazine in counseling situations and family visits, sharing articles about important issues. Often people are uncomfortable talking about their struggles, but the pastor can leave an article for them to read and then follow-up later with the family. Even some Roman Catholic priests use the magazine in their pastoral ministry.”
Lydia Hungary encourages women and families to grow in their faith and share the hope of Jesus with others. Magazines are an effective tool for Christian growth, and Magazine Training International is at the forefront of equipping Christian publishers through online and in-person training, along with providing essential tools and resources.