Ildi Bacsko: Missionary in Hungary

(Photos courtesy of Ildi Bacsko)

Ildi Bacsko: Missionary in Hungary
Radio for Jesus

By Selma Komisky

Ildi Bacsko is a missionary and cancer survivor who currently serves in Budapest, Hungary. One of the cool things I found out about her is that she started and leads a radio program for women called, “Holgyvalasz.” She had a vision and now God is taking it over the air waves and using it mightily. I had the chance to catch up with Ildi and ask her a few questions about her radio program and here’s what she said.

How did this radio program first start and how did you first get involved doing this radio program?

Ildi: Our radio guy sent an email to [four of us] asking us when we will start a show for women. He put it in a way that “no” wasn’t an option. But that was my first thought: can I say no? But that same night the Lord reminded me of His promise and vision for the women’s ministry I was leading: “I want to reach thousands of women through a simple, small women’s ministry and I want to show them that the Bible contains the answers.” Interestingly it was at the time when we were changing the women’s study format from a lecture to a discussion with no recording, and I was wondering how we would reach those that cannot come to the meetings but still would like to be involved. The Lord showed me that the radio program should run parallel to the women’s meetings and that it should be a small group Bible study of the same passages of Scripture, but only with a few ladies. First I started with only one, than two… by now there are six of us doing the show.

How long have you been doing this program?

Ildi: We started in the fall of 2012. We have had five seasons so far: the women of the Bible, the book of Ruth, Ephesians, Proverbs 31 and the Song of Solomon.

Did you have previous experience being on the radio?

Ildi: I only had a short experience a long time ago in Esztergom, when my pastor was doing a short show on the local radio and I was interpreting for him.

Do you specifically translate on this program?

Ildi: No. It is all in Hungarian. I put together the program and lead it.

How long and what days are your radio program on? 

Lldi: At first it was a 30 minute show, but by now it lasts about 45 minutes, at 11 a.m. on Thursday mornings. About two months ago our radio changed into podcasts, so now we just simply post the new podcast at 11 a.m. on Thursdays. Also, the Baptist radio is airing the show. The show runs from the end of September [or] beginning of October till the end of May. During the summer we seek the Lord about what’s next.

Who is your audience that listens to your show? Are they mostly women or both men and women?

Ildi: It is mostly women, but from different feedbacks we realize that men are listening to it too.

What do you discuss on your radio program?

Ildi: It is a live inductive Bible study, in which we observe, interpret and then very honestly apply the text.

Do people call in to your radio program?

Ildi: No.

How do you see God using this radio program?

Ildi: We get feedback that people are blessed by the show and find it practical. We received feedback and e-mails not only from our church but from Hungarians living in Finland, Romania, the Ukraine, England, and Russia. It was one of our prayers that the show would be imitable, so that others would be encouraged to start similar Bible study groups. We have heard feedback from the Ukraine, and England, and a few towns in Hungary that ladies gather and do their Bible study based on our show and its questions.

What is it that you like about this radio program?

Ildi: Experiencing God’s leading, how He faithfully, week by week gives me the topic for the next show. The team is what I like the most; we really love each other and we get to be a part of each other’s lives. There is a great unity among us. In advance I only give them the passage, the main thought and a few questions for personal application, but then as we talk, we see how God orchestrates it all into a unified message. It is amazing how each week what we talk about on the radio fits in with the messages of the Sunday morning and Wednesday evening services (and we don’t know about it in advance).

What are some difficulties you have experienced on the radio program?

Ildi: It is mostly the warfare that hits all of us. For example the first year I could never sleep at all the night before the recordings. The next year I had cancer. The previous season I was attacked with terribly strong condemning thoughts that I should never do this again because I just ruin it – after each recording as I was worshiping and getting ready to translate the Wednesday evening Bible study. On top of it every single one of us on the show kept going through some crazy stuff. This season usually something crazy happens to all of us on the day of the recordings. But by God’s grace nothing was able to stop any of us.

Tell me about the people you work with on the radio?

Ildi: Presently I work with five people – of different ages and background: Nelly – in her sixties, a retired elderly lady, a poet, Zsuzsa – in her fifties, a young and sporty grandmother of two, who teaches at a university and at a preschool, Emo – in her forties, a wife of one of our elders, a mother of four, two of them teenagers. Viki – in her thirties, a mother of four young children, with incredible artistic gifts. Eszter – in her twenties, Zsuzsa’s daughter, works with autistic children at a preschool, raised as a Christian. They all have walked with the Lord for a long time, they love the Word and people.

Is it a non-profit radio program?

Ildi: Yes.

How do you get funds to support this radio program?

Ildi: No funds are necessary.

Are you able to talk about different things on your radio program or is it strictly Bible studies?

Ildi: It is a Bible study, but it is directed in a way that there is a message in it, and each time it is very practically applied to a different area of our lives, with examples from our own lives.

How does the government feel about your radio program?

Ildi: They don’t interfere with it at all.

Can you hear this program on the internet?

Ildi: Our churches radio is an internet radio, and right now it only uses podcasts ( Our show’s title: Hölgyválasz (or without the Hungarian letters: Holgyvalasz).