About Hatice and the House Church
At a time when church attendance is declining, house churches are, curiously, on the rise. One of the leaders of the house church community in Naples is Hatice Hornyak (pronounced Ha-ti-jay), although she would never introduce herself as a leader, a pastor, or a prophet and refuses to take any of these titles. This humility is so different from what you normally encounter in the Church system that Naples Noteworthy immediately became interested in what she was doing. Originally born in Turkey, Hatice later moved to Germany where she lived for many years. Although initially she grew up in a Muslim environment, she never really embraced the religion. She married an American soldier and moved to the States, where she came to know Christ.
Perhaps because of her unique cultural upbringing, Hatice saw our own religious systems through different, and perhaps more critical, eyes. When she gave her life to the Lord, she was immediately anointed with strong prophetic and healing ability. She saw ministry as something that should be given freely, not as a career option. This, of course, did not fit in with the American religious system, which consists of salaried ministers in expensive buildings that depend on the resources and funds of the congregation in order to function. For Hatice, something was missing from the typical church experience, which often became, in her experience, formulaic and tithe-driven while failing to be led by the Holy Spirit.
She based her idea of the house church experience on her reading of Acts 4, modeling the gathering on the New Testament house churches of the early Christians and the “Jesus ministry” that was practiced among them. Hatice talks more about what she means by “Jesus ministry” in our interview.
Hatice is grounded in the Word and her own intimacy with God is quickly evident by the power she has in discerning spirits and bondages at work among visitors who come to her meetings. She knows who needs healing and her touch is often like the hand of Christ.
In a house church meeting with Hatice Hornyak, the meeting room is transformed into an invisible altar for worshiping the Lord. There are usually a handful of people gathered, sometimes more, and this intimacy allows for great things to happen. Healings, deliverance from bondage, and spiritual/emotional breakthroughs are a common occurrence. Wonderful music is played and the participants are encouraged to worship in whatever form is comfortable for them. Some stand, others sit or kneel. Prayer–real, life-giving prayer– is a big part of the night. If Hatice has a word for anyone, she will give it at the appropriate time. Her husband, Tom, is always there–sometimes quietly worshiping from the kitchen–and her son Aaron, who, having once had a heart transplant is himself a walking miracle, is happily often a part of the worship experience. What happens any given night is hard to say. Scripture will usually be read. There will certainly be prayer and sometimes anointings with oil for those who are comfortable and wish to receive it. Whenever the Holy Spirit is present, anything can happen, and miracles have definitely occurred. But most often participants are simply filled with a sense of comfort and joy that is unlike anything they experience at a typical “church” environment.
The house church meets on a Saturday night at seven o’clock. Because the experience is Spirit-led, the night often goes on for a few hours. It is not like a typical worship service where you are in and out in 45 minutes and then you go eat chicken. No, this is something very different, for people seeking the deeper things of God. Of course, anyone may leave at any time, but most people choose to stay and enjoy the experience. There is usually communion at the close of the gathering, and then, refreshments are served in the kitchen where participants visit for a few additional minutes, if they so choose. So if you’re looking for a shallow experience that requires nothing of you spiritually and makes no real connection with the Divine, a house church is probably not for you. But if you leave your church service thinking, “There’s got to be more than this,” or if you’re broken and in need of healing or deliverance from secret bondages, a house church may be your answer.
Naples Noteworthy: When did you first feel the call to be a ministry leader in your home? Tell us about how your house church came into being.
Hatice Hornyak: My journey with God started years ago. After having a life-changing encounter with His love that I had never experienced before–a love encounter with God–Jesus started speaking to me in visions and His amazing love started drawing me closer to Him. In one of visions He showed me an eagle standing on a branch and He said, “No one can break your wings and you will fly as long as I allow you.” At that moment I felt my call in Him. Then the Holy Spirit opened a door for me to a bible school. After graduation, during my prayer time, I had a vision of Jesus, standing in a white gown; in front of Him I saw the globe of the earth in a desert color. He said three times, “The Kingdom of God is at hand; invite your friends to your home and tell them what you have learned.” I felt that Jesus can step in at any time. He is at the door between heaven and the earth and I felt the urgency to tell others about Him. This was the answer I received after asking in prayer whether I needed to go to further in my education about Christianity…and it was the beginning of His prophetic miracle ministry in my life.
Naples Noteworthy: Why do you think house churches have such appeal to people today, at a time when church attendance is declining?
Hatice Hornyak: People are hurting and looking for freedom. They are hungry for the deeper things of God–Jesus ministry based on setting people free by healing them in every aspect of their lives. This verse foretells and sums up Jesus ministry: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted. To proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” (Isaiah 61:1) Jesus also commissioned me to do the same. That’s what everyone experiences when they come to the meeting room. It is an intimate, thick atmosphere where the Holy Spirit moves freely to touch, heal, and set people free. “Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Corinthians 3:17)
Naples Noteworthy: You always have a very positive attitude, no matter what the situation. How can you explain that?
Hatice Hornyak: My strength and joy really comes from the Lord–spending time with Him and casting all my cares to Him causes me to exchange all worry for His joy. “The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.” (Psalm 28:7)
Naples Noteworthy: How supportive has your family been about opening your house to strangers every week? How have you kept your marriage so solid during this time?
Hatice Hornyak: I am very grateful to God for giving me a wonderful husband who is very supportive to my call and stands beside me in the ministry. The Lord not only improved our marriage but also keeps our marriage going as we are continually allowing Him to be the cornerstone of our relationship with each other. Therefore, with His love we can open our homes to everyone He places in our path. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13) Jesus laid down His life for our healing and freedom, and the same love makes us serve others with honor.
Naples Noteworthy: What advice would you give to other house church leaders, regarding staying positive and dealing with the continual flow of broken people into your home?
Hatice Hornyak: “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” (Psalm 127:1.) Staying strong in the ministry requires an ongoing intimate relationship with God. And when He brings those broken people to me to help them, it can be very difficult at times but He gives needed mercy and grace to handle them with His love by never giving up on them and on the ministry.
Naples Noteworthy: You’ve seen miracles, healing, deliverance, and breakthroughs during your ministry. Would you like to share any of those experiences?
Hatice Hornyak: Yes, over the years the Lord has done countless miracles of all kinds, healing and deliverances through prophetic words. They just became part of me as a normal thing, because it is Him making it happening and He gets all the honor and glory. It is an awesome partnership with Him .
One of the more remarkable healings was this: Some people brought a lady to my living room that I had never met and the Lord told me to pray over her. Without knowing what’s going on in her life, He led me lay hands on her back to pray for back pain and for her depression. And He revealed to me that the root of her symptoms were that she had not forgiven a family member. He told me He was healing her that very night and in return He wanted her to release that person to Him, and she did. After that she whispered into my ear that this person she was having a hard time forgiving was her husband, who had tried to poison her. A few days later her husband called me and asked me what had I done to his wife, saying she had back pain for seven years and went to many doctors, took all kinds of medication and many people prayed for her but nothing happened. Since that night that she came to my home, she is pain free and depression free. He shouted to me on the phone that he wanted prayers, too.
In the beginning of my ministry, my spirit was very grieved at what I was witnessing, those precious people that the Lord was bringing into my house were committed to their churches, volunteering their time and supporting churches lavishly with their finances, and they should have been set free and healed there. I was thanking the Lord for healing them and I felt so much compassion for them and was grieving for their unmet spiritual needs.
Naples Noteworthy: How important is prayer in your life and in the house church?
Hatice Hornyak: Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. (Psalm 100:4) Thanksgiving and prayers are communication with our Heavenly Father. Nothing happens unless we pray and seek His counsel individually and corporately.
Naples Noteworthy: If given the opportunity to witness to someone who doesn’t know Christ, what would you say?
Hatice Hornyak: You are special, loved by God and created for a purpose. He is watching over you. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” says the Lord, “thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
Naples Noteworthy: Are most of the people who come to your gatherings from other churches or are they individuals who aren’t even familiar with Christ? Without naming names, have you ministered to any community church leaders?
Hatice Hornyak: There is a mixture of both; some are looking for a deeper healing for their soul and for the deeper things of God. And some are dissatisfied with the organized religious system and wanting the real purpose of life. This goes for leaders as well that I ministered to here and overseas. The Lord led me to minister to some fallen leaders and others going through difficult times in the ministry. Some of them were ready to give up on their calls. The Lord revealed to me what was going on in their lives and so set them free. As of today they are continuing to serve Him. “I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places.” (Isaiah 45:3)
Naples Noteworthy: One of the things you sometimes do is anoint people with oil and pray over them. This is a very beautiful experience. What makes you decide when someone needs this special attention?
Hatice Hornyak: Our Lord has a way to show His loving kindness and touch people. When He leads me I will anoint the person with an anointing oil and speak His words over them and pray healing. “You anoint my head with oil.” (Psalm 23:5)
Naples Noteworthy: A few times you’ve felt led to go to Germany to minister in house churches there. Where did the money come from for those mission trips?
Hatice Hornyak: After starting the ministry, the Lord commissioned me to go on mission trips every 3 months by giving me traveling dates while having no budget for those travels at all. But according to His words in Philippians 4:19, “And My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” I am living my life by His life-giving written words. He always supplies all my need abundantly without even asking for any human support. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14) He called me to serve Him, therefore He is in charge of all my need and I am covered under His provision. That makes me free to represent Him in Spirit and truth in His resurrected power. He filled my life richly with all His blessings in many ways.
Naples Noteworthy: You also run a weekly bible study, plus minister to people on other days. How do you stay refreshed and focused and not get burned out?
Hatice Hornyak: Keeping my eyes on Him and not on circumstances gives me great strength and joy to do His will. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
Naples Noteworthy: Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?
Hatice Hornyak: “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord. (Zechariah 4:6) His call can only be accomplished by having a single vision on Him, then you can see people as individuals and be able to build them up. “But seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) This frees you from insecurities tied to the destructive man-made doctrines which lead you to putting the pressure on people to fulfill the needs of the ministry.
“Making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many things such things you do.” (Mark 7:13)
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord not to men.” (Colossians 3:23) Jesus and His disciples set an example of His miracle ministry. Ministry is a supernatural call, not a job or a career. In ministry, you give freely what you have already received freely. In a job, you work to get paid in return.
If you are interested in attending Hatice’s house church, Captured By His Love, please email Naples Noteworthy at firstname.lastname@example.org.