On July 27th, we left for the airport about 10am. We got on the plane well, but missed our connecting flight from Philly to Frankfurt, Germany as the time between them was not long enough and the Philly airport was huge. It was just like God to use something that could have been frustrating for His good. The leader of the trip hands out business sized cards of his testimony wherever he goes, and this was no exception. He has really had a positive experience with it and so He encouraged my husband (who is pretty shy and never does things like this) to do it too. My husband really stepped out of the box and began doing it. Finding how easy this was to strike up a conversation and get the message out, he is hooked! Praise God for this as my husband suddenly is super interested in evangalism and the last two weeks he hasn’t stopped!
So, we got to Budapest about 3pm, visited a castle and had dinner at a medevil themed restaraunt. We then drove to the camp, getting there around 12pm. We were all completely wiped out, but because of jetlag, the peanut did not want to sleep and was up until 3am. Whew, were we tired getting up for church and meetings the next day! Oh, and greeting us in our lovely, Phillipines room, was a beautiful bouquet of flowers from the Dean of Women, Monika, who has become a good friend of ours over the last two years.
We did go to services though and then met with the other English teachers for planning for the week. The campers came around 4pm, at which time we test them to find out what level they are at, and group they will be in. This is always a fun part of the week as you get to meet campers you normally wouldn’t. I actually made a friend with one of the campers, Barbie, because of this. Then, through that, I also developed a relationship with one of her friends.
This trip was so different from our first as we already knew what was going on, how the camp worked and some of the staff. We actually got to develop more of a relationship with some staff members because this was our second trip. We also got to focus more on a need for repentance and evangalism in the world. Last time we were focused on getting each class together and figuring out how what to teach the kids next, this time it was more pondering on how to best reach the world for Christ. We were also able to focus on a need for relationship with Jesus Christ. This is including our own. You know, when you go on a mission trip, your hopes are that others lives will be changed, but you always come back a different person.
So that evening, we had our first “service”. It is in Hungarian (Maygar), but they have little headphones where they translate it all for you. The peanut always thought this was fun! The services always have singing, testimonies and a speaker. They vary everyday so you never know what will happen the next time.
So our days were as follows, wake up around 6:30 for quiet times. Then, wake up for breakfast at 8am. Which, I have to tell you, we only made it to breakfast twice, I think. We were just so tired and focused on letting the peanut sleep as long as possible. Breakfast usually consisted of things like yogurt, cereal, bread, things like that. We had brought breakfast bars with us so that’s usually what we had.
A few of the days we also had group devotions for the team from Indy. At 9:30am we would have English class devotions. These were always neat too because different members of the staff would lead them and you would get to know them. It was so wonderful to get to hear the hearts of these dear people, who really have their sites set on Jesus! The encouragement they gave us to read our bibles and to have a sincere devotion to Christ is just indescribable! The most exciting part about that is this is what we are supporting by supporting Word of Life Hungary and each of these missionaries as they reach out to these young people!
So at 10:30, we have English class. We do all kinds of things to try to help them understand English. They all knew some, but it’s sentence structure that we needed to work on mostly through the week. They actually had a pretty decent vocabularly, but it was hard for them to express it in a sentence form. Past tense is what is really struggled with. So, our goal was to get as many sentences as possible out of them. They really had improved over the week. We had five kids in our group, Vicki, Kristi, Szandi, David and Ildi. They were all such neat kids, from different backgrounds and stories. It could be hard sometimes trying to converse with them, but a translator joined our group on Tuesday so that really helped. Then, during the week when you would see the kids out and about during free times, you would just grab someone who could translate for you and develop relationships that way.
At 12:30 we would have lunch in the big cafeteria. They eat a lot of soups and stews, there is lots of bread at every meal and not many vegetables or fruits. However, they are all so thin! Why you might ask? Well, they are not like Americans focusing on food all the time. In fact, it is a very small part of their lives. In this town of 30,000 people they only got a restaraunt last year. We ate there 3 times during the trip and there was rarely anyone else there. I asked a staff member why and she said, “Hungarians don’t eat out. Only for special occasions like birthdays.” Not only do they not have the money to eat out, they just don’t even think about it. How humbling was that as I thought of how many times I eat out in a week? I just felt incredibly wasteful!
The afternoon is freetime. So the kids can play baseball, soccer, basketball, go swimming, hang out, eat ice cream, play ping pong or frisbee, take a nap, or whatever. It’s just a time to be a kid! This is also a time where we get to hang out with the kids. You just walk around and find kids everywhere. Because we had the peanut with us, everyone wanting to talk to us all the time. It really was fun for that reason! The peanut loved the attention and we loved getting to meet so many people!
At 4:30, we had class again. Usually in the afternoons we would play games, like Bingo, which they love! We would give away prizes and candy and it was just a good time! We also made jewelry one day. It’s a good way to get the kids talking to you.
At 6pm is dinner. Very similiar to lunch. It just reminds me of camp food. Things you make in big portions. Although, they don’t eat a lot. Something that struck me in Hungary is I never felt full. I never felt hungry either, but I never felt full. How different this is from America!
At 7:30pm they have another large group service, they have music, skits, testimonies, a play one night, just all kinds of things. This is a great time for the kids to hear the gospel and lives to be changed! Afterwards, the kids go back to their dorms where they have devotions each night before bed. This is also a time for sharing your testimony. I got to share mine in two dorms this year. Michael got to share his as well. Amazing how God was able to open doors there and have these kids be able to relate to us and how God brought us out of the mire into fellowship with him!
On Thursday night they have a campfire where the kids throw a stick into the fire to symbolize their old life and how God burns away the dross. They commit themselves to living for Jesus at this time. Then, on Friday night, another campfire where the kids get to come up and speak about how God has worked in their lives during the past week. The most poignant memory for me was this little girl waiting an hour just to say, “I just wanted to say I want to live my life for Jesus. And I really mean it. I really, really do!” Oh, how I pray that little girl does not loose that. It is so hard in Hungary where there are few Christians, and even fewer good, bible believing and preaching churches!
So, in a nutshell, that was our week. We didn’t personally bring anyone to Christ, but even if we brought them one step closer, we know our trip and time was not in vain! Like I said in a previous post, the average is that someone needs to hear the gospel 7.6 times before accepting Christ, I truely don’t mind being that 2 or 5 or whatever! I just know I saw God moving in mighty ways and I am so excited to see what He will do in the future!
Saturday the kids go home so we toured a town about two hours away called Eger. That was really interesting. We saw a beautiful basillica and a fortress there.
I hope this post will encourage you to think about a mission trip. I’ve never heard anyone ever say they regretted going on one. They are just so lifechanging, for you and for others!
May God Bless Each of you that have taken the time to read this!
As of June 27th, 2007, we have raised $2035! Keep the prayers going!
As of June 10, 2007, we have raised $1225. We are on our way!! Keep praying!!
I finally finished my support letter, I just need to address envelopes and send them out, what do you think??
Dearest Friends and Family,
We hope this letter meets you with joy in your heart and peace in your homes. It seems, particularly as parents, time seems to go by at record pace these days. Our lives are no different as we watch little Lilla grow into a beautiful girl. The days can certainly be long but our years seem so much shorter!
With that in mind, we don’t want to waste these days. We want to capture the moments and remember how precious time is. As each of you know, our family is a Christian one so that precious time to us most importantly means fulfilling God’s great commission of reaching out to non-Christians and sharing the good news of God’s grace and truth.
As many of you may remember, two summers ago we were able to make a trip to
Toalmas, Hungary and work at the Word of Life camp. We taught English to children from
Hungary and the surrounding areas and also were able to share this gospel that has come to mean so much to us. We had always hoped that we would return, and now we are getting the chance! From July 27th-August 5th we will again travel to Toalmas and share in the ministry.
So what does a typical day look like for the kids who come to the camp? Here is a small window into what can be expected:
- Morning bible hour
- English/German/Soccer/Disc Golf/Basketball/Spanish/Baseball Lessons
- Lots of games that everyone gets involved in
- Free time to spend with the other kids, swimming, hiking, laughing and making lifelong friendships
- Nightly devotionals
- Evening meetings with drama, music, campfires and talks
- LOTS of Paprika!! (or for Amy, Peanut Butter and Jelly!)
We know that only God can make this trip possible with the prayer and financial support of our friends and family. So, we would like to ask you to pray for us, that our hearts and minds focus on Jesus, that we would be able to reach out to these kids in a way that will touch their lives and that God would raise up a team of financial supporters to cover the cost of the trip, $3200. Would you please consider being part of this team?
We have included a self addressed stamped envelope for you and you can make all tax deductible checks out toCollege Park
Church. Any gift would be appreciated; even a word of encouragement so we know you would like to be part of our sending team!
Longing for the world to know,