I am incredibly excited to share that I am returning to Budapest very soon! This Summer, I will again be embarking from Glasgow on the 5,000-mile journey to Hungary. I will be leaving on June 29th and will return on July 13th. There I will be with a team of missionaries and local volunteers assisting in the Vác English camp.
Although I will be there for a significantly shorter amount of time compared to last year, it is a very important trip concerning my next steps with One Mission Society. I am going to sit down with the team and talk about long-term mission opportunities. This is a conversation we started last year but had to postpone to allow me time to finish my degree while tuition was financially secured by FedEx.
Please be praying with me as I prepare to leave. Pray for the students God has lined up for summer English camp and that campers can experience Christ. Pray for the staff coming from around the world as well as the missionaries in Hungary who have worked hard on curriculum, planning, and coordinating. And pray for the Ukrainian refugee relief in Hungary as the conflict shows no signs of slowing down.
PRAISE ITEM!! Again I am extremely humbled by the support of my ministry partners. We did such a great job fundraising last year that the majority of this trip is paid for! We raised an extra $2,633 last year and that is going towards this trip. Praise God!
“But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned to me by the Lord Jesus- the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”
Acts of the Apostles 20:24
Everything happens perfectly! God doesn’t speed up or slow down. That being said, He is doing so much that it feels like I’m on a bullet train. Greetings and well wishes! Hope you are doing great! If you haven’t already please go check out Blessings from Budapest (pt.1)
Church at Golgota Budapest
On Sundays, we take the metro to church. We have been going to a local church called Golgota Budapest (Calvary Chapel). Its pretty rad! It’s seated in an old theater and still has it’s vintage seating and lighting. It has a very modern atmosphere. Worship is fantastic! Even though all the songs are in Hungarian, that hasn’t stopped me from stomping my feet and clapping my hands. Singing praises to God in different languages and submerged in other cultures will always be my favorite! All one family!
Services are translated to English by a local translator. We have been working our way through 1 Corinthians, or 1 Korinthus. You can probably find their YouVersion event on Sunday! Sermons are great, though I wish I could understand the Hungarian. Great motivation to learn!
We sometimes go to KFC as a post-church treat. Kentucky Fried Chicken is so much better here than in the states. Never thought I would be praising KFC but the difference is unreal. Maybe it’s all the food laws the European Union has but it’s just so tasty! I am definitely going to miss getting a big box of chicken and eating somewhere with the team.
Open for Business
This last month, Hungary revisited many of it’s laws and regulations regarding Covid. Masks were required indoors and on public transport, as well as many buildings required Hungarian vaccination records, which I don’t have. Thankfully these were lifted and we are able to go out and do more stuff.
It also brought tons of tourists back to the city. At the beginner of summer, only Hungarian residents and people invited by the government were allowed in the country. I got to experience Budapest like a true local. It was actually really nice because they were no crowds of people everywhere.
Summer English Camp at Vác
Two more successful English camps! We were in Vác (vahts) earlier this month. A town of 40,000 people located an hour north of Budapest. Very beautiful town and also some great ice cream!
Camps were held at Golgota’s church there. Apparently the church also has some connection to Montana! I was talking to the pastor at the church and he was telling me he had some friends who lived in Fishtail! Small world moment!
We held two 3 day long camps. These are the proper OMS branded English camps compared to the one we did in Letenye last month. Traditionally camps are week long and overnight. Unfortunately we could only do smaller day camps this year due to the uncertainty of Covid. We still had an impressive turnout at the camps with over 40 kids plus a wide range of Hungarian and OMS staff members.
These were also more structured with more activities. Such as English lessons, workshops, readings, listening exercises, grammar, and conversation groups. Kids were split up into groups by English proficiency then into even smaller for conversation groups. I helped lead two conversation groups. We had questions regarding each day’s theme (Courage, Teamwork, and Values) and other thought provoking topics. Some conversations however quickly turned into what Hungarian words we can make fun of Trevor for mispronouncing.
Each morning after Wake-up Shake-ups and announcements, we had a word from the pastor Tómas. He did a great job tying each theme with a mini-sermon. After all, that is why we are there. To expose as many people to the Gospel. We all brought God into the conversation groups as well as one-on-one conversations. Some were really into talking about faith and some weren’t that interested. On the final morning, pastor Tómas made an alter call. To our surprise the response was well! I remember looking at the other staff members as they were frantically trying to write down names. We only thought a couple people would raise their hands. Jonathan later told me that this was one of the most receptive camps they’ve had. A few of the kids in my conversation group raised their hands which was really exciting. Taking note, I went to Jonathan for a plan. Hearing him speak was like a speech a general gives to pump up the troops. We had a battle plan and it was time to work. Tómas held a meeting upstairs with all those who were interested along with praying together. I asked him later about how it went. He said it went really well and lots of hard questions were answered.
Overall the camps went really well! Many great memories were made! I’m looking forward to the next one.
This is a Hungarian campfire food called Szalonna. It is pig fat melted over a campfire and then dripped onto bread. On the last day we had a fire for the students. I demonstrated how to make a smore and this slice of heaven is what was gifted back. It was delicious!
Communism Statues and Baths!
Due to the easing of restrictions, we could finally go to a lot of places we couldn’t before like going to see more museums and other cool and interesting places.
After the collapse of the USSR, Hungary found itself with a statue problem. Specifically a Communist statue problem. Acknowledging that history is worth preserving, they took all the old statues and put them all together in a park deemed Memento Park.
We then watched a movie from the Communist government that was used for training on how to spy on people. No joke. It showed the step by steps you took from breaking and entering a suspect’s apartment to blackmailing someone to spy for you. It was also mixed with actual footage the government took of them following random people they thought were suspicious.
Gellert Thermal Bath
Budapest is famous for it’s natural hot springs. Since the restrictions were lifted we finally got to go see them. There is a place that is nearby that we went to. There were all sorts of rooms and pools we got to enjoy. My favorite were the steam rooms. Quite literally it was just a room full of steam. You couldn’t see much or breathe very well but it was fun to hang out in and talk. We probably spent a few hours there bouncing from hot tub to hot tub.
Join me in some prayer!
One more camp to go! Pray for the students and a positive response to the Gospel.
I’m in the process of registering for online classes and making some “adult” decisions. Prayers for His guidance in wisdom in these steps.
I’m in need of a haircut. You could pray that I find somewhere that cuts curly hair!
I don’t know how the drought situation is going in Montana, but I’ve been praying for rain! Forgot to mention where though… we got some pretty gnarly rainstorms these last few weeks.
Time has been flying by! I can’t believe it’s already been a couple weeks. I hope you all have been enjoying summer! I’ve been really looking forward to writing again and I’m glad that so many people are interested! It’s really motivating and even humbling seeing all of the feedback I’ve been getting!
Adjustment and Acclimation
The thought of living 5,000 miles away from home and on a foreign continent is scary. I was about to dive head deep into the unknown. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little intimidated at first. However, God wasn’t about to let that happen to me and my time here has been so wonderful! The adjustment process went smoothly. Jet lag wasn’t a problem (thanks FedEx sleep schedule!), I didn’t have to quarantine upon arrival, and I get along with the team so well.
The Long family has been such wonderful hosts! It’s been really easy to plug right in! I am so thankful for church families! So many amazing and wonderful conversations! The team is so great too! These are my kind of people! I feel like I’ve known everyone for years. I thoroughly enjoy every bit of fellowship and nights together. There is hardly a dull moment.
My typical day has been consisting of various meetings about camp, as well as general team meetings and check-ins. Most days I get to go out and explore Budapest. Not so much this week because it has been so hot! The ice cream here is amazing and it’s a great treat to have in the heat. There is a ice cream shop on every street! They have a dessert called Kürtöskalács, or chimney cake, and it can be used instead of a cone. At a nearby lake, I had a Kürtöskalács blue sourgrape soft serve with strawberry topping. It was the best thing I have ever had! No exaggeration. I wish I took a picture to show it off but I ate it way too fast! God has been taking great care of me!
English Camp in Letenye
Last week we had our first English camp of the summer! We were in Letenye, a small town near the Croatian border. We hosted a VBS-style camp for the kids from the area. We had three classes of students that were broken up by age groups. The students then had a turn in each classroom, one room being English and the others being Bible and craft. I was helping teach in the English room. The older kids spoke pretty good English. I was surprised by being able to have full conversations with some. We also played so many games! I got to break out my soccer skills! In the evenings we helped with a building project at a chapel in a town nearby called Szentmargitfalva. I really loved the time spent in the community. It was the first time we left the city and went into the countryside. I fell in love with the Letenye area, the land was so beautiful and peaceful. Coming from rural Montana this was home to me. It had a very nice small town feel and I could relate so much with the kids. It was very refreshing to be back in rural life!
Thank you for your continual prayer! Here are some things you can join me in specifically praying for:
Pray over the camps this summer and for safe travels to and from each location.
Pray that more kids are signing up for camps.
Pray that God helps me plan a course for this fall and post-Hungary.
Pray for the continued conversations about my calling and opportunities to serve.
Hey friends! I want to let everyone know that I arrived safely in Hungary and I am enjoying my time with the Long family. Thank you for all of your prayers!
Visiting the Conference Office
My journey to Hungary started with a plane ticket out of Billings. I was waiting on my grandma to get out of the dentist. She dropped me off at Target to get last minute supplies. I had an hour and a half to kill before her appointment was up, but I was in and out of Target in 10 minutes.
Freshly out of the store with plastic shopping bags in hand, I went for a walk to burn some time. Across the street there were some softball fields and a park. I was feeling adventurous so I wandered over. While wandering, I cleared my head and I started praying to God. Initially I prayed to prepare myself for Hungary and all of the airports I would soon be exploring alone. Then I was feeling called to look up our denomination’s churches in the area. I knew we had some in the city but I didn’t know where. So I didn’t a quick Google search and pulled up the ECNA’s website. I saw we had one nearby within walking distance.
I found the address to Faith E. Church and I began walking over. I was quick to decide I wanted a tour of the building. I figured that since I was a member of the denomination, I could just barge in and demand a tour. Approaching the building, I felt a little more polite so I called and gave them a heads up. I was excited to see our conference’s office and a look into how we ran operations somewhere else. My tour guide was Brent Nymeyer, the assistant superintendent of the Western Conference. I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent admiring the halls of Faith E. The church was really cool and I made sure to ask him plenty of questions. I was able to share my life story and my calling to missions. I asked what routes and opportunities to do missions I could take internally. We had a really fruitful conversation and I got to meet one of our missionaries who serves in Bolivia. He suggested that I come down in October for the annual meeting. God also lined up a a chance to talk with Jay Forseth, the General Superintendent of the Evangelical Church. He speaks in Glasgow the same Sunday I will be getting back from Hungary.