3.15.2008

Hungary: Day 2

I am currently listening to Clay film John Henderson as he talks about his ministry here in Hungary with Campus Crusade. It is awesome. It shouldn't be so surprising to me how different all of these people's ministries are, but as we meet each one, I am always astounded and inspired in a different way. One's a hand, one's a foot- the body of Christ spreading over the globe. Are you fired up? I am. People talk about traveling and how it "expands your mind" or whatever. As much as I dislike clich├ęs, I have to agree with them on this. This 
world is HUGE. And different styles of minitry are relevant and effective in each and every region. Something I am noticing as either an undertone or a main point in each of our discussions with the 3 different teams we have vistited is the increasing importance for Americans to begin to pass off to nationals (those that are actually FROM the country where the ministry is taking place) the leadership of that ministry. There is an increasing shift, atleast in these areas we have visited recently, of American missionaries taking over more "supporting" or "behind the scenes" roles while the nationals are beginning to step out in leadership in ministries that are geared toward calling their own. It is truly a beautiful thing. 
One of the stories we heard today was a couple who have been on Campus Crusade staff since 1995. They are from Romania and are stationed there. They told of March 15, 1997 when all of the American missionaries who were in leadership and working in Romania had to evacuate due to a civil uprising and increasing danger. The Romanian team was left without its leaders and they had a decision to make: Do we step up and continue this ministry to our own people? Their answer was 'yes.' Now the Romanian CCC team is completely led by nationals, and it is thriving. They are also working on sending out Romanian nationals to be missionaries in other countries- countries that Americans aren't even allowed to enter. That is awesome. And that is what is happening all over the world.
I think I have always had a prideful view of Americans in missions. That we are the main ones responsible for any missional activities or success worldwide. My eyes are being increasingly more opened to the fact that we are just a mere piece of God's gigantic plan for this world. How much more wonderful is this?! Being a part of something. In community with believers that we can't even understand because of language gaps, but that we are deeply bound to due to our common communion with Jesus our Lord. Wow. 
.......
10pm
We had such a fun day. John Henderson is truly one of the most encouraging and inspiring people we have ever met. We finished up filming and headed to lunch where we had some GOOD mashed potatoes, among other things. I was very content :) We talked about missions, and living for the Lord. It was great. He really encouraged me to think about some things.
He then dropped us off at our hotel and gave us directions to the top of this hill we could see from our hotel. It took us about an hour to get to the top but it was worth it, as you will see in the photos. There was a little church and some shallow caves that were fun to play in for awhile. When we got back to the hotel, we crashed for what may have been hours- all this travel may be catching up with us. When we woke up we went to dinner- at the same place we had lunch at with John. The main reason I liked it, besides the fact that the food is good, was that the menus were also in English. I am telling you, these Slavic languages are so ridiculously hard to guess at. There is absolutely no base that we know of to compare it to. It is a little frustrati
ng to us since we are so used to traveling in Spanish-speaking countries, or atleast French where you can make a good guess. It is giving me a new understanding of how people must feel when they are in the US and in that situation. Have compassion, people!

The plans for tomorrow are to head to Budapest around 10am via taxi and then just chill the whole day. We have reservations at the Marriott on the Danube river which we are really excited about. It is kind of a celebration of the awesome trip that we have had. We are all kind of sad that it is almost over, but I think that we all also look forward to re-entering our lives and trying live in light of what we have learned. Pray for us to that end.

We fly out of Budapest around 6am on Monday morning and arrive in Houston around 3pm. A nice 11 hour stint from Frankfurt to Houston awaits- looking forward to THAT.
So, now we are safe 
and warm in our precious hotel, looking forward to another EXCELLENT breakfast tomorrow morning. I think we may play some Super Farmer before bed :)

Love to you all!

Pics and video from the day:




































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