Archive for Life in Hungary

Fun Fall Festivities

Recently we attended a Sunday service at which five Hungarian Baptist churches joined together for worship. It was a really special time to see these five churches together in one place. There was even a bouncy house, face painting and crafts for the children. The girls (above) are pretty princesses, puppies, and butterflies, while the boys (below) are fierce wild animals!

The children’s school held a fall festival with games and loads of candy. Our two grade schoolers were the baker and the princess. Kind of reminds me of a scene from Despereaux.

I absolutely love the fall leaves! And I am so glad I get to witness the beauty of such splendid colors…..and watch the kids play in them!

New Life

Almost one year ago, Monte missed the bus and had to wait for the next one. While waiting for the next bus, an elderly man walked up to wait for the same bus. They began a conversation and continued it after boarding the bus. Then the bus was stopped because of an accident ahead on the road, which caused the bus to take a thirty minute detour. They had more time to talk because of the delay, and they became friends, exchanging phone numbers. Gyuri (pronounced Jury in English) is Hungarian but lives in Norway, and travels back and forth for various reasons. Even though Gyuri was agnostic, he acknowledged that it was not by chance that he met Monte. Gyuri is 78, he escaped communism and found asylum in Norway, and has lived his whole life in search of peace and joy. In his search he acquired many things that he thought would bring him happiness. Over and over he and Monte had long spiritual talks, but he still had so many questions and much opposition to accepting Christ. He asked us to pray for him because he was “haunted” by this decision to accept Christ or not. So, we sent a prayer letter to our praying friends, and we continued to wait.

July 31, Sunday evening, Monte went to visit Gyuri in his home, and stayed 4 hours. Monte came home after midnight, and said that Gyuri had prayed at 11 PM to receive Christ. Gyuri had said, “I don’t know what I’m waiting for, this is really a simple decision!” Now the really amazing part is this – We had just received an email that night from one of those praying friends, telling us how burdened he was for Gyuri, and that he was prompted to pray for our friend.

We are so encouraged that God raised up someone across the world to pray at the right moment, and that that our dear friend put his faith in Christ. He said that he now has Jesus with him, before him and behind him.

Curly Haired Pigs and Thatched Roofs

We visited the Hungarian Open Air Museum in Szentendre and enjoyed a beautiful journey back in time. This open air museum features buildings and village segments based on the different regions of Hungary during specific time periods. Even though the weather was cold and rainy, the kids loved sloshing through the mud and discovered lots of treasures from Hungarian culture……like curly haired pigs, the mangalica pigs. They are really cute close up!

Peeking into wells, looking through windows, going into houses, cottages, barns, and village churches, and seeing the chairs, beds, and dishes that once belonged to someone else make us mindful of those who once lived here, and of those today who seek to carry on their traditions.

The museum really is dedicated to preserving Hungarian traditions – folk dancing and singing, traditional village dress, handcrafts like wood working, spinning wool, egg painting, sewing, and language preservation through story telling and poetry. Our children got to make flying birds using real hollow egg shells, which is a traditional Easter craft.

A walk through a slow, unhurried village, touching the thatched roofs, eating langos and kurtos kolacs baked in outdoor ovens, hearing the pigs and the chickens, and admiring the skillful determination of cultural preservation is a nice reminder of our humanity….. a walk through the past is always good for the present.

Talking to Strangers

Some of the neatest conversations with Hungarians have happened because we stopped and initiated the conversation. We noticed this lady sitting on a bench trying to sell her handmade beaded eggs. We walked past her because we were tired and ready to go home, but then we looked at each other and knew we should go back and talk to her. She was selling her little beaded eggs for 600 forint, that’s about $3.00. But she was more interested in our children and why we were in Hungary. Fortunately, our English-accented Hungarian and our American culture were of some interest to her, and she had lots of questions. We had a great conversation and some instant bonding, and we were so glad that we stopped. People are always more important than our agendas. You never know who could be in need of a little friendship…..and usually you are the one who will be blessed the most.

We went home with less forint but more love, and eggs in our pockets.

Red, White & Green

March 15 is an important holiday in Hungary, and all who celebrate wear a red, white, and green ribbon on their lapel or wave the flag. We decided to avoid the crowds and speeches but wanted to be out in the city, so we went to Gellert Hill. There are great slides that the kids enjoy sliding down. The spring weather is just perfect! This place was swarming with families all enjoying some sunshine after the long dreary winter.

From Gellert Hill you can look out over the city and the Danube River. The green Freedom Bridge is one of our favorites, and this day it was decorated with Hungarian flags.

The Petofi Bridge in the distance,

the Chain Bridge,

and the Elizabeth Bridge – the real favorite in our family! If you look closely you can see the Hungarian flags waving their red, whlte, and green.