A friend of mine is in Budapest right now.
She asked for my recommendations on sightseeing and eating and I got this dreamy far off look in my eyes as I wrote her back remembering my numerous trips to this gem of a country. I have such fond memories of Hungary. Teaching English, devouring delectable food, committing cultural faux pas, living with naked hosts. Each could be a post by itself! Below is a post I wrote after my last Mission trip to Hungary reprinted here for your enjoyment and my nostalgia!
“I’m sitting here at a restaurant in Budapest sunburned, dehydrated, exhausted, sweating, coughing, and covered in mosquito bites… and life is good.”
The Hungary Team 2010
My trip to Hungary was exciting, beautiful, and bursting with laughter despite the numerous circumstances which could have made it a rough trip. We were spoiled Americans stuck in an air-conditionless nation in the middle of a record setting heat wave with temperatures near 100 every day. I didn’t get a full night’s sleep for two weeks. I struggled to communicate with both my students and my host family. I haven’t been able to take a real shower since I left the states. I ingested a few unidentifiable meats. And yet somehow none of this seems to matter. I am normally not this resilient, but today I am a part of a team – an integral part – and that knowledge trumps every other circumstance trying to pull me down right now.
Kelly and Laurie showing off their buttons!
The title of this post means “I am Hungarian, not a tourist.” It was on a button which my host family gave me in 2008. I chose it as my title because I was more than just a tourist on this trip; I experienced something which transcended a mere two week stay in a foreign country. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of calling. In my mind I’ve always thought of calling as something distinct from the rest of life and significantly long term. Such that if someone was called to missions, I wouldn’t see them for several decades! Since I graduated from RTS last year I’ve wanted to receive my calling as if I was in a holding pattern just waiting for God to reach down and tell me how to really start my life. My ideas about calling have slowly changed. I have thought more and more about the one truly long term calling – to be faithful. My calling is to obey my Lord in whatever situation I find myself, to be just as faithful in the everyday as I am in the big things, like mission trips. The following is an excerpt from my journal entry as I processed my mission trip to Hungary.
“My job is to be faithful where you have me, Lord, that is my true calling. Jobs may change and I may move. Marriage may find me someday, but my calling, my big calling will stay the same. To be able to know why I’m here, why I came, how I contributed. This is such a gift! All too often we don’t get to see the big picture or know how we helped the cause. But I was given a peek, a glimpse into my part in the big plan – and for that moment it was beautiful. My calling may not be showy or spectacular to everyone else, but there will be times that the curtains will be pulled back for just a moment and I will see the tapestry that You are weaving instead of just seeing my own individual thread. That happened tonight as I sat amongst my fatigued, sunburned, and dehydrated fellow soldiers and felt your goodness to us.”
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It is good to be able to see the BIG picture. Once in a while God lets us in on that . Whenever I do mission trips it helps to see the big picture and know that as insignificant as we are in comparison to our great God, He allows us those opportunities to be blessed by Him as we are serving others. So hold on to those wonderful memories. They will sustain you in the valleys!