I’m heeding the nudge of the Spirit to chronicle My husband and my and now OUR family’s story of calling.
I am choosing this for Tuesdays because of some of the special women at Jen’s (Jen, of course, and especially Amy and thank you to the many more who have started reading!) that I have been getting to know, and I feel that you and any other consistent readers (especially dear Cherry, who is a co-laborer and beloved bloggy friend) might be the most blessed to hear this story.
But, truly, I know I need to do this for myself and my God as we continue this unique journey that will, prayerfully, land me in Budapest, Hungary as a long-term missionary within the year.
Trusting all who read be blessed with a touch of Him…
“For the Joy of the Lord is Your Strength” ~Nehemiah 8:10
I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].
~Philippians 4:13 (Amplified Bible)
Jared and I at La Sagrada Familia At Montserrat with my host sister, Gemma, and her husband, David
Sao Manila Poisoning. This was how the Lord chose to strengthen usbefore our first Speakout English Camp at the end of our STINT year in June of 2006. We had finished up our work in the city and had a week of vacation when we got a very reasonable flight to Barcelona and my beloved host family from when I studied there in the junior year of college were able to meet Jared and housed and fed us. Fabulous.
We return to Budapest with about a week left before we need to head out to Keszthely three hours west of Budapest on Lake Balaton. And then we are both VERY sick. Our friend Julie took us to the doctor on the edge of town to have him run some tests when we didn’t get better. The results came back positive for Sao Manila poisoning. I still don’t want to think what the culprit was, most like Nagy Mama’s (Big Mama’s) palacsinta (pal-a-chint-a: Hungarian crepes, my favorite, nutella) and I will be hard-pressed to never return once we move back there.
However, where is my husband found only a couple of days into recovery? I am sane and resting IN BED, and he is all over the city meeting students that won’t be coming to Speakout to have some last time with them. Can you believe this man? I still can’t. This is a very good indicator of the stuff of which he is made.
We were not able to get to Speakout when we were supposed, which unfortunately, meant that our teammates had to work extra hard to pick up the slack. There is a lot of preparation to get the camp ready including cleaning, re-arranging classrooms, creating welcome signs for the campers. If you’ve ever worked at a camp you understand. In addition, we missed when the group of American tutors arrived from the States.
Speakout is around the clock meetings, discipleship groups, one-on-one time with tutors, training and this is all before the campers come! With the campers, there are three identical weeks filled with mostly new campers each week. Some choose to repeat all of the same things for another week or two because they love it so much!
That summer was the only Speakout of the three I have been to where I didn’t have my own children and I worked really hard, in a very different way than the ones where I’ve had kids:) I taught during the Morning Class, discipled, or attempted to, as Jesus did:) Meaning I trained, encouraged, prayed with, basically gave my life to these girls, and to all of the Hungarian girls that came each week, especially the group I talked about here. Let me back up, truly, because it isn’t possible otherwise, Jesus gave me the strength for all of this.
It is impossible to adequately describe Speakout (click Speakout watch the video , if you haven’t—it gives a pretty good idea, but falls short, of course, of actually experiencing it first hand). It is, in so many ways, some of the most fun I have ever had. Crazy, yet clean;), things happen. You just pour all you’ve got with the energy of some crazy Americans to encourage you after a year of such ministry and sao manila poisoning;)
Here are some of the crazy stuff highlights: Pictures below descriptions
Opening Night: Campers walk into the main meeting room to loud, raucous cheers of staff…do you think these reserved, often quite troubled, teenagers of a nation such as Hungary are terrified? Well, you’re right, but somehow it ‘breaks the ice’
Staff Hunt: The Hungarian and American staff go to two different parts of the town in ‘disguise’. The campers are then sent out in groups to find as many of the staff as they can. Between creative ideas, getting ready and just getting to chill with people that you love, it is a definite favorite.
From the fifties…cute Stephanie brought music and we danced!
Ugly girls…Jared said it couldn’t be done, well, you should have seen his face when he saw me!!
And he had the tinfoil bling!
and a gyspy…not really, but I was ready to sort of be pretty
American Culture Night: This is where Hungarians go to stations and make s’mores, run a three-legged race, learn country line dancing (b/c they DON’T have it there), school Americans in knowledge of our own history, etc. (aside: I realize it is a bit of a cultural faux pa to use the blanket label ‘American’ but it is 100% how the Hungarian people refer to us.)
Closing Night Party: Traditionally, Dan does his hilarious imitation of different laughs, Zach leads the whole group in the dance of the week. The most famous ‘The Cookie Dance’ (click for Youtube video). And then something really ridiculous happens like my German, white-white husband dancing awesomely around in an afro while Zach wears a dress…easily, my favorite part of the week
(Dan is on the far left with the microphone…see why we love him? Pictures like these (from Speakout 2005) were some of the first we saw before coming for the year and I said to Jared, ‘who are these crazy people!!!’ Well, you see who found out they had some 'crazy’ too!)
There is so much more to say…kind of a lighter week that hopefully made you smile, next week I’ll share more about how the entire message of which all of this freedom, joy and fun is a part is shared as clearly and intentionally as possible in one packed week!
Hanging with my SDG Sisterhood at Jen’s today…PLEASE JOIN US!