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In the second half of September Csaba and I participated in a short term mission to Hungary, working with Muslim refugees and Hungarian Roma families who live in an integration center. Later we realized, this trip proved to be very significant in our discipleship journey (… but that’s a blog entry for another time).
Unfortunately, a part of the country’s population clearly doesn’t welcome refugees.
We both feel very thankful that we were able to be a part of this mission trip. It is incredible how much fit into this short time. I have always wondered about the “effectiveness” of short term missions. But we now experienced it how showing God’s love to people makes an impression “in no time” and some seeds were planted, others were watered.
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After several months of street soccer games and weekly trainings we were able to find a good group of boys who are committed to the game, to some essential rules and most of all to each other. We train under the lights one night per week and play games in the weekend. The group is a big mix of 3-9th graders, but they are all like brothers in arms, fighting the good fight, growing as individuals and as a team. Prayers and sharing times at the beginning and end of our meetings help our bonding and growth.
Another season concluded at the end of the summer and our players returned to their colleges for preseason training. I cherished my time working and daily locking arms with these young men who have beautiful hearts for the Lord. I have serious “practice- and game-withdrawal syndrome” when I look at the empty stadium without them. But we all became richer through another awesome summer and Sports Ministry Training and through witnessing each other’s growth in faith.
Sometimes blessings come in disguise. Me losing my job at the end of spring was just like that. I was at home the entire summer while school was out. Our patio became a permanent place of a free and unstructured “VBS” with a “curriculum” written by the Holy Spirit. Kids of all ages showed up at any and all time of the day and evening in smaller or larger groups and got their share of ice cold water, fruit, crafts, Veggie Tales, games, Bible stories, and Bible games on the iPad. I discovered that in the rare occasion when I had the chance to have one-on-one time with them they just couldn’t get enough of the individual attention. I realized that they might be really missing that from their lives. Most of these kids don’t even have their own beds. They grow up sharing a bed with their siblings and the room with their entire family. For us that is strange. For them that is a natural part of their culture. Yet, I can’t help but feel like I need to “help to raise them out of it”. …Is that the right thing to do? …I’m not sure at all. I just know one thing: teaching them about the love of Christ is good.
Coloring, drawing and crafts are always popular.
|Of course chasing the dogs is also fun.|