Hungary/Romania 2017 Mission Trip ~ Part 1

There were nine people on our mission team, and all were native Texans except for myself.  Seven of us preached the Gospel all week.  The Romanians are not a people who respond to altar calls.  Their emotion and response is demonstrated by saying “amen,” pronounced “ameen.”  When under conviction, they will raise their hands and their pastor will follow up after the service.  The Romanians are easy to preach to however, and they love revivals and the Word of God the way we enjoy Christian music concerts.  Oh that the fires of revival would once again touch our sin sick nation!

The Lord prepared me for the coldness gradually.  We had a “cold snap” in south Florida whereby the temperature hung in the 50 degree range prior to our departure.  Our connecting flight was in London, England, and the temperature was about 46 degrees.  When we exited the airplane in Budapest, Hungary, the weather was in the teens.  The beginning of our mission trip featured sight seeing in Budapest, which is a great way to unwind after our long journey to Eastern Europe.  I was part of another mission team to Romania in 2005, and touring Budapest was scheduled at the end of our trip.  I was taken ill and never able to see the city, hence I was very glad to have this opportunity now.

Budapest yokes together two formerly separate cities: Buda and Pest, on opposite sides of the Danube River.  Buda, on the West side of the river is hilly and semi-suburban, and has winding, narrow streets wending their way up into the hills.  Pest, on the East side of the river is typical flat Hungarian real estate.  We will tour the city tomorrow, and observe the Stephen Church Basilica, the Parliament Building, the Court Building and much more.  We will learn of the Nazi occupation, the Soviet occupation, and their freedom which came under the presidency of Ronald Reagan.

You can stay at an ornate hotel for about one hundred dollars a night in Budapest.  I took advantage of a huge bathtub that had a rail to hold reading material, and piped in television for the evening news.  The people we met were all very gracious and more than hospitable.  If my wife and I decide on a trip to Europe, a stopover in England for a few days and Budapest, Hungary would work for me.  It is a beautiful and historic city.

On my first evening in Budapest, I ordered Hungarian Goolash.  Original, eh?  It was very good, and it is basically the same as our beef stew, except pepper is used in place of tomato.

Donald Trump’s immigration ban is the talk of Europe.  Europe is very liberal and reminds me of the evening news back home.  CNN in Europe is mesmerized by Donald Trump, and BBC covers Donald Trump much more than Britain’s own Prime Minister, Theresa May.  It struck me on this trip that the British accent is found everywhere.  I experienced it in England of course, and even one of my translators (Chip) in Romania had one.  My wife and I were on a cruise to the Western Caribbean four months ago and it seemed like every other person had one!  For a relatively small island nation, The British have sure had a global impact.

At the end of the day (literally), it struck me that I would much rather go on a mission trip where it is fifteen degrees, than go to Tahiti.  This is very true with me.  I would much rather go on a series of mission trips than have an outdoor swimming pool, and am grateful for the choices the good Lord has given us, and the responses He has led my wife and me to make.

……to be continued

 

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