Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hungarian Butterfly

While cleaning out the barn today, I came across a butterfly that at first didn't seem very interesting. With its wings together, it just looked like a plain moth with black and brown wings. It wasn't until it spread its wings that it revealed the beautiful colors that had been hidden.

It occurred to me that sometimes that's exactly how God works in us. We may seem plain and ordinary, but it's when God presses us through trials that we show our true colors. It's during these times that we are prompted to spread our wings and expose to others the love that is an overflow of the Joy we find in Christ.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

No Photos

There was a car accident on the road near where we live on Sunday. It was just a minor accident with little damage, but everyone from the village seemed to be coming to look at the two cars. The police were there for about an hour so I decided to walk over and see what the big deal was. I took a few pictures because it struck me as odd that so many people were just standing around looking at a smashed bumper. before I knew it one of the police officers came running across the road yelling at me. He was yelling "No photo! No photo!" I showed him the pictures I had taken and while I didn't understand much of what he was saying, I understood, "Delete! Delete!" So he watched as I deleted each one of the pictures I had innocently taken. I thought they were pretty good, but you'll just have to take my word for it.

I still haven't gotten use to the fact that we at the Castle here are like our own little community. In the morning, I often eat breakfast with not only my teachers, but Joshua's teachers as well. In the afternoon, I have a class with one of Joshua's teachers and we have group discussions together. In the evening, I sometimes sit around with my teachers and Joshua's teachers and have coffee while we discuss the days events and our children all play together nearby. Even stranger is that while there are people here from 15 different countries, some people are from San Luis Obispo and Visalia. It really is a small world.

Here's a picture of me cleaning out the barn. Yes Dad, they have a John Deere too and it's bigger.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Walk in the Woods

This morning Joshua and I decided to take a walk in the woods and do some exploring. The trees are either oaks or pines planted in large plots to later be harvested for firewood. It was a beautiful morning and Joshua and I enjoyed walking the pathways across the gentle rolling hills. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by the quiet country side of Vajta. As I write this I can hear the sounds of dogs, sheep, chickens, geese, and turkeys coming from next door. It helps to break up the monotony of homework and studying.

We even discovered an abandoned farm house.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Subotica, Srbije (Serbia)

Today we went to Subotica, Serbia to get our visas for Hungary. It sounds strange, but we had to leave Hungary and go to the Hungarian embassy in Serbia because visas needed to be applied for outside of the country. Anyway, it was a long day but we saw a lot of beautiful and interesting things. We had lunch at an Italian restaurant, that served Mexican pizza, with French paintings on the walls, while an American Christian song played on the radio, in Serbia. That was a strange moment.

The boys made a new friend on the streets of Subotica.

Lost in translation?

While Dominic and Joshua were amazed at all the new sights around them, they were quickly made aware of the harsh reality of life outside the United States. As they went into a store, they came across a little boy who was sitting by the door begging. They each decided that the colorful dinara (Serbian money) that I had given them as souvenirs was better off in the hands of that boy. They asked if they could give their dinara to him. What could I say? It’s not where that money would end up, but the intentions of their hearts to give.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Vajta, Hungary

Yesterday was our first day in Vajta, Hungary. We got in late Saturday night so Edna and I decided to walk to the village and see what it looked like in the day time. We walked to the center of Vajta which seemed to be just a post office and a war memorial for its citizens who were killed in World War I and II. On our way back we noticed that most residents of this small village still get their water the old fashioned way. They lower a bucket down the well in their yard and bring up fresh water. We even saw a couple out for a Sunday stroll with their horse and cart. The area around here is beautiful and we are so blessed to be here. Joshua has already made a friend named Sean who seems to be a perfect match for his abundant energy and curiosity. They spent the day exploring the grounds and looking for German and Soviet souvenirs left over from the war and occupation. Sean even has a little dog that follows him everywhere. They named her Lassie because of her undaunted loyalty to him. Dominic has also been making friends and has, like Joshua, seemed to settle in quickly. I’ll post more pictures when I can.

Joshua and Sean have become new best friends.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Long Night

This will be our last night in the United States for awhile. We don't know how long God is calling us out into the missions field, but we are excited to be present for the awesome power and love that God has for all of us. Even in our circle of friends and family, people are being changed for the good. God is shaping their hearts and softening the hearts to His word. I've been blessed by how people are coming forth and asking to help support us, because they see the change in all four of our lives, and they want to be apart of it. I'm so encouraged by the excitement people are showing in response to sending out more missionaries. God Bless you all.

I just want to thank all of you for wanting to help do God's will. I am so proud that my father is realizing more and more each day that God doesn't prosper us so that we might sit around and admire the prosperity. He gave us prosperity so that we might also see those who are impoverished and seemingly without Hope and show them the love of Christ and the reality of Hope in Eternal Life. Every thing that we have is just on loan, it's not really ours. Our Father gives and takes away, but without him, there would be nothing. Praise be the Name of our Lord.

I never dreamed that God would work through us in such a way as to draw our families together so close. We are even seeing hearts being changed on Edna's side of the family. I will continue to be amazed with God's plan as we set out for Hungary tomorrow.