Monday, September 9, 2013

WHERE: Balaton, Hungary

YAGM in a Hungarian lesson, taught by Teri, a wonderful teacher
and now a very close friend.  Thank you Teri.

This is the table I sat around for 3 hours every morning for the past two weeks during Hungarian lessons.  This is the same table I sat around at night completing homework and practicing vocabulary with the other volunteers.  This is also the same table I went to a few mornings at 6:30am to complete last night’s homework…some things never change. 

But today I am thinking about a different table, a table that I’ve gathered around many times in many places with many people.   A table who can fit a party of two or a table that can fit all of the Saints fans in the Superdome today.  Hey, this table can even fit the Atlanta Falcons fans. too  The location of this table and the guests around it change constantly, but the menu stays the same.  Bread and wine, that is all.  Two simple ingredients available in almost every corner of the world, meant to be accessible to everyone.

Today I joined at a table where the conversation was limited, only greetings and smiles were understood, but something greater was happening.  Though I did not understand the hymns, the confession, the creed, or the prayers because they were all spoken in Hungarian, I knew when the words of institution were being spoken.  It must be something about a Pastor’s delivery or the flow and pace of the reenactment of the Last Supper.  Or maybe, more importantly it’s the ever inviting tone and magnificent realization that all our welcome at this table, no matter language, background, or even taste in NFL team. 

The sun sets just before we begin
 Holden Evening Prayer
The feast at this table and the fellowship of communion bring comfort to me in an unsettling time.  I have struggled, and continue to be intimidated by the Hungarian language and inability to communicate.  Yesterday I was somewhat down, overwhelmed in the realization that even the dogs in this town know more Hungarian than I do.  But then I met a seven year old boy.  Being around a child and attempting to speak Hungarian was easier without the stress of wanting to please or impress an adult.  I find comfort knowing that  I will be surrounded by children in the coming weeks to help my Hungarian improve.

Mari and I marvel at the view of Lake Balaton from a look out tower.
The past two weeks have been filled with lots of Hungarian, worship, beach time, and biking.  It has been extremely relaxing and a wonderful place to bond as a group, but it’s time for the real work to begin.  Hungarian lessons are over and so is in-country orientation.  Today, we travel to Budapest and leave our comfortable little life in Balaton behind. I'm looking forward to sharing a table with my host family and host community, very very soon!
Mari, Chelsea, Ole, Me, and Thad biked up to this hill at sunset Sunday night to join in Holden Evening Prayer.

More later and WHO DAT

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