Friday, June 27, 2014

Kairos Moment: Getting Hugged Daily

At our end of the year backyard party some of the children lined up for a
photo.  All but one of these kiddos will be leaving our daycare, and on to the bigger school.
Reading in Hungarian has actually become one of my favorite
activities to do with the children.
Every hug and every laugh I received from these little ones was a true kairos moment, that fortunately I got to experience almost daily.  Every morning upon walking in the door I was greeted with a sea of, “Szia Mayyy’s!” followed by thundering footsteps of children racing to get picked up first.  To the children, it did not matter that I was a complete foreigner and barely familiar with their language.  Even through our inability to understand or speak to one another, they loved me whole heartedly.  Many a times a 
Becoming a real life jungle gym is basically a requirement
for YAGM volunteers.
simple hug was enough to comfort the tears away, or brighten a smile a hundred times.    To them I was a celebrity, deeply cherished and loved for being exactly who I was, and for that love I am extremely grateful.  They have helped me realize, more confidently, that working with children is one thing I’m gifted and good at, and something I thoroughly enjoy.  Though that statement may sound so simple, it’s been a profound thing for me to come to terms with, especially after a huge internal debate I had with myself in college between getting a business degree and an education degree.  I now know where my passions lie, and though the money in it may not overflow, the hugs and love sure do.

More later 


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Living in Kairos Moments

It’s June 26, 2014 which officially means I only have one month left in Piliscsaba, Hungary, my placement site and home for the past 10 months during my year as a Young Adult in Global Mission (YAGM).  While the common phrase, “Wow, time flies” may come to some people’s mind, I’d like to argue that in actuality, time did some really crazy things this past year.  At times, especially during the cold winter months, time crept and the promise of sunshine and home seemed light years away.  But at other times, time went too fast, and weeks of friendship and fellowship flashed by at a pace I could barely comprehend.

It’s been 316 days since I’ve been with my family in New Orleans, and even longer that I’ve been away from close friends.  Every now and then someone would ask me if I was homesick, and though I usually answered, “no” - in truth I was probably missing home more than I let on.  But now that I have just a mere four and a half weeks left in this place, I realize that the next time I am homesick, it is going to be homesick for Piliscsaba and the incredible relationships that have grown this past year.  The people here have made Piliscsaba home to me, and the impending goodbyes are dreadful to think about.  So if you asked me now if I was homesick, or ready to go home, I think my response would be a confused blur of yes’s and no’s because of my perplexing understanding of what “home” really is.

At this point, I think a more appropriate diagnosis of my current state is that I am campsick.  This is the first summer in four years that I’m not working at summer camp, and my summers at Lutheridge and Lutherhill hold some of my best memories.  Camp and outdoor ministry provided a place for me to be who I truly wanted to be and live out my faith, all the while being surrounded by peers that pursued similar values in faith and children that daily displayed the joy in Christ.  This summer I’m definitely missing camp and all the special times like Sunday Night Vespers, Thursday Staff Worship, All-Camp games, and heck I’m even missing Outcamp.  Yet I still feel connected to camp as I follow from afar through social media and friends’ updates, and I’ve even been spiritually fed through their posts.

At Lutherhill last summer, we focused a lot on learning to be aware of “kairos moments”, a time when we feel God and the Holy Spirit directly at work and present in the moment.  It would feel as if the tiniest, thinnest of spaces separated our current situation and God’s presence.   And up in Arden, NC this summer, “ The ELCA summer camp program material, "Living in God's Time", explores the seasons of the church year. At Lutheridge, campers are learning the difference between "chronos" (clock time) and "kairos" (God's time).” 

This focus on time could not be more relevant to me as I live in limbo between my own “chronos” schedule and God’s “kairos” plan.  As my time in Piliscsaba comes to a close, I hope to focus more and seek out the kairos moments that highlight the Holy Spirit alive here, rather than count and schedule my own personal programs and plans.  Through the good days and the harder days, karios moments abound.  I look forward to sharing with you some of those moments in upcoming posts.

More later