Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My last post was on 9/11 – such an emotional day and it ended with me leading an English Bible Study for teenagers using this text: – This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9.  Lots of good vocabulary words to learn in that don’t you think?  I didJ.  I don’t often use the Bible in my posts but this one gets me.  I’m afraid of a lot of things…like I told the kids – dark, snakes, loneliness are just a few amongst many on my list.  So – it’s not easy to be strong and courageous many times but there you have it as a command.  Okay – then lets do this.

Several Hungarians have recently asked me what my take is on the refugee crisis.  I find that interesting – they are asking me.  But you know what?...I honestly think we are living in a historical time.  Not only is this refugee crisis going on but also Putin has a plan.  I don’t know what exactly is going on but something is brewing and I don’t think it’s all for good.  If I dwell on it for a long time – I become afraid of all the events as well.  But I cannot – it does not help anybody or anything.  So instead – move on; help as much as we can, love even more and work like there is no tomorrow.  There is that wall plaque you see all over…live, love, laugh.  I like that…maybe I should make one that says help, love, work:).  Laughing is always good…I certainly enjoy that too!

So the refugee crisis is still going on – Croatia has a lot of need – there are ‘tent cities’ ran by Red Cross and control at the border that is beyond anything seen here in Hungary.  Very interesting to see how the various countries in Europe deal with the people and how they instruct police, army, NGO’s, volunteers or whomever how to deal with the whole situation.  Of course the media has been right there getting their stories, which is good.  The world needs to know – I just trust they report accurately so I’m taking the high road hereJ.

English Clubs + Bible Studies + kids of all ages + teachers = time to take a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) class!  Wow – it’s been a long time since I was a student.  So – lots of time in front of the computer but my hope is that I can prepare and teach better over the next couple of years.  At this point all I feel like I know is that I do speak EnglishJ - seems to get me invited to several groups and so I need to be able to do that as well as teach the language.  Good times – a 10 week online course and some practicum hours.  

So not a real normal post for me I guess…but I can say that life is good – God is waaaay better and that makes me a bit more strong and courageous.  I am very thankful for friends and family scattered all around the world – much love.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

I'm remembering...

As America remember 9/11 today  – I am remembering as well.  Intensely working with the refugee crisis here in Hungary for the past several weeks has been a constant reminder to me as an American. 
I keep telling people that this a crazy world that we live in…and that is all I can say because my mind is overwhelmed.  It is not the first time people have fled from everything they know in order to live and it probably won’t be the last.  It is however my first time being so close to a situation and working with people who are fleeing.  It is truly mind-boggling. 
To hear people tell that they have been traveling for 2-3 years, or some, just 2-3 weeks. These are educated people – doctors, teachers, engineers, and they left it all – for safety.  And they will – hope of all hopes – make it to safety.  But the journey seems to be a rough one.  Living in tents, or on the ground, walking over not only entire cities but also entire countries, braving the cold at night when they are going from one type of climate to pretty much the exact opposite, eating food given by volunteers of a different culture – what is that food?  Today was rainy, muddy and a poor little boy cried for a very long time while his mom and volunteers tried to find warm, dry clothes, socks and shoes for him.  He has no idea what is going on – and yet his parents left because they want a better life for themselves certainly, but mostly for that little boy.  Another Syrian man joining us picking up garbage around the tent area and his bag became full so he started walking towards the garbage bin and his son came running out scared he was leaving.  He and his son alone – no idea where a spouse or other family members were – what happened to them, if they were to follow later, what was his story? 

So – you can possibly see that I have been deep in this refugee crisis mindset.  Lots of prayer, lots of questions, some anger, some not good/kind thoughts, and of course tears.  It is difficult to write tonight that life is good but it is not difficult to write that God is waaaaay better.  He is the hope…He gives us grace for some crazy reason so that we can have peace.  That is it – grace and peace.  May that spread over all the 9/11 memories, refugees, volunteers, citizens, and the governments this very day.