I often find myself amazed at the outpouring of love from the people in my community of Nyirtelek. They have all been very sweet to me and though I have only just now started to understand what they are saying, the people I spend my time with have been immensely kind and patient as I have slowly learned their language. It is incredible the thoughts and feelings one can convey even without words, but now that I know more of the words, I have a more concrete sense of the thoughts and emotions of those around me; which is a very reassuring feeling.
Looking back on these past 6 weeks in Nyirtelek, I have been invited, with warm smiles, into people’s homes and lives. Even when I had no idea what they were asking me, people were inviting me to their homes to meet their families and share a meal with them. A couple from church invited me to their house one Saturday afternoon to meet their family. When they were asking me to come, I understood ‘Szombat’ (Saturday) and not much more, so I thought they were talking about the event we had at church the previous Saturday. A very nice woman, who also spoke English, came and translated for me and said they were asking me to their house…I really had no idea. When I finally knew what they were saying, I was blown away by their kind gesture—especially because they knew I couldn’t understand Hungarian—and used the limited language knowledge I had to say, “Köszönöm, kedves vagy” (Thank you, you are kind). The man was so touched by what I said that he covered his face with hands, took a deep breath to collect himself, and asked his wife what the word for ‘Köszönöm’ was in English. He then looked me right in the eye and said, “Thank you.” I was left utterly speechless by his efforts to say something in my language. At that very instance, time stopped and allowed me to savor what had just happened. I knew, without a doubt, I was supposed to be there in that moment with him.
My time here has not been the easiest thing I have ever experienced, but it has definitely been the most enriching. There is not a day that goes by where I am not reassured that I am where I am supposed to be. Something as small as two words can be the means by which it is revealed to me that I am in the right place, but those two words are what give me the strength to continue along this journey. I can understand more of the words being said to and around me but I will never fully understand the awesome power that has brought me here to experience the moments where two words can leave such a deep impact. I guess the only thing I can say is ‘Thank you.’