Amazing Grace

When Stephanie, one of my lovely supervisors from Chicago, came to visit me in Nyirtelek I was like a proud parent showing her my family. Not only was it great to talk with her about my experiences so far, but I had the honor of actually showing her the places and introducing her to the people with whom I have shared my experiences—it was absolutely wonderful!  Stephanie was invited to talk about YAGM and mission service at church and afterward I took her on a tour of the beautiful church at which I have the pleasure of living and serving.  In step with true Hungarian hospitality, we were invited to a delicious lunch at Mihaly’s house and then we attended the service in Görögszállás in the afternoon.

We were warmly welcomed by the people at Görögszállás who were all very excited to meet Stephanie, and then my friend Zoli, who was translating for her, asked Stephanie if she was ready to give the sermon.  Stephanie and I laughed because Zoli had to be joking…right?  Why wasn’t he laughing with us?  OH! He was actually being serious!  Stephanie and I looked at each other and then at Zoli and said, “What?”

Apparently I misunderstood what was happening last week when they decided that Stephanie would give the sermon.  As far as I knew, she was just going to repeat the speech she gave during the morning service.  We told Zoli that we had no idea about a sermon, but that Stephanie would talk about YAGM and mission again, and after consulting with Istvan (who was to conduct the service that afternoon), Stephanie got the ‘ok’ to just repeat the morning’s speech.  She did a great job with the speech, Istvan did a great job with the sermon, and at the end of the service Stephanie and I sang Amazing Grace for the congregation.  After a moment of panic over the sermon, everything went well.

Amazing Grace was so fitting for the afternoon: the whole congregation was expecting Stephanie to give the sermon, but they showed nothing but grace when she spoke only about YAGM and mission service.  I have had plenty of misunderstandings during my time here—I had a few already today—but everyone here has been incredibly gracious to me.  I am always amazed at how much love I have been shown here despite my severe lack of language skills.

A major part of this year is learning to be in community with others and I have found that the community itself is just as important of the effort I put into being a part of it.  My community here has made me a part of it simply by showing me love no matter what misunderstandings we may have, no matter how big or small.  I am truly blessed to receive the amazing grace that this community has so readily shown me; I love being in community with these people.


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