American Visit

On Friday, a group from Wartburg College and the Northeast Iowa Synod visited the Children’s House and the agriculture program in Görögszállás.  The students are in Europe studying the reformation during Wartburg’s May-term and the people from the NIS are here to see what kind of work the Lutheran Church in Hungary and the Roma College in Nyiregyhaza are doing in hopes of forming bonds that could lead to sister-congregation and sister-school partnerships.  The group stopped to see me in Görögszállás because it is aware of YAGM and wanted to see what life as a YAGM was like in northeastern Hungary.

I met the group at the Children’s House where I served as a tour guide to tell them about the community of Görögszállás, the work we do at the House to focus on child development and school readiness, and our overall focus of bringing God into the lives of the children and their families.  We talked with the incredible women I get to work with every day, and they shared about their work at the House, their lives, their families, and the journeys that have brought them to where they are today.  The group was really excited to hear about the House because, as the Bishop from the Northeast Iowa Synod put it, ‘It’s nice to see the church do its job.’  Before we left the House, we had a snack of chocolate palacsintas, and then we walked through town to the new building to see the agriculture program.

We met up with my supervisor, Misi, at the new building where he talked about the building itself—how it was funded, its design, its efficiency, and its many functions within the community.  While there we heard the testimonies of some of the people who live and work in the community wherein we got to hear, firsthand, of the amazing transformative power of God.  The people working in the agriculture program welcomed us into their space with a snack of bread with liver pâté and fresh red radishes from the greenhouse.  The radishes were absolutely delicious!  We sat in a big circle in the sanctuary where we learned more about the agriculture program, what the students were here studying, and what the representatives from the NIS were seeking from a relationship with the Lutheran Church in Hungary.  Before we went to see the greenhouse, the Görögszállás group sang a song and we all prayed the Lord’s Prayer in our respective languages—the mix of Hungarian and English was really powerful for me because it affirmed that, no matter what language or background, we are all one in Christ.

I went with the group to Nyiregyhaza were we met with the lovely people involved with the Roma College.  We had lunch with the group and then enjoyed presentations about the Roma College and Kristen’s work as a YAGM in Nyiregyhaza, and then Kirsten and I answered the Wartburg students’ questions about YAGM.  To wrap up our time together we sang ‘This is the Day’ in English, then in Hungarian, then all together in our different languages.  It was a fitting end to a truly wonderful day!

It was nice to have the group from America here not only because I could speak English with other native speakers, but because I could share my love for my community and the people who have become my family by using the words I have carried in my heart these past 8 months.  I have grown to be a part of this community in ways that I did not think possible, and I am nothing but thankful for the immense blessings I have received from being placed here and have continued to receive throughout my time in Nyirtelek and Görögszállás.  This is an amazing place and I am very thankful I had the opportunity to share it with the visitors from the US.

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