I just couldn’t find the nerves to write up a final report. This was a bit of a self-questionnaire I wrote up for the blog for missions department so I could avoid all the feels of actually writing.
1. Why did you decide to sign up for a month long mission trip in Hungary?
I’ve been to Hungary mission trip three times, and after my second time I decided that being in Europe and working with the Romany was something I wanted to do long term. This trip was a “trial month” for me to test out the waters and to see where God is leading me.
2. What were some of the obstacles you’ve faced while signing up for this trip?
Honestly, nothing was happening to me before I signed up–I graduated from uni, did a couple of jobs here and there and I never woke up before 10am. After signing up, everything was happening at the same time and I saw that a lot of it was spiritual warfare. I’d get discouraged by the (lack of) money in my bank account, really tired for no reason, or just feel really frustrated.
3. How did you face it?
Growing up as a missionary/pastor’s kid, I always understood the abundance of God’s grace. He loves to give. It’s a constant surrendering of “OK God, I trust you with my yes.” Whenever I’d have a quiet moment with God, he would reassure me. Funny story is: I’m absolutely terrible with numbers–so even though I received generous amounts of donations, I thought I was only 50% full of my trip goal. I laughed so hard at myself when I found out I basically had more than I needed.
4. What groups of people did you have interactions with in Budapest? Who was the most memorable?
We met with a youth revival group through a translator who joined us for the Super Team 2018. They were such lovely people who sought God wholeheartedly. We invited them over for a hot pot feast and had a beautiful worship and prayer session. It was a time of empowering each other.
5. Why do you think Roma ministry is necessary? What are some things you enjoy doing with them?
The Romany are completely cast out from everyday European society in every way possible–education, career, and resources. The only way to end their vicious cycle of being trapped in the system is to truly touch the lives of their children. I just love doing arts and crafts with them. Whenever I get to see a smile on these children, I truly understand that God is so in love with these little ones.
6. What did your daily life in Budapest look like? What was your favorite thing about living there? Least favorite thing?
Budapest is kind of like Taipei of Europe. The prices are all similar and conversion rate is a super easy 10 to 1. This trip really wasn’t a “trip” but an experience of almost becoming a local. We’d go to the central market to buy groceries, watch the latest Marvel movie at the cinema, and shop at thrift stores. Everyday felt almost like we had a 9-5 job. The most exhausting part was having to do all the adult stuff like cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, doing laundry while doing ministry almost every day. It helped me see how I might live in Budapest (if it ever happens).
7. What were your thoughts on interacting with Christians in Budapest? Were you surprised by anything
The youths in all cultures seem to have the same problem–the passionate lack resources and the disheartened lack encouragement. I kept hearing from Abi, one of our translators and now a friend, that leading worship isn’t taught to empower the younger generations; yet she has been called to become a powerful worship leader for this generation. Also, the youth revival team told us that most of them don’t really have a home church. On the positive side, that isn’t a problem considering that these youths are homes to each other, but on the flip side, they lack the encouragement and the wisdom that the older generation of church has. I just pray that over all nations, churches truly understand that Jesus is always doing new and beautiful, albeit uncomfortable, changes and the younger generation is the one to bring that about with the help of sages.
8. What does missions look like/mean to you after you were in Budapest for a month?
Growing up as a missionary kid who has been on numerous mission trips, I’ve always known that missions is a loaded word. I’m still in the process of not becoming totally disgusted by the word “missionary”, partly because I’ve always hated labels and partly because no one (Christian, non-Christian) seems to understand its true essence. Everyone is a missionary, it just looks different for everyone. I could be digging up old tatami in Ishinomaki after the big tsunami, designing a DM for a church event in Taipei, or chasing after rowdy kids in Tiszavasvári–they are all for Kingdom come. Missions doesn’t have to be scary, it doesn’t require you to be without a working toilet for ten days (sometimes it does), it’s time everyone acknowledge the fact that missionaries are just as human as an everyday Christian. God doesn’t need Holy people, he wants people who say yes.
9. What is something important God has taught you from this trip?
God has really reminded me that I become extremely selfish and impatient when I get truly comfortable with people I live with. All modes of communication turn into unnecessary screaming or silence because I’m a drama queen–but everyone was so understanding of my exhaustion and eclectic weirdness. It was also fun to know, I wasn’t the only dramatic in the team. There definitely were some pros and cons for having a month-long team. All in all, just very grateful that we got along so swimmingly and no show-downs took place.
My impatience was also very obvious when we were doing children’s ministry in the Romany villages. In my head I kept thinking, ‘Why do they never change? Why can’t they listen? Why can’t they behave?’ but my heart always knew that I was here to sow seeds, if God worked miracles through us every second, then relationship building would never matter. I knew that constantly loving on these children was our step to take so God could take care of the next.