Greetings from the road from Vienna to Tiszavasvári. So far my teammates played the ABC-I-Spy game, sang a couple of road trip appropriate songs while I took a nourishing nap.
The past couple of days in Vienna felt quite surreal. We spent the weekend attending Awakening Europe along with the Hungarian pastors. The presence of the Holy Spirit was so thick and so tangible in the stadium and around the city—people praying for the sick in the streets; seas of people jumping, dancing, and crying out in unison—heaven was open, I definitely saw a glimpse of what eternity will look like.
My favorite silly revelation during the conference stems from the song “How Great is Our God”. All song lyrics were shown in English and German. Apparently the phrase “how great” becomes “so gross” in German. I saw the screen, blinked twice, laughed then proceeded to tell God, “Well, I guess you ARE SO GROSS—the way you pursue us so diligently, the way you “so grossly” loves us so much and call us favorites.” We laughed for a few minutes then I proceeded to soak deeper into worship.
In terms of less punny discoveries, I found out how little I relate to “being proud of being *insert nationality”. There was a session for dedicating Austria back to Jesus and I sat there thinking, ok, how would I feel if there was an hour where thousands were praying for Korea or Taiwan. I knew that I would feel no pride for any countries ever—nationalism never made sense to me. I’ve always thought singling out one country felt ridiculous in this day and age. But I also knew that there is a blessing that arises when we lift up a nation in prayer. As an international multicultural human, borders have always made me feel unvalidated. This session was here to remind me to be extra considerate of the reality that countries exist and sometimes God does want to bless a single group of people. Definitely something to keep learning.
Danny told us that the youths cannot sleep from all the anticipation and excitement for the coming youth retreat. We’re all also excited except we all long for sleep—oh, we can definitely sleep. Now there’s about three more hours till we get to Tiszavasvári. We’ll have a worship service as soon as we get there then we’ll start the retreat tomorrow. I look forward to seeing all the children that I’ve met before. I cannot believe that I met some of them almost six years ago, I bet they’re taller than me now (Europe makes me feel very short).
Thank you all for the words of encouragement and your prayers.