The Should’ve-s

As June rolled around, I couldn’t help but feel like I was missing something. My calendar reminded me that I was supposed to be in Hungary by the second week of June, starting on a yearlong journey.

I don’t like whiteout, I usually just cross things out. But these scribbles on my agenda were too heavily marked to be just scratched. I bought another whiteout cartridge.

The past letters, I kept mentioning Hungary but I never gave the details. I want to talk about it now. I think it will help picture what was to come and what might come ahead.

After the almost-two-months long trip to Europe, the mission department at our church fully launched the plan to start a Bread of Life International at Budapest. I was to be a part of the team of estimated ten people. Danny (my oppa & the mission department person with all the brilliant ideas) invited the future pastor of Budapest church, Cinti, to intern with Bread of Life for three months.

It was September 2019. Bible school just began, Bread of Life was celebrating it’s 65th anniversary, and Cinti began her three-months-turned-into-nine-because-COVID journey in Taipei. Everyone who’s been to Hungary Missions was thrilled to have her around for so long, we were really excited to show her our side of things.

While interning, Cinti and the people who were interested in being a part of the Budapest launch gathered to discuss, prepare, and dream together. However, what started out as an interest group of 10ish dropped to three by the beginning of 2020 (*not because of the pandemic). Life was happening at full speed for most people and it was difficult for many of us to be juggling day-to-day whilst planning for a yearlong project.

The small team of Cinti, Ruth and Samuel (cutest and weirdest young married couple ever) plus yours truly, met up frequently to discuss promotional strategies and content planning. Though we loved each other’s company and ideas, this was a season of online-only services where every church volunteer was getting stretched and sleep deprived. We loved our promo ideas and even planned out a video, but we never finished it before Cinti left in early June.

Looking back, I wonder if we looked like we were playing hard to get or just terrible at time management. It honestly might have been the fact that we were all dreamers and not execution-forward enough. There will always be a plethora of nitpicking for reasons to regret and pasts to mull over. I just have to keep reminding myself of people who love and support me thoroughly. Besides, our little group didn’t end on a bitter note, we still hope for a day when we can be together.

Everything I write about has been COVID related because it really has affected my life to the core. I cannot compare myself to underprivileged children who can only get one meal a day from school but quarantine is starving them to death or just people in terrible medical systems. These comparisons seem unfair, yet I think everyone’s just struggling really hard with their own battles at any given date — pandemic or “normal”.

I’m still asked the question whether I’d be going to Hungary in 2021. Honestly, I just wonder what missions look like after this global crisis. My heart still wants to travel, and my head says why not — but somewhere I feel like a move isn’t going to be enough. I feel like my passion and willingness won’t be enough to change anything especially when even governments can’t keep everyone masked on the metro. I’m not hopeless but helpless. Positivity and skepticism coexist and I just pray and cry that hope will win in my heart.

Help is on its way. These should’ve-s are not condemnations but a stepping stone toward a something. I’m reminded to just keep writing and just to know it can only get better. I want to dare to want better.

I don’t have all the answers, yet. They will come.

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