On Monday morning I said quick goodbyes to Eric, Owen, Annie and Olivia and ran to catch my shuttle bus to take me to the airport. We had overslept, leaving about 15 minutes to get dressed, get the kids up and dressed and in the car and off to catch the bus. It wasn’t until 3 hours later – just prior to boarding the international plane for Amsterdan–that I discovered that my top was on inside out! It was that kind of morning, which perhaps helped me not to dwell on the sadness of saying goodbye.
The flight was smooth- the first time in a LONG time that I have been able to watch not just one movie, but two… and read part of a book on the plane. It felt so QUIET without little ones on my lap.
It is now Thursday morning- we have been gathered for 2 and a half days of large group meetings; Bible teachings, hearing and exploring the vision of the Lausanne movement; participating in small group discussions. Each person here is committed to strenthening the unity of the worldwide Church and working towards greater intention at reaching everyone with the Gospel.
Numerous times I have had talks with God in these days to ask Him – really – why I am here. Not because I don’t want to be- but because it has been such an amazing blessing that I would love to share the experience with so many. During worship times, i often fill with tears –yesterday morning actually wept — as I join in the company of such amazing men and women of God who are sold out for the purposes of taking Jesus to every part of the world.
There are names of some you will know- Leighton Ford; Vonette Bright; Paul Cedar; our favorite Doug Birdsall!… but perhaps what has touched me the most are the names of those I didn’t know before coming… Timothy who is overseeing an organization in Nigeria that is sending out thousands of missionaries to other parts of the world…Andrea, who is a pastor and leader in Egypt running an NGO that …Judy and Esme who are organizing women all across Africa to further the Gospel…Roland from Germany who is doing ministry with youth across Europe…Mark who is teaching theology at a seminary in Singapore and is one of the most brillaint scholars working for Kingdom purposes….worshipping with these new friends has been a pre-taste of heaven.
I will write more when I return home. Thanks for those who have been praying for Eric and the kids. I have missed them tremendously, but am thankful for how well they are doing and Eric’s willing enthusiasm to let me serve here while he serves back in Japan.
Here are a few photos of my time so far:
The sidewalk cafes wherever one goes in Budapest are all that they are cracked up to be!