The last 6 days Daniel and I had a short get-a-way to Budapest, Hungary. No special reason to go there except it was the shortest train ride to a major city outside Ukraine. If you have read our blogs over the past two years you may remember our train stories and the accommodations, or lack of. However, this train was by far the nicest! It even had a call button for the attendant, a light to let you know if someone was using the restroom, CLEAN, non- metal ones that were way more spacious!!! It was an overnight train and we got through customs with no problem. It’s funny, they knock on your door say “Alcohol? Cigarettes?”. You reply “Net”, while unzipping your bag and they do one of those unimportant checks similar to those done when entering a concert. It makes us wonder if they really care what’s in there?? Probably not.
Budapest is pronounced “Buda-Pesht” and it’s two separate cities, Buda and Pest, for those of you like me that had no idea. It is an eclectic, artistic and creative city. Everywhere you go there is ancient architecture with a modern touch. Each restaurant, bar, grocery store, currency exchange or cafe has it’s own unique style to it. As if someone took the time to creatively place every inch of the place together. I am not exaggerating at all. It made me think of how God created Earth. Every plant, animal and human. All of the geography and water is so intentional. God took the time to make everything perfect and his image. This is how Budapest has redesigned it’s city. The people have made each part fit perfectly in the image of the people who live there.
It is not a romantic city, but rather a place for friends to travel together. It is a hub for backpackers. In fact, when wearing a backpack they don’t consider you ‘tourist’ and won’t bug you about doing tours. They know that backpackers have other agendas than going where everyone else goes. They want to see parts of the city only the locals know about. Daniel and I are not backpackers but we had the same agenda. We took a tour of the “ruins”. These are places that once were abandoned buildings now transformed to local restaurants, cafés, etc. Phenomenal. During this tour I shared my testimony with a Jewish (none practicing) young guy. Although nothing came of it at that moment, I believe a seed was planted. I left the conversation knowing that his once negative opinion about Christians hitting the Bible over people’s heads was changed. I know he understands that we are simply about loving people and sharing God’s love with them.
On the first full day we walked about 4 miles, hiked 3 hills and claimed over 1000 steps. We were tired to say the least, but saw the full beauty of Budapest (while avoiding tourists :)). We spent one day exploring the zoo, which turned out to be much more like a science museum and zoo in one. I got to get licked by a giraffe and Daniel was looking like lunch to a young lion. Super fun. Makes us wish we were kids again.
Our final day we went to the thermal bath house. This is the oldest public bath house in Budapest. It has 16 heated pools located inside and outside, cold pools for you to polar plunge after time in the saunas, herbal steam rooms, and more. Imagining people hundreds of years ago bathing where we got to swim, lay back and “bathe” is really cool! Is that weird?? Who cares! We got lots of rays, sweat like silly and saw too many European bathing suits… Enough said.
We were supposed to go camping this weekend with the young adults at church but due to rain, it was cancelled. Thank you for your continued for camp in August. We will update you on that as we get information. For now, back to lviv, and jumping back into ministry! Thank The Lord for safety, time together and for making all things beautiful!! Ecclesiasties 3:11