By Steve Gregg
Áldás, békesség (Blessing and Peace)! Thank you for praying for last month’s Hungary trip. The Creekside team (Clay Myatt, Caleb and Lily Dykes, Alex Tongue and I) helped to lead a 5-day family camp for our Újpest brother church and a 2-day Youth Retreat with the Reformed church in Gyöngyös. Both were a success and a blessing.
The Újpest camp was held in the mountains of northern Hungary in Mátraháza, a church retreat center about an hour outside of Budapest. Over eighty people attended, with the range of couples represented ranging from newlyweds of two months to over forty years of marriage. The focus was on the struggles of being married in a fallen and frustrating world and the book of Ecclesiastes’ answer to enjoy God’s good gifts in the midst of the brokenness. As Clay put it, “we are called to enjoy the gifts of Genesis 2 in a Genesis 3 world.” Besides the teaching times, there were many chances to connect with folks in small groups or with couples. One of the couples made a point to tell us that they appreciated the camp so much because the studies revealed to them new things about the Bible.
In addition to the teaching, music and worship played a key role in our time there. Caleb and Alex led worship with folks from the Újpest church, and the last evening of the camp they led worship around a campfire. Alex even broke out some Johnny Cash for a special treat. It’s pretty surreal to be so far from home and hear a group of folks singing every word to “Ring of Fire.” People also appreciated hearing the testimonies of the Creekside team. It’s always so much fun to see Creeksiders connecting with brothers and sisters from the Hungarian church and then watching friendships develop during our time there.
The youth camp in Gyöngyös was much shorter but really appreciated as it had been almost five years since our last visit with these brothers and sisters. It was good to reconnect with the people in the church as well as some former campers. One such camper, now a grown man, came up to us and thanked us for coming back. We had a smaller than expected group attending the second camp, but it gave us more opportunity to talk to and get to know the campers.
I continue to be amazed and encouraged at the relationships that 20+ years of working alongside the Hungarian church has given us. At the end of this trip the leaders told me that they very much want us to come back, not only to work with youth but also to do more retreats with their married couples. Please pray for wisdom in how to step into those invitations.
Again, thanks for your prayers and support.