By Grace Booth/Guest Columnist
The Picayune Item
The trip to Budapest, Hungary, brought an unexpected blessing for Doug and me as we participated in an outreach to over 200 missionaries from fifteen different countries in Eastern Europe.
I wept when I heard some of their stories. Some were translating the Bible for the reindeer people who live on the Tundra. Others were ministering in areas where their lives would be in jeopardy if their identities and mission work were known.
Working with them for those days in Budapest humbled me as a Christian as I kept wondering how my life should reflect the dedication that they modeled. Their time away for those days provided by donors represented a much needed get-away for them.
My assignment, to sit at a table in our Hospitality Room, across from those who wanted hand massages, brought me face to face with committed Christians. I listened to their stories as I worked lotion into their arms, hands and fingers. As I listened I became more and more fascinated by their passion to reach out to areas where people have been oppressed.
Their stories were varied, some working with refugees, others maintaining a station of hope for natives who lacked many necessities of life. One of the ladies I met told me that she and her co-missionary both had compromised lungs due to the area where they worked among the people.
The days provided through the Christian Hospitality Network brought a get-away for recuperation for them physically as well as a renewal in spirit as some of our team cut hair and some gave medical exams. Others babysat the children playing games with them in the nearby park on Margaret’s Island where we stayed in Budapest.
Although the trip for us was long, traveling first by car to Knoxville where we met with twenty-five others who were paying their own way for the privilege of participating in this mission endeavor, the rewards of meeting so many missionaries, hearing their stories and seeing their faces light up in appreciation for all of the donated items and in response of our honoring them, all made the trip fulfilling and one we would repeat. We may have blessed them, but we left their presence feeling we had received the greater blessing.