Mid-week outreach service in the YWAM coffee house

About Twenty-five or so came…

When they are finished, it will be a large, first class meeting place right on the street level with big windows and a lovely, classic interior. For now they have completed the basement and turned it into a cavernous wine cellar coffee shop.

The Wednesday "Community Night" gathering.


To be honest, I can’t say that it went all that well. I had a translator but somehow a few people began to laugh when It appeared to them that I was saying that Jesus was not sexy, when I was actually trying to explain that he was not a “sexist”, a word that the translator might not have heard before.

Then, when I tried to straighten it all out it seemed as though I was saying that he wasn’t particularly preferring one sex over another which brought about another misfortunate case of mis-communication. What a fix I was in and finally went on with what I could.

I was blessed when on the way home one of the missionaries, a lady from Asheville, North Carolina came upon a group of homeless men sleeping on the floor of the underground Metro station. She stopped and it was clear that her stopping was not for our benefit. They were excited to see her and knew her by name with fresh introductions all around. I loved the fact that this was something that she had already cultivated previously and was her natural inclination to treat these men with dignity. I love this kind of evangelism. It is simply what all Christian’s should be doing as they go about living.

Calvary Chapel in Budapest

Not everthing is hopeless and depressing…

budapest-fall-2008-083On Sunday I was taken to the center of Budapest where one of the most successful churches in Europe gather. The Calvary Chapel church meets in an old theatre with more than a thousand people attending each Sunday. I took in the main service and was one of five hundred in attendance. There are four weekend services in all and most of those attending were under the age of 35 years.

Sunday morning service at the 1,500 person Budapest Calvary Chapel

Sunday morning service at the 1,500 person Budapest Calvary Chapel

Anita Lazi
Anita Lazi

Ever heard the expression, “It’s a small world.” ? Well, it is. While I was trying to get a couple of these photographs a girl seemed overly excited about me. This never happens in real life so I paid immediate attention and there she was, one of my former Bethany students, Hungarian, Anita Lazi. I’m sure people wondered why I was being hugged by this woman. It was fun to see her again and learn that she goes on with Jesus and ministry.

 Later, following the service, I spoke to Pastor Phil Metzger.

Calvary Chapel Pastor, Phil Metzger
Calvary Chapel Pastor, Phil Metzger

I had email visited with him on previous occasions and surprise to me he remembered our conversations so he (perhaps he felt obligated) asked if I would consider teaching at their Hungarian Bible college. I hope to do it but as it stands now, my schedule is pretty filled up. Lord willing, we’ll make room!

Two guys that make a difference

Let me introduce you to Sam and Teli

(Teli…That’s the way a guy from Nottingham pronounces Terry)

I first met Sam and Terry coming across a Budapest park in the late dusk of Saturday evening. Terry was laughin’ as they walked briskly through the leaves. Teli (Terry) had on a fish shaped, multi-colored “Jesus” logo ballcap and under his open jacket a slogan bearing t-shirt, “Body Piercing Saved My Life.”

Sam from Alabama on the left and Teli (Terry) on the right.

Sam from Alabama on the left and Teli (Terry) on the right.

I stopped them, “Are you Christian’s,” I asked. Terry answered right away, “Yep, we sure are, are ye?” I’m sure glad that I could answer in the affirmative or he would have been immediately launched into, “The Four Spirtual Laws.”

We need more Teli’s and Sam’s, there just aren’t enough of them. Matter of fact, when was it that any stranger ever attempted to share the gospel with you (or you with them)? In my experience of sixty plus years and much of it lived in the Bible belt, I have had less than three occasions (outside of the church walls) when anyone attempted to reach me with the Gospel.

This was my first encounter with 67 year old Terry and his friend Sam (I figure him for a fifty something) from Alabama, a blues guitar player that has spent most of his adult life traveling and doing evangelism in a host of different countries. As both he and I, came from the same cultural and theological roots I understood him from head to toe. I think that we were brothers separated at birth.  

Tatooed up and down his arms Terry was a British military man and prize fighter. With a tough Popeye exterior, he has a heart as soft as putty. I immediately loved them both and learned so much from them about loving Jesus and others in His name. You’d do yourself a favor just to meet them. I’m not the same. 

You should hear Sam express the love of God.

The Largest Orthodox Jewish Synagogue in Europe

It’s an impressive structure with an overwhelming a sad history of thousands shipped off to the Nazi concentration camps never to return again. There are many comemorative sculptures and tributes to this event. This sculpted tree has on each shimmering leaf the name of a halocaust victim.


There are a few perks!

It’s not all hard work…

Budapest is one of the most “Rotic” (at first thought she might have said, “Erotic”… and that too) cities in the world. That’s what one of the single YWAM girls called it, “It’s RoMANtic without the MAN-ehr, “Rotic.”

One of the beautiful tea room-restaurants of Budapest. This one is featured on a number of calendars. Regrettably, it was a rather grim and murky day for photography.

One of the beautiful tea room-restaurants of Budapest. This one is featured on a number of calendars. Regrettably, it was a rather grim and murky day for photography.

Meet the Budapest YWAM Family

Getting Acquainted…

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Finally, I am up and around making some, “How do ya do’s” with the house full of YWAM leaders and ministry students. There are lovely people from all over the world and yes, two Canadian gals, another from Singapore, a couple more guys and girls from Germany, then Bulgaria, Switzerland, Romania, Poland, Macedonia, America and perhaps a few more.

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There are apparently a lot more of them but Saturdays mornings here in the house are not known for their hustle and bustle.

There is a family from Atlanta, Georgia-a policeman who packed it in and with his wife and four kids came to Hungary for a year to find out what their lives in the future might look like.

Joe and Deena Cole from Atlanta. Their children Joe (Parker), Sam, Will and Robyn.
Joe and Deena Cole from Atlanta. Their children Joe (Parker), Sam, Will and Robyn.

After my coffee we’ll get around to taking the walking tour of Budapest. Though it is my third visit to Budapest, I have never really seen it.

Charlotte to Frankfurt: A beep cost me $400 and 11 hours.

My promotional glamour shot at the castle overlooking the Danube and the city of Budapest

My promotional glamour shot at the castle overlooking the Danube and the city of Budapest

Even though I knew the schedule would be tight, I went ahead and booked a CHEAP (don’t do it) Ryan Air flight out of Frankfurt, Germany to Budapest, Hungary. I loaded myself onto the US Air flight and settled down to a simple eight and a half hour flight, arriving at 7 in the morning in Frankfurt. For there I intended to take the shuttle over to the Hahn Airport and jump on the 10AM (We wait for no one… you snooze, you loose) 1.5 hour flight to Budapest and all for only $119. Feels good when you push the “Confirm” button. What could go wrong?

You know the little bell that signals the attendent that you want some kind of attention? Well, just as we are about to taxi down the runway the bell began to beep and not a single soul knew what to do to shut the _______ thing off. So, there we sat, waiting for someone to figure it out, turn it off and away we would go. Yet, for the longest time, not a person had a clue what might be done to expedidite the problem, so there we sat, annoyed out of our minds. To make a long (very long-30 hours long) story short, an hour later it was turned off to rousing applause but this meant we would be late getting to Frankfurt and I wouldn’t then have time to shuttle my way to Hahn Airport.

So there you have it. I arrived too late to make it to Hahn without having to fork over another 160 Euro for a one hour taxi ride and even then I might be too late so I had but one option, take the train for an additional 155 Euro and nine hours of through Germany and Austria.

Now I had only one problem. How do I tell the nice YWAM people in Budapest not to go out to the airport but rather meet me at one of Budapests three train stations at 9:30 at night. Nothing’s simple. After failing to reach either of my contacts in Budapest I called my friend Chris Scobie in Slovenia who would do what I could not do on a train. He would call and reach someone with the information.

On the train, I settled into drawing people and meeting a few new friends. I was able to share with a young fellow on his way into Viena and there were others like Tery, a Hungarian girl interested in art. I am still YAHOOing with her.

When I finally did arrive, there was no one there to meet me so after trying to locate a friendly face and finding none (trust me, very hard to find a friendly face in Budapest train stations after sundown) I took a taxi to what I thought might be the address (Hungarian for the English speaker is a linguistic nightmare… there is not a single word that looks pronounceable). I took the taxi to only find myself 25 Euro lighter and that I didn’t have the right address. My taxi driver was very nice and for another three Euro he allowed me to make a phone call to one of the two numbers that I had. Turns out that I was four doors and five dogs (lots of loud dogs in Budapest) down the street so I wished the taxi driver a farewell (he was HAPPY! “Vishatlinxtst zzojoknvitjz Americaniziahcha” (Translation: “Another stupid American”).

So, by midnight I found the door, rang the bell and finally welcomed by the one person in the house,

)) Aspen.

My attractive, incredibly spiritual, intelligent, sacrificial, available, under-funded YWAM missionary friend Shannon (She will hate me for this : )) Aspen.

Isabella, a German YWAMer who first insisted that I have a appointment. Once she found out that I was not a drunken vagrant she was as nice as she could be after a day of non-stop study of The Gospel of Luke.

I was shown to my room and the bathroom. After being awake for thirty hours the bed looked pretty appealing and so did the toilet but I was quick to decide for the bed. The next thing I recognize was the sound of dishes clattering and pans clacking.

I awoke once during the night. I was freezing. There was virtually no heat in my room so I got up in the night found my clothes, another blanket, put them on and went back to sleep.

Here's Shannon with her friend Rachel, a worker from Virginia.


Gosh, it was great to see one of my favorites, (some people talk and some people do) Shannon Aspen, a former student and my hostess for the coming week.

Here’s another of Shannon with her friend Rachel, a worker from Virginia.