Friday, October 7, 2011

Budapest - Friday - The Symposium

Another beautiful morning that started out with an exquisite sunrise.... All pink and orange and making you feel warm and ready to start a new day.  Unfortunately, it didn't last for long as the wind kicked up as soon as we got to our high school (it was the high school that we had been at with Zach two days previous) and not long after, the rain started to pelt down.  We stayed at the school until 2:15 p.m. teaching English classes, having some great conversations and encouraging the teens to come to that evening FEK Improv meeting.  

A few funny wall-art moments at the school:

After classes, the American portion of our team trekked over to the Covered Market in the rain so I could introduce them to the wonderful world of strudel (you may remember this fantastical world that was discovered by Mark and Jayne Putman last year - along with the chocolate covered Vitamin Roll....)  Brian from TX has had a hard time finding things that he liked to eat so I was hoping to strike gold for him at the covered market.  Unfortunately because it was a rainy afternoon, the market was absolutely packed and so we had to wade through a see of people to even get to the food kiosks.

 We finally managed to push our way down to the Langos and palachinta booth.... I got my favorite sour cream and cheese Langos and Brian opted for a nutella palachinta (crepe)...

We went back to the hotel and had about an hour before the evenings events.  Brian and Philip went to the high school FEK event with another group of BHHP volunteers.  I opted to stay behind so I could witness my first Symposium since they started doing it in the fall.  Unfortunately, I know this year has been the lowest number in attendance.  Only a little over 200 teachers signed up.  Apparently there were some changes with the government so now, these credits are required, but the government won't pay for them and the teachers' salaries were dropped so they struggle with money.  

To explain the FEK symposium.... Its a cirriculum that Gabor Gresz (Hungarian) and Dave Robinson (American but a missionary in Hungary for many years and for the time that this curriculum was originally written) wrote when the newly liberated Hungarian director of education came to them after the fall of communism and asked them to help meet the needs in a society growing with problem teens who were beginning to use drug and have sex and were at risk of diseases and overall affecting the society and its future.

Dave and Gabor in turn told him that they would love to help and could do so, however, they would have to include that the only true answer to all the problems in society was in Christ.  They could teach abstinance and how drugs can ruin your life, they could give ways to help improve your life, but the only real answer and way would be through the gospel. 

They were told that those in the government that they were working with didn't believe what they believed, but they definitely saw something working with the youth they were involved with so they should definitely include whatever they needed to.

Years later, the program is still going and growing and has affected many many lives.  

If you want to learn more about this amazing ministry that I love taking part in and seeing grow, check out the website and take a few seconds to order the book "The Outrageous Promise".  Its the easiest read ever and you'll fly through it because you're sitting on the edge of your seat.  Its a story and its a blessing and its outrageous!

The educators started coming in around 4:30 p.m. to register for the weekend symposium.

Friend and funny-man, Gabor Gresz, better known to us as Gigi
 (to quote him "its because of my initials")

It was so neat to see a wide variety of educators at the symposium.  Men and women, young and old, there was even a nun there.  They were all sitting with literally rapt attention.  Most of them, this was the first time they'd been involved with FEK or to the symposium.

FEK is an abbreviation for a Hungarian word that would make no sense if I put it here, so I won't.  I will tell you in English it means, "Youth At The Threshold of Life".   Youth are between adolescence and adulthood and who are beginning to discover who they are and what they want their life to be - an extremely important and influential time.

These are all the countries listed that have discovered and have asked FEK to translate their program for them to use.  These countries are all following with educators symposiums and teaching in the classroom.

And here are two clips from the symposium this evening.  Its with Dave Robinson speaking and Gabor translating so you'll be able to understand and hear some Hungarian.

Please continue to pray for the symposium and for the educators who have come - the symposium runs until early Sunday afternoon.  Pray for Dave and Gabor as they continue their presentations.

Also, please pray for me as I meet with Andi (my high school friend who I met on the banks of the Danube last year).  We're meeting for lunch and then she's going to join me and the team on a city tour.  I'm praying that she enjoys meeting everyone and that we have a good conversation.

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