Budapest, Hungary – April 2009

The Lord is amazing and His ways are perfect. He is an on-time God!

The April Lifework Forum trip to Hungary has become an annual event. Sandra’s role as overseer of the Homeschool Umbrella Program (HUP) for GGIS, a Christian School in Budapest, takes her there for standardized testing. This year the group of children all came to one place and Sandra needed help with administration. The traveling companion she’d been working with for almost a year had to decline due to serious health issues, but God provided a replacement. Christina Guy, a mom from North Carolina has the exact credentials and experience that were needed.

Christina was able to arrange to have her passport renewed in less than two weeks! Then she jumped right into the final preparations for the trip. She blessed Sandra in every way possible from the beginning of their relationship. Folks thought it was strange that Sandra would travel with someone she was meeting for the first time at the airport. Sandra was so overwhelmed and relieved by God’s smooth and speedy provision that she didn’t have such thoughts. The greetings the ladies shared at the Logan Airport curb in Boston were warm and an indication of what was ahead.

Sandra shared the plans and materials she’d been able to put together to that point with Christina as they waited for their flight. It was obvious throughout that the Lord had ordained the new partnership for His glory. Everything fell right into place with Christina’s fresh insights being added to the earlier preparations. By the time they boarded the plane for Amsterdam He gave both ladies a peace about what was ahead.

They arrived late the next afternoon in Budapest and went straight to work. The first job was to set up the testing space. The needs of the children from grades 1 to 9 had to be met under the standardized testing requirements. Once the seating and everything else was set in place they were taken to their host home for dinner. Janos* and Lidia* are a wonderful Hungarian couple who are an integral part of the umbrella program. They and their four wonderful children have previously opened their home to Sandra.

The two ladies headed out early the next morning to begin the testing schedule. Mornings were filled with directions and supervision and afternoons included reviewing what was done and preparing for the next day. The children were quite happy and excited to take the tests. Part of their exuberance was from being able to see friends they don’t get to see very often. They were cooperative and respectful, a joy to supervise. These families show their appreciation in many ways – a bag of Bosnian coffee, freshly baked goodies, smiles and hugs, gifts for the ministry, and heart-felt words of gratitude. Lord please bless each one with your love and truth.

On Wednesday afternoon a trip to the city for a meeting at GGIS was added to the mix. The Academic Dean took Sandra and Christina to a local restaurant for a working lunch. Various details of the umbrella program were discussed over traditional Hungarian meals. God is developing a wonderful working relationship and it was a joy to behold. The visit was a gastro-academic blessing. Please pray that God continues to watch over this unique program and bless GGIS for it.

After lunch the ladies were met by a mom who lives outside Budapest. She brought Sandra and Christina to a tea room in her own village for a consultation. Sandra and Kathy* were able to catch up on the Lord’s work in their lives since their last meeting. Kathy had some specific questions about her teenage son and the Spirit led Sandra in her responses. On the drive back to their host home Christina got to visit Statue Park. The decision had already been made that this historic site was too far out to reach by bus/tram. This particular provision was another reminder of how lovingly God was arranging every one of our steps.

The last day of testing was celebrated with some time together outside. The children enjoyed the small prizes brought for them and graciously posed for some photos. One of the boys is having a birthday soon that will bring him above the Hungarian compulsory education age. That is a great point of relief for him and his parents, but means we probably won’t see him again. The last evening with our hosts was spent on baseball lessons as requested by the children. Great fun was had by all, even if Sandra limped away from it, and some of the basics of the sport were passed along.

Friday was spent caring for the mothers. A friend of one of the regular participants was warmly welcomed into the gathering. Sandra and Christina gave a brief report of how the testing went and how they felt the children responded to it. Various materials were shared such as brochures from HSLDA, CHEO‘s magazine, and samples from Apologia. The ladies were especially moved by the Victory in Jesus booklet of Lorrraine Lostroh of Nebraska. It was hard for them to imagine that Christians could be so severely persecuted in America. Workshops on relevant topics were presented. Meaningful discussions were spawned that continued over lunch. It was hard to part company, but Sandra plans to return in September eased the good-byes.

The next two days had been set aside to show Christina around Budapest. Little did Sandra know that the Lord had other plans. First, He arranged for her to meet Esther*, the Hungarian contact for Moms in Touch. After a brief review of each other’s ministry the two ladies decided that the Lord might be leading them to coordinate a future event together. Please do pray that He would make His plans clear to them and bring them to fruition.

There was also a divinely appointed meeting with a Hungarian pastor. A family in his congregation is considering homeschooling. Enthusiasm and email addresses were exchanged and it appears that the door is being opened for further communication. The two “extra-curricular” meetings were set up through the efforts of some other long-time friends who were back in Budapest at the time. They were gracious enough to give time to Sandra and Christina in a number of ways to ease their travels and bring enjoyment to the close of their adventure.

By the end of the trip both ladies were ready to return home. The schedule was full and the blessings were rich. Forging a partnership in the midst of service to our King is a wonderful experience. Sandra and Christina parted in Boston with prayers for similar opportunities in the future as God leads. They both agreed that He was the One who put the adventure together, carried them through it, and blessed their time together for His purposes. Hallelujah!

*names are usually changed to protect everyone’s privacy

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