Budapest, Hungary – April 2010

The primary goal of the second stop on the Lifework Forum spring 2010 marathon trip was to provide standardized testing for Hungarian families. The children of these families are enrolled in the Homeschool Umbrella Program (HUP) of GGIS, a Christian school in Budapest. God provided numerous blessings to everyone involved in the midst of a demanding schedule.

The first major blessing came in the form of a specious apartment donated for our use by Andy and Phyllis Anderson. They are the couple who has launched the Books for Reading Centers ministry we’ve told you about in the past. They’ve launched a couple of new Reading Centers in some interesting locations. Feel free to contact them for further information. There was plenty of room for the ladies to enjoy their stay and to welcome the children for testing. The building is conveniently located in a secure neighborhood near a grocery store and public transportation. When God answers prayer He does it in a big way. Thank you, Andy and Phyllis.

The next big blessing was the gift of a day to settle in and see the sights. Sandra served as tour guide for Laurie and Leah. Public transportation passes for the week allowed the ladies to make their way around the entire city. They visited Heroes Square, Vajdahunyad Castle, Gundel’s famous restaurant for tea, Parliament, Castle Hill, Old Town, Fisherman’s Bastion, a Jewish memorial, the Rock Church, the Open Market, and the walking street of Vaci utca as they made their way around both sides of the Danube by foot and subway. God provided the perfect weather for this delightful day.

Before going to bed the ladies set up the various testing areas and had all the materials arranged. A well thought out schedule was in place with specific responsibilities in place. The physical activity of the day was the perfect preparation for a good night’s rest. Thank you, Jesus.

Three days of testing unfolded with lots of interesting twists. Two children were not feeling well and joined the group a day late. Parents were gracious about meeting the drop off and pick up routines. Lunch times were wonderful opportunities to interact with the children in a more informal way. Late afternoons were taken up with shorter visits to downtown destinations to see a few more sights and do a bit of shopping. By God’s grace the testing was all accomplished within the time available and the children seemed to have weathered the stretching with aplomb if not delight. Appointments were held with mothers to discuss their children’s performance and provide encouragement in the homeschool journey. The parents’ expressions of appreciation were the cheerful bow on the top of the package. Thank you one and all.

Leah was able to take a run along the Danube on her last afternoon in Hungary. Sandra and Laurie enjoyed soup in a café as they waited for her return. The next morning they joined Leah on the curb at 4am to wave farewell as she headed to the airport. Laurie spent her last day tying up her shopping and packing her suitcases. The gifts and materials she distributed left just enough space to tuck in her souvenirs. God is good … all the time.

The next morning Sandra escorted Laurie to the same curb for her trip to the airport. She was ready to tackle the challenge armed with a detailed list of hints for her return trip through Amsterdam. Sandra bid her good-bye with confidence that the Lord would accompany on her solo journey. Praise His Name for granting her a safe and smooth return home.

Sandra spent the next day and a half recovering from the extended activities of the previous two weeks. While the time in Amsterdam had been quite intense in terms of relationships, the time in Budapest was demanding in terms of physical and mental energy. The Lord graciously provided the rest and refreshment she needed. There was also time to give to the cross stitch project she wanted to deliver to a dear friend. God always takes care of His own.

Please ask the Lord to bless GGIS and continue to oversee the HUP. The families it serves are relieved from major struggles through this precious ministry. Please also petition Him for provision for Sandra’s return trip in August/September when she will review the test results with parents and offer workshops to encourage them for the coming academic year.

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