Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Birth Pains" in Becoming "Falusi" (Village person)

In my last blog, I wrote (in feeble Hungarian) how I longed to be not simply a person who lived in a village, but a true "falusi", that is, village person. But if one is not born into this world "falusi", it seems the tranformation does not occur without a certain amount of pain.

Our birth into falusi-hood occured on Tuesday afternoon. We had planned to begin a youth group with the local reformed church. It was to start Friday and would feature Ping-Pong and Spaghetti -- quite an attraction, right?

Our Roma (gypsy) neighbors kindly offered to help us get the ping-pong table from our garage to the small house the church was to let us use. The mode of transportation would be the Roma famy's horse and wagon. Russ loaded the table on the back of the rig and as he stepped on, the horse spooked. The neighbor's son, Guszti, raced forward to grab the horse's bridal. Russ jumped to the seat and grabbed the reigns. Both Guszti and Russ pulled on the reigns with all their might, but the horse only grew more wild, dragging Guszti with it as it dashed down the road.

The boy finally let go. Russ though for sure he'd be hit by the wagon wheel. But he managed to get out of the way unharmed, but shaken. Russ failed in his effort to control the firey beast and in its tirade, the horse managed to flip both Russ and the ping-pong table out of the wagon.

Guszti ran to our house and got me as Russ lay on the side of the street, his head gashed and bleeding. He complained of some pain on the left side of his chest as I grabbed the first aid kit and tried to stop the bleeding. Neighbors began to pour out of their homes. One called the ambulance and we waited.

Russ was conscious, but closed his eyes to rest. He opened them to see Guszti's mom scrubbing the blood off his hands with soap and water as a half smoked cigarette hung from her lips. AHHH Village life!

When the ambulance came, we were glad to learn the mentő (EMT) spoke English well. He put a neck brace on him and placed him on the stretcher. As they rushed to the hospital they came across an automobile accident and said they may have to stop and help.

Imagine that, Carpooling the injured in an ambulance. It seems it wasn't a good day for many people.

At the hospital Russ was in and out of various rooms, getting x-rays, stitches etc. When I arrived he was wrapped in white netting that resembled that headgear of olympic water polo players. We were first told he had to stay over night. Then after more x-rays they determined he must stay 4-5 days.

They placed him in a room with several men in serious condition. And there he became something of a celebrity. They all were perplexed to understand how this Asian- American from Hawaii ended up living in a Hungarian village and how he managed to get in an accident involving a horse and wagon and a ping-pong table in that village.

Meanwhile every Falusi on our street wanted to help and constantly inquired about Russ' well being. One neighbor even baked pastries for him. Ahhh, sweet village life.

Friends at church met us at the hospital to help with translation and to give general moral support. They were such a delight that Russ heard the guy in the bed next to him telling them about how that American had all the people in here and they were having a party!

The next day after I visited him, the orderly, who spoke English, said "You no longer need intensive care."

Russ thought, "I did not know I was in intensive care!" And they settled him in a new room on another floor.

Today when the doctors made their rounds, Russ blurted out --"So when do I go home?" Some of docs were taken aback, but then a Canadian doctor stepped forward and began speaking with him.

"Do you know what is going on with you?" She asked.

"No, I don't know anything," Russ responded.

She explained that he has something known as a window fracture, which means there is more than one fracture in each of more than one adjacent ribs -- creating a window in the ribcage. (doctors correct me if I described that wrong) They must monitor it carefully to make sure it remains intact. We do not want any rib pieces floating around in there. (Our doctor friend in America, Thom Bresley, wrote that it is called "flail chest" in English. He said it is "not good" but "will heal as long as he can breath with the window." The good news is that Russ is breathing relatively comfortably.)

"Didn't they give you the rubber glove with the tube?" the Canadian doc asked yesterday.

"Yeah, I found that here," Russ responded rather confused. He kind of thought it was some sort of joke. After all, no one bothered to tell him what to do with it.

She told him that his job was to continually blow up the rubber glove -- some sort of therapy to make sure the lungs are not being affected by the "window," I suppose.

So now he knows what to do with the glove.

And thanks to the Canadian doc, he has a little more information on his medical status. And we await news of when he can return home.

Our Hungarian friends say that once you've had an accident involving a horse and wagon, you are truly Falusi!

It is a title we'll cherish as it has come with quite a price.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I am Falusi. Hear Me Roar!

Lenni falusi. Ez egy érdekes dologot.

Szerint sok városi magyarok, ez nem jó dologot. De én nem egyezem. Szerintem, lenni falusi nagyon kölönleges.

Mi az igazi falusi? Csak lakni a faluban? Nem szerintem. Sok emberek Mikepercsen laknak, de mindenki nem falusi.

A falusi nagyon leleményes. Ha valami rossz, a városi a boltba megy es visz új valamit. De a falusi megjaviti.

A falusi nagyon edzett is. Amikor esik az eső a városi szüleim jön iskolába a kocsiban a gyerekeknek. De igazi falusi sétál az esőban es falusi gyerekek a haza bicikliznek az esőban. Nincs problema!

A falusi nagyon önálló. A falusi hölgy a házi tésztát csinál. A falusi ferfi házi pálinkát csinal. Tészta es pálinka -- Mit más szükségnek?

A falusi élet egy egyszerű élet van, tejes kerekpárokkal és kis fagyizókkal. Ez egy jó élet. Lehet A jó élet.

Remelem egy napon én nem csak egy faluban lakok. Remelem egy falusi leszek is.

A falusi élet: Mit egy gyönyörű élet!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Making Progress

"Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearer." 1Timothy 4:15-16 Amplified

Over the past two weeks I have watched my daughters emerge into the world of school. They proudly bear the title "iskolas" (school kid) now as they organize and pack their backpacks gearing up for another day of first grade. Two weeks ago life was the same old thing. And then it happened. They became first graders and a whole new world opened up for them.

After the first day, I asked Andi how it went. "It was AMAZING!" she cheered and Niki danced all the way home after the classes let out. It was sheer delight, facsination. And it did not stop there. Not only do they get to learn lessons and begin to read words by themselves and earn a periodic "piros pont" in their "űzenö". Andi and Niki also discovered the world of dance/gymnastics -- with possibilities of future competitions. WOW! Who knew such an exciting world existed?

Progress can be exciting. Andi and Niki were very content being Ovodas (kindergartners). Life was good, safe and comfortable. As the first day of school approached Niki showed signs of apprehension. What if she could not hack it? Was she really ready? But she had no choice. If progress was to be made she had to move forward into the unknown and she and Andi both discovered there was more to life than they had ever dreamed possible. And that's just first grade.

Of course the day is not too far off when the the thrill of schoolwork will lose its sparkle and dance/gymnastics class will feel so burdensome and tiring. But if progress is to be made that they might reach that next plateau of progress when again a new world opens up for them -- they have to persevere with what lies before them now.

Is it so different with our spiritual progress? Remember those moments in the journey of the Christian life where God just illuminated His truths to you in a new and exciting way. WOW! We did not know the Christian life could be so rich and deep and fulfilling! We felt as if we had arrived at some real spiritual maturity. "Look at me I am a spiritual "iskolas" now -- no longer a mere "ovodas" like so many others around me." What we did not realize is that as "big and mature" as we felt, we had only entered the first grade.

And in time, the work required to continue progressing in this level has become not-so-exciting anymore. But Paul exhorts Timothy to "persevere" that his progress may be a testimony leading to the salvation of others around him.

Just as Andi and Niki who are now learning that 2+2=4 cannot begin to comprehend astrophysics, I cannot help but wonder what depth of spiritual reality may exist out there for those who are willing to persevere and go deeper with Christ. Consider the possibilities. Even the most spiritual among us has likely scarcely scratched the surface of what the Christian life could be.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tapasztalatok: A Hatalmasok Napraforgok

Ez aratás idő -- napraforgoknak! És Mikepércsen napraforgok nem kicsi dolog.

Tavasszal ültettunk sok napraforgok a kértben. Jo árnyéket csinal a napraforgok amikor a nyar nagyon meleg.

Ez egy szép virag, de ez nem egy kifinomult virag. Ez egy boldog virag. Mikepércsen, nem csak boldog, de túláradóan vidám! Ez Igaz napraforgok nagy virag mindenhol, de Mikepércsen ezek a viragok ÓRIÁS vannak!

Nem hiszed el? Ide figyelj ezek a fotok!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ever Been Ship'Reck'd?

"This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith." --1Tim.1:18-19

This summer I watched two people suffer shipwreck of the soul. One suffered it some time past and quite frankly does not see the point of having God in his life anymore. The other, even as I write, is crushed beneath the blows of rancorous waves spintering the wooden bow of what was once faith to shreds and washing it away into an endless ocean of despair.

How does it happen? Not in a moment, or in a day, but over time somehow that which was once full of faith and hope did not endure.

Some would casually dismiss their plight, writing them off by saying, "They were never really saved." But that is a convenient catch-all explanation that callously ignores the very real suffering and abuse these people have run up against, in some cases in the name of Christ.

Moreover, it arrogantly disregards even the possibility that I, myself, could one suffer similar shipwreck.

Have you ever come close to suffering shipwreck with regard to your faith? If so, how did you end up there? More poignantly, how did you get out?

It is a topic worth exploring in our Christian walk -- but is all too often ignored.

I hope some of you readers will venture to share. I look forward to seeing your responses.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tapasztalatok: A Csókalom Csirke

Mikepércs nagyon kellemes hely -- barátságos emberek, szép kértek. A csirkek is nagyon udvarias!

Amerikaban a kakas mond hogy "Cockadoodledoo!" Ez normalis, de nem nagyon szép. És amikor sok csirke van, a hang bosszantó.

Magyarorszagon a tipikus kakas mond hogy "Kukariku!" Ez nem egy gyönyörű hang. De a Mikepércsi kakas nem mint a tipikus kakas. A Mikepércsi kakas jobb van.

A Mikepércsi kakas kifinomult es udvarias! Amikor az egyszerű kakas mond hogy "Cockadoodledoo" vagy "Kukariku", A Mikepércsi kakas mond hogy "Csókalom! Csókalom!"

Nehezen hihető, tudom. De Igaz!

Nem hiszel el? Jönn a Mikepércsre es figyel!

*Sajnalom sok magyar nyelvtany hiba!
If Luca, Arpi and Andi, and all my other Hungarian friends can post in English, then I can post in Hungarian, right? (but perhaps "can" and "being capable of" are two distinctly different things in this context. Hope my Hungarian was not too painful to read!)