ReachBudapest

Top Headlines of 2015

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Interested in what made news this year in Budapest? On December 13, 2015, the Budapest Times presented “in one concise package the year’s most fascinating stories, whether they be economic, political, cultural, sporting or among the hundreds of other happenings that went on every day.” (read the entire article)

Of course, this is the opinion of only one news outlet. In a year in which members of the international press spent months in our city, it seems as if some of the most newsworthy events of the year may have been overlooked.

(photo credit: Rebecca Harms)

Áldott Karácsonyt! Blessed Christmas!

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Refugee Christmas Party at Bicske

The ReachBudapest team is blessed to work together with a group of local ministry partners in Budapest to serve regularly at the Hungarian Immigration Office’s refugee camp in Bicske, just a handful of kilometers north of Budapest. On December 21, we participated in a Christmas party for the approximately 250 men, women, and children who are living in Bicske while they are awaiting the approval of their paperwork to settle permanently in Budapest.

In addition to singing, food, and a presentation of the Christmas story, individual food packages were distributed to each individual and family living in the camp. Here are some pictures of the day:

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The Guest Apartment at the KMK is piled high with canned food, dry goods, and personal hygiene items, in preparation for assembly into packages. Much of the food was donated to the Eastern Europe Mission by a Swiss charity.



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Along with a bunch of our friends from across Budapest, the ReachBudapest team was responsible for assembling the 250 food packages, and preparing them for distribution.



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After transporting them to the party location at the Refugee Camp in Bicske, the food packages are ready for distribution at the conclusion of the party.



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We’ve been out going door-to-door inviting people to the party, and as the program begins, the room is filling up!



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Nearly all the 250 residents of the Bicske camp came to the Dining Hall for the party. The current residents of the camp come from all across Africa, the Middle East, and Cuba.



christmas-story

We’ve dusted off the “flannel graph” as Father Christmas helps tell the Christmas Story. Simultaneous translation is begin done by a Hungarian woman into Farsi and an Egyptian woman into Arabic.



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Some Afghani guys provide a little entertainment after the program, as we’re enjoying our food and drinks.


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Here’s an evidence of what a unique place Bicske is — Mohammed from Somalia is dancing with little Cynthia from Cuba.



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Donning his stylish red bathrobe, our dear friend István distributes the gifts dressed as Télapó (Father Christmas).


Before loading up into our vans to leave Bicske for the night, the group of volunteers from all over Hungary and from around the world stood in a circle, shared stories of testimony, sang a Christmas song of worship, and prayed that those who live at Bicske might this year truly experience Immanuel – God With Us, and that the peace that only the Prince of Peace can bring would rule and reign over Bicske.

Why Cities Matter

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Timothy Keller rightly posits that “Cities have more image of God per square inch than any other place on earth.” The city and surrounding metropolitan area of Budapest (pictured above), with it’s population of nearly 3 million, is home to almost one third of the residents of Hungary. Budapest is the place of economic, political, cultural, and academic influence for the nation. The ReachBudapest team is praying that it becomes the place of gospel influence as well. EFCA president Kevin Kompelein and our ReachGlobal Europe colleague Mike Edwards discuss the significance of the city, as well as the unique posture the EFCA movement brings to engaging the important urban areas in our world today. Read the full story at EFCA Today.