ReachBudapest

Profound Peace

profound-peaceOn Saturday December 10, the coffeehouse was filled with musicians and artists who performed here throughout the year, here to celebrate Christmas together and so that we could thank them. We wanted to make sure that they know how valued they are, and how they helped to bring peace and life to the community this year. As I thanked them, I reminded them of that — of how different people are comforted by different things, how peace is brought to people so profoundly through art and music and how meaningful it is that we could offer more than 50 programs this year because of them.

This is important because one of our goals is to add to the life of the community. Through these artists, we are able to connect with more people in unique ways that touch their hearts. In the two years we've been open, we have established relationships with customers, musicians, artists, and other business people in the area. We have ample opportunity to interact with people daily and share with them the Peace so many of them are searching for. It happens in spiritual conversations we have with customers as they celebrate joy with us and pour out their griefs with us. It happens between us as colleagues as we are being constantly refined by each other to be more like God. It happens in the gallery as artists express the beauty of creation. It happens on the stage, through beautiful music that moves souls. It happens as musicians ask to come back again and again – not just because of the great setting but because “there’s just something different” here. It happens as a musician who has become a dear friend takes the time to help us with a marketing project. These are spiritual, gospel-filled opportunities that happen regularly and we are thankful.

– Posted by Cassidy, who lives and works in Budapest, spending her time helping the coffeehouse to be a place where deep relationships form and where people encounter Jesus, the Prince of Peace

[NOTE: There are a number of opportunities to participate in the work of the coffeehouse! If you are interested in learning about how you can support the project with your prayers, or through a financial investment, contact Cassidy.]

Concert, Classroom, Workplace: a Gospel Opportunity

classroom-concert-workplace

It’s December 1st and in the music classroom at the International Christian School of Budapest, we are in full on practice mode for our upcoming Christmas Program, “One Bethlehem Night”. So much so that I find it very hard to get the songs out of my head! We are presenting the Christmas story in song and word, and this morning as I was working on some of the details I was reminded of the great opportunity I have as a teacher to remind both students and their families of the great and wonderful gift that we were given. Jesus, our hope and our salvation, the greatest gift from a loving Father who sent His Son to heal a broken world.

As a teacher, I have a captive audience in every class. Some of my students know Jesus and are following Him with all their hearts. And some of them, although they may have heard the Gospel message many times, have not yet placed their trust in Him. A Gospel Opportunity, it’s right in front of me and yet many days go by when I am distracted by the routine of class, life, lessons, that it’s often a missed opportunity. And you? God has uniquely placed you somewhere in the world where there are people who need to hear the Good News too!

As the Christmas season approaches, I know there will be many opportunities for ALL of us to share the hope that lies within us. My prayer is that whether it’s in class, at a concert or at our workplace, that we will make the most of every opportunity we have to share Jesus with those who have yet to believe. What greater gift can we give?

– Posted by Jodi, a disciple-maker and member of the ReachBudapest team who teaches elementary music at the International Christian School of Budapest. Interested in joining our team? Visit our opportunities page.

Night of Choirs

night-of-choirsSaturday was a big day for music in Budapest. A church that I’ve attended several times hosted a choir performance in a couple of main squares around their building as an opportunity to get to know their new neighborhood. A large annual music festival, Ez Az A Nap took place in a sport arena in the city, gathering a couple thousand people to worship together. Surely there were other performances at churches and auditoriums around the city.

I, however, attended a different kind of musical event – with very little prior knowledge about what I was getting myself into – but I had a connection and a VIP wristband, so there I went. When my friend Karol and I first arrived, I thought, “Oh, this is so cute.” Groups performing in squares and courtyards with fun decorations and signs to point you to the next venue. I quickly realized I had underestimated what a big production this would be. 20 venues, 50 choirs, and altogether around “500 voices united in song.”

The idea came from some members of one of the participating choirs four years ago – with a goal to popularize community singing – and it apparently resonated with many people as around 2,500 people gathered together last night to take part.

Walking from one fantastic performance to the next, I had an opportunity to chat with a friend (who happened to be the main organizer of the event) and she told me more about the thought behind it. She talked about how Hungary is a signing nation – in the shower or in the car – and how it’s a shame that there isn’t more public singing, even on the tram. She talked about vulnerability and the honor it is to stand next to someone with an open heart, allowing them to hear you sing and in return celebrating the voice of the person next to you as well.

I was reflecting on her comments as I sang with hundreds of other people in a shared church service in the park this morning and realized that, without this opportunity to weekly sing in community with others there would be a big hole in my life. I felt so thankful for that outlet and thankful that the creators of this event are offering this opportunity for those who don’t have that privilege to take part in the joy of singing together, even for a night.

All who remained until the 11pm finish gathered together in one area and sang a special song written just for this evening. Here is a loose translation of this hauntingly beautiful song:

The sun has set.
The silence has come.
A haunting breeze amidst the clouds,
The moonlight treads contemplatively;
The silence has come.
A haunting breeze amidst the clouds,
The moonlight treads contemplatively,
As if over the ruins of fantasy, fantasy;
As if over the ruins of fantasy, contemplatively.


(Csemiczky Miklós – rough, unchecked translation by me for informational purposes – original text found here.)

— Posted by Cassidy (photo: Kovács Márton)