Hello everyone! Since this is the first full blog post for a the Tapolca Team, I want to update you all on our travel and our first day of camp!
On Friday, our flight that was originally scheduled for 9:30 pm didn’t leave until almost 11. When we finally landed in Warsaw, we had barely 20 minutes to make it off the plane, get through security, and find our way to the other side of the airport (mind you, we had not laid over here last year and had never been to this airport) before the final boarding call would happen for our connecting flight.
By the grace of God, and a little running on our part, we made it to our connecting flight! We were so joyful and thankful and met another girl who had come from our first flight as well. Morgan and I talked with her on the 1.5 hour plane ride from Warsaw to Budapest.
However, once we got to Budapest, we found out that the airline had lost 5 of our bags. We were a little shocked. They gave us hygiene bags and we were on our way to meet up with Krista, Kamren, and Dillon.
We began our 2.5 hour drive to Tapolca and slowly but surely, the reality of our missing bags began to sink in. Yet we continued to praise God for getting us to Hungary safely! We used all that we had in our backpacks and hygiene kits to get ready for bed and plan for the next day. We knew that nothing comes to us that doesn’t go through God’s hand first and were comforted by this fact and trusted that He would provide for us no matter what.
Sunday morning, I was thrown into worshiping with Sondi last minute but enjoyed being able to listen to the voices of the members that were there praise God through song. Dillon shared a message from Proverbs 2 about wisdom that was really encouraging!
Much to our delight, we received the news that our bags had been found that evening during our orientation session! Later that night we also heard that they would come Monday (today) around midday. We were beyond excited. (We were even more excited when they showed up this afternoon. I could not stop saying “thank you” and “praise God” (in Hungarian) to the man who brought them to us)
Finally, the first day of camp rolled around. I was so excited to see so many returning students as well as quite a few new ones! Our first round of English classes went really well and the students remembered the songs “Grace on Top of Grace” and “Mighty to Save” from last year during worship.
Dillon shared from James 1:2-4 during chapel time and explained that our seed of faith should grow into a tree that bears fruit and is sturdy through storms and trials. He gave a clear gospel message as well as spoke to those in the camp who may have been raised in Christian homes and who look at it more as a heritage or a ritualistic thing rather than a relationship with God.
During small groups, Ippei and I were able to share our testimonies of coming to faith and our journeys through growing in our faith with a few of the Advanced English students. They also went around and shared where they felt they were at in their faith. Three of the students spoke about how they had grown up in Christian homes but that people probably couldn’t recognize them as such, as well as that they only pray when in need. They all expressed a desire to grow in their faith.
One student honestly shared that he didn’t have faith and didn’t believe in God, and we were so grateful for his honesty in that. And the last student had always gone through the rituals of the Catholic church with no real passion or care, but last year at camp she began to see God as real and personal and had accepted Him as Lord and Savior. Since then, she has been going to Sunday Fellowship with Shaun and Sondi regularly and has a desire to grow and read her Bible more. During lunch I was so excited to see that some of these students continued talking to me about my faith and some deep theological questions.
God is at work here in Tapolca and I am so excited to see how He uses the next two weeks to open eyes and transform lives through His Word. Please be praying for good weather, opportunities for genuine conversations, and for the little details of camp to run smoothly.
We are praying that those who claim to be Christians may see what it means to be a follower of Christ and that they may be challenged as well as encouraged to grow in their faith and let it impact their everyday lives. And of course, we are praying that those who are still searching or against God might finally see the truth clearly and will repent and turn to God in faith.
Thank you for reading this update and God bless you all!
Thanks for taking the time to write this update – its great to have specific things to praise God for (like found and delivered luggage) and ask God for. It’s also good to see His faithfulness continue from previous trips.
Thanks for the good, clear report. We had those same travel problems on a trip recently. Happily I got back to Palatine in time to lead a wedding rehearsal.
Sorry that the airline lost some of your bags. Love your attitude! And “witnessing” of.your joy and gratitude to the fellow who brought the bags to you all.
So good to hear that God is at work in Tapolca! Thanks for going back and serving. I will be praying about the matters that you shared with us.