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Time sure flies by!

this past weekend we celebrated our two year anniversary, wow has time sure gone by and who would have thought we would be here two years ago! Not us! We decided to head out to Eger for a night after being told it was probably the nicest town in Hungary to visit. Eger seems to be the most tourist geared place in all of Hungary but luckily we went in the slow season and got to see the sights with out all the tacky tourists, oh hold on I guess we were those! Anyways we strolled through the narrow streets saw their famous castle and went and looked at some neat wine cellars. The weather cooperated with us so much that as we got to the train station to go home thunder, lightning and rain pounded down! The rest of the time it was beautifully sunny and hot! Eger also boasts the northern most minaret, its the furthest north the turks got before being pushed back and eger castle is famous for holding them off. Apparently the castle and 2000 men held off a turkish army of 40-50 thousand, the hungarians were supposedly helped by the superior knowledge of explosives. The picture beside was captured up in the castle, it was to funny to watch, i guess she figured "what better way to show my friends back home the advancment of weapons then by posing like a seal on it!"We also saw this same family later on as we ate dinner, this time she posed as the statue of liberity, very hungarian i must say. Only minutes before the cannon pose scene we had been sitting on one of the castle walls and suddenly we being whistled at, and I'm not talking about a normal whistle it was like a referee whistle, and a guy yelling "nem szabad" at us, apparently sitting on the wall not allowed posing on cannons like a beached whale no problem!
Lynnette also spotted this scene and declared it a bloggable item. I explianed to her that in hungary laws against false advertising were very strict and they we making sure you knew what the glasses looked like with eyes behind them! She would have none of that though. You think this weekend could be a reflection of our marriage? At times we are just strolling along enjoying the sights, and at times you just gotta stop and pose, theres always funny sights along the way, and a lot of enjoying each others company, oh ya and then we got a fine for getting on a reserved train without a reservation, hopefully this isn't a sign of things to come.


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Retsag for easter:

This past easter weekend, we along with the OVM trailer, Joska and Sandi headed off to Retsag. Which is 2 hours north of Budapest. We spent the weekend playing chess, serving coffee, selling books and inviting the towns people out to a concert on the monday night.We worked alongisde with a chruch from a smaller town called Kemence. Kemence is a town of 300 people and the church there (agape church) has about 30 people. There hope is to have a church plant in Retsag which is a "city" of 3000, personally i dont consider a city to be that few people but they call it one, anyways there are no evangelical churchs in this town and their hope is to have a church plant here soon. So the plan was to set up the trailer build relationships with those who came out and get them out to the concert on Monday, we played alot of chess and went for many walks handing out invites and praying for the town. I can now add chess to my new found abilties, although it is something i defiantly need a whole lot more practice on, since I got humilated by children of all ages and simply avoided any player that came within 5 years of me! The scary thing is that even the kids here are chess masters, oh well call it a learning expereince! The pastor of the Kemence church took Lynnette and I up to the village, we got to spend time in his flat which is the ground floor of the local school but in a building that was built in the 1700s as a castle. Pretty neat to be inside something of that age. We got a tour of there newly renovated church which was also a sight to see, the woodwork inside was quite neat! It was so encouraging to see such an alive and active church in such a small community. A church of 30 looking to plant a church in surronding "cities" imagine what all could happen if all churches became so active! The weekend ended with a concert from the Kemence worship band at the Retsag community theater. About 80 people came out, pray that Robbie and Aniko who are the couple that will be leading the church would make many connections in town and a church would be formed. Every night the local teenagers all would come out, apaerntly the trailer was parked in their usual partying spot, but they stayed and played chess and you could really see the possibilties there would be for a youth program in town, they were basically searching for things to do. They said that all they did was walk around town all night, there is nowhere for them to go! Did I mention that Lynnette and I slept in the trailer! We were awoken every night to all sort of sounds, one morning even we woke up at around 4 am and heard two older women walking back and forth beside the trailer, now first of all kinda strange at 4 am that two older women would be out but also they were carrying buckets and putting them down what sounded like right beside the trailer, (we could hear the clanking of the handles if u wondered how we knew this). We were half expecting them to start washing the trailer but off they went for more, we asked the locals what this could be and no one could come up with an answer, just that they may have been waking out to the grave yard with stuff! Retsag was formerly a huge military barracks town and as you can see we came across some of the old towers and stuff. We also got our first ride in the famous eastern european car... the LADA, complete with cushy chairs and a animal antler for a gear shift. It may be an old tank but we found out that they can still fly! The roads in that area werent exactly smooth and we were travlleing right alongside the slovakian border and I couldnt help but think "oh well if we crash here it'll make for a pretty cool story, I can just see the headlines, "missionaries attempt to run border in LADA although attempt failed when car split in two due to exccesive speed". Lynnette later told me we were only travelling at 110 km but that LADA was shaking so hard it sure felt like a whole lot faster. All in all it was a really good weekend, even if at times we struggled with the language with the chess and with the lack of sleep, we enjoyed it and look forward to the next outreach!


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Budapest is sinking!
and I dont want to swim.

well its offical, the spring is here and it came a bit too fast and a whole lot too warm, not that we are complaing! but with the warmth comes all the melted snow from germany, austria and slovakia and as you can imagine it has caused plenty of flooding. although the water has gone down this week it is still expected to get worse as april is normally rainy season here. The danube river flows direclty through budapest and if you remember pictures of when we first got here and it was frozen, it sure has been a huge change, i'd say a good 10-15 feet higher. Its pretty incredible to think how much water that is! Pray that the rains would hold off until the rivers have gone down, there are many areas throughtout eastern europe and hungary that have been evacuated. I read in the papers that they expect up to 25% of Hungary to be flooded, you can probably guess that means farmers and many poor villages having considerable damage. I biked down to the river from our place a good 15-20 minute ride and the water there is right up to the dikes, which are a considerble distance from the river, you can see from the picture next to here this house was built on the wrong side of the dike, it is the only one I could see but if the waters rise again it could be only one of the many damaged. The other pics are in Budapest along the water front, the lower road is completely flooded and the tram that we used to take everyday to school is not running because it's tunnel is completely full. But budapest continues to roll along as if little is going on, spring is in the air and people are enjoying the parks and many fountains, like the boy here is! The picture here at the bottom is of a guy that we came across catching the action on canvas, it was really amazing painting, so detailed, he must have been there for days already, but what cracked me up is the street sign, couldnt be more true on a day like today, "just in case you dont see the washed out road, you may get wet!" Maybe this is a way of getting rid of the old junker in the front yard.
Pray for us also this coming easter weekend as it will be our first trip with OVM. We are heading to Retsag, which is north of budapest half way between that and Slovakia for you with your maps out. We will there for the weekend, with the book mobile doing street evagalism, practicing our hungarian, working with the local church who will have a service on the sunday or monday that we will invite all to come out to, pray that many would be open and interested in the real meaning of easter.


Happy Birthday Lynnette:

Well its April 2 and you know what that means, not only is it the day after fools day but its also lynnette's birthday, no there is no correlation between the two. So what did we do you ask. Its was sunday so we were off the Budapest for church after we had a quick lunch we were in a rush to get into relaxation mode. Budapest is famous for it hotspring bathouses so I decided what better way to celebrate Lynnettes first hungarian birthday then to enjoy the riches of Hungarian culture! The bathouse that we went to in is the cities largest park and is the largest hotspring in europe. Its around 100 years old! Bathhouses are as much a part of the culture as goulash and if they could eat the goulash in the pools they probably would. The hotsprings were actually discovered accidentally when they were drilling a well and now we reap the rewards. The main pools are outside but there are many smaller ones hot and cooler inside. In the outside pool there are chess table set up and many of the old men gather around these and watch the intense games going on. Most people spend the whole day in the pools but being newbies to the whole hot water hotter water we left after 3 hours. I know its hard work. I wouldn't wish it upon anyone! There are many things to learn though like when entering the change room there is no key for your locker just a attendendant who locks it when you leave and writes something on the outside, probably something along the lines of pasty white foreginer or something like that, also when swimming in the outside pools, two pools are for all to use one pool can only be used if you wear a swim cap, many made this mistake and where chased out by the guards, why dont ask me! Also in one of the outside pools on the floor of the pool are things that I can only describe as bubble makers. When these go on all must dash for them and stake their claims, these things are only learnt by the keen observing eye so watch carefully, we quickly dashed for one of these and well it sorta feels like a jet in a hot tub and hungarians probably claim these cure a plethora of aliments. When these jets stop all head into the circular area for a little round the pool whirlpool. This is for young and old and if you look in the middle picture the circular area is were this event takes place. Its a great place to get nice and close to a whole lotta people you dont know. Also if you look closely at the picture you can see all the people indivually standing on the claimed jets and have a bubbly old time! The joys of learning the culture, the key we have learnt is just watch and then mimic, you never know what your missing if you never try! We then headed out for dinner and a walk and ended the evening at a cafe for birthday cake. The picture of lynnette and her ice cream cake was obviously not taken there. We had to re-enact later at home, but nobody minds getting happy birthday sung twice, well with me singing many people complain after the first time. Lynnette must be immune to this by now though! But we needed a picture and as you can see we had no candles other than huge matches, oh well gotta do what we can. But it did make one huge flame. Getting back to the cafe, apparently un known to us all of hungary came out to celebrate lynnette birthday. I knew of a neat looking coffee shop so after dinner we headed that way and well apparently theres an election coming up and there was a huge rally at the parliament. The events had just finished and there was a sea of orange flooding the streets it was quite a sight to see. We had a great time sitting outside and watching it all unfold. All in all it was a great day of relaxing and celebrating Lynnettes big day. A beautiful day for a gorgeous wife!