Monday, December 19, 2011
The Christmas traditions in Hungary are similar to those of the states but there are some differences. For instance, Santa Claus does not come on Christmas Eve but on December 6th. He brings switches for those that were bad and chocolate and other sweets for those who were good. Then it is Baby Jesus that brings the gifts on Christmas Day.
During this Christmas season we provided music for some very different audiences - a Hungarian church, an international church, a hospice center, an elementary school, a dinner for poor gypsies as well as one for refugees. We also attended a couple of choral concerts.
Beginning back in November, Rose and Marion began crocheting scarves to give to homeless people that live on the streets of Budapest. As they crocheted, they often prayed for the ones that would receive their work of love. Each of the scarves was then put into a gift bag along with food items, toiletries, and a book mark with a Hungarian scripture.
Our prayer was that God would lead us to the ones that should receive the gifts. As we passed a train station, Marion saw some homeless people. We turned around and found a parking place. They were so grateful. I wondered what happened that they had to leave the comforts of home and live on the streets.
Marion had given her gift to another man who was just a few feet away. I told her that I was ready to go but she just stood in front of the man. Then I saw that he was crying and pouring out his heart to my daughter.
He was telling her that his wife died the day before. He told that he sat beside her dead body and cried out to God to take him too. There he was in the train station with thousands of people going by. He was grieving, suffering, and no one stopped. No one cared. But God sent this young teenage girl who had made him something with her own hands just to let him know that someone cares.
As we got back into the car and turned the heat on, we were all overcome with compassion. Before we drove away we asked God to help all of those that received a scarf - especially the man whose wife had died.