Over spring break, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Budapest, Hungary with two other girls from Asbury University. We got to work with the OMS team throughout the week and learn about the culture and the mission happening there. This was my first overseas mission trip, so I did not really know what to expect. I found that my experience was very different from a “typical trip”— the type that I may see pictures of from my friends who have gone to third-world countries or somewhere overseas to do a big project. I got to see what everyday life is like for the Hungary missionaries on the OMS team, which was really great!
Our group was able to attend several different meetings with the team, and see how they go about planning their summer English camp. We even got to contribute a few ideas! It was so nice to meet every member of the team and talk to them about what it is like to live and do missions in Hungary. We also had an opportunity to go to two different English clubs during the week to interact with the Hungarian youth and see what the clubs are like. We met several Hungarian teenagers, and talked with them. After talking, we played games with them and just enjoyed spending time together. Jonathan, the director of the OMS team, explained the purpose of the clubs to us and talked a lot about how the Hungary OMS team is very focused on relationship building with other organizations and the people of Hungary.
We witnessed this firsthand when we had an unexpected opportunity come up the second full day we were there. An anti-human trafficking group contacted Jonathan to ask if they could use the OMS van to transport some equipment for a sex trafficking exhibition in Budapest. We told them yes, and together we went to meet one of the people from the organization and help load and unload the equipment for the exhibition. While in the car, we talked with the lady that works with this organization, and she told us all about the ministry and why this exhibition is so important. She even asked to take our picture with a sign that said, “Real men don’t buy women.” After we had unloaded the van and headed back to the house where we were staying, Jonathan told us that this is an example of how their team builds new relationships with organizations to network and work together. By helping this lady out with the exhibition, he was able to meet her, work alongside her, and talk about possibly working together in the future.
The trip was great overall, because we got to see many different aspects of what the Hungary OMS team does on a daily basis. However, I really appreciated that our trip wasn’t overwhelming or too exhausting. We had a chance to go sight-seeing around the city, go to several museums, and spend a lot of time immersed in the culture. Jonathan knows so much about the history of the city and the country, and he shared a lot of his knowledge with us throughout the week. Learning about the history of the country gave us some insight into the culture and why Hungarians do things the way they do. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and am thankful for the time I spent in Budapest with the OMS Hungary team!
– By Noel Endicott, OMS Hungary Short-term Trip Volunteer