Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Number of the Beast

Those of you who know Rosemary probably know that she loves to run. I personally would rather get poked in the eye than run, but Rosemary enjoys it and I'm glad she does.
Well, this Saturday there was a race in Eger and Rosemary participated, doing a great job I might add. But in a very ironic turn of events, considering she is a missionary and a pastor's wife, Rosemary sported the following number.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

No longer East of Eden

I need to get back to work, but I just wanted to post some pictures taken yesterday on a mountain bike ride I took with Geof.
Completely inspired by a blog I found on-line about a British guy who has biked from London to Tehran (check it out: Simon's Travels), plus excited that now Geof also has a bike, so now I have a partner, I decided that it was time to put my mountain bike to some real use!

Yesterday we headed out into the sea of vineyards surrounding Eger.

These are some pictures of the gorgeous views we had of the countryside, none of which, by the way, do justice to what we saw.

I was in Debrecen this past weekend; there was a graduation concert for a friend, then a wedding in Nyiregyháza of two people from our church, and then I taught in the Debrecen church Sunday morning. But now that I'm back in Eger and really enjoying what this area has to offer, I just think of how much I was missing all those years in Debrecen, on the Puszta, East of Eden.

To think, I thought Hungary was not a beautiful place! All I had to do was leave the Puszta!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Füzesabony: Could it get any worse?

After my last post, in which I mentioned that the nearby town of Füzesabony is almost surely on the Top 10 list of worst places in the world, I recieved some questions about what could possibly make this place so horrible. Obviously this was a question asked by readers who have never passed through the town!
For those who have passed through Füzesabony, I do not need to try very hard to convince you of the horribleness of the place, as you have felt it and seen it for yourself.
For those of you who for whom the name Füzesabony (or Fuzzy Bunny as my non-Hungarian speaking friends like to call it), means nothing, let me explain why I feel the way I do.

For about one year Rosemary and I traveled from Debrecen to Eger almost every week to disciple new Christians, pray for the city and what God's plan was for us, and I taught a home Bible study.
Well, because of a disagreement 150 yrs ago between the Catholic bishop of Eger and some government officials, Eger was punished by being left off of the main train route which runs through North-Eastern Hungary. Instead, the train would pass through (you guessed it) Füzesabony, some 20km south of Eger.
Practically, this means that whenever you travel to Eger from Budapest or Debrecen you must pass through Füzesabony. Worse, you have to change trains here to transfer to Eger and the wait could range from a mere 5 min. to up to even 1.5 hrs!
So, as Rosemary and I were travelling back and forth between Debrecen and Eger on a weekly basis, we spent a significant amount of time in Füzesabony (I cringe just writing it).

What does one do in Füzesabony for one hour, two times a week?, you might ask. Well, let me take you on a little tour.
As you step out of the train station, you are greeted by the lovely Main Square (See photo on right). Gracing the center of the sqare is a wooden memorial to something, which for as long as I can remember has been half-broken and surrounded by tall weeds.
Across the street on the other side of the square is the lovely "Vegyes bolt" (roughly translated as General Store), where you can buy a plethora of RANDOM stuff. Last time I looked in the window, the display included a plastic tray for drying dishes, a paint brush, a shoe, and some nails. You get the idea.
Walking down the street, you have your choice of 3 seedy bars, always filled with lots of smoke and kids from the local primary school. For those travelers who would like to sip a coffee as they wait for their connection, this is their only option.
As you continue on your journey down the main drag, you soon reach the pride of Füzesabony--the city water tower! Believe me, it does not look better in person.

The answer to the above question What does one do in Füzesabony for one hour, two times a week? : One does nothing in Füzesabony, for there is nothing to do.
That's not always a bad thing though. I spent a lot of my time there reading my Bible and praying. God knows what our tendencies are, and he knows that sometimes in order for us to sit down and spend time with him he has to put us in places like Füzesabony for one or two hours per week!

I hope now that you can better understand why I am thankful that God called us to Eger. We would be fine living wherever he would call us to, but we sure do enjoy it here!
Keep on praying for Eger, and while you're at it, pray for the people of Füzesabony as well. They need it.
Farewell for now.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Hungary? Beautiful?

It is spring time in Eger, and the city is starting to come back to life. I had almost forgotten how nice the city is when the weather is nice, since the winter is pretty long and dreary.

We've been having a lot of visitors. In this one week alone we've had a total of 3 groups of people come to stay with us, and even one group that we had to turn down because we already had others scheduled in! I'm not so sure that people would be so excited to come and visit if we lived in say, Füzesabony, or perhaps Heves...(if you understand those words, then you should already know what I mean)...nearby cities which are certainly on the top 10 list of worst places in the world.

Another great part about it is that people are outside, sitting and talking. As a church, we've started hitting the streets to invite people to our church and talk to them about Jesus. Its really great to see people from church growing in sharing their faith, which strengthens them as well.

Some medical students from Debrecen came to visit this week (as seen in photo). We took them out into some of the vineyards surrounding the city (as seen in the other photo). One of them said, Wow, I've never thought of Hungary as beautiful before!
That pretty much sums up Eger!
Please pray for God to work in this beautiful city! And join us in thanking God that he hasn't called us to Füzesabony!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Honesty is the best policy

Every time I have a day off and I sit down at the computer to relax, I always feel like I should write a blog, but then I just sit here and think, what in the world would I write about? What could I talk about?
What I've found is that its not that there is a lack of topics to write about or quirky things to comment on, its just that there is really not much going on in my mind!If you were to be able to gaze inside my head, you would probably see a cow in an empty field chewing on the same grass it has been chewing on for the last hour and swatting flies with its tail. Or maybe it would be like the sound of a car engine that won't start, but you just keep trying to get it to turn over.
Please understand, I am not saying that I think that I'm stupid or ignorant. What I have found is that I have so many important things to worry about and contemplate most of the time, that when I have a moment to relax I just want to stare and think about nothing.
I have certain people in the church here for whom every day is a big dramatic ordeal. Every time I see them they have to tell me about how yesterday was either the worst day of their life or the best day of their life, or why today is the greatest emotional crisis that anyone has ever been through.And oftentimes these people are like, Oh, so what's going on with you? I feel kind of dumb saying it every time, but I'm always like, Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Today was just another day. I'm not lying and I'm not depressed. For a while I felt the obligation to try to think up something really interesting that I'm feeling or thinking, but there's just nothing there.And I've come to the point where I'm ready to simply start being honest! Hey World! There's nothing going on in here! Maybe you should take my pulse to make sure I'm still actually alive still, because probably my brain is not making any waves at all!
Now, I should also say that this state of thinking of nothing is not something that is constant with me. I love to study, I love to debate, I love to help people see what the Bible says about their lives and the situations they are in. I love to pray and I love to seek God.But there comes a time when I take a break from those things and just think of nothing. At the most, I want to sit for 42 minutes and watch Jack Bauer save the world (again ((and always from the "evil" Mexicans, Serbs, Arabs, or a combination of the 3--something I find very amusing(((there we go--finally something I could write a blog about)))))).
To be honest, I thank God that He made me this way. If I were one of those people who is constantly riding the proverbial emotional rollercoaster, it would be quite tiring and stressful.
For those of you who were wondering what is new with Rosemary and I, maybe you should ask Rosemary. In my mind its just the usual Nothing.

Monday, May 08, 2006


This being my first ever blog entry on this new blog, I am feeling the pressure already to come up with something fresh/funny/entertaining, or something like that.
Not that I (Nick) needed one more way to spend time on the internet, I started this blog hoping to better keep in touch with people and keep people updated on what's going on with us, as well as having an outlet for the dry sarcasm with which I keep myself entertained.
Hopefully in short time I will become very inspired and amaze the blogging world with my clever insights and quirky stories.
Until then, have a nice day!