Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Back on the Snow

One of the things I like about living in Eger is that we are relatively close to the Tatra mountains in Slovakia, which means we can be at decent ski areas in the High Tatras in 2 hours drive from our house.
For the first few years we lived in Eger I got a fair number of days in on the snow, but last year, with everything that happened with the pregnancy and Felicia, going snowboarding was not a priority.

Yesterday Balázs, Dani and I went to Jasná in the Low Tatras - for Balázs this was his first time snowboarding, for Dani and I it was our first time back on the snow in almost 2 years.

We had a good day, Balázs learned the basics with an instructor, and Dani and I enjoyed good conditions.

Afterwards we stopped in the biggest little town in Eastern Europe: Liptovský Mikuláš, and ate some good Slovak food: pirohy and halušky.

I (heart) the Tatras!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Persecution of Christians in the Middle East

Last week I wrote about the persecution of Christians.

It seems that not only is the persecution of Christians on the rise, but the media's acknowledgment and coverage of Christian persecution is also increasing.

I think it's about time that the mainstream media started reporting on the persecution of Christians in majority Muslim countries.

In the West we put so much effort into accomodating minorities and into fighting negative stereotypes about Muslims that the media has been quick to turn a blind eye to this trend, which is certainly something which is not only a recent developement.

Here are 2 videos from CNN and here is a link about Egyptian Christians in Canada who are being targeted by an Al-Qaeda affiliated group.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Big Brother

Nate was cute last night. He wanted to feed his sister.
Here are some pictures and a video:

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Felicia - Neurology Check Up

Yesterday we were back in Budapest for another check up in the Developmental Neurology department. We had thought this would be our last visit, but it seems we will have one more once Felicia starts walking.
Tegnap újra fent voltunk Budapesten Felíciával egy újabb kontrol vizsgálaton a Margit kórház fejlődési neurológia reszlegén. Azt hittük, hogy ez lesz az utolsó alkalmunk, de úgy néz ki lesz még egy vizsgálat amikor Felícia elindul járni.

Whenever we go, Felicia gets tested by a specialist. This time the testing was to see how well she pays attention to things, how her coordination works. She did great.
As we expected, the doctor said that Felicia is doing exceptionally well - even as if nothing had ever happened to her.
Minden alkalommal, amikor megyünk, Felíciát egy egy szakorvos vizsgálja meg. Ezen az alkalmon azt vizsgálták, hogy milyen a figyelőképessége és milyen a koordinációja. Úgy ahogy elvártuk, az orvosnő azt mondta, hogy Felícia kiválóan fejlődik - olyan mint ha semmi nem történt volna.

We are so thankful for our little girl, and so humbled that God showed us grace by healing her. Thank you to those of you who pray for her.
Annyira hálásak vagyunk a kislányunkért, és annyira hálásak az Úrnak, hogy kegyelmet mutatott abban, hogy meggyógyította. Köszönjük mégegyszer mindannyiotoknak akik imádkoztok érte.

Here are some pictures from the check up yesterday:
Itt van néhány kép a tegnapi vizsgálatról:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More than a Hobby

Remember those [fellow believers] who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.
(Hebrews 13:3 ESV)

The persecution of Christians is not a thing of the past, it is something which Christians around the world deal with in a very real way.
According to the Toronto Star, Christianity is arguably the most persecuted religion in the world.

I think for most of us in the West, the greatest amount of persecution we can imagine for following Christ is that people won't think we're cool, or some people will have condescending or negative attitudes towards us.
I don't think most of us can imagine what it really means for some people in the world to say: 'For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain' (Philippians 1:21) - knowing that choosing Christ probably does mean losing everything, perhaps even their own life.

This week I read about a teenage girl in Somalia who was shot to death for converting from Islam to Christianity.

Even CNN, although not exactly a great defender of Christianity, is reporting on a Christian pastor in Iran who has received a death sentence for "apostasy": Click here for article

You can follow the Canadian 'Voice of the Martyrs' on Twitter here: @VOMC

CNN also posted this video about Iraqi Christians who were the targets of persecution, where 53 Christians were killed when their attackers entered their church during service:

I don't know about you - but it seems to me that the faith and life that Jesus called us to was not intended to be a hobby, one amongst many other activities that we participate in halfheartedly in our free time...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Baby Terror

Here is a video we made about Felicia today. Enjoy.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Mikulás and the Chocolate People

Unlike in the US, where Santa comes on Christmas Eve, in Hungary Mikulás comes on December 6th - Saint Nicholas Day - and leaves chocolate in the children's shoes, unless of course the children were bad... Whereas in the US, if kids are bad Santa leaves coal in their stocking, in Hungary the Krampusz - a devil - gives the bad kids virgács (wood sticks, kind of like kindling). Nothing says Merry Christmas like this lovely picture depicting Krampusz kidnapping some kids:

Saint Nicholas was a real man, a Christian pastor who was persecuted and imprisoned for his faith in Jesus Christ. Here is a good article about who the real Santa Claus was.

Santa brought Nate a Thomas backpack, which he really loves.

Nate likes to take his toys with him when he goes places, so this was a very practical idea on Santa's part, because now he doesn't have to carry them in his hands, but can put them in his backpack and take them with him! I have no idea how Santa could have known that Nate could use such a thing.

We went into town today for the Mikulás celebrations, where Nate was very excited to see Mikulás and get some Christmas candy (szalon cukor) from him.

Then - one of the highlights of my day - there was a concert for children in the main square. We stopped to listen, and I was a bit surprised by the words of the song that was being performed. Here are the words:
Csodás a csokibőrű Afrika,
A bőrük csokival van bevonva.
(Chocolate-skinned Africa is amazing.
The people's skin is coated in chocolate)
I'm pretty sure that this song would NOT be acceptable in the US! Here, it was the song they were teaching the children to sing in the main square of the city.

A lot of the Africans and Indians I have known in Hungary have told me that when they walked down the street in Hungary, kids would always point at them and yell "Csoki ember!" (Chocolate person!) Apparently they teach their kids this term...I just hope the kids learn to not do that by the time they get a little older.