i have decided not to stay in budapest past my two-year term (which ends at the end of september 2017) and it’s one of the hardest decisions i’ve ever had to make. leaving a place where i’ve put down roots and made a life for myself won’t be easy, but it’s something that i feel called to do. i have been so inspired during my time here and have grown into a better form of myself, more equipped to enact social change in a meaningful way through authentic partnerships.
i still do not know what my next step will be. as many of you know, i’ve wanted to go to seminary for a long time, but i do not think that now is that time. instead, i hope to continue working in the field of social justice, and with refugees in particular. spending time with people on the move has been a powerful experience here in budapest and it’s work that has captured my heart.
through my time serving with kalunba, the RCH refugee ministry’s implementing partner, i have seen what holistic refugee integration looks like. this work, however, is very different from other forms of refugee aid that take place in other contexts. the people who come to kalunba are prepared to stay in hungary for the long-term, and so their integration is tailored specifically to their new needs in a hungarian context. the people that i met while volunteering in greece, however, had very different needs as many of them did not know where they would be resettled within the EU or beyond. in that case, the preparation was more general and multi-purpose, focusing on getting people ready for life in the “western world”. both of these approaches fascinate me and i want to take another placement so that i can learn more and see how my skills gained in budapest can translate into a new context to help equip people for their next life step.
i’m currently in talks with the global ministries team back in the states about possible next placements, but it’s all at a very early stage and nothing will be finalized any sooner than may. as such, i would really appreciate your support as i prayerfully discern what is next for me. send me all the good vibes you can – i’ll need them.