Hungary 6 - Påpa Catholic Church
A three hour journey from our base on a nice tourist type bus brought us to an agricultural center town called Påpa. Kinda of a funny name for a town in the English language I will admit! I found out it means "Pope", which made our time here even more interesting given that we were doing the concert in a Catholic Church - let me explain!
Upon talking with the Baptist Pastor, Zoltan, he told us that all the churches in this town get along and actually do activities together. In our case, the Baptist, Reformed, Lutheran, and Catholic church were working together to promote our concert in their city. This was awesome, because so much of the concert focuses on reconciliation, and the Christians in this town wanted to emulate that in the way they operate to the public.
So much harm has been done in Hungary in the name of religion, and the local Catholic Church, being painfully aware of that, are trying hard to be the hands and feet of Jesus right alongside the other congregations. The Catholic Church was new, very modern, and we held the concert outside on a nice patio-style veranda that opened out into a large grassy area, behind which there were many apartment buildings. Many people heard the message not only by being there, but from their own balconies - listening to the concert while staying in their own homes!
Zoltan first met me in 1995 in Erd; a "Seasons and Souvenirs" Concert with just me and a piano. He said it really ministered to him, and it was a privilege for him to host us. His church building is literally falling down, and he is trying to raise the money to fix it. Afterwards, he told us he was thrilled to have had us, and had been told by the mayor that next time we come, please do the concert in the city center!
Our Dance leader, Michelle McKirahan, has quite a testimony, and after the concert she was approached by a Hungarian lady who heads up a recovery program for women who have been abused, battered, sex trafficking, etc. Michelle is a beautiful dancer with an awesome heart, who is also a visual artist with silk scarves. Michelle does a dance with some of the scarves she's made that depict God making beauty from ashes, and it leaves the audience breathless. Michelle will go back and give her testimony to the woman's Recovery Ministry in two weeks time, as she will still be in Hungary, and had actually been praying before this trip that God would give her more opportunities to minister in this country.