Day 10 – Hungary

Posted by smr on June 23rd, 2012

Day 10 – Tiszalok Prison and Debrecen, Hungary

7 am start for our trip from Presov, Slovakia to Debrecen, Hungary. We aren't pressed for time, so a little stop at a McD's and small mall gave us a chance

to stretch, grab some coffee and get some local currency.

We arrived at the prison gates at 10:55 and there was no doubt that it was a penal institution. Guard towers, razor wire, no windows and few entrances. We guessed at the entrance, pushed the talk button and hoped for the best. After a short delay we were greeted by the staff that was hosting us and were checked through the security entrance. Lunch was served with the prison staff and it was delicious, filling and plentiful.

When we entered the “theatre”, we found a rooms that had been painted with modern frescoes of historic scenes from Hungarian history. The walls had been painted by a prisoner and he certainly had talent! We found tables, set up, and the service began. Some of the prisoners led worship with singing and a short sermon and then we performed for about an hour. They had great questions and loved our musical offerings. They had had no musical group visit for over seven years, so we were especially appreciated. Now to Debrecen…

4pm arrival (right on schedule). We set up, tried out the organ and bells together and went for coffee, cakes and a change of clothing. They were hoping that there would be at least a few people in the pews since they had advertised a bit. They were not disappointed. There were over 300 folks in attendance who began clapping rhythmically by the end of the first piece! We had a lively exchange with questions, fine ringing and demonstrations. We were interviewed on the local television station before the concert (Rachel, Ryan and Julia spoke with the interviewer also). We'll t ry to find a link for everyone at home.

The church is excited for our return next Thursday to teach bell techniques to some interested students. While they had hoped to start a singing choir at t

he church, there are already too many, so bells might be a way to distinguish this congregation. The pastor is new and in his second year of ministry at the Arpad Square church. Membership started at 50 and is currently at 450 – a significant leap in only 2 years! We are looking forward to our return next week to stay with our generous host families and share our music with the Debrecen Prison and with young members of the congregation.

Off to homes for the night following a huge meal. We are eating well on this trip. Good night!

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One Response to “Day 10 – Hungary”

  1. iMichael Finley

    ALOHA to all..so glad to hear you brought some love to the prison….keep up your great work…

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