Friday evening we, as the young people of the church, sat around the monument in the center of Pilis, singing songs of praise. We sang our hearts out in the most outward way possible, but you would have thought that we were just gathered around a fire in a backyard from how we swayed to the music and the guitar never missed a beat. Grocery shoppers were given a new view when leaving the store. Our voices reached in the windows of the cars passing by. Friends from school came over to see what we were doing. The cajon was beating with our hearts and the guitar was strumming along with the melody of our praise.
Saturday afternoon was busy with the end-of-the-school-year showcase. I stood next to the students I’ve accompanied for the last nine months, and we sang “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman (surprisingly, not by my choice) with pride for the principal who will be moving after the school year ends. The acts surrounding our performance blew me away. Some little kids from church each memorized long poems that they seemed to deliver with ease and professionalism. Some of my shyest students showed their powerhouse dance moves. Full classes sang songs together that made me my smile from ear to ear. After the tears were shed after the farewell speech from the principal and the dedication to her from the teachers, Panna, some of her friends, and I waited for Második Mama outside. I sat on the steps in front of the beautiful, new community center and just observed what was in front of me. The girls were chasing each other through the tall grass, their giggles could have warmed the coldest heart. The sun was out, creating the perfect weather for jeans and no jacket. The “summer snow” (what seems like cotton that falls from the trees at the beginning of every summer here) drifted through the air so perfectly; it felt like we were in a movie. The sky was a beautiful blue. The clouds looked like they were part of a painting, not seeming to move an inch. It was a beautiful time to just… be.
Sunday night, I got to join Sámuel in Budapest for a worship service he plays guitar for. It was held in the Lutheran Church of Hungary’s office building, the congregation being made up of mostly pastors and their families. Let me say though, this was the most “happy, homey, churchy” experience I’ve had so far in Hungary. I could see the joy of the people as they sang the songs (that I knew from youth club!), reminding me of some folks back home. We celebrated communion AND passed the peace- my two favorite parts of worship that I don’t experience too often in Pilis. The service was held in a smaller room than the huge sanctuary in the Pilis church, making everyone sit closer to each other- which I adored. We even had a “coffee hour” time after the service. I left feeling more refreshed than I have after a service in a long time.