Sunday, November 27, 2011

Budapest, Hungary

A few weeks ago, Anthony and I had an opportunity to take a short retreat away from the kids.  This was our first time away from them together.  Although it was difficult to leave them for 4 days, it was really nice to have my husband all to myself! 

View of Budapest from the citadel - Buda on the left with the castle grounds and Pest on the right with the Parliament building.  Margaret Island is in the middle of the Danube river beyond the second bridge. 

This retreat was provided by The Christian Hospitality Network and Christ Fellowship Church and was such a blessing to us.  We stayed in a nice spa hotel on Margaret Island in the middle of the Danube River.  The retreat was created to care for missionaries on the field and the group was so thoughtful about our needs.  We were treated to great lodging, two filling meals a day, massages, gifts, and medical care.  Both Anthony and I were seen by doctors who were helpful and encouraging and who offered solutions to long-term medical needs we have had.  The team of individuals who sponsored the event were so encouraging, thoughtful, and loving.  They even contacted Stateside friends to deliver notes of encouragement to us from them.  In the evenings, an optional time of worship and devotion was offered.  It was such a beautiful window into heaven as missionaries from dozens of countries representing many ministries came together in fellowship to worship the living God.  And, of course, my social husband made friends with the team and connected over discussing music ministry.  This led, at the end of the week, to them giving him the brand new acoustic/electric guitar they had brought with them.  Anthony was stoked and has been using it at youth group every week since. 

Besides the blessings of the retreat itself, we were able to really get some needed rest.  Without kids to interrupt a good night's sleep for the first time in nearly 5 years, we were able to catch-up on some sleep.  It was also awesome to get  uninterrupted time with my man!  It was so fun to connect and get a large quantity of quality time together. 

We even got great exercise as we experienced Budapest on foot.  We really enjoyed the city with its interesting history and eclectic influences on architecture and culture.  One afternoon we hit the hop-on, hop-off tour bus to get to see the sights further out.  The best time to view Budapest, though, was at night.  We would walk down to the bridge at the end of the island and see the parliament building, the castle, the churches and the citadel all lit up. 

Military amphitheater remains from Roman times

Roman ruins on Margaret Island

Budapest at night - Parliament building on left and castle grounds on right

The kids did great without us for a few days.  Many thanks goes out to our co-worker, Heather, for taking them on while holding down ministry programs for the week! 

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