Wednesday, September 9, 2015

September 8, 2015

Not much time to email today! Sorry I wasn't able to email yesterday! We met with some people that were only able to meet yesterday at a certain time, and there wasn't enough hours in the day for us to be able to email and get everything done that we needed to. We called President Szabadkai and asked him for permission to email today instead.

The biggest news for this week is, like everyone might have already heard in the news, Budapest is having a pretty big issue right now with immigrants and refugees flooding into the country by the thousands. The biggest part of them are coming from nations in Africa and the Middle East that are experiencing serious civil wars or violent struggles like that, but there are some now coming from all over the world.

The problem is that all these people are trying to escape the troubles in their mother countries, but they get stuck here in Hungary trying to find refuge. Hungary is a fairly poor country to begin with, and there's not a huge excess of jobs or opportunities for these people to be integrated into the society here. Germany has now said that they will be accepted into their borders, but mostly only the ones who have "promise" with potential of supporting the work force and bringing skills into the country. Anybody else is turned back and sent to Budapest, which is a big checkpoint in the process. Basically, there's a lot of crowded, upset, hungry foreigners here in Budapest who think there is a place for them here but can't seem to find it yet. Most don't speak English, and almost none speak even a word of Hungarian. We've received instructions from our mission president that we're supposed to avoid any of the main train stations or transportation checkpoints in the city, because there is potentially dangerous situations in some of those places. We're safe and totally fine, but it's interesting to watch this fold out right in front of us. The other day, we were walking home after a program and watched as a SWAT team was walking through the terminal of the train station checking for illegal immigrants.

The church also has a senior couple here in Hungary who works with humanitarian efforts, and they are currently trying to coordinate some kind of help for these refugees here in Budapest.

Other than that, it's been another interesting week of adventures here in Kispest! Hope that everything is going well at home! Not much more time to write for today, but more to come next week. Love you all. :)

This picture of a communist building in Kispest represents
the Hungarian people. All of the windows are in the same
(sometimes bleak and boring) grey concrete, but each window 
is unique and different. If you look at just one window, it might 
look kind of poor and unappealing to the eye. Look at the whole
picture, however, and suddenly this whole thing became
a super deep analogy about an entire nationality.

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