Listening to: The Foo Fighters


Reading: A Bunch of Documents Written in Hungarian

Writing About: Hospitals, Hospitality, and Humility

The Story About My Stitches

I recently led a manual labor mission trip to Hungary.
During all of the sweating and sledgehammering
a window pane broke and gave me a pretty deep gash on my forearm.

The environment of the Hungarian hospital was dismal:
the waiting rooms were full of suffering patients,
there was a leak in the ceiling,
the paint was dull and cracked,
it all felt very “Soviet Era”

However, the care I received was excellent.
I got my first stitches, and a Tetanus shot.
They told me to come back to the hospital
in ten days to get them removed.
That seems unlikely to me.

If you’re feeling particularly bold, here is an unedited picture of the wound
arm, edited

A Side Note (Trust Me, It’s Worth It)

Our host had to stay in the waiting room,
So I was alone and unable to speak or understand
when I went back to see the nurses and techs (the Dr. Spoke English)

After the procedure I went to get my Tetanus shot.
I sat down on a chair in a room full of people.
The nurse came out with a shot.
She walked over to me, I rolled up my sleeve.
She said something in Hungarian.
I shrugged.
She pointed at my butt.
then I rolled down my sleeve
dropped my pants in the middle of the room
and got the shot.

You should have heard how hard my kids laughed
when I told that story and included the word “booty cheek”

Then  I Ruined a 7 Year Old’s Birthday 

Our host is also a husband and a father.
Our team was leaving the worksite
When the glass fell.

We were going to have dinner at the homes
Of other Hungary team members.
So that our host could celebrate his son’s birthday.

Then he spent 3 hours at the hospital with me instead.
When I got home they had cake and opened presents,
but make no mistake, I ruined the whole deal.
The night ended with me making myself sparse until the kids were asleep.
Then apologizing, groveling, and feeling guilty (in that order, repeatedly).

Accepting Hospitality

Our hosts were, without a doubt,
The most hospitable people I have ever met.

Our team, like most of the teams that visit their field
stayed in their family home.

We played with their kids and used their hot water.
We laughed loudly late at night.
We ate large portions of the home cooked breakfast everyday.
By day three I had to remind myself to wear a shirt, that’s how comfortable I was!

From time to time a team member would apologize for our presence.
We loved being served meals and welcomed.
We loved having a place that felt comfortable while we were so far from our homes.
But we all (me especially) felt odd being served.

The morning after I ruined a child’s birthday party
The family was just as gracious as they had ever been.
I was “at home” in the same way I had been every day before.

I couldn’t make it up to the family, it just wasn’t possible.
The only thing I could do was humbly accept the gift they offered me.

Our hosts were using their gifts, fully and freely.
They were being who God built them to be,
offering the kind of radical welcome that God offers us.
And I appreciated it!