With the help of the seminar and the GBHEM LEaD Hub, our students and teachers went on the 17th-20th. March in Hungary, visiting John Wesley Theological College.
Seminary’s study trip to Budapest offered knowledge about methodism, judaism and Hungarian society. The students and faculty members of The Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary visited during 17. – 20. The John Wesley Theological College in Budapest, in order to compliment the courses of comparative religion and missiology.
The group consisted of 10 student and 4 faculty members, led by professors Douglas Childress and Hindrek Taavet Taimla. Common lectures were held, where students of both schools and other guests participated. Lectures were given by Douglas Childress and Hindrek Taavet Taimla (Estonia) and János Bibó and Tamás Majsai (Hungary).
We were introduced many activities of the Methodist Church in Budapest, especially the social ministries – food aid to the schools, kindergartens, to poor Roma people etc.
Their district has many homeless and needy people, who are offered short term or long term lodging. Church has hospice for aged. During our days in Budapest we were able to visit the biggest synagogue in Europe, participate in the sabbath worship and have a chat with the rabbi. No photo was taken during of that meeting as working is prohibited during sabbath day. In addition to that we visited the Holocaust memorial and two museums –
the House of Terror and the Hospital under the Rock.
It was great to take a walk to the parlament building, see castles and churches. During Sunday worship in the local methodist church the sermon was delivered by our teacher Hindrek Taavet Taimla. Our host John Wesley College provided the Hungarian-Estonian translation.
Seminary’s student Kristel Elmi shares her impressions:
"Trip to Budapest was my dream come true. The visit to synagogue and being a sabbath guest was a very special experience. I was impressed also by the Holocaust muuseum and the House of Terror – a memorial of victims of Communism. It was great trip. Many thanks to the organizers!“
Faculty member Tetyana Radomska:
„The trip of our Seminary’s team to Budapest was full of contrasts. Within the course of comparative religioon we learned about the jewish customs, had sabbath meal together in synagogue, studied their tragic history under nazis and communists. Budapest is a city full of attractions, great architecture and history, but we noticed also poverty and beggars on streets. The John Wesley Theological College does remarkable social work. Churches in Hungary have huge work to do, as the Hungarian society does not have well developed public social aid system. Our students were greatful for the trip and opportunity to learn about Budapest and have fellowship with people involved in local ministry. Many thanks!“
Staff worker Kaire Lotamõis added:
„We enjoyed every day the hospitality of our hosts and especially the great Hungarian food. We had opportunity to spend free time together, learn about one another, discuss important issues and exchange thoughts about our experiences during the journey. Everything was well done.“
Hungarian translator János Bibó:
I was moved by your group's sincere interest towards our country, our capital and our work, and I was deeply impressed how naturally you hold together as a group and respect each other.
Hungarian guide Michaela Szász:
"I was very happy to meet this kind, close-knit group. It was good to see in their eyes the interest, the receptivity to the new, and to feel their commitment to man and to God.
I am proud to have accompanied them on our joint programs and that mutual sympathy and friendship have developed between us in a short time. I think I can say not only on my own behalf but also on behalf of my colleagues that I am looking forward to the next meeting with all of you."
The impression of Mr. Dr. Rev. Gábor Iványi Rector:
" It was a great experience for us to meet the students and teachers of the Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary. Their dedication, openness and attention to our work and our country mean a lot to us. We are also encouraged by the seriousness with which they maintain an institution in such a small country as Estonia, their openness towards the countries of the former Soviet Union and for other foreign students. We were also grateful for the Sunday sermon given by Hindrek Taavet Taimla. We remember our Estonian brothers and sisters with much love and prayer. We wish you blessings in your work and thank you for visiting us."
Many thanks to the staff of the John Wesley Theological College for their hospitality and the GBHEM LEaD Hub for supporting our study trip! We are looking forward to future opportunities to visit different places and meet with new partners.