Welcome 2011!

I really hope to blog more in 2011.  I find it challenging but I want to inform what is going on in my life and ministry.

I spent the last week in Budapest helping with a youth retreat.  It was my first time to join this retreat.  It was enjoyable and I had fun meeting new people.

The hotel we stayed in got quite full by New Year’s Eve.  There were Hungarian students who lived in the hotel and I met one of the young men.  His name was Dominik.  He didn’t actually live in the hotel, but his brother did and they came to spend New Years Eve with their friends.

At around 11 p.m. I met Dominik in the lobby and we began talking.  His English is pretty good and so we had a great conversation.  I learned that his grandmother was a Catholic believer who attended church often when she was alive and that Dominik went with her frequently.

I was able to share with him and discussed some spiritual things.  As it got closer to midnight, I knew I needed to be with my group and I was sure he wanted to be upstairs with his friends.  So, I got his Facebook info and sent him a request.  During the night he friended me and we have sent each other notes several times.

He is leaving for England soon.  He will study there for 1 year.  He is going to attend a riding school.  In just the short time we talked, I learned much from this 17 year old young man.

The next day, I had the opportunity to talk with several Slovenes who had come to Budapest for New Years as well.  Klemen was a sharp student with lots of ambition.  His friends were as well.  They taught me lots about their country that I did not know. I was fortunate to get to meet them and share a little with them.  He is also on FB, so I hope he will friend me so that we can continue to chat.

I am in Kiev for a couple of days, but on Wednesday I will head back to Donetsk so that I can spend Ukrainian Christmas there.  I was on the streets in Kiev today and there was absolutely few people driving and or walking the streets.  The days between New Years and Christmas (Jan 7) see few people at work and lots of people at home visiting family and friends.

I have enjoyed my time the last 10 days, but I am ready to be home in Donetsk to see what unfolds in 2011.  Happy New Year!