Highland News Leader
The members of First Baptist Church of Highland participating in the mission trip to Debrecen, Hungary, are all ready to do their part.
A few of them took time to discuss everything ranging from what they’re looking forward to about the trip to how they’ll contend with the long flight, which is approximately eight hours. For all participants, this is their first-ever mission trip, which will take place from Aug. 30-Sept. 10.
Below are remarks they provided The News Leader via email:
Than Myint of Highland looks forward to “seeing what it is like to be a missionary for 10 days in a foreign country. As a member of a mission-minded church, I’d like to see first-hand what a missionary does.”
Arabella Kirbach, 11, the daughter of FBC pastor Rob Kirbach, looks forward to helping the school kids — but not the long flight.
“I enjoy sports and I’m looking forward to playing basketball with kids in Hungary,” she said. “I want to see what mission trips are like so I can do some later on in my life.”
As far as the long flight, she plans to “read, play on my phone and sleep.”
Ford ready for Hungary adventure
Brenda Ford has been a FBC member since 1972, and she is ecstatic about the forthcoming adventure.
“You go to give assistance in whatever area you can,” she said. “What I am expecting is that sharing with these students who want to improve their English skills will cause our group to come home better people and better Christians.”
Ford did not originally sign up for the trip. However, after Kirbach approached her and noted her teaching background would be an asset on the trip, she began praying about what to do. However, she said, “I have never gotten what I would call a clear message that I should go, so I am going on faith!”
Ford said the travel time is challenging, but she’ll make due reading, playing on her phone and sleeping.
“I have been on a previous trip to Europe so I know the plane ride is long and sleeping will not be good in that assigned seat,” she said. “There is no magic plan to make that trip any more comfortable. I plan to have an airplane pillow, crossword puzzles and a book to occupy my time on the flights.”
Couple looks forward to teaching students
A married couple from Highland heading on the trip asked to remain anonymous. They look forward to learning more about Hungary — culture, history, etc. — through sightseeing in the immediate area of Debrecen, along with working with the children in the Baptist-run schools to help them improve their English skills.
They also look forward to, “Meeting and getting to know our two missionaries, the Goods (Jon and Amanda), and the people in their school, church, and neighborhood.”
Both have backgrounds as foreign language teachers and said they feel they might offer some practical help and insights to those teaching English to the Hungarian children to hopefully make their jobs easier.
“Although we have had extensive experience in traveling to certain European countries, we have never spent an extended period in a country where we could not comfortably converse in the language,” they said. “Communicating with some of the students and populace in general may pose a challenge, but we are looking forward to finding creative ways to face that.
“Also, as we are both committed Christians, we hope that our interactions with the students and faculty at the Hungarian school will demonstrate Christ’s love to them through us.”
Additionally, as senior citizens, they are concerned about having the energy to keep up with what promises to be a very busy program there.
“We are taking steps (literally) to accustom ourselves to walking long distances, which is one physical challenge we know we will face,” they said. “We pray that God will give us the strength and endurance to face any other physical challenges which might present themselves. We are prepared to expect the unexpected.”
Overall, the couple takes their responsibility seriously.
“We may be among the very few Americans the people of Debrecen will ever meet, making their impressions of us vitally important to their view of America and Americans in general, as well as of Christians,” they said. “We hope to make a positive impact upon the people we meet, leaving them with good feelings about the generosity and genuine concern for others which I think characterizes our nation as a whole.”
As for the long flight, “We normally take along a novel or book of crossword puzzles to occupy our time, or watch the in-flight movie. Mostly, we will try to get some rest to ward off as much jet lag as possible.”
Farabee hoping to help enhance English learning
Patricia Farebee of Highland said she looks forward to being in another country she never previously expected to go to.
“I will enjoy meeting the people who live there and will be interested in helping the missionaries in whatever capacity we can,” she said. “Mostly our efforts will be directed toward the children and their schools.
“The challenge to me will be the language barrier with the language spoken there. However one of their main goals is to enhance their efforts at learning English so that will help.”
For the long flight, she plans to have some reading material as well as games to play.
“Also, I will consider myself lucky if l manage to sleep away a good part of the time in the air,” she said.