Wednesday 23 April 2014
Today, Wednesday 23 April 2014, we left for Debrecen in Hungary with a group of third year bachelor students from Amsterdam for the subject of ‘community and diversity’ under the supervision of Dr. C. van den Broeke and Prof.dr. H.E. Zorgdrager, with a view to acquainting ourselves in a five day programme with the clerical practice and its challenges in a totally different cultural context.
We get together at 5.30 in front of the VU-building, which is something you don’t do every day. But if you want to fly to Debrecen and want to have some time of the day left, you mustn’t complain. Many of us had never been to Hungary before, so this chance to see Hungary through the eyes of other students of theology is a wonderful opportunity for us. On arrival in Debrecen we are most kindly welcomed by Elöd Hodossy Takacs and Péter Pál Szeglédi of the Reformed College of Debrecen. During lunch we met professor Károly Fekete, rector of the Reformed College. After lunch at the university PhD students guided us on a tour through the city. It was great fun and good to share experiences, traditions and stories. Thus we heard about the Hungarian tradition to sprinkle women during Easter and we concluded that Hungary also has a kind of Saint Nicolas celebration.
We also went to the “University Church". A young minister told us about the student community that he is building up. His vision is to connect postmodern times and evangelism. He has adapted the services to the target group, e.g. by organising services on Wednesday evenings instead of on Sunday mornings, since many students are not present on the campus during weekends. It was quite inspiring to hear his story and to see how he copes with diversity within his community. After a dinner at the highschool, which is linked to the reformed College, we have the evening off to enjoy the day’s impressions and to prepare for what is coming next.