On Saturday evening, I joined some of my students for a young adult worship at their church in Békés, a town that neighbors Békéscsaba. The congregation is comprised of people from many different backgrounds, and at this worship, we had a combination of Roma and non-Roma young adults. Since we took the bus, we arrived a bit early and I was able to meet some of the young adults. (I had met some before, but I've learned being re-introduced helps me remember their names.)
Once everyone had arrived, we gathered in the room that is considered the worship space. I say "considered" because the building used to be a discotheque. The church members remodeled it and now use the space for worships, daycare, fellowship, etc. It's a cool building!
The worship was simple. We sang some praise songs (in Hungarian, of course) and prayed, aloud or silently, together. I was amazed to see so many young people comfortably praying out loud. It's something I enjoy experiencing, but it still makes this Lutheran feel a bit uncomfortable at times. (Ding ding ding! I have a blog post about that too! Check it out.)
After we sang and prayed together, the youth pastor gave a talk on a few passages from the Bible. I was only able to follow half of it, but I am actually quite happy that I could understand some of it! He would ask questions of the young adults and often they would chime in, creating more of a conversation than a traditional sermon.
Once the worship finished, we had some time before catching the next bus. I talked with a few of the people I had met previously, and then I was invited to sit at a table with my friend Dina and her friends. Dina is a voice student of mine and her English is quite good. When I sat at the table, she informed me that she had told her friends that I am a great singer. They shyly asked if I would sing a song, and they requested "O Holy Night."
So I sang.
And the ice was broken!
We spent the rest of the evening singing for each other and with each other, and we talked about our favorite singers and bands. Vivi, who is one of the girls who sings with the praise band, mentioned that she likes to dance and became very excited when some traditional Roma music started to play. I asked if she would teach me, and after a few moments, she finally agreed.
Now I like to dance, but this style of dance is hard for me. All of the work is done with the feet- I like to use my entire body too much! When I watch her and one of the boys dance, I am amazed at how effortless they make it look.
We spent the rest of the evening dancing, taking selfies (because selfies are a must), and laughing together. We even caught the photo below.
Here's to hoping there will be more experiences with these young adults during the next month.