Hungary, Moson Magyarovar
Brigdebulders club statusActive
Atlantic Bridge work in this region started with a short visit from John in 2002 when he was looking for schools who could host Maori artist, Steve Apirana. The success of Steve’s tour opened up possibilities for building bridges in this region. The English departments were very keen to cooperate with us and bring native English speakers to their schools. Especially the Kossuth Gimnazium became our ally, but not until they first confronted us about being a Christian organization and possibly ‘indoctrinating’ their youth with Christianity. When it was clear to them that we were an open group, yet clear about our faith, they welcomed us more and more each year. Teachers Barbara and Timea took several teams of students to the International Youth Festival in the summer of 2003. And from then on a group of youth from this region attended our festival every year.
In the spring of 2006 the Kossuth Gimnazium welcomed a team of 20 Americans from the Marshallton United Methodist church in PA to their school for a whole week. In the summer of 2007 the reciprocal exchange took place when 17 students and teachers from this school travelled to Marshallton PA. Also as a result of this exchange, the friendship with the teachers and administration at this school keeps getting better. As an English-speaking international organization, we have much to offer the schools in this region. English departments of schools in this town and region will be our focus as we increase the bridges in this region in the coming years.
The link with churches in Mosonmagyarovar is our greater challenge. Early on, we discovered that in the Protestant and ‘free’ churches the youth were almost totally absent. And whereas we prefer to partner with various churches, we have been welcomed primarily by a very small Baptist church. The Lutheran and Calvinist church have no young people and no means of finding them, while the Roman Catholic church, from the beginning, has declined the honor of a cooperation. So we have a rather unique situation in this region where young people are enthusiastic, but the churches are not connected to this enthusiasm. We hope this will change in the coming years because we are alos keen on building bridges to the churches.
Mosonmargyarovar is a town of about 33.000 people in the very north-western part of Hungary in the Movar region. The Danube river floats just very close to this town and influences its geography and life. The next thing you notice in this town are the great number of dentists. So you wonder how it is with the teeth of the Hungarians while actually it is all about Austrians that cross the border looking for cheap teeth service. Mosonmagyarovar may not be the most beautiful town in Hungary, but it has a castle and hot baths for healing your body and it is the closest town to the Dutch border which is 1066 kilometres. There is lots of shopping, also at Tesco, and there is a really cool restaurant on the main road into town with stuff from the Sixties, including an old Cadillac where you can sit and drink your milkshake. And, last but not least, Movar people are wonderful, warm and welcoming.
October 2011. We can measure the efforts in Mosonmagyarovar in two time frames. The time before the tragedy and the time after the tragedy. The tragedy of the summer 2010 where the Bridgebuilders lost two of their friends in a an accident on the Delaware river, impacted this town, this school, this organisation to the core.
A team of Circuit Riders made of of Dennis Ritchie, Nel Ottema and Yvette Boertje were in town in October 2011 and found that the events of the summer did not have a defeating attitude, but almost the opposite.The mission to build bridges continues, the Bridgebuilders club that experienced the tragedy will continue. On the Sunday October 17, the report has come to us that Dennis sang some songs in the Lutheran church with many of the Bridgebuilders present as well as the parents of Szab and Dora. Let's follow the Bridgebuilders of this region on their journey as we follow the KARAVAAN.