National Harvest Thanksgiving Day and the Migrants

On Saturday, October 10, 2015, the National Harvest Thanksgiving Day took place at Budapest-Obuda UMC (Hungary). This celebration was not only characterized by thankfulness but also by the willingness to share.

In his sermon, Laszlo Khaled-Abdo, the designated superintendent of The United Methodist Church in Hungary, called the congregation not to primarily worry for themselves but to feel concerned and responsible for the neighbors in need. This was turned into action when the thanksgiving donations were collected to support the ministry with migrant families run by the ecumenical organization «Hungarian Interchurch Aid» (HIA). And thanks to the work of a television crew, which recorded the whole service so that it could be broadcast the following day on «Duna channel», this call was heard far beyond the UMC.

Given the still very high number of migrants entering Hungary every day, the UMC in Hungary offered HIA to help their work with volunteers for one or the other day. However, it became obvious that this is not so easy. The arrival of the migrants and the place where they enter the country is so unpredictable and changing from one day to the other that HIA decided to try to do the task with their own coworkers as far as they can cope and not to coordinate services of volunteers.

According to Superintendent Istvan Csernak, several hundred thousands of migrants have come to Hungary in the first nine months of 2015. However, no migrants come to Budapest anymore. Therefore the relief activities at the railway stations – including the baby bathing station – have been stopped and closed down.

Source: Superintendent Istvan Csernak, Budapest/Hungary
Date: October 15, 2015