Stacey and I both greatly enjoy joining our brothers and sisters in Christ here in Transcarpathia in weekly church services at the local Hungarian Reformed Church. The church service is in the Hungarian language and sometimes difficult for us to follow. Regardless, it is an incredible experience to be part of the universal church and the body of Christ. It is interesting to compare and contrast the differences in custom and tradition between Reformed churches at home and Reformed churches here in Transcarpathia. We enjoy singing from the Hungarian Reformed hymnal. The song book is full of hymns as well as the Psalms. Many melodies are familiar to us and some of hymns we commonly sing at home have also been translated into Hungarian. “Holy, Holy, Holy”, “Abide With Me” and “God Himself Is With Us” are the three most commonly sung hymns of familiarity for us. Recently, “Amazing Grace” has also been translated into Hungarian. While many of the hymns are translated from the original English, American, German or Scottish hymn writers, many of the hymns are from Hungarian hymn writers. Interestingly, Martin Luther is author to a number of songs and there are also hymns written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
We thought it would be a good idea to start an English singing club at the school with our students. We meet every Sunday night for an hour or so for an English Hymn Sing. Normally around ten students come but sometimes up to fifteen. Many of the students are very musical and enjoy coming and singing. Some of the students like to come and practice their English and to learn but many just like to sing. The Sunday night Hymn Sing has become a highlight for us this spring and winter. As the school year comes to a close this week, it will be something we really miss.