Jeff & Julie are our Global Missionary Partners in Budapest, Hungary. Also, Jeff is the son of a member of from Cascade Fellowship. They work in campus ministry and minister to refugees and asylum-seekers. Their home congregation is St. Columba’s Church of Scotland in Budapest, where we are sending the funds for the pantry. Julie wrote this article about the Food Bank:
“Imagine sitting in a coffee shop. What do you see? Friends laughing, chatting, catching up. People enjoying an afternoon pick-me-up coffee and a piece of cake. Young children having fun together in the play area.
You can probably easily picture this kind of everyday scene, but this café has a twist. The clientele at this cafe are all Ukrainian refugees. Every Thursday they come to St. Columba’s Church of Scotland in Budapest to pick up food they have ordered from the Food Bank housed there. Then many of them stay to enjoy each other’s company, to seek other kinds of help, to relax before heading back out across the city.
This fall I have been volunteering at the Food Bank a couple days a week. Every week I see clients expressing true gratitude to volunteers, as they say how important this is to them. Yesterday I listened as a woman apologized for not being able to talk the previous week. She had just found out that her brother had died. Another time a fellow volunteer informed us that a client we had just seen had been providing aid to fellow Ukrainians before she had to leave Ukraine. The first time she came to the Food Bank and was on the receiving end of aid, she had broken down in tears. Some of the volunteers are Ukrainian speakers – a mother, some teenage boys, an expat who had lived in Ukraine for years – anxious to connect and help. All of us, clients and volunteers, are grateful for the smiles and relationships. And all of us are longing for this war to end.”