Budapest Stories

Hungarian JewsPresently I’m in Budapest, Hungary to do recordings of some of the prophecies of Daniel videos that I’ve done in English. Through the years, I’ve lived for perhaps a total of 5 years in this interesting central European capital and I consider this country to be one of my favorites that I’ve been in.

Tonight I met again the father of a dear Hungarian friend of mine here; it’s been nearly 20 years since I last met him. And I was thinking how much many of my friends back in the States would enjoy knowing this man. He is ethnically fully Jewish and was raised Jewish. But he’s been a Christian for years. He was born in central Budapest during some of the very worst of the early days of World War II.

planes over BudapestYears ago I knew his mother, my Hungarian friend’s grandmother. When I knew her, she was in her late 80’s and was still a clear-eyed active skier in the snows of wintertime here. Twice during World War II she was marched down to the Danube River that flows through Budapest to be shot because she was Jewish. Twice Allied bombers appeared over the city to bomb it and she escaped.

It’s hard to describe how these things affect me when I meet these people. It’s a strong feeling in me of respect and almost awe in what they’ve experienced, juxtaposed with the incredibly stable and safe life that I and so many have lived in my lifetime.

Then later this evening my friend who does the Hungarian voice-over for my videos was telling me about the circumstances under which his mom was born in Budapest in the last days of World War II. His grandmother had been sheltering with others in a downtown basement for weeks as battles raged house to house throughout the city between the occupying Germans and the Russians who were liberating Hungary.

Budapest batlesMy friend told me tonight that his grandmother had gone upstairs from the basement and lay down on the kitchen table to give birth to his mom in 1945. There were firefights on the grounds of the property and soldiers running and firing back and forth just outside when she gave birth. He said his newborn mother didn’t cry or make a noise when she was born. She was taken back down to the basement by her mom and spent the first two weeks of her life there.

shopping mallMany of us are concerned about our Wi-Fi connection, how our sports team is doing and if we’ll be able to take advantage of the upcoming sale at the shopping mall. We’ve seen nothing but relative stability and prosperity all our lives and it’s no wonder that almost all of us just really take it for granted that it will always be this way. So I often get really quiet and sober around people like I met tonight or when I hear stories from my friends about their parents who went through things like I heard today.

I know people in Holland who ate tulip bulbs to stay alive in World War II. Or a friend whose grandmother was being marched out of Warsaw, Poland by the Nazi’s when she asked permission of them to lay down in a haystack on the side of the road to give birth to my friend’s mother. It was granted. Or a friend in South Africa whose dad was on a prisoner train on the way to a German prison in World War II when he jumped off in the night into the snow and survived on turnips till he could get to safety. I could tell you more and it all affects me deeply.

“It can’t happen here!” they say. But of course it can. If you read history or get to know some of the people I’ve known, you realize how easily the world so many take as the only real world can actually crumble and be blown to dust, never to return again, in a matter of hours or days. So often we don’t realize how fragile and fleeting the things of this world are.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against wealth or prosperity. Moses of old said, “You shall remember the Lord your God, for He it is that gives you power to get wealth.” (Deut. 8:18) But then King David said of prosperity, “And in my prosperity I said, ‘I shall never be moved’. Lord, by your favor you have made my mountain to stand strong. You did withdraw your hand and I was troubled.” (Psalm 30:5 & 6)

rich man flatJesus told the story of the man who had much wealth laid up for many years and he was confident in his stability and prosperity. But then God spoke to him and said, “You fool, tonight your soul shall be required of you. Then whose shall those things be that you’ve lain up.” Jesus went on to say, “So is everyone who lays up treasure for themselves and is not rich towards God.” (Luke 12:20 & 21)

If you’ve ever had it all taken away from you, and I have a few times, you may begin to realize how fleeting and tenuous all our present prosperity and progress can turn out to be. Maybe it will continue for decades and generations to come. But more often than not, good times can vanish into the worst of barbarianism, no matter what country you’re in or society you are from. So many rant about the evils of government. But how many are truly trumpeting Jesus’ warning about “the deceitfulness of riches” (Matthew 13:22) which has extinguished the light of so many.

Solomon said, and he should know, “There is that makes himself rich, yet has nothing. And there is that makes himself poor, yet has great riches.” (Proverbs 13:7) It’s been a happy but sobering evening for me with these friends here and in this presently prospering place. But it’s been good to remember how it has been for even those here who are still with us and, except for the undeserved mercy of God, how it could be again. Anywhere.

6 thoughts on “Budapest Stories

  1. 1 Tim. 6:5 is another good one about prosperity or riches, so many times misinterpreted and preached to tickle peoples minds nowadays by New Age or prosperity churches: “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
    Then the next verse: But godliness with contentment is great gain! Thank you, Jesus!
    Great article, Mark. My parents, too, went through very hard times, my father being a prisoner of war by the Russians in Siberia. My Mom, at the age of 33, wore dresses from 11 year old girls, having suffered so much hunger. We are so spoiled.

  2. 1Ti_6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

  3. Matthew 6:19-21:—“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
    But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
    For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
    Wonderful article Mark….Its true..what you say:–“So often we don’t realize how fragile and fleeting the things of this world are.”
    That is what makes life so exciting.. Every day is like a beautiful present wrapped up specially for each one of us…..the fact that this could be our last day here on earth helps to keep us close to HIM who knows the future and knows what is best for us individually and personally…..Its a time to be Sober & Vigilant, for the enemy walketh about like a roaring lion, seeketh whom, he may devour…….Thanks & God Bless you Mark for this article, which is quite an eye opener.

  4. Luke 6:38King James Version (KJV)

    38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

  5. yes, I was having the same sentiments a couple weeks ago: here in London ppl have it quite good, and they also have the best welfare system in the land. if not the world. but ppl have become such whiners, always complaining and I include the new refugees who live here now. whereas during ww2 London was heavily blitzed by the 3rd Reich. and practically destroyed by fire each nite for near on 3 or 4 yrs. my dad lived here during the entire blitz. he told me on one occasion he was blown completely out of his bed when a bomb detonated some hundreds of meters from his hotel —- fortunately he was not injured. but he hated going down in the tubes(the metro) as many did during this time, as it afforded a good shelter and it was literally bombproof being scores of meters down underground. all that to say that the world we live in today is rather hunky dory in comparison to what these dear ppl had to suffer in most parts of Europe. I feel another world war is what it is going to take to knock the whiners for a loop ….they will then say: we never had it so good! let’s be thankful and also be grateful for all those men and women who had to fight for the peace and comfort we enjoy today. btw, its poppy month here in Britain!

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