Month: August 2005

Happy Birthday, Audrey!

Audrey turned 12 today! We celebrated with her on several other occasions earlier this summer, so today we just had her requested dinner and played Nerts, her favorite game.*

Audrey is a wonderful part of our family, and we have loved the last 12 years with her!


There are some things (and people) in life that no matter how hard you try, they just make you feel stupid. Nerts is this thing. Audrey or Cathy usually wins without trying. Audrey sometimes even tells me which cards to play and then *still* beats me. I have always lost and always felt stupid playing it. One time I felt smart playing Nerts when I cheated. But even that didn’t work for me. I still lost!

The Newbie and the 30 Foot Hole

After church today Andrew and his friend, Ben, told me there was a giant hole in front of the church. “It’s at least 50 feet deep!” they said.

Not a little skeptical, I went to check it out. There had previously been a sink hole at this spot, boarded up, but they said the recent heavy rains had washed even more of it open.*

Standing at the edge of this hole I estimated it dropped straight down for 30 feet (10 meters). Then the opening took a turn and went out of site. It looked like the opening to a cave, only completely vertical.

Next to me I heard another boy express what I was thinking.

“Man, some kid could fall into that hole and kill themselves. Then you could sue ’em.”

“Must be fresh off the boat,” I thought. He had it all right up to the point about suing. Here in Hungary you just stay away from 30 foot holes; no one gets sued.

* They also said, “That must have washed out that door down there.”

“What door?”

“The door at the bottom of the ladders.”

Sure enough, there were ladders anchored into the shaft below the barricades about 10 feet to the right of this new opening, and my little adventurer (well, not so little anymore) had been over the barricades and down there to discover it. Some things are better not to know.

A Hungarian movie you must see

One of my goals this summer was to catch up on some movie watching. I didn’t really get this done, but I did manage to watch a few obscure movies that were on my list.

American Rhapsody was one of them, and it was the best one I’ve seen in a while.

It was written by a Hungarian American who showed American life and Hungarian life both in a generous and fair light. It shows American faults and Hungarian faults in a generous and fair way, too. It was well done, and I’d highly recommend it.

Was MinistryNet a success?

I ran across this today, written by Campus Crusade’s Chief Technology Officer, Keith Seabourn.


Weng Kong in Japan has launched an internet ministry plan with partner evangelical ministries to use the Narnia movie, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe which will be released next year. They expect it to be very popular in Japan.

Andrey in Ukraine is working with Alex in Ukraine, Eric in France, and Tom and Jerry in Hungary to produce a Russian language evangelistic website.

Kxxxxx in a country in the Middle East is encouraging every staff member build a personal evangelistic website. When they share their faith with someone, they will give them a card with their personal website address and encourage the person to visit the site.

Oumar in Mali has taught his campus director to use email to followup females he cannot meet with personally.

Hans in Germany has launched a project to create an evangelistic website for university students. See the English U.S. version at

What do all these have in common?

Read our May newsletter online about MinistryNet: Budapest 2005. Sixty seven people from 27 countries came to Budapest, Hungary in April to interact with fellow web ministers as we explored how use the internet to engage people so we can help them with their relationship with God.

Soon after the conference, someone asked me, “Was MinistryNet a success?” I told them that the conference was a successful event, but to ask me again in a year if we had succeeded in mobilizing more internet missionaries who embrace timely communication tools to share the timeless message of John 3:16.

However, I don’t think the Lord intends for us to wait a year. In the past few weeks, I’ve heard these amazing stories from Oumar, Hans, Andrew, Weng Kong, and others. In the 12 weeks since MinistryNet, evangelistic outreach projects based on MinistryNet principles of internet ministry are exploding around the world. Amazing. God is so faithful in mobilizing laborers for the harvest.


Thanks for the summary, Keith! Click here to read this post on his blog.

Lost and Found

For the last two days Andrew has been without his favorite ring. This is the ring he forgot to take with him this summer and that he lost within a week of returning to Budapest. He scoured the house and van looking for it, and we even took a trip to IKEA where he thought it may have fallen out of his pocket into one of the futons. Nope, not there either.
So tonight we stopped and prayed together and asked God to show us where it was. God, of course, knows these things and can easily show them to us. I had finished my petition to God about two seconds when Andrew said, “Oh, I never checked the couch.” And, of course, that is where we found the ring 30 seconds later. (Not only did we find the ring, but we also found the purse of someone who lived in our house this summer!)
If this was the first time our lost things had been found I might not have noted it, but I can’t recall a time when I asked God to show me something I had lost when God didn’t.
One more reason why I pray for lost souls; God knows where they are and can make them found again.

We got funding!

All summer Tom and I had been waiting to know if the proposal we wrote for producing a Russian language Internet ministry would be granted. We found out a couple weeks ago that a foundation gave us money, but not quite as much as we asked for. We needed to sit down and figure out a revised budget and determine if we had enough to move forward. We did that today, and it looks like we do. Woohoo.
When we moved to Budapest two years ago this type of project was what we had in mind.

Two homes

One of our goals this summer was to establish which location, Orlando or Budapest, was really our home. When we returned to Budapest we realized an answer we didn’t expect; both.

In both places we feel completely at home, have great relationships and feel like we belong.

For two years we have delayed making a decision about where to live “permanently,” as Budapest has been our “two year” assignment.

This won’t make it any easier coming to a decision about where to go after our third year here.

Long run with stunt pilots

Red Bull stunt plane zooms under Budapest's Chain Bridge. (photo by

Red Bull Plane Under Chain Bridge

This morning, early, Matt Jackson and I did a long run together to downtown Budapest in preparation for the Budapest Half Marathon. It’s St. Istvan’s Day today, so the Chain Bridge was closed. We were dissapointed because it’s normally designated pedestrians-only on summer Saturdays. Our dissapointment was gone 30 seconds later as we saw the Red Bull stunt plane zoom under the Chain Bridge. Yes, under! We had our own private airshow for the next ten minutes, as five other planes flew the same obstacle course between the Chain Bridge and Margaret Bridge. Check out these pictures of the event.

One of the Red Bull pilots, Peter Besenyei, practices in Budaors, just across the field from our house, so we get regular airshows during the spring. But this one beat them all!

Kiev arrangements

Today Tom and I continued making arrangments for our upcoming trip to Kiev. We had tickets reserved and then found out the Ukraine national director got called by our area director for other meetings here in Budapest (during our planned time in Kiev).

The change was for the better. It caused us to look at new dates, and now we’ll be able to get tickets that won’t require us to stay over a Saturday and Sunday. Cathy will be happy.

Home at last!

It is good to be home! Tom picked us up at the airport in Budapest, and the familiar ride back meant we were home. Annie started right up barking at all her familiar lamps around the house again, and then she took me on the usual evening run down the street. I’m sitting at the kitchen table now posting another blog entry. The familiar routine feels good.

End of an era – Busch Stadium in St. Louis

Today we saw one of the last Cardinal games at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Cathy’s sister got tickets, and the third Snyder sibling, Tom, joined us.

In the bottom of the 9th inning, trailing Atlanta by 3-1, the Cardinals’ David Eckstein hit a grand slam! What a great game for our last one at the old Busch Stadium.

Next April a new Busch Stadium will replace the standing one – which was constructed the same year I was born. So if I ever go to another major league baseball game it will only be the second major league baseball stadium I’ve been in.


Yesterday was a driving day – from Chicago to St. Louis. Lots of corn. We stopped for lunch next to a corn field and Andrew and Audrey learned what the inside of one looks like. (They said something about seeing baseball players in there.)

None of us can recall seeing any corn fields in Hungary.

Fort Langewood

Four years ago Andrew and Audrey, along with their cousins, began construction on a secret fort in a spruce grove behind the cabin. Construction resumed this trip, led by Foreman Andrew. Everyone built their own bench, Audrey painted signs, and the place even has an 8 foot loft. It was another fun thing to do here at Langewood.