5+1 Things you should know about Starpoint’s new coordinator

2018. december 31., hétfő

We introduce you to Edina Prikryl, the coordinator of the Starpoint Festival 2019. The colleague of the RCH National Youth Office talks about her journey that has led her to the Reformed Church.

1. “I have no reason to be afraid of a faithful life.” Edina Prikryl was raised in a non-Christian family, so she knows exactly what it is like to meet God as an adult.

Edina was baptised as a Catholic because of family traditions, but she did not get any religious education nor did she study in religious institutions. “I was about 17 years old when I became part of a community where several members were believers. It surprised me back then that they prayed before every meal,” she recalls, “I was invited several times to attend church services, but I was too shy to go. I was grateful that they respected this and didn’t force anything.” That was the first connection with the Church, but it became a personal experience during a difficult period in her life, when one of her important friendships broke. “At the time, I was babysitting a little girl which helped me a lot. One time we were at the playground and I encouraged her to jump off the jungle gym, and told her she had nothing to be afraid of because I would catch her. Suddenly I felt like God was saying the same to me: I can jump into His palm, He will hold me, I didn’t have to be afraid of living a faithful life. And I wasn’t afraid anymore,” she says.

2. “It’s not only a form of recreation, but a part of me.” Volunteering is not a new area for the coordinator; she has taken part in the RCH National Roma Mission.

The Roma mission was the first organisation for Edina through which she could build a connection to the Church and to volunteering, she feels, it brought her closer in truth to the Reformed community. “I knew before how the church was, however the volunteer mission torn down several of the stereotypes I had,” she admits. Present tense is necessary: Edina hasn’t left behind her service in the Roma Mission by becoming the coordinator of the Festival; she will continue to help the organisation as needed. “For me, it’s not only a form of recreation, but it is a part of me. This year, we would like to launch a workshop on reconciliation among nations. Preparing for this I took part in a training in Moldova,” she says, and adds that she wants to remain part of the service between Roma and non-Roma people, “I’m grateful that they recognize parts of me that I couldn’t see on my own.”

3. “Since then, I aspire to live, not on my own concepts, but to aim for what God is aiming for.” In Edina’s personal experience, both in every day life and in spiritual life there’s always opportunities to evolve.

“I thought the first ‘jump’ was enough. Little by little I became closer to God, but I couldn’t place Jesus anywhere,” tells Edina. Almost 10 years had passed in this regard, when another difficult period of her life made her go to a retreat. Before she couldn’t understand how Jesus could die for her sins, but during those few days it became clear, “I thought my sins were so heavy that no one could die for them. But there [at the retreat], I came to understand the depth of Christ’s sacrifice, and the Lord gave me humility. Since then I aspire to live, not on my own concepts, but to aim for what God is aiming for.” Thanks to this search for deeper understanding, Edina decided to submit her application for the Starpoint coordinator position.

4. “Starpoint is a place where people can experience that anything can be done for the glory of God and everyone can find their place in the Church.” For Edina, Starpoint is not unfamiliar; she has enthusiastically attended the Festival in the previous years.

“For me Starpoint is a great opportunity to address those seeking a path, as well as the not-yet-believers,” she says, “I personally have several friends who live their lives following Christian values but haven’t let in the unconditional faith yet.” Since the coordinator knows how it feels to be afraid of the Church, she hopes her friends would attend the Festival and experience how colourful Christianity really is. “Previously I thought Christians had too many rules to follow, and I’m a person who loves singing, having fun and laughing out loud. I was afraid that this might be too much, and it would not fit in,” she recalls. In the last few years she saw that you can indeed sing and cheer, and even playing sports can be used to glorify God – and this broke down the walls within herself, “Starpoint is a place where people can experience that anything can be done for the glory of God and everyone can find their place in the Church.”

5. “Before I started working, God had already prepared me for the service, and I had the opportunity to get to know the young people I was going to work with.” Edina thought for a long time on whether to apply for the position, but the past few months have confirmed her decision.

The coordinator has worked for a long time as a social worker, but she felt the need for a short “break,” during which she started working in the administration of a European project. “It indeed distracted my thoughts, but I knew I couldn’t use all my talents. I felt this position [as coordinator] was too much for me, but I would have regretted not applying to it, that’s why I wanted to give it a try,” she explains. Edina trusted the outcome of her application to the Lord; meanwhile, she attended the Training for Youth Leaders conference of the RCH National Youth Office and Exodus (Central and Eastern Europe Organization), so she could operate more usefully in the team of the Roma Mission. “I didn’t know how much I needed this training, but God formed everything beautifully: before I started to work, God had already prepared me for the service, and I had the opportunity to get to know the young people I was going to work with,” she accentuates, “Many ask why I took on the job, and asked if I felt worried that the tasks would be too much. But so far, I see that we have made great progress. I’m getting a lot of help, and I’m part of a holding community where leaders of the working groups have already accepted my invitation and I have their support,” she adds, “I feel that I can coordinate the Starpoint only if I don’t forget: The Lord is the main organizer – if I entrust myself to Him, He would fill in my imperfections.” 

+1 “The round number emphasizes even more unity.” Edina has been working for months to make Starpoint 2019 the place of encounters.

Debrecen will again host the next Festival, which has a special meaning since the Hungarian Reformed Church celebrates the 10th year since its foundation. “The round number emphasizes even more unity. Starpoint offers a great chance to live out unity, since it creates space for encounters, for relationships to be built, to be cared for and to be maintained,” Edina says. According to the coordinator, it is important to make Starpoint truly a meeting point; therefore they plan on creating the programs following the ‘less is more’ principle. “It cannot be said enough times that Starpoint is what it is thanks to the service of volunteers,” she adds, “We would like them to feel their importance and our gratitude, so we’re trying to help them enjoy their service as well.” Edina encourages everyone to prepare, in spirit, for the gathering, and to keep Starpoint in their prayers.

Interview by Zsuzsanna Farkas

Translated by Eszter Sótonyi

Photo from reformatus.hu/Vargosz, Facebook

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