A Message From Over the Sun

2016. február 24., szerda

"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." (Ecclesiastes 1:2). Three hundred young people didn't take Solomon’s words seriously, so they spent the last weekend of February in Siófok to discuss finding meaning in life, led by Trey Shaw, an American Baptist missionary who has been living in Hungary for more than ten years. They got acquainted with the message of Ecclesiastes and also had a chance to recharge between university semesters; maybe life is not so meaningless after all.

The ecumenical student communities, which operate in universities and colleges all around the country, meet yearly in February to build and strengthen each other. The winter camp of the Hungarian Evangelical Christian Student Assocation (MEKDSZ) is a place for trying out new things, meeting  friends new and old, even meeting with ourselves; if we have the courage, we could think about the impressions which have touched us here, or pray together, or even try out some optional programs like the Bibliodrama.

But there is much more in the MEKDSZ. There is something greater which only shines through the faces of the students who are committed to this student mission and take part in the common worships, which shine shows its effect in the general meetings of the non-governmental organization.

Nothing (else) matters?

Experts call today’s high school and university students the “new silent generation”. These are the young adults who are not interested in society, in politics, who don’t have future perspectives in Hungary, and are futureless from many other viewpoints. Those who professionally deal with young people – such as this interdenominational missionary organization – have found that, nowadays, university students are less active and more difficult to dislodge from their consumer attitudes to get them to do something. These were the issues which guided the staff of the MEKDSZ in the planning of the 4-day conference’s biblical scripture and preacher. 

International students studying in Hungary also attended the MEKDSZ Winter Camp

At first glance, it seems that choosing King Solomon’s book is a surprising idea because its pessimistic voice is in favor of the young people. “What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:3). The writer of Ecclesiastes goes further and says that neither wisdom nor the work, nor even pleasure, have any sense. According to Trey Shaw, the main lecturer of the weekend, we could believe this statement without regarding how unattractive is it, because these words were the results of an exceptionally wise, rich and powerful man’s arduous searching for the truth; they are the words of a well-experienced man who was trying to explore the meaning of life but who never found it under the sun. Finally he realized that he couldn’t do anything with the burdens of his meaningless life, but he could look beyond the sun and find his hope in God.

MEKDSZ is the ecumenical student association of Christian students studying at various institutions of higher education in Hungary, who are committed to and enthusiastic about sharing the gospel at their universities. Around four hundred university students and high school seniors gather for fellowship and encouragement at their winter camp each year. It is the Hungarian member of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES). MEKDSZ’s special characteristic is the high representation of denominations such as Catholic, Reformed and Lutheran. In the European region of IFES, among its members, MEKDSZ has the largest number of Catholic students. 

“This idea is the starting point of the era of the great news for Europe,” said Shaw in his morning lecture. He is an American Baptist missionary who has been living in Hungary for more than ten years and is now establishing a bilingual congregation in the 8th district of Budapest. Trey thinks that the fear of the secular continent is well-founded. He says, “All the earthly things which we are trying to tie our identity to, the things in which we believe, are just ephemeral, vanity and fog. Until we realize this, we can’t make contact with God.” Yes, we – because Christians are often attacked by the temptation of believing in impermanent things: in learning, in working, in relationships or in a thousand other things that we tie our identity and the meaning of our life to. What can we do against this? We got the answer in the second seminar: we have to examine our motivations and ask God to takes away these idols from our life.

Solomon felt that God has the solution, but Trey added that it is sure that he couldn't think in his wildest dreams that God would come as a human to us. He is the answer for the World’s meaningless life, because “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17). The missionary encouraged the audience in his sermon on Sunday morning, saying, "Jesus took your meaningless life to the cross […] If the meaning of our life comes from beyond the sun, there is nothing that could break our identity.” Trey encouraged the students to let Jesus into the center of their life and to let him to give them purpose for everything they do: for the studies, the work, the relationships and the pleasures. “You are the hope of Hungary, because your life has meaning,” he said, encouraging the students to, “Live a trustworthy, confessor life and show your environment that they can have meaningful life in Jesus.”

The goals of MEKDSZ


The goal of the student association is that the Christian students studying in the different institutions of higher education in Hungary would:

1.Grow in the knowledge of God beside their growth in professional knowledge;that their personal relationship with Jesus Christ would deepen through studying the Bible, through prayer and through the participation in communion,

and that they would recognize, exercise and openly represent the Christian principles in special areas of student life.

2.Devote their life to the sharing of the Gospel with their non-Christian peers so as to bring them to faith in Jesus Christ and to his service.

3.Be ready to participate in the worldwide mission of God.


via MEKDSZ website


Article by György Feke

Translated by Lilla László 

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