2013 Gratitude Project – The Great Church in Debrecen
This month will be a celebration of travel. I am so grateful for the many opportunities I’ve had over my nearly thirty years to explore the world. Click here to read about my 2013 November Gratitude Project – Travel
The city of Debrecen, like many cities in the world, has many fantastic old churches. I lived there for my last three months while serving as a missionary in Hungary. Right in the heart of the “Calvinist Rome” is a grand, yellow church. The city was bombed during WWII, but thankfully this church wasn’t harmed.
The church, which can accommodate 5,000 people, was built in the 1820s on the site of older churches that once stood there. It also was scene to major developments in Hungarian history such as the signing of Hungary’s Declaration of Independence and the election of Kosuth Lajos to be the first elected governor in 1848.
If you’ve followed my blog, you’ll know that I love visiting churches of all kinds. I love religious architecture and the symbolism it holds. For example, unlike historic Catholic churches, protestant buildings are very basic and simple in decoration. Where a cathedral would have colorful stained-glass windows and intricate frescoes, this building had white walls and simple, plain windows. This is very symbolic of the reformation itself trying to overthrow the decadent ways of the Church.
One day, the eight of us missionaries in the city visited this magnificent house of worship, and we got to climb up the bell tower – one of the highest points in the city – where the historic bell made from Austrian cannonballs made in the 1640s hangs. I am grateful for my time in Hungary and the opportunities it gave me to expand my worldview. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve the people of Hungary and share my faith with them.
Note: These photos were not taken by me but by another missionary (except the panorama above). I have some in my scrapbook, but having these available in digital form is much easier.