Additional "From Further Afield" Articles


Solid Food
Published: 2/29/2012 8:43:09 PM


Whenever I give presentations about Hungary to groups both old and young, the question of food inevitably arises. In talking with some of my other missionary colleagues, it seems that if people don’t ask anything else, they always ask about the food in another country. Perhaps it’s one area that everybody can relate; we all have to eat. Due to a recent knee surgery, my days have been spent watching television, reading, and checking my e-mail an inane number of times each day. One of my favorite channels to watch is Discovery Travel and Living for two reasons: 1) it has interesting programming, and 2) it is one of a handful of channels that I can get in English. However, this channel has a propensity for playing the same commercials over and over again. One of the most popular as of late has been one for a new series: Food and Travel. The commercial highlights the fact that, "We all understand the language of food.” How true.

Yesterday, even though I can hardly be on my feet long enough to make coffee much less bake a cake, I found myself flipping through the alphabetized thriller "A 100 Legjobb Torta” (The 100 Best Cakes). Somewhere between fehér kókusztorta (white coconut cake) and Karácsonyi torta (Christmas cake), I thought back to my first days trying to bake in Hungary. Having been advised by previous missionaries that food is a good way to bring people together, I began small – starting with cookies and making my way through cakes, cheesecakes, and onto things with yeast (which I’d always been leery of). My first foray into baking here was certainly not uneventful. I dealt with lighting a gas oven that I’m sure feeds on people’s burned knuckle-hairs, an aged baking pan, and absolutely no way to discern how hot the oven actually was (even now, I still bake things on "medium” instead of, say, 325°). But I made it, and my students and colleagues still enjoy my delicious treats from time to time.

The other day, I was talking to one of my colleagues, who is also a friend of mine. After reassuring me that my knee surgery would go well and that our lives are in God’s hands, we got to talking about food, but not the kind that you bake in the oven or boil on the stove. We were talking about being spiritually fed with the Word of God. Looking around at our friends and colleagues (and even sometimes ourselves), we are saddened to see a neglect of church attendance and reading the Word of God. My friend commented to me that if you say you love God but don’t spend time with Him (in worship or by reading His Word) it is like saying you love music but never listening to it. While that statement might seem strong, there is truth in it. It reminded me of Hebrews 5:11-14 which talks about milk versus solid food.

"We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. ” (Hebrews 5:11-14 NIV)

We are not called to believe in Christ and then do nothing; we are to continue to mature in our faith, digesting the solid food found in God’s Word and sharing the glorious truth of salvation in Christ with others.

Sarah Berta-Somogyi

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