I’ve been a full-time missionary for a little over one year now with YWAM Budapest in Central Europe. It’s been a blur of a year, but at the same time I feel like I’ve been here for a decade. Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to feel when you’re doing what God has called you to do. There’s a lot I’ve learned over the last year being a missionary.

The first big thing I’ve learned is that when you’re in a community that is invested in seeing you be the best for Jesus you can be, it’s okay to ask for help. Be open to learn from people who have been doing this thing a lot longer! I spent a lot of my first few months second-guessing myself and trying to do it all on my own. I ended up more than once in tears, not knowing what to do, and when I told my leaders what I had been feeling they were gobsmacked that I didn’t just ask. So ask, seek opinions, seek instruction. Another thing I have learned is to be open for new experiences. Being a missionary, especially on DTS staff, is a lot of meetings and emails and more meetings… but when the fun happens, don’t miss out on something just because you’ve never done it before!

On my own DTS I ended up underground rowing a row boat; on the Journey DTS I drove on an island for a week– never having driven in Europe before! I’ve seen and done so many things in the last year because I decided early on I’d keep saying yes to whatever experiences God had in store for me! Living abroad is hard. Living abroad and completely trusting that God will provide is even harder. One last thing I learned is that it’s okay to have “comfort things” from your home country. I may not feel called to stay in the place of my birth, but some things can only be cured by ranch dressing and Dr. Pepper.

As much as I love everything Hungary and Central Europe has to offer, and I feel like I’ve adjusted pretty well, sometimes I just need Burger King. I love being a missionary. I love sharing God’s love with other people. I love the challenges of being called to do what I do, and I love staffing DTS. I wouldn’t be anywhere else in this season of my life, even when it’s hard, or lonely, or sad. God always provides… and days like the day that I was climbing 500 stairs to a waterfall in Slovenia with my YWAM Budapest family prove it!

-Ahleah Hook – YWAM Budapest