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XpatLoop Interview: Revd. Aaron Stevens

XpatLoop Interview: Revd. Aaron Stevens

The Revd. Aaron Stevens has been the senior minister of St. Columba’s Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) since 2006.

Before that, he taught mission-related courses in the Reformed Church in Hungary for two years. Ministry is a second-calling for this South Carolinian, though, as Aaron’s first decade in Hungary was spent teaching English.

Loving language and caring for people, he found education a natural fit. Now, Aaron enjoys being in a position to work with people from different cultures and different age groups, and feels privileged to serve in a church that has a heritage of caring for marginalised people.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
My first visit to Hungary was in the summer of 1991. Having fallen in love, I returned in December 1993 thinking I'd teach English for a year or two. I have called it home ever since.

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
Nope.

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
It's embarrassing to admit it, but what surprised me most about Hungary was the colour. Growing up, the impression I'd been given of Communist block countries was that they must be all grey somehow. How wrong I was!

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
The first night means a trip across Erzsébet bridge at night, with its view of the Széchenyi bridge, Parliament, Castle Hill, etc. The next day starts at the Fővám tér Market Hall to enjoy the sights, sounds, scents and flavours. (Lángos upstairs--sticking to classic toppings of garlic, sour cream and grated Trappist cheese, of course). Then burn some calories with a climb up Gellért Hill. From there, it is back to the Pest side to see the Parliament building, the Shoes on the Danube bank, and Vörömarty tér. Next, the historic M1 underground to Heroes' Square and Városliget. Take a quick look at the 1956 monument before going to the Széchenyi baths. After the past days' walking and the relaxation of the baths, a cultural evening at the Uránia Cinema (if something accessible to English speakers is on offer) gives the body a rest. On Sunday mornings I am "on duty" leading worship. If it is a 1st Sunday, we join congregants and visitors for a pot-luck lunch. Otherwise, we're off to the Jewish Quarter for a bite to eat. Finally, a visit to the Dohány utca Synagogue and Raoul Wallenberg Park is a must. Friends staying any longer will get taken to Norma fa and to the Holocaust Memorial Centre.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
Gulyás.

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
Milk.

7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?
Igazság. I love how it means both truth and justice.

8. What do you miss the most from home?
Family. And black-eyed peas.

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
A voice actor for cartoons.

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?
Telemarketer

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
South and North Carolina

12. Where do you hope to spend your next one?
Sárvár

13. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
As an early teen I was into Hapkido Karate. Later I got lazier and loved the Coen brothers film Raising Arizona.

14. Apart of temptation what can't you resist?
One more cookie.

15. Red wine or white?
White.

16. Book or movie?
Book.

17. Morning person or night person?
Morning.

18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
Caring for refugees and migrants.

19. Buda side or Pest side?
Pest.

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
"Bear one another's burdens" (Galatians 6:2)


20.12.2017

 




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