Hannah, Rosie & Krisztina
In October 2015 we went to Budapest to visit the Danube memorial known as “Cipők a Duna-parton” or “The Shoes on the Danube Promenade”. Made in 2005, it gives remembrance to the 3,500 people, 800 of them Jews, who were shot into the Danube during world war 2. They were ordered to take off their shoes and were shot so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away.
“How is it possible to commemorate the victims of such incredible brutality in a way that is fitting?... The memorial is so effective because the touchable, corporeal shoes along the river, left behind empty and without their owners, force us to confront the question: whose shoes were they? Who were the people that are missing from the sculpture? Further, each of the shoes is different ...Each shoe was considered, each individual was envisioned. This reinforces the individuality of the owners that makes the monument so intimate and striking.” Cast iron signs read in Hungarian, English and Hebrew: “To the memory of victims shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944-45.”
And so our mission was all to do with putting on the shoes of others...
We took with us shoes that belonged to a friend’s family who are Jewish and had survived entering the ghetto because her father had red hair, so the Nazis believed he was German! A few weeks before we arrived, my friend had accidentally found another cellar hidden under the cellar in their house. Among other things, she found shoes hidden belonging to her father, mother and some of her early years shoes. God knew we were coming and had already prepared for the work He wanted us to do!
We took these shoes along with some teenage shoes from Kristie (1940s young women’s shoes, significant because Kristie’s feet had walked in Israel) and laid them next to the memorial shoes. We prayed to reverse the blood shed (many natural accidents happen there apparently) and then walked the shoes back in a walk of penitence to the Rumbach synagogue in the ghetto. Although our walk was mostly in silence, we felt the Lord gave us some scriptures to declare there. Rosie collected leaves on the way, which she laid in the box prophetically for the healing of the nation (revelation 22:2). Fred called the box the ’box of teaching’ because it contained so much history and it was important to pass this teaching on to the next generation. When we finished our assignment, we passed it onto our local Jewish Hungarian friend who has a strong teaching anointing so she can do that.
We brought red fabric to represent the blood of Yeshua, which we laid over the shoes in the box as we stood in the gap to repent on behalf of the blood that had been shed and we prayed for reconciliation. As we did this, there was a powerful moment where it felt like we stepped into eternity - the past, present and future collided and we felt the shift from sorrow to joy. That was the most beautiful moment and touched my heart so deeply.
The next day we returned at dawn when no one was around to dance psalm 113 (a song that releases joy) & Am Yisrael chai! We declared the year of the Lords favour and reversing of the curse. We shared communion and threw bread soaked in communion wine on the water while declaring Ecclesiastes 11:11 TLV “Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you.” It’s very good and significant that the prophetic acts both mornings were accomplished at dawn in dark and walking the shoes into light …
While we praying together for the assignment, my Hungarian friend shared a story she just happened to have seen on TV before we came. It was discovered that a man had escaped drowning, so his story was televised. Now living in the USA, the man had pretended to be shot and fell into the river. Holding his breath, he then clung to an iron bar underneath the squad who were firing. He walked out so traumatized that he only recently could face returning to Budapest after about 45 years. Fred felt it would be good for us to prophetically walk a pair of shoes out of the river as this man had, so we all dipped our shoes in the water of the Danube and walked out declaring freedom!!!
From there we went to parliament. As we prayed we saw a small window open - our prayers make a way for Him! It began to rain - really fine, gentle rain. Rain speaks of God’s blessings and we felt it also represented the pure word of God able to cut through the darkness. We were encouraged that our proclamations have access to parliament! Later we found out the prime ministers’ son became a Christian. (Ezekiel 34:26, Isaiah 45:8, Malachi 3:10)
After our trip, we found out that the Jewish community had a breakthrough regarding the burial of bones found in 2011. While renovating the Margit Bridge, divers found hundreds of bone fragments from the WWII shooting. DNA testing revealed that the majority of them had markers common to Ashkenazi Jews. The Jewish community petitioned for them to receive a Jewish burial and after 4 years (just after we went), they finally won. They received a Jewish burial attended by the Jewish community and Christian leaders. The memorial tomb was inscribed “Son of man, shall these bones revive?”.
We had visited the Rumbach synagogue a few months before this trip. It was crumbling and needed 1000s spending on repairs, which they didn’t have. Inside the synagogue we sang the Shema, worshipped and prayed. We prayed on our knees repenting. Along the wall of the synagogue I saw splattered red paint (I’ve no idea why it was there), which looked like red blood stains. At the side of the synagogue two doors had been removed placed either side of the red paint. The light from windows shone in. I felt this was significant. As I looked at it I felt God show me a picture of the Lord of Hosts on a horse coming through the wall and between the doors to the space where the paint (which represented blood from those who had been shot) was. It was as if the blood of Jesus was now covering it all. On this trip, we found the money had been released and the restoration work of the Rumbach had started!
This trip we visited the Danube and walked the shoes back to the synagogue. Along the Danube riverside was an avenue of new young trees. It was misty and quiet as golden leaves were gently falling from the trees, it was so majestic! I felt the Lord ask me to pick up some of the fallen leaves to represent the healing of history and the land (Rev 22:2) and to represent new life. When we arrived at the Rumbach, we placed the shoes on steps - back to where they should have been because the people should never have been taken to the riverside. We laid down red material (to represent the blood of Yeshua). We all took a pair of shoes and ‘stepped into their shoes’ as we identified with them. In pairs we walked slowly, silently, solemnly, prayerfully and with reverence over the blood remembering the people who had worn the shoes and what had happened to them. Then we laid the shoes and a prophetic memorial box on the steps. Inside the box we placed the shoes along with an Israeli flag, the blood and I laid the leaves on top. The steps outside were all falling apart, so we all took a stone as a memorial in honour of the people.
When went to parliament to pray and God reminded me of what happened while at a conference in Israel in June 2015. Our homework from the conference was to pray for our nation. When I got to my room, I found it so hard because I was so disappointed in my nation for all the anti-Semitism. I said to the Lord “how can I pray for my nation? My heart is so empty, so hurt, I have nothing.”
Then Holy Spirit came powerfully and changed my heart and I saw how my nation has never heard the gospel.
Hungarians were originally ‘Huns’ - 7 tribes led by Atilla, the Hun. Atilla the Hun led the tribes from Asia across to Europe. Istvan Kiraly became king and realising they would never conquer Europe, he settled the people as the nation of Hungry. Being the only pagan nation amongst many Catholic nations, he also made Hungary Catholic so they could trade and blend in with the surrounding nations. However, this conversion was brutally enforced and was not because they were evangelised. They never had a true revelation of Gods love, of God the Father. So their female god was just replaced with prayers to Mary
I saw my nation like an orphan with no siblings in a strange land, being able only to rely on herself, striving to survive and not knowing the Father’s love.
It was so touching to see my nation from Gods eyes. To feel His love for my people, so different from my disappointment. Then I was able to pray.
After I shared this with the group outside the Hungarian Parliament, we prayed and then Fred noticed an open window ‘look, our prayers got in!’
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