On the second afternoon of the 2015 Starpoint Festival the team of international participants experienced the message of the Opening Worship of the Festival. Just like the Disciplines did on the Lake of Galilee, the team boarded a boat, and trusting the boatmen set out to discover the nearby Old Lake.
Tata, hometown of the 2015 Starpoint Festival is a hidden, and mostly undervalued gem in the rich and colourful palette of Hungary. The town is often referred to as the city of water, as it lays on the shore of the Old Lake, the earliest artificial fishpond of the country. The lake was originally formed in the Roman times by erecting a dam on the small stream called ‘Által-ér’, and gained its current shape in 1740, serving as a fish breeding pond. Currently, the lake serves mostly for recreation, sports and tourism as a well-deserved eye-catching attraction.
If you wish to walk, jog or bike around the Old Lake of Tata, you have to complete more than 7 kilometres. The 4.5 million cubic meters of sweet water in the lake is drained out every winter to prevent damages caused by the spring floods. Luckily, there are natural sources, a stream and a few springs that fill up the lake every Spring, so we can all enjoy the cooling water by the time the Summer heat hits the land.
Does it sound tempting to visit? How about on a hot summer day with temperature highs exceeding 37 degrees Celsius? Out of question!! After spending the morning listening to the first major presentation by Pastor Zoltán Sóskúti, then discussing what was heard within the small groups, the international participants took the opportunity to step out of the world of the Festival, board a boat, get to know Tata and its environment better, take a bit of time out and reinforce new friendships with participants from other countries, cities or congregations.
Embarking on a boat, setting sails and leaving the shore, even if only on a small lake, requires trust — trust in the safety of the boat, the skills and experience of other people, the boatmen. The land is the natural habitat for people, water is not and perhaps that is one reason why there are only a handful faithless seamen.
Still, we do embark on boats, planes, get on buses and trains, hitchhike cars without requiring proofs of driving license or technical checkups. Why? Out of curiosity, for the sheer wish to travel or just to learn more and experience “the other side, Eternity, the measure for our life here on Earth, the place where we can experience the wonders of Jesus”, as Pastor Szabolcs Koppány Hajdú pointed out in the Opening Worship of the Festival yesterday?
On board on a boat there is no debate of whether this or that side of the lake is a better destination: we can enjoy the best view from the place in-between.
As we were there, we could witness that the international participants enjoyed the moment, the peace and calm of cruising on the lake, the company, the view of Tata Fortress built more than 600 years ago by King Sigismund von Luxembourg, the Baroque building of the Esterházy Castle, the Classicist Axmann-House, the dark green hills of the Vértes Mountains, the sailboats, the birds or the dancing reflection of the sun on the surface of the lake.
We hope our guests, together with the other more than 2,500 participants will enjoy all the wonders of Creation, the upcoming programs of this day and the following days of Festival.