A beach in Hungary is different than you and I normally expect. The beaches are actually grass and you use steps to walk into the water on Lake Balaton, one of the largest lakes in Central Europe.

In the summer of 1987, I spent the summer with a team of people on Lake Balaton. We were required to leave the country for a couple of days to renew our visas.

My team and I took the train into Budapest on the journey to take a break and renew our visas. I broke off from my team and went to a travel agency to make hotel reservations for us in Salzburg, Austria. I was only going to be there for a few minutes.

While waiting for the confirmation of the reservation, a guy came up to me with his hand over his face and asked me a question in English. I thought he might be with another team that was in the city.

But it was John, a guy I knew from home in Lincoln, Nebraska. What was John doing in Budapest?

I knew John was supposed to be in Africa that summer. It turns out he was on his way through Budapest on his way to Yugoslavia. He had already been to Africa that summer and was going to Yugoslavia to check on some teams there with his ministry called The Navigators.

This was my second huge coincidence of the summer after running into some friends in New York City several weeks before. It was fun seeing John and catching up with him. I’d see him several weeks again in Lincoln.