A Cromwell couple’s dream will soon come true as they prepare to pack up their Central Otago lives for a European adventure.
Krisztina Hansen-Szabo and Alastair Hansen will relocate to Hungary with their children Lili (11) and Jake (7) this year to take on mission work through Operation Mobilisation (OM).
The move means closing their beloved Cromwell store, Creative Heart, which they have had for about seven years.
Although they are sad to be leaving the business, they are looking forward to the next stage of their life.
“We’ve been looking to do some sort of mission work for a few years and sort of got to the time where we thought we’d better do something about it, so started looking for the groups that work in Hungary,” Mr Hansen said.
Initially, Mrs Hansen-Szabo, who is Hungarian, will focus on settling the children into their new school and setting up the family’s new home, while Mr Hansen will get straight to work coaching baseball and softball through OM.
Eventually, Mrs Hansen-Szabo will immerse herself in the ministry too.
They will make the move once they have enough funds, but hope that happens by May, Mr Hansen said.
While it is something they are all looking forward to, for Mrs Hansen-Szabo it means moving home for the first time in about 25 years.
The past 16 of those years have been spent in New Zealand.
“So it will be nice to be closer to my parents and siblings,” she said.
Mr Hansen said they had always planned to do missionary work but had wanted to wait until they found something that “really suits” them.
“Doing sports is going to be really fun.”
They agree that, while a fun adventure lies ahead, there are some aspects of their Central Otago life they will miss.
“We’ll miss the people,” Mrs Hansen-Szabo said.
The support they had received over the years had been amazing, she said.
“We want to thank the people for supporting us.”