Last week, I had the privilege of meeting a breath of fresh air in human form! Activate Your Life first met Kriszta Bicskey when she was travelling with Philippa Hanna. Philippa sang at our Gala Dinner at the weekend away two years ago. Kriszta enjoyed the fun (and loud) characters at the weekend and felt at home amongst the laughter and life of the evening. There, she picked up and loved reading Activate’s book, Unlocking The Door, and stayed connected through social media. Facebook and YouTube have become such a routine part of our lives at just the right time for Kriszta to share her story so effectively. Like many of us, it is a story of ups and downs, but after this interview, it is clear the ‘ups’ define her much more than the ‘downs’. The inspirational thing about Kriszta’s story is that she is determined to use every part of it to help and bless others – many of whom she doesn’t even know.
So grab a cuppa and read the interview, then click on the links to find out more.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am from Hungary. I earned a scholarship at age 20 to come to the UK to study at Hope City Church in Sheffield. This was a life-changing year for me. I then went back to Hungary and married Aron, my best friend. He decided to come to the Leadership Academy too. We stayed in the UK after this so that my husband could pursue a career in music. At the beginning, we were working in factories and doing maintenance work. About eight years ago, I started working as an interpreter. I still do some telephone interpreting. Meanwhile, we bought some properties, back when it was possible to do this with no money down, before the financial meltdown. This allowed us to help other Hungarians to come and study in the Bible colleges. We wanted to provide an opportunity for others, realising that our role was not in church leadership, but in other aspects of church life. I always had a sense of needing to give back; a happy burden to ‘pay it forward’. It was a great ministry to have others living in our home for nine years, but when our last girl moved out, we said goodbye to our ‘hippy’ lifestyle and settled down to it being just Aron and me!
We had a guest speaker at church who taught financial principles. I wanted to get into teaching about finances myself, so I really started to research the subject – reading book after book and watching YouTube videos. I realised they were mainly from the US, Canada and Australia, but I hadn’t really found as many in the UK. So I thought I would just share my story. I was a beneficiary of other peoples’ stories, they had encouraged me so much, so I thought I would like to give something back.
In the last two years, Aron has become a full-time musician; playing drums and producing music internationally and in the UK.
What do you miss most about home?
My past, and the people who knew me. I think for good friendship, you really need time. I miss those people who knew me then – they don’t know me now. The people I know now didn’t know me then. But a few years ago, my parents moved here, so I get to see them. The older you get, the more you realise how really, very important family is.
What is your idea of a perfect day?
It definitely starts with a bath, because I love baths! There has to be a book, some conversation, a walk in the countryside and a good movie. We love friends, movies and stories.
Do you have a happy memory?
I don’t think I have just one! I think I’m more of a hopeful person. I tend to look to the future. I treasure what I have lived already, but I think I really treasure what I have today and also the promises and the possibilities of tomorrow.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
Aron tells this one particular story to people often: We went to our friends’ wedding in Poland. We arrived on the day and we were rushing through Krakow to find St. Paul and St. Peter’s Church. I am really bad with directions, so I always ask. I don’t speak any Polish but I just ran to this group of people and I think Aron knew what was coming because he held my hand back! But I just came out with, ‘Excuse me, have you seen St. Paul and St. Peter’s Church?’ Then everything became really slow motion because as I looked up, it became obvious that all of these people were blind! I had absolutely no idea! I was just open and friendly and not afraid of asking for help! These stories just make you embarrassed of yourself and of course, they keep being repeated!
Is there a defining moment in your life that has shaped who you are?
There are many! I think when it comes to my salvation, that was a very defining moment because that is when I made my decision. I come from a non-Christian background. My mother was saved first, but my dad was a soldier so he was the kind of person who needed to see some evidence to believe. Then he was saved as well, so they were trying to get me to church. I was very rebellious, very anti-God. Then I went to an open-air Christian concert. In my head, I had these quotes saying, ‘I stand outside of the door of your heart and if you let me, I will come in. Do you let me in?’ I literally looked around in the crowd and said ‘yes!’. From that moment on, I was sold-out. It was a complete change.
This was just before my 18th birthday. I was very happy in my church, but we had some missionaries come from Hope City church and one invited me to his wife’s women’s conference. They paid all the expenses for me. It was an incredible experience. It was then that I was offered the opportunity to come to England to study. This proved to be a life-changing decision.
What is your main passion in life?
To live a good life. I am a big fan of the quote,
‘We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.’
(Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)
My biological father died just before his 45th birthday, so he was very young and that thought of not knowing how long we have to live is what keeps me motivated. I just want to make the most of this experience here on Earth. So my main passion is to live a full life and to be a blessing for others as well.
Aside from Unlocking the Door(!), do you have a favourite book?
Fiction – The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins.
Christian – Obviously the Bible! But that is 66 books! There was a book I loved reading in my teenage years, it was Adventures With Christ by Lester Sumrel.
Finance – The Richest Man in Babylon, by George S. Clason.
What is the vision behind your YouTube channel and Facebook page?
Basically, we have everything we need to create a video. So the only question is, why should I not? We have the lights, camera, and sound equipment, and I’ve got something to say. What would I not create something to benefit others as well? There is a great answer to that ‘why not?’ You just don’t want to put yourself out there and become vulnerable! I think most people fear criticism, but I have found ignorance a lot more hurtful. So I think silence was something that I had to work myself through. When I worked through that after doing my ‘Where Was I?’ series, I thought – it is just worth doing it if I can help others. Also, I was taking so much from YouTube and I had the opportunity to read all those books because I had the time, so why not share it with others? The Facebook page helps me to see how many people have viewed my videos, and that helps. I also read lots of books and listen out for inspiration. It has really helped me to read Doctor Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead. In the following quotation from this book, she writes what it means to be vulnerable:
I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. With that definition in mind, let’s think about love. Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can’t ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment’s notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow — that’s vulnerability.
There are so many amazing people in our lives and it would be so wonderful if they would not hold back because of all these fears, but if they could just step out and share. People have so much to say and there is such a wealth of experience that is unshared. I just wanted to start now. If it is only my fear of others holding me back, let’s just go for it! I always knew I wanted to share but never knew how. In church, you think the only platform is the one at the front. But I am so thankful that I live in an age where that is not the case. It is easy to share.
Watch some of Kriszta’s videos by clicking on any of these links:
Why Budget? Facebook page: