Home!!

Arrived home this morning at 5am! It was a wonderful trip full if memories for the both of us… It it sure is good to be home!

A special thanks to Mel Doughty… Our fearless leader!! It is amazing the love and compassion he has for the kids in Poland. It is truly inspiring!

Thank you again for all of your prayers and support. Please feel free to email me at thirdhope@gmail.com if you would like additional info about our trip, would like additional info on how you can help kids in Poland or would be interested in joining us on a future trip!!

Day 13: Farewell… For Now!!

Goodbyes are so hard!! Our time in Poland ends today. We had an incredible time and have made some wonderful people who we will remain friends with thanks to 21st century technology.

There are many ministry opportunities in Poland – a few of which we hope to be a part of into the future.

Here are some pics from our final day.

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Day 12: Jesus is my Friend

How would you describe your relationship with Jesus?? Seems like a good question to ask at the beginning of camp.

Is he an aquaintance who you periodically run into and share a “hello!” with?

Is he a friend that you call, text or Facebook message when times get rough?

Or is he your life… your breath? Do you seek Him with everything because you would feel lost without Him?

Christ calls us to carry our cross daily. That pretty means all the time.. I guess.

That was today’s theme. And really – it’s a question that can be repeated each day when we wake – not just at the beginning of a journey… What is my relationship with Jesus going to be – today. Hopefully each night when we rest our head we can say that we did out best to carry our cross and follow Him.

As for the highlights… Sarah performed The Cup Song (You’re Going to Miss Me When I’m Gone) during the talent show that was well liked by the group. We also began to pack – hard to believe our time here is at its end!

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20130712-160544.jpgBeet soup… She tried it – once 🙂

Day 11: Sharing your Faith… And a Little Free Time!

When was the last time you purposely shared the gospel with a friend, co worker or a family member? Bro we count this as just as important as our occupation, or the latest gossip on Facebook?

Youth – and adults – in Poland give the same excuse as we do in America. “I don’t have the gift to share…” is usually the top vote giver. Today we discusses at length not just how to share Jesus with others, but worked with the kids to help them see that sharing is not a gift – it is a command. God has given us gifts – music, listening, leadership and more – that he wants us to use to reach others for Him. Just as importantly – he gives us a desire for fellowship with others that will help draw those in darkness to the light shown through us (2 Corinthians 4:5).

Sarah continues to be amazing! With older kids – she is a little more on the sidelines but she asks questions, prays and sings when asked.

The second half of our day was spent in Old Town Warsaw. Here are some pics.

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Day 10: Enriching your Faith

Pray, read, memorize and serve. 4 words that are easy to type and say… But oftentimes difficult to do.

Today we dug into what it means to not only live out the life if a Christ follower, but to do it in almost total isolation.

At the end of the day, we had a wonderful discussion with 3 of the camp kids – Samuel, Victoria and Olga. All three are in their mid to late teens – 16 to 18 years old… and a depth of faith I have rarely seen from people of all ages. When asked what the biggest obstacle to their daily walk was – they said it was the temptation to listen to the world’s message that this life is all about them and their needs. They specifically mentioned iamsecond.com as inspiration to serve others before themselves. Wow!

It would have been really easy for these teens to say that each go to schools with hundreds of students and can only count the number of Christians on one hand – but they only mentioned it when asked.

Pray, read, memorize and serve. Made easier to do when you realize that their are teens like Samuel, Victoria and Olga living a world away doing it without excuses.

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Day 9: Get in the Arka!

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Camp began today at the Arka. Any guesses what Arka translates to in English?

Many of the kids joined us on Sunday night while the rest showed up from throughout Poland by midday today. In all, 64 youth have joined 15 leaders in the building you see above.

We broke into smaller groups, and after a time of fellowship, prayer, and worship – we broke out to discuss reading and memorizing scripture and how it helps to keep us attached to the vine. We also had a time for team building during which we played games against other teams

Our memory verse is Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in The Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.

Day 8: From Elblag to Warsaw

Today was our day of travel for Elblag to Warsaw. We had an exceptional and memorable time in Elblag. I won’t soon forget:

* Sarah singing and leading the message.
* The kids singing worship songs that I recognized, but in Polish.
* The fantastic help – especially Olga and Erica. It could not have been done without your help!! Thank you!
* Signing the kids shirts at the end of camp.
* The middle boys – always looking to fight or wrestle – surrounding Paul like a pack of wolves.

We arrived in Warsaw for the Leadership Camp. About 60 older youth who have shown an interest in being church leaders will join us here beginning tomorrow. It promises to be another experience we won’t forget.

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