With tomorrow a travel and preparation day – today was our day to have fun as tourist. We could not have packed more into the day if we tried!
The day began an hour from Elblang at The Molbrok Castle – the world’s largest castle but was nearly totally destroyed during WW2. Incredibly – they are still doing repair work and you can see pick marks many walls from bullets and mortar.
Our next visit was very sobering – the Suttoth Concentration Camp. Over 65,000 died at this camp – which is incredibly only 1/46th of the number of people who died at Auschwitz. A very dark place but one that is a reminder what happens when we a don’t confront evil forces.
Our final stop was the Baltic Sea port town of G’dansk. WW2 literally began in this Polish town when the Germans took it over. Today it is a beautiful town filled with winding European streets and shops and cathedrals.
Tomorrow we leave for Warsaw!
Each night the leadership team gets together to review the plans and themes for the next day’s camp. With Friday being the last day we will be with the kids – the theme was to share with them the salvation message.
The leader asked one of the camp staff about sharing the message at the morning meeting. This staffer had put together all the notes to talk to the kids and was fully prepared to lead the talk.
It was at this time I look over at Sarah – who had her arm raised. I thought she had a question and someone even said – Sarah’s arm is raised. When the camp leader called on her she simply said:
“I’ll do it.”
“What?” said the leader.
“I’ll lead the message.”
And that was it. Sarah shared the salvation story with the campers today and told them that is why she came to camp – so they would know that Jesus loves them so much that he died for them.
It was a memory I will never forget!
Camp children with Pastor Pawel
Posting this a little late. The jet lag caught up to us and we were in bed early last night.
Today we stressed to the kids the importance of forgiveness – both when another person does us wrong and the forgiveness given to us by Christ on the cross.
We played games called Missionary Tag and Mummy Wrap. Sarah sang Blessings by Laura Story at closing.
Today’s theme at camp was temptation and sin. Not an easy topic to discuss with anyone of any age. .. But Christ did not die for “those without sin.” It leads us to tomorrow’s subject of forgiveness.
Sarah and I played a game of Banana Grand Prix with the kids – a relay race where kids raced each other while balancing banana skins on spoons, passing it to the next runner in line.
We also had the kids participate in a scavenger hunt – searching for notecards that had John 3:16 written in Polish and English.
We discusses love and how we show love to each other – and how God showed His love to us by sending His Son to die for us.
Sarah has sung at the closing service each of the past 2 days… Today singing “Jesus Friend of Sinners.”
Sarah “hiding” a notecard.
Today was our first day at camp. It’s remarkable how quickly major language barriers can be broken by simply being available.
This picture was the highlight. This girl walked up to Sarah and took her hand and held it. No words were needed.
100 kids attended today’s camp. To put it in perspective, we are in a city of 125,000 people and there is only 250 who regularly attend Protestant churches at 2 churches!
We also visited an orphanage.
From the time we left Mayfield at 10am yesterday, we estimated it would take about 28 – 30 hours of travel! I am writing this from the airport in Frankfort – 20 hours into the trip.
The flight from Chicago was uneventful and we caught a few hours sleep. We leave here in an hour for a flight to Warsaw.
Thank you for all your prayers!
We made it to Elblag at 5pm Mayfield time!
Here is our first destination – Elblag, Poland. Elblag is located in the north, near the Baltic Sea.
We will be working at a camp with 125 youth while in Elblag – teaching English and Bible.