Thursday, August 13, 2009


The photos can only express a limited amount of the heart-filled tears and hugs that were shared as we prepared to load the bus knowing that we may never see some of the campers and counselors on this side of heaven. With so many requests to return again it is hard to say, "I don't know" especially when your heart cries out, "YES!" The rush of emotions is overwhelming for one like myself who seldom allows tears to flow but when you look into so many teary-eyed faces and receive so many hugs, cheers and hi-5's; it is impossible not shed a few tears. Okay, many of us cried and all of us wrestled with our departure in different ways. Shortly before we left the bus filled with a number of the campers who were ready to depart with us as they sung some of their favorite songs. The last photo in the blog speaks volumes to how well received we were into the hearts and lives of both the campers and the Polish counselors {and they in ours)- even standing in the drizzling rain couldn't wash away their tears or ours. And to top it off the bus ride which eventually brought us to our hostel in Krakow ended with a hasty but necessary and unexpected departure by Peter (the Pastor youngest son) without even the opportunity for good-bye. "Good-bye friends and God bless! We will treasure the memories in our hearts forever!"

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday's Camp

What could be said as we prepare to depart camp? The last day to play a game of 4-Square, Ping-Pong or Captain-Captain. The last day to "officially" teach English. The last day and many of us already feel the emotional storm inside our hearts knowing that we will be saying good-bye. The best part of this English camp in Poland is building relationships, the worst part is that now that we've built relationships we must say good-bye. The closing event was before the most emotional, awe-inspiring, heart touching event that I've experienced. Better, as Dan and I agreed, than any National Youth Gathering Event - singing that raised the roof, joyous filled laughter, tears, hugs, and hearts saddened by coming departure. If you don't want God to open your heart to share and be filled with love, this is not a trip for you. written by Pastor James

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


It is hard to believe that Tuesday here in Jawornik is already done! The kids are getting ready for bed, which is always an event. Those who won the scavenger hunt are enjoying a pizza party.

It rained most of the day today, not a hard rain but soft and steady. When it rains it always puts a bit of a damper on the outside activities, but we managed to get through it. We were blessed to have had the sun come out in the evening. It is amazing to see the low clouds make their way through the mountains. With the sun coming out, we were able to get the kids to burn off some of the energy they had stored from the day with a little capture the flag.

Chapel always has a good message, today's was about watching what we say. Today's lesson was about communication and the compassion of Christ.

Tomorrow is our last full day at camp! It is bittersweet, on one hand it is hard to think about leaving the kids and other counselors...leaving all of the relationships that we've made over the past week and a half. But on the other hand it will be good to be home again.

Pray for our last day tomorrow that it will be as fruitful and wonderful as the others!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday's Camp

Thank you God for answering my prayers and allowing me to make it up the steep incline to the top of the Polish, Czech Republic boarder. I had a lot of cheerleaders but I wouldn't have been able to make it without Kurt! I kept telling him to just go ahead but he stayed right by my side. Sandy, Barb and Suzette would stop along the way to get drinks and wait for me to catch up. What great Christians we have here!

God is merciful and knows are needs and wants. I just love him with all my heart!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday's Camp

Today's pictures are of the Pastor here at Jawornik and Captain/Captain, and Dodgeball. The best part about the games tonite was that we didn't have to bandage any "Owies".

God really works some amazing things in our lives; today, has been a real up and down day. Let's start with the down -- as we were closing out our night (about 11pm - which is early for us) we found out that the file we needed of the kids powerpoint was gone. But never fear, the best part of the day was also the same time. It became a witness opportunity. God brings together the pieces He needs to accomplish His specified task to whatever pleases Him and brings Him glory. The file I'm sure means a lot to us right now, but this is just a temporary thing. The camp, the kids, the counselors, Poland; all temporary things. As we hear in Paul's writings in the New Testament; we are just strangers in this land, and that we should be looking to our heavenly home for comfort. We know that the hurts of this world are temporary, and the only assurance we have is our home in heaven. So even with things seeming so bad, they are good; because I know, (and I hope the rest of the team here knows also) that God is waiting for us -- to be in His eternal embrace.

Now, let's backstep to the beginning of the day -- the worship service. What an amazing thing. The sermon was about using our talents that God has given us to the best of our ability, and to His glory. We are here on this mission doing as He has instructed us - Go, make disciples of All nations. As we took communion today, we were given the blood of our Savior; which as given and shed for each one of us. This body and blood gives us the assurance that no matter what our current location; we have been washed clean by our Savior's blood. Written by Kurt

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday's Camp

What an amazing God pleasing sound that rang throughout the chapel tonight! The children were practicing for church tomorrow and they were singing "JOY Down in My Heart" so refreshingly it sent goose bumps down my back. I look forward to hearing them again tomorrow morning. God is so good to us here, it was a beautiful sunny day, the children were fun to play with and teach and the counselors got together for pizza and a Polish Jungle Rules card game. God is so good!
The pictures from Saturday are under Mondays

Friday's Camp

Today began much like the rest as we awoke to the beautiful sunrise with the thump, thump of the four square ball and the ping, ping of the ping-pong ball. Our connection to the students/campers as well as our Polish counselors begins and continues outside the classroom. Beyond the challenges of trying to teach our native tongue, only to realize how poorly we use our language, and beyond the beauty of this land, it is about connecting to people and connecting them to Jesus. We laugh together, we sing together, we dance together, we learn together, and together we connect with the awesome creator-redeemer God. So, today ends much like the rest - in the nailed marked hands of Jesus. Written by James.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lisa and Linda K.'s walk on Friday Morning

This was the walk we took, when we had a free hour on Friday morning. We went on the road behind the church. The hill was very steep. The farmer was cutting hay that morning. They dry their hay on these tripods that are sticks wired together at the top with other sticks sticking out to put the hay on. We saw a person, that attends church here, leading his cattle out to a pasture. Then for our walk home we had to pick wild blackberries and raspberries for energy after the steep climb up! It was a good walk. Now we have to get back and start our classes for the day. Written by Lisa and Linda

Thank You for the embroidery floss!

Here are just a couple of pictures of the kids using the embroidery floss. The children use it all the time to make bracelets and necklaces. Every time we have free time you can be sure there are at least 5 or 6 kids around the table making the bracelets. So everyone here would like to thank you St. Paul people and Aunt Barb for all the floss.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday's Camp

Today we had sunshine and rain. The theme for the day is agriculture, and we enjoyed the classes as well as crafts, such as alligators and more paper mache; music with rhythms and movement; and drama with the kids popping balloons which had the name of an animal or food inside and then they had the rest of the class guess what they drew from clues they gave. We have learned many new songs and have been able to have many outside activities. Tonight the kids are outside playing kickball and four square. The local grocery store is enjoying a landmark business with all the teachers and now the students making daily trips to supplement our meals. We still haven't had our s'mores yet. Written by Linda Johnson.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lisa's Walk

I have never been a great writer, but I know what looks beautiful to me. God is wonderful, gracious and merciful! He has created a world of beauty and splendor. I took an hour out of my morning to enjoy God's creations!

Tuesday's afternoon and Wednesday's Mornings

The children's favorite game is four square. There are some great players here! For drama yesterday they made balloon dogs, and played with playdoe. They had never seen an animal made out of balloons before. Then in art we made paper mache. Many had never done that either and didn't like the feel of it. In recreation, it rained so they were stuck inside playing games!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Classes Begin

Our verse today is Hebrews 13:17. We had a wonderful songs, God is Amazing God! Now comes the crafts, recreations, music and drama!

Monday, August 3, 2009

First Day of Camp

Today the children came to camp. They were evaluated and then decorated their journals that they will be writing in for the duration of the camp. After that there was a large game of four square. They really enjoyed that. Written by Andrew

Around Jawornik

Here are some pictures around the village we are staying in. There is a Catholic Church right down the road, a couple of stores and some homes. One home was interesting to us as it had a cow chained to the roof of the second story. The chain was around the horns of the steer.

Into Wisla

Here we are in Wisla the next largest town to our camp. Starting on Saturday they are having a folk festival where groups come from all over Europe to share their folk history. In the slide show you'll some of what we've experienced so far, folk dancers and singers, different vendors selling pottery and their woodworking items. Some other interesting street performances included break dancing and street mimes, which was amazing considering how warm it was! It was an amazing experience especially since we were able to share in so many difference cultural presentations. Written By Dan Parker

Sunday, August 2, 2009

We're Here!

Barb with the wrong passport.

We made it here safe and sound. We had a wrong passport, Thank you Barbara, and a delayed plane in Detroit which caused us to miss our flight to Warsaw. The wonderful Omaha group had to wait for us in the airport for 6 1/2 hours. There are pictures of us arriving and our church we are living at.

We went to church today. I hummed the melodies!