Today I am sick. I was fine yesterday and today I have a horrible head cold, sore throat and even feel a bit feverish. I napped when I could and medicated myself all day so I could be as engaged as possible and felt decent during the afternoon, but please pray that God make me better! I don’t want to miss out on time with the Jewish people because of a stupid cold!
We had a morning session with music and an activity to help them get to know one another. I’m attaching a file of the music. You’ll love it. Then we rested and had obiad (lunch, which is their biggest meal of the day). We traveled with the Jewish people into downtown Ostróda for some shopping and relaxing around the beautify city center. It was a beautiful day for this, the warmest it’s been since we arrived.
Each evening’s session will include a couple of the survivors telling their stories. Tonight we heard from an adorable man who is so full of love and joy. He is the one who immediately grabbed me when he greeted me and kissed both of my cheeks – quite a spirited little man. But he told his story saying that he wanted to talk about happy things, but he was to tell about his life and it isn’t a happy story. He talked about being moved to the ghetto and then to a concentration camp when he was nine years old, walking 42 km in winter to get there and watching people die who couldn’t survive the walk . He talked about how they weren’t given food, water, warmth or medical attention and how most died of starvation or cold. He said he could tell a lot more about this, but it would ruin our evening. 40,000 died at that camp and he was one of only 256 survivors. When he and his mother returned to their home, it was just a hole in the ground. I am amazed and inspired by a man who can show so much joy when he has such horrible memories.
We also heard from Kazik, who is the founder of the Holocaust survivors camp. He was a young adult, already in ministry when he asked why his mother always carried around a picture of the Jordan River and learned for the first time that he was Jewish. He decided that his ministry would change, and he would serve God by reaching out to his brothers.
Tomorrow we will travel with them to a canal where we will ride a boat for an hour or so. With the help of an interpreter, I hope I can have a chance to talk with them personally. I’m also leading our craft time tomorrow, so that is another thing that you can pray will go well!
Thank you all for your prayers and your encouraging posts. It helps to know that there are some of you out there following this and enjoying being a part of our experience.