We aren’t quite home yet, but we have arrived back in Ohio and reunited with our kiddos! The travel was exhausting and the six hour time difference has us both still a bit big jet lagged despite going to bed at 8 PM last night and taking a two-hour nap today.
George (Impact Europe) drove us back to Warsaw and Andrzej (Ostróda Camp) rode along. It was a good three-hour conversation about what God is doing in Poland. It gave us some good ideas of how we can be lifting them up in prayer and some small ways we can continue to help from the States. I’ll write more about this (when I’m more awake) for all of you that have been praying and are interested in continuing to do so. There was the question of if we will be returning next year. I loved Ben’s response. He said that we would like to, and want to consider the possibility of involving our children in the mission work as well, but that we want to make sure that we are always obedient to where God wants us to be and not jump to our own conclusions about that. If God wants to use us in Poland again, we will absolutely be there. We’ve had some confirmations that this ministry was a good fit for us, but we want to make sure we are always in the center of God’s will.
We were able to spend a little time with a Bible Study group from a Christian Church in Warsaw, where Ben also got to see a couple that he had been part of his small group the last time he came to Ostróda Camp. Once again, it was really great to fellowship with believers from other congregations. George also took us to see a Street Church that meets on Wednesday evenings in downtown Warsaw. People just stop and join the worship or listen to the speaker as they are walking through the busy commons area. It was especially busy because of the Euro Cup activities. We talked a bit about how this sort of thing would be received in the U.S., and we saw some of the mocking that we would anticipate there as well. But George commented that it is a very moving experience for him to see. In the U.S. we have always enjoyed the freedom to publicly and openly worship, but that is not the case in Poland. Not that many years ago, this would have resulted in arrests in this communist controlled country. Today, they can stand on the street praising God and giving out free Bibles.
We haven’t heard any feedback yet from the rest of the team as to how the Holocaust camp ended. Between the language barrier and the culture, it is a difficult group to work with. It is so hard to tell if lives were changed. But as a wise friend recently reminded me, God has promised that his Word will not return empty. We have to trust that the work we did with the Holocaust survivors, on the camp grounds, in the elementary school and in the area Churches will be seeds that God grows into some beautiful relationships with Him. We want to see the fruit, but God doesn’t owe us that. It isn’t about us, it’s about Him. What I do know with certainty is that I was changed.