This morning was church. We visited the local Baptist church with our Jewish friends. There was a lot of talk about our similarities (not our differences) and the love between this congregation and the people of Israel. It was mentioned that we are all watching and waiting for the Messiah – we are waiting for his return and many of them are waiting for his first coming. As has been the case with every church service I’ve attended in Poland (three different congregations), there was tea, coffee and pastries following the service.
The kids and I spent the afternoon making a video for the first day of VBS at Rockville Christian Church. We will be connecting live via Skype on other days of the program, but are unable to for the first day because we’ll be traveling back from Gdańsk. Here she is! We think she did great and we couldn’t be more proud of her. SPOILER ALERT… don’t let any kiddos that will be attending RCC’s VBS see this! It will ruin it for them!
Ben returned from his visit with Dave to the church in Gdynia just before dinner. Yeah! Daddy’s back! These visits have reminded me so much of Paul’s missionary journeys. I think I’ll make a map of Ben’s travels just like the one in the back of my Bible! We also heard in church this morning “greetings” from other churches that members of the congregation had visited. This too reminded me of Paul’s letters, where he greets churches, tells them to prepare for visits and sends greetings to specific people. Why don’t we do this?
Finally, this evening’s session involved Max (one of the camp leaders) interviewing Ben and I. (He has interviewed a different person each night). He asked us silly questions (like how we met and how long were we dating before our first kiss), but also some serious ones. He asked why we have come back – three times now for Ben. He asked why we would give the time and expense it took to bring our whole family and stay for so long. One of the translators asked if we would be returning again. Ben gave great answers to these questions. He talked about how his grandfather’s involvement in WWII, serving as part of the American forces that liberated the Dachau concentration camp, sparked his interest in history and the suffering of the Holocaust at a young age. When he became a Christian, this interested turned to compassion and a desire for ministry involvement in this part of the world and to these people. I threw in comments here and there, including the fact that we brought our children because we wanted to be able to serve longer and we wanted to teach them love for all people in a very real and tangible way. Ben gave a great analogy that we believe that Holocaust Survivors aren’t just a trophy to put on a shelf and admire. They are a people who have earned respect, having overcome such enormous hatred. I hope that we have conveyed the message that we aren’t just American tourists who came to look at the Jewish people. We are here to love and serve.