Today was mostly another day of working to prepare for the Holocaust Survivors camp… cleaning, finishing projects, making welcome cards for their beds, etc. (We did get a chance to spend an hour or so in downtown Ostróda doing a little shopping and strolling). But then the excitement began as we welcomed some familiar faces, and many that will soon become familiar faces. It was so wonderful to greet them as they came off the bus and see many that many recognized us as well. Haim and his dear wife were probably brought the biggest smile to my face. They waved me to them, hugged me and immediately asked about bracelets! Ha! Haim is the friend I wrote about last year who had said goodbye telling me that he was starting to see things differently and had many questions. I was overjoyed to find out yesterday that he was baptized into Christ last fall!
One familiar face is not here. I have written before about Erika. I’ve heard her health isn’t good enough for her to travel. Please pray for her in that regard, but also that God will give me just the right words she needs to hear as I plan to write her a letter to send back with the group.
Another prayer request… Kazik shared tonight that he has a dear friend in Israel who needs our prayers. This many is in his 90’s and has been a life-long atheist. He too is suffering from some health issues. Kazik was stunned when he asked him to pray for him, as this man has never spoken any form of belief in prayer or the God we pray to. I don’t know what God’s plan is for this situation, but I can’t help to think that He must be doing something in this man’s life even as he may be nearing the end of it. Please pray for this man’s eyes to be open and for him to leave a legacy of faith. I understand him to be a powerful and influential man in Israel.
Today is also the start of the Jewish Festival of Weeks, Shavuot, which commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the Israelite nation on Mount Sinai. We celebrated this with our Jewish friends tonight, and will hear lessons stemming from this portion of Scripture tomorrow.
There are many details I would love to share, but it is very late and tomorrow begins early. I will leave you with as many pictures from the day as I can, but please understand that we have been asked not to post pictures of the Holocaust Survivors.