Yesterday was a work and errand day. Between camps, there is no kitchen staff, so April & Kyle have the added responsibility (on top of all their other tasks) of feeding themselves and any volunteer workers that are around (like us). And cleaning everything. And getting the grounds ready to host the first full camp. Wojtek, the camp’s maintenance guy, has a long list of stuff to buy, fix, replace, etc. Oksana & Andrzej are swamped with paperwork and phone calls. The first short-term team arrives today, so there are rooms to prepare and a bigger crowd to feed tonight. So yesterday we all rolled up our sleeves and tackled the list of things that needed to be done. I helped prepare breakfast for everyone, Ben did the dishes, we all grabbed rakes to clean up pinecones so they wouldn’t get caught in the mower, and the kids pulled weeds from around the chapel. Then there was grocery and supply shopping that took us in different directions. Today I’ll start working on the supply room that needs some serious sorting and organizing, and set up the prayer room.
Many people are disillusioned about mission work. I’ve seen it in the interns and short-term workers we’ve met over the years and, it has been part of several conversations with friends at home. There is a glorified perception that it is going to be entirely sharing Jesus all the time. But that isn’t the reality. In education training, we learn about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – that children can’t learn if their physical, mental and emotional needs are unmet. The same is true in ministry. If the camp is falling apart, dirty and broken, the people won’t be able to come and receive the Message we came to bring.
Jesus tried to teach us this. “…he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” John 13:4-5.
We want to teach God’s love, but first, we must live it out. We want to bear witness, but it often begins with picking up a toilet brush and mop. We came to serve, not to be served. To give, not to take. Jesus calls us to follow his example. To humbly serve whatever the task, and to remember that He who sends us is greater than those who bring the message. (vs. 16).
So we pick up pinecones for hours in the dust and sun, scrub backwash from glasses and cobwebs from the rafters. If that isn’t spiritual enough for you, the work time is a perfect opportunity to pray for the coming groups of workers and participants. But make no mistake, it’s all a part of the mission.
- For the family of Beata Kołak, a young ministry partner who passed away last week
- For the team from Compassion Christian Church ( Savannah, GA) traveling and arriving today
- For Kazik Barczuk, one of the directors of the Holocaust Survivors Camp, whose mother just passed away
- For the Holocaust Survivors arriving at Ostróda Camp Monday
- For my friend Iwona who was hit by a car crossing the street the other day. She is ok, but badly bruised and banged-up. She is a working mom with two small children.