Holocaust Survivors’ Retreat
Today was our trip to Stutthof Concentration Camp with the Holocaust Survivors. As you might imagine, it is always a somber time as we walk through the camp. But there is a Star of David monument next to the gas chamber where the atmosphere always takes a little turn. Many pick up rocks to place at the base in remembrance. This year someone had added a sign that read “Next Generation Israel”. Then we join hands in a circle around the monument for prayer and a few songs – a declaration that the Jewish nation that still lives! I was honored to stand between two of them, one a big man with a soft heart who was a little emotional as the singing began. I felt him squeeze my hand tight and he gave me a little half-smile and a kiss on the hand as the circle broke. Although we can’t communicate in words, I pray that the love of God is just pouring out of us into them.
We’ve been very busy with the Holocaust Survivors. Thursday was a nice road trip to Gdańsk, a beautiful city on the Baltic Sea. Yesterday, we did various activities at and near the camp (flea market, crafts, kayaking, etc) with them followed by a wonderful celebration to begin Shabbat – dinner, dancing, and a concert from guest musicians I could have listened to all night. Today, we held Olympic Games. This is one of my favorite days during this camp. They get so into the competition and it is just a great opportunity to just hang out with them.
Kazik has shared that he doesn’t think any of our Jewish friends came to this camp believing in Jesus, but there are some questions being asked that indicate they may leave different than they came. If not believers, at least with seeds planted and hearts a little more open to the possibility. Keep praying to that end!
Here is a collection of pictures to illustrate the events of these days.