45th Anniversary

We’ve Been Busy

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My apologies for a delay in writing.  My last post described preparations for the big 45th Anniversary celebration of Ostroda Camp – and what a great day it was!   Although I couldn’t understand hardly a word (the interpreters were all very busy through the day with various tasks), it was great to see the reactions to pictures, camp artifacts and stories shared about memories of time spent here.  Ben was able to finish the new camp sign in time to unveil it.  I know I’m biased, but I think it’s pretty amazing.  Just another example of how God gives us each our own unique gifts and then uses them for His glory if we are willing to serve.  Here’s a the old sign and its newly created replacement.

13418551_1804860999803236_1211767344721537391_oI’ll add some more pictures from the day to our photo album on Facebook, but here’s one of the kids ringing the bell to call everyone to the chapel.  Anna and I also had the privilege of singing as part of a small ensemble we pulled together for the grand finale in the final session.  We sang Agnes Dei.  After much (much, much) practice, God pulled our voices together to close out the day.  Several people joined us even when we sang in English, but when we switched to Polish… WOW!  The place was just filled with worship when we hit a  final chorus in both languages a ccapella.  It was awesome!

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Once again we flipped the camp, this time preparing for the arrival of new team members from Missouri and Michigan, and 68 Ukrainian Children plus their counselors.  The American team arrived late last night and we spent the day getting to know one another, going over the camp schedule and making final preparations. At the last update I heard, the bus from Ukraine was at the boarder.  They expect this to be about a 2 hour process as the line of vehicles is TEN miles long and everyone over age 12 is fingerprinted.  Once they are in Poland, they will have another 8 hours on the road to reach Ostroda Camp.  We expect them early in the morning, and we are ready.  During this camp, we are playing a supporting role.  The group from Missouri is doing the teaching and leading.  There will still be lots and lots for us to do, but I’m hoping this means that I can spend more time just loving on these kids!

I really do have some spiritual thoughts to share sometime, rather than just news updates.  But the hour is late, I am very tired and brain-dead, and tomorrow begins early.  So I’ll just leave you with this… God is working and I can’t wait to see what He does with this week of camp.

Making Preparations for a Big Day

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Tomorrow, we will host a 45th Anniversary Celebration of Ostróda Camp.  We’ve been busy making preparations for this big event – making sure the grounds look great, designating the roles each of us will play and practicing a special song for the grand finale.  (I promise I have been working just as hard, but no one has taken my picture to prove it!) Ben has been challenged with a special task that I think he is especially gifted to do.  He is making a new sign for the camp using the logo he designed last year!  The hope is that the new sign will be able to be up for this milestone event.

The celebration will include 4 sessions, one for each decade.  The first is the 70’s, with music and interviews of people who were major contributors to the camp during that time.  Then 80’s and 90’s and ending with the “New Millennium” and a banquet.   I have personally witnesses the impact this camp has had on hundreds of people in the five years I have had the privilege of being involved, and I know how much camp influenced me as a child and even in my college years.  I can only imagine how many lives have been changed because of this place since it was established in 1971.  I am happy to be part of the celebration of such a great ministry, and look forward to what Ostróda Camp will bring in the next 45 years.

One quick prayer request… I posted the other day that I’ve been messaging my friend Iwona, though I haven’t been able to see her in person yet.  If you’ve missed previous post about Iwona, she is a lady I met because of our shared experience of having lost a baby at birth.  I’ve been meeting and writing with her for several years.  Today she sent me a message that she is meeting with a young lady who recently lost a baby.  She asked that I pray for God to give her the right words to share.  They are actually meeting right now at the time of this post, but prayers would be wonderful anytime.  Pray for God to grow seeds that are planted and bring healing to this young lady.