Saturday, July 05, 2008

Poland update (2)


It turns out that internet access was sparser at camp than I'd anticipated. I snuck online a few times in the past two weeks, but never for long enough to write anything. Apologies for that...

Since the last post, the young kids stayed around for another 3 days, and then we had a week with teenagers which finished this morning. The first camp finished well, mainly because we were a big enough team to share out the energy needed to give the kids a good time. Our prayer for them is that (1) they saw something of Jesus in our lives and interactions with them, and (2) they'll remember what they learned so that in the future when their English improves, songs like "Jesus loves me, this I know" will make sense.

This time last week, a coachload of teenagers had arrived in the mountains at the hotel where the camps are taking place. Many of them were familiar faces, having been before. Others had heard about the camp through various channels and had come from all over the place. This year we had kids at Camp Arka who live in Warsaw, Bydogoszcz, Denmark and the Netherlands! Some of them were going cross-cultural just to attend camp.

For me, the week was very encouraging. I taught a group of 5 young guys (15-17 years old), all of whom spoke very good English, and all of whom are believers. So after a couple of days I was able to abandon traditional lessons and dive into some Bible study to help them in their Christian walk. Other kids are in need of your prayers, because in the past year or two they've started to slip into rebellion, emulating gang culture and turning away from their parents. The other male native speakers did a great job in starting to mentor them and hopefully it will bear fruit in the months and years to come.

It was fun today to travel up to Warsaw on the train with the 5 kids who live here and came to camp - 2 of whom were in my group and the other 3 sat on the dinner table with David and me. Seeing what the post-camp atmosphere is like for the kids was interesting, and it was great to hear them singing "Mighty to Save" and "Open the Eyes of my Heart" to themselves on the train, which we sang through the week with them.

So now I'm in Warsaw after 12 hours of travelling. I'll be here until Monday afternoon when I board the next train, bound for Moscow.

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