|Volunteers in Mission
Trip to Koszalin, Poland
May 31 – June 9, 7007
I had been to the Northeastern part of Poland when I was in the Baltic countries about four years ago. Went down to teach some students string at a University in Oryzsy. It was a driving trip of only a couple of days. I was anxious to return to see more of the country.
Ten of us flew from Oklahoma for the purpose of painting and insulating a church in Koszalin. We flew into Berlin and drove to the Northwestern part of the country. What a beautiful drive with lots of windmills and storks.
While at the church, we did work very hard putting up insulation in the attic roof and painting the gutters while the women gardened.
It was a very small congregation and the pastor and his wife had not made many inroads to the community yet. Therefore, I was not able to get into the schools to do string. I did teach the team members…who went home and used the knowledge in their own church communities. I also gave a program for the church there and worked with some other small groups.
The string ministry works even in the airport. What a great way to involve some strangers in community.
We ate very well. The young pastor’s mother came in from the country to cook for us. What wonderful meals they were; great pastas, cheeses, creams, breads, pickles and salads. Topped off with pastries of fruit, gelatin, cream and who knows what else. It was beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. Everything was prepared with great presentation.
We took part of one day to go to the Baltic Sea for a boat ride. The drive through the countryside was wonderful. It looked so much like the postcards with small hamlets, farms and beautiful fields surrounded by woodlands. We saw many stork nests, some with little storks in them. There were a few horse carts along the way.
We took one day to go to Gdansk. The old city has been restored from the destruction of WWII. Things look as they did in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. It was a nice trip into the past.
On the return trip to the Airport in Berlin, we had a chance to see some of the sites there; The Wall, Brandenburg Gate, the Cathedral, and a trip to the top of the TV tower.
It was on this trip that I met Shannon Lemons and she was able to see just how well the strings work with strangers and for sharing the Gospel.
She has since put me in contact with friends of hers in Palestine. I have arranged a trip there in January of 2008. Three weeks in the Bethlehem area trying to get Palestinian and Israeli children to play together.
The string is a perfect vehicle for this. One never knows where the next trip will come from.
We all worked hard and met some wonderful people. I was the youngest man on the trip…at 67. Fellow travelers, Chester and Harold, were great models of what I can plan on in another 10 years.
I need just such models to keep me going. They worked me under the table.