We made it!!

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We are happy to report all fourteen of us have made it safely through a long night and day of traveling adventures and have arrived at the camp! Some of our traveling highlights were playing the “umbrella game” and “black magic” on the bus ride from the airport in Warsaw to the camp in Ostroda, as well as Charlie’s seat cushion sliding right off his seat as the driver quickly hit the breaks, and our traditional stop at KFC halfway to the camp where Hannah locked herself in the bathroom. We are now unpacking, playing ping pong, chatting, connecting to wifi and impatiently awaiting dinner. I think it’s safe to say it will be a very early night for everyone. Tomorrow morning we will head to the city of Gdansk to do some sight seeing and by the time we return to the camp the campers will have started arriving! Thank you for all of the prayers for our safe travels and we ask for continued prayers of safety for everyone this week. We’re so excited to see what God has in store for the camp this year!!

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Thursday in Polska

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It’s Thursday, almost the last day of camp. Everyone is getting tired from the heat, the sports, lack of sleep, and just plain overall fun. Some of us adults from Pender are really feeling our muscles (I may think I’m still able to play flag football and throw a softball, but my body thinks otherwise!). It was a little difficult getting the campers motivated to continue with the individual sporting activities today, but Colleen managed to get spirits and bodies moving with a couple of warm up dances. As the songs began, campers started migrating out of their cabins and onto the ‘dance floor’ (the driveway!). With plenty of water breaks, and campers migrating between their chosen sport and the climbing wall, we made it through the two sessions. It wasn’t long before someone ‘threw a grenade’ (something the Polish leaders drummed up for a little added fun for the campers – one of the leaders yells ‘grenade’ and everyone is supposed to fall to the ground; if you’re left standing, then you are thrown into the lake and possibly rolled in the sand; as not all campers were at the morning meeting the other day to hear this explanation, then they were fair game for being left standing). Two campers and one of our own (Phillip Helms) were the unlucky ones to be thrown into the lake today. After an afternoon of free time and resting, a ‘building bridge’ activity began in the crafts room. Each cabin (there are four) was to build a bridge out of popsicle sticks and hot glue. The bridge had to be at least one stick high, 3 feet long, and constructed within 30 minutes. It was fun to watch how they worked together (after a little squabbling) to build their bridges; some strong, some weak, some a bit rickety looking. After dinner we held the competition – to see how many bibles the bridge could hold before breaking (or the bibles fell off). The campers had a great time watching the competition and the winning bridge managed to hold 17 bibles! We ended the day with a worship service that started out very energetic with singing and dancing to praise songs followed by a visual presentation by Sergus and Marek explaining how to receive God’s light and how it will always be with you no matter what may happen in your life. They asked for anyone to speak about how God’s light has affected their life and three campers came forward to share. Everyone lit a candle and laid it around the large cross that had been placed on the floor for a beautiful, peaceful presentation of God’s light. I have truly enjoyed watching the campers make new friends and become comfortable enough around we Americans to share about their lives. Collin and Ben A. have bonded with some of the younger boys as they are always climbing all over them (literally), playing soccer, and having all around fun times. It’s going to be hard saying goodbye to them all on Saturday.

Lisa Bryda

Disciples

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To believe in God with your mind is not enough. You conciously need to enter into a relationship with God spending time in God’s word and prayer. Today’s devotion was on disipleship. Our team focused on the 12 disciples and what we could learn from these ordinary men who through the power of the holy spirit did extraordinary things. Jesus spent a lot of time in prayer before choosing the 12 disciples. John 6:70, “did I not choose all of you’re my 12” His minstry was based on his selection, there was no Plan B. Our devotion went through each of the 12 disciples from Peter to Judas often providing new insights to our own Pender diciples here in Poland.

At Worship service that evening we decided to do a skit where our youth participated in a game to see who was paying attention about the 12 disciple facts we went over in the morning. Three teams, Team “NOAH competition (becausae we have no competition), “JOB Well Done” and ROOFKIE (Ant in Polish) had to pop a balloon to be the first to answer the question. Lets just say our youth must have been a little tired in the morning. Below are the quiz questions, do you know your 12 disciples? And no Ben, Nathanial was not the overly logical thinker. Paastor Z… gave a sermon on never stop dreaming and being a learner. Our master and teacher in heaven has a plan for us and wants us to actively seek him first. End of the service was filled with dancing and singing followed by a late night NED vs ARG soccer match.

Blessings,
Theresa O’Brien

1. What disciple was known as “the rock” and was always asking Jesus questions?
2. Who told his brother “we have found the Messiah” and brought him to Jesus?
3. Name the two sets of brothers that were disciples.
4. What was James’ and John’s nicknames and why?
5. Which disciple was a rational thinker?
6. What did Jesus want Phillip to do?
7. What disciple was also known as Bartholomew?
8. What was Thomas’ nickname?
9. Why did Thomas not believe that the other disciples had seen Jesus after the tomb had been found empty?
10. Which disciple was a tax collector?
11. Which disciple may have been a “backstabber” or terrorist?
12. Which disciples nickname was “the less” or the younger?
13. Which disciple wrote the book of Jude?
14. Which disciple made many mistakes and was always listed last in the Bible?
15. What was Judas’ biggest mistake?

Greetings from Zbigniew

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Hello, I am pastor – z. That is so good to have a wonderful people from Pender UMC on the sports camp. Since the first time when they came it is my strong remaining and missing for your wonderful church. I miss some people who are very special for us who were working with us in past years like Stan Kurzeja, pastor Kenny Newsome, Tim Lyberger, Mery Beryl, Sarah Hocker, Lesia and Mark Reese, David Shuping, Mike Dingman and many, many others. I want to tell you that the camp is going well and we are so grateful for everyone who was helping us in your many ways.

Blessings in Christ – our Savior and Shepard.
Zbigniew