Don't you sit upon the shorline and say you're satisfied. Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tides
Poland was amazing beyond words, therefore making the whole experience hard to summarize adequately for those who, with varying levels of interest, ask me how it was. Something I don't talk about much is my spirituality, making me a poor Christian I suppose. My life had been, for lack of a less severe term, spiraling out of control. Slowly. So slowly in fact that I barely even noticed it happening. The Poland mission trip knocked everything back into place and I am now orbiting at the proper distance around God again.
(Good metaphor, me.)
I have a lot of stories I could share, including, but not limited to:
- Scandalous swim wear
- A daring escape from a watery fate
- Making friends on my own
- Learning random Polish
- The Baltic Sea: Overprotected Polish Child
- The water, sand, and silly string capers
- Being pwnd in dodgeball by a boy with only one arm and two stumps for legs.
- Scary driving
- Inappropriate jokes on a crowded train ("I feel like I'm going to concentration camp.")
However there is only one story I feel stands out as the defining experience of my trip.
We had a worship service every night where we would sing, hear a spectacular sermon from "Serge", and sing some more. The campers would dance in the aisles, throw their hands in the air, jump around, and praise God at the top of their lungs, and they would listen with interested. One night one of the founders of the camp came and talked to us and told us about his son, Ben. About how when Ben was a little kid he told his mom and dad that he wanted to tell the whole congregation that he loved Jesus. How when Ben was 12 he got a postcard that said something like "All that I have, all that I am, all for the Lord", and how Ben signed his name under that and put it on the fridge.
And then, with a big smile on his face, the founder told us of how one day when Ben was 14 and they dropped him off at his school, Ben walked across the street and was hit by a car. The founder kept talking faster and faster, smiling more and more, telling us about how it was so hard for them to go through, as parents, to lose Ben, but that they knew that he was in Heaven with the savior her loved so much, waiting for them. Ania, the young translator, began to cry as she had to share his Polish words with those of us who could not understand and her sorrow was starkly contrasted by his joy.
Even now as I type this, emotion is overwhelming me. He was so happy, so joyful, so incredibly sure about Ben's place. He obviously had a lot of time to put things in perspective and this happiness was, to me, the least expected but somehow most logical way to look at it. In Ostroda, Poland I learned again about the power of Christ and the healing power of belief, and above all that what we do on this earth has a greater purpose than just our whims.
I might actually be getting an apartment, for real, so here's to hoping. I might have to duel at dawn with Brian for the master bedroom. I'm not good at employing my feminine wiles, so if anyone has any suggestions on how to con a man out of a big bedroom, let me know.