We didn’t go to Poland for the fun, hikes and the stamp in our passport, we went for the people. We had the amazing privilege of meeting of getting to know a small group of students while we were there. The students we worked with ranged from about 12 years old to 20 years old, most from an orphanage. Our own students did an amazing job befriending them, learning Polish, getting out of their comfort zones, sharing their stories and living it up because …
camp is for the camper
Here are just a few of their beautiful faces
We shared laughter, language barrier, miles of trails, tears and time together. Some of these students have families. Most of them are from dysfunctional and broken homes and the country has removed them from their parents for their own safety and protection (similar to our foster system). Some had no parents at all.
We heard their stories of abuse, alcohol, brokenness and more. More importantly we saw the power of God break through the barriers. We saw healing. We witnessed two students accept Jesus! We saw hours of conversations between our students and the Polish students with some deep questions. I personally was able to share my story to the entire group and then later one of the girls asked me to explain it again! So I did and it was amazing to see how God used my story to speak even just a little truth into her life.
It was so hard to leave. We felt like we had done so much during our 9 days with the students and yet we felt like we had not even begun to scratch the surface. Our hearts broke for them as we boarded our planes and headed back to our lives of luxury and they headed back to only God knows what.
Sometimes I struggle with how to process all that we saw and heard and were a part of, but I know that God has a plan for each one of our stories, whether it is that you are raised in a Christian home or that you came from a broken home, you struggle with addiction or not, you have a perfect family or none at all… I think what I’ve found from my own story and the students in Poland is that
God is still God, he is always good and he is faithful