Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day Three

Today we poured out of the hostel nearer 8:30 with the company of the newly arrived Alaska team and Aaron and Brenda.

We have became more familiar with the trams and their jolting much so that Tanaya decided to attempt a run away. Thankfully she was apprehended. Since then we've all been screaming "bad train" or "good train" which adds to our image as crazy tourists.

We took a direct route to the Christian school for practice and our unshaven, barefoot choir director tried to grind us into shape between breaks for water and general weariness. The tiny chairs, bright colors, and semi-disturbing dolls and other toys helped return us to a youthful mood and I believe we genuinely sounded good. It was encouraging to hear us all together.

We mobbed a few more trams and arrived at one of the large malls to have lunch at a Polish McDonalds. The menu looked better than ours, but the hamburgers smelled like an old goat. They tasted they tell me. We had a few minutes to break up and explore the shops and we got some better first-hand experience on how many Polish people actually know English. Apparently for one shop keeper 79 zl makes $350. We found something a bit cheaper...

Right as we returned to a more central section of downtown we were greeted by thunder and gigantic rain drops. We were finally ready to do what we came for, but we didn't want the songbooks to get drenched.

We ended up going out in groups handing out fliers and checking back in 15 minute increments to hear the next plan as the weather changed. Handing out fliers on the street was an interesting experience and sometimes a blow to your self-esteem. Anna outshine most of us with her charm and precise technique. Sam wins something for handing one to a man climbing into his Ferrari.

The rain faded long enough for us to jump around to three different places to perform together while Pastor Bubu, David, Sarah, and Pastor Phelps talked to people and handed out concert fliers.

Despite the occasional wetness, several people stopped and looked interested. One man tried to cross a language barrier by kissing Rebekah's hand in gratitude. That was a bit creepy... Most of the people are always very kind and polite, even if they are not interested. Others started to ask questions most of us can't understand as soon as they found out we weren't trying to sell them something.

By the time we were walking to dinner again it was pouring. We had quite the experience at the Czech restaurant. We'd made a reservation and they'd very graciously set one long gorgeous table outside under cover, but that must have been before all the rain and wind....

What most of us are probably going to remember is being cold, some of the warm drinks, and being cold. Eventually half us were able to move inside, but despite all the coldness, delays, and Joe's cheerful attitude, we had a good time. The waitress and waiter did a fabulous job, even with our poor communication, shuffling about, and general blue and shaking aspect.

Some of the other Polish CREC members met us for dinner. It is truly wonderful to have fellowship with other believers from another section of the world. We desire Christ as our identity, and it shows blazingly when we see our brothers like this!

We all walked back to the hostel in a long, tired string...but all thoroughly drenched.

It is exciting to have started on the work we came here to do. Even though it's startling to go from scorching hot to freezing cold, we're still very happy to be here. :-)

Please pray with us-

-That we would have weather condusive for singing on the street tomorrow.

-That we would be able to hand out hundreds of fliers to people willing to read them.

-That those with health struggles or jetlag would wake up refreshed and well!

-That Benjamin would arrive safely from Seattle tomorrow.

-In praise and thanksgiving to God that we are here! And that we can attempt to serve Him in this way! We are so blessed.

See Evangelos for awesome pictures and videos!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day Two

Despite utter exhaustion, we failed to adjust to the new time change our first day. No surprise.. We were buzzing about with dark eye circles and retarded jokes at 6am. By 9:30 we made our way to the town square...sadly without Peter who was being lazy. Actually, very sick. Pray that he continues to feel better and nobody else falls under the shadow of the plague.

We spent some time exploring, consuming gelato, walking on awesome cobble stones, and imbibing in vasts amounts of water. The weather is gorgeous, but hot and a few off us have turned a slightly startling rosey color.

We reconvened at an outside restaurant to drink water and other more exciting, refreshing beverages. We heard the Town Hall clock and saw the fanfare of noon in Poznan. Unfortunately only a few of us were ambitious enough to quit panting in the shade and see the goats methodically bonk heads above the clock face.

We crammed ourselves into a couple trams and found a new mall with a new Pizza Hut to devour a lunch in air conditioned bliss. It was then Bubu's pleasure to take us on a long walk through a very different sort of Poznan with a creek, abdandoned railroad tracks, and lots and lots of grass and prickles. We emerged from our exploratory ramblings in front of a Christian school where some of us practiced music while others coughed and/or dozed off (including a few of our fearless leaders).

Encouraged by our singing sucess and weary from our escapade through uncharted territory, we returned to the hostel to find Peter alive and three of our four missing suitcases. Nathaniel and his suitcase remain estranged.

Please pray with us-

- That Peter and those struggling with jetlag, colds, and damaged knees would continue to feel better.

-That Nathaniel and his suitcase would be reunited.

-That the Alaskan team would make it to the hostel safely and recover from their wearisome journey,

-That our practice and choir debute would go well tomorrow.

-That God would open doors for conversation and witness to Polish people.

We all feel immensly blessed to be here!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Prayer Requests

Please pray for the Alaska team as they are going to come in exhausted after a 5 hour delay.

Pray for health! We have several people feeling under the weather.

Today we plan on practicing, recuperating, and getting familiar with Poznan. We are all feeling very blessed to be here.

Miwaza's been posting some amazing pictures on Evangelos.  

We're here!

Even with a seven minute window in Frankfurt, we all made it!

Please continue to pray for the Alaska team which is mid-route. And pray that we will all recover from jetlag and that our suitcases will catch up with us! We greatly appreciate your prayers.

Monday, June 27, 2011

RCC team on the way!

RCC team leaving Vancouver, WA for the Seattle airport.

On our way!

Photo courtesy of Peter Mahar

Some of our team members are already in Poland or in route. Please continue to pray for safe travel. The RCC team will be leaving from Seattle this evening. Please pray for a safe trip to the airport, plenty of time, and smooth sailing through security.

Please pray for uneventful flights, some good sleep, and blessed time as all the different groups meet up on Tuesday.

Visit Evangelos to see and read about Peter and Miwaza's trip in.

Thank you!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gdansk Hostel

You can see the Gdansk Hostel here.

The Poznan and Gdansk hostel both have free wi-fi of some nature, but in Gdansk we will not have an easily accessible laundry facility.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Poznan Hostel

We will be staying in this Poznan Hostel for the first week of our trip.

This hostel does have internet access and linens. We do not have additional information on our Gdansk hostel yet, so it might be wise to bring one of your own towels.
Beds are provided with a fitted sheet and a duvet. Since it will be warm, you might consider just bringing a light all that extra room in your suitcase. ;-)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Don't forget your Passport!

If you haven't already, try making a copy of your passport, ID, debit card, or any other vital information. Leave it some where safe where someone you know can find it, just in case something happens to the originals.

If you're planning on bringing your debit or credit card, make sure you tell your bank where you're going to be...otherwise they might try to protect your account by stopping someone out of the country from withdrawing all your money. ;-)

Remember all the correct information and keep it on you, not your check bag. ;-) You can forget almost anything and we can fix it, but don't forget your passport.

Dress Code

Hopefully you've already been thinking about packing, but here is our general dress code-

Bubu said that for street ministry we can "dress like Mark Driscoll", meaning clean casual (jeans, polo shirt, tennis shoes, sandals, etc.).  For the evening concerts he wants us to dress more formally, so guys in shirts and ties, and girls in dresses or nice slacks & blouse.  For church on Sunday, we should wear what we would normally wear to RCC, or better.

Polish people dress up to to go out. No PJ bottoms. ;-)

The current weather forecast is also in the 80s, so bring something comfortable for hot weather.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thinking about Packing

The RCC team will be taking Condor Airlines, which allow the following free baggage-

1) You may take one carry-on item weighing up to 6 kg/13 lbs and 21.6x15.7x7.8 inches or smaller.

2) In addition to your carry-on item you may take one personal item (a laptop, purse, camera, etc).

3) You are allowed one free checked bag weighing up to 50 lbs and 62.2 inches (length+width+height).

See more details here. 

Any additional baggage or weight will get charged extra fees. A second checked bag will be at least $50 both ways (payed at airport) and will have the same weight and size requirements.

See more details here.

See rules for checked baggage here.
Please read the regulations for your carry-ons as well.

If you're coming to Poland with us and using a flight other than Condor, be sure to check their requirements so we all get through the airports smoothly!

Remember that you'll have to remove your shoes, jackets, belts, and any other baggy clothes or metal on you. Girls, don't wear bobby pins or metal hair clips. All laptops and electronics will have to come out of their bags/cases to go through security. Try to only carry what is light and simple to reassemble. :-)

You may be taken aside and patted down, questioned, or swabbed for explosives, so be prepared to take it in stride. These people are doing their job and we want to be able to move through quickly. Don't get nervous. It's just routine. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Week Away

In less than a week we all climb into various airplanes and make our way to Poland.

Please pray with us that we would be ready and meet all our various deadlines. Pray for good health and clear minds packing, finishing up projects, and getting ready to leave our homes for two weeks!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Carrying Joy into the World

We're currently trying to add O Panie, Ty Nam Dajesz to our repertoire. Polish is even more difficult to sing than speak...we need lots of practice. 

O Panie, Ty Nam Dajesz
is a well-known Polish hymn often song in mass or other regular, religious occasions. The last verse is translated-

You have marked out the path for us, that leads us to You
Therefore we are walking, carrying joy into places in the world where there is none.
You are the faithful God, for all eternity

And that's exactly what we want to do. Carry joy with us into Poland.

Here's a fairly traditional recording...

O Panie, Ty Nam Dajesz

1.O, Panie, Ty nam dajesz Ciało Swe i Krew. /2x
Do Ciebie więc idziemy wciąż, radosną nucąc pieśń:

Refrain: Ty jesteś Bogiem wiernym na wieczny czas. /2x

2.Przez dar Twojego Chleba, dobry Boże nasz, 
Rodzinę bratnią czynisz z nas, miłować uczysz nas.

3.To Twoje miłowanie dało wolność nam,
Chwalimy Święte Imię Boga, jak uczyłeś nas.

4.Tyś nam wyznaczył drogę wiodącą na twój szlak,
Idziemy więc, by radość nieść tam, gdzie jej światu brak. 

A live video of a more unusual rendition in a Dominican Church...


1. O Pawnyeh, Tih nawm dahyesh Chaw-woh sveh ee Krev (x2)
Doh Chiyeb-yeh vy-ehnts id-szhyemmih v-chahnsgszh rahdon-snahng
newts-ahnst pyesh-nih

Refrain: Tih yestesh Bogeum veernim, naw vyech-nih chaws

2. Pszhezz darr Tvoh-yehgoh Khlebah, dohbrih Bo-szheh nash (x2)
Rohd-szheeneh brawt-neeaw chih-nish znaws, meewoh-vawts ew-chih-szh nahs

Refrain: Tih yestesh Bogeum veernim, naw vyech-nih chaws

3. Toh Tvoh-yeh mihwoh-vawnyeh dah-woh volnosh-ch nawm (x2)
Ch-vahleemih sh-vee-enteh eemyeh Bohg-ah, yawk ew-chihwesh naws

Refrain: Tih yestesh Bogeum veernim, naw vyech-nih chaws

4. Tish nawm vizz-nah-chiw droh-geh vyoh-dawnt-sah nah Tvooyi szhlawk (x2)
Id-szhyemih vyents, bih rah-dohsh-ch, nyesh-ch tawm, g-dszh-yeh yay shv-yah-too brawk

Refrain: Tih yestesh Bogeum veernim, naw vyech-nih chaws


1. O Lord, You are giving us Your body and Your blood
To You we are turning, with a song of joy

Refrain: You are the faithful God, for all eternity

2. By the giving of Your bread, O our good God,
You make us a family of brethren, and are teaching us how to love

Refrain: You are the faithful God, for all eternity

3. This loving of Yours has given us freedom
We are praising the holy name of God, just as You have taught us

Refrain: You are the faithful God, for all eternity

4. You have marked out the path for us, that leads us to You
Therefore we are walking, carrying joy into places in the world where there is none.

Refrain: You are the faithful God, for all eternity

Friday, June 10, 2011

Current Itinerary Plans

Tuesday (arrive in Poznan early evening)
Wednesday (June 29)
                        Breakfast              7:30
                        Devotions/Welcome (Bubu) 8:15
                        Choir Practice       9:00-11:00
                        Lunch                    12:00
                        Choir Practice        2:00-4:00
                        Dinner                    5:00
                        Recover from Jet lag

Thursday (June 30)
                        Breakfast                     7:30
                        Devotions (Elise)         8:15
                        Choir Practice             9:00-11:00
                        Lunch                         12:00
                        Street Evangelism        1:30-4:00
                        Dinner                         5 (fast food dinner)
                        Concert                       7 (John)

Friday (July 1)
                        Breakfast                     7:30
                        Devotions (Sam)         8:15
                        Choir Practice             9:00-11:00
                        Lunch                          12:00
                        Street Evangelism        1:30-4:00
                        Dinner                         5:00 (fast food dinner)
                        Concert 7-8                 (Garry)

Saturday (July 2)
                        Breakfast                     7:30
                        Devotions (Joseph)      8:15
                        Choir Practice              9:00-11:00
                        Lunch                          12:00
                        Open Air Concert       4:00 (Zoltan)
                        Dinner                         @ Bubu’s castle
 Sunday (July 3)
                        Breakfast                     8:00
                        Worship (Jack Preaching)
                        Fellowship with Poznan Church

Monday (July 4)
                        Breakfast                     7:30
                         Devotions (John)        8:15
                        Train to Gdnask          11:18 am

Tuesday (July 5)
                        Breakfast                     7:30
                        Devotions (Nathaniel) 8:15   
                        Street Evangelism        9-12
                        Lunch                          12:00
                        Street Evangelism        1:30-4:00
                        Concert                       6:00  (Gary Duke)

 Wednesday (July 6)
                        Breakfast                    7:30
                        Devotions (Benjamin) 8:00
                        Street Evangelism or Old Town Gdansk 9:00-12:00
                        Lunch                         12:00
                        Street Evangelism        1:30-4:00
                        Dinner                         5:00
                        Concert                       8:00 (Zoltan)

Thursday (July 7)
                        Breakfast                     7:30
                        Devotions (Zoltan)     8:15
                        Sightseeing in Gdansk (Malbork) 9:00-

 Friday (July 8)
                        Breakfast                     7:30
                        Devotions (Garry)      8:15
                        Street Evangelism or sights  9:00-12:00
                        Lunch                          12:00
                        Street Evangelism        1:30-3:00
                        Choir Concert              5:00-6:00 (Zoltan; Old Town)
                        Dinner                         6:30-7:00
                        Choir Concert               9 (John)

 Saturday (July 9)
                        Breakfast                     7:30
                        Devotions (Gary D.)  8:15
                        Street Evangelism        9:00-12:00
                        Lunch                          12:00
                        Street Evangelism        1:30-4
                        Concert                       4 (Jack)
Sunday (July 10)
                        Breakfast                     8:00
                        Worship (Garry preaching) 10:00
                        Lunch                          12
                        Fellowship with church
                        Dinner                         5
                        Choir Concert             7-8 (Garry)

Monday (July 11)
                        Fly out at various times

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Prayer Request

Please pray with us for one of our team members, Teresa Unger.

Mrs. Unger has been having severe complications after a sinus surgery that has led to more surgeries and nights in the hospital.

Please pray that Mrs. Unger would get plenty of rest and have a complete, quick recovery.

Pray that Mrs. Unger would be able come to Poland as planned. However, if it turns out to be a serious health risk with travel, please pray that the decision would be wise and that a someone else would be able to be blessed with the plane ticket...and that Mrs. Unger would continue to heal quickly!

Continue to pray for encouragement and good spirits for both Mrs. Unger and her family.

Thank you.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Law of the Lord is Good and Wise

Another song we have been practicing is The Law of God is Good and Wise. We'll be singing it to the tune ERHALT UNS, HERR also used for Luther's Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Thy Word.

The law of God is good and wise
And sets his will before our eyes,
Shows us the way of righteousness,
And dooms to death when we transgress.

Its light of holiness imparts
The knowledge of our sinful hearts
That we may see our lost estate
And seek deliv'rance ere too late.

To those who help in Christ have found
And would in works of love abound
It shows what deeds are his delight
And should be done as good and right.

When men the offered help disdain
And wilfully in sin remain,
Its terror in their ear resounds
And keeps their wickedness in bounds.

The law is good; but since the fall
Its holiness condemns us all;
It dooms us for our sin to die
And has no pow'r to justify.

To Jesus we for refuge flee,
Who from the curse has set us free,
And humbly worship at his throne,
Saved by his grace through faith alone.

by Matthias Loy 1828-1915

Original Trinity Hymnal, #449

Please continue to pray for good music practices in our various groups amidst other preparations and pressures.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Reading about Poland online

General Information

Polishite: Website about Polish Culture and their old site, Polish Culture have some interesting information on the history and current culture of country from the perspective of Polish immigrants.

Polandian is a site written by an Irishman and two Englishman living in Poland. It's a little cynical at times, but has an interesting perspective.

Wikipedia has a short page on Roman Catholicism in Poland as well as general overview information on Religion in Poland  and on Poland as Country.

Here are a variety of interesting BLOGS that all have something to offer.

Wroclaw Workshops: an alternative guide to Wroclaw and life in Poland.

Polish Housewife: Adventures of an American expat in Poznan.

Poland our Future: American couple living in Poland.

Do you Speak Polish?: An English teacher in Poland.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Polish 101

There are numerous videos available on youtube with beginning language information. Thankfully, those of us in Oregon and Washington have an awesome Polish teacher who can correct our horrible pronunciation.

The people in this video don't seem overly enthusiastic, but there are some helpful phrases and words in here. I'm especially interested in how to say "I do not understand" and "slower please".

Thankfully many Polish people speak English. Please pray with us that we would be able to have good conversations and understand each other!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


One of the songs in our repertoire is the Latin carol, Gaudete. We've taken this name to call our choir Gaudete Chorale. 

Gaudete means rejoice, and this is exactly what we want to do and spread in Poland.

Gaudete, gaudete! Christus est natus
Ex Maria virgine, gaudete!
Rejoice, rejoice! Christ is born
Of the Virgin Mary — rejoice!
Tempus adest gratiæ
Hoc quod optabamus,
Carmina lætitiæ
Devote reddamus.
The time of grace has come—
This that we have desired,
Verses of joy
Let us devoutly return.
Deus homo factus est
Natura mirante,
Mundus renovatus est
A Christo regnante.
God has become man,
To the wonderment of Nature,
The world has been renewed
By the reigning Christ.
Ezechielis porta
Clausa pertransitur,
Unde lux est orta
Salus invenitur.
The closed gate of Ezechiel
Is passed through,
Whence the light is born,
Salvation is found.
Ergo nostra contio
Psallat iam in lustro;
Benedicat Domino:
Salus Regi nostro.
Therefore let our gathering
Now sing in brightness
Let it give praise to the Lord:
Greeting to our King.

Please pray with us that we would master the Psalms and hymns we are practicing. We're very blessed to have some wonderfully gifted singers and musicians with us, but some of us still need some hard practice. 

Pray that we would truly spread the beautiful, contagious joy of the Gospel in Poland through music!