Sunday might seem like a long time ago, but it was too good of a day to miss.
We all attempted to dress up with whatever we could find that was still semi-clean and unwrinkled. The walk to church was through Gdansk and along the water and the weather was glorious. After the whole team waited for Pastor Vanderveen to acquire his necessary coffee, we left the river and went through more streets in Gdansk to an old building, currently being used as a school.
The Church used a beautiful 14th century chapel room with amazing acoustics. We got there a little early and were able to meet some of the members we had not seen earlier in the trip. Fifteen people attended for the first time, ten of which were Gdansk residents. Everyone was willing to talk, and we had some amazing conversations.
One man, Violtek, had been seriously struggling for many years, but had attended several of our concerts and talked through an interpreter to Mr. Unger and others. He had been convicted after Mr. Unger's short sermon at a concert and attended the church very willingly. He had some deep conversations with Mr. Unger and Pastor Pawel and we are so excited about how God seems to be working in his life. Please keep him in your prayers!
One Catholic woman attended as well and was willing to talk and exchange contact information. Another lady, Grazyna, attended who had lived in Gdansk all her life. She was very open and eager to have conversation in any common language we could manage.
Pastor Pawel was able to talk to most of the visitors directly. We hope we can stay in contact with many of them and that God would do wonderful things in their lives. We were so blessed by our conversations and they're eagerness.
We sang several songs before the service as well as several through out in response to Polish songs. Pastor Vanderveen preached on John and the Eucharist while Jola translated. We took communion together and were able to sing the Doxology in both Polish and English simultaneously. It was a beautiful example of our time in Poland and the fellowship God has given us with the Polish saints. Even those of us that do not have a single word in common, can work together as we run in the same Race and are changed by the same Love. That Doxology is something we will not forget.
After the service, we sang for the last time as a chorale. Some of us got a bit emotional...God has truly blessed us by bringing us together and giving us the joy of singing!
After some good conversations we moved outside in the sun where we had a delicious lunch of all sorts of wonderful things! We will miss Polish food and Polish hospitality. Thank you to the ladies of the church who gave us a scrumptious feast.
Pastor Pawel and a few members of his band, performed a couple of amazing songs for us after lunch. I hope they are going to do a CD. :-) Joseph and Benjamin tried a few guitar songs and Mr. Unger and Rebekah sang. This is what this sort of music is for!
Racha tried to create a long string of plastic bags we could tie between the two basketball hoops for volleyball, but we were a little short. The worker that was staying at the school came up with a long strip of tape that saved the day. We played some very primitive, but entertaining games of volleyball, had more fellowship, and a generally amazing, relaxing Sunday afternoon.
We walked back to the hostel in various groups to change, loaf, played Frisbee, or card games. Peter and Miwaza interviewed people for the documentary they are planning and we exchanged our favorite incidents (some of which involved head cracking or throwing people in the ocean). God has truly been directing and teaching us on this adventure.
We met at the catering place where we had a wonderful last dinner together. Pastor Pawel gave each of the team members a letter and gift from the Gdansk church. We tried to hold ourselves together between goodbyes and acknowledgements. So many people have worked so hard and with such patience to make these past two weeks a good, organized and (hopefully) fruitful experience.
Pastor Vanderveen and Mr. Unger's labor, leadership, and encouragement have greatly affected us all. Pastor Bubu, Pastor Andrzej, Pastor Pawel, and all the other striving saints in Poland have blessed us with their perseverance, openness, and unapologetic dedication to the spread of the Gospel. What an example they have been in the front lines of battle. We will miss them and keep them in our prayers.
There are too many people to mention who have made this trip possibly with their time, money, and prayers. We are so blessed.
Pastor Pawel returned to the hostel with us where we all sat around and talked or returned to walk along the waterfront.
Some of us started to gear up for an all-nighter before flying out early the next morning... Whether this was a good idea is still to be determined, but we had fun. We could not imagine sleeping our last hours together in Gdansk.
Please pray with us-
-That Violtek, Grazyna, and all the others who heard or talked with us would be convicted and willing to talk with Pastor Pawel and be eager to attend church.
-That the Gdansk church would be encouraged and stand strong. They are doing great work.
-That all those who made our two weeks in Poland such a wonderful, learning time would be blessed and reinvigorated in their tasks.
-That blessing and encouragement would be showered on Pastor Pawel, Jola, and their children for their hard work and dedication. We are so blessed to have been able to spend a week in Gdansk with them.
-In praise and thanksgiving for our time in Gdansk and in Poland. God is good!