As told by Kendrick Clark: Today for breakfast we had potatoes and sausage, with bread and jam, along with the cereal, coffee, and tea. It was delicious as usual. After breakfast we headed back to the primary school that we were at yesterday. I am in the songs and dance group with Kathleen, Jamie, and Garrett, and today we had grades 1 and 2. Most of the kids we were with today knew very little or no English. This made things a little bit more difficult, but God really opened up the hearts and minds of the kids and allowed us to find ways to communicate with them and to teach them some simple English words and phrases. It was super cool to see the kids smile, laugh, and have fun learning new songs and dances with us. All the teachers were grateful that we were there and they enjoyed watching us interact with the children. The other groups taught English and played games with the kids and they were pleased and felt really good about how today went. Our goal in all of this is to love the people here in hopes that we will open doors so that Jesus (and the Baptist church in Sopot) will become more known.
After school was finished we went to the Sopot House, which is a place for kids to come hangout after school, especially if they do not have a good home life. The people there took us to the Hippodrome, which is a place that races horses, as well as, provides horseback riding for people with special needs or disabilities, or with anything that would require horse therapy. A couple of us rode the horses, but we mainly just walked with the Polish kids and tried to talk with them as best as we could. It was really fun to be with all the people from the Sopot house and get to know them better. The teenagers there are even helping us learn and pronounce some words in Polish! The kids there really love having us and they enjoy learning and getting better at their English skills be talking to us and listening to us communicate with each other.
Then after that we left and rode the train to Old Town to meet up with Team Adrian. We looked in one shop for like 20 minutes, then went to the Hard Rock Café and had some American food and it was really good. My bacon cheese burger and ice cream hit the spot. After hanging out there for a couple of hours while eating and talking, we jumped back on the train and headed back to the apartments. We discussed our days and made some plans for tomorrow, which will be the day we get to have fun and tour a castle and go to some shops and maybe even the mall. Now we are all cleaning up, journaling, and getting ready for tomorrow. God is so good and he is doing great things through our groups here in Poland and I am so excited for the rest of the week!
As told by Emily Wilkes: I woke up at 6:30 am this morning feeling sick and had no voice. I started to talk and no sound came out. I knew heading into a middle school full of kids waiting for me to have lots of conversation with them was going to be challenging. My group (team Adrian) headed to the train station to get to our separate schools we were assigned to. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do about not being able to talk. As we got to the school my heart filled with joy because I got to see these amazing kids I’ve built relationships with. Today was kind of hard for me, because I wasn’t able to speak to the kids and I had to rely on my partners. God showed me that speaking isn’t the only way to love others. I didn’t see it at first, but talking isn’t the only way to show Jesus and the love he has for these children. Just being in their presence was enough for me. I don’t have to use my words to show how Jesus loves, but by my actions I can. I can show God’s love with or with out words, each will be glorifying God. After a day at school, we took a train to old town to go site seeing and a little shopping. Later tonight we went to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner and dessert. Overall it was a great day filled with loving others and with God’s beauty!
At told by Isabella Babin: Wow, is all I can begin to start with how today was. My day started with waking up at 6:55, unwillingly. Yet, the Lord made himself ever present by shooting the negative thought down (of waking up early) by reminding me of all the faces filled with joy that I would see today. I was out the door at about 8:10 in the morning. A few people on our Poland team got food poisoning, about three adults and a couple of students. Though almost all of the students and adults that didn’t get sick were stressed out and worried that our plans had to change, God was still ever present. I’m not sure in the end how our “new plan” worked out but I know that God was not left out of the equation. So, with a few changes made to the groups we all went our separate ways to our schools. Specifically with my group of Connor and Hannah, we went to a prestige high school in Gdańsk with the name something along the lines of IB. This was our first time working with older students and I must admit I was a bit discouraged because I thought that they might think we are per say, a bit silly in a sense. I definitely was proved wrong when they went along with the game that we played to learn each other’s names. Not only that, but instead of taking their break (school break of 10-15 minutes long), they decided to hang out with us and ask us questions of ourselves and about the United States. I did have to leave early though because, Connor and Hannah had already been taken to the next school but I stayed because they didn’t have enough room in the car so the driver (Adrian) came to pick me up after they were dropped off. So we were at the middle school, the school my team went to yesterday and we were introduced to about three new classes. Two classes were about 13-14 years old and the next class was around the age group of 11-12. They were all very accepting and not only did everyone have a smile on their face but each one of them shared with us. After much laughter from laughing at each other’s “trying to speak English” and “trying to speak Polish” our team invited them to our Texas Night and Thursday mall day that will be talked about on the blogs of Thursday and Friday! My team of Brett, Kylee, Hannah, Connor, and Tara were taken to the train station so we could be taken to old town which is in Gdańsk. We shopped around and did some sight seeing and after that ate a massive meal at The Hard Rock Café.
Apart from our day, I just want to comment how joyful I am of having the privilege to be on this mission trip. I can’t express my emotion towards how much God is showing me in my life through this trip on paper. I don’t think I’m speaking for myself but God has put so many people in my life to direct me towards the plans that God has for this trip and for my life, and I can’t give enough gratitude. Please continue to pray for us as God reveals all he has in store.