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  • Writer's pictureMatt Hines

The Olympics Come To Ostroda

Saturday was Olympic day at Camp Ostroda. Our group has certain responsibilities during the week in addition to caring for the holocaust survivors; morning devotions, crafts on certain days, a presentation about Savannah and a teaching time. But seemingly the most anticipated of our responsibilities is Olympic day.

The day began with a healthy breakfast and the morning gathering of the camp for worship. Mike Frew is our team member who coordinated the Olympic effort, so after worship he led our camp through an explanation of the events and divided us into teams. The rest of the morning was set aside for practice.

After lunch, and the food is great by-the-way, we assembled near the field of competition and had our opening ceremony; which consisted of walking in a circle and waving as if there were a crowd of people present. Then the competitions began; a game with elements of bowling and bocce, basketball shoot, spoon relay, soccer kick, and a cup and ball game connected with a string. The final game was a water ball competition where 8 Americans, 2 from each team, had to stand in the soccer goal, 4 at a time, and get pelted with water balloons. I got drenched, but it was welcome after a warm afternoon of competition.

Following dinner, we assembled again for our evening worship time. We had our closing ceremonies and the revealing and rewarding of bronze, silver, and gold metal winners. The Olympics were well received by the Holocaust survivors. I look forward to sharing many pictures from our trip with those who attend our Stake Holders Dinner.

After the service, one of the Holocaust survivors asked to speak with me. So we sat, with a translator, for almost two hours while we asked each other questions. She could not understand why we, as Christians, were being so kind and caring toward these Jewish people. She said the way we loved her was like “honey on her heart.” What a beautiful phrase and what a glorious opportunity to show the love of Jesus with these people.

Please continue to pray for us. Tomorrow is Savannah Day and our team will have an opportunity to speak about our lives and share the verses of scripture we chose for this trip. Tomorrow night I will have an opportunity to speak to these people in our worship service. Please pray that God will use the words I speak to help break down their resistance to Jesus as Messiah.

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