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  • Writer's pictureMatt Hines

Our Last Full Day With Our Friends

Tuesday was a day of traveling, laughing, crying, and goodbyes; our last full day with the Holocaust Survivors (HS), our hosts, the translators, and the camp staff.

The day began, as each of them have, meeting together each morning for devotions with the camp staff. I will miss these people, most of them Americans, some Poles, some Ukrainians. Their hearts are wide open to what God is doing here. It is a difficult thing to minister in a revolving door of groups from different places and different ages each week. It is emotionally draining to connect with workers and campers each week and then watch them leave. They have been a great source of comfort and encouragement to me personally.

We did a morning trip to a large nearby city, this regions capital city, Olsztyn. We walked to the castle in the historic section of town. On the way, we stopped to take pictures of with a statue of Copernicus, who hailed from this beautiful city. We walked the historic district and then most everyone made his or her way to a modern mall a few blocks away. It was here we saw some American exports like Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut. It was also the first place we were able to get ice with our drinks (very rare here).

We returned back to Ostroda for lunch and then our HS friends had free time till dinner. Our team provided a bookmark craft and a foot rub spa during the afternoon. The times we spend together build trust and the survivors share a little about themselves. Some of the stories are heart wrenching and make us realize how good we have it in America.

Before dinner Matt played ping pong against one of our HS friends and she was a fantastic player. After dinner we had our last evening chapel with everyone. It was an emotional time of gift giving, picture taking, and farewell hugs.

It has been a long two weeks and all of us are ready to see our families again. As you are reading this we will be traveling to Warsaw where we will see a few sights before we get a short nights rest and board the first of our flights back home at 6:00am our time, midnight your time. Please be in prayer for us as we travel, our layovers are about 2 hours for each destination, and we are praying for no delays. We should arrive back in Savannah at 5:00pm on Thursday if all goes as planned. We are looking forward to seeing everyone on Sunday.

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