Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The "Redeemer" Skit

  I just wanted to take a moment and throw up a quick update with some video that I recently finished editing from the Poland/Slovakia 2012 Mission Trip.
  As many of you know, one of the common issues on any foreign missions trip is the language barrier. It significantly increases the difficulty of sharing the gospel, because every phrase has to be passed through a translator. One way our church has overcome this barrier is through the "Redeemer" skit. This skit has no words, but vividly depicts the gospel message, all the way from creation, through man's fall, and Christ's death and resurrection. The "Redeemer" is a powerful skit that has allowed many teams from our church to overcome language barriers in countries all over the world. In Poland and Slovakia, we performed the "Redeemer" skit multiple times, and after each performance, one of our team members would present an explanation of the events in the skit through a translator, and would share the gospel. The following video is of our team practicing and performing the skit in Poland, Slovakia, and the USA. If you have 10 minutes, please take a look at this skit. Hopefully, it will give you some insight into one of the ways our team ministered while on the mission trip.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Poland and Slovakia Mission Trip Reflections

            First of all, if you haven't already, check out the recap video above, and the slideshow video below.
            So, after having a week to reflect, here are a few of the major themes that I saw on this trip, along with a few things the Lord showed me throughout the week.
            During the week, our team (along with the translators) studied the book of Ephesians. We would read a chapter each day, and then discuss the chapter as a group before breakfast each morning. Several of the lessons I learned during the week were directly related to the passages we were studying.
The first major theme I saw throughout the week was the incredible unity of the church surrounding us. Not any one particular church, but THE Church, the body of Christ. The first Sunday we were in Poland, we had the privilege to worship in a Polish church in Nowy Targ. Not only were there Polish people worshipping in this church, but there were also several Roma from the village of Szaflary where we worked during the first part of the week. Knowing the history of discrimination against the Roma people by the Polish, it was a blessing, and a testimony to the difference that Christ can make, to see the Polish and Roma people worshipping side by side in both the Polish and Roma languages. I thought it was also interesting to see the loving way in which our Polish translators interacted with the Roma. It was evident that the love of Christ, and the “unity of the Spirit,” was there. Also, one night, the pastor of the local Polish congregation drove to our lodge to join us for our evening lodge worship service. I was particularly touched to see him there, knowing a little bit about the Polish history, and the fact that he had given up his evening to spend time with the Roma.

Another aspect of unity I saw was the way in which the believers in Szaflary helped our team in its outreach to the Roma village in Slovakia. Our team faced a major obstacle in Slovakia. Namely, we had no Slovakian translators, and, even if we did, we were not assured that the Roma in Slovakia would speak Slovak. Fortunately, we were blessed to have several of the believers from the village in Szaflary travel with us to Slovakia. To communicate, one member of our team would speak in English to a Polish translator, who would then translate into Polish, and from there, one of the believing Roma who had traveled with us would translate from Polish into the native Roma language. This was a huge help to us, and, over time, the Roma from Poland (and the Polish translators as well) began to share with the Slovakian Roma without the need for any of our team to say anything that needed translating.
Second, I want to talk a little bit about the important role that prayer and flexibility played on this trip. Doug always talks about how important it is to be flexible while on a mission trip. And not only flexible, but fluid. If something is only flexible, it will break if it is flexed enough times. A fluid however, will adapt and take the shape of the container (or in our case, the situation and the circumstances) in which it is placed. On this trip, we really saw the need for flexibility fleshed out, especially during our two days in Slovakia. Having an organized and well ordered plan is nice, but in some situations it is impossible. Jerry told us from the very beginning that he would not take us anywhere he really thought was dangerous, but that we needed to be very careful. There were approximately 1700 Roma in this village, and only 30 of us. We didn’t want to do anything that might upset the general mood of the village. We were the first evangelical group to ever enter this village, and probably the first Americans that most of the Roma in this village had ever seen in person. We didn’t even know if we would be accepted when we arrived at the village. Jerry had tried to contact his “person of peace,” but had been unable to reach her on the phone. So, before we left the lodge, we gathered in small groups, asking the Lord’s protection and guidance for the day. Then, not knowing what would happen, we loaded into the vans and began our trek into Slovakia. When we arrived, Jerry instructed us to stay in the vans until he had made contact with the person of peace, and had a general handle on the mood of the village. As it turned out, we couldn’t have had a better reception. This really demonstrated to me the power of prayer. We had prayed for protection, and the Lord had granted it.
Finally, during this mission trip, I was stretched beyond my comfort zone. Those of you who know me, know that my interests do not exactly fall in line with those of other teenagers. I’m not musical, I don’t play sports, and I don’t enjoy being in front of other people.
One of the primary ways our team ministered while in Poland and Slovakia was through sports – particularly soccer and volleyball. I would do my best to participate despite my dismal level of sporting ability. I think I managed to make a few kids laugh through a couple of my comical attempts.
Another way our team ministered during this week was through music. There were many times when someone would pull out a guitar and begin singing as song. I would do my best to hum along, but knew that this definitely was not the area of ministry I was called to.
I knew God must have had some specific purpose for me on this trip, because he opened many doors for me to go. I believe this purpose was two-fold.
First, on the last day we were to be in Slovakia, Doug asked me if I would share the gospel after the Redeemer skit which we would perform several times each day. Now, speaking in front of people is normally outside the bounds of my comfort zone, but I had prayed about this beforehand, and had decided that, if Doug asked, I would do it. “Plus, you’ll be speaking through two interpreters, so it will be easier,” Doug said. Despite these words of encouragement, I was still very nervous as I shared. But, I do think the Holy Spirit moved as the team performed the skit and the gospel was shared.
Finally, I truly believe that this blog and my “media ministry” have been vital pieces of my God-given purpose on all three of the mission trips I have been on. I hope it has allowed people back at home, and around the world to feel as though they are a part of the trip, be able to pray more effectively and specifically, and maybe even interest them on going on a short term mission trip themselves. The viewership has been awesome, and if you read this blog I would love to hear from you! Sound off in the comments below, or contact me via:

As you can probably already tell, I took lots of panoramas while we were in Poland. You can check them all out on Photosynth here.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Poland Mission Trip Wrap-Up

Homeward Bound
            So, we’re back, the trip is over, and I’m close to recovering from the post trip haze that comes from my body adjusting back to a different time zone and American food.
            I’ll do my best here to recap the last couple of days.
            First of all, check out the message that Pastor Holland delivered to our combined group on the last day we were together.

Bus Ride
            On Friday, we packed up, said goodbye to several of our translators, and left to tour the concentration camp at Auschwitz. It was a long two and a half hour bus ride with Jamie sitting in his habitual place… right next to me. When we arrived, we realized that we didn’t have the three hours required for a guided tour, so we entered with a Polish tour group, and then broke away to experience the camp for ourselves. We could have spent days there, looking through all the stark reminders of the depths of depravity to which the human mind can sink when left unfettered by the bonds of basic morality. It was a saddening and thought provoking experience. We saw the execution wall, the gas chambers, gallows, and execution cells. We also toured a building dedicated entirely to the memory of the attempted complete extermination of the Roma people group – a people with whom we had spent all week working.


            We left Auschwitz, and began our drive to Krakow. Doug informed our group that the bus to the airport would be waiting at the sidewalk at 4:00 am the next morning. After a second or two of contemplation, Donovan declared, “If I have to get up at 3:30, we might as well not go to bed at all! Watch out Krakow!” After we arrived out our hotel, we settled into our rooms, changed clothes, and prepared to descend on the city.

            Doug, Cathy, and Pastor Holland went to dinner with Jerry and Brenda. The rest of us made our way into Old Town Krakow. We had barely made it half a mile when it began to poor the rain, forcing us to take shelter under overhanging shop doorways and awnings. There was a crack of lightning louder than I have ever heard, and Jamie jumped three feet in the air, yelled, and scared the poor shopkeeper out of her wits. After a while, Mark expressed the general feeling, “You know, who cares? I mean, really.” and started out in the rain, with the rest of us following behind. We all went to find something to eat. McDonalds fit the bill for some of us, while others preferred more traditional Polish food; for example… falafel. After we ate, we continued on, with Dillon sliding here and there on the wet concrete. At one point, we took refuge under a restaurant’s outdoor seating umbrella and were assaulted by a young man who wanted to sell us ice cream. Donovan spotted his cross necklace, and asked him “Do you know Jesus? Do you know what he did for you?” After a few minutes of conversation, we figured out that this man was catholic, didn’t understand much English, didn’t have much of an idea what Jesus did for him, and was only interested in selling us ice cream.


Fun in Krakow
            Donovan had several interesting conversations throughout the night. Once, a man with a brochure came up wanting to give us a tour of the city. “No, I’m from ‘round here, so we’re OK.” Donovan intoned in his thick Tennessee accent. He told me later, “Sometimes, I think of something to say, and it’s out of my mouth before I can stop it!” Ha-ha.
            We ended up staying out till about 1:00 am in Krakow before deciding it would probably be a good idea to acquire some semblance of rest in order to trick our bodies into and through the next day. We grabbed our two hours of sleep, and then got up and went outside of the hotel. The bus that arrived was a seven-passenger bus (instead of 14 we thought we had reserved), but after a few minutes of broken Polish and English traded between Cathy and the bus driver, he agreed to let us all pile in.

First Flight
            We arrived safely at the airport, and at this point our team officially split. Karen, Cathy, Pastor Holland, Jamie, Tyler, and I began our journey homewards, and Doug, Donovan and the Andersens began their journey to Ukraine.

            After three uneventful flights, and roughly 24 straight hours of traveling, our half of the team arrived safely at the Roanoke airport. Despite being the last flight into the airport, we had a quite a greeting party waiting for us when we arrived. Tyler began a countdown as we walked towards the terminal “Thirty more feet of Jamie. Fifteen more feet of Jamie.” Jamie decided to make the most of this time as possible, and set off every one of his noise making key chains, which he had bought in the Charlotte airport.

Jamie's Attire
            So, safely home, I’ve had some time to reflect on the trip. God taught me a lot of things on this trip… leaving my comfort zone, flexibility, the unity of the church, the body of Christ. But, that is a topic for another time. Continue to watch this blog, as I will make an occasional post from time to time. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Final Day in Slovakia

            I hope everyone enjoyed the blog from yesterday. For those of you who have asked, the video was the same one that was shown in youth group at FHBC on Wednesday night. Also, if you click on each of the pictures on the blog, you can see them in full resolution. This includes the group shot at the top of yesterday’s post.
Camouflaged Jamie
            So today was our second and final day in the village of Podhorany in Slovakia. This morning, we loaded into the vans, and began our trip to the village. The drive to the village is absolutely beautiful (Tyler says “Hey”). We drive to the southern border of Poland, and then drive over the Tatra mountains and into Slovakia.
Mark's Group
            We had many young kids waiting for us when we pulled into the village today. We told them yesterday that we were coming back today, and they were right there waiting for us. For safety reasons, Jerry had a quick word with the person of peace before he let us get out of the vans. It was clear, so we hopped out of the van, and began setting up for the Redeemer skit. I had a chance to play some music as we waited for people to gather for the skit. I chose my songs carefully (sorry, no dubstep Alex and Joseph), and our playlist included “God of this City,” “God’s Not Dead (Like a lion),” “Your Love Never Fails,” and “Forever Reign.” In case you’re unfamiliar with these songs, three of the four of them came off of the Newsboys’ latest CD, “God’s Not Dead.” “God of this City” is the only song that didn’t, but I thought there was something very powerful about being able to play this songs as several hundred Roma from the village gathered to hear the gospel message preached. Truly the Lord God was/is the god of this city (or village), just as he is anywhere else; Poland, Slovakia, the USA, etc.
            On this particular day, I was with Mark’s group, and we started playing Frisbee with some of the kids. Towards the end of the game, Mark asked a Polish interpreter to translate from English into Polish, and another translator, who then translated what he said from Polish into Roma. Mark shared with them the story of the gospel, and related it the best he could in terms a child could understand.
            We then went back to where the vans were parked, and performed the skit one last time before we left. This time, it was my turn to give an explanation of the gospel message presented in the skit. I was a bit nervous to start with, but managed to make it through my gospel presentation.
            After the Redeemer skit, Jerry was going to try to hand out copies of the New Testament in Slovakian audio book form (most Roma can’t read). But as he opened the back door of the van, a lot of village kids wanted the three balls that they could see were in the van. No problem right? We were planning on giving the balls away anyways. Except for the fact that there was only three, and every kid wanted one. Donovan and I were packing up the portable sound system when we saw Doug waving our team to hurry to the vans. We decided against opening the back door to put in the sound equipment, and went straight to one of the vans. Donovan told me to hop in, I did, and he cleared the way for Jerry to back out his van. Once we were sure we had everybody in the van, we quickly left the village. We appreciate your prayers this morning while we were in this village. The Lord kept us safe, and we are grateful to Him.
One of our translators (with a translator) sharing
            Tonight, we had our last time of sharing with the Roma. Doug played a bluegrass selection on one of the hotel guest’s fiddle, and there were worship songs by Katie and Melissa, and the Roma. We also had an ethnic celebration hosted by the Roma.
            Tomorrow, we leave for Krakow, and would ask for your continued prayer as some of us stay in Poland, and some of us continue on to join the Ukraine team.

 *Editor's Note: Unfortunately, the following text has been given a rating of less than 50% in terms of historical accuracy. Besides the part about Jamie. That part is completely true.

            Well blog fans it is with great sadness that I tell you that this will be my last blog. It seems that Mr. Z Wymiotowac is heading back to the states the day after tomorrow, and insist on taking his computer with him. I am sorry but will promise to fill you in on the rest of our great adventures when I return home from the Ukraine.
            Today we went back to Slovakia to share with the people there. We had a great day and all of Ezras food only went down and not back up. What an accomplishment!!!!! Tyler however is now married to a beautiful polish lady, in her lower 80’s and is happy as could be. Karen was not sure of her son getting married while here, but then found out he was worth 3 goats, and an area rug (that we are pretty sure was once a live animal). So good trails Tyler and blessings to a block house full of young soccer players. Jamie has made the record books by being told his is crazy in more languages than we can count. He has however tried his best to find a wife, with no success. Doug, as always, has been our fearless leader. He has honorably sampled every polish sausage served to us and then explained its flavors with extensive detail before we subject ourselves to it. Thank you Doug. (Future note: Taste just like a Vienna Sausage with something else. Is not a good description, so do not eat this one.) On the other hand Pastor Holland has been a REAL trooper. The kids here love him and he has a blast telling them how old he is. They do get quite confused when he keeps flashing 10 fingers over and over and over and then holds up 3. They seem to think it is some kind of American game with the same answer every time.
            Well fans so sorry to make this short but it is nighty night time and we have another big day tomorrow. Will update you on the rest of the group when I return. Love you Chug Bug….Love you Hot Rod…..and Daddy will be home to take care of mommy real soon…till then you know what to do……D

Sunsets continue to be amazing.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Last Day in Szaflary, Poland; first day in Podhorany, Slovakia

Our team with the translators and Jerry Goss
First of all, I apologize for the fact that there was no blog post yesterday. The reason for this is explained in detail in Donovan’s blog below. Suffice it say that I was preoccupied. Hopefully this extra long blog (including a video) will help to make up for my shortcomings yesterday.

Doug's Jeans
            Yesterday was our last day in the village of Szaflary. As usual, we arrived and began playing volleyball with some of the older kids, and passed the ball around with the smaller ones. Doug decided the jeans he was wearing were too hot, and promptly turned them into shorts with his knife. This was a win-win situation. The kids in the village had 15 minutes of free entertainment, and Doug had new shorts.
            As usual, we fixed lunch for the Roma village: kielbasa, bacon, and cheese. The bacon is especially delicious. This is real bacon. Not the stuff that you find in the grocery store shrink-wrapped in a package, but real thick fresh slices of bacon.

Donovan floating concrete
            Also yesterday, we got to do a bit of construction work in Szaflary. Several of the men in the village had put up a form that needed to be filled with concrete. Patrick (one of our translators) alerted us to this, and we walked in that direction to see if we could offer our help. When we got there, they were just beginning to mix the concrete, so were able to help them mix, pour, and float the new concrete. We also had a little bit of concrete left over, with which we made a small step for one of the homes.
            After we had played, eaten, and worked with the believers in Szaflary, Mark led his daily Bible study. We also performed the Redeemer skit for the village. We used a 9-volt battery-powered amp, that Alex built me before we left, to play the music for the skit. The amp worked surprisingly well, despite how sketchy it looks (which made me wonder whether or not it would make it through security, even in my checked bag). The actors from our team who performed the skit did a good job, and afterwards, Mark prayed with one young man who was ready to commit his life to Christ.
Improvised speaker stands
A hardcore amp
Katie and Melissa leading worship
            Last night, we again had our end-of-day share time, with worship led by Katie and Melissa, and songs by the Roma, as well as testimonies from Americans, Poles, and Roma. This was an amazing time, as it always is.
A Roma man playing the guitar
            So, now for today. As a bit of a warning, today was radically different from what we have been doing for the rest of the week, so buckle down, hang tight, and see if you can follow me.
            Today was our first day in a Roma village called Podhorany, which is located in Slovakia. Podhorany is home to about 1700 Roma, and our church is the first mission team to ever go into this village. The people in this village speak mainly Roma, and some Slovakian, making our Polish translators almost as helpless as we are in terms of language. To combat this, several Roma believers from Szaflary traveled with us to Podhorany. In order to speak, one of us Americans would speak in English to a Polish interpreter, who would then speak in Polish to a Roma interpreter, who would then relay the message to the village in the native Roma language. Jerry, and his helper Rafel, have been able to find a lady who they refer to as a “person of peace.” A “person of peace” is a believer in a yet unreached town or village who would be willing to have Bible studies or prayer meetings held in their home. They’re also act as a point of contact for Jerry in regards to bringing teams in, and allows him to keep a finger on the general pulse of the village. Jerry endeavored to make contact with his person of peace before we left the hotel where we were staying, but was unable to. Due to this, he told us very firmly not to get out of the vans once we arrived. He also asked us not to take pictures until we had been given permission by the village. With only one contact in a village of 1700, we did not want to accidentally step into a bad situation that could quickly become an ugly one. So, as a group, we prayed for protection, and then left for the village.
            Two hours later, we had passed into Slovakia, and arrived in Podhorany. As we drove through the village, kids and adults waved and smiled at our vans, filled with Americans, Poles, and Roma. We approached the person of peace’s house, and Jerry stepped out of his van. After a few intense moments of conversation, Jerry came over to our van and gave us the all clear, and we piled out of the van. All the people in the village were excited to see us. There was almost two hundred people there in the beginning, and we had at least that many throughout the day, along with several hundred more at various times throughout the day. Jerry had warned us beforehand to be very careful. Being so outnumbered, there were many things that could go wrong. The first thing we did was set up and perform the Redeemer skit for the crowd that had gathered around our vans. The actors in the skit (Cathy, Dillon, Jamie, Melissa, and Ian) really did an amazing job. We ended up doing the skit twice, once with Katie explaining the gospel afterwards, and once with Donovan doing the presentation.
New Friends
A Roma man, and his son
            During the rest of the time we were in the village, we did the best we could to communicate, and to build relationships with the people in the village. We played soccer (the universal sport), threw around a Frisbee, and played games with the children. Over the course of the day, we believe we saw about a dozen people give their hearts to the Lord. Of course, only God knows if they are genuine decisions, but it was encouraging to see this.
Karen's group
Nice hat, Pastor Holland!
            We ask for your continued fervent prayer as we go back to the same village tomorrow as well. Pray that the Lord would protect our team, and that we would be living examples of God’s love, both in our words, and in our actions. Pray that the Lord would give us words to say to the people we encounter in this village. And above all, pray that the Lord would save many souls on our last day in the village tomorrow.
Andersen Family

 *The below text has received an accuracy rating somewhere in-between 90% and 95%.

First off….So sorry to my fans but even I, the great D, Big D, Uncle D, Donovan the man, needed some sleep last night so I did not post anything. I will try to do better and make up for it tonight since the beauty sleep does not seem to be helping anyway. We started off today with a trip to Slovakia. I took it upon my self to make sure MrZchuck (Ezra) sat up front with the driver so he could see out the windshield. I made this decision after his name was changed last night to Mr Z Wymiotowac. Do not worry original Chuck fans, Wymiotowac means throw up in polish. That’s right bloggers Ezra has once again lived up to his name and made the polish sausage do a return trip through his system. No worries he is fine, and we had an uneventful trip through the mountains. Thank God because we had no ventilation in the van so if he would of blew, I would of too.
Dillon and Ian with some soccer friends.
            We arrived in the village and were greeted by a mob of kids and people. They were so happy to see us and LOVED to have their picture taken. Mark Anderson had a huge crowd following him, until I had a translator tell him that his name was Mark. They keep saying “Johnny Depp no?” and we said “NO Mark” so about half of them left but the rest stayed to play Frisbee with him anyway. I even had my own following of children wanting to play soccer with me. Unlike grade school, they all wanted me to be on their team!!! If you have ever seen me play soccer, this should key you in on how confused these children are. I played as hard as I could and had several laughs, so the way I see it, we all won.
There were crowds like this around every American
            We preformed the Redeemer skit twice for the village and saw several decisions. PRAISE GOD!!!! One of the times I explained it to the crowd, which was very interesting. It had to be translated from English (with heavy Tennessee), to Polish, and then to Roma. The main thing is that, through all the translating the people heard the message and responded!!!!!!!! PRAISE GOD!!!!! I can not say that enough. After hearing me speak several times this week and witnessing to the people today, Pastor Holland pulled me to the side and said “Brother Donovan, I think you would make a fine preacher”. I always knew that man was filled with knowledge. But then again maybe the heat was getting to him, either way I’ll take it!
Well, hate to run but need a little rest before Slovakia tomorrow. Love you Chug Bug…..Love you Hot Rod……and yes, keep taking care of mommy for me. D

End of a very long day.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Post Coming Soon

          Due to some unforeseen circumstances (including power outage in the hotel), there will be no blog post today. I hope to have one posted before you guys in the United States wake up in the morning.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Poland, Pushups, and Panoramas

In the interests of getting a somewhat decent amount of sleep tonight, today’s blog will air on the shorter side.
            First, check out the hotel which we are staying at:

Today was the second full day that we spent in the village of Szaflary. We played volleyball, soccer, and games with the kids. During our volleyball games, we instituted the 15 push up rule for the team who lost. The opposing team was one point away from losing when the ball popped, robbing me of the chance of seeing Donovan do push-ups.

No push ups for Donovan
For lunch, we fixed a meal with our customary Polish sausage, bacon, and cheese. Mark Andersen also led an adult Bible study, and Donovan Haynes helped the little kids make salvation bracelets, with different colored beads representing different parts of the salvation message.
One of our translators (Dagmara) with several of the village kids
This evening at dinner, we had a special time of celebration for Doug and Cathy’s 19th anniversary, and Cathy’s birthday. During the shopping trip yesterday, Donovan and the Andersens had picked up two cakes.
Tyler and I in the local "Wal-Mart" (small convenience store).
            This is a view of the hotel and our meeting building before our group share time began:

We also had a group share time tonight as usual with the Roma from Szaflary joining us. Katie and Melissa sang several songs, which was followed by the Roma singing several songs as well, one of which was “Open the Eyes of my Heart.” Pastor Holland also gave a short message.

This is a panorama of the inside of building in which we meet for our nightly share time:

Pastor Holland delivering his message with help from Tomic (one of our translators).
I’m excited to see what God is going to do the rest of the week, especially in Slovakia, which we will be driving into on Wednesday. Please keep us in your prayers, as we try to continue to minister to the best of our abilities.

Again, picture does not do it justice.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Church in Poland, Pizza, and Shooting Video

            So, today is Sunday, and we have had quite a busy day.
            We got up early this morning to leave for church to ensure that we were there on time. This was especially critical considering Pastor Holland would be preaching. We ate breakfast, and went outside to await our vans. Well, a van eventually showed up. Van. Singular. Yes there was supposed to be two vans. Apparently, the other driver had a problem, and couldn’t be here. So, we all packed into Jerry’s van, Patrick’s car, and the one rented van. (Hey, this is Tyler typing. Bye.)  Continuing after that untimely interruption… We rode into town packed into the various vehicles.

The Church in Nowy Targ
          Check out this panorama I took on location at the church:

Sleepy Doug and two of our translators.
            Once there, we sang several songs, two of which I recognized: How Great Thou Art and Revelation Song. I found it kind of difficult to sing along in English while listening to the song in a foreign language, but you could tell that these people were truly worshipping. Most of us gave a short introduction to the congregation. Jamie’s was my absolute favorite though: “My name is Jamie. I am currently 16 years old. I do not have much to share.”

            Pastor Holland then preached a sermon on Peter’s statement “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This was his first time ever preaching through an interpreter, but he did an exceptional job.

Pastor Holland, and the pastor of the church in Nowy Targ.
            After church, we were invited downstairs for coffee. As we waited for the bus to arrive we tried to decide where to eat lunch. 

Happy Ian
Tyler and Melissa waiting.
Good Pizza
One of our translators knew a good place to eat, so we followed her to a Polish restaurant that (luckily) served pizza. The pizza was delicious although several members of our group were surprised to find their drinks coming in a glass bottle – no refill.

Cheese and "Salami"
            After lunch, we headed back to the hotel. Donovan and several of the Andersens went on a shopping trip to the local Wal-Mart equivalent. I sent my camera with Donovan to take video. More on that below.
            Our dinner this evening included Schnitzel and American French Fries; the ultimate culture clash in terms of meals. After dinner, we rehearsed the Redeemer skit in preparation for tomorrow, and had our nightly share time with the Roma. Pastor Holland spoke on prayer, and the night was concluded with lively music from a couple of Roma musicians.
             Things are going well here, and we look forward to a full day of ministry in Szaflary tomorrow.

*Editor's Note: It is now time for Donovan's take on the events of today. As a slight disclaimer, the factual accuracy of the following is probably drifting closer to the 65% mark. You should be able to tell fact from fiction, with the exception of one thing. Donovan was indeed approached in a Polish supermarket while shooting some footage for me (thanks Donovan). The factual nature of the interrogation that followed, however, can not be confirmed.

Crocs with socks.
(From Donovan) Finishing up day 2 I feel the need to fill in all my fans back home with todays events……First off we attended church today and several of the Roma people came and joined us, Pastor Holland had a wonderful message that was introduced by 6-7 songs and followed by 4-5 more. Pastor Ken would be so proud, but please don’t get any ideas!!! Upon returning to the lodge, myself and a few others wanted to take a trip to the local super market. This is where I was introduced to “the law” “5-0” “smokey” “the man” or as I like to call them the man that screams in polish while I look utterly confused. Let me first say I was innocent and believe it or not IT WAS EZRA’S FAULT!!! See being the good friend that I am, when Ezra said “I don’t feel like going to the store but would you take my camera and film some so I can see what it looks like?” I was more than happy….that soon changed when we found out it is illegal to tape is a store!!!!!! After two very large polish men drug me to a dark room I explained that I was a tourist and helping a friend that could not make it….I pleaded not to take the camera because it meant so much to my dear brother so after several lashes they agreed. The camera was returned safe and sound but for some reason I keep walking into things and have started stuttering a lot a lot a lot……
            On the better side, I have been very impressed with how many of the Roma people remember the members of our team from last year. They have asked about several people that are not here this year. We visited a Holocaust survivor and she asked about Meg Carter. We had a letter from Meg and after the translator read it the lady replied “God Bless Meg”….it was so touching. Later that day as we walked along the road several of the local cattle asked about Ricky Wampler. We replied that he could not come and they carried on about something we could not translate. I think they miss you Ricky but I’m not quite sure…. Well better save some for tomorrow……Love you Chug Bug…Love you too Hot Rod….Keep taking care of mommy!!!!!

The End.