Monday, July 7, 2008
Last week our family was invited to join a church in Warsaw for family camp. We spent the week in southern Poland near the border of Czech Republic. Ginger and I were anxious to explore that part of Poland and excited about spending an entire week with a group of Christian families. It certainly stretched our Polish speaking abilities, gave us a little more insight into Polish culture, but it was a blast too. On Monday we hiked up to the highest peak in the immediate area, about 4000 ft above sea level. We learned that when Polish people say they are going to hike, they are really going to hike. Before the hike began we were debating on whether or not to bring the kids, especially Aubrie, but were told it was a fairly simple climb. At 11 am we started out and finally got back home EIGHT HOURS and 10 MILES LATER. At times the trail went straight up and in other places it wound endlessly around the mountain. About three hours in it began to downpour but all in all the kids were real troopers. We kept Aubrie motivated by stopping for "chocolate breaks" every thirty minutes or so. It seemed to do the trick and Bradey made the entire hike even though he was battling an ear infection. The picture of the kids is at the peak, you can see they were in good spirits (probably handled the hike better than mom or dad).
One observation from the week was the sense of "family" or "community" we got from the other families. Everyone called each other "aunt" or "uncle" but well beyond the names, all of the activities were done together. Our family took a day to go exploring on our own and when we returned it seemed like we were genuinely missed. I think the term "Family Camp" could be expanded to "Extended Christian Family Camp." I had the opportunity to preach three times and one of those opportunities I forced myself to preach in Polish again, they were gracious and didn't smirk when I slaughtered the grammar or blends. We had a great time and made some lasting friendships.