[Photo: Anna Baz]

General Conference

Adventist Polish and Ukrainian Refugees Meet for Summer Camp

Pathfinders from both countries enjoy nature activities and a baptism.

Poland | Trans-European Division News and Adventist Review

Ukrainian and Polish Pathfinder leaders worked in collaboration to organize a summer camp with Adventist members from both countries. With open hearts, Polish Pathfinders opened up the camp to their new Ukrainian friends now living in Poland.

Located in the picturesque region of Mazury, Poland, at the Waszeta Recreation Centre, near the city of Olsztynek, the camp welcomed 200 teenagers and their instructors.

The theme of the camp, “Chronicles of the Last Battle,” provided an opportunity for campers to deepen their faith and believe in Jesus as the ultimate solution to conflict and sin.

The Best of Teams

The summer camp was teamwork at its best. While the Ukraine team ran the program, the Polish team ran the logistics. “On behalf of the Ukrainian church family, we want to give special thanks to the sponsors, the Polish Union of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the districts, and the Polish Children’s Aid Foundation,” said Antonina Kozak, Ukrainian Pathfinder leader. Everybody contributed to make sure the young people received everything they needed: “comfortable transportation, carefully planned and balanced meals, city tours with gifts, and sweets for evening bonfire meetings.”

 The camp chosen by the Polish team is a cozy, quiet venue, situated in the middle of a coniferous forest and within walking distance of a lake. Twice daily, campers went swimming or enjoyed kayaking and paddleboarding, sharing the lake with seagulls and ducks.

Each day, campers could choose two activities out of the twenty scheduled, including field games, crafts, and camping skills. In addition, they could play football, volleyball, and table tennis, or try to overcome their adrenaline-driven fears at the rope park constructed by the instructors.

Eighteen Ukrainian teenagers gave their lives to Jesus through baptism. [Photo: Anna Baz]

Eighteen Ukrainian teenagers gave their lives to Jesus through baptism. [Photo: Anna Baz]

The Gift of Safety

“Without the generous support of the Polish Union members and its leaders, this camp would not have been possible,” leaders commented. “In addition to the provision of an abundance of activities, perhaps most of all, young people were given a safe place and the opportunity to hope for [a] better future and forget, for a brief moment in time, about sadness. Each day spent without the sound of sirens was an indescribable gift for everyone and will forever remain in their hearts.”

The camp ended on a high note with the baptism of 18 teenagers who gave their lives to Jesus. “Thank you for showing true Christianity,” Kozak said. “Thank you, Polish Union and Fundacja Pociecha [Children’s Aid Foundation].… Our friends, without you, none of this would have happened. Glory be to God, and many thanks!”

https://ted.adventist.org/news/the-gift-of-a-safe-place/

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