My day started off with the blare of my alarm at 6:15am.  I groped for my phone to shut it off before waking the room of sleeping students around me.  I dressed quickly in the chilly air, noticing the first light of morning was struggling to shake off the last remnants of night.  Somewhere over the mountain in Poland, dawn had already begun, but in our little cabin in the woods, I was the only one awake.

I like mornings in camp because of the quietness.  It gives me time to process what God has been doing in the last 24 hours and to pray for the needs for the day ahead.  This day was special, since it was the last day of our English mini-camp.  Behind us were the two evening talks where elements of the gospel were presented through skits, testimonies, and preaching prepared by our team.  The workshops, designed to foster communication, were all completed.  Today would be about finishing strong.

After an amazing breakfast, we had a brief morning program where a video of Fred Kingman (the leader from LifePoint Church in Nevada from this summer) again underscored the gospel connection of Christmas:  Jesus came to save us from our sin by ultimately dying on the cross.  Thanks Fred! Immediately following the morning program, we finished the final sprint of English classes with modules on decorating and gift giving.  We had a lot of fun with these modules, including cameo appearances of Betsy Sullivan and Carson Slater on video. However, with every moment we had together, I knew we were closer to the end of camp.

Perhaps the one thing that sticks with me most from this camp was a statement made by one of the students.  She said something like this: “It really means so much to us that you came back.  It makes no sense that anyone would come back – in winter.  It made me think that you must really care for us.  I have come to understand how Czech people can call Americans ‘family’”.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

We closed camp with an official farewell ceremony where the Czech leadership thanked us for coming all this way to help.  I was given the opportunity to express my heart in return.  I let them know that we feel like the ones who should be thanking them.  They have welcomed us into their county, their church ministry, and their hearts.  Though we closed this chapter of our trip, we will continue to pray for them until we return again.

Although camp is over, we still have a meeting with church leaders and an English Club to participate in over the next two days before heading back to Prague.  Thank you for joining along in this mission.  We are so thankful for your support.