|I found this bench during my hike.|
Friday night was an introduction and a who is who sort of program. There were about 36 people at the conference from Poland, USA, UK, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Holland. The conference was held in english, with a polish translator in the back of the room. I enjoyed being able to put names to faces and hear about each ministry. Some of these include: language schools, construction companies, counseling services, CEP board members, and others interested in CEP.
It was so interesting to me to hear how each person put Christ into their businesses, organizations, schools, and lives. For example, there are three different christian schools in CEP (one is Arka, that I work at). These are not christian schools like in the states. These schools are open for all kids, regardless of their religion. And even some of the teachers are not christians. However, they do all agree in the type of curriculum and ideas they will teach the kids. These is very different to the american christian school where christian kids are sent to protect them from the world. The kids have a weekly bible hour and different events involving prayer and worship. But it is also a place to reach out to non believing children, parents, teachers, and community. A holistic approach to mission.
During meals and after the day I enjoyed hearing personal stories of peoples ministries and what exact each person does. Wrapped into these lives were also stories about life under communism. One man told me of the joy in finally receiving his own bible when he was 17, seventeen. I probably had received at least 4 in that time, and with little gratitude. Something that is so hard for me to grasp because I have only known freedom. So to hear about the past is a big key as to why the culture is what it is today. It really was an encouraging, refreshing weekend. And I did get my time in to enjoy the outdoors and the sunshine.
|Enjoying the sunshine.|