Monday, June 27, 2011

Off to Polička!

The day has arrived! Today I am flying to Prague where I will meet with some friends and end up in Policka by Friday night! I'm so excited about all of our preparations for this year's English Camp!

This year we are receiving back the ripples of the relationships we have been enjoying in Policka. When there was no longer an American available to write the curriculum for the English Camp, several of our strongest volunteers stepped forward to say they would plan it(our 8th Camp!), if we would come and help. I was concerned in the beginning, that they were just trying to get us to come visit and not so interested in the camp. We always knew there would come a day when we would have to let go of the English Camp and let new programs develop. So, I asked Jarda to ask the group, “Why do you want to do this? Is it just to spend time with the Americans or is it about spending time with the children?” Without a thought, he replied to me, “both.” They love to see us, but the volunteers now have the ultimate desire to share the camp with more and more kids.

Why? Because it has made a difference in their lives and effected the way that they see the world. Many of those on the curriculum planning team, made up of only half church members, have visited the United States through the help of people in in Cimarron Presbytery. Premek, Jarda, Petra and Jitka, were all greatly affected by their experiences here with the congregations in Ponca City and Stillwater Presbyterian Churches, as well as other friends throughout the Presbytery. As they have written the curriculum, they have designed spaces for them to share their experiences about American culture. Even the non-church members want to share what a difference has been made in their lives and the way that they see the world thought their interactions with the Camp and their relationships with those of us who have befriended them here and abroad.

When we began these English camps and English classes, we were helping the church reach out to the community and now we are witnessing them reaching back. Instead of building the bridge in one direction from the church to the community, many non-church members have extended their help to meet our bridge somewhere in the middle.

If you're interested in learning more about the camp there are many ways you can keep up with us. First off you can continue to keep "czech"-ing my blog, but you can also check the Blog of the English Camp during the camp July 18-22. I will post that link when it is closer to time. You can also watch my sermon from yesterday at First Presbyterian Church where I gave a larger explanation of how far we have come with the English Classes. Also, you can invite me to come preach and/or share about our trip when I return to the US in August. I will be back in Oklahoma while I continue my search for a call as a pastor in the PCUSA.


More Energizers!

Meet part of our team!

Have fun with the youth of First Presbyterian Church, Ponca City, OK


No comments: