Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cultural Exchange

It's one thing to speak about mission theoretically as empowering others for action, and it is another to read it back from one of your partners in mission. Enjoy this letter from one of the volunteers which helped plan this year's camp. Keep in mind that this young adult was once a student, became a volunteer and now volunteered to be part of the planning team which encouraged and implemented the existence of this camp.

Dear Ann and Kerry,

American camp 2011 is almost over, so I think, that now it is time to summarize the results. It was our 8th camp! Unbelievable!!! I was on every one of them, so I think that I’m kind of old dog, who can compare it and maybe find some deeper ideas in it. Your president writes every year a State of the Union address, so I’ll try to do something similar. I’m writing you, because (maybe I’m wrong) for me Ann Salmons and Kerry Ebbert are like American parents of this project, so you have right to know, how is your baby after 8 years of living:) Well, I can tell you, that your camp is doing well.

I was thinking about all camps a lot during this last week, and I recalled the story from your history, the oldest story, the story of the pilgrim fathers—A group of people, who believe in God and his love, went to a different country and tried to do something good and they succeed. Of course, there is a lot of differences, but for me there is a clear message. Like pilgrim fathers you took your families, spent lots of money and time to get to a place, which you don’t know, somewhere behind the ocean, 10 000 miles away, among people with different language and culture, where you knew just family of pastor Jan. I think it’s incredible and definitely same like pilgrim fathers:) God didn’t control people like puppets, he is more like a sign, which show us the best way for us, and the choice depends just on our decision. You decided to take this task, and during one week you planted here in Polička seeds of love, understanding and sharing. We were kids at that time, I was just a 12 year old boy, only one in my family, who speaks a little English, but I understood, how wonderful the camp is. And during time new people have come like Jarda, Martin, Jitka, Dan and so many others. I think, that I can say, that you and your friends from USA plant a seed in every helper and volunteer at the camp.

In Luke 8:4-15 we can read: While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the
path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”
I think the seed is like volunteers, some of them went away, some of them were really excited the first time, but then they stopped, but some of us stay. Well, look at us now!!! Previous camps were prepared by Ann, Kati, Jeremy and Jamie and a lot of other people from USA, but the people and kids for whom you did it were growing up during that time. We are not kids anymore, we are young adults and we are able to prepare the camp by ourselves. Unbelievable, your small seeds grew up
into young trees and you made a big group of young people, which want to continue with the camps in Polička. Congratulations!!! You connected people from different countries, generations and faiths in the big arms of Jesus love.

It definitely doesn’t mean that we don’t need you anymore! Like kids needs their parents their whole life, the parent will take care of children, even if they are big and independent. It just means, that we are big enough to take care of some work, not to disturb you with every tiny problem. It means, that we can do the work, the skits, background, games etc. and you can just come to see kids and your old friends and see, how something, which you hardly started, can go on its own with the people, which you have raised in love and trust in love and God. I know how you took care of the camp this year, even though you couldn’t be here. Your friends told us about your work in USA, which helps a lot.

Thank you mum, dad and all American friends,
Přemek (young camp tree, which you planted)

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