The sun beamed into Diane’s kitchen this morning, its smile promising balmy weather for our train ride to Poland later in the day. We were washing breakfast dishes when Karla, one of our Canadian IM partners, showed up for coffee. Ah – sweet fellowship with this dear woman who has spent the majority of her life ministering in Europe. She drove us to the train station, and our speaking tour began.
Diane, Karla, and myself at Kosice, Slovakia train station. Poland – here we come!
Nearly six hours passed as we trained our way through Slovakia and into Poland. Rolling hills, plowed fields, cathedral steeples, and red-roofed homes dotted the countryside. I felt like I was a part of the set for “The Sound of Music.” Julie Andrews and the von Trapp family singers could have waltzed over a hill and I wouldn’t have been surprised.
This trip was a God-given gift. I needed this time to rest and reflect about the circumstances surrounding my being here while my family’s in Canada planning my father’s funeral. The quiet enabled me to write something to Dad’s honor that my husband can read at the service.
Iwona, a Polish IM coworker, was waiting for us when our train arrived in Cracow. What a sweetheart. She flagged a taxi, took us to a hostel where we’d stay for the next two nights, and then unpacked the supper she’d prepared for us – Polish goulash and bread. “I must care for the strangers in our land,” she said. “God says so.” Then we walked about eight city blocks to the church building where women were busy preparing for tomorrow’s conference. They’d expected about 60 women to attend, but 110 have registered! I believe God is up to something big. There’s a huge sacrifice involved in this trip, and I believe with my whole heart that God will honor it with a wonderful eternal harvest.
Another IM coworker, Carol, joined Diane, Iwona, and me for a short walk to a favorite dessert restaurant. “You must try something here,” said Iwona. “There are many wonderful treats from which to choose.” She was right. How these European women can stay thin and trim is beyond me. Vanilla and strawberry ice cream doused topped with fresh strawberries and sauce, and smothered in real whipped cream – how’s that for bedtime snack?
By the time Diane and I walked to the hostel, we were very ready for bed. We prayed for the women who will come to the conference tomorrow and for my family and their needs, and then fell asleep.