They’re off! Thirty-one kayakers donned with life jackets, hats, and eager smiles embark on a five-day mission adventure down the Rospuda River.
Their kayaks, a vivid assortment of red, yellow, green, and blue, are crammed with sleeping bags, tents, clothes, and food, and their most important cargo—magazines and books for sharing hope in Jesus.
When they come to a village, they go from home to home, visiting and praying with people and offering them literature about Jesus.
Along their route they share 3,500 copies of the newspaper edition of Signs of the Times and sell hundreds of books, including The Messiah and The Great Controversy on CD.
They even meet people who bought books from them on a previous trip down the river. “It’s wonderful to hear that people have read our books and received a blessing,” says church pastor and kayaker Piotr Stachurski.
This was the fourth kayak mission trip for members of the Podkowa Le´sna Adventist Church and other local church members who enjoy the yearly adventure. This time nearly half the group was between the ages of 7 and 15. “It’s great to see our young people involved in mission,” says Pastor Stachurski. “They learn how to serve from the adults and their enthusiasm encourages us.”
The Rospuda River winds 41 miles through pristine forests and marshy meadows. Paddling around 11 miles a day, the team saves plenty of time for outreach and Christian fellowship. At night they gather around a blazing fire to worship God and pray for the people they met that day.
“It’s difficult for the Adventist Church to grow in Poland. Materialism is a huge challenge. Poles want to catch up with Western Europe, but they work more hours and earn less than many Europeans. They often work two jobs and have little time to read the Bible. Please pray that the Polish people will come to know Jesus.”
Pastor Krzysztof Roszkowski
Global Mission director, Polish Union Conference
Adventist membership in Poland: 5,700*
Adventist population ratio: 1:6,600*
* 147th Annual Statistical Report – 2009
To connect with people in Manhattan, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has established a center of influence called Life Hope Center Bryant Park.
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