hey’re off! Thirty-one kayakers donned with life jackets, hats, and eager smiles embark on a five-day mission adventure down the Rospuda River in Poland.
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.
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 is the fourth kayak mission trip for members of the Podkowa Lesna Adventist Church and other local church members who enjoy the yearly adventure. This time nearly half the group is 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 is encouraging to us.”
The Rospuda River winds 41 miles through pristine forests and marshy meadows. Paddling about 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.
The church in Poland is growing slowly. There are about 5,700 members, one Adventist for every 6,600 people. For many of the villagers living along the river, the mission team members were the first Adventists they had ever met.
This kayak trip was funded in part by the mission offerings you give each week in Sabbath school. “Our church is so thankful for the opportunity we’ve had to share the hope we have in Jesus,” says Pastor Stachurski. “We know that people are reading the material we’ve shared and that some have requested Bible studies. I hope our kayak story will inspire others to organize creative mission trips to the glory of God.”