Building relationships in Poland
This summer NNU on a Mission sent ten students led by Mark and Susan Wheeler to serve in Poland. A member of the group, senior Christian ministry major Caitlin Hunt, shares about her experience and the work they accomplished.
Q. Hey Caitlin, would you tell me a little bit about your trip to Poland?
A. The trip was incredible, and while we didn't build houses or help out in orphanages, we still did mission work in different ways. Our base was a coffee shop ministry called Sweet Surrender which Bob and Coleen Skinner have made into a church/ministry.
We spent the first week in Krakow, Poland where we spent most of our time in Universities and middle and high schools having conversations in English with the students and helping them with their English. We also helped with a kids day where about three elementary schools came and had a big field day. There was face painting and soccer and basketball, and we helped run things and set up.
The second week we spent in Poznan where we were primarily in a Catholic boarding school helping students with English and organizing games for them. We also were able to do some touristy things like visit Schindler's factory, the Salt Mines, the Jewish Corridor and Auschwitz.
Q. What was your favorite part of the experience?
A. My favorite parts of this experience were our home stays and getting to stay with students in Poznan. The students showed us around and we were able to build relationships and friendships with them and learn more about culture first hand. Bob and Coleen were so awesome and showed us around and told us stories and took us to all the amazing sites and places. I also loved the food and learning about the history that is there. This trip has given me more life experience and has opened my eyes to more of what is out there in the world!
Q. Many people say mission trips change their lives. How did the experience impact you?
A. I would definitely say that this mission trip changed my life. Not only was it eye-opening to see another culture and visit a completely different part of the world, but it was amazing to see the world through a different lens. Life was much different in Poland, and I came to realize that people there are incredibly kind and welcoming, even though they have had so much hardship and destruction in their country throughout history.
Q. What was the most valuable part of the experience?
A. The most valuable parts of my experience were the relationships I built with the people I met throughout the trip as well as the team members I travelled with. We all grew closer to each other and closer to God.