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2004 POLAND TEAM we go on our first team experience with TMI. We had many days in Boot Camp before we head to the field. The idea of Boot Camp is to help ferret out problems before we reach the field (while we have the safety net of other staff etc...). During boot camp we sleep in tents, take bucket baths, do laundry in buckets, bucket flush the toilets (which actually is a luxury compared to the field for some teams). The team members run an obstacle course starting around 6am (we have wake up at around 5:30 clean up our tent sites...very important), eat breakfast. Later we do classes, construction (learning different kind of skills), also learn evangelism techniques through drama, puppets, music, sharing, testimonies etc... Sometime in there we have some kind of team time, more meals, and an evening rally. A REALLY busy day that sometimes includes jogging/running between sites/classes during the day. And leads to the infamous saying from our assistant male leader (a Missionary to America from Romania) Joseph: " Fiiiiiiive minutes!"

etc....he watched our time well! There are what are called special blessings (SB's) given to a team or individual who has broken rules. They are there to help them follow the rules more closely (lots of them and set up to help us function as a team and to safeguard us when we are on the field). We didn't even have our first team member (they were just stepping off the bus) when we caused our team to get its first team SB. Man!!! We were really green! We worked it off quickly and learned quickly too! There we also daily inspections of our tent site, eating area and big top area by Miss Piggy. The results were given every evening during rally (the dreaded Miss Piggy leaders came forward and results were given). The winner (cleanest) got to eat the next evening meal in A/C and have ice cream, the losers got to clean the toilets the following day during their free time. Man! I can't tell you how often we got the Piggy Award! But....I will tell you that every year our teams have smoked the other teams during debrief (after the project time) for the Bible bowl (a contest of who is the best at scripture memorization)!!

Ok...enough of boot camp. Our project was in Poznan Poland at a family's house that doubled as an English learning center. There born again Christians are considered to be part of a cult and are a very small percentage of the population. We were helping to build a tool shed, cobblestone sidewalk, back patio area. We also had a chance to help paint the main hall of a former work camp/now museum and weed an area that had headstones. It was hard work but it was a blessing to help brethren who were basically persecuted for the faith. We were privileged to help further the work there. We had some evangelistic opportunities and were able to site see. We were amazed at the history of the area. In the U.S. the history is very young. In Poland....there were thousands of years of history. It was also very marred with the effects of WWII Nazis influence. Everywhere you went it seemed that here was a railroad that took people to camps, here was a labor camp, here was a death camp, here was a transfer station etc.... There were trenches, bunkers, many other visible reminders of that dark time, only to have that followed by communism. Most believers still have areas to hide in case violent persecution should arise....they have not forgotten the darker side of human nature.

WOW! We are so blessed in America and need to be vigilant to safe guard our freedoms. After our project time we headed via bus to Switzerland. We stopped at Auschwitz and toured it (a visit we will never forget which was very sobering) and a shopping stop in Cracow. After an evening of driving we stopped in Innsbruck for breakfast and then onto Switzerland for a time of classes, games, testimonies and winding down before heading home. I will say that the Lord did some amazing things in us and through us. We watched him mold, heal and deliver. God is an awesome God, faithful to complete the work that He began in us! We did have one scary incident...while at the New York airport we saw flight after flight headed to Florida that had been canceled. Little did we know that hurricane Charlie hit the Orlando area hard. ORLANDO!!! That was where our daughters were! We managed to get our team members off ok and get onto our flight to Orlando where we met Tim's sister and our daughters. Whew! The hurricane did some extensive damage, but somehow the area where the girls were had only a little and everyone was fine! Wow, talk about a baptism in fire for bad weather in Florida. 4 out of the 5 major hurricanes that year hit Florida. The last one (Jeanne) hit Tampa/Lakeland area, where Tim's mom lives. We had headed that way to escape it in our area....they are so unpredictable! It did allow us to step out into the eye and experience that for the first time. Fortunately, it was only a category 1 when it reached landfall, but wow, who knew Florida could be like this!

2004 Poland team photo gallery

our team eating site (one of the areas checked by Miss Piggy)

We were working off a team "SB"

Obstacle Course (OC) swinging across slough of despond

climbing over Jacob's ladder

Missionaries to American(MTA's) during rally

Rain during boot camp wasn't always bad

Sue headed out with preteen team to Ecuador

our project site kitchen

lots of work...but what a great experience!

finished patio and shed

Sara and KP headed back from Tesco's shopping trip

every team member had a meal with a Polish family

Our hosts: Dale Taylor and family

We visited Auschwitz on our way to debrief

A very somber experience

Switzerland debrief lots of fun!!

Yep...our team won the bible bowl!!

Our tent site (another area checked)

Our "Big Top" team site (last area checked by Miss Piggy

teaching team work via the OC

conquering the wall!

The evening rally

yes, we earned the Piggy award several!

Our turn! Back when you got 2 70 pound bags each


the team did an amazing job!!

our new eating site

we had lots of fun during our down times too

We made lots of new friends

We also visited some nearby labor camps

Where they were "housed"

Also teachings

Last leg of trip before U.S. sleeping in Zurich airport

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