Report from Miss Emma Young
June 2014 was my first trip with The Joy Foundation; in fact it was my first ever missionary trip. As you can imagine I was both excited but also a bit apprehensive about it all. After several nights sorting and packing the van with all the clothes, toys, toiletries and other donated items the day to leave for Poland came arounf really quick! fter a long day travelling to Dublin airport then on to Warsaw, we met up with Henryk and the others who had driven the van over. A quick KFC, time of devotion then straight to bed for the bust few days ahead.
During the trip we took 2 church services, one on the Thursday in Lublin and the other on Friday in one of the poorest areas of Warsaw. Thursday for me involved a lot of dancing, playing with children and making loom bands. An awesome day! We then sang some songs with the kids, gave our testimonies and favourite verses and Gary was able to share a word with the kids nd some of the parents. `Henryk was on hand as our translator. It was espically great to see the kids and parents joining in with the songs. At the church we were able to give out bags of clothes, toiletries etc. which had already been packed and labelled at home for the poorer families who attended the church. Seeing the gratitude on their faces when receiving simple toiletries and second hand clothes was amazing.
Friday morning was an early rise; we went to the bakery at 6am to collect bread (not fresh breaf, but bread which was a little old) to take to the church in Warsaw and distribute to the prroest families at the church’s festival. We made a quick stop at Tesco to grab some more toiletries for the church on the Friday. The sun allowed us to have the fun day outside; all the kids had lots of fun with bubbles, table football and candyfloss! As the festival was going on we were once again given the opportunity to take the service. Much like Lublin, we sang, testified and Liam gave a message from the Bible. God really helped me that Friday, after seeing the amount of people at the festival I was reluctant to speak, but with God I was able to get through it, and even went up for another go! As we had some clothes etc. left over we asked Henryk to take us to some of the poorer families he was incontact with around Warsaw on the Saturday morning.
We visited the poorest of the poor. Some of the conditions these people are forced to live in is really shocking, nothing like what I had imagined. I was both an eye-opening and emotional experience. One lady in particular stands out for me. I took her over some toiletries and a John’s Gospel and she was so grateful, huggind and kissing me, I couldn’t hold back my tears and had to make a quick exit to the back of the van for a little cry. The gratitude shown by all the people when we gave them such simple things really affected me. These are the things we take for granted at home.
Poland was truly a life changing experience for me. As a group we had devotions every morning and evening with a time of prayer. These little moments really built me up and encouraged me. You think you are going over to help others but infact you receive such a blessing too. I came home so encouraged and with such a strong relationship with God. My little verse for the trip was Philippians 4v13, and no matter how much fear I had going, about speaking in meetings and interacting with everyone, God really helped me through it all.
I think it’s time to book a return trip! 🙂