Sunday, August 5, 2012

A post from the mission blog.....


A special trip to Gdansk.

WOW! We had to take a quick trip to Gdansk to solve some building issues. We arrived, made our way to the downtown area and had never seen the city busier! There were countless groups of tourists and school children wearing badges, tags, (and my personal favorite) hats to make sure they stayed with their group. What is going on???We have arrived in Gdansk at the beginning of the 23 day St. Dominic's of the largest trade and cultural events in Poland. Every August over 1000 merchants, artists, artisans and collectors put up their stalls hoping to attract buyers. An average of 70,000 people visit this fair daily. This fair has been a tradition in Poland for over 700 years.Merchants with all kinds of food, clothes, jewely, trinkets were lining every street. Musicians could be heard everywhere. It was a busy, busy market place. And of course, I can't go to Gdansk without taking a picture of MY favorite landmark in this beautiful city...the Gdansk Crane!

But now to the business at hand...finding a chapel for the Gdansk Branch to meet in. We thought we had this all figured out and at the very last moment, the deal fell apart. We had done our part, Germany had done their part....obviously, the Lord had something else in mind. So, it was back to 'building shopping'!We went to countless sites. I will only show you the 'top 2'. First...this building located just off the Old Town. It used to be a bank building.It is on the ground floor and has much room for growth. Lots of good selling points.Second...this building is located near the Manhattan Mall. It has great public transportation access and is in a nice neighborhood. It is in the process of being cleaned up.Entering the building.....Inside-it has a nice feel to it and seems to be built very well. Both sites have great potential. We'll see.While in Gdansk, we were able to run into our great Sisters serving there....Sister Ostler and Sister Bezdjian who recently earned the 'Standard of Excellence' award in the mission. Their apartment is very close to the second site. These sisters are on you can tell by their planners!Saying 'good-bye' to Brother Lutter....who had made a special trip from Germany to speed up the process of finding a building. We appreciate all he does for Poland. Thank you!Later, we were able to meet up with President Kempa and his wife. President Kempa is the branch president in Gdansk and does so much to help the branch. He has worked hard helping to find sites for the new building. He has great ideas, and we appreciate his insight.After a very long day in Gdansk, the Lewis' drop us off at the airport to head home. We call the Lewis' our 'almost' Senior Missionary Couple in Gdansk. They do so much for the missionaries and the members. Even though they are not actually full-time missionaries, they act like it. Thank you for the great hospitality and ALL you do! Back to Warsaw...

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