They’re off! Thirty-one kayakers wearing life jackets, hats, and eager smiles
embarked on a five-day mission adventure down the Rospuda River in Poland.
Their colorful kayaks were crammed with sleeping bags, tents, clothes, and food, and their most important cargo—magazines and books to share with people they met along their route. Their goal was to bring the people hope found only in Jesus.
When the kayakers came to a village, they docked their boats and set out to visit every home, praying with people and offering them literature about Jesus. Along their route they shared 3,500 copies of the newspaper edition of Signs of the Times and sold hundreds of books, including The Messiah and The Great Controversy on CD. They even met people who remembered buying 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 was the fourth kayak mission trip for members of an Adventist church near Warsaw and some of their friends. This time almost half the group was young—between the ages of 7 and 15. “It’s great to see our young people eager to become involved in mission,” says Pastor Stachurski. “They learn from the adults how to share Jesus’ love, and their enthusiasm encourages the rest of us.”
The 41-mile (60-kilometer) river trip took kayakers through pristine forests and marshy meadows. Paddling about 11 miles a day, the team made plenty of time for outreach and Christian fellowship. At night they gathered around a campfire to worship God and pray for the people they had met that day.
The Adventist church in Poland is small, with about 5,700 members. That’s one Adventist for every 6,600 people. “The work is difficult in Poland, says Pastor Roszkowski, Global Mission director for the Polish Union Conference. “Poles want to catch up with Western Europe, often working two jobs. They have little time to read the Bible.”
For many of the villagers the mission team members were the first Adventists they had ever met. The trip was funded in part by the mission offerings you give each week in Sabbath School.
“Our church is so thankful for the opportunity to share the hope we have in Jesus,” says Pastor Stachurski. “We know people are reading the material we’ve given them, and some have requested Bible studies. It’s my hope that our kayak mission story will help you know that your support of mission is making an incredible difference in people’s lives.
Piotr Stachurski is secretary of the South Polish Conference.