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Volunteers Needed for THIS SUMMER in Central Europe!

Volunteers from the different teams take notes during a training session in Krakow, Poland in summer 2013. Photo by Stephanie Jones

Volunteers from several different teams take notes during a training session in Krakow, Poland in summer 2013. Photo by Stephanie Jones

Each year, Lutheran church bodies throughout Central Europe (Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary) request help from The Lutheran—Church Missouri Synod Office of International Mission through its representative there, through Project Coordinator David Fiala. These church bodies want to reach out to their communities through hosting English Bible Camps. However, they need our help to run these well-attended, popular camps. English language learning is a huge draw in Central Europe, and the camps bring in not only children and their families, who want to support their English language learning, but also youth and adult volunteers from the community who want to increase their English proficiency by working alongside native speakers. Through these VBS-like camps with the added English element, the LCMS and the Lutheran church bodies with whom we work in Central Europe proclaim the Gospel of Christ to hundreds of people who may not otherwise hear it!

Volunteers from several different teams in Poland in 2013 pose during the training sessions in Krakow. Training sessions include basic Polish (or the language of the country), preparation for the week, and a little sight-seeing. Photo by Stephanie Jones

Volunteers from several different teams in Poland in 2013 pose during the training sessions in Krakow. Training sessions include basic Polish (or the language of the country), preparation for the week, and a little sight-seeing. Photo by Stephanie Jones

Every year, the demand is greater than the workers! There are still many short-term teams needed to help run English Bible Camps in Central Europe for this summer, 2014! Churches or small groups who are looking for a service opportunity for this summer, please consider serving in Central Europe. If you are an individual or you and a few friends are interested in traveling to Central Europe this summer to help, the Office of International Mission (OIM) can connect you with other interested individuals to create a full team.

Children enthusiastically singing with the guidance of volunteers in Katowice, Poland (2013). Photo by Stephanie Jones.

Children enthusiastically singing with the guidance of volunteers in Katowice, Poland (2013). Photo by Stephanie Jones.

These short-term teams serve for about 12-14 days and work with a local church to put on the VBS-style camp. Most teams are made up of 5-12 members. Watch this short video to learn more about the work of short-term teams!

Here is the breakdown of what is still needed:

  • Hungary: 6 more teams are needed (3 others have been filled). Team size: 8-15 members. Duration: 2 weeks. When? June, July or August.
  • Poland: 14 more teams are needed (7 others have been filled). Team size: 5-10 members. Duration: 12 days. When? July or August.
  • Slovakia: 3 more teams are needed (1 other has been filled). Team size: 5-10 members. Duration 13-14 days. When? July or August.
Crafts made by the children at one of the camps decorated the parsonage during the week (Poland, 2013). Photo by Stephanie Jones

Crafts made by the children at one of the camps decorated the parsonage during the week (Poland, 2013). Photo by Stephanie Jones

Individuals, families, small groups, youth groups, college groups and others who are interested in serving on a team, please contact mission.recruitment@lcms.org with “Central Europe Short-Term Teams” in the subject line. You can also contact David Fiala directly with questions at david.fiala@lcmsintl.org. If you have an interest in travel, like working with children, want to serve in some way, or want to “get your feet wet” with missions to assess possible future service as a GEO or Career missionary, then volunteering for a short-term team is a great way to fulfill any of those goals!

In 2010, three of the current GEO missionaries all were members of a short-term team from CUI. They are pictured here with a student they met at that time who has since confessed his faith, been accepted to CUI, and will be headed there in the fall. Pictured: GEO Benjamin Helge (Czech Republic), GEO Sarah Berta-Somogyi, their friend Dani, and Melissa.

In 2010, three of the current GEO missionaries all were members of a short-term team from CUI. They are pictured here with a student they met at that time who has since confessed his faith, been accepted to CUI, and will be headed there in the fall. The relationships you build during a short-term team experience will be lasting! Pictured: GEO Benjamin Helge (Czech Republic), GEO Sarah Berta-Somogyi, their friend Dani, and Melissa.

  • If you are interested in learning more, you can read this story from last year’s Polish camps.
  • If you are interested in volunteering, you can email mission.recruitment@lcms.org or david.fiala@lcmsintl.org. You can also call 888-THE LCMS (843-5267) and ask for Mission Recruitment.

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