Last night, we were invited to join a Polish family for dinner in their home. Our host graciously served us home made perogees and soup until our stomachs were full and hearts content. After dinner, we gathered around to hear her mother share stories about what life was like in Poland in the years after WWII. Listening to their story helped us gain a perspective of the hardship faced by Polish families during the Nazi occupation and communist period that followed. She explained how government food coupons were used to rashen groceries in communist Poland and told stories of how her grandfather had been thrown in prison for running a small grocery store. Throughout the evening, our host translated as her mother spoke about how God had been her strength through some of the darkest times in life and helped her find Joy when she needed it the most. I was truly inspired by this testimony and thankful for the opportunity to hear God’s heart spoken over this nation. Before the evening ended, we joined in prayer for the people of Poland and blessed our host and the home that had shown us so much hospitality.
Over the last four days we have been staying in the town of Oswiecim where the Auschwitz and Birkenau death camps were located during WWII. We spent the first two days touring the camps with a friend from Israel who is very knowledgeable about WWII and the Holocaust. As we walked through the camps, God began to remind us again what a miracle it is that the state of Israel was established after the war. Seeing Jewish tour groups able to return to the place where the devil attempted to destroy them is an inspiration and reminder that God’s promises will be fulfilled.
While at the camps, we learned that over four thousand visitors from many nations come through every day. I feel that being in this place forces a person to ask how any human being could take part in such a horrible act of cruelty and violence. Faced with these questions, we must look in the mirror and realize that we have no hope without Jesus. Salvation is the only thing that stands between us and the purest form of evil.
After touring the camps, we spent the next two days working on a construction site for a Holocaust memorial just outside the gates at Birkenau. When finished, the bronze sculpture inside will depict the suffering of the Holocaust as well as how Christ suffered so that we could have salvation. I believe that this site will have an effect on many who visit here and lead them to ask questions about their own salvation. Please pray for me as I prepare to make the trip back to Israel on Sunday.
– Daniel Pierce