Today the train arrived at 9:30am on Krakow (pronounced Krackoff). We quickly dropped our bags at the hotel and then boarded a mini bus to Auschwitz (click here for details). It’s took about an hour to get there – but it was an experience that can’t begin to be put into words. I’ve seen picture, read stories, and studying about the “final solution” in history books – but this was more than I could handle. Not only did they have all the buildings, train station, guard houses and barb wire fences still intact, but they used the buildings for museum displays of all the actual shoes, luggage, personal items, and even the hair that was taken from the Jews and other prisoners. We actually walked into the crematoriums where over 1,000,000 people were exterminated. And to think that across this German controlled areas over 5,000,000 others were killed in the same way. It’s hard to even say that it was a good day touring the concentration camp. It was not at all – but it was something that everyone should see for themselves to remind us all of the depravity of man and how in need we really are of a Savior. To think that human beings could do something like this to others – we are truly sinful people.
The night ended with a great dinner where our eight member team met with eight International Missionaries from the SBC as well as about 20 local Polish pastors and their spouses. It was a great time of fellowship. I much was accomplished through this one meal. We affirmed our IMB missionaries, we connected them with area pastors (which helps both), and we learned more about what God is doing in Krakow. One great example is that a young IMB missionary who was there was looking into starting a college ministry in Krakow, which has over 145,000 college students, and was getting discouraged because he was feeling unsuccessful so far. We didn’t know it ahead of time – but we sat him at the table of a young polish minister who is doing college ministry in town who had some great ideas. Now they are connected. That one connection alone made the meal worth while. Keep praying for us we head to Warsaw tomorrow.