Greetings from Poland!
As we continue to move through the summer, we would like to send you another glimpse of what we are doing thanks to your great generosity. Our trust in God’s Providence coupled with your wonderful support, both spiritual and financial, are the backbone of all our daily activities. They carry us forward and help us deal with the challenges which we often face.
The highlight of the past week was Fr. Marek’s car trip to France. He wanted to renew his old contacts and to look for new ones so that we could find additional places for the resettlement of our guests. He also took upon himself the transport of one of the families staying with us who had found a place where they wanted to move. In France, however, it turned out that the family was not expected at their destination. Providentially, Fr. Marek was there to help and so a safe place was secured for them.
This is one of our challenges at present: finding places in France where our Ukrainian guests could live and work. Taking advantage of his trip, Fr. Marek used his time in France to look for such assistance for our program. Upon his arrival, he had a chance to concelebrate the Eucharist with a Jesuit Father in the Basilica of Saint-Denis in the northern suburb of Paris. One of the fruits of that morning was the meeting with the Director of Jesuit Refugee Service in France. There is also hope for a future meeting with the French Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
Fr. Marek also took the opportunity to talk with the Provincial of The Society of Christ for Polish Migrants. From him, we received an offer concerning a house in Dunkirk which might be adapted as a refugee center. Another new contact was the bishop’s vicar of the Diocese of Lille.
In the afternoon, there was time for visiting a family who had lived at one of our reception centers and was recently resettled into France. Fr. Marek spent some time with them and with the mayor of their new place of residence.
Turning our focus back to Poland, in our center in Tarnawa Niżna, located amidst various wonders of nature, we make it a priority to help our guests relax outdoors and focus on the beauty around them, forgetting their worries at least for some time. One of our volunteers led a little expedition with the purpose of striking up an acquaintance with the king of the local woods, the European bison. The success was complete, with two little bison calves into the bargain!
The outing had other forms of fun, such as walking upstream against the current, all the way to a little falls. For those wishing for the trendy skin treatment involving snail slime, there was a chance to try it, completely free of charge! ☺
We made sure that extra entertainment was provided also for those whose legs were not strong enough to carry them on an expedition, but strong enough (and very willing) to try safe jumping, always with the lush green scenery around provided by nature.
In our housing news, we have just added a new location to our reception center map. Its name is Chrewt, which might well be unpronounceable outside Poland☺, so we supply the photo to present it as best we can.
In transport news, we received permission to keep the Ford cargo van, leased to us free of charge, for a little longer. We were all happy to have our request granted because transport costs are extremely high and we try to look for savings wherever possible.
We had some more visitors at our centers, among them a group of high-spirited French volunteers. They brought some things for the little ones, and there was occasion to celebrate with sweets and plenty of gifts.
There was time to try out brand-new markers…
…and time to get some exercise, for instance playing volleyball.
This, and much else, has been happening in our reception centers over the recent days.