To join an international trip in conjunction with CMF was a very exciting opportunity. In the summer of 2012 we joined Giles Cattermole, CMF Head of Student Ministries, and Bernard Palmer, a retired UK consultant surgeon, along with other Polish doctors at a week-long student camp for Polish medical and allied health professional students. It marked the rejuvenation of Christian medically-related student work in Poland.
On our arrival at Lodz airport in central Poland, we were greeted by Dr Tomasz, head of CMF in Poland. We were hosted at his house and introduced to typical Polish food; we particularly enjoyed borscht, a warming beetroot-based soup. After attending a Polish church service we made our way to the village of Uniejów, famous for its thermal springs.
As students arrived from across the country we spent time mingling and getting settled in our dorms. A typical day started with a Bible talk from Bernard (author of the Cure for Life) explaining what it means to be a Christian and follow Jesus. We then split into small discussion groups. After coffee the emphasis shifted to some medical training, a great refresher after a summer off university. It ranged from communication skills, to ultrasound skills, to how to do a tracheostomy.
One highlight was simulating intraoesseus cannulation using refrigerated Crunchie bars wrapped in sticky plaster! Later, we enjoyed kayaking or swimming at the natural hot spring water resort. This time provided a chance to get to know people and build friendships. We were surprised to learn how few Christians are in medical classes in Poland. Our new friends really appreciated the camp, the fellowship and the encouragement it provided.
Returning home we realised how privileged we are to be able to call on so much help and support from local Christian medics and CMF. Camps like this mean an immense amount to Polish students who can't call on the resources and people we have.
Please keep in your prayers the Polish Christian students that they may grow in love and faith, helping strengthen the student work in Poland. We both recommend getting involved in a CMF international visit and feel blessed by the opportunity to make new friends and share our faith.