This past week, Prince of Peace hosted what we thought was going to be an Explorer Boy Scout group from Poland. Rod Fleck had been contacted by a person who was arranging for their bike trip down the Olympic Peninsula. Rod contacted me, and we talked it over at council, and said, “Yes! They can stay here. We’ve hosted scout troops before. It’s always been good.”
Well, the time between the request and the actual visit stretched out with no more communication. We were getting nervous… “Are they coming to the church or not?” Then, we heard that yes, they were coming, but had to come a day early because the storms changed their route. Rod and his family and I jumped into action. The Flecks made dinner, I made sure to be here to help them become comfortable with the space.
Tire punctures, spoke repairs and a detour later, they arrived at Prince of Peace. After the showers provided by the Athletic and Aquatic Club, we sat down to a hot dinner and listened to them talk.
We discovered that we were hosting a team of Adult Explorer Scouts, three women and two men, who were part of a tag team of bikers going all around the world…in winter. The race started in Poland, and went east through Russia and Mongolia, up through the Siberian peninsula, across to Alaska, and down through Canada. “Our” team had started in Vancouver, B.C. and was traveling through to San Francisco, where they would turn over their bikes to the next team.
Eventually, they were going to travel all the way to Virginia to join the next Scout Jamboree, and then go on to Florida, and then they would travel back to Europe and bike back to Gdansk, Poland!
They asked us all to sign their travel map. Just because we had hosted them a night when they were traveling about 70 miles by bike a day, in this weather!
They were inspiring. That’s the thing about hospitality: we think we are doing a good deed, when in fact we end up receiving as much, if not more, than we give.
Pastor Pam Hunter