Presentation on theme: "2006 Special Convention - Katowice, Poland. First, a day of sightseeing. We toured the Old Town of Krakow. A wonderful city…and our brothers and sisters."— Presentation transcript:
2006 Special Convention - Katowice, Poland
First, a day of sightseeing. We toured the Old Town of Krakow. A wonderful city…and our brothers and sisters made it even more beautiful. (Sukiennice)Rynek-Market SquareUliça Florianska (Florian Street)
USA delegates on the right of our Kazakh brothers. Sisters we met while strolling the old town. They were delegates from Finland, scheduled for the convention at Poznan. Two brothers from Kazakhstan. Their warmth was contagious and their greetings from their respective congregations were moving. Two sisters (one from Poland, one from USA) as they rode their bikes through the market.
“Deliverance At Hand!” Special Convention Slaski Stadium August 4-6, 2006 Slaski Stadium was converted into one huge Assembly Hall for the duration. The convention departments and facilities were efficiently and thoughtfully appointed...of course! Sunday attendance: 51,124 Trading convention badges was a popular thing. Somewhere in the Ukraine is a young sister with my badge in English!
The convention city (Katowice) and venue (Stadion Slaski) was conveniently located; about 45 minutes drive from our hotel in Krakow. The map below also shows the town of Sosnowiec (center right) where one of the larger assembly halls is located.
Day 1: 48,000 attendees endure a chilly wet day. Many were totally unprepared for the inclement weather. Hotel blankets were a blessing the next day. In spite of the chill and rain, most were glued to their seats for the sessions. Needless to say, fashion was not an issue.
Number of Delegates from 15 countries in the eastern European region: Close to 10,000 Number of Delegates from the USA and parts otherwise: Over 5,000 1 Moving experience: Priceless There was a bit of drama with reference to a group of Ukrainian friends who had their approval for buses to transport them to the convention rescinded by their local authorities weeks b/4 their scheduled date of departure. They were told that they could walk if they wanted to go. So walk they did. Their trip to the convention which should have taken all of three days stretched to 13 days(!) Of course, they expended the funds and provisions they had intended for the shorter trip and by the time they reached the convention it was the Friday evening of the convention. They missed a day, but they were there the Saturday. After hearing the rumor among the USA delegates I confirmed with someone in the information department that the ambulance sirens that we heard during the first part of the Saturday program was in fact for some of those dear friends who had made the long trip. (One could reasonably suppose that the cold and rainy weather along with the exhaustion got to some of the more vulnerable ones.) This was in fact the case. When I asked what else could someone do aside from taking our lunches (which were provided for us as part of the visiting delegation) back so it could be re-bagged for those Ukrainian friends, the sister spoke to a brother in the department and she said, "Don't worry. If you meet one of the friends who experience this problem, feel free to do what you want, but all of you are our guests and they will be taken care of." What a beautiful attitude! And although we met tons of friends from the Ukraine, there was no way to tell who had suffered any hardship in getting to the convention…their smiles, laughter and generous hugs proved that there’s nothing lasting that Satan can do to Jehovah’s people!
USA delegate with delegate from Ukraine’s mountain region. USA delegates displaying their cultural heritage. With our sister from Kazakhstan
Before After Baptism 574 were baptized at Katowice. The before and after pictures above allowed us to guess how many new congregations that number could possibly represent.
Two sisters from Tatarstan (east of Moscow) Polish friends in traditional rural garb
Polish brother in Coal Miner’s dress uniform With sisters from Ukraine (right) and Poland (left)
With young sisters from Poland With friends from Poland With friends from Russia
Our sister from Estonia With our sisters from St. Petersburg (left) and Moldova (right) With our sister from Latvia
Two lifesavers: This Polish couple sitting next to us gave me a rainslicker just when I needed it! The sun finally peeked out on Sunday for the drama…and promptly went back in. There were many banners such as this one—too many for my camera’s memory, in fact.
The camp of Auschwitz/Birkenau was the only Nazi camp dedicated to the extermination of its prisoners. All the other concentration camps were labor camps in nature…Auschwitz was the only death camp.
The tour guide pointed out the ‘evil convenience’ of using facilities that were already in existence…the rails, the barracks, the grounds had all belonged to Poland as a prison camp. Where prisoners were first unloaded from the trains. Prisoners’ first and last view…the chambers were left of this view. Wood barracks for the prisoners destined for the chambers.
Entrance to Auschwitz Infamous archway: ‘Work means freedom’ Ruins of the gas showersMemorial atop the chambers
An eerie feel permeated the entire visit…
A photo on display of one of our dear sisters who was killed in the chambers with her family…her husband refused to join the army and as punishment his family was executed.
The grounds were deceptively peaceful, almost idyllic. These were originally barracks for Polish officers which were converted into halls of barbary by the Nazis. The look of a university campus or somesuch probably fooled many authorities who came to inspect. Behind the walls of these buildings and down the alleys between them much evil was perpetrated, such as….
Electrified alley Execution WallDr. Mengele’s building for experiments
Entrance to the crematorium
Happy End to a Sad Day The assembly hall at Sosnowiec, Poland
Friends visiting from BulgariaScale model of the complex Outdoor portion of expandable auditorium.Very Nicely Appointed Grounds
A satisfied visitor from Brooklyn, USA Friends from Romania (on left) with USA delegate