The Forever Kingdom

My recent trip to Lithuania reminded me again of the rich history of that ancient country. Much older than America, Lithuania (along with Poland)  once ruled a kingdom from “the Baltic to the Black Sea” and was the world-power of that time and place.
The tower of Gediminas' castle. He was the founder of Vilnius.

The tower of Gediminas' castle. He was the founder of Vilnius.

In more recent times Lithuania has been ruled by other kingdoms. From Czarist Russia to the Soviet empire to Nazi Germany and back to the Soviets. Lithuania knew little freedom in the twentieth century.

Soviet statues of the "ideal communist worker" still look down on the Green Bridge in Vilnius.

Soviet statues of the "ideal communist worker" still look down on the Green Bridge in Vilnius.

In our down-time before and after camp we toured some of the remnants of those kingdoms- all now a part of history.

Vytautus' fortress at Trakai. It was the base from which he faught the Teutonic Knights attempts to spread Christianity to Lithuania.

Vytautus' fortress at Trakai. It was the base from which he fought the Teutonic Knights attempts to spread Christianity to Lithuania.

Seeing these sights reminded me again of the everlasting nature of the kingdom of God. As awesome as some of these places were- I could not help but think of Hebrews 12:28:

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe…”

A cross in the courtyard of St. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church in Vilnius.

A cross in the courtyard of St. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church in Vilnius.

It is reassuring and faith-affirming to know that regardless of the attempts of man to rule God reigns and always will!

More pics below:  

This is the 9th Fort in Kaunas. It was built during the Czarist Russian Empire and later used by the Soviets as a prison and as a killing ground by the Nazis. (60,000 Lithuanians and others were mass murdered outside of its walls during WWII)

This is the view from inside one of the lookout towers inside the 9th Fort. The elaborate sculpture in the distant background is a memorial to those 60,000 who were killed on that spot.

Another remnant of a fallen and bygone kingdom- the castle at Kaunas

The Gateway gang mugging it up in Vilnius

 You can read more about Lithuania Christian Camp by clicking here and reading the online article by Erik Tryggestad of the Christian Chronicle. Be sure to listen to the audio attached to the article to hear sounds and songs of camp!

 

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5 Responses to The Forever Kingdom

  1. The pics are wonderful Danny. Thanks for sharing them.

  2. benoverby says:

    Thanks for taking the time to post the pictures. I enjoyed them.

  3. J D says:

    When did Alexander Campbell go to Lithuania to start the Church of Christ? I missed that part.

    Ok, John is being bad.

  4. mattdabbs says:

    Danny,

    I went up to the Gateway Church of Christ van at the Spiritual Growth Workshop and asked the guy in the passenger seat if you were at the workshop. He said, “Danny? Danny who?” I was a little surprised. The driver saw what was happening and said, “Oh, he doesn’t go to Gateway.” I thought that was kind of humorous.

  5. dannydodd says:

    Matt,

    You spoke with one of our elders, Jim Caples. He is also on staff here as educational director and we have sort of an on-going friendly fun-poking contest. In other words he is a jokester! 🙂

    I would have enjoyed going to the workshop this year, but afer being out-of-the country for over two weeks and just getting back- I could not turn it around that soon.

    The Gateway group enjoyed it and said it was one of the best.

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