I love reading Paul’s letters to the churches. They are full of encouragement, teaching and sometimes reproach – all of which applies to us today just as much as it did to first century churches. Paul was able to give these things to the churches and pray for their differing needs because he KNEW them. He says hi to people by name and speaks about very specific situations. He visited them and invested himself in them. He connected them. “The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets in their house.” (1 Corinthians 16:19)
During our last time in Poland, Ben was able to do something that reminded me of this. He and Dave Hatfield traveled to several churches that are under the care of Polish Christian Ministries. Their visits were meant to do much of what Paul did with his visits and letters. These are churches that we continue to pray for, and hope to have contact with again. As part of his role with the board of directors, Ben also has a list of US churches that support PCM, and by extension the ministry of these Polish churches, which he has committed to pray for. So here is what God has laid on our hearts. How can we effectively pray for these churches when their support of PCM is really all we know of them? Do they know all the good things their financial contributions are going towards? We want to visit them, get to know them, so we can pray for them on a deeper and more personal level. We want to share with them what we as a family have been able to see and do in Poland, giving them a personal connection with real people that are passionate about this ministry. So we feel that God has grown in us a prompting to begin our own tour of churches. Our little family won’t bring the wisdom and guidance of the great apostle Paul, but we feel God has some plan in mind from this leading, so we will obey.
If you’re still reading this, you must either be bored or you really care about this stuff like we do! Either way, we ask you to pray for us as we do this. We’ll start with PCM supporters closest to us, and then include some other churches that may be looking to grow their missions giving. In addition, there are a couple of other areas of ministry, unrelated to PCM, in which we feel God’s nudging. When Ben pursued his ministry degree and ordination, we didn’t really know where it would lead. Ben isn’t designed for church office hours and Sunday morning preaching. But God seems to be molding together a unique and unconventional sort of ministry for us, a collection of ways for us to share hope and joy with some people who just don’t know where to find it. We’re pretty excited about that, but we need your prayers for guidance, wisdom and obedience.
We have recently printed some prayer cards with our contact information on the back. If you want to commit to praying for us and would like one, please send your mailing address to
Wow. So much to tell you about today.
The sweet April Korytkowski made scrambled eggs for breakfast and spaghetti for lunch in the absence of the kitchen staff, so Anna and Ethan have eaten decently today in case you’ve been worried about their nutritional well-being!
Shortly after breakfast Andrzej and I went to meet with a couple of ladies from his church to plan the “seminar” where I will speak to women who have lost babies (as well as to their families, and friends) – sharing the thoughts I’ve published through my Embracing Grace blog. These ladies have experience doing PR work and went to work after hearing me give a brief description of what I will talk about. A couple of hours later, the entire event had shaped up to be much bigger than I had imagined! It will be held at the public meeting room at the Ostróda city hall, they are putting together fliers to send to all the churches, and an announcement via the town’s LCD Bulletin Board. Tomorrow morning, Andrzej is taking me to the “studio” for the recording of a public service announcement. I started worrying that maybe they had the idea that I’m some sort of famous speaker back in “The States”. They did ask how they should introduce me – counselor? author? I basically just said that I’m just a ordinary person and my only qualification is that I’ve been there. Please be in prayer for this event. As much as I’ve written about this topic and talked about it, I’m a bit nervous! It seems, however, that this may very well be part of the plan God has had for me being here and I am eager to be obedient. Please pray that God will bring the right people to the event who need to hear His message and that I will deliver it in a way that accomplishes His purpose.
The remainder of the day was spent making final preparations for the Holocaust Survivors. This involved hanging the Shalom banner over the cross. If you were following this blog last year, you may remember my post about this. If not, I encourage you to read Shalom, where I explained my own coming to understanding of why this is done for this group of visitors. Anna, Lydia, April and I prepare beds and checked on the rooms to make sure all was right. Ben did some mowing and continued to work on the camp’s WiFi (There is currently only one location where you can get online, but it will remain that way for the time being. This group of visitors probably doesn’t care too much!)
Finally…. around 6:30, the Holocaust Survivors arrived by charter bus from Warsaw, where they spent the day shopping and site-seeing after traveling from Israel. Just when we were finally getting comfortable with a few Polish words… let’s add Russian to the mix! My “I’m so sorry, but I don’t speak Russian” lead to a few nods and uncomfortable departures, but also a few people speaking broken English to me, so I’ve already identified some with whom I can communicate with on my own. The rest will have to wait for the arrival of the interpreters (four young adults from the Ukraine), who should be here tomorrow I think. We warned Anna and Ethan that they would get fussed over, and they absolutely did. Last year, I received polite nods as they arrived. This year, with both kids (and Lydia) by my side, I was surrounded by sweet little old ladies wooo-ing and ahhhh-ing over their hair. Touching them, hugging them, patting them on the back, and one even kissed Ethan (much to his displeasure!) I recognized several faces as returnees from last year, including my friend Erika. I’m not sure she remembers me, but I hope to talk to her tomorrow.
After dinner we had our first session with them, in which Ben and I were introduced. Ben explained who were are, where we are from and that we are there simply because we have a love for Poland, for Israel and for God and are there to serve them.
I hope that becomes evident in our actions this week.